Archive | September 20, 2013

Technology of the week: MOOC V.S. Google Helpouts

The way of sharing knowledge has changed throughout the years. People use different channels to share and transfer their knowledge. One of the channel is a MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and the other is with Google Helpouts. So what are MOOCs and Google Helpouts?

MOOCversus  Google helpouts

A MOOC is an online course, which distributes course materials over the web and is openly freely accessible for interested users. It has become a widespread phenomenon for the learning environment that is accessible for massive users around the world everywhere at any time. This makes it efficient to follow a course. However, there are also disadvantages.  MOOCs do not have face to face interaction with the instructor, have a high dropout and online examinations are not fraud proof yet.

Google Helpouts is in a way an extension of the established Google Hangouts. It is used to establish the required video connection between two users, which can be used for a wide range of purposes. For example learn sports or yoga techniques and help with repairing a bicycle.  On the one hand, it brings people together, makes online discussion easier, offers interesting business opportunities and focuses on the individual who needs help. On the other hand, the lessons are not freely accessible. People need to pay per session, do not have an official certification and there is no physical interaction.

When we look at the comparisons between the two models we see that both virtual way of knowledge sharing shows  no physical interaction. Also the knowledge shared through the models is different. A MOOC share abstract knowledge and the Google Hangouts share more concrete knowledge. The knowledge shared through the Google Hangouts is not certificated and the focus is on an individual person. This is the opposite of a MOOC.

The virtual way of knowledge sharing compared with the traditional way of knowledge sharing has some competitive advantages. The digital knowledge sharing is not constrained by space, or even by resource availability, as long as broadband Internet is available to the participant. Other benefits include non-strict criteria for participation and no centralized organizational structure. This shows that online education can be very effective and scalable. Therefore MOOCs and Google Helpouts have the potential to grow in the near future when it comes to knowledge sharing.


Technology of the week: Group 9


Social media is changing our lives

Currently almost everyone is having a Social Media account. Think of Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp. Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are currently living.

Firstly we write to a larger audience. In the past you wrote a letter to one person. Nowadays a lot more people are reading your post or blog when you post this at Facebook or Twitter.

Secondly we write our thought shorter than usual. A twitter message may have 140 signs. There is a character limit. But the perfect tweet is around 120 signs. If you want a retweet you need space for 20 signs. 15 for the username, 1 for the @ and 3 for the RT en the blank space. Twitter force users to condense their thoughts. It’s an excessive use of textspeak. Like it’s a new language. There are new terms. Like LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and YOLO (You Only Live Once). The meaning of these words are bigger than their original abbreviation.

Thirdly a lot of teenagers suffer from social media stress. A quarter of the teenagers feel stressed when they can’t keep up the Social Media. They are afraid of socially closed off or missing ‘important’ stuff. This leads to pressure, uncertainty and low self-esteem.

Fourthly Social Media breaks down personal barriers. People post a lot of personal stuff on the Internet. You can read a lot of details about a person. But in daily life you can use these information to start a real conversation with this person.

I think that Social Media definitely changing the way people communicate and the way we are currently living. People have become more unsocial. People check their phone the whole day hoping they have receive a message on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp. Or they posting a message on Social Media. At the other hand Social Media gives us a lot of benefits.