MINDdrops.com goal is to help teachers, faculty, instructional designers, and instructional developers use technology that is appropriate, effective, and efficient in order to improve learning and teaching.
The MINDdrops.com web site was developed and is maintained by Dr. Bruce L. Bird to serve as a resource for those who are interested in exploring the impact of technology on instructional design. While there is a great deal of valuable research and literature available on instructional design, it is sometimes difficult to move from abstraction to reality. In order to make instructional design issues more concrete a series of learning objects will be placed on this web site for all to explore and critique. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated and will be used to to modify or enhance present or future learning objects so that others can benefit from your comments.
Initially, these learning objects will be created with Macromedia Flash 8 in order to illustrate the capabilities of this web authoring, animation, and vector graphics program. While good arguments can be made for Java applets, or possibly DHTML, I believe that Flash 8 is more accessible to a wider audience of teachers, faculty, and instructional designers. For those who don't agree I invite you to visit your local bookstore and compare the introductory texts for these three approaches. Flash 8, like tennis, can be played productively at several levels. Also, as in tennis, many will find doubles more comfortable. In this case the doubles team consists of instructor and the instructional design support group. One goal of MINDdrops.com is to help instructors at schools or colleges that have limited or no instructional design support play at a more productive level by providing customized learning objects.
An additional advantage of Macromedia Flash 8 is that it provides a straight forward way to integrate a database into the learning object so that student self-assessment, as well as object, topic, and course assessment can be carried out. Another goal of MINDdrops.com is to encourage and support this integration as it adds a powerful assessment capability to all learning objects and is a feature that most Java applets now available on the web do not support.
MINDdrops.com will also encourage and support the appropriate integration of audio and video into learning objects for the web. The latest version of Macromedia Flash 8 features improved audio and video support but other learning object examples using QuickTime, Real player, or Media player will also be explored.
Finally, for those curious about the origin of the name MINDdrops, I have a dislike for the term "learning objects" because although it is an accepted term it resonates in my ear as techno-babble. So let your mind's eye picture MINDdrops falling on a mountain of ignorance and eroding it away, one drop at a time.
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