March 2008


What is distributed learning? -its practical and coherent objectives for implementing variety into learning activities and materials and technologies

-involves individual and collaborative learning provision of academic theory alongwith practical although this can vary from topic to topic.

but is it flexible?

what would make a learning design plan flexible.

For now a scenario could be teaching an music on-line music theory, collaboration and composition.

My first strategy could be to design some content for a range of distributed audio delivery ( streaming downloading and posting DVD/CD) based on some projections and determined by the location of participants, their access to computers and the differences in dial up and broadband access. i.e.

a) low-end platforms eg. television, telephone, radio, low fi audio players and offline computers.

b) a computer-network platform with access to an internet/ intranet.

c) high-end broadband width platforms: live interviews concerts presentations video streaming, podcasting, realtime collaboration.

Some of these considerations along with the level of instruction, musical genres, instumentation and background/ previous experience, skill and training in music composition and software technologies, I will fine tune once I know who wants to participate. Now doesn’t this present a chicken and egg question; which comes first the course or the participants.

Who is it that really wants it ! the employers, their designers and facilitators or the participants.

in the course reading (Collis and Moonen 2001) “the key idea of flexibility is learner choice in different aspects of the learning experience.” So a component of my practice of Flexible design for music learning could be an incremental continuous movement over reviewing and reshaping the content etc. away from key decisions by the instructor and institution about a range learning dimensions (which were made in advance in order to design a course) towards student choice and student contribution to specify content to course providers.

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I know I shouldn’t complicate life and use two browsers (unless I have to) – and sure it takes time practising but isn’t it better than stumbling on in the dark trying the wrong thing over and over- the more I systematically repeat the steps the more likely I an to recall them particularly when I am busy. Practise is a big advantage.

I have been using Firefox and find there are small differences between this and ourĀ  default Polytechnic Internet Explorer browser. This did confuse me when it came to embeding and referencing (copyright) images with hyperlinks.

To post and reference an image in a blog it is necessary to embed (upload) it. When it come to referencing the author and an image source this is done either by hyperlinking the image as an object with the URL address or by publishing (hyperlinking or copying) the url of an image in your post.

with Internet Explorer the URL can be found by right clicking on the image and selecting the properties and Select All & Copy this address then paste this in the image link window back in wordpress insert/edit image window.

Firefox has removed this step. So instead, a right click on the image on the flickr creative commons page and select copy image location then paste this in the image link window back into wordpress. Even though this is easier I kept forgetting the crucial step.

Then next step to hyperlink a page is the same in both internet browsers. Copy the url of a flickr image page and paste this in the hyperlink window along with the title that pops up as text below the cursor.

– learning like living is becoming academic.. categorising analysing in order to comprehend and theorise about the world we live in, seems as if life is learned about as much as it is lived …

and if our forebears could they would’ve shown disbelief and made light of these buzzwords and the academic theory of learning for life!
Then neither did they know about a personal computer …. and a digital revolution

So to recap I have over the previous posts been searching for some audio recording equipment for recording editing embeding and archiving multimedia presentation, publication and podcasting, and that is suitable and basically for EDC staff to use.

I haven’t been shopping yet but found an Olympus audio recorder that has most of the facility to deliver and stream 16 bit 44.1 khz Mp3 podcasts of lectures, meetings, slidecasts, audiovisuals, music etc . The hardware uses flash drives SD cards. The two minus’s are the price and the proprietry WMA (windowsmediaudio) format of the audio recorder.

Roland has an audio recorder – Edirol Wave and MP3 digital recorder R-09 which records up to broadcast quality (32.0 bit) with on board stereo mic, a mic in /line in and ac power supply. This would be a very good machine for field recordings, music for original sound tracks for av and promotional materials. However, it is not as affordable, depending on the bit rates wave files can be up to 10 times larger to process, embed and podcast. . .

For just voice, interview, lecture, conference and meeting recordings, a 16 bit 44,100 htz audio MP3 recorder with a line in (gives the option of powered extention wire/wireless microphone. Although these wee machines have fiddly functions and mini screens you can format MP3 to WAV files required for audio/visual editing.

In the last year IRiver have deleted a model which for our purposes was an ideal portable MP3 recorder.. now there is an cowan iaudio u3 model…

As an aside, I wonder about the ways product development is being shaped by the emerging hardware and softwares (which are converging) and how much it is driven by consummer demand for multimedia devices being portable.

whats what?

I have decided against the mp3 recorder option for the following reasons. Instead of recording with an wave or MP3 format, the audio is encoded to Windows media audio WMA. This has its limitations, obviously I have to own and have installed the software to upload the encoded audio files to my computer and in addition

  • to convert the data file into wave format for editing with proprietry software
  • export this into MP3 before embedding or streaming audio via the wiki.