Future of learning vs IT Services, Round 1

I just came across a very nice online photo editor and I thought I would share it with everyone here:

http://www.pixlr.com/

It does all that Photoshop&Co do – quickly, for free and without asking you to install any software on your machine. And it’s extremely user-friendly. Cute, humble and powerful.

There is the sheer joy of being able to cut off with great precision someone’s head in a photograph and place it where nature never intended it to be (on a bookshelf since you ask) in a jiffy. And then there is the joy of being able to do it without having to go through the hassle of negotiating with the IT services to install a piece of software that you want to try out but which is not on their list of vetted and endorsed technologies. Recap: If I wanted to edit an image to use for educational purposes on my university machine it would have taken me a day on average to get the software installed. The pricetag would have included the cost of the time of the IT person who would be dealing with my call, the cost of my time, the cost of the hard-drive space the software would have taken on my university-purchased computer and the price of the license for that proprietary software. Multiply this pricetag by the number of employees and students in a university and the average number of IT support calls related to software needs and the result can be an awful lot of money. So what if online tools like the one above proliferate? And educators and learners start using them? Money will be freed, yes. But also – there will be freedom. Freedom to find and use whichever creative tool you need in order to turn your ideas into educational content – the way you and your students want it, when you want it. And did I mention that the smart people at Pixlr have included APIs (the possibility for developers not associated with the Pixlr to create add-ons and little programmes, thus enhancing what Pixlr can do). The future of learning? To me the above is an example of what is to come…

 

Sandra, 26th of Feb 2009, BDRA

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