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Free University-Level Courses in the Cloud with P2PU

Apple laptop

So, your Master of Science in Marketing degree won you a great job when you graduated ten years ago.  But social media wasn’t around ten years ago, so you either stayed with traditional marketing jobs, went back to the University in hopes of finding courses in Social Media Marketing taught by someone with actual social media experience, or learned social media marketing techniques in your spare time. Entrepreneurial Marketing is just one example of the dozens of online University-level courses offered at Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU).  Courses are free, mostly asynchronous, and taught with structure, guidance, and support around open course materials.

P2PU is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements.  Courses are offered free of charge and P2PU is run largely by volunteers.  P2PU has received seed funding to cover operational costs and because web hosting costs are very low, P2PU has few other operational expenses.  Although P2PU may charge small registration fees in the future to ensure perceived value in the course, P2PU promises that it won’t restrict access to course information.  Although not accredited yet, individual instructors are seeking accreditation from their affiliated institutions.  In fact, some students are already receiving credit from some western universities.

The P2PU initiative is very popular with web technologists who are almost completely self-taught in the web design and development fields. Most traditional academic institutions don’t offer university-level courses or degrees in emerging web scripting languages.  In fact, the courses were so popular that P2PU created a sub school called P2PU Webcraft.  Webcraft courses are mostly taught by expert peers working in the field, not college professors with advanced degrees.  However, the skills gained can lead to high-paying jobs where real experience ranks above a college degree.P2PU is always looking for volunteers to propose and teach open courses.  So, if you’ve got an idea for a course and some spare time, consider facilitating a P2PU course of your own!

How Mobile Technology is Changing the World

Wallpaper

Photo courtesy of re-ality

Did you know that 45% of the world’s population is concentrated in just five countries and the most prevalent use of the internet is not through personal computers but through mobile devices?  According to NetworkWorld, Brazil, Russia, China, India, and Indonesia are home to 610 million Internet users.  Furthermore, internet usage in these countries is predicted to double to 1.2 billion by 2015.  Mobile phones in Africa represent more than 90% of all phone lines and the mobile penetration rate is around 50%.  With these statistics in mind, consider the technology innovations that are or will be supporting this rapidly growing population of global mobile internet users.

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Why You Won’t Miss Del.icio.us

Delicious is awesome in its simplicity and functionality.  I use it to incorporate the “cool stuff” on this site.  I use it to tag URLs in workshop presentations so attendees have access to all tools, articles, etc. in my presentations.  I’ve even used it to keep track of personal (private) research projects.  So, I can’t imagine internet life without it.

delicious

However, in a single day, someone has created a brand new Delicious clone. Its called 1R7 and  it looks almost exactly like Delicious without all of the Delicious branding.   1R7 makes it easy to import all of your Delicious bookmarks, so I’m already using it.  However, this is still a very immature product and the developer, Chris Heald, notes that there have been server performance issues as the news spreads about 1R7.  Even so,  as soon as sharing features are added, I’ll probably start using it instead of delicious.  Why?  Because the programmer behind 1R7 cares!  Chris created a simple but elegant fully functional clone of Delicious in record time (about ten hours).  Chris is allowing Twitter users to sign-up using their Twitter credentials and has plans for more Oauth integration soon.  With most of the major Delicious functionality already in place, how long before Chris creates something even better and more integrated than Delicious?  I can imagine 1R7 iPhone and Android apps, website badges, RSS feeds, social integration, and more.  I’m betting the community will pitch-in to support development of 1R7 — I know I will.   So, all I really need now is a Chrome extension (or browser app) and I won’t even remember Delicious!  Thanks Chris.

A Global Perspective on WikiLeaks

Regardless of what you believe about WikiLeaks, if you’re living in the U.S., chances are you’ve developed your opinion based on what WikiLeaks means for the U.S.  I’m not trying to change your opinion but I’d like to expand your perspective.  Everyone around the globe is talking about WikiLeaks, whether or not Twitter acknowledges it.  So, while we’re busy wondering and tweeting about what WikiLeaks means for our national security and  international reputation, others around the world are blogging about what they now know about America (thanks to WikiLeaks) and what it means for their countries.

Lisboa, 11/12/2010

Photo courtesy of wikileakspt

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Is the New Google Chrome OS and Notebook the Future?

With Google’s announcement of its new cloud based operating system, Chrome OS and accompanying notebook computer, the end of the traditional computer is nigh! And with it, the end of how we use, receive, and store media. I make no apologies for this bold prediction. In fact, I’m betting change comes sooner rather than later.  How much does anyone use a computer that isn’t connected to the internet anyway? Any computer not connected to the internet today is nothing more than a boat anchor. So, Google’s just taking the boat anchor part of the computer out of the equation. What we’re left with is just the internet.

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