Presentation at Inted Conference

I am presenting on ‘gender based e-learning experience’ on Monday 7th March in the International Technology, Education and Development Conference 2011. This conference will be held in Valencia, Spain from 7th March to 9th March 2011.

I have submitted a paper for the International Technology, Education and Development Conference 2011. This paper will be published in the conference proceeding and can be accessible from INTED website (digital library). This paper has been written by myself and Carmel’s. This paper has highlighted the gender based e-learning experience in the Pakistani universities. This paper has covered the resources provided by the universities to the students and their experiences of using these technologies in the education.

An overview of the conference paper

The purpose of this paper was to highlight the current e-learning experience in Pakistan for both male and female undergraduates within universities. There is no study (to date) has focused exclusively on ‘gender’ in the e-learning experience and how gender differences affect the development of e-learning and how these factors can be overcome to improve the overall experience in Pakistan. This paper has identified numerous factors that affect male and female undergraduates in their e-learning experience within the two universities in Pakistan. It has measured the extent to which these factors affect gender. The paper has concluded with a number of recommendations for improving e-learning and how these differences can be overcome.

The results have verified that there is great potential and scope for e-learning development in Pakistan. The analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data has highlighted several factors that affect both male and female undergraduates. However, the results have exposed a number of factors that tend to affect female students more than compared to their male counterpart. These factors identified ranged from lack of infrastructure, government support, and computer literacy to mention a few. From these results a number of recommendations have been made on how the e-learning experience in terms of gender could be improved for further university students within Pakistan.

This study has provided an insight into the e-learning experience within Pakistan focusing on gender differences regarding the use of e-learning. This paper contributes to knowledge by beginning to fill these gaps and addressing the need for additional work.

Overview of the conference

INTED2011 will be an International Forum for those who wish to present their projects and innovations, having also the opportunity to discuss the main aspects and the latest results in the field of Education and Research.
The general aim of the conference is to promote international collaboration in Education and Research in all educational fields and disciplines. The attendance of more than 500 delegates from 65 different countries is expected.

Two ISBN publications will be produced with all the accepted abstracts and papers that will serve as a database of innovation projects in Education and Research.

Keywords: Pakistan, e-learning, gender, education, experience


To e-learn or not to e-learn in Pakistan

Pakistan is a developing, multiethnic and multilingual country and has become the second largest economy in South Asia with a total population of approximately 167 millions. Pakistan has long list of colleges and universities across the country but still the literacy rate of the country is low compared to the other countries within the region. Distance learning is another way to learn and provide the facilities to the students who can’t attend the college or university based on their personal circumstance. In the recent years, the both government and people have realized the importance of the ICT and believe that these technologies have tremendous potential in the country. The trends towards ICT education has been increased in the young generation.

The distance learning or e-learning in Pakistan is not a new phenomenon and there are many colleges and universities are providing the e-learning based courses to the students. For example, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) was the first of its kind to offer distance learning and later broadcasting courses on the TV. Moreover, in 2002 another university was set up (named Virtual University) to meet existing demand in the country. The Virtual University introduced a number of e-learning techniques into the country and offered both e-learning and blended learning to the students. In short, there are many projects and plans going on to improve the education quality and standards. There are many colleges and universities started or planning to join the e-learning arena and will offer to provide an e-learning based courses. There are still many problems which are hindering in the development of the e-learning and uplifting the education quality and standards.

I will try to write a series posts to highlight the number of main problems associated with the e-learning and to identify the key elements which hindering in the development of e-learning in Pakistan.

ICT Infrastructure

The infrastructure is one of the key problems in the development of e-learning in the country. Since 1996, Internet service providers companies are in operation and they had just covered only 29 cities of the country by mid 2000 with 0.1 million internet subscribers. But today, there are more than 200 internet service providers and providing services in more than 1800 town and cities. But most of them are providing only dial-up services to its subscriber. According to the Internet World Stats, only 7.2 percent of the total population used internet. A large number of populations can’t afford or don’t have access to the internet and can’t buy personal computer and subscribe with the internet service provider due to their low incomes. From the last 5 years, the growth of Internet café’s increased massively in both urban and rural areas. These internet café’s provide a cost effective, easy and convenient access to the Internet.

From 2004, the government have had paid its intention towards this industry and invest a large sum to improve the current ICT infrastructure. Both local and foreigner investor flowed their investment in this industry. This investment resulted to increase massively for both cellular and Internet subscribers. But when it comes to the high speed internet like DSL or broadband then there are not many subscribers for these internet services. The DSL and broadband is available only in selected cities so still a large part of the country is not able to access high speed internet. According to the PTA, there are nearly one million subscribers for broadband internet in the country and these subscribers are twice compared to the last year.

There is still a need more resources and money to improve the overall infrastructure which provide the high speed internet and will manage the massive growth of the internet subscriber. During the data gathering from the students, they were more concerning about the speed and availability of the internet.

Presentation at ECEL 2010

I have submitted my first academic paper (gender based study for e-learning in Pakistan) for the European Conference on E-Learning (ECEL) 2010 and it’s been accepted for the conference preceding. This paper has published in the Electronic Journal of e-learning (EJEL). I have had an opportunity to attend the conference and give a presentation of my present at the conference. This conference was held atInstituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Porto, Portugal’ on 4th and 5th November 2010. I will upload my presentation along with audio recording.

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper was to highlight the problems affecting male and female students in e-learning in Pakistan. E-learning is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. A number of studies have been carried out to assess the impact on e-learning. However, to date no study has focused specifically on ‘gender differences’ affecting the development of e-learning and how these factors can be overcome. This paper has identified a number of gender problems associated with e-Learning in Pakistan. It has measured the degree to which these factors affect male and female students. This paper has concluded with a number of practical recommendations for improving e-learning and how these gender differences can be overcome.

 

This comparative study has compared and contrasted an equal number of male (125) and female (125) school leavers (age 16) in ten (five girls schools and five boys schools) state schools in five different cities across Pakistan. The data was collected through 250 online completed questionnaires sent to school leavers through a survey software (SurveyMonkey). These matched samples were used to identify and explore the root causes affecting male and female students in e-learning development. This was followed by six in-depth semi-structured interviews (three male and three female students) in order to gain a comprehensive understanding as to why these various issues in the questionnaire disadvantaged the use and development of e-learning.

 

The results confirmed that there is a great scope for e-learning development in Pakistan. The findings showed a positive attitude among students regardless of their gender in consideration of using e-learning either currently or in the future. However, male students have tended to be exposed and encouraged more in the use and development of e-learning as compared to female students. Thus, a number of problems have disadvantaged many students from taking full advantage of e-learning and its benefits. The originality and the novelty of this paper is the distinctive methodological framework adopted. No other study (to date) has conducted a comparative study of male and female students in terms of e-learning development. There is only a limited amount of work available on e-learning and gender related factors, this paper therefore seeks to fill this gap and contribute to knowledge in the ICT sector.

Connecting TFS 2010 server from Team Explorer client 2008

Connecting TFS 2010 server from Team Explorer client 2008

Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 have a new way of organizing projects named Team Project Collection. This new TFS2010 server can host multiple collections and each collection can be considered as a different logical team foundation server. This really helps in managing and administrating the different projects on the TFS 2010 server.

Connecting TFS 2008 server from Team explorer client 2008 is simply enter the TFS 2008 server name and change the port number if not using a default (default port is 8080). Select the right protocol (default protocol is http). The add/remove team foundation server dialogue in Team explorer client 2008 will look like this.

To connecting TFSS 2010 server from Team explorer client 2008 will not allowed and its will pop up error window

 

This does not allow using to access the TFS 2010.

Solution:

To connecting TFSS 2010 server from Team explorer client 2008 will need to install the ‘VS team system 2008 service pack 1 forward compatibility’. You can download from here.

After installing, you may need to restart the computer and hope fully you should be able to connect TFS 2010 from team explorer client 2008.

What is Cloud computing?

Cloud computing is not a new revolutionary idea but it’s an evolutionary concept which strand from the various existing technologies. Today, industry growing rapidly which demands the change and need for new development that will fulfils the challenges of the 21st century. Cloud computing can be define as a network of virtualisation technologies which allow the data and computing application flexibility from a pool of hardware or software resource pool. In the cloud computing, data and computing application does not held on the single server or network. There is no need for point-to-point connection between the user and computer infrastructure. The technologies related to the virtualisation are widely accepted by the many businesses and still growing but on the other side it’s also been label as a disruptive technology. This could give a plus point to the cloud computing as its help the companies not only cut-down the expenses for day to day operations but also many other advantages.

Amazon and Microsoft are the two big service provider of the cloud computing. Amazon is the first to provide a cloud as web service specifically for the e-commerce. Microsoft announced Windows Azure early 2010 and specifically target to the software developers and businesses to build the new applications in the cloud. There are few other service providers such as Google which is offering Google Apps and SalesForce for customer relation management and marketing based tools. Sunguard is specifically target to the enterprise class to offering the private cloud infrastructure. Cloud computing is provide the three core components for all type of clouds.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

Cloud computing provide the infrastructure to the companies on demand basis so they have to use whenever they need it. Traditionally, infrastructure is fixed and all the day to day resources are held on single server at specific location. Companies have to pay for the resource whether they are using or not. Whereas, Iaas provides the ability to monitor the resource utilisation and then charge based on the cloud usage, more specifically cloud usage based on the bandwidth usage, processor cycle, storage and network throughput.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

This provides one extra layer on the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Server) components which allow the companies to develop, build and deploy their own cloud applications to fulfil their specific business requirements. The development environments and platform settings for building the new applications from concept to deployment are the first step and many companies will spend several weeks (even months) on this. PaaS will eliminate this step to provide the cloud environment for the development teams to start building the application.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Traditionally, companies spent quite a lot upfront capital expenditure to buying new software or upgrade to the latest version but SaaS allows the companies to utilize the software via cloud computing. These software’s are the property of the service provider and companies can use them on the basis of annual subscription or pay per usage basis. This will help the companies to cut-down their software cost for buying new software’s or upgrade them.

How to generate GUID

GUID stand for Global Unique Identifier which providing a special type of identification. The GUID is widely used in the software, web applications, database servers, memory allocation a name of few. This provides a unique number which will never generated twice. The GUID represents a hexadecimal character string and have 32 standard characters. This usually stored as a 128 bits

There are many different ways to generate the GUID.

  • Using Visual Studio 2008.

    Go to Tools menu, click Create GUID and window will be pop up.

  • Using Power Shell,

    $guid = [system.guid].newguid()

  • Using web browser:

    http://createguid.com/

  • Using C#

    System.Guid.NewGuid()