This was a great recorded session even though we were a very small group. Phil who is @philhart on Twitter did a terrific job and I really enjoyed being a “participant” and leaving most of the hard work to him!
After the usual preliminaries Phil started the session by checking that we had all recieved the file he had sent to us by file transfer. This is a listing of some free software that can be downloaded or accessed within the cloud. NB if you access the recording this file will also be automatically sent to you.
Phil asked us what software we already use or would want to use. He then moved on to ensuring that we all had a similar understanding of the terms “Open Source”, “Closed Source” and “Free Software”. From my own perspective it seems that the term “Free Software” is one that could provide much food for discussion in its own right! It is often used, in my opinion inappropriately, by suppliers for restricted and time limited trial versions.
We than moved on to sharing our experiences with some different free software Afterwards Phil raised the issue of the pros and cons of free software and what we can do to mitigate the possiblew impacts of the “cons”.
As Phil was looking at both downloadable and cloud-based applications we also took a look at the concept of cloud-based computing and some of its possible disadvantages! The rest of the session was a discussion on some of the available software including links for sites which have a variety of free software available.
I learned lots from this session both from Phil and from the other participants! If you’re considering the possiblity of using free software or if you are already looking for something specific then its well worth catching the recording.
Our next session is an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday Jan 20th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (6pm USA EST, Midnight BST) or Friday Jan 21th at 1am CEST, 7am West Aus, 10am NSW, depending on your timezone – in the usual Elluminate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic of the day. If you want to propose a topic in advance then visit the Serendipity Wallwisher and add your topic.
In the Future
If you are a regular visitor to our webinars you will know that we alternate “Fine Focus” sessions on specific topics with “Serendipity” the unconference sessions where we choose a topic by poll at the start of the session. Sometimes the very fact of being asked for “hot topics” or other ideas for discussion or learning tends to make our minds blank. This has prompted me to start a Serendipity Wallwisher for topic suggestions. Please visit the wall and add your ideas for Serendipity topics so that we have more choices to consider. Some of these ideas might also form the basis for future “Fine Focus” sessions.