When enrolling on this course, i was interested to see exactly how the distance learning would be organised and delivered. The use of Plone and FirstClass make the idea of “distance learning” a very feasible reality.
Plone is very simply a course management system that acts almost like a student manual to the course and a reference point for curricular activities, but what i have been incredible impressed with so far is FirstClass.
I had never heard of FirstClass before this course, and it took me a while to see its potential. The best way i can describe it is as a thin client enclosed in an application. It allows users to upload work, e-mail each other, upload and store files and chat in real time along with many other features. I say “thin client” as everything you do in FirstClass is mirrored across every computer it is installed on associated with your account, so if i do my work (which primarily i do) on my work laptop, which is a MacBook Pro, i can come home and use my Windows Vista machine (which i rarely use) to carry on where i left off. Everything is synced server side including icon size and even the background on your home screen.
All of this really makes for a fantastic experience of learning with Anglia Ruskin University, and i look forward to the future now with this fantastic course.