Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Learning Sandbox ideas

Elliott Masie has a great podcast on creating a learning sandbox. If you have ever seen any of my eLearning conference presentations, then you know my schtick about having an "IT buddy". Setting up a Learning Sandbox is where your IT buddy may come in handy. There are many commercially available wikis, blogs, podcasting and vodcasting servers that charge little or no money, but I've found that my IT buddy was more than happy to help set this up.

Elliott covers the basics of what, why, and how...but here are some additional ideas and links.

PodCasts are great but in some cases video casting, or VodCasting, has the visual element that will really impact learning. The key: Keep it short and focused, and have a supporting blog or wiki for viewers to comment. Once you get it set up find a motivated end-user/learner and see if you can get them to create vodcasts, on specific aspects of their job.


Ask your IT buddy which free wiki engine can be installed on your companies current system. Most of them simply need a folder on the webserver. TiddlyWIKI is so cool...it's only ONE .htm file and so you can put it anywhere: HDD, server, USB-drive, iPod, anywhere you hold your files. I'd call it a mini-wiki. But since it serves up an RSS feed you can use an aggregator to link many tiddlywiki users who will be notified as each user updates their personal mini-wiki.

Of course there is always the incredible power of Google(free): Blogger, desktop, search, video.

What about a MMO Gaming environment sandbox? Check out SECOND LIFE to see what collaboration can be (and will be, IMHO). A Free, open environment with the tools to create your own "inworld" elements. Sure a phone conference is cool, but what if everyone could meet inworld and work together with objects and elements that are unavailable or too dangerous in the real world. The possibilities are endless.

So, get out there and play in your sandbox.

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