the blog of dan pontefract | Dear Mr. Machado – A Few Connected Learning Options for You
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Dear Mr. Machado – A Few Connected Learning Options for You

Dear Mr. Machado,

Your story is heart-warming. Thanks so much for taking the time to write the email, sharing your story, and posing your question about a ‘connected learning’ environment. In the spirit of collaboration, I’ve taken the liberty of responding to your request via this blog posting versus another email, but have kept you anonymous.

First of all, congratulations to you and your wife on 13 years of marriage. That is fantastic given today’s world of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I’ve had the benefit of being in both profit and not-for-profit education arenas and know all too well the predicament you face. You want to bring a ‘connected learning’ platform to fruition, yet, you do not have the funds or staff to implement one overnight. Perhaps this is a connected conundrum.

I’ve got a few ideas for you, and hopefully it either gets you started or it helps instigate an augmented line of thinking.

  • Tap into Computer Science programs
    • It’s not clear what University you are associated with in Spain, but my advice is to tap into resources found within Computer Science program(s)
    • Often you will find Professors looking for unique ‘real world’ projects that their students can complete as they pursue their formal studies
    • I see no reason why your opportunity couldn’t fit the bill. You might even check in with the ‘Universitat Oberta de Catalunya’.
  • Moodle
    • Although I’m not Moodle’s number one fan, for your purposes, it could serve you well
    • The good news is that it’s free, and it has a plethora of other educators helping to improve the system (part LMS, part CMS, part VLE)
    • For the micro-payment opportunity, there are some PayPal options available in addition to other potential options
  • Corporate Players – NFP Options
    • I wouldn’t hesitate to contact some of the Corporate collaboration platform players (Saba, SkillSoft, Jive, Liferay, Atlassian, Microsoft, etc.)  to see if they might be in a philanthropic mood and provide you with a not-for-profit version of their platform
    • It’s a stretch, but I do believe companies like those mentioned above need to play a more significant role in higher education without necessarily looking for a profit
  • WordPress
    • Again, it may be a stretch, however, there are so many plug-ins available and there is a small army of WordPress developers out there, your needs could be met in a few weeks
    • Due to the fact it is open source and web-based, the only real cost is sorting out a) what you want it to look like, b) how the system can upload files and c) how you might implement the micro-payment option
    • You might even reach out to those Computer Science programs and see if they would utilize WordPress as a platform for the project

Those are a few options for you to consider. A last one may be inquiring about some grant money that could assist in the possibility.

I wish you good luck in your ‘connected learning’ quest. Thanks again for reaching out.

PS. I suppose it’s fitting Barcelona man-handled Manchester United in the Champions League Final.

1Comment

  • Kelly Meeker / 31 May 2011 12:21

    I have one more suggestion for you guys! LINGOs (http://ngolearning.org/) is a nonprofit that partners with nonprofits around the world to extend their learning and development programs through elearning resources (and specifically by seeking donations of content and resources for these nonprofits). They may have suggestions for vendors who have philanthropic practices and policies. (For example, we ask our sellers to donate use of their courses free of charge to LINGOs members.)

    And I’m very sorry about Man U. Barca has been deadly lately.

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