Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I Y Infographics!  (Information + Graphics) What a great tool to show a lot of information quickly and visually.

An infographic is a one page 'poster' filled with information and numbers to represent information beautifully.

A well done infographic can be a great tool to add into any online class.  Many subject/topic specific infographics can be found with an easy Google search.  Even better are the tools out there to easily create your own!  Or have your students create one for a project and share it with the class.

I will introduce two different (FREE) tools that can be used to create your own infographic.

First up is Piktochart

Piktochart is a startup that allows users to create beautiful and useful infographic without any hassle.  Like most Web2.o tools there is a free option and a pay version.  In either case the user will need to set up a free account by choosing a user name and password.

  • In the free option there are six free themes to choose from

  • Nothing to download, you create right from the website

  • Easy to use interface

  • Easy to save and come back to work on graphic later

  • Download completed infographic as an image
Next up is is a Latvian startup that is still in beta version.  Their goals is to create an online toolkit for building infographics that catch the imagination.

  • Nothing to download, you create right from the website

  • Six free templates to choose from

  • Can add video

  • Can publish to the web and share your own personal link with your audience

  • Easy to use interface

  • Easy to come back to work on graphic later.

Monday, December 17, 2012

What is a MOOC?

It's all the buzz in the online learning community, but what is a MOOC?

MOOC stands for:

Massive Open Online Course

While Online or Distance Learning has been around for awhile, a MOOC, as it is in its current format, is a relatively new concept.  Access to free courses has allowed students to obtain a level of education that many could only dream of in the past.  But what does it all mean?  Well, it's in potentially thousands of people can take a course all at once.  The courses are usually free and do not offer any type of formal college credit.  Many major universities, such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT, Duke, Harvard, UCLA, Yale and Carnegie Mellon, have jumped on board the MOOC train recently.

Like anything, MOOCS have a good share of pros and cons.

  • Free - Open for anyone who is interested

  • Global learning opportunity

  • Great way to network

  • Informal, online setting
  • Hard to regulate

  • Little to no interaction with professor with a class this size

  • No college credit given for course completion

  • Lack of regulation
What does this mean for us here at Stevenson University?  It is too early to tell but one thing is for sure, this will not be the last you've heard of a MOOC.