Saturday, September 18, 2010

What Contingencies are Motivating my Learning at Present?

A lot of them seem to be hardware-related.
I’ve recently acquired a Samsung Captivate phone and with it the need to master some (more or less) hardware functions (more or less) native to the phone:
  • · Camera/camcorder
  • · Music player/e-book reader
  • · E-mail (can I access more than my g-mail account from it)?
  • · Text-entry methods
  • · File storage and management in the internal media
  • · Using the add-in SD card with a USB connection
There are also a number of apps already on the phone which I need to master:
  • · Google Goggles
  • · Google Maps
  • · Gallery
  • · Google Sky Map
  • · Mini Diary
  • · Music Player (or find a better alternative)
  • · My Files
  • · Pocket Profit (book pricing app)
  • · Video Player
  • · Voice Recorder
  • · Write & Go
I need to find sources of reliable application reviews and recommendations, since the Android app marketplace has all the flaws and overpopulation that shareware markets have had since the days of DOS. I also need to find high-quality (read: safe & coherently organized) repositories for Android apps. Among the apps I’m specifically looking for are:
  • A .pdf reader
  • A podcast/vodcast aggregator in the nature of the iTunes Store (or an Android/iTunes interface)
  • A utility for pantry-management and grocery-shopping list generation which uses the capacity for reading barcodes for maintain a running inventory of your pantry, generate shopping lists, and interface the lists with available store/product coupons (both paper and online)
I’ve also acquired a Nuvi GPS unit which is more capable, but also more complicated, than my previous one. So I need to learn/re-learn how to:
  • · Add a stop/or detour
  • · Use voice command unit
  • · Navigate by direct entry of coordinates
  • · Create/edit routes
  • · Use unit as PC-connected external storage
  • · Use music/audiobook players
And I have a Kodak Zi6 flip-cam which I need to master. I should put it to immediate use in my online courses. This seems to be pretty much a “For Dummies” hardware and software package (a core Kodak concept).
Beyond hardware, I have some fairly complex software to master.
We’ve just moved over to Moodle Joule at ION and while it’s consistent with earlier versions, there are some fine points to master. I’m already a member at, but I need to find some additional resources for my own learning of the tool set, including a network of human experts.
And at Oakton, I’m involved with the transition from WebCT CE 4.0 to Desire2Learn 9.0, so I need to be learning D2L in very deep and comprehensive detail. I’m a member opf the D2L Communities, and I have access to their very comprehensive product documentation, but I need to be developing a network of human experts, as well as locating additional didactic resources.
And now I’ve gotten myself involved with the PLENK2010 course, where I’ll be trying to develop a concept of what a PLE/PLN is and does, what tools to use to create one, and what resources, animate and inanimate, to include in it.
Something which would be a good thing to have in a PLE/PLN if I create one, and good to have on general grounds even if I don’t, is a distiller/compiler/summarizer utility for RSS feeds. Aggregating is no problem. Google Reader makes that all too easy. But how do you handle 50 or more feeds on a daily basis?