Saturday, December 29, 2007

Great events in January

There are several good online events to start off the new year:
  1. Intellectual Property January 9-29, 2008 -- SCoPE seminar with Dan McGuire from Simon Fraser University.
  2. TALO Connections Conference 2008 January 16-24, 2008 -- Organized by the people at Teach and Learn Online
  3. Long Live the Platform January 14-February 1, 2008 -- Organized by CPSquare members $150 (Or better yet, just become a CPSquare member for the same price, or less depending on your circumstances.) We will explore several community platforms together, looking at the software through the eyes of the community. I will be the "platform spokesperson" for Moodle.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The conversation in the airport

In the last 6 months I've felt my old habits for keeping up with all the little details of life just aren't working anymore. I don't have a really good way of managing a to-do list and my calendar, both chock full, and keeping up with email is killing me. I used to be able to keep a lot of this nonsense in my head, but I just had another birthday and guess what that did to me! But part of the problem is that I rely on an internet connection to get at the details I need -- RSS feeds, gmail, multiple calendars... Anyway, I notice this is especially a problem when I'm traveling. So, I've started to wonder if a Blackberry might solve my problem.

Yesterday morning I caught a 5:55 a.m. flight out of Kamloops to head to Vancouver for a meeting. In the switchback security queue I was surrounded by sleep-deprived people. Our pillow-creased faces became the common thread to strike up a conversation. The man in front of me had that familiar fish hook neck angle while he punched keys on his Blackberry with 2 thumbs. He wasn't even aware of the huge gap forming between his spot in line and the next person.

One woman was traveling with 2 huge empty suitcases in hopes that she could fit in some holiday shopping while on a business trip to Seattle. She was chatting with a colleague about their impossible workload, trying to keep up with office work while on the road, and missing time with her kids. I noticed that she was holding a Blackberry in her spare hand so I asked, innocently, "Have you found that your Blackberry helps?

WHAT? THIS? (madly waving her clenched Blackberry) THIS THING MAKES ME CRAZY. I COULD FLUSH THIS BLACKBERRY DOWN THE TOILET!

The gap in front of fish hook man continued to grow.

Ignatia Webs: What I learned about learning in 2007

I came across this post which responds to Tony Karrer's December's Big Question: What did you learn about learning in 2007?

This response from Ignatia Webs: What I learned about learning in 2007 includes the SCoPE seminar discussions in her list:

"I learned a lot by jumping into social media: twitter, etcetera, but most by attending online seminars and groups: CLTI, SCOPe and internettime group to name three strong ones."

Neat!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

E-Learning Today.com

For students: This site has several helpful sections and articles for those relatively new to eLearning. I'm linking you to the eLearning Basics page, but tour around while you're there. If you're an eLearning provider there are materials/articles for you too.

Online Workshop for Colombia Educators

I was invited by Diego Leal and Alvaro Galves to join a 12-week online workshop with educators in Colombia responsible for leading online communities and networks. The workshop was facilitated by Nancy White and John Smith and hosted on the RVT (Virtual Tutor Network) site. Deigo informs me that SCoPE was a reference point when they started RVT, which was very neat to hear.

We started with an asynchronous discussion. This gave participants an opportunity to give some background on their work and ask some questions about SCoPE. We then had a synchronous conversation moderated by Alvaro Galvis. Alvaro kindly made the recording available on esnips.

It was a great experience. For one I was in the company of terrific people! It was also fascinating to watch how they managed to bridge the language gap. There was a constant flurry of activity around transcribing and translating, and their facilitation was outstanding. Alvaro gave me a virtual tour of the RVT Moodle site ahead of time which was very helpful for getting my bearings. They've done some interesting customization to Moodle to make the site more like a community and less like a course management system.

This invitation also gave me a nudge to organize documentation around SCoPE's history. There are many bits and pieces to pull together, but I have a start here: http://scope.pbwiki.com/

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Web Developer Toolbar

This FREE browser plugin/toolbar/extension was recommended by a fellow online student. She said,
"It adds a toolbar to your browser that gives you all kinds of control of cookies, CSS, forms, images, page and code source, etc. You can have it outline areas of CSS, tables and such on your page to help figure out how it was constructed. It will display all sorts of info such as HTML items, JAVA, links, META data, etc. You can disable CSS on a page to see what it looks like without the styling. It has validators for CSS, HTML and links. You can view the CSS split screen with the actual page to see how things are defined (both linked and embedded css). There are three little icons on the right side of the toolbar that give you a quick visual on whether the page you're viewing is standards compliant, has CSS errors or JavaScript errors. The list goes on and on. Take a look... can't beat the price!"

CSS Resources

I'm taking a course online and have gathered a few CSS resources that were recommended by fellow students.

  • First, here's a link to my own CSS resources page
  • CSS Vault: A site of resource links to inspiring websites done entirely with CSS. The site also has a blog that covers CSS topics, tips, tricks, ideas, etc.
  • CSS Beauty: "A project focused on providing its audience with a database of well designed CSS based websites from around the world. Its purpose is to showcase designers' work and to act as a small portal to the CSS design community."
  • Position Is Everything: "We're Big John & Holly Bergebin, and together we built this site to explain some obtuse CSS bugs in modern browsers, provide demo examples of interesting CSS behaviors, and show how to 'make it work' without using tables for layout purposes."
  • CSS Edge: "The goal here is to find ways to make CSS live up to its fullest potential with only minimal regard to browser limitations."
  • CSS Quick Reference Guide: A list of properties all on one page includes "only the CSS features that work in most browsers.

Later: An addition to the list:

  • W3Schools CSS "try it" examples page: Enter your text and try out CSS properties, see the results instantly on their page. My online instructor says, "I STRONGLY recommend spending some time playing with the "try it" here. You can see immediate results from the changes that you make in the css to really fine tune your learning experience."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Webpage designers - COLOR helpers

A few fun pages to help you pick your colors for your website... The following plus a few more can be found on my website's Color Resources page.

Website Color Picker: "...will help you evaluate color combinations quickly and easily. It works equally well on MacOS or Windows. ...You can experiment with different colors for BGCOLOR, TEXT color, LINK color and VLINK color. ...click a color swatch in the appropriate section of the left window and see the color applied immediately to the chosen attribute in the right window."

Color Blender: Another visual color-code-producing site. This one lets you select 2 colors from color swatches, then blend the two in however many steps you specify. It's a Creative Commons share site, so you can copy the source code to have the Color Blender page handy on your own hard drive.

Color Schemer / Design in Harmony: My recent LVSOnline teacher says, "This is one of my favorites. You can use it on the web for free and you download any of the hundreds of color schemes posted there. The software available for purchase is really nice in terms of flexibility and power. It has a 15 day free trial."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Instructional design resources

From U. of Texas, a page of commented links to resource sites.

Teaching With Technology Tutorials

Examining Technology from an Educator's Perspective: "Tips for making the most of technology in your classroom, school, and district. We show you constructive and practical applications of technology."

Integrating Technology | Scholastic.com

Sections on the site include integrating technology, best practices, and links to additional technology resources. Topics are for K-12 and include Arts, Early Learning, Foreign Language & ESL, Health & Safety, Math, Professional Development, Reading & Language Arts, Research Skills, Science, Social Studies.

CSS Type.com

Generate CSS code visually. Create a box of type using their online element selectors, including font, size, color, etc. See your selection results right on screen. Then click to generate the CSS code for it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

ETUG 2007 Fall workshop

I attended the ETUG 2007 fall workshop on November The theme this year was "Web 2.0 – Educational Whats, Whys & Hows" As always, it was great to meet up with people from around the province who are involved in education technology. There was plenty of time for networking which is often the best part.

Gina Bennett, ETUG Steering Committee chair, gave an interesting presentation that forced everyone to think back to the pre WWW days. It was a great example of interactive presentation. I'll see if I can get my hands on it.

Steve Dotto was, as always, very entertaining. He pointed out that what can technology do for us is pretty obvious. But what will it do TO us? He told a story about fishing for trout at Dragon Lake, and being able to take some time out from catching to the big biologically enhanced trout to do a quick web conference with some folks in the east. It was a nice illustration how it's really about how we decide to allow it to change our lives. If he didn't have the blackberry would be sitting at the office instead of fishing.

Steve also asked: Are social networking tools making a difference? Don't look at statistics, look at diversity and the numbers for what they are. YouTube for example has HUGE numbers of people sharing work. That has to be good.

He also told us that if we didn't have a Facebook account we should get one. So I took that as a cue to create an ETUG group in Facebook, to see how it might help us to stay connected.

John Maxwell from Simon Fraser University did an excellent presentation: Wiki: Software for Communities of Inquiry. His main take home message is that this form of publishing places less emphasis on content and more on participation.

If I didn't spend so much time yakking at ETUG I probably would have taken more notes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Respondus Test Bank Network

"If you use Respondus or StudyMate, and if you use a textbook from a leading publisher, you can get the official test bank for that textbook in Respondus format for free. From there it’s easy to create online tests, learning games and even iPod activities using the publisher content." My title link is to a page of information about the Test Bank Network. Or you can link directly to the Network here.

Moodle Test Question Importer by Respondus

Their "QTI Importer plug-in allows the importing of test questions that have been exported from Respondus 3.5 in an XML format known as the IMS QTI. Respondus Inc. recently updated this plug-in and will provide maintenance and support of this code in the future" The page I've linked to has FAQs that explain what the Respondus QTI Importer can do -- and what it can’t.

Create iPod Quiz files with StudyMate or Respondus

"The latest versions of StudyMate (Version 2.0.3) and Respondus (Version 3.5.4a) allow you to generate files in the iPod Quiz format." This page explains it all, and includes "a few authoring tips, caveats, and general advice" from the Respondus staff.

Friday, October 26, 2007

SpokenText - Free online text to speech converter

Spoken Text records from PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, RSS news feeds, emails and web pages, and convert them to speech automatically. The files are saved as MP3s so you can listen to them on your favorite audio device.
"Our goal is to make the conversion of text to speech as simple as possible and in so doing make it accessible to everyone. The vast majority of the technology we use in our daily lives are way too complicated and overwhelms us with unneeded options and features. To this end we focused on providing a quick and simple way to convert your text content into spoken audio, for listening to on an iPod or your computer."

EduGarage: for Blackboard Developers

Launched October 23/07, this new website by Blackboard "is the place developers can meet to collaborate, leverage expertise and find all the resources they need to build powerful, successful educational tools."

McCord Museum of Canadian History

"The McCord Museum conserves and presents over 1,375,000 objects, images and manuscripts, all irreplaceable reflections of the social history and material culture of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. These myriad items – glass negatives, hoop crinolines, pieces of fine china, hand-forged tools, beaded headdresses, historical letters and documents – represent the lives and dreams of the men, women and children that came before us. They are words and actions brought to life, witnesses of our collective memory."
Explore the museum using categories like Collections, Artists, Objects, Time Periods, Geocultural Areas, Geocultural Map, Thematic Tours, etc.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Free Math Help.com

"We have many math help resources available, including math lessons, math games, and a math help message board." Featured Tools: worksheet generator: "You can create addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, or even geometry worksheets online, and even generate PDF's to print!" And their Flash Equation Graphing Tool. "The program can graph more than one equation, print an image, and allows you to move around the graph easily".

Learning Objects - The World Has Become Our Repository

Darren Draper:
"Much like the "most famous scream in Hollywood", there exists a plethora of educational content (much already digitized) that is just as effective in its reuse as it was in its first use. Wherein many original issues surrounding the implementation of learning objects centered on the practicality of creating and maintaining a centralized repository, it appears that Google has provided our much needed, neatly indexed repository: the world wide web itself."

Educational Uses of Second Life

Stephen Downes comments: "This is a remarkable list of educational applications in Second Life - easily the most comprehensive I've seen anywhere - with descriptions, links and screen shots. You could easily spend the entire day with Second Life and this web page going from place to place (I've gone to a bunch of them)."

Why use technology in the English classroom?

This whole article is a gem. To entice you, here are a few snippets so you get the drift of Michael Umphrey's opinion and the article's direction.

"...using technology to teach English. Why would I do that? Well, why do cowboys sing?"

"For generations, educators have labored toward the goal of bringing young people to basic literacy, giving them the power to encode and decode written language. ...But today basic literacy isn’t enough."

"Lots of kids are already their own publishers, posting whatever they want on My Space."

"English teachers should be excited by the prospect of a culture of writing consisting of more than a few “stars” and the bestseller lists."

"Whenever possible, school work should be real work. ...Great writers have always known that everyday life is the source of powerful writing."

"This is a good time to recommit to being not primarily consumers of commercial culture but also producers of our own culture, our own literature about the places and lives that we know. And if we do it with our students, we’ll find all sorts of intractable problems won’t need to be solved. They’ll just dissolve. Besides, it’s a great adventure. It’s also a necessity."

"Technology has enormous potential to make missing class less disruptive both for students and for teachers. Actually, it’s not potential. Everything we need now exists. Learning how to use it and getting districts to spend the money is another thing."

Google Notebook Browser Extension

A little-known helper within Google notebooks -- easily create your URL for your website citation. This browser extension helps you take notes from websites by simply marking the text, then using a right click to get to a special “copy” command. The program automatically records the url for complete citations. Downloading this extension gives you access to this mini Google Notebook feature, which allows you to:
- Clip and collect information as you surf the web.
- Stay in your browser window.
- Organize your notes from the web page you're on.

Copyright

A few sites about copyright:

"Fair Dealing" (Commonwealth copyright info): This wikipedia entry is a starting point if you're at all confused about copyright guidelines. "Fair dealing is an enumerated set of possible defenses against an action for infringement of an exclusive right of copyright."

"Fair Use" (like the above, unique to the U.S.A.): (wikipedia entry) "A doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test."

The Copyright Website: "Welcome to the Internet's first and premiere Copyright Registration and Information Resource. The Copyright Website strives to lubricate the machinations of information delivery by providing transparency to a particularly opaque and obtuse area of intellectual property. Whether you want to protect your own work, or check out the legal hijinks of the movie, recording and software industries, you've come to the right place!"

Canadian Copyright Act: The full text of it.

Access Copyright (formerly CanCopy): Canadian "innovative copyright licensing solutions". "In schools across Canada, from elementary to post secondary, the comprehensive photocopy licence from Access Copyright is at work every day, making sure Canadian educators and students have access to a global repertoire of content to meet their learning needs. The licence gives educators and students advance permission to copy from millions of copyright protected newspapers, magazines, journals and books from around the world, complementing what is allowed under fair dealing, educational exceptions under the Copyright Act, and through the public domain." Access Copyright also provides for advance clearance and pay-per-use licenses "for copying beyond the limits of the comprehensive licence. Pay-per-use licences can cover needs such as digital uses (posting content online or scanning it, for example)."

The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy: Confused about copyright for education purposes? Check out this article/report.

If you need more, please visit my resource site's page of links about copyright.

Dapper

"Dapper is a free, web-based service that enables users to easily create an interactive feed from any website for consumption on any platform: RSS reader, iGoogle, enterprise mashup, mobile phone, etc. Users can make a dynamic feed (API) that changes based on user input for any website. With Dapper, anyone can create RSS feeds, universally embeddable widgets, and XML (among other formats) for any website." [from Answers.com]
See this short demo video that illustrates how easy it is to make a "Dapp".

Dapper Facebook AppMaker:
"Turn any website into a Facebook application -- no programming required!" "Use your own header, footer, background styling — really make it yours — and with absolutely no programming. If you can make a Dapp, you can make a Facebook app."

150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively

A categorized and alphabetized list of links that
"...focus on places where you can conduct research, software that is free and easy to use, and services that will remove that "extra work" monkey from your back....This list focuses solely on those tools that can make your writing life easier."
Their categories are: Almanacs; Business and Legal Matters; Citation Styles; Dictionaries; English Language Skills; Genres; News Digests; New Media Resources; Organization; Professional Organizations; Rhetoric; Toolboxes; Writing Services; Writing Skills; Writing Software.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Netiquette

I referenced this website back in 2000. Thought I'd mention it again; it's still probably the best netiquette information site on the web.
"'Netiquette' is network etiquette, the do's and don'ts of online communication. Netiquette covers both common courtesy online and the informal 'rules of the road' of cyberspace. This page provides links to both summary and detail information about Netiquette for your browsing pleasure."

Monday, October 8, 2007

bFree Blackboard Course Content Extractor

From the University of N.Carolina:
"With bFree you can Open a Blackboard™ archive to browse and preview the course materials; Search for words in titles, descriptions, wikis, forums, and file names; Preview content items automatically; Extract selected materials as an independent web site that mimics the original course; Extract selected materials as plain files and folders. The extracted web site can be put on a web server or even loaded into another online learning system."

Friday, October 5, 2007

LMS Satisfaction Features & Barriers

Tony Karrer's summary post about a survey that measured, among other details, user satisfaction with a number of Learning Management Systems. He links us to the eLearningGuild's Learning Management System research report, and includes some of the charts that illustrate various satisfaction categories...answers to questions such as satisfaction level, satisfaction with particular features, are you planning to replace, primary barriers, importance of features, etc.

CBC Archives

"On this Website you'll find a selection of radio and television clips from the Archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Some of these files have rested quietly at the bottom of our vaults for more than 60 years and are, for the first time, now accessible to the general public."
A section for Teachers, with grade level lesson plans to complement topics on the website. Podcasts. Archives timeline. Index of topics, index of clips, index of interviews. Topic-based sections of the site (e.g. people; war; arts & entertainment; politics & economy; etc.).
"All educational materials are free to use within the framework of educational, non-commercial use. Copyright restrictions dictate that clips cannot be downloaded."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Educational Uses for Google Earth

Quoting directly from my Google Earth email newsletter. NOTE: THE FIRST 2 LINKS BELOW WILL OPEN YOUR GOOGLE EARTH; they're not weblinks!

Educational Uses for Google Earth "Teachers and students should be aware that Google Earth is a great tool for education. And, it's not just about geography. Google Earth has been used by educators in many subjects including: science, literature, history, cartography, GIS, and more. Check out some examples like: Places quoted by Shakespeare or the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

For Google-created resources, teachers should visit our Google Earth for Educators site, or check out some Sky lesson ideas. For some ideas from our users, see the JuicyGeography blog by Noel Jenkins in the UK, or a summary by Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jottit

Kathy Schrock introduces "Jottit": "Neat wiki! This allows teachers to have a classroom wiki that is only accessible to students who have the password and students do not need an email address to sign-up." I'm linking to her post, which includes a link to the wiki site.

Webinar: Podcasting Xtreme

Led by Jane Himmel and Julie Navar:
"When we talk about "extreme" podcasting, we're not just talking about cutting-edge tools. Rather, we're trying to help people take their podcasting to the next level by delving more deeply into the design process of producing an effective, educational podcast. How? Primarily by taking an instructional design approach, and analyzing information needs and audiences to determine if podcasting is the right match with your instructional needs. During our Webinar we also discussed current trends; how to incorporate music and other elements of commercial podcasts; hardware and software needs; and ideas about distribution - all with the goal of helping you create a more creative and engaging final podcast."
[They provide the link to the the archived recording of the Webinar; click this post's title.]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Text to Speech Software

TextAloud: In 2004 I posted an entry about this application. "TextAloud MP3 is Text To Speech software that uses voice synthesis to create spoken audio from text. You can listen on your PC or save text to MP3 or wave files for listening later."

Just as an update, this week's WinXP News says: "TextAloud is the world's leading text-to-speech program, available now with optional AT&T Natural Voices for the best in computer speech. TextAloud uses voice synthesis to convert text into spoken audio. Listen to text from email, web pages and documents on your PC or create MP3 or WMA files for use on portable devices like iPods, PocketPCs, and CD players. Imagine being free to relax, get up and stretch, or work on other things while the information you need is read to you in a pleasant, natural sounding human voice. Better still, leave your computer behind. TextAloud can save your daily reading to audio files for your portable player."

NextUp.com, makers of the above software, offers several other tools for text-to-speech.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Moodle Playpen

"This site demonstrates the use of Moodle when augmented by community code." Helen Kershaw of Knowplace says, "The best Moodle theme expert in the world. We're not kidding -- this fellow is just the best! On his site you can take a look at the leading, bleeding edge of the latest Moodle versions and manipulate things too!"

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Online Education Glossary sites

Glossary of Online Education Terms from Digital Bridges

eLearning Glossary from WorldWide Learn

ELearning Glossaries from EdTechPost

eLearning Glossary from eLearning Guru

Some readings about Online Learning

Annotated Bibliography for Online Teaching: Categories of articles include Overview of Online Teaching; Theory of Online Course Writing; Practice of Online Course Writing; Web Design for Online Course Writing.

Theories of and for Online Learning: "We see changes in teaching and learning emerging from the nexus of a changing landscape of information and communication technologies... We see the need for, and the emergence of, new theories and models of and for the online learning environment, addressing learning in its ICT context, considering both formal and informal learning, individual and community learning, and new practices arising from technology use in the service of learning. This paper presents six theoretical perspectives on learning in ICT contexts, and is an invitation to others to bring theoretical models to the fore to enhance our understanding of new learning contexts."

Friday, September 7, 2007

File Extensions

File extensions and file types resource. Find file extension details here including easy-to-understand descriptions and associated applications. Search by extension, view common and most visited extensions, and click to extension categories including audio and music files, game files, system files and text files.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Firefox Extension for Ask Dr. C Search Engine

In her blog, Laura Gekeler says: "The WebCT 'Ask Dr. C' forum/knowledgebase is still alive and well. And I still use it frequently before responding to questions I'm asked. Nowadays my preferred browser is Firefox (especially for administrative tasks in Blackboard Vista because of the 'stop script' feature). So I installed Henk Schotel's Firefox extension (last updated 11/2006) which searches Ask Dr. C for me, much as a Google toolbar would perform a websearch. To get it, use Firefox to navigate here and click on the Ask Dr C link to install it. It works great!"

Monday, September 3, 2007

SchoolTube

"A network of students, educators, and professionals working together to foster video production and internet publishing in a safe online learning environment. SchoolTube gives you the ability to safely upload your video onto the internet to share with other educators or students. All SchoolTube videos have been moderated or teacher approved for viewing. Our high standards are based on the STN Code of Ethics."

Theories and models of and for online learning

"For many years, discussion of online learning...has been pre-occupied with the practice of teaching online and the debate about whether being online is ‘as good as’ being offline. ...We see the need for, and the emergence of, new theories and models of and for the online learning environment, addressing learning in its ICT context, considering both formal and informal learning, individual and community learning, and new practices arising from technology use in the service of learning. This paper presents six theoretical perspectives on learning in ICT contexts."

Pedagogical Templates for E-Learning

A report that "...describes a series of pedagogic templates for the integration of technology into teaching and learning... The main objective of this report is to provide an overview for IoE academics who are interested in integrating e-learning into their courses. This report has been designed to guide practitioners on how e-learning can be used in the context of a course, and the description of each template focuses on the pedagogical aspects of using e-learning."

eXe : eLearning XHTML editor

[eXe = eLearning XHTML editor]
"The eXe project is developing a freely available Open Source authoring application to assist teachers and academics in the publishing of web content without the need to become proficient in HTML or XML markup. eXe can export content as self-contained web pages or as SCORM 1.2 or IMS Content Packages."
Watch the video intro on YouTube.

Grammar Grater: PODCASTS

"...a weekly podcast about English words, grammar and usage for the Information Age. Because we live in a time of e-mail, blogs, instant messaging, even online product reviews—everybody's a writer. And with the global nature of communication, there's not a single style guide everyone uses. To help sort through some of the confusion, host Luke Taylor and the Grammatis Personae Players (Cory Busse and Amy Ault) take linguistic bugbears and put 'em through the Grammar Grater."

Grammar Girl: PODCASTS

I've seen this referred to as "one of the most downloaded educational podcasts on iTunes" [reference]. A "real-life science writer", Mignon Fogarty, has built up a great resource site of "Quick and Dirty Tips: Clean Up Your Writing". My title link is to this week's tip; scroll down to see others (they're all on one page). The left panel has links to titles and a search box. I like the fact that the podcast also appears in text form.

Google Maps ~ Embedding in webpages:

This is a great idea for courses that involve reference to maps. "The Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) lets you embed Google Maps in your own web pages with JavaScript." Embedding a fully interactive map is easy. The interactivity on your embedded version is identical to the original: your page visitor can see/close the address box, drag to move the map, zoom in/out, toggle between map/satellite/hybrid views.

How do you do this? When you look at their sign-up site, it seems more complicated than it is. Here's the simple version:

First, you have to sign up and get a "Maps API key". Keep track of that key somewhere.It gives you permission to embed any Google Map in a webpage. (Sign-up is quick. You need one key per website you use.)

How to embed a map:
1. Navigate to the location you want to show on Google Map.
2. On the top right corner of the map, there is a [link to this page]. Click it to get a snippet of HTML. From there you can use "customize" if you want to select a map size. (Default size is shown in my example below.)
3. Copy and paste the HTML code to your web page.

Easy, right? You can also go beyond basics to add a number of features: define areas, add text, add links, add controls, pop-up info/event windows, overlays, driving directions, and more. Google supplies "mapplet" codes for these. The maps do NOT include advertising at this time. (Google will give 90 days notice if they change this policy.)

Here's an example (the place I work, Columbia Square Adult Learning Centre):



View Larger Map

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jing

Want to make a screen-capture video (for student tutorials or whatever)? Jing is a free download of some SIMPLE and quick to use software that instantly captures images or creates your screen-capture type videos (you can include sound or voice-over if you wish).

Academic Podcasts

from Duke University Libraries

20 Ideas for a Great Podcast

A blog posting from Carson McComas at "FrogBody". "So, while I'm still a relative podcast newbie and thinking about this, I want to jot down some notes about what I think works." These are FUN to read (I like his sense of humor) as well as helpful. I like this tip: "Be whimsical." (Easy for a PinkFlamingo!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Podcasting Essentials Library

Check out this Podcasting forum thread, the latest at Blackboard's new BRAVO! website. There are multiple interesting Podcasting links in the posting I've linked you to (click my post title). After you check those out, explore the other Podcasting resources and discussions, just begun this week (August '07).

Bravo!

Blackboard's latest initiative, "...a new way...to share information, insights, and experiences. Bravo! was started with the idea that we can all benefit and have some fun as we learn more about each other and our real-world experiences with...learning technologies."

My title link is to the Bravo! homepage. Each month is a new theme/topic; this it's month PODCASTING. There are discussion forums, a Podcasting Library forum, and 2 upcoming webinars about Podcasting -- one for beginners and a second webinar for those who already know what they're doing in terms of podcasting.

AVATAR: Great Idea for a Podcast for an Online Course

In her blog, Coop's Word on Podcasting and Blogging, Alisa Cooper posts about using an Avatar to speak to her online students. She describes and links to the tools and tricks she's learned about to do this.
"I’ve been podcasting for a few years now, but I wouldn’t say that my podcasts have been big hits with my students. To be honest, most don’t bother to listen. ...I’ve been tossing some ideas around to make my podcasts more interesting and useful to students. One idea that I came up with is creating an avatar for my online courses that will deliver short podcasts to students. The podcasts will include daily updates, writing and research tips, and general motivation."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How to use Second Life for education

An article and VIDEO from Kapp Notes: Try Before You Buy:
"The goal of designers of instruction is to design environments, experiences and instruction that is realistic, efficient and effective...3D worlds offer some of these advantages. Let's not have the learning and development folks be the last ones to miss out on this new direction in learning. See some examples of how to use Second Life for education in this video created by some of the students in my Learning in 3D Class."

Research and Guidelines on Online Social - and Educational - Networking

An article from the newsletter Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day ("A daily item of e-learning interest selected by Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies"). Has some interesting facts, including a colorful graph of popular social networking activites. She also provides some good links to follow.

Portfolio Assignments in Teacher Education: A Tool For Self-regulating the Learning Process?

"This study examines the effects of a portfolio programme on self-regulation – and thus among third year students of teacher education training to be secondary school teachers. ... The study indicates a significant increase in self-regulation. The portfolio programme therefore improves students’ capacity to go through their learning process independently ...The comparison of the students’ own opinions with those of the portfolio supervisors also reveals the weak links in the self-regulation cycle. Students have difficulty evaluating and re-orientating their learning process. It also appears that students do not set and/or implement new objectives themselves, which means that they cannot regulate their own learning process on a completely independent basis because they have not thoroughly mastered all the components of the self-regulation cycle."
[Quote is from the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning]

for Blackboard users

Blackboard Support & Resources for Faculty: Grand Rapids Community College has a helpful site for their own faculty, but there are items there that could be useful to any of us. For example, check their Tips, Tutorials & Help (right-side column of the page), their Faculty Tip Sheets and Student Tip Sheets, and their Quick Tutorials (these are for course management for Blackboard Academic Suite.)


Blackboard For Dummies: A book (at Amazon.com) for Blackboard Learning System 7.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Vocational Elearning

From wwwtools for teachers, this page offers a rich collection of links relevant to VET (Vocational Education & Training), and in particular Vocational Elearning.
"Effective Vocational Education and Training is considered crucial to industrial efficiency and economic productivity. To prepare learners for employment in today's technically-charged working environment, elearning strategies are proving successful in supplementing face-to-face mentorship with rich high-quality content, a variety of online networking venues, and flexible access to a range of remote learning environments. In this edition of WWWTools for Education, we consider vocational education and the role of modern ICTs in its delivery."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Video: Social Networking in Plain English | Common Craft - Video Production and Consulting

Sachi & Lee LeFever at Common Craft created this video and, even better (and more social!), they let everyone share it, post it, etc. "This video is for people who wonder why social networking web sites are so popular. We think one reason is because they help solve a real-world problem. We'll let the video explain how it works."

Click on the video image to play.

Friday, August 10, 2007

All Words.com

Online Dictionary, Language Guide, Foreign Language and Etymology. This site has a great variety of helpers for anybody who's interested in writing or just in WORDS, generally. There are some unique options, such as a crossword puzzle solver type of search, a word-of-the-week page that defines and discusses the word, plus a blog and forums. Check out the chart of Links for Word Lovers, grouped in various useful categories. Their Writing Tools section has many excellent links as well; for example, check out the Writing Tips links page.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Neil Patel's 50 favorite design resources

An excellent list!

Web standards checklist

A fairly extensive guide to standards in a question/checklist format.
"The term web standards can mean different things to different people. For some, it is 'table-free sites', for others it is 'using valid code'. However, web standards are much broader than that. A site built to web standards should adhere to standards (HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, XSLT, DOM, MathML, SVG etc) and pursue best practices (valid code, accessible code, semantically correct code, user-friendly URLs etc). In other words, a site built to web standards should ideally be lean, clean, CSS-based, accessible, usable and search engine friendly. This is not an uber-checklist. It is simply a guide that can be used..."

A Roadmap to Standards (for website design)

"This is a comprehensive, informal, and somewhat long-winded roadmap for anyone who has heard about web standards, thinks they might want web standards, but doesn’t know where to start."

Developing With Web Standards

"This document explains how and why using web standards will let you build websites in a way that saves time and money for the developer and provides a better experience for the visitor. Also discussed are other methods, guidelines and best practices that will help produce high-quality websites that are accessible to as many as possible."

5 ways to optimize your design

These are tips for website designers in general, but can also be helpful if you're designing course pages.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Women Edubloggers

Janet Clarey highlights Women Edubloggers. Her own blog is interesting and has many categories, many of which address topics in education. I like her friendly, chatty approach, while still getting her messages across. Check out her Best Practices category while you're at her blog site.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Random Walk in Learning: Boundary Characteristics of Game, Simulation, Drama & Role play Learning - Early draft

"Game as a structured or semi-structured activity is becoming more and more attractive to educators as a learning environment. ... Many teachers/facilitators have recognised the existence of an "environment" while using these techniques. Frequently, and correctly, teachers and facilitators put great emphasis on the rituals in entering and existing ... "game environment". ... This paper provides a theoretical analysis of the environment based on the anecdotal evidences gathered by the authors."

JobProfiles.org

Jobprofiles.org: "We have build a collection of profiles and job descriptions about various different types of careers so you will better understand your area of study before you enter the workplace." This is an EXCELLENT site because of the variety of its offerings. Beyond those Job Profiles, their site sections include:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Visualizing the SCoPE community site


scopesitegraph
Originally uploaded by Webbed Feat

I ran http://scope.lidc.sfu.ca through the websites as graphs applet. I'm alarmed by the number of tables! Because of Moodle? In any case, it's interesting to imagine what all the clusters are in the community.

Monday, July 2, 2007

ASL American Sign Language

A very full site that includes free lessons, mini-movies to illustrate the finger alphabet, and much more!

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary

The words dance around graphically in grouped, dynamic, ever-changing visuals of connected words and ideas. I can't describe it well, so check it out.
"Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate. It's a dictionary! It's a thesaurus! Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists."

Hacking Knowledge

77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better: "77 tips related to knowledge and learning to help you on your quest. A few are specifically for students in traditional learning institutions; the rest for self-starters, or those learning on their own. Happy learning." I was going to say "for your students", but these tips are good for all of us involved in lifelong learning.

Bibliomania

Read, study, research, shop. Free online literature (fiction, drama, poetry, short stories) with more than 2000 classic texts. Study guides, literature book notes, reference books, book summaries, author biographies. Here are just a few of my favorite links from the site:

Study Guides and Strategies

"The Study Guides and Strategies web site is authored, maintained and supported by Joe Landsberger as an independent educational public service. Collaborative projects are developed across institutional, cultural and national boundaries. I resist advertising, registration, and distracting graphics or features that may interfere with maximizing learner access."

Printable Worksheets

Teachers will appreciate this huge list of items to explore -- it's worth a click to see what's there.

Friday, June 29, 2007

edu 2.0: welcome to the future of education

edu 2.0: welcome to the future of education: "...free, web-hosted learning management system." Also has "a library of educational resources contributed by our community" and a community network for educators/students.

Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources

Stephen Downes describes this site:
"This is a huge list of online video resources, including tools that support live video communications, online video how-tos, online video editors, video converters, video sharing sites, video hosting sites, video management, vidcat and vlogging tools, video mashup tools, mobile video, video search, video downloading services, and online television. Phew!"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Open Second Life

A project from a group of programmers not associated with Linden Labs. Hosted at OpenMetaverse.org, a site that hosts projects related to Open Source Metaverse development. About Open Second Life, John Goldsmith says, in a posting to BCEdOnline, they
"...are attempting to "reverse engineer" the Second Life server code, making it possible for anyone to set up and operate their own Second Life Virtual World. Open Second Life will use existing Second Life clients (which are a free download from the original Linden Labs/Second Life web site). While this project is still in the formative stages, it does provide hope to DE schools, teachers and others who want to utilize the educational research being generated by Post Secondary educators who use Second Life, to create more engaging learning experiences for their K-12 students but, in a more controlled setting."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Canada must “unlock potential” in adult learning

"'There are clear and well-substantiated links between lifelong learning, productivity and innovation. If Canada truly wants to unlock its potential, we must help workers engage in lifelong learning,' said Paul Cappon, the president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Learning."

Presentation: Digital Game-Based Learning

"In this podcast of the presentation "Generation G and the 21st Century," Richard Van Eck, associate professor of instructional design and technology at the University of North Dakota, discusses the theory behind the effectiveness of games in teaching and learning; what the past can teach us about if, how, and when to implement digital game-based learning; and what this will mean for colleges and universities."

The Ten Most Common Photographic Mistakes

From Andre Gunther Photography, "Here is a quick rundown of the most common mistakes people (like me) make that mess up a good photo or prevent us from taking a good photo...to kick off [the author's] series on photography techniques." These are good tips and I'll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Factors Motivating and Inhibiting Faculty in Offering Their Courses via

From the same journal/edition as I posted in the entry below, this paper reports on a study the purpose of which
"...was to discover what factors may motivate faculty members at small, private colleges to adopt distance education, as well as what factors may inhibit that adoption."

Visions Shaping the Future of Online Education:Understanding its Historical Evolution, Implications, and Assumptions

(Click the title to link to the paper.) The purpose of this paper from the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is to
"...present a historical background of online education, review its current status, and provide visions shaping its future in an attempt to understand its potential and limitations that will lead to the advancement of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Online instructors must understand the way online education has evolved over the years from previous conceptions of education and the wide array of implications and assumptions involved in the delivery of online education. Recommendations for the advancement of online education, including future research, are given."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Freebies Round-Up: Icons, Buttons and Templates

Some VERY AWESOME items here! I'm amazed they're free, they're so good. Check it out.

UBC Style Guides

Canadian website Getting Started with APA Style: A site from the library at UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The opening page has a really useful chart of sample formats for Reference list (which seems for most people to be the most difficult aspect of following 'style' formatting.

Similar assistance for MLA can be found in their Getting Started with MLA Style page

Teaching Digital Photography?

Canadian website Visit DP Rounds ~ Digital Photography In The School. First visit their site of free Instructions. Good information, tips, and tutorial-like pages can be found under the headings of Photo Techniques, Photo Editing, and Photo Equipment. If you're teaching digital photography, they have a teacher's site as well. They offer "e-Rounds": student-ready handouts, integrated with web resources such as "how to" step-by-step instructions, downloadable exercises, showcase of high quality photo examples as well as student "best examples". Teacher-ready resources include teacher's notes, PPT presentations, a student CD, and on-line quizzes. Note: The school packages have a price tag, but reasonable. They also have an annual-fee-based access to their resource sites.

Monday, June 11, 2007

WebAIM: Captioning for Windows Media - Getting Windows Media Captions on the Web

A very helpful page from WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) provides several methods to include captioning, illustrated with code. Discusses how to include a SAMI file, whether to embed or not -- Win Media Player 9+ do not "support embedded captions when the browser uses the embed tag to display Window Media content"; includes ideas for how to get around this issue.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wikis in Plain English

Thanks to Common Craft I can show you the video here. The title of this post links to Lee Lefever's site (the video creator) where he displays the video.

We made this video because wiki web sites are easy to use, but hard to describe. We hope to turn you on to a better way to plan a camping trip, or create the next Wikipedia


Tips On Developing A Wiki Community

(If your monitor isn't wide enough for this blog page it looks like there's nothing in the middle column. Scroll down; I found the article halfway down the page.) There's no "about" or "intro"; the author jumps right in with the first in his list of tips. Definitely worth reading even if you're not creating a wiki but just using one regularly. Several comments about one of the tips; apparently in the case of wikis size does count. :)

Society for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education

STLHE "...is a national association of academics interested in the improvement of teaching and learning in higher education. Its members comprise faculty and teaching and learning resource professionals from institutions of post-secondary educaiton across Canada and beyond."

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Guide To Online Schools

"...an education directory specializing in online degrees, online schools, and distance learning. ...covers multiple fields of study and a comprehensive listing of online/traditional educational institutions. We strive to be the finest educational resource for students, allowing them to compare schools and get the answers needed to make an informed decision about their career."

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Podcast directory for educators, schools and colleges

"...the first and best UK directory to locate quality podcasts from over 390 carefully selected podcast channels for educational use - ideal for teaching and learning activities with children, young people and educational professionals. In our podcast directory, you can access educational content from over 4000 podcasts from different podcast channels."

Friday, June 1, 2007

Making iPod content interactive for education

Mobile Musings, a blog at K12Handhelds.com: This post offers links to programs that offer "...various ways to incorporate more interactivity into iPod content."

Custom Curriculum - K12 Handhelds.com

K12 Handhelds.com's page of FREE materials that you can download. Check out their free poetry unit.

BC Innovation Award in Education Technology

Link
IMG_4276.JPG
Originally uploaded by BCcampus

On May 28, 2007 Elizabeth Wallace and I received the BC Innovation Award in Education Technology for our work on the SCoPE community. We were thrilled! And it was terrific to spend some f2f time with Liz and colleagues from around the province.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Carol's Corner Office - MS Office tips and tricks

Lots of tips and tricks for MS Office here. Also check out her Free Word Bytes Newsletter. I hear from very-inside sources that Carol is going to start offering Open Office information along with MS Office very soon.

Free Computer Utility Software

Dave, the site owner, writes, "All of the software listed is spyware and adware free at the time it is listed."

IconArt -- FREE utility for creating icons

"IconArt is a highly-compact cursor & icon creator. Icons are used to illustrate programs and files. One example are the shortcuts on your desktop. IconArt allows you to either draw the whole image from scratch using all common tools or to import an image to turn into a icon or cursor."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dave's Computer Tips

Daves Computer Tips"This site contains tips, tweaks, and general advice related to computer hardware, computer software, computer peripherals, and other technology devices." Dave also offers a free biweekly newsletter that:
"...contains important computer news, computer security tips, software reviews, computer hardware, and software tips articles, as well as discussion about programs I find useful. ...Whether you are a geek, a computer owner, a computer user, or someone who thinks Windows are only for looking out of you will find something useful in my newsletter!"

Sunday, May 27, 2007

SLurl: Location-Based Linking in Second Life

What is SLurl?
SLurl provides direct teleport links to locations in Second Life. If you have Second Life installed, clicking on the map link will automatically teleport you to that location in-world.

Why use SLurl?
In addition to allowing customized control over mapping locations in Second Life, SLurl also provides a better experience for web users who don't have Second Life. Instead of getting an error when clicking on web links that begin with "secondlife://", visiting a SLurl link gives potential new users a chance to sign up.

Also, check out this SLurl Builder, a handy online tool to help you build your direct links to SL locations.

Reuters reports from Second Life

Reuters of London have assigned a bureau chief, Adam Pasick, to a full time job reporting from inside Second Life! (He says it's difficult to explain his full time job to his mother/grandmother :) This site, complete with RSS feed, is filled with news, blog, videos, audio & video interviews with a range of Second Life subjects, Second Life Business News and Economy reporting, including a dollar value & daily spending charts, a Dollar/Linden currency converter, and lots more, all directly from Second Life. Of course, there's also a Reuters office tower in Second Life.

See this video report from CBC [note: you may be asked to install DivX to view it, but that's all Good!]. Complete with action videos taken inside Second Life, it's an excellent overview of what Second Life is growing to mean and do in our world. As a non-Second Lifer (I bet they have a word for us 'outside world' people?), I thought this video was one of the most informative I've seen so far. I've been told it costs money to "film" scenes from inside Second Life, so I guess this video is like an exclusive treat, courtey of CBC News and Reuters.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Games & Learning

UK's FutureLab's handbook "reports on some of the latest developments in the design of bespoke educational games. Such games are designed to be as rich and dynamic as their mainstream 'cousins', but are intended for particular formal educational outcomes. It also asks whether and how schooling should be adapted to accommodate the use of games."

Top Ten Missing Features of Second Life as an Educational Simulation Platform

Clark Aldrich's says,
"Second Life truly is a phenomenon. It is exactly what the name and vision imply: an example of a parallel 'multiverse'. People will learn much in it, as they might alternatively learn via participating on a real-world sports team, running a real-world lemonade stand, or walking around a great real-world city....Perhaps most importantly, participants learn 'to be' through expressing themselves, including building elaborate sets, and exploring alternative groups with which to interact. Meanwhile, corporations will set up shop in Second Life, as in FaceBook and MySpace, to be where the kids are in an attempt to speak their language and get some eyeballs. But when people talk about it as a platform for Educational Simulations, I am less excited. In fact, here are my list of top ten missing features from Second Life..."

Macleans.ca - NEW Education Site

A CNW Group (Canadian Newswire) article calls this new section at Macleans.ca "Canada's most comprehensive online destination site for current and potential post-secondary students has finally arrived. Announcing the launch of macleans.ca/university, the first website in Canada to offer continuously updated higher education news... up-to-the-minute analysis, interactivity and points-of-view ... It's an essential resource for students and recent graduates looking to make educational decisions." Extensive education/university content, including a personalized version of the famous Maclean's University Ranking Tool: Use Maclean's data to create your own ranking of Canadian schools.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Free Language and Translation Tools

"Lingo24 seeks to be the leading language and translation site on the Internet. Below you can find our early offerings – please do bookmark this page and come back soon, as we have more irons in the fire!" I recommend you check out their "Parasaurus Englix – English language paraphrasing tool". It's kind of like having a thesaurus for full phrases rather than just words. I used it on a few English phrases and idioms and got some interesting results.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WebCT Tips by Dick Evans

"I have been using WebCT since the 1990's at Rhode Island College. We are currently on release 4.1, but are testing release 6. As questions arise and I find a solution, I write a White Paper for faculty reference. This blog describes some of those papers and links to them on my college Web site."

Monday, May 21, 2007

CADE presentation

Heather Ross and I presented at the CADE-AMTEC conference in Winnipeg. Heather re-introduced me to the work of Rick Schwier, and we used his elements of community framework from Shaping the Metaphor of Community in Online Learning Environments to demonstrate that SCoPE is a virtual learning community. Heather and I met online through SCoPE, and met f2f for the first time at the conference in Winnipeg.

Inserting the presentation from slideshare seems to pull the page elements in all directions, so here's a link instead.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Scratch - FREE application / programming language

Developed at the MIT media lab,
"...a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design. Scratch is available free of charge from the Download page. To find more about the educational ideas underlying Scratch, visit our Educators page."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Free e-Learning Tools

from UBC Arts ISIT: "The e-learning tools listed here are publicly available for academic use, within and outside the University of British Columbia."

The tools include a WebCT Discussion Extractor, Timeline tool, Multimedia learning object authoring tool, Image annotation tool, and more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

PowerPoint to Flash Conversion Tools

Robin Good's "PPT2Flash Top20". Robin asks, "Why Would You Ever Want to Convert a Powerpoint Presentation into a Flash File?" and gives us a "detailed list of the key advantages for converting a PowerPoint presentation into a Flash file. No matter what your final goal is, a Flash-based presentation goes a long way in making your content easily accessible and distributable."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Computer Science Directory

"This directory is developed as a project to list computer science links and articles with high quality. Here you'll only find the best of the best.This directory is developed as a project to list computer science links and articles with high quality. Here you'll only find the best of the best."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Blog Law » 12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know

"...increasingly Internet activity, and particular blogging, is being shaped and governed by state and federal laws. For US bloggers in particular, blogging has become a veritable land mine of potential legal issues, and the situation isn’t helped by the fact that the law in this area is constantly in flux. In this article we highlight twelve of the most important US laws when it comes to blogging and provide some simple and straightforward tips for safely navigating them."

Moodle Buzz

A collection of links to "Moodle news and publications from around the world."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Zamzar - FREE FILE CONVERSION

Convert Document, Image, Music and Video Formats (even YouTube videos!). Exact conversion types listed here.

Blackboard Educate / Innovate

Blackboard Blog: Educate/Innovate
"Educate Innovate is the Blackboard blog about the convergence of education and technology. We aim to use this as a forum to generate discussion about the topics, news, and latest trends impacting e-Learning and campus service offerings; and hope to provide insight about how technology can enable educational innovations for both."
Check out Rob Shea's May 8/07 posting about Ask Dr. C.
[look for moi ;)]

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wiki Pedagogy

"This article endeavours to denote and promote pedagogical experimentations concerning a Free/Open technology called a 'Wiki'."

Second Life Keyboard Shortcuts

I'm linking you to an EduForge blog post that links you to a file of shortcuts and also provides credit for the file.

Games-based Learning; a serious business application

"This white paper has been written to serve as an introduction to what is rapidly becoming a very hot topic in training and education: gamesbased learning (GBL), also known as ‘Serious Games’."

Check out the extensive resource lists within this paper/report.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Math Videos on YouTube

> Etraffic Solutions, Victoria, BC, Canada has developed some good animations for different math concepts and made them available via YouTube: Etraffic's 9 videos

> Etraffic's site for "Pilot Math"

> Several pages of other YouTube algebra videos (linking you to the search results -- try your own searches)

RSS in Plain English

RSS in Plain English: Thanks to Lee and Sachi Lefever, who shared the code to display the following video. "We made this video for our friends (and yours) that haven't yet felt the power of our friend the RSS reader. We want to convert people... if you know someone who would love RSS and hasn't yet tried it, point them here for 3.5 minutes of RSS in Plain English."

There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Powerpoint Learning Objects

World of Teaching: Free Powerpoint presentation Learning Objects in biology, chemistry, math, English, history, physics, geography, Spanish.

Learning Objects - a huge collection

Learning Objects from the WISCONLINE.ORG Consortium: My partner found this, calls it "the motherlode of L.O. sites". It's VERY full of a great variety of lesson snippets and learning activities. Note: "We encourage all faculty to visit and register at the Wisconsin Online Resource Center and comply with the full terms and conditions when using any of the resources provided by the Wisconsin Online Resource Center."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Serious Games - Resource Links

In conjunction with SCoPE's current seminar series, Serious Games & Virtual Worlds, members are developing this page of Resource Links. I assume the page will still be there after the seminars are over, so check it out. While you're at it (and if it's still there), here's their Mind Map on this topic. [Click the title of this post to go directly to the Resources page.]

Friday, April 6, 2007

Vedic Mathematics

What you find when you're browsing! I'm no math person, but I love the 'puzzle' nature of math -- when I can figure things out it's rewarding, and the actual figuring is puzzle-like. So This Vedic Math stuff is fascinating. Here's an example that drew me in -- the 11 times table:

11 X 17 (this will work for any two-digit numbers multiplied by 11)
Add the 1 and the 7 together, giving 8
Put this 8 in between the 1 and 7
Giving the answer to the sum 11 X 17 as 187!

11 X 253
Layout the sum like so:
2 / 2 + 5 / 5+ 3 / 3
2,7,8,3
Giving the answer 2783

My favorite online school, LVS Online, is teaching a class about this:
http://www.lvsassociates.com/register/product_info.php?products_id=195

Learning by Design: Good Video Games as Learning Machines

"How do good game designers manage to get new players to learn long, complex, and difficult games? The answer, I believe, is this: the designers of many good games have hit on profoundly good methods of getting people to learn and to enjoy learning. They have had to, since games that were bad at get themselves learned didn’t get played and the companies that made them lost money. Furthermore, it turns out that these learning methods are similar in many respects to cutting-edge principles being discovered in research on human learning."

Student Self Directed Learning

A new blog from an Australian educator, Phil Brown, a teacher in a secondary college. There's always something good coming from Australian educators, seems to me. This blog is focused on the above topic, and Mr. Brown has begun by selecting some interesting articles already, such as: Exemplary Online Educators; What Makes A Good Learner? "This blog is about my developments in understanding student learning." What a great approach by an educator!

Technology in Schools: What Does The Research Say?

A new report from Cisco Systems and Metiri Group is intended to assist educators to make informed technology investments.

"Overall, across all uses in all content areas, technology does provide a small, but significant, increase in learning when implemented with fidelity. While this statistic is encouraging, the real value to research lies in the identification of those technology interventions that get sufficiently positive results to warrant the investment. Most educators are looking for the value proposition that will significantly advance learning, teaching, and school system efficiencies. Taking advantage of these leverage points requires serious review of specific research studies that specifically address the needs and challenges of specific schools and serious attention paid to leadership development, professional development for teachers, school culture, curricular redesign, and teacher preparation.

"The reader should be cautioned that, although single studies with positive results are encouraging, such results could not be generalizedbeyond specific student populations and contexts within the studies. Educators are encouraged to pilot such solutions and research the effect locally prior to full-scale implementation."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Karen’s Mashups - K12 podcast compilation

This podcast features mashups (compilations) of short excerpts from podcasts and other digital content of potential interest to the educational community. It is intended to give you a taste of a various podcasts that you might want to explore further. Most shows will have a theme, such as math, science, student productions, professional development, museum productions, or technology news. Some shows will be focused on podcasts for administrators and teachers, while other shows will highlight podcasts for students or parents. The show is produced and hosted by Karen Fasimpaur of K12 Handhelds. On this web site, we will include links to the web sites for each of the shows included in the episode, along with brief notes on the nature of the content included.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Windows Vista - what works and what doesn't

Keep a watch on this page. Ohio University maintains this page about issues resulting from using MS Vista. They're testing all applications used on campus to determine compatibility. The page links to Microsoft's list of applications that have earned the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo or the "Works with Windows Vista" logo. Ohio U. also lists a compatibility list for software. One surprise to me is that iTunes doesn't yet work well with Vista, another that Acrobat Reader 8, PhotoShop 8, and a few others only work "with modifications". Good page to bookmark if you don't have time to keep up your own research about whether or not to move to MS Vista. 04/03/07

Sunday, April 1, 2007

History Education - Trends and Issues 2007

If you teach history, this page from wwwTools For Education will no doubt be a useful source of resources. Click the heading of this post to go directly to the history resource page.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

FlashMeeting - Webconferencing Software

"FlashMeeting is an application based on the Adobe Flash 'plug in' and Flash Media Server. Running in a standard web browser window, it allows a dispersed group of people to meet from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. ...During the meeting one person speaks (i.e. broadcasts) at a time. Other people can simultaneously contribute using text chat, the whiteboard, or emoticons etc. while waiting for their turn to speak. ...A replay of the meeting is instantly available, to those with the 'unique' replay url."
Read this review by somebody who's used FlashMeeting for a year now.

Creating ePortfolios with Web 2.0 Tools

Creating ePortfolios with Web 2.0 Tools: More excellent help from Helen Barrett. This page links to Tools, Sample Portfolios, and Help/Instructions. Excellent!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Visual Calculator™

"A Simple, Clean Calculator for Homework & Everyday Math. It features an interactive calculation history which may be used to build large expressions in small chunks." Even though it looks extremely simplistic when you first arrive, if you take a quick look at the Help screen you'll see how the calculator allows advanced users to type in their expressions. It is able to do exponents, square roots, trig functions, etc.

Second Life VOICE to launch by June

"Linden Lab said on Tuesday it will launch integrated voice capabilities within the next several months, including effects to prevent a cacophony of overlapping voices. ...Introducing voice could expose the broadening language gap in Second Life, where more than half of users now speak a first language other than English. Also, some in Second Life have argued that integrating voice could break the “magic circle” that makes the world so convincing, by pairing real voices with virtual avatars."
Also check out Second Talk, which is in beta right now.... something to use in the meantime until the above completely integrated voice talk is ready to use in June. Second Talk is a "free, easy-to-use voice chat to Second Life." Kind of funny -- your avatar goes to a kiosk and gets a headset to wear.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

101 Fun and Relevant Ways to Use Spreadsheets in K - 12 Classrooms

Dr. Alice Christie's Using Spreadsheets in the Classroom Page. All fun activities to get students involved in using the spreadsheet tools.

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Phrase Finder

The meanings of idioms phrases, sayings. As well as an alphabetized index (on a second level page) and a search engine, they're categorized under headings like Shakespeare's sayings, biblical, nautical, proverbs, euphemisms, the body, nonsense/fallacies, etc. There's also a discussion forum, a Phrases Thesaurus (kewl idea!), phrase quizzes, most-popular phrase links, 'a phrase a week'. If you're into words and phrases, this is a fun site!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Alcwin.org - resource site

"Whether it is chemistry, geology, mathematics or a whole range of topics, our resources offer practical advice and information for every day life. Build your own volcano; learn about earthquake or source a new Recipe's in our extensive library. Find out about OWW (World Occupational Wages) or visit our American aircraft section (United states / U.S.). Wherever your thirst for knowledge takes you today - find the answer at Alcwin.org."

How to Write Articles and Essays Quickly and Expertly

From Stephen Downes. A link for your students?

How do I embed sound and music in a page?

Headings include: File format choices; Linking directly to audio files; Embedding audio files to play in the background; Embedding music with Flash and XSPF Music Player; Fine tuning: repeat play, autoplay, shuffle play, images, and autoresume; Alternate methods. Each section gives specific instructions and code!

RegEx for Math

You may be one of the many people who use RegEx as a way to create the variations for answers in math questions in their online courses. I've heard it's simple to learn and use, but I don't do math so I don't use RegEx. However, my Resources website does have a page of reference and resource sites on the topic.

Here's one of them: RegEx Side. Says the site's author: "Regular Expressions are a necessary evil. So necessary they are, that they could be considered good." See his recent posting, Regex Cheat Sheet.

YouTube For Educators

Says Dean Shareski in his blog, Ideas & Thoughts From an EdTech, "I’ve started a group called K12 in Youtube. I wondered if those posting videos might want to add them to this category. I know many students and teachers are creating good stuff but it’s hard to find it. sPerhaps this will help. Spread the word around so we begin to collect a repository of educational content."

WAVE Accessibility Validator

Test your website for accessibility issues. You can enter any URL, and WAVE will give you feedback to help with accessibility. The tool is not perfect but a great starting point and guide.

How to search Google Educational Videos

"...an amazing trick for finding educational videos on google Video."

Infinite Thinking Machine

"...a Google sponsored blog designed to help teachers and students thrive in the 21st century. Through an active blog, an Internet TV show, and other media resources, the ITM shares a "bazillion practical ideas" for turning the infinite universe of information into knowledge."

Setting up a vodpod - for video

A blog posting at EduBlog provides a simple tutorial. "Vodpod is a great way to show videos directly in your blog. No downloading needed for the viewer."

Edublogs tutorials

"This blog is designed to get you started in blogging with simple tips and hints on how to improve what you are doing."

Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game based learning

I like Stephen Downes' comment in his review of this report: "Rather than using games in learning, I still think educators should be looking at how to use learning in games."
"[The report], authored by Sara de Freitas, scopes out the current use of games for learning in UK HE and post-16 education and has been produced to inform practitioners who are considering using games and simulations in their practice.
The report includes:
. a review of the literature
. a series of case studies from practice to illustrate the range of uses of games
. synthesises the key issues and themes arising from learning in immersive worlds."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Scholar - academic social bookmarking

"Blackboard Scholar® is a social bookmarking service customized for education. It provides an exciting new way for students and instructors to find educationally valuable resources on the Web. Using the knowledge and power of our network of educational users, Scholar makes it easier for instructors and students to find relevant resources on the Internet for courses and research. Furthermore, by storing and sharing associated information with each resource such as tags, disciplines, other users who have tagged and more, Scholar allows users to evaluate the resources and find the most relevant and reliable. And it is directly integrated within the Blackboard Learning System(TM) - Enterprise, Vista, and CE Licenses, providing easy access right within the course environment."

OER Commons - Open Educational Resources

Welcome to a worldwide learning network — OER Commons: "Resources, or OER, offer new ways to engage with free-to-use learning content." "...open network of shared resources and practices, from K through college, from algebra to zoology -- it's all free to use."

Peterson's - a very helpful website for students

Search "Online Learning Programs" by filters of Course of Study and Level. "Even if you don't have a clue where you want to go, there's no reason to worry. We'll guide you through every step of the college-planning process, from discovering the right school to finding scholarships."

Many other tools available on the site -- search for colleges by discipline; get advice about choosing a college or about campus life; lots of help for new college students; help with preparing for tests --filtered by specific existing test types; excellent last minute study tips for various types of tests; and MUCH MORE!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Distance Learning Moves Into 'Second Life' Virtual Classroom

Another higher education institution has moved into Second Life -- University of Florida in Gainesville.
"Paul Fishwick, a computer science and engineering professor, is teaching one of at least two classes offered at UF this semester largely in cyberspace — specifically, the trendy three-dimensional online world called Second Life. There, Fishwick’s 'avatar', the character that represents each player in Second Life, leads discussions among some 30 other avatars controlled by upper-level UF undergraduate and graduate students in CAP 4403/CAP 6402, Aesthetic Computing.

With distance learning decades old, classes on computer are nothing new. But Second Life, which has more than 2 million users worldwide, opens a wealth of fresh possibilities, one educators nationwide are increasingly experimenting with."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Curriki ~ Global Education & Learning Community

Curriki stands for (I'm guessing) curriculum wiki. They're new, so resources are limited right now, but please join and contribute!
"The Curriki Community is comprised of thousands of people like you who want to create and use high-quality educational resources. ...Our mission is to improve education around the world by empowering teachers, students and parents with user-created, open source curricula, and it's all free!"

Monday, February 5, 2007

Embedded Media HTML Generator

"The Embedded Media HTML Generator has been developed to ease the burden of inserting video and animations into web pages." The page will generate code for embedding Flash, Quicktime, RealMedia, Windows Media.

Accessibility Information & Resources

Accessibility Information & Resources: from Saskatoon Catholic Cyberschool, a commented list of resource sites.

Instructional Scenarios Wiki for WebCT Vista

Topics included are Content, Communication, Course Management, Evaluation. Lots of good tips 'n' tricks here!
"This site is designed and maintained by the Teaching Technology Services group of Instructional Multimedia Services of McGill University. This wiki describes how to use WebCT Vista to do complex instructional tasks using multiple tools. We (the Teaching Technology Services staff) built this wiki to explore the potential of the technology and to experiment with collaborative group work. These instructional scenarios are meant as a complement to the WebCT Vista manuals and do not duplicate any information from them. "

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Video Blogging Resources

Video blogging made easy: From Telus, a step-by-step how-to for those who are new to videoblogging. The article includes links to other help/tutorial sites, so I'll include those here too:

DropShots: A Free sonline video host -- "family friendly photo & video sharing service". s"We support MPG, AVI, MOV, WMV, and 3GP from all major digital cameras. You just drag and drop the video to our application and we resize, transcode, upload, and host your video. We use the Flash plug-in to stream the video, which is already installed in over 98% of browsers and has a 1-click install process. This makes video easy to post and easy to view."

Zippy Videos: "Your media sharing community." Free host for an unlimited number of videos up to 100mb each. You can create your own URL on the site for sharing videos.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Think.com - An Online Community for Learning

A password-protected learning community, Think.com "turns students into multimedia authors for a global community and allows peers to think and learn together. ...Experience a new level of collaboration with Think.com Projects. Identify a topic of interest, assign your students, and allow others locally or across the globe to join. ...Free service without any advertising for accredited primary and secondary schools. Think.com provides interactive learning tools to thousands of schools around the world in 8 languages."

Friday, January 26, 2007

EduNation - Second Life in Education

"...the first private island simulator in Second Life dedicated to online training seminars and conferences, and the use of Second Life in Education. EduNation is a 65,000m2 island in the Second Life virtual world with seminar, powerpoint, audio and videocast facilities. Use of the seminar facilities is free. It also features small land and accommodation rentals for other educators to rent and use on a weekly basis."

My Second Life - An Educator's comments

Educause Connect: a post by Jeff VanDrimmelen, which Stephen Downes describes as a "description of a teacher's experimental forays into Second Life." A short but interesting read if you're an educator who is either new to Second Life or haven't yet experienced it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Distance Learning Programs

A free guide for researching, evaluating and applying for online college degrees and online university programs from online universities worldwide. Undergraduate and Master’s programs plus trades. Thousands of distance learning options.
With so many online universities to choose from and so many online college degree programs, we felt there needed to be a top-notch, easy to use free online resource to help people learn about these distance learning programs and to get more information from the ones that they are interested in.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The OWL at Purdue

A fantastic resource site: "Free writing help and teaching resources, open 24/7" Here are some of their categories:

The Writing Process; Professional, Technical, and Scientific Writing; Job Search Writing; General Academic Writing; Research & Citation; ESL; Literary Analysis & Criticism; Writing in the Social Sciences; Writing in Engineering; Creative Writing; Teaching Writing.

-- and each one has many sub-menu items. I can't describe it; you'll just have to check it out for yourself!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Learning with Handheld Technologies

"This handbook on learning with handheld technologies arises from a two year study by the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol... . This study comprised observations and interviews with some of the leading practitioners of handheld learning in the UK, and desk-based research to identify other developing projects in this area. In the course of the project, a number of key recommendations and observations emerged which have been distilled by the researchers on the project in this publication." The handbook includes recommendations on:
  • planning and implementation
  • outreach
  • professional development
  • technology provision and support
  • teaching & learning