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."