Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me. Learning online can take some time to adjust to, and I hope you find the following to be useful to you:
First of all, feeling overwhelmed is a universal experience for online learners. Part of it stems from the fact that in traditional learning settings, work is gradually assigned and spaced out whereas online, all the work is exposed . Our brains are goal-oriented, so when they see a whole pile of work, they want to tackle it all in one session and we end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
When I started learning online I experienced this too, but talked to friends who shared the following advice: to keep from feeling overwhelmed (which I certainly did at times during the first online course I took), develop a strategy of skimming through the unit for the week and look at the readings and assignments, then break up the work into smaller chunks and create mini-assignments spaced throughout the week. As well, doing this at the start of the week helped me to identify any questions I needed to ask the course facilitator or to ensure I had time to learn any new tools I needed to use.
For instance – for me, Mondays were scoping day, Tuesdays and Thursdays major reading days, Wednesdays were my night to cook, Fridays were social nights, Saturdays I did minor assignments and outlined the major assignment between housework chores and Sundays I’d tackle the major assignment for the week in the morning or afternoon and the other half of the day was free. That way I’d spread 9 hours or so hours of work over multiple days and give my brain a chance to absorb and reflect between sessions. (I’d like to add here that this also worked for courses taking 20 hours per week. I just had less free days…)Some weeks were easier than others due to my schedule and the nature of the work, but the “scoping” exercise at the start of each new week helped me feel more in control than when I would try to do an entire unit in a day.
The research I found this morning is Australian I’m happy to report. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Joel Pearson (UNSW) has published research findings saying that learners who give their brains a break during the course of learning allow for “wakeful consolidation”. While there are many studies that look at learning consolidation while sleeping, this study found that once you’ve done a certain amount of study, your brain goes into consolidation mode – so trying to push it to do more is not helpful. One hour seemed to be enough.
The study is available for download from the Royal Society of Biological Sciences web site in PDF form or you can download it here: When more equals less -overtraining
Photo “Overflow by Paul Quinn Photography CC (by)
- You cannot justify using fixed width tables for layout at a time where it is becoming evident learners are more likely to be accessing the web via a device other than a desktop.
- You cannot justify using one huge image because it looks cool on a page even though it might be impossible to see the detail in it on small devices.
- You cannot justify using flash with no alternatives for devices that cannot render it.
- It’s a mindset that results in online courses that consist of PDFs and quizzes – cuz THAT is EASY for teachers.
- It’s a mindset that results in images being pirated and used incorrectly without proper attributions or permissions.
- It’s a mindset that results in educators publicly asking for software to rip YouTube videos and getting help from others to do so.
Legal or not?I could not find any Australian sites with information on this, so I sought out information relating to the precedent-setting Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). While being vague about it, the RIAA is quoted (according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation web site) as saying that burning a copy of copyrighted music “won’t usually raise concerns so long as the copy is made from an authorized original CD that you legitimately own and the copy is just for your personal use.” This would seem to suggest what I’ve done is okay. However, by grabbing just a portion of the song to use as the ring tone, I’ve made a derivative work. True, it’s a derivative work made from legally purchased music and the derivative is solely for my own use — but is it legal? According to a 2007 engadget article written by copyright attorney Nilay Patel, thanks to the RIAA seeking a decision from the copyright office, ring tones are NOT considered derivative works. Therefore, I am merely transferring legally purchased music from one device to another, which the RIAA says ‘won’t usually raise concerns’. So, taking this into consideration, I feel comfortable in sharing how to create a derivative from a legally purchased file. It’s up to you whether you feel comfortable in doing so. If you find anything that says it is illegal, please leave a comment. I’ve also read that music you purchase from the iTunes store has DRM info that prevents you from creating your own ringtones. I used the below steps with a legally purchased CD.
How to create ringtones for iPhone from a PC
- rip your CD
- download the very latest BETA version of Audacity (at this writing, 1.3.13) from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
- download the ffmpeg for Audacity file from the Audacity manual wiki web site (note, full ffmpeg from ffmpeg.org did NOT work)
- install both Audacity and ffmpeg
- open Audacity, go to libraries, browse computer to where you have ffmpeg for Audacity, find the .dll file you need (described on Audacity wiki)
- load in your song and edit it
- export file as a .m4a AAC file
- right click and change file extension to .m4r
- import file into iTunes library
- connect iPhone, drag file to ringtones folder of iPhone