Let’s add dimdim to our list

Received the following email yesterday evening from web conferencing site Dimdim:

Subject: Dimdim aquired by salesforce.com

Dear Customer:

Dimdim has been acquired by salesforce.com. Your free Dimdim account will remain active until March 15, 2011. After that date, you will no longer be able to access your free Dimdim account.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for additional information.

We appreciate your understanding, and we thank you!

This affects free accounts as well as paid accounts. All recordings you have on their site must be downloaded before your account expires, which depends on whether you were a monthly or annual subscriber. [official announcement]

Response to Yahoo’s plans to shut down delicious

Warning: This is an emotional response to yesterday’s announcement by Yahoo! that they are shutting down the popular, absolutely essential, epitome of web 2.0 tool delicious.

What the hell?! First Facebook and now Yahoo! have screwed me (us) over. Two really simple, very functional, extremely valuable web2.0 tools that I’ve been preaching and pushing all year b/c they are/were incredibly useful — delicious and drop.io — and the parent companies pulled/are about to pull the plug.

  • October brought us the announcement that Facebook bought drop.io and that free accounts were to quickly disappear and paid accounts discontinued Dec.15.
  • Yesterday brought us even more shocking news that Yahoo has decided to sunset their very popular social tagging tool delicious.

Damn them.

Now what do I tell faculty? What are you going to tell your faculty? How are you going to sell them on some really amazing online tool that does something incredibly useful for their class and yet runs the serious risk of being acquired by [huge company name here] and very quickly wiped out?

Yes! I’ve found this great tool that helps you meet that learning objective, keeps your students engaged, encourages active learning … but just an fyi — don’t get too dependent on it, b/c it’s very possible someday you’ll suddenly have to export everything, find a new tool, and figure out how to migrate from one to another.

[Update: Now Yahoo! Says Delicious Will Live On … Somewhere Else]

(Finally) Playing with Prezi

People have been talking about Prezi for a while now, and I’m finally giving it a try. (I’m pretty sure Matt and Harriet used it over a year ago at TxDLA, so I’m definitely behind on this one. Oh well.) Below is my first whack at prezi for my eLearning Online Course Design workshop.

In the workshop, we basically we cover three main areas in this workshop: instructional design (the basics), learning objectives (and using the Goals tool in Bb Vista), and structuring your content (and using Learning Modules, Folders, and Selective Release in Vista). We spent a full hour (out of the two-hour session) on learning objectives, and I knew I’d made an impression when one of the participants came up to me afterwards and said, “This really goes against the ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ mentality that we’re all tempted to take, where we don’t work on our class until a week before we meet.”

Click to view prezi.

Lessons learned after using Prezi:

  • Limited design options (fonts, shapes, colors), but this keeps it simply and easy to use
  • I zoomed/focused a bit too much on each individual point. Useful sometimes, but other times it’s too much.
  • I like the ability to easily zoom out and focus on a topic discussed earlier, rather than having to find it in my sequence of slides then later trying to find where I am.
  • Definitely a time suck. Not on the scale of the Sims or Second Life, but set aside a couple of hours for you to explore.
  • This “non-traditional” presentation is definitely impressive. … At least to those who are not overly-tech-savvy.