Saturday, 27 October 2012

Right tools for learning: Part 1.

Virtual Machines

One of the problems with a MOOC (see previous blogs for definition) experience is having the correct tools to access the materials that have been placed online.  There is one solution in using Google tools such as Google plus for social interactions on the course.  What if you want to run a programming course?  How can you standardise the experience across all platforms?  How can you enable at low cost all members of the MOOC no matter the depths or shallows of their course to take part?

Sounds like a tricky problem with asking for a lot of different resources to tackle all types of platform.  The MOOC I have joined edX CS50x Computer Science 1, approaches this problem using  virtual machines.  It offers Linnux emulators that runs on either a Mac or Windows.  It is within this that the virtual machine is opened and the programming language in this case C can be entered.  Versions are offered where the native operating system is Linnux.  The Linnux platform they recommend is Fedora which again they give the instructions for downloading and installing.

I am in the process of installing of the applications and should start using it in the next 24 hours.  I will also have a go at installing the Fedora from clean on another machine and see what the experience is like between the two.

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