Towards  a  sustainable  business  and  exploitation                           plan                  Interim  Report      ...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKAppsThis work by SpeakApps is licensedunder     a    Creative  ...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps	  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative Commo...
SpeakApps ProjectProject Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKAppsThis project has been funded with support ...
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Towards a sustainable business and exploitation plan. Interim Report

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Towards a sustainable business and exploitation plan. Interim Report

  1. 1. Towards  a  sustainable  business  and  exploitation   plan   Interim  Report     Project  Deliverables  no.  12/13   December  2011      
  2. 2. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKAppsThis work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  Executive  Summary    SpeakApps   is   a   free   and   open   source   online   platform,   aimed   at   language   teachers,   language  schools  and  educational  institutions,  providing  them  with:     Easy   access   to   innovative   and   interactive   online   tools   for   learning   and   teaching   languages     Activities   and   tools   for   managing   materials   for   synchronous   and   asynchronous   oral   tasks     Technical  and  pedagogical  guides  to  assist  SpeakApps  users     A   facility   to   create   a   dedicated   e-­‐learning   environment   by   using   virtual   classrooms   to   carry  out  pedagogical  activities   A  common  digital  space  to  develop  and  exchange  oral  language  learning  materials  and   to  develop  new  software  within  the  SpeakApps  environment    SpeakApps   leverages   technology   to   ensure   that   language   learners   have   a   dedicated   space   to  engage   with   oral   language   activities.   The   platform   supports   active,   engaged   and   reflective  learning   by   facilitating   feedback   and   performance   evaluation,   a   recognised   challenge   for   the  online  language  teaching  and  learning  community.  Language  activities  have  been  developed  in  six  European  languages;  Catalan,  Irish,  Dutch,  Swedish,  Polish  and  English.         1  
  3. 3. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  Table  of  Contents  1   Introduction  .............................................................................................................................................................  3  2   Designing  for  sustainability  ...............................................................................................................................  4  3   Technical  Solution  and  Architecture  ..............................................................................................................  5   3.1   LANGBlog   ..........................................................................................................................................................  5   3.2   Videoconferencing  tool  ...............................................................................................................................  6   3.3   Tandem  tool.....................................................................................................................................................  7   3.4   SpeakApps  Portal  ..........................................................................................................................................  8   3.5   SpeakApps  Platform  and  Cloud  Computing  .......................................................................................  8  4   Market  Scan  and  Competitors   ...........................................................................................................................  9   4.1   Synchronous  Communication  ..................................................................................................................  9   4.1.1   Skype  .........................................................................................................................................................  9   4.1.2   Google  Applications  ............................................................................................................................  9   4.1.3   Adobe  Connect  ......................................................................................................................................  9   4.1.4   WebEx  Training  Centre  ..................................................................................................................  10   4.2   Asynchronous  Communication  ............................................................................................................  10   4.2.1   SoundCloud  .........................................................................................................................................  10   4.2.2   You  Tube  ..............................................................................................................................................  10   4.3   Platform   ..........................................................................................................................................................  10  5   Business  Model  ....................................................................................................................................................  11  6   SpeakApps  Deliverables  &  Sustainability  .................................................................................................  12   6.1   User  Requirements  ....................................................................................................................................  12   6.2   Pilot  Studies  ..................................................................................................................................................  12   6.3   Teacher  Training  ........................................................................................................................................  12   6.4   Pedagogical  Design  ....................................................................................................................................  12   6.5   Social  Network  and  Community  Building  ........................................................................................  13   6.6   Technological  Solution  .............................................................................................................................  13   6.7   Dissemination  ..............................................................................................................................................  13  7   Conclusion  ..............................................................................................................................................................  13  8   References  ..............................................................................................................................................................  15         2  
  4. 4. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  1  The  aim  of  this  document  is  to  outline  the  integrated  approach  adopted  by  SpeakApps  project  partners  to  the  development  of  SpeakApps  business  and  exploitation  plan.  The  rationale  for  this  approach  is  based  on  a  belief  that  both  the  business  model  and  exploitation  plans  should  centre  on  the  concept  of  sustainability.  Indeed,  the  centrality  and  importance  of  sustainability  should  not   be   overlooked   in   the   context   of   the   rapidly   evolving   technological   environment.   The  SpeakApps   Development   Team   has   already   advanced   the   use   of   the   SpeakApps   tools   and  platform   within   targeted   communities   of   language   learners   through   the   initial   stages   of   the  project   via   the   SpeakApps   user   requirements   survey,   SpeakApps   pilots,   and   various  dissemination  activities.    This  document  incorporates  an  examination  of  some  of  the  key  sustainability  issues  that  were  outlined  in   the   sustainability   roadmap   developed   by   the   SpeakApps   partners1   and  illustrated   in  Figure  1  below:  Figure  1  -­‐  Sustainability  concepts  and  principles                                                                                                                                1  See  Sustainability  Plan  (WP5)    Roadmap,  September  2011   3  
  5. 5. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  The   future   exploitation   of   the   SpeakApps   environment   is   thus   approached   from   both  pedagogical   and  technological   perspectives.   Following  a   brief   discussion  of  sustainability  issues  relating   to   design   and   pedagogical   activities,   this   interim   report   gives   an   overview   of   the  technologies  powering  the  tools,  portal  and  platform  of  the   SpeakApps  project  and  considers  it  main  competitors.  It  then  outlines  the  business  model  and  principles  adopted  by  the  SpeakApps  partners.   Finally,   it   considers   other   SpeakApps   deliverables   and   their   relationship   with   the  overall  sustainability  plan.  2  Rogers  (2003:  183)  defines  the  concept  of  sustainability  as   e  degree  to  which  an  innovation  continues   to   be   used   over   time   after   a   diffusion   program     Drawing   on   this   definition,  sustainability   can   be   defined   as   a     ability   to   meet   its   goals   both   in  short-­‐term   and   long-­‐term.  Designing  for  sustainability  is  designing  for  change  because  of  the  contemporary  nature  of  pedagogical   and   technological   trends   and   needs.   In   this   sense,   the   sustainability   and   business  strategy   acknowledge   the   dynamic   change   processes   in   relation   to   the   development   of   the  SpeakApps   tools   and   platform.   From   the   technology   perspective   this   means   that  interoperability  of  the  tools  and  various  Virtual  Learning  Environments  (VLEs)  must  be  taken  into   account.   This   has   been   achieved   through   the   implementation   of   the   IMS   Learning   Tools  Interoperability  specification  (see  section  3  below).  There   is   however  a   strong   relationship   between   pedagogical   design   and   content   management  across   different   e-­‐learning   environments   (Britain,   2011).   The   SpeakApps   pedagogical   plan   is  formulated   on   the   premise   of   facilitating   and   supporting   oral   language   production   and  acquisition  of  language  learners.  The  model  is  based  on  the  creation,  maintenance  and  growth  of   communities   of   users   in   each   target   language   and   the   provision   and   development   of   open  content.  Wiley  (2007:  5)  defines  sustainability  in  terms  of  Open  Educational  Resources  (OER)  as  two-­‐fold:   Sustainability  of  the  production  and  sharing  of  resources  (pedagogical  activities)   Sustainability  of  the  use  and  reuse  of  the  resources  by  end  users  (whether  teachers  or   learners)  The  project  provides  pedagogical   support  to  language  teachers  to  position  the   SpeakApps  tools  in   line   with   their   own   pedagogical   coordinates,   through   the   provision   of   pedagogical   guides.  These   guides   will   support   language   teachers   to   consider   these   tools   as   a   part   of   a   learning  design,   to   choose   the   best   tools   for   a   particular   purpose,   and   to   build   activity   spans   that   tie  together  different  tools  and  activities  supporting  the  learning  objectives.  Pedagogical  activities  available  in  the  SpeakApps  platforms  are  being  developed  cognisant  of  the  Common  European  Reference   Framework   for   Languages   (CEFR).   This   is   an   important   feature   of   the   pedagogical  component  of  the  SpeakApps  project  as  it  ensures  that  the  proposed  language  learning  tasks  are  benchmarked  to  this  standard.    Research   on   designing   for   learning   has   produced   a   rich   account   of   the   various   ways   of  documenting  and  sharing  educational  practices  (see  for  example  Conole  et  al.  2007).  During  and  after  the  project,  different  kinds  of  materials  are/will  be  produced,  and  these  materials  can  be  considered   as   learning   objects.   To   ensure   sustainability,   the   learning   objects   need   to   be  reusable.   Guides   to   the   development   of   activities   by   the   SpeakApps   language   learning  community   will   be   provided   on   the   platform   to   foster   and   to   nurture   a   vibrant   community   of  practice.   In   particular,   the   social   feature   of   the   portal   will   act   as   an   interactive   and   reflective  resource   for   activity   developers   and   users,   and   it   will   support   their   interaction   with   other  language  teachers.  Activity  guides  will  also  provide  clear  pedagogical  instruction  and  advice  to   4  
  6. 6. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  activity   developers.   These   pedagogical   guides   and   templates   are   validated   by   the   members   of  the  project  during  the  pilot  studies,  and  their  theoretical  underpinnings  are  made  explicit.    One   of   the   problems   in   current   teaching   material   repositories   is   that   the   amount   of   material  tends   to   grow   fast   and   soon   becomes   inaccessible   if   no   clear   organizational   structure   is  presented.   The   design   of   the   platform   is   cognisant   of   these   issues.   More   specifically,   and  following   Conole   (forthcoming),   we   believe   that   a   shared   language   to   describe   learning  activities   is   needed.   Through   the   design   and   piloting   of   templates,   the   project   is   developing   a  method   and   associated   metadata   to   describe   learning   tasks.   The   completion   of   pilot   studies  across   the   SpeakApps   language   set   ensures   a   dynamic   and   iterative   approach   to   the  development   of   this   shared   language,   while   remaining   cognisant   of   Learning   Design  specifications  and  developments  (see  for  example  Koper  &  Tattersall,  2005).  The   effectiveness   of   the   project   depends   on   both     and     interest   to  acknowledge   the  SpeakApps   tools   as   relevant   tools   for   learning,   and   to   be  able   to   set   them  in  line  with  the  learning   objectives.  To  promote  the  use   of  the  tools,  the  project  aims  to   overcome  the   most   common   obstacles   in   using   learning   technologies,   e.g.   lack   of   resources   and   lack   of  support.  This  can  be  addressed  through  the  development  of  a  repository  of  tasks,  the  support  and   provision  of   an   online   community  space,  and  the   availability  of   technical   and   pedagogical  guides  to  users.    3  Consideration   of   sustainability   has   guided   the   selection   and   use   of   open   source   technologies  underpinning   the   SpeakApps   tools   and   platform.   As   mentioned   earlier,   the   project   is  implementing   an   international   specification   model,   IMS   Learning   Tools   Interoperability,   to  support   the   interoperability   of   the   tools   with   other   Learning   Management   Systems   (LMS)   or  Content  Management  Systems.  SpeakApps  technical  solution  incorporates  three  main  elements:   1. A  place  to  find  information,  guides  and  demos  of  the  SpeakApps  tools.   Tasks  developed   for  these  tools  will  also  be  available  to  the  wider  community.   2. A   place   to   download   tools   and   material   for   oral   skill   practice   and   to   participate   in   a   social  network.   3. A  place  to  set  up  an  e-­‐learning  environment  if  you  would  like  to  use  the  SpeakApps  tools   but  do  not  have  an  LMS  to  integrate  them  into.  The  SpeakApps  platform  is  based  on  a  cloud  computing  infrastructure.  The  platform  will  host  the   SpeakApps   tools,   provide   the   capacity   to   develop   a   dedicated   e-­‐learning   environment   for  individual  users  and   support  a   social  space   to  exchange   and   develop   pedagogical  materials.  The  SpeakApps  tools  include  an  audio  blog,  a  video  conferencing  and  tandem  tool.  The  SpeakApps  portal   is   based   on   Moodle2   and   Mahara3   technology.   To   support   the   development   of   an  individual   e-­‐learning   environment,   the   SpeakApps   platform   draws   on   the   Amazon   EC24   web  service  to  provide  a  customisable  cloud  computing  solution.  The  following  sections  provide  an  overview  of  the  SpeakApps  tools,  portal  and  platform.  3.1 LANGBlog                                                                                                                            2  Moodle:  http://moodle.org/  3  Mahara:  http://mahara.org/  4  Amazon  Elastic  Cloud  Compute:  http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/   5  
  7. 7. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  LANGBlog   is   an   audioblog   facilitating   the   practicing   of   oral   skills   of   a   user.   LANGBlog  functionalities  support  audio,  video  and  textual  posting.  LANGBlog  is  adopted  from  WordPress    the   most   common   blog   technology   used   on   the   Internet.   Wordpress5   is   an   open   source   web  application   underpinned   by   PHP   and   MySQL.   The   WordPress   architecture   allows   for   the  expansion  of  the  functionality  through  the  addition  of  plug-­‐ins.  LANGBlog  has  been  developed  in  this  way  to  support  video  and  audio  functionalities  and  to  facilitate  the  integration  of  LANGBlog  into  portals  and  other  platforms.     Figure  2.  LANGBlog    3.2 Videoconferencing  tool  This  tool  supports  a  video  conference  of  up  to  six  participants  using  audio   or  video.  The  tool   is  an  open  source  tool  and  chat  application,  underpinned  by  the  following  technologies:  Java,  Flash  and  Red5.  The  functionalities  of  the  tool  include  that  each  participant  can  initiate  a  conference  thus  supporting   both  supervised   and   independent   synchronous   communication   sessions.   Other  functionalities  associated  with  this  tool  include  the  recording  and  archiving  of  conferences.  An  important   feature   of   the   tool   is   its   usability   i.e.   the   tool   is   designed   based   on   the   principle   of  simplicity   and   to   ensure  that   participants   are   engaged   with   learning   as   opposed   to  mastering  the  functionality  of  the   tool   or  its  underlying  technology.   At   present,   the   tool   incorporates   these  two  main  features:  1.  Videoconferencing  and  recording  tool:   Up  to  six  participants   Integrated  recording  and  archiving   Written  chat     Mute  mike  option   Tandem  tool  integration                                                                                                                            5  Wordpress:  http://wordpress.com/   6  
  8. 8. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.    2.  Player     Archived  file  player   Search  facility   Separate  channels  for  each  participant     Download  feature  for  participants     Figure  3  -­‐  Videoconferencing    3.3 Tandem  tool  The  Tandem  tool  is  designed  to  support  students  to  work  on  a  task  together  in  a  synchronous  medium.   The   tool   is   powered   by   PHP   and   uses   the   Moodle   classroom   or   a   Mahara   group   to  connect  two  students  to  complete  their  language  learning  task.  Students  can  be  given  differing  content  to  support  their  interaction  and  is  based  on  goal-­‐oriented  communication  activities.  The  tool   maintains   three   interfaces   for   students,   teachers   and   administrators   and   the   tool   is  independent   of   the   communication   technology   used.   The   tandem   tool   will   be   part   of   the  SpeakApps  platform.     7  
  9. 9. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.   Figure  4.  The  tandem  tool    3.4  SpeakApps  Portal    The  SpeakApps  portal  facilitates  both  formal  and  informal  learning  opportunities  and  is  based  on   Moodle   and   Mahara   Technologies.   Moodle   is   an   open   source   LMS,   which   allows   users   to  create  online  learning  environments.  At  present  there  are  over  seventy  two  thousand  registered  Moodle   sites   (Moodle,   2011)   with   over   five   million   courses.   Mahara   is   an   open   source   e-­‐portfolio   system   with   social   networking   features.   Its   design   replicates   the   modular   principles  associated  with  Moodle  and  both  technologies  can   be  readily  integrated.  The  SpeakApps  portal  will  be  available  to  users  through  a  cloud  computing  paradigm.  3.5 SpeakApps  Platform  and  Cloud  Computing    The  SpeakApps   platform  is   based   in   the   cloud.   Users   who   have   decided   to   avail   of   the   complete  SpeakApps  technical  solution  will  access   this   environment   through  the   Internet.   Amazon   Elastic  Cloud  Compute  (Amazon  EC2)  will  host  the  e-­‐learning  environment.  This  service  provides  true  flexibility   by   facilitating   the   required   increase   or   decrease   in   computing   capacity;   it   also  provides  a  number  of  security  mechanisms  to  protect  users  and  resources.  An  additional  benefit  of  using  Amazon  EC2  is  the  pricing  structure6  and  the  rates  paid  for  computing  resources.  The  pricing   model   is   based   on   utility,   with   no   minimum   fee.   This   will   be   further   detailed   in   the   final  business  plan  (see  also  section  5).                                                                                                                            6  For  information  on  Amazon  EC2  Pricing,  see  http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/   8  
  10. 10. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  4  SpeakApps   tools   and   applications   are   situated   in   a   dynamic   environment   with   blurred  boundaries.   Cloud   computing   and   the   paradigm   of   Software   as   a   Service ,   underpin   the  development   of   the   SpeakApps   tools   and   platform.   In   spite   of   the   move   to   a   cloud   computing  environment,  the  SpeakApps  project  is  cognisant  of  the  attractiveness  of  LMS  systems  such  as  Blackboard   and   Moodle   to   support   learning.   As   such,   SpeakApps   applications   are   designed   to  plug-­‐in  within  these  environments.    Both   the   SpeakApps   platform   and   applications   have   a   number   of   direct   and   indirect  competitors.   The   following   section   briefly   outlines   some   of   these   competitors   and   their  offerings   in   the   context   of   the   mode   of   communication   facilitated   by   the   SpeakApps  Applications.   Further   details   and   other   tools   and   technologies   in   this   space   can   be   found   in  State-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art   report   for   teachers:   a   review   of   tools   for   speaking,   Project   Deliverable   no.   3,  December  2011.  4.1 Synchronous  Communication    4.1.1 Skype  Skype  is  an  application  supporting  voice  and  video  calls  over  the  Internet,  by  using  Voice  Over  Internet  Protocol  (VOIP).  Skype  is  based  on  a  peer  to  peer  (P2P)  paradigm  i.e.  users  download  software   on   their   device   before   being   able   to   connect   using   Skype.   Entry   level   services   are  available  to  users  free  of  charge  and  include  both  voice  and  video  calls.  Subscription  charges  are  based  on  service  level,  based  on  a  utility  model  i.e.  pay  as  you  go.  Skype  is  available  on  a  wide  range   of   devices   including   Smart   phones   and   Digital   TVs.   Skype   was   acquired   by   Microsoft   in  2011.  4.1.2  Google  Applications  Google   offers   a   number   of   applications   supporting   synchronous   communication.   Google  Chat/Talk  and  Google  Hangout  are  two  examples   of  these  applications  which  are  available  free  of  charge  and  which  are  integrated  within  Googles  wider  cloud  platform  accessed  via  Googles  email   application,   Gmail.   Google   Chat   is   a   plug-­‐in   that   facilitates   both   video   and   audio  communication  via  Gmail  with  other  Gmail  users.  Google  Talk  supports  textual  communication  through   instant   messaging,   file   transfer   and   audio   conferencing   (multiple   users).   Google  Hangouts  provide  a  video  and  audio  working  or  social  space  for  up  to  nine  users  browsing  the  web,  who  are  invited   into  that  space,  thus  providing  an  area  for  groups.  These  applications  are  available  to  users  free  of  charge  and  run  across  devices.    4.1.3  Adobe  Connect  Adobe   Connect7   is   a   commercial   platform   designed   to   support   virtual   communication.   The  platform   technologies   support   synchronous   communication   and   provide   advanced   features  such  as  the  recording  of  audio  and  video  interactions,  accessing  recording  must  be  completed  through  Adobe  Connect  i.e.  recordings  are  not  saved  to  local  environments.  Virtual  classrooms  can   be   established   in   Connect   supporting   group   work   and   conferencing   for   up   to   twenty   five  participants.   A   reduced   feature   version   of   Connect   is   also   available   for   mobile   devices.   Adobe                                                                                                                            7  Adobe  Connect:  http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html   9  
  11. 11. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  Connect   offers   a   discounted   utility   and   membership   pricing   model   for   institutional   and  individual  consumers  for  both  public  and  private  educational  concerns.  4.1.4  WebEx  Training  Centre  WebEx   Training   Centre8   is   another   solution   for   the   corporate   and   educational   online   training  and  learning  markets  and  is  a  company  of  the  global  corporation  Cisco  Systems.  The  Training  Centre  is  based  on  WebEx  popular  online  meeting  platform  but  has  been  developed  to  provide  additional  functionality.  This  functionality  includes  features  similar  to  those  of  Adobe  Connect.  WebEx  Training  Centre  is  interoperable  with  LMS   and  support  for  interoperability  is  provided.  WebEx   Training   Centre   can   support   up   to   1000   participants.   WebEx   Meeting   Centre   is   a  reduced  feature  version  of  the  feature-­‐rich  WebEx  Training  Centre,  which  scales  from  8  to  500  participants   and   is   available   on   mobile   device.   Both   standard   and   upgraded   versions   of   the  software   are   available   and   the   pricing   structure   is   differentiated   on   functionality   and   usage  arrangements.    4.2  Asynchronous  Communication    4.2.1 SoundCloud  SoundCloud9  is  based  on  a  social  media  paradigm  and  encourages  users  to  register  and  upload  their   recordings.   Once   registered   the   user   uses   the   software   available   through   SoundCloud   to  record  their  sounds  or  download  an  application  to  their  mobile  phone  to  complete  and  upload  a  recording.   Similar   to   other   social   media   environments,   users   can   share   their   recordings;  feedback   can   be   given   from   others   listening   to   your   recording   by   using   the   time-­‐stamp  comment  feature.  A  users  recordings  can  be  made  available  via  other  social  media  communities  such  as  Facebook.    4.2.2  You  Tube  You   Tube   allows   users   to   post   and   share   video   materials   online.   You   Tube   is   a   subscription  based  serviced  with  a  wide  breadth  of  functionality  based  on  subscription  type.  Users  have  the  option   of   creating   their   own   You   Tube   channel   to   author,   edit   and   manage   their   own   posted  videos.   Users   can   also   share   video   posting   both   publicly   or   through   restricted   invitation   only  access  for  up  to  twenty  five   other   users.   You  Tube  provides  an   annotation   feature,   which   allows  users  to  provide  textual  comment  to  video  materials.  You  Tube  video  can  be  embedded  in  other  platforms   and   can   be   accessed   and   integrated   with   email   platforms   such   as   GMail   and   social  media  networks  such  as  Facebook.  You    entry  level  service  is  free  of  charge  to  users.    4.3 Platform    The   SpeakApps   platform   can   be   considered   as   a   learning   management   system   or   virtual  learning   environment.  The   LMS  market   is   dynamic   and  consists   of   both  commercial   and  open  source   players.   Examples   of   commercial   companies   in   this   market   include   Blackboard   and  examples  of  open  source  companies  include  Moodle  and  Joomla10.  A  joint  venture  by  Google  and                                                                                                                            8  WebEx  Training  Centre:  http://www.webex.com/  9  SoundCloud:  http://soundcloud.com/  10  Joomla:  http://www.joomla.org/   10  
  12. 12. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  Pearson,  indicate  the  continued  evolution  of  this  market  with  the  launch  of  OpenClass11  a  free  LMS     which   provides   course   management   tools   and   advanced   social   networking   and  community   building   capacities   (Fischmann,   2011).   This   project   however   is   currently   in  development  and  remains  unavailable  to  users.    5  The  close  integration  of  pedagogical  and  technological  design  is  evidence  of   the  distinctiveness  of   the   SpeakApps   tools   and   platform   in   relation   to   its   competitors   and   is   at   the   core   of   its  business   model.   The   latter   is   based   primarily   on   developing   a   community   of   users   by   providing  free   access   for   all   users   to   the   web   2.0   tools   and   associated   learning   materials   that   are   being  iteratively   developed   throughout   the   lifespan   of   the   project.   Since   they   are   based   on   the   IMS  Learning   Tools   Interoperability   specification,   the   SpeakAppss   tools   can   be   integrated   into   a  wide   range   of   existing   educational,   content   and   social   media   platforms   such   as   Moodle,  Blackboard,   and   Mahara.   Users   will   therefore   be   able   to   download   the   SpeakApps   tools   and  integrate  them  within  their  own  technological  contexts,  provided  that  they  have  the  resources  and  appropriate  technical  skills  or  support  to  do  so.  All  teaching  and  learning  materials  will  be  accessible   under   a   Creative   Commons   licence,   similar   to   the   one   applicable   to   this   document  (e.g.  BY,  NC,  SA).  For  those  who  do  not  have  access  to  the  necessary  resources  and  support,  it  is  envisaged  that  the   Universitat   Oberta   de   Catalunya   (UOC)   will   continue   to   maintain   the   SpeakApps   platform  and  tools  after  the  project  is  completed.  In  order  to  support  UOC  in  this  endeavour,  the  business  model   will   allow   for   the   provision   of   a   subscription   based   dedicated   e-­‐learning   environment  with  virtual  classrooms  for  users.  This  ancillary  service  is  based  on  the  concept  of   software  as  a  service ,   and   will   provide   a   range   of   LMS   functionalities   to   users.   The   service   will   be   offered  using  a  subscription  paradigm   in  line  with  Amazon  EC2  pricing  structure  (mentioned   earlier   in  section   3.5),   with   subscriptions   commensurate   with   usage   and   based   on   technical   costs   of  hosting   and   maintenance.   To   assist   in   the   setting   up   of   an   appropriate   price   plan,   all   project  partners  will  conduct  an  appraisal  of  user  statistics  and  interactions  with  the  platform  and  tools  by   the   end   of   the   project   life-­‐cycle   as   well   as   establish   the   potential   demand  for   the   services   for  each   language.   UOC   will   also   provide   detailed   technical   and   maintenance   costs   as   well   as  develop  scenarios  of  use  and  break   even   points   (e.g.   projected   number   of   students/teachers   for  the  next  two  years   and   associated  costs)   that  are   cognizant   of   potential   requirements  for   future  upgrades.   These   projections   and   financial  scenarios   will   form   the   basis  for   a   SpeakApps   price  plan  and  the  drawing  of  agreements  between  the  SpeakApps  Consortium  and  organisations  or  individual  teachers  interested  in  bringing  their  classes  to  the  SpeakApps  platform.  In   recognition   of   the   25%   share   of   the   total   project   budget   committed   by   the   partner  institutions  during  the  project  lifespan  and  of  the    contribution  to  the  development  and  piloting  of  tools  and  tasks,  UOC  will  provide  free  access  to  partner  institutions  for  at  least  a  year  after   completion   of   the   project.   The   other   partners   will   continue   to   provide   teaching   and  learning   materials   as   well   as   steward   the   community   of   users.   A   new   consortium   agreement,  based   on   the   initial   one,   will   be   drawn   with   a   view   to   establish   governance   principles   and  operations,  as  well  as  conditions  and  rules  for  the  distribution  or  re-­‐investment  of  profits  if  any.                                                                                                                              11  To  learn  more  about  OpenClass,  see:  http://www.joinopenclass.com/open/view/t1   11  
  13. 13. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  6  This   section   considers   issues   of   sustainability   in   terms   of   other   SpeakApps   deliverables   and  how  these  deliverable  link  into  the  SpeakApps  business  model.    6.1 User  Requirements  The   SpeakApps   Development   Team   is   conducting   a   comprehensive   survey   of   user  requirements.   These   requirements   are   used   to   guide   both   technological   and   pedagogical  elements  of  the  project.  The  dissemination  of  the  user  survey  has  also  brought  the  SpeakApps  project  to  the  attention  to  a  wide-­‐range  of  users  in  each  of  the  target  languages  as  is  the  first  of  a  series  of  steps  to  build  a  SpeakApps  user  community.  6.2 Pilot  Studies    Carrying   out   pilot   studies   ensures   that   the   SpeakApps   tools   and   applications   are   being  conducted   by   teachers   within   partner   institutions   and   in   concert   with   other   external   bodies.  Partners   jointly   define   guidelines   for   pedagogical   activities.   The   pilot   studies   are   based   on  cooperative  design  methods  to  promote  the  development  of    ownership  and  authorship  in  regard   to   new   pedagogical   designs.   Further   rounds   of   pilot   studies   will   continue   to   support  development  in  the  context  of  the  technological  and  pedagogical  elements  of  the  project.    6.3 Teacher  Training  The  teacher  training  deliverable  provides  a  mechanism  to  train  language  teachers  in  the  use  of  the   SpeakApps   activities,   tools   and   platform.   It   will   initially   train   teachers   and   the   results   of  these  sessions  will  be  used  to  refine  further  training.    For   sustainable   development,   teachers   need   to   be   offered   opportunities   to   explore   the   role  of  technology  in  relation  to  their  concept  of  language  and  learning.  Building  upon  the  experience  gained   in   teacher   training  at   the   University   of   Jyväskylä   and   UOC,   the   SpeakApps   Consortium   is  developing  a  model  for  teacher  training  that  incorporates  the  following  aims:     teachers   learn   the   basic   concepts   of   task   design   and   develop   open   resources   for   developing  spoken  skills;   teachers   learn   the   basic   concepts   of   open   educational   resources   and   open   communication;   teachers  learn  to  use  the  SpeakApps  tools  in  pedagogically  meaningful  ways;       teachers   reflect   on   pedagogical   practices   with   these   tools   by  exposure   to   best   practice  
 examples;   teachers   become   familiar   with   and   contribute   to   guides   and   training   materials   which   will  be  freely  available  
to  use  or  adapt  to  other  specific  contexts.  The   approach   places   the   teacher   into   central   focus   and   emphasizes   the   professional   learning  aspect   in   order   to   support   the   sustainability   of   development.   Moreover,   it   aims   to   engage  teachers  in  a  learning  process  in  which  they  explore   the  affordances  of   the   new  tools  in  relation  to  their  pedagogical  concepts,  needs  and  current  designs.  6.4 Pedagogical  Design   12  
  14. 14. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  A  set  of  tasks  and  materials  for  the  teaching  and  learning  of  spoken  skills  using  the  SpeakApps  tools   will  be  available  to  language  teachers   from   the   platform.  These   tasks   and   materials   will  be  underpinned   by   current   learning   theories   and   pedagogical   frameworks,   which   will   be   made  explicit   and   accessible   to   language   teachers   from   a   variety   of   backgrounds.   More   specifically,  guidelines,  templates  and   various  project   reports,  such  as   the   State  of   the   art  report   for   teachers  (Project  Deliverable  no.  3),  will  aid  language  teachers  with  the  creation  of  their  own  activities.    6.5 Social  Network  and  Community  Building  The   maintenance   and   development   of   the   platform   and   tools,   their   continuing   and   expanding  use,  as  well  as  the  development  of  a  rich  repository  of  tasks  and  teaching  and  learning  materials  cannot   be   sustained   without   a   dynamic   online   community   of   developers   and   users.   Such   a  community   may   be   divided   in   three   distinct,   yet   interdependent   -­‐   1)   a  community   of   open   source   developers   (e.g.   similar   to   open   source   communities),   2)   a  community   of   language   learners,   and   3)   a   community   of   language   teachers.   There   are   many  models   for   building   and   sustaining   online   communities,   and   there   may   not   be   a   fit   for   all  solution.   Different   models   and   community   orientations   that   are   particularly   relevant   to  SpeakApps  are  being  examined  by  the  consortium,  such  as  open-­‐ended  conversations,  content,  project,  and  access  to  expertise  orientations.  The   SpeakApps   platform   provides   a   social   network   element   to   facilitate   informal   learning  opportunities.   Through   the   development   of   this   feature   of   the   platform,   the   projects   aims   to  create  and  sustain  a  community  of  language  teachers.    6.6 Technological  Solution  The   SpeakApps   platform   is   built   leveraging   the   advantages   of   open   source   technologies.   The  principles  of  open  source  will  therefore  support  the  continued  refinement  of  the  tools  and  the  platform  as  the  SpeakApps  development  team  are  actively  engaged  in  developer  communities.  The  use  of  the  IMS   Learning   Tools  Interoperability  specifications   provides   for   the   integration  of  these  tools  with  other  LMS  and  CMS  and  therefore  ensures  that  the  tools  can  be  used  and  re-­‐used  across  an  array  of  platforms  which  adhere  to  this  specification.    6.7 Dissemination    SpeakApps  has  developed  a  comprehensive  dissemination   strategy  and  this  strategy  underpins  and   augments   the   exploitation   and   the   of   the   application   amongst   the   projects   target   users  through  a  targeted  approach  examples  of  these  initiatives  to  date  include  seminars  with  target  language  teachers,  the  presentation  of  SpeakApps  at  academic  and  practice  conferences  and  the  development  of  a  comprehensive  project  website.    7  The   SpeakApps   sustainability   plan   is   centred   on   four   main   elements;   tools   and   platform,  pedagogical   development   and   support,   community   building   and   stewarding,   and   business  model.   The   development   of   each   element   is   guided   by   the   underpinning   principal   of  sustainability.   The   project   is   designed   to   ensure   that   language   teachers   can   interact   over   a  reasonable  period  of  time  with  the  SpeakApps  environment  in  a  number  of  ways  including:   13  
  15. 15. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.   Contributing  to  and  downloading  pedagogical  materials  in  the    target  languages   Downloading  the  tools  for  use  within  their  own  LMS  learning  context   Collaborating   with   other   language   teachers   in   the   development   and   design   of   pedagogical   activities   to   support   language   learning   with   a   particular   focus   on   spoken   skills   Accessing   an   e-­‐learning   environment   with   LMS   features   to   facilitate   both  synchronous   and  asynchronous  oral  language  production    The  progression  of  the  project  and  the  realisation  of  the  projects  work  packages  will  continue  to  refine   and   evolve   the   business   model   and   exploitation   deliverable.   The   challenge   for   the  SpeakApps  project  team  is  to  ensure  that  the  principle  of  sustainability  remains  at  the  core  of  its  mission.     14  
  16. 16. Project Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKApps  This work by SpeakApps is licensedunder a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  8  Britain,  S.  (2011).  On  the  Relationship  Between  Pedagogical  Design  and  Content  Management  in  eLearning.  In  N.  Ferrer  &  J.-­‐M.  Alfonso  (eds.),  Content  Management  for  E-­‐Learning  (pp.  55-­‐69).  New  York,  NY:  Springer.    Conole,   G.,   Oliver,   M.,   Falconer,   I.,   Littlejohn,   A.,   &   Harvey,   J.   (2007).   Designing   for   learning.   In   G.  Conole  &  M.  Oliver  (ed.),  Contemporary  perspectives  in  e-­‐learning  research:  Themes,  methods  and  impact  on  practice,  (pp.  101-­‐120).  Routledge  Falmer.    Conole,  G.  (forthcoming).  Designing  for  learning  in  an  open  world.  Springer.  Fischmann,   J.   (2011).   Pearson   and   Google   Jump   intp   Learning   Management,   with   a   New   Free  System,  The  Chronicle  of  Higher  Education,  October  13th  2011,  [accessed  on-­‐line  17th  October  2011].  Kopper,   R.   &   Tatterstall,   C.   (2005).   Learning   Design     A   handbook   on   modelling   and   delivering  networked  education  and  training.  Springer.  Moodle   (2011).   Moodle   Statistics,   [Retrieved   from   http://moodle.org/stats][Accessed   on-­‐line  16th  December  2011],    Rogers,  E.  M.  (2003).  Diffusion  of  innovations  (5th  Ed.).  New  York,  NY:  Free  Press.  Wiley,   D.   (2007).   On   the   sustainability   of   open   educational   resource   initiatives   in   higher  education.  OECD.       15  
  17. 17. SpeakApps ProjectProject Nr 2010-4210 / 511552-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA2-KA2MP-SPKAppsThis project has been funded with support from the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commis -sion.This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be heldresponsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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