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RLOs, YouTube and more

Edurite Technologies  provides e-learning material for students. They use the concept of reusable learning objects (RLO) for achieving this. RLOs are e-learning modules on a particular topic. For example, there could be an RLO on “Newton’s Third Law”. This RLO can be used in the e-learning material of all curriculums where “Newton’s Third Law” is being taught (whether it’s India or Brazil). The idea is that if I have to prepare some e-learning material for schools in India as well as schools in Brazil and I find out that “Newton’s Third Law” is being taught in both places, I don’t have to do two separate e-learning packages on the same topic. Instead, I reuse the RLOs. This is a concept which I found very interesting and can be used everywhere.  I recently had an opportunity to attend a presentation by one of the guys from Edurite Technologies. One of the questions posed to him was “YouTube provides videos for free. Why do I have to pay for buying an e-learning package?” The idea is someone records a session on “Newton’s Third Law” and uploads it in YouTube, it can be viewed by everyone who wants to learn about it. The first impression was that it was a very valid question.  I did some browsing after the session and I have attached some screenshots of what I did (sorry for the bad resolution). SDNimageYouTubeimage Now, SDN has material on eSOA and YouTube also has material on eSOA (though you don’t have to pay to view both). So what is the difference? The difference I found was the reliability. If someone posts a e-learning module in SDN, I know who exactly the person is and I can always find out whether he/she is an expert or not, where they work and so on. Of course, the material would have been reviewed by someone in SDN. But in Youtube, someone can always hide behind a veil of secrecy. If that happens, we are not sure about the identity of the person who posted the video and whether we can really believe what has been mentioned or is it just a practical joke (we see a lot of such stuff in YouTube). So, if you want reliable learning material on SAP Applications, SDN is the place to be.  But the learning from the popularity of YouTube is the fact that the content is “moving”. It’s not static like a boring Word Document or PDF Document. We have action as well as audio. So our e-learning material should also be “moving”. We should have more of recordings in SDN with voice over explaining what is really been done (I am talking about e-learning material here and not Podcasts or similar stuff). I tried recording a info session with voice using a software called SnagIt (which can record whatever is happening in the desktop), but I found the avi file created very bulky (a 10 minute recording occupied 70 MB). If anyone knows of a better tool, please do let me know. And as a next step, we can think of creating something like RLOs.
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