There is a real urgency in creating new ways to deliver content to our learners in a more effective and active manner. As a self taught individual in the field of ICT, I find FaB(Flexible and Blended approach) so much appealing to me on a personal capacity and as a tutor who have valid dreams to open an online college.
But it goes without saying, that to deliver an online content you need to have the appropriate means of delivering instructional content, key among this are this;
- Internet Connectivity
- Tools to create and package content
- Website(Includes domain or sub domain, reliable hosting)
- Content creators(Am assuming you can)
I want to share some small knowledge i got on how you can do this on a small scale or even even on a bigger scale if your dreams are on an infinite dimension(if the sky is no limit) .
Internet and ICT Infrastructure
Getting an almost robust and effective ICT infrastructure is hard enough in Kenya even for institutions, its expensive at the moment and least reliable. But i want to say this, its easy to make do with what we can afford.
on a personal level i recommend in the bare minimum as a tutor or lecturer to have an internet enabled phone, particularly and preferably a smart phone with a hot spot functionality. Data Plans in major mobile providers, is still expensive but affordable in bulk. If you reside in Towns with a fiber optic network, then you are in luck because most fiber optic network providers have very attractive home data plans.
Good thing to note is this; if you cant afford a smart phone, then get a high speed modem, they are so cheap this days.
Tools to create and package content.
Creating Text content is only about how fast you type, and format using an appropriate software. There are numerous productivity software that you can use for this. I recommend Ms.Office Suite for Windows Users for doc and power point presentations. For Linux users there is always Open Office suites and lots of Open Source software out there.
Creating PDFS is of course a different story. So many people people have asked me about tools to convert Word documents to PDFs and Vice-Versa, but i always answer them simply get a free tool or buy a professional tool. For Ms.Office users, there is a free tool from Microsoft called ‘Word to PDF’ add on, and some many PDF printers you can get from internet(like CNET.COM).
To those who are serious about delivering media rich, interactive, forms, questions, and editable PDFs then you need to invest in this very capable software;
- Adobe Acrobat Professional
- Abby PDF Transformer
- Abby Fine Reader
This are software you can scan your Physical Textbooks using a good scanner and recognize text(OCR) and convert to digital format, this are software you can use to edit your PDFs(its a myth if you have been told you can edit a pdf)
Video and Audio
One of the most effective ways of instruction of learners in an active way is through multi-media, particularly Video Tutorials, i know most people think producing this media is a very difficult process, but it is not. In my experience, you dont need an expensive smart board to create such type of content, but you do need need some small bits of hardware and software.
As the most minimum of requirements i want share the barest of tools i use and share more advanced ones;
First of all you must have a PC(Desktop or Laptop) with a good microphone and Camera(For more advanced courses you might need a pen enabled tablet).
Then you must have a good screen capture software; i use Snagit and Camtasia Studio for production. These are paid software that you need to buy, i use them for free, i hope you also get a way to use them for free. But i am sure there are tonnes of free software out there(Will share share if i get encouragement).
Last thought for professional Audio and Video editing post production i use Adobe Software Suites(Premiere and Audition) on windows or Final cut Pro on Mac