Thursday, December 29, 2005

Iconico Online Dynamic CSS Editor

Edit in your browser & capture the code. This CSS Editor allows you to edit an entire CSS file at once with a dynamic preview shown as you work. The preview will show the exact line you're editing, and it will update as you type. Works on modern versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox (Mac and PC), Safari, Mozilla.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Podscope: Search Engine for the Spoken Word!

Podscope: Search for spoken words!"Podscope is the first search engine that actually allows you to search for spoken words within any audio or video file. We’re starting with podcasts and will be adding all types of multimedia in coming months."

podcast411 - podcast directory and information

Learn to Podcast at podCast411This is a crazy looking site -- homepage is covered with so much stuff it's a bit confusing to sort out. But dig deeper and you'll find kewl stuff, such as:
  • A Spoken-word search engine (search for words in podcasts!)
  • Tutorials about podcasting
  • MANY podcasts -- categorized by subject for easy searching
  • Also categorized for Podcast Listeners or Podcasters or News Media, etc. OR another listing by date of podcast
  • A huge list of links to other sites focussed on podcasts, podcasting & vlogs.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Edublog Awards 2005 Shortlist

A good place to find a list of the best of Educational Blogs!

PowerGramo: The FREE Recorder for Skype

"PowerGramo is a powerful realtime recording solution for Skype. You can record and replay any Skype call easily and simply.
- Record incoming calls, outgoing calls or both
- Save your recorded calls securely
- Share your calls with friends
- Get started in less than 3 minutes!
- Totally free for download"

How to create a podcast

"...a pretty tight 18 minute recording of creating a podcast from scratch using Blogger and Feedburner."

Handbook of Enquiry and Problem-based Learning

"The purpose of this handbook is fourfold. Firstly, seeks to encourage the enhancement of the student experience of learning, through the development of problem and Enquiry-based Learning. Secondly, it aims to share success stories while painting a realistic picture of the processes involved... It does this by discussing progress with initiatives and exploring difficulties, barriers, “mistakes,” improvements, alongside the strategies used to tackle these real emerging challenges. Thirdly, by drawing on many contributions from Ireland, it places Irish problem and enquiry-based practice in the international context. ...Finally, this handbook aims to strengthen collegiality and help develop a collective approach to tackling common educational issues across Ireland and beyond."

Find the right RSS reader for you

"RSS [Really Simple Syndication] satisfies a need for content producers and consumers to exchange information of common interest. Typically, these publications have been blogs, but additional content types are emerging. In this column, I describe how you can select an RSS reader that’s suitable for you and show you how to make the best of this new revolution."

Game Studies: Online Journal

"Game Studies is a crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research, web-published several times a year. Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games.

Our mission - To explore the rich cultural genre of games; to give scholars a peer-reviewed forum for their ideas and theories; to provide an academic channel for the ongoing discussions on games and gaming."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Creative Generalist

The link above is to an article I found very inspiring, so I want to share it with other educators. Consider it my solstice gift to you.

I work in Adult Upgrading, where I've always called myself a "generalist". Working with adults who return to upgrade their academics, then complete secondary education, requires a kind of one-room-schoolhouse approach on the part of the educators. The learners are at all levels and enrolled in a wide range of subjects. Our task is to provide guidance for them -- to help them develop their own program and then to proceed with success. My belief has always been that I'm not there to teach them so much as to guide them into learning how to learn. As guide, I strive to maintain the overview for them, the bigger picture, and to help them determine how their expanding knowledge and opportunity can blossom within the context of their own lives and world.

In recent times, it seems a trend within education is to specialize; the word "generalist" and the concept of how a generalist works in the context of education has become unclear to many, has even lost favour. As this article says, "Specialization has a firm grasp on all of us....Niche interest has taken over--whether we like it or not....Specialization has taken hold of not only our schools but also of...." // "And for the most part, specialization is a positive thing because we are, in many cases, charting new and exciting territory."

In spite of, or rather in the context of, the above trend, reading this article reauthenticated and rekindled my belief in the merits of the generalist approach. You need to read it to understand why the author (and I too) believe that "Generalists hold the key to our increasingly specialized world."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just for fun...Some old fashioned winter activities

In the spirit of the season, this post has nothing to do with my usual themes. Here are some fun things to do on your computer during the holidays.
  • Make a snowflake.
  • Make a snowperson.
  • Watch It's a Wonderful Life in 30 seconds.

    And now for something completely different:
  • Drive somebody crazy.
  • See how much caffeine it would take...
  • Freevlog: Create a QuickTime .mov from Windows Movie Maker

    "Use this tutorial to make QuickTime .mov files from Windows Movie Maker using Avid Free DV or if you have QuickTime Pro, you can use a similar process with the same settings!"

    Freevlog: VIDEOBLOGGING Tutorials

    This site has a bunch of great tutorials! You have the choice of text tutorial, an online video tutorial, or a downloadable video. TIP: While you're there, subscribe RSS to their tutorials so you always hear about their new offerings.
    • A step-by-step guide to setting up a videoblog for free.

    • Making a video:
      • Using iMovie (Mac)
      • Using Movie Maker (PC)

    • Compressing your video for the web, using:
      • iMovie
      • Final Cut Pro
      • Windows Movie Maker
      • Avid Free DV (edit Quicktime)

    • Setting up a Blogger blog (to host your videoblogging)

    • Making a screen capture from your video

    • Accessing free online storage for your videos:
      • Internet Archive
      • Our Media

    • Publishing/posting your video to your blog

    Saturday, December 10, 2005

    Serious Play

    "What might it mean to create and sustain an educational gaming culture drawing upon the powerful tools of the current culture of commercial gaming, both on-line and off-line? What if we began a game-design project by asking not how we can include extrinsic educational components which we then force players to complete in order to advance in the game but by asking how we can devise educative components that immerse students in the least pedantic, the most demanding, and the most engaging forms of intelligent participation in fields and forms of human endeavour? We might then be better positioned to understand just how educational serious play can be."

    Wednesday, December 7, 2005

    One Minute Tips ~ Podcast Technologies for Busy People

    "...a collection of Podcasted technology tips, interviews, quickstarts and videos for people who don't have time to read manuals cover to cover. We will find and Podcast these "gems" three times a week."

    Monday, December 5, 2005

    HTML Tutorials A HUGE collection of tutorials! They are set up so that you can use it as a FREE course; each section has a quiz at the end so you can check your own skills as you go.
    "You can use this tutorial either as a complete introduction or as an A-Z reference to HTML. The pages are packed with: Easy to understand explanations, massive examples, tips, smart workarounds and useful quick references."

    Sunday, December 4, 2005

    Putting mathematics on the Web with MathML

    Putting mathematics on the Web with MathML: W3C's site with all the facts and how-tos.
    "This note explains how to include MathML in Web pages in a way that makes it possible to be viewed on a large number of browsers. It also shows how to configure browsers to make them able to display MathML."

    Graph Paper: Generate & Print

    Specify the type of paper, size of grid, measuring units, and the generate and print your graph paper. "Save yourself money and a trip to the store! Print graph paper free from your computer. This site is perfect for science and math homework, craft projects and other graph paper needs. All graph paper files are optimized PDF documents requiring Adobe Reader for viewing."

    Math Words

    Explore the ORIGINS of math words and terms.

    Math Cartoons

    Spice up your Math course homepage with a little math humor. :)


    "Talk – See – Share. Cut the chat for a real meeting experience. Marratech-Free® is for computer users looking to move beyond basic chat and messaging. It creates a fully interactive meeting environment on your computer. Meet up with friends and enjoy real-time video with exceptional quality voice plus an interactive whiteboard. Up to five people can meet, talk, see each other and share documents or pictures and make notes. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux and is entirely free. All you need is broadband high speed Internet, a headset and web cam."

    Saturday, December 3, 2005

    Tools for (Learning) Games

    Created by Marc Prensky, a list of sites that support the building and development of games for learning.

    Thursday, December 1, 2005


    A free application that "easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application."

    Friday, November 25, 2005

    One Mathematical Cat, Please! A First Course in Algebra (using MathML)

    Dr. Carol J.V. Fisher says her extensive algebra site is
    "... a serious example of what can be done with MathML + JavaScript in creating dynamic, interactive, randomly-generated mathematics exercises. I've written an entire Algebra I curriculum, with over 160 web exercises (including printable worksheets and solutions, all randomly-generated). MathML came into the picture (in a way that I could use it) about halfway into the project. My "terms of use" allow people to just take the code (it's completely open-source) and tweak it to their needs. ...You might like to take a look at his, so people can see what the possibilities are for what a real, individual human can do with the existing tools and technology."

    Displaying MathML in your browers

    All it takes is a free browser plugin:
    • MathPlayer: "Design Science MathPlayer™ enables Microsoft Internet Explorer to display mathematical notation in web pages. It is based on MathML technology and requires Internet Explorer for Windows version 6.0 and later. We make MathPlayer available for free in order to foster the adoption of MathML in the math, science, and education communities."
    • MathEQ (the plugin, as opposed to the not-free Developers' Suite): "The WebEQ Browser Controls are Java applets that display, graph, evaluate and edit MathML in your browser. By installing these Browser Controls, you will be able to view interactive math in Web pages created with WebEQ without delays while applets download. Installation is quick, simple and free."

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Acatopia is building communities around books. It's fairly new, so there aren't a lot of Q&As yet, so go ahead and post your own if you have just finished a book or textbook.
    "Ask any question about a book or textbook you're reading, and answer other readers' questions."

    What is
    Acatopia's goal is to form a community to help you learn.

    How does work?
    Just search for a book you are reading, or a book you have read. You will then be able to ask any question you have, and help answer other readers' questions.

    Which is the right blogging tool for you?

    "To help you get exactly what you want out of your blog, this mini-guide covers some typical features, and why they might be useful to you, as well as comparing a range of the most popular platforms."

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Blog: BlackBoard & WebCT Are One

    Posted today to the webct users list:
    The purpose of this blog is to start the discussion about what we would like to see from this new "joint" company. I have posted such questions as...What are the best tools found in Webct? What are the worst tools found in Webct? and many others.

    I am hoping to build this blog into an area where blackboard users, webct user and open source users can have a voice which I hope will be heard by the developers of the new platform which will merger from the joining of the two largest LMS in the world. At first I was a little cynical and thought that money is going to dictate the look of the next LMS but with a strong enough united voice we might be able to have some influence. Anyways...let see if we can make it happen.

    Darren Cannell, Assistant Principal
    Saskatoon Catholic Cyber School

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    What to tell your Campus about the Blackboard-WebCT Merger

    This article does an overview of predictions and opinions from Educause, and finishes up with Recommendations for Survival and a summary of What To Tell Your Campus about the future of CMS.

    TRACKER from

    Control your computer with just moving your head..... do virtually anything without using your hands...requires no special hardware...just plug into your existing webcam...browse the internet, check your mails, read documents...and more. Tracker has speech recognition support, and keyboard mapping will be supported soon (for games software).

    Techpod, Podcast for Teachers

    A great site for you Podcast listeners. From Fordham RETC (see post below). The link above is to the current episode, or you can go directly to the Episode list to access the archive of topics discussed with brief descriptions (all about PODCASTING FOR TEACHERS).

    RETC has also built up an extensive archive of podcasts on a wide variety of Education topics under the heading Educational Technology Resources Discussed on TechPod.

    Professional Development LIBRARY

    RETC E-Library (Regional Educational Technology Center at Fordham University).
    "RETC E-Library is a rich mixed-media resource of a growing number of high quality professional development resources including:
    * podcasts for Teachers
    * videos
    * webinars
    * community dedicated Podcast for Teachers bulletin board
    * books and articles
    * curriculum ideas From Teachers (aka Podcasts from Teachers)"

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Podcasts and e-Learning

    Jim Delaney's podcast series "is designed to introduce you to fundamental postcasting development steps and ideas for featuring podcasts in your training initiatives." There's a supporting Flash tutorial, and you can subscribe to this podcast by using the RSS feed link.

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Pervasive eLearning

    (The link is to my newest resource page of links about this topic.)


    Ha! Wikipedia doesn't even have the phrase yet. Nor does the eLearning Guru's glossary of eLearning! So let me try my own definition & description:

    It's all about mobility, wireless, etc.; basically, it's eLearning Unplugged.

    The concept is a grouping of aspects of eLearning that go beyond "online" to a 'next generation' paradigm that makes use, specifically, of the most mobile aspects of technology. It also involves, of course, a somewhat different media perspective (and skill set) than PC based eLearning has been using. Of course, it also involves the necessary rethinking of teaching/learning methods -- yet another learning curve for educators: How do you make coursework available to (and/or created specifically FOR) handhelds, mini PCs, smart phones, etc?

    According to the IEEE (hosts of the PerEL 2006: the 2nd International Workshop on Pervasive eLearning in March 2006), aspects of Pervasive eLearning include:
    • mobile communication (asynchronous, synchronous),
    • service and session mobility as well as device independency,
    • techniques for cooperative learning or working,
    • document, knowledge, and service management,
    • realization of pervasive eLearning scenarios,
    • best practice studies and experiences,
    • mark-up languages and frameworks for eLearning,
    • tools and architectures for mobile/ubiquitous eLearning,
    • smart devices and device-independent presentation,
    • security and integrity in wireless environments,
    • eLearning networks,
    • models of pervasive eLearning (e.g. cooperative learning, structured blended learning).
    Pervasive eLearning is to be seen as a key technology for tomorrow's e-knowledge society. Here, content, context and community as well as a technical basement are equally important aspects for the realization of a global campus.

    PerEL 2006 will discuss new techniques for the support of mobile teaching, learning and working from a pervasive point of view."

    Tuesday, November 1, 2005

    Download free Fiction, Marketing, electronic publishing ebooks.
    " specializes in collecting free fiction, tutorial, marketing and business eBooks as well as resources to aid you in promoting eBooks. Our featured eBooks are below, please click on the name of the eBook to download to your hard-drive. We also have links to useful resources for eBook Publishers....We now offer free subscriptions to your favorite trade magazine publications for a full year!"

    Monday, October 31, 2005


    Canadian FlagA brand new site this month. Out of SFU, Vancouver, BC, this is a multi-featured forum that "...brings together individuals who share an interest in education research and practice. Membership is free and open to everyone."

    Blaze Media Pro

    Looks like a truly all-in-one application for most things you'll need in preparing your course for the internet. Audio/Video Editing, Converter Software. It's worth a visit to their site to see its many features & capabilities. Here's an excerpt from AudioVideoSoft's Review:
    "Powerhouse all-in-one multimedia software offering conversion, ripping, editing, recording, burning, playback (including full playlist and full screen video support), and much more. Powerful, yet easy to use audio, video (VCD/SVCD/DVD), and data CD/DVD burning are all fully supported. Other advanced features include video capture, video creation/joining/extraction, video editing, batch video processing, media management, audio merge, MusicID audio recognition, music lyrics search, audio tag editing, CDDB/CDDB2/FreeDB support, and more. The audio content of video files can be extracted and saved to sound files, and frames can also be extracted to images files in batch mode. Video files can also be created from still frame images and/or other videos."
    Given all that, the price tag ($50 USD) isn't too bad. Free trial available.

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Proof of Learning: Assessment in Serious Games

    " and repurposed game technology, collectively called "serious games," have yet to be fully embraced by educators. It's not enough to declare that "games teach" and leave it at that. Teachers aren't going to hand out a game to a bunch of students and simply trust that the students have learned the material. Serious games, like every other tool of education, must be able to show that the necessary learning has occurred. Specifically, games that teach also need to be games that test. Fortunately, serious games can build on both the long history of traditional assessment methods and the interactive nature of video games to provide testing and proof of learning."

    Problem Solving: Collaborative Learning Online

    Elizabeth Stacey, Deakin University, offers details of her own case study on "Redesigning an online course in teaching online to suit a new courseware management system." You can hear the entire study by audio, or in text summary with select relevant sections linked within the text. "Reflecting on her learners and her experiences, Elizabeth covers areas such as her involvement as a teacher, learners taking on roles as ‘experts’ and ‘technical collaborators’ and the frustrations some learners experienced. Of particular interest were comparisons with previous experiences in terms of contribution and structure of communication.

    Teaching Online

    Deakin University offers a rich site that
    "contains innovative cases of practice in the development and use of traditional and digital media and online environments. summaries of cases, listen to intereviews with teachers, gain access to extra resources and explore the world of online teaching and learning at Deakin."

    Global Education Teaching Resources

    Canadian Flag There are 18 new lesson plans on the Global Classroom website, for both elementary and secondary grades, as well as a new section on methodologies. The Global Classroom project was launched in 2003 by the BCTF (British Columbia Teachers' Federation) and the Canadian International Development Agency.
    "This website contains unit plans designed for teachers, by teachers. The units explore the themes of global education across the grades and across the curriculum. The units contain all of the necessary handouts and materials to be easily utilized in the classroom setting and are consistent with the outcomes of the BC Curriculum."

    The Electronic Portfolio Boom: What's it All About?

    Greta Holt (see her own exemplary portfolio) says this
    " a great resource to explain the use of ePortfolios. The emphasis is on the evolution of this dynamic tool that can help learners and instructors constantly maintain accomplishments, evaluate development (learning/teaching) and is used for reflection to set goals in all aspects of one's life. ...In summary an ePortfolio is associated with assessment, accreditation, reflection, student resumes, and career tracking." - BC's online portfolio solution

    Canada Brent Sawatsky of Cool School says,
    "It manages the BC grad requirements, creates a secure community, and is all web based and easy-to-use for students and teachers."
    Note: Left column front page links to a tour and also to a web cast on CoolPortfolio done at BC Campus June /05, explaining more about CoolPortfolio.
    "Although educational trends point toward the greater use of portfolios, forward-thinking teachers and administrators are overwhelmed with the challenge of managing all those portfolios. That's where we fit in! We've created an online host for your students' portfolios that takes away the management issues and allows for peer evaluation, teacher control, no advertising, secure privacy, comments, discussions, and more!"
    There is an annual school fee for membership, based on numbers of students.

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Course Management Systems

    This Edu-Tools site has a fairly up-to-date list of systems, and contains product descriptions, reviews, and comparisons.

    How to get RSS feeds into WebCT courses

    Here are a few methods:

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    Digital Story Telling

    This is a site of resource links prepared by David Brear under the categories of Articles, Assignments, Associations, Background, Definition, Digital Resources, Elements, Festivals, Guides, Links, Samples, and Workshops.

    David opens with this quote: "Digital storytelling begins with the notion that in the not too distant future, sharing one's story through multiple medium of imagery, text, voice, sound, music, video and animation will be the principal hobby of the world's people." [Anonymous] Now doesn't that sound like blogging!

    David Brear teaches in Coquitlam, BC, Canada and offers a site of education resources listed under a wide variety of headings.

    Online Educational Resources

    From the Illinois Online Network, a categorized site rich with resources
    "dealing with various aspects of online education and the online environment in general. ION has been developing these resources since the mid 1990's... This is not a comprehensive search engine of links to online education information but rather a comprehensive collection of documents produced by ION along with some selected outside links when they are found to be exemplary to the information needed (especially in IP and Online Ed Info sections)."

    World Lecture Hall

    From the Center for Instructional Technologies, a unit of the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment, at The University of Texas at Austin.
    "Free online course materials from around the world."

    Learning Styles in Adult Education

    An article from 5/23/00.
    "Learning styles cannot easily be changed. On the other hand, strategies are dynamic and adaptable to situations. It is not enough to develop an awareness of one’s learning style (for the student) and an awareness of the learning styles of a population of students (for the teacher), this awareness must be translated into a zone of comfort for learning and teaching strategies, respectively."

    Principles of Online Design

    Developed by Florida Gulf Coast University, this document covers the topics of instructional design, interaction & feedback, instructional media, course management, and support services.
    "The purpose of this document is to provide a resource to faculty who are designing online instructional materials. ...a set of principles for using technology as an instructional tool."

    Handbook for Instructors on the Use of Electronic Class Discussion

    "This handbook provides advice for instructors on one particular use of instructional technology-the use of electronic communication to extend class discussion beyond the time and place of class meetings. It is based on a study of several Ohio State classes that employed such electronic class discussions, recommendations of students and faculty, and advice from experts in the field. The main goal of the handbook is to help instructors use this form of technology thoughtfully and effectively, given their course goals."

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Podcasting in Education

    This article isn't really about how to adapt a popular technology as a way to pass on course information. It's a comprehensive look at the whole phenomenon of podcasting, along with a discussion of the reasons pro and con using it as on of the many teaching/learning technolgoies.
    "For educators, the implications of Apple’s embrace of podcasting are both exciting and troubling. The development is exciting because students will have a free, easy-to-use, dual-platform (Windows and Mac) audio-content manager that will help make podcasting pervasive and effective. Even more important for educators, the new version of iTunes enables enhanced podcasts that offer a chapter function, allowing the listener to jump directly to sections within a podcast. Each of these sections can be accompanied by an image and by a clickable URL. Since one of the challenges with audio feeds has always been that of making individual parts of the feed directly accessible, encoding chapters within podcasts (as opposed to dividing the audio into tracks, each of which would need to be downloaded separately) is a very attractive feature. Why is Apple’s embrace of podcasting troubling to educators? Because this easy-to-use audiocontent manager just happens to sit inside a store that sells music."

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    e-Learning Mega Glossary

    At the eLearning Guru site.

    Comprehensive Guide to a Professional Blog Site

    "This Guide addresses about 100 individual 'how to' blogging topics and lessons, all geared to the content-focused and not occasional blogger. The Guide itself occupies 80 pages. It is all free. ... In this Guide you will find discussion of these useful topics:
    • How to choose blogging software and add-on tools
    • Taking control of the blogging process by hosting your own site
    • Getting your blog to display and perform right
    • Effective techniques for converting existing documents to your blog site HTML
    • Being efficient in posting, organizing and work-flowing to allow your diarist activities to flow naturally and productively
    • Keeping the blog site pump primed with fresh and relevant content."

    Getting the Most from Online Learning

    The link is to a 4 page summary of the book, which you can buy via eLearning Guru. The summary is a good article in itself so I thought it was worth linking.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Plagiarism Resource Site

    "Intended as a clearinghouse for information on plagiarism, the site is especially concerned with news, developments, and resources that consider the issue in the context of undergraduate teaching and learning."

    ODP - Open Directory Project: Resource Listings

    "The largest human-edited directory on the web."
    A categorized resource listing of over 5 million sites. Find resources FAST!

    Sunday, October 16, 2005

    Interactive Resources for Physics Education

    From the site wwwtools For Education, click the title above for a page chock full of commented links, all addressing the combined topic of Interactivity & Physics. Software, websites, books, reference materials, and more.

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    Blackboard and WebCT Announce Plans to Merge

    Well there's the original announcement at the Blackboard site, if you're one of the people who hasn't heard yet. And here's the news on WebCT's site

    V2F: Easy Web Video

    Convert various formats to Flash. Very easy to use, and quickly. Makes the files much smaller, so no big downloads. No confusing choices about players for your viewers -- everybody has a Flash Player these days.
    "You need a tool that will take your standard video file (.avi, .mpg, .wmv, etc.) and do several things, all with the click of a button:
    • Compress the heck out of it so it plays on the web, but retains the quality level of the original file
    • Add Player Controls (Stop, Play, Fast Forward, Rewind) to the outputted video
    • Create the HTML code to paste on your web site
    • Create a file that plays right on your web site, without having to download a large file or load a player like Media Player, QuickTime, or Real Player."

    Memorable Solutions: Blog Tutorial

    Michael Chaffin:
    "Weblogs employ a new technology which enhances the experience for both the publisher (author, in the case of weblogs) and the reader. The problem with these new websites is that many people don’t understand them, and more importantly, the power it gives them."

    How to Get Into Blogs, 101

    "The purpose of this post is to give the many people who still haven't gotten into blogs - i.e. not my regular readers - a simple, step by step example of how to dip a toe in the blogging waters."

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    IMS Learning Design Resources

    This site is for anyone working with or evaluating IMS Learning Design, or similar specifications. The public areas of this site provide resources for understanding and working with IMS Learning Design.

    Learning Design Specification: IMS

    IMS Global Learning Consortium provides details about the IMS Specifications we're hearing so much about these days.
    "The IMS Learning Design specification supports the use of a wide range of pedagogies in online learning. Rather than attempting to capture the specifics of many pedagogies, it does this by providing a generic and flexible language. This language is designed to enable many different pedagogies to be expressed. The approach has the advantage over alternatives in that only one set of learning design and runtime tools then need to be implemented in order to support the desired wide range of pedagogies. The language was originally developed at the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL), after extensive examination and comparison of a wide range of pedagogical approaches and their associated learning activities, and several iterations of the developing language to obtain a good balance between generality and pedagogic expressiveness."

    Recognising Learning: Educational and pedagogic issues in e-Portfolios

    A paper presented by Graham Attwell at the e-Portfolio conference in Cambridge at the end of October/05.
    "It is argued that insufficient attention has been paid to the pedagogy of e-portfolio development and that existing applications and implementations tend to be overly dominated by the requirements of assessment. The paper looks at the different pedagogic processes involved in the development of an e-portfolio. It considers the competences required for developing and maintaining an e-portfolio. The final section considers the challenges in developing e-portfolio applications."

    Student Achievement ~ What Should We Really Be Measuring?

    Canadian Flag From Lessons in Learning, a publication from Canadian Council on Learning.
    "How much and how well are our children learning in school? Do they have the skills to succeed in tomorrow’s world? Are they prepared to meet the prerequisites of pursuing further education, to face the demands of the labour market and to become active citizens of our society? Parents, students, employers, and the general public all want the answer to these questions, and governments and educators have designed a range of tools for monitoring and reporting learning outcomes and performance to measure the success of our learning systems. ...An understanding of a variety of measures of success is necessary for all education partners – from parents and students to government decision makers – to determine what is working and what needs improvement. Assessment of results provides an opportunity for jurisdictions to compare strategies with each other and with other countries. They are the basis for improvement in education at all levels of the system."

    Sunday, October 9, 2005

    WebCT CE4.1 Orientations

    Terrie McAloney (BCcampus) has put together orientations to WebCT CE4.1 for both instructors and students. (Terrie posted this to a BC Online Communities forum with the note: "Please forward to any interested faculty or students for their use.")

    • Faculty Orientation: This is an orientation to all the tools of WebCT from the designer/faculty perspective. You can search and print documents on all the tools in WebCT. ID and password are both FacultyWebCT

    • Student Orientation: ID and password are both StudentWebCT

    Saturday, October 8, 2005


    "Award winning multi-platform PC Remote Control software offering an unrivalled range of standard features. ...Use this class leading training software solution to Instruct, Monitor and Collaborate with your networked Students. Control + Monitor Student PCs, create Instant Student Surveys, design and send Custom Tests, monitor Web + Internet activity and conduct class forums."
    A colleague/mentor, Bernie Kirkey, says:
    "In my proctored exams, where I might have up to 80 students writing at one time, I use NetSupport to handle most of the problems [with cheating]. It allows remote monitoring of student displays, web blocking, and application blocking to help me control what's happening at each desk."

    Tuesday, October 4, 2005

    Open Workbench - FREE Project Management Tool

    Complete Desktop Project Planning and Scheduling. Apparently targeted at the business world, this could be a fantastic tool to introduce to your students for group project management.
    "Open Workbench is an open source Windows-based desktop application that provides robust project scheduling and management functionality. ...All projects proceed through a series of tasks (or stages) during their lifecycle. By using Open Workbench, these critical tasks or stages become more manageable, making projects more likely to succeed. Open Workbench enables project managers to create work breakdown structures with tasks and milestones, set baselines, schedule project plans with dependencies, assign resources to tasks, schedule work on tasks over a period of time, adjust the schedule as actual work is recorded, link master and subprojects and schedule resources across them, and conduct earned value analysis."

    Saturday, October 1, 2005

    Pink Flamingos

    A brief tribute to my site's mascot -- a little history and perspective on the Pink Flamingo. From a site called Useless Information: Stuff You Never Needed To Know But Your Life Would Be Incomplete Without, here's the TRUE story of the familiar plastic bird. "So Tacky, Yet So Cool". Let's hear a big squawking honk for Don Featherstone!

    Educational Software Awards 2004-2005

    "Criteria for evaluating educational software may vary considerably - items which look impressive from a marketing point of view may prove to be less than stellar in the classroom, if elements of educational design have not been properly implemented. In this edition of WWWTools for Education, we present various rationales for running awards and views on the characteristics of good educational software, and look at some winners from the 2005-2005 awards cycle."

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Evaluating Learning Objects for Schools

    "In the K-12 education sector, learning objects are seen as important in providing quality resources for teachers and learners but there has been little formal research on the assessment of learning objects based on the qualities that would be important for K-12 teachers. In this paper we describe the developments in the K-12 sector, the arguments around learning object characteristics and the development of an assessment profile. We applied this instrument in two separate analyses of learning objects and found it useful in identifying characteristics of importance to teachers."

    A Field Guide to Learning Management Systems

    "How can organizations make smart purchasing decisions about learning management systems? Although every implementation is different, both at the back-end installation and at the logic and requirements level, there are some common factors to address when evaluating the right LMS for your organization."
    This is a survey-based report on things like
    • product features;
    • cost and pricing models;
    • procurement & implementation best practices; and
    • popular LMS providers.

    Friday, September 23, 2005


    Canadian Flag If you're part of education at any level in British Columbia, Canada, become a member of BCEd Online.
    BCEd_Online "BCEd Online provides leadership in the development and management of online content, including courses and learning objects. It acts as an advocate for learners, teachers and administrators by seeking to inform and influence government policy and programs for online learning. It demonstrates leadership in providing professional development opportunities for educators engaged in online learning activities. It provides a single access point for communication and coordination of activities involving the private sector. Finally, it develops and implements research frameworks and research projects designed to effectively evaluate online learning content and activities."

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    My Web Host: PowWeb

    For over a year I've been using PowWeb for my two websites. I'm very happy with their service, pricing, ops panel, and excellent customer care, including a LIVE SUPPORT CHAT room. The big thing that swayed me to select them was their user forums. I found that if I don't know how to do something with my PowWeb account or sites, etc., I can post the question to one of their topic-based forums and get an answer back within the hour. Wow!

    Anyway, I have a sign-up coupon code to share with you; it works through the month of October 2005.

    The coupon code for $5 off is: oct05
    This coupon may be used in conjunction with their buy 2 get 2 special.

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Conferencing Tool ~ Web4M by JDHTech

    Bob Boufford of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada says (in this discussion posting),
    "We have had good experience with Web4M by JDHTech. It's really a corporate based suite of conferencing tools that includes audio/video web conferencing and desktop sharing. While not as powerful as Horizon Live, Elluminate or Macromedia Breeze, it does very well for small groups of 5-10 students. One feature I like that is not in some of the "heavyweights" is the ability to "add microphones" to a conference so several can be talking at one time even though it may start to stress networks. It's entirely Java-based and can run on a fast workstation or departmental-level server. It also has an API to allow for integration. Cost is fairly reasonable too."

    Vodcastings, Screencasting or whatever you would like to call it, and WebCT.

    In August I posted an entry about using WeedExporter as a way to create RSS files to "simplify the creation of files containing repetitive sections of Windows Media files metadata."

    Robin Petterd has created tutorial about the way he creates videos for students, using WeedExporter as part of the process. He says it is "a system that allows me to record software demonstrations during face to face sessions with students and then deliver these to students via WebCT and RSS feeds."

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach

    The author says:
    The problem with thinking in terms of consistency is that those thoughts focus purely on the design and the user can get lost. “Is what I’m designing consistent with other things we’ve designed (or others have designed)?” is the wrong question to ask.

    Instead, the right question is, “Will the user’s current knowledge help them understand how to use what I’m designing?”

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Urban Dictionary

    It's been around for a couple of years, but it has sure grown since then! Urban Dictionary is an open source Wiki, so the latest words come from all over the world.
    • "The open source glossary of slang."
    • "A cultural reference."
    • "The online repository of every piece of slang, jargon and cultural flotsam not listed in the library copy of Webster's."
    • "From "cool" to "crunk," "dude" to "diggity," "shit" to "shizzle," this website assists those who need a little knowledge dropped on their slang."
    Their self-description:
    "The Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary with words contributed by users. By soliciting contributions from the community, the Urban Dictionary is much more timely than printed dictionaries."
    From Lockergnome's review (July 2003):
    "If you get sued for "bad language," go to the urban dictionary to save the day. Sounds silly? It actually came to play in a court case relating to rap lyrics. The judge in the case referred to the Urban Dictionary to get the meaning of slang words. The case was dismissed. Parents who can't understand their teens' talk can use this to find out what they're up to when they use slang."

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    What can K-12 School Leaders Learn From Gaming?

    An article in innovate, journal of online education.
    "Richard Halverson suggests not only that valid learning theories lie beneath the entertainment veneer of video games but also that leaders could benefit from experiencing video games first hand, potentially learning about school leadership—through a carefully designed "serious" game such as those available in other fields—and awakening to the possibilities of gaming in the classroom. ...Halverson also acknowledges the difficulties of bringing about change within the current standards-driven school environment and outlines specific ways that gaming may be incorporated into various learning environments."

    Professors online: The internet's impact on college faculty

    "This paper reports on findings from a nationwide survey of Internet use by U.S. college faculty. The survey asked about general Internet use, use of specific Internet technologies (e–mail, IM, Web, etc.), the Internet’s impact on teaching and research, its impact on faculty–student interactions, and about faculty perceptions of students’ Internet use."

    Effective Teaching & Learning

    This is a full online course at Baker College. All course materials appear to be free to read through even if you're not enrolled. It's extensive and covers a lot of material. The course was developed as part of their Developmental Education Quality Improvement Project (DEQIP) project.
    "As part of this project, faculty development for instructors teaching developmental education classes has been targeted as an intervention."

    Ten CSS tricks you may not know

    I've been using CSS for quite a while. But I learned a few new tricks on this webcredible site. NOTE that near the bottom of the page there's a link to some other CSS resources, including Ten more CSS tricks you may not know.

    Margaret's E-Pod - PODCASTING in teaching and learning

    "Welcome to Margaret's E-Pod! A spot for anyone who is interested in learning more about the use of podcasts in teaching and learning."

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    Visit my new TAG CLOUD

    my Tag Cloud

    If you don't know what a Tag Cloud is yet, visit my page to find out. It's NEW and it's FUN!

    The Top 10 Blunders in Developing e-Learning (and How to Avoid Them)

    by Joeseph Ganci, President of DazzleTechnologies Corp. Beyond providing a list of the blunders, Mr. Ganci goes into detail about each and provides practical suggestions for avoiding the blunders. Mr. Ganci "has been involved in every aspect of multimedia and learning development with an emphasis in development since 1983."

    BCcampus Wiki: Best Practices in Online Education

    From BC Campus Communities, the content of this "TikiWiki" can be freely browsed without membership. To create and edit articles in the wiki, it's free to register as a user. Headings of material include: Educational Planning and Administration; Faculty Development; Learner Development; Teaching & Learning Online.
    "Use this wiki to discover and share expert practices in online education at the post-secondary level. Browse the wiki to learn practices you can incorporate in your teaching and learning environment. ...This wiki is an outcome of the Spring Workshop on Educational Technologies held at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Merritt, British Columbia, June 2-3, 2005."

    Saturday, September 3, 2005

    Students tackle MATH via fantasy football

    An article in eSchool News online, reviewing the book Fantasy Football & Mathematics by veteran math instructor, Dan Flockhart.

    "The amount of mathematics problems you can come up with is almost infinite," said Flockhart of his fantasy curriculum, which he's been beta-testing in classrooms since the mid-1990s. "Whatever we were working on at the time, it was reinforced by the game."

    Flockhart's classroom version works much like other fantasy football programs available through Yahoo or a few instructional twists.

    What makes fantasy football such a hit in the classroom? Flockhart says the answer is simple.

    "Millions of students in the U.S. are not proficient in mathematics because the subject matter does not interest them, and they do not see the relationship between math at school and math in their personal lives," he said. "Fantasy Football and Mathematics makes connections between math in the classroom and math in the real world."

    Thursday, September 1, 2005

    wwwtools for teachers - GAMES in Education

    The link leads to a list of the various Games in Education sites, each one a full reference & resource page in itself.

    e-Learning Centre: Using Moodle

    "This page provides links to a number of resources that provide you with more information about using the open source course management system, Moodle: reviews and tutorials and other materials on how to use it. Listed in order of entry with most recent first."

    Play and Learn

    The eLearning Post says:
    "This article presents perspectives from heavy weights such as Steven Johnson, Elyssabeth Leigh, Mark Pesce and others on the use of video games as educational tools."

    Does Technology Help Students Cheat?

    "Keeping track of plagiarism can be a complicated task. [School District Supervisor of Technology] Steve Hall said sophisticated plagiarism-detection software does exist, but it has been too expensive for the schools to buy so far. Instead, Hall coaches teachers in common-sense ways to avoid plagiarism in their classrooms. 'We tell our teachers to find more creative ways of framing essay questions..." Hall said the relatively new threat of on-line plagiarism actually forces teachers to offer more creative assignments. 'In a funny kind of way, its another way that technology makes teachers be better,' he said."

    Creating CSS Design from scratch

    From's Web Design Reference Guide:
    "Even for experienced Web designers, creating a site in CSS for the first time can be a daunting task. In this tutorial, I'll help you face your first CSS site design without fear by breaking the process into three easy steps, starting with a blank canvas and finishing up with a fully functioning Web site. I used this very process to create an existing site, which I'll discuss more later in this guide."

    Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus

    An all in one lookup site at Approximately 2,000,000 articles and definitions from English, Medical, Legal, Financial, and Computer Dictionaries; a Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedias, a Literature Reference Library, and a Search Engine.

    Click here for my site's Word/Quote of the Day, updated daily by

    Sunday, August 28, 2005

    Spyware Obstacle Course did a test using 8 spyware-type nasties, running them through 6 of the leading free spyware detectors available. This site describes the results of the test by application efficacy and then provides rankings and selects the top three apps.

    Friday, August 26, 2005

    Getting to grips with learning styles

    eLearning researcher Stephen Downes calls this paper "a good introduction for practicing teachers and instructors". One reason it's worth a look is that it refers in areas to the pedagogy of the online student in relation to learning styles. The introduction says,
    "This booklet gives teachers and trainers in vocational education and training some easily digestible information about learning styles. It provides practical tips on how to identify students' learning styles, and how to respond to individuals and groups based on their preferred methods of learning. There is not a 'best' theory about learning styles; however, understanding learning styles theories helps teachers to observe their students more systematically and be more methodical in experimenting with alternative teaching approaches."

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Audio for HTML using the EMBED tag

    This web page covers some of the audio file types and methods of embedding them in web pages: Wav, Real Audio, MP3, Midi

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Blogger for Word

    Blogger for Word is a free add-in for Microsoft Word that lets you save a Word document as a post to your Blogger blog...without even opening up a browser. Blogger for Word makes it even easier your documents to the web, and edit your work both online and off....all you need to do is download and install the Blogger for Word add-in, and three buttons appear in your Word toolbar:
    • Publish creates and publishes a new post from the text in your document.
    • Open Post enables you to edit your last 15 Blogger posts in Word.
    • Save as Draft enables you to keep a post unpublished; it will appear in your Blogger account, but not publicly on your blog.

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    Web Developer - a Firefox Extension

    This extention's author, Chris Pederick, says:
    "The extension is highly configurable and contains many powerful features including CSS manipulation, multiple validation options and tools to display information about the current page."
    The editor if Mozilla Update calls it
    "an essential extension for any web developer/designer as it provides a raft of incredibly useful features all under one roof. You will wonder how you ever managed without it!"
    Menus on the handy toolbar include CSS, Forms, Images, Information, Miscellaneous, Outline, Resize, Validation, View Source, Options. Bravenet's Webmaster Tips n Tricks Newsletter says,
    "...a few of the developers tools that I have found most useful for basic website development. First and foremost is the Web Developer Toolbar. This is a fantastic toolbar that caters to the needs of developers. Each item (except ‘View Source’) has a drop down full of great things to do so there won’t be room to explain them all. You can resize your browser to different resolutions, outline different HTML elements in varying colors to locate problems in your code - there is a ton of great stuff in this toolbar."
    Here's a direct link to the download page at the author's website (


    If you already have a blog and want to TRACK YOUR BLOG:
    "Blogbeat is an online service that can tell you all sorts of cool things about your blog, like who's reading it, what posts they're reading, what posts are your most popular, what other blogs are talking about you, how people find you, even what links people click on when they visit your blog. Simply register with us in a few simple steps, and you instantly get tons of cool stats on your blog! Everything is done in real-time, so as soon as someone reads a post on your blog, you will know about it."

    Ziepod: Streaming Podcasts

    "A new, outstandingly designed podcasting player, search tool and aggregator
    has just launched." [Robin Good's review] Another good
    introduction to this tool is Lockergnome's description and review, posted yesterday - feeds you information

    A search engine where you can do a specific search for audiofeeds (RSS feeds of podcasting).

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Integrating RSS feeds into WebCT

    A blog posting from Dr. Jean-Claude Bradley, in which he provides
    "Jay Bhatt's 15 min presentation on integrating RSS feeds into WebCT courses"
    in 3 formats: mp3 podcast, screencast, and Powerpoint.


    Edublog offers FREE education blogs, support and hosting for WordPress blogs for "teachers, students, researchers, librarians, writers and anyone who is interested in or working in education." I've had the link and description for WordPress on my site for a few months. To review:

    WordPress: FREE blog publishing tool for your desktop. If you feel ready to use your ISP's PHP service and set up a blog on your own site, this is the application for you. I haven't tried it yet, but they seem to make it really easy at WordPress. Lots of demos, tutorials, etc.
    "WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope by focusing on user experience and web standards we can create a tool different from anything else out there."

    Weed Exporter

    I just saw WeedExporter mentioned as a way to create RSS files. (See this discussion at

    I had a look at the WeedExporter information and see that it doesn't specifically mention RSS feed creation as a purpose. But it can be used to create XML, and its purpose is to "simplify the creation of files containing repetitive sections of Windows Media files metadata."

    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    The Smackdown Learning Model

    Not specifically about learning via gaming, but the idea matches ideas that are accomplished via gaming regularly. The idea is:
    "What happens to your brain when you're forced to choose between two different--and potentially conficting--points of view? Learning. That's what makes the smackdown model such an effective approach to teaching, training, and most other forms of communication."

    "By presenting different perspectives or views of the topic, the learner's brain is forced into making a decision about which one they most agree with. And as long as the learner is paying attention, you won't even have to ask. In other words, it doesn't have to be a formal exercise where the learner must physically make a choice between multiple things; simply by giving their brain the conflicting message, their brain has no choice. Brains cannot simply leave the conflicts out there without at least trying to make an evaluation."

    New Learning Environments for the 21st Century

    Or a subtitle might be (from one of the document pages): Life in the Digital Age ~ Tinkering, Learning And Sharing.

    A pdf article via Educause that is FUN to go through (graphic, interesting) and makes some excellent observations and suggestions. I'd like to quote the whole thing here! But start with this --
    "Modern’ kids from the global world growing up with mobile phones and internet. Do We Understand Them? What creates meaning for them? How do they learn and do they like to learn?"
    The author lists the "Skills of a Guild Master" (as in 'gaming')

    • Creates a vision and a set of values that attracts.
    • Finds, evaluates and then recruits players that have a set of diverse skills and with fit with your norms.
    • Creates a platform for apprenticeship - newbies
    • Orchestrates group strategy and governance
    • Creates, sells and adheres to the governance principles for the guild and adjudicates disputes.
    "Hmmm, getting students to think critically about what they find on the web - an important 21st century skill especially for our 21st century democracy. And re-contextualizing the role of the teacher now as mentor to critical thinking."

    Making Learning Fun

    "It's obvious that learning games should work. Not only as we hear in prognostications from James Gee, Marc Prensky, and others, but our own intuition tells us (as well as watching kids), that when learning is done right, it can and should be fun. Learning should be hard fun. The question has always been, how do you systematically, and reliably, design fun learning? Previous attempts have been pretty hit or miss, at best. Just cramming game designers and educators in a room hasn't worked. What can we do?"

    Blogs & RSS as a School Communication Environment

    "I’d like to present a scenario that seems like a potent intersection between the way that a school handles information, and the “new shape of information” (blogs, wikis, rss, etc.)"
    The author discusses one main suggestion/idea, but mentions others with great potential:
    "With aggregators in use now, the school leadership would start using them for blog-based announcements, meeting notes, policy information, calendars, and other important information. Other special departments such as sports, theatre, music, art departments, and other school culture entities would use blogging to communicate."
    Will R. at Weblogg-Ed comments further on the same topic. How do we get teachers and students on board with the idea of using Blogs and RSS as part of their information-handling and daily school life? He gives a real-life example:
    "I no longer tell grandma and grandpa that there are new pictures of the kids online at Flickr because they’ve learned to collect them automatically. RSS makes them a part of that conversation."
    Then he takes that back to the school environment:
    "And maybe that's the new strategy, get teachers and students rss-ing first. Give them a framework for understanding how disparate looking pieces of content really aren't as disconnected as they seem, and that there are new ways to find and collect and archive ideas from any number of previously unknown places."

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    24 Questions about computer games and education

    The Learning Circuits Blog poses these questions (without answers) to give you food for thought as you consider using games in your courses. You can join the blog discussion if you have your own ideas and comments to make.

    Publishing on the Web

    The Web Design Reference Guide link has been on my site for a while, but check out their NEW SECTION: "Publishing on the Web: Putting Files on the Server". Covers topics like how to get a domain name, a server, how to transfer files, and lost more. Great for the beginning Web Publisher.

    Learning Community in Learner Paced Distance Education

    I work in a learning center where the majority of students are using the self-paced versions of our courses. This link is to a study done at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada...

    ...a university that supports continuous intake and learner pacing in its undergraduate programs. Athabasca University is investigating the feasibility and effectiveness of adding collaborative and cooperative learning activities to this model. The report summarises a study of learner interactions in the context of learner paced courses delivered by the University. ...the study reports on interviews with Athabasca University faculty and external distance education experts, describes results from an online survey of undergraduate students, and documents how these findings may be operationalised at the University. An extensible model of community based learning support is proposed to utilise new social computing capabilities of the web, and to permit learner-learner interaction in a scaleable and cost effective manner, while retaining learner pacing.

    The study report proposes a learning community model. "...The model developed during this study describes one way of learning that accommodates student desire for increased autonomy and freedom." Here are some of their concluding comments:
    Emerging Internet based technologies create opportunities for new types of learning communities that allow learners around the globe to study at their own pace, yet engage in meaningful interactions with others - in essence, allowing them "to have their cake and eat it, too." The model presented in this paper...incorporates these two elements. To realise and capitalise on new forms of learner paced education will require an ongoing commitment to innovation, experimentation and reflective study of our work, but it is within our grasp. ...evidence of the need for more research focusing on more complex educational models and designs that account for the diverse needs of different learners, at different times, engaged in different contexts and studying different disciplinary content.

    Strange Things You Likely Didn't Know

    This is nothing like what I usually post on my resource pages, so it appears on my homepage under the title "just for fun". There are some interesting little factoids on the page. For example, do you know what a tittle is? I didn't but now I do :)

    [aside note] I used the word "factoid" above, but then decided to look it up to see if it was a real word. Here's a quote from GuruNet:

    fac·toid (făk'toid)
    1. A piece of unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual, often as part of a publicity effort, and that is then accepted as true because of frequent repetition: “What one misses finally is what might have emerged beyond both facts and factoids—a profound definition of the Marilyn Monroe phenomenon” (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
    2. Usage Problem. A brief, somewhat interesting fact.

    HTML And PHP Scripts offers FREE HTML and PHP Programming Guides, Lessons and Tutorials.

    I've written to them with these suggestions: Their text is rather small to read comfortably, and it would be better if their "Articles" section were in lists rather than huge-paragraph form. In the meantime, if you persist you'll find some good information and helpers here.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2005

    Innovate - Special issue on the role of video game technology in education

    Innovate - August/September 2005 Volume 1, Issue 6 (Note that date/issue number in case you're looking for the article after it's archived.)

    Tips for writing in Plain English

    This article is good, and the best part is the MANY links to resources on the topic.

    Teacher Tools & Templates

    from Education World:
    "Every educator knows how time-consuming even the simplest classroom management tasks can be. Every minute spent on block-printing desktop name tags, composing welcome letters, writing behavior reports, sketching state flag bingo cards, drawing Venn diagrams, or creating any of the other forms, letters, and work sheets teachers use every day is a minute lost to content-based planning and preparation. What teacher can afford to lose such valuable time? Education World editors know that a teacher's time is his or her most precious commodity. We know that busy work is not the most cost-effective use of that time. We also recognize, however, the importance of the hundreds of basic classroom management tools that teachers use each year. So this year, we'll be creating a number of printable, editable templates that teachers can customize and use in their own classrooms. The templates can be downloaded from our site, saved to the teacher's own hard drive, and edited as necessary. We hope you'll find them useful."

    Color Theory for the Color-Blind

    An article from the Digital Web Magazine. Includes information on what color blindness is, and then explores how a color blind person can still be a good webpage designer.
    "Being color-blind can be a real obstacle for anyone involved in design. For Web designers, this does not need to be true."

    Web Design Reference Guide

    Excellent material here! Check out the extensive table of contents.

    Color Theory

    COLOR THEORY from the above WEB DESIGN & REFERENCE GUIDE: This is an excellent site that explains a lot of things you really should think about when selecting color for your website. The article covers Websafe Palette, color definitions, and includes several links to color resources.

    Iconico - Tools & Services for Graphic Designers & Web Developers

    Iconico - Tools & Services for Graphic Designers & Web Developers

    Don't believe me, check for yourself. These folks have the all-time best (and simplest!!!) web development helper tools I've ever found to be loyal to. I don't know how they do it, but they keep coming up with more and more useful apps. And they're all FREE. I can't praise these people enough!

    Saturday, July 30, 2005

    An Overview of E-Portfolios

    An article from Educause Learning Initiative.
    "Three types of e-portfolios are described in this report: student e-portfolios, teaching e-portfolios, and institutional e-portfolios. ...This report defines and categorizes e-portfolios, offers examples of higher education e-portfolio implementations, reviews e-portfolio technology, and addresses adoption issues."

    Playing to Learn

    "Video games are a medium whose impact and influence on the daily lives of children continues to grow. Platforms (from cell phones to interactive television to handhelds) are expanding, providing opportunities for games to be pervasive throughout time and space. Good game design and supporting materials can exploit the benefits of this technology and make electronic games a powerful medium for learning. The games of tomorrow promise to be better at both entertaining and educating as long as we are ready to use them."

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    Talkr -- Listen rather than read

    Talkr converts text-only blogs into podcasts in MP3 that you can listen to on your iPod. It can also convert from text to speech any material you can capture in an RSS reader. In combo with your RSS reader, Talkr can keep tabs on your feeds and send audio to your computer as those audio files become available.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2005

    Accelerated Learning Techniques

    "Cercone Learning Internationa helps to provide tools to open the genius mind in each child or adult. The Cercone Learning Optilearning System utilizes color to promote and improve the learning process in all areas of life."

    Sunday, July 3, 2005

    What's In A Blog?

    (The above is an American School Board Journal 'Cover Story' link. So if it's no longer active when you try it, go to their Archives page and look for July 2005, Cover Story.)
    "This is a story of potential -- not of how K-12 administrators and school board members are flocking to blogging. They aren’t. School leaders tend not to be “early adopters” of new technology."

    Supporting Different Learning Styles in an Online Learning Environment

    "Educational institutions are quick to offer distance education programs as an alternative for students who, for myriad reasons, cannot attend a more traditional program. This trend is evidenced by the fact that over 80% of educational institutions in the United States offer some form of distance education. Unfortunately, attrition from these programs is reaching epidemic proportions and, if educational institutions are to fulfill their commitment to offer courses equivalent to their traditional counterparts, they must investigate ways to address the learning needs and styles of different types of learners."

    Building a Successful Blended Learning Strategy

    "There seems to be reluctance in transitioning instructor-led training (ILT) to a blended learning format. This may be due to resistance on the part of the organization or training department to change existing classroom session formats. Another reason I believe is more prevalent is not knowing how. [This] case study is an example of how our training department made a very successful transition prior to knowing what blended learning meant."

    Easy Text To HTML Converter 2.0

    A FREE tool from Softpedia.
    "Provides fast and easy conversion of Text Files (in *.txt, *.rtf formats) and Text Blocks pasted from Clipboard to HTML."

    Internet Explorer 7 will have RSS Tools

    From this article in PCMag,
    "On 06.24.05 Microsoft announced that it will introduce new technologies designed to promote the use of RSS. The company plans to include RSS readers in two new versions of its Internet Explorer Web browser—one for the Windows XP operating system and one for Windows XP's successor, codenamed Longhorn."


    Developing and Implementing a Methodology for Reviewing E-Portfolio Projects:
    "A report encompassing a review of existing e-portfolio software applications in use in the UK, and a synthesis of literature reviews on e-portfolio systems."

    Sakai: an open source LMS

    Relavitely new open source Learning Management System. Also, if you're interested, read this recent review/critique by Michael Feldstein. Sakai developers have participated in the resulting discussion, responding to Feldstein's criticism of the discussion tools.

    Are the basics of Instructional Design changing?

    Article author Stephen Downes says,
    "I wrote this item, first, to underscore the role of philosophy as informing educational theory, and second, to highlight the difference between online learning and 'traditional' distance education. I argue that the theory of distributed representation has a profound implication for pedagogy, as it suggests that learning (and teaching, such as it is) is not a process of communication, but rather, a process of immersion. Put loosely, it suggests the idea of teaching not by telling or even demonstrating but rather through the creation (or identification) of an environment into which a learner may be immersed."

    Saturday, June 25, 2005

    Web Designer's FREElance Toolbox for Windows

    Sit back, relax and put down your double caramel macchiato. I’m about to make your life a lot easier and freelancing oh-so-much more fun. The following is a list of unfettered freeware that I have personally reviewed. Time-tested and designer/developer approved, these programs contain no adware and are built on a solid foundation, including a supportive community of users. There is no fine print to read, and you can rest assured each one will save you money and save poor Timmy’s college fund.

    Teachers At Work (Internet Tools For Teachers)

    Mark Teadwell provides a wide variety of materials here, including and Online Professional Development program are available to download free of charge, online educational resources listed by subject area, reviews of and links to websites related to education and/or that provide educational materials, a free newsletter, published online.

    CSS Panic Guide

    Also entitled A Guide For The Unglued. :)
    This is not a complete resource, this is a fast resource. These are the sites that I refer to first, and that I tell people to read. When you want more, just about all of them have their own links to good sites.

    NCSA: A Beginner's Guide to HTML

    It's been a while since I posted a link to a beginner's level tutorial. This is a good one from NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications). They give you several choices to access the material: a Primer intro; Full-length version; Printable version in 3 parts.

    MetaCentric - RSS Scraper & Feed Generator For Your Web Site

    This Robin Good review of Metacentric is a good lead-in, because when you get to Metacentric's homepage you kind of have to know what they're talking about. Robin Good says:
    "...provides a scraper service that transforms standard HTML into RSS 1.0 using XSL transformation. The Metacentric service also includes a Javascript include feed, for easy syndication with other Web sites, and a pure RDF metadata feed. Metacentric prices are based on the number of service requests for the RSS feeds you publish. Unfortunately all prices are in British Pounds (GBP), though you can pay in your own preferred currency via PayPal."

    Interactive Whiteboards

    This specific technology is this blog's sole purpose. The author's request:
    "Colleagues, I am looking for evidence of the use of interactive whiteboards in classroom or school in K-12: lesson plans, tips how to use them in learning and/or teaching situations, software that works well on a whiteboard, whitepapers from suppliers, contact with teachers that use them regurally. In return this blog will keep you updated."

    Critical Thinking in Asynchronous Discussions

    "Critical thinking is a process that allows learners to gain new knowledge through problem solving and collaboration. It focuses on the process of learning rather than just attaining information. It involves discovering how to analyze, synthesize, make judgments, and create and apply new knowledge to real-world situations.

    Critical thinking is important in the learning process since it presents opportunities to learn through discovery. When learners think critically they become actively responsible for their own learning. This can be a liberating experience that often leads to wisdom, and not just the learning of new information.

    Higher levels of interaction in asynchronous discussions are needed to encourage learners to think critically. The rapid growth of online discussions has shaped current research on how higher order thinking, and learning, can be promoted through interaction between instructors, learners, and learning content (Blignaut & Trollip, 2003). This paper will examine strategies and challenges to encourage learners to think critically in asynchronous discussions."

    Insights into Promoting Critical Thinking in Online Classes

    "This article explores the thought processes, realities and perceptions of the authors’ on-going experiences in on-line classes and gives their insights into promoting critical thinking in these Managed Learning Environments (MLEs)."

    The 7 Challenges of e-learning Design

    The 7 Challenges of eLearning Design: This article is called Part 1, but doesn't say what's coming next. Graham Attwell, author, begins:
    "I am designing an e-learning programme for the European Commission funded ASSIPA project. The project aims to develop a face-to-face and e-learning programme for teachers in adult education to develop their skills and practices in self-evaluation. Converting the programme to e-learning provides a series of challenges. I think I would argue that these challenges lie at the heart of good e-learning design - whatever the subject. Part one of this [re]port reviews the challenges [and] will outline my approach to the pedagogy and design."

    Freevlog: Tutorial about VIDEO Blogging for free

    Welcome to Freevlog 2.0 [beta,]Preview Release 1a, The Director's Cut. A step-by-step guide to setting up a videoblog for free.

    Why is this cool?
    ---> It's free! What else do you want?

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Learning Center

    A resource site for information and links under categories such as Adult Learning, Online Learning, Distance Learning, Learning Software, and more.

    Saturday, June 18, 2005

    Dynamic Content for Applied Computing

    A growing library of digital content & learning objects for those who teach applied computing. Starts from the basics and moves on to more advanced material.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    Legal Guide for Bloggers

    Legal Guide for Bloggers: From the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).
    "Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about bloggers getting in trouble for what they post.... [This guide is] a basic roadmap to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected. Please note that this guide applies to people living in the US."
    The guide addresses topics like legal liability, intellectual property, privacy, the rights of journalists, media access, political campaigns, workplace blogging, and more.

    Virtual Training Suite for Adult and Community Learners

    FREE online tutorials
    ...designed to help students, lecturers and researchers improve their Internet information literacy and IT skills. Work in your own time at your own pace - no one is monitoring you! There are quizzes and interactive exercises to lighten the learning experience.

    Enjoy the best audio experience with Windows-based games

    This isn't an article about educational games specifically, but if you're using them in your course, this how-to article will definitely be of interest to you and especially your students.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005


    Web-Based e-Learning authoring, managing, communicating and publishing solution. ScribeStudio's mission is to provide easy-to-use e-Learning solutions that elevate the art and science of teaching and inspire students to reach their greatest potential. Low cost of entry with no upfront licensing fees; only pay for what you use, when you use it. Easy to Use: Point-and-click simplicity allows you to quickly add content, tests, and quizzes to your course and to create a customized Learning Site where your Learners access educational and training materials.

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    Math and Reading Help

    The URL indicates it's for kids, but the site hosts a wide range of articles helpful to high school teachers and students, as well as for parents.

    Saturday, June 11, 2005 is a directory of colleges, schools, and career information to help students make informed decisions about their education.

    Our staff has gone to great lengths to research, categorize, and write an objective and informative article for more than 800+ colleges, universities, and career schools across the nation and more are being added to our directory every day. These articles include general information about the school's history, a summary of the programs offered, and information about the campus and its surrounding areas. At the end of each article is the school's contact information including a phone number and the schools official website.

    We have also researched and written articles about more than 400+ career possibilities and tied them to our relevant degree classifications. These articles provide an overview about what each career is about, the educational requirements and qualifications, as well as statistical data about earnings and employment.

    2005 Learning Management Systems ~ Survey Results

    In September 2004, Learning Circuits ran its annual trends survey. When LC asked what e-learning support services their organizations provide in-house, either via electronic means or via personnel, course registration came out on top at 71 percent. However, when asked to identify the leading tools that most organizations use to build, deploy, and support e-learning, only 46 percent of respondents said that they use a learning management systems.

    Earlier this year, ASTD launched a survey to take the analysis a step further. Here's what readers had to say.

    DIAGRAM presenting some uses of Blogs in Education

    Scott Leslie's graphic. Dated October 8/03, but still useful now.

    EdTechPost: "Monoliths," APIs and Extensability - the past and future directions of CMS

    Scott Leslie's article in EdTechPost contains a link to his slide presentation on this topic.

    WebCT 4 Orientation/Tutorials

    Terrie McAloney (BCcampus) has put together orientations to WebCT for both INSTRUCTORS/Faculty and STUDENTS. Click the link for the type you'd like to see; you'll get a guest login ID/password.

    Internet Archive

    Extensive archives of existing internet audio, moving images, texts, and software.
    The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general ‘Internet library,’ with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.... The Internet Archive is working to prevent the Internet — a new medium with major historical significance — and other "born-digital" materials from disappearing into the past. Collaborating with institutions including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, we are working to preserve a record for generations to come.

    Sunday, June 5, 2005

    Trump University

    Sorry, couldn't help myself, I'm a fan of the TV show Apprentice. Gotta have this university on my list!

    Establishing Trust Online Is Critical For Online Communication

    In this article, researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have confirmed this fact that many of us have already known for a long time. Some of their we-knew-it-already findings include:

    • The most effective on-line teachers establish communication early and quickly.
    • The team leader or teacher must work hard to overcome the potential coldness of the electronic medium.
    • Good instructors model solidarity, congeniality, and affiliation.
    • Good online group leaders reinforce predictable patterns in communication and action.
    • Positive group leaders also involve team members in meaningful tasks.
    • Establishing swift trust early, contributes to subsequent course success.

    The ABCs of RSS

    An article in TechLearning, published May 15/05. "Just what is RSS and how can it be used in education?" The article includes sections on setting up feeds, finding feeds, and "a sampling of ways RSS feeds can add to your knowledge base, help you communicate, and make your teaching better."

    Emerging issues in the practice of University Learning and Teaching

    A collaborative project resulted in this online book.
    The collection explores a range of the current theory to practice learning and teaching issues in Higher Education... It is written for the new to competent Lecturer in Higher Education who is dealing with teaching and learning issues on a daily basis. The more experienced Lecturer and students on postgraduate teaching and learning Diplomas/Certificates should also gain some useful insights from the readings. The chapters in each section were based on issues that were identified by the group as being important in the current climate of higher education... include areas such as, scholarship of teaching, theories of teaching and learning, student-centred learning, active learning, curriculum design, feedback on student learning, e-learning, professional development of the lecturer and resources for the lecturer. The emphasis in each chapter is on practical advice based on the current literature.

    Playtime in the Classroom

    Starting about 10 years ago I began to observe the following was true for my own kids concerning their investment of time in playing computer/video games. It's nice to see the experts agreeing with me. From an article from
    Arguing that pop culture is not dumbing us down, but making us more intelligent, is guaranteed to generate media buzz. The new book by American pop science writer Steven Johnson has indeed sparked a flurry of comment, much of it centred on his claims about the beneficial effects of watching reality TV and The Sopranos. In the UK, media attention has focused more on Johnson's observations that modern computer games require concentration, forward planning, lateral thinking and sustained problem solving - and, as such, offer a "cognitive workout" that can benefit overall mental development.

    Friday, June 3, 2005

    Designing & Managing Multiple Choice Questions

    An online handbook created for the staff at UCT (Capetown). Ken Masters of UCT says the handbook "might be of use, especially if you're looking for examples in the social sciences."

    Developing Computer Aided Assessment

    A FREE online course in modules.

    This course can be used in its entirety or you can "pick and mix" the sections you need. These modules are freely available for non-profit use within Continuing Professional Development within HE and FE in the UK...

    What do we want to assess? For what purpose? In which mode? When these basic questions are asked we find that our assessment matches our educational purposes. As an educator we then must find the most appropriate assessement method for the set assignment. When considering the use of Computer Aided Assessment (CAA) we need to consider its strengths and weaknesses.

    Objective Test Design

    From CAA (Computer Assisted Assessment Centre), this is a helpful page that covers several topics. An excellent resource on objective tests.
    An objective test is only as objective as the test's designer makes it. The tutorial below offers an introduction to a selection of question types in popular use with advice on construction and best practice. As the question type most commonly associated with CAA is multiple choice, particular emphasis has been given to this and should be viewed first. The principles detailed within that section should however, be of use when considering other types.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2005

    Poynter Online

    Everything you need to be a better journalist. The Poynter Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists.

    One of their projects is to offer FREE courses at News University (see reference below). - BC's online portfolio solution

    A made-in-British-Columbia product to help you meet the BC granduation requirement for high school student portfolios. I don't see any reason why anybody, anywhere beyond the BC borders, couldn't use the service.
    Although educational trends point toward the greater use of portfolios, forward-thinking teachers and administrators are overwhelmed with the challenge of managing all those portfolios. That's where we fit in! We've created an online host for your students' portfolios that takes away the management issues and allows for peer evaluation, teacher control, no advertising, secure privacy, comments, discussions, and more!

    News University: FREE Courses

    That's right, this online university offers free courses; all you have to do is become a registered user of their site/services. I'm very impressed with what they have to offer already, and they've only just begun!
    NewsU is committed to providing interactive, inexpensive courses that appeal to journalists at all levels of experience and in all types of media. Officially launched in April 2005, NewsU offers an innovative approach to helping journalists enhance their skills.
    From today's eLearning Guru newsletter:
    Although is designed for professional journalists, I think many e-learning designers will find the free courses of value. They include courses on interview techniques, clear writing, color and design, use of photography, etc.
    Here's just one example. The Writer's Workbench: 50 Tools You Can Use

    This collection of writing tools will help you strengthen new work and diagnose stories you have already written. The self-directed course groups tools into four sections:

    • nuts and bolts, including word choice and sentence structure;
    • blueprints to create architecture for your stories;
    • special effects to refine your writing voice;
    • and useful habits to help you be a more confident writer.

    Each tool features exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned. Use the tools to help build your skills or as reference to keep your writing sharp.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    Links about WebCT's new CE version 6

    Making WebCT 4 Questions Containing MathML

    Steve Corwin, the author of this page, says,
    If you know LaTeX, it's not hard to put MathML in WebCT questions and answers reasonably quickly. (It's just hard to find out what works!) I've posted a page with all I know about it, and the tools you need to do it. Thanks to all whose posts helped me out with this.

    Foto Search Image Library

    The site offers over 700 thousand royalty free images in its extensive online archive, including photography, clipart, illustrations, footage, and maps. World-class photography and art free of charge. It is the digital, online equivalent of a conventional art museum. Browsing through the library is free, and there are no access charges, registration requirements, or usage limits.

    Sunday, May 29, 2005

    dhtmlxToolbar 1.0 - FREEware from Softpedia

    Build a user friendly interface for a web application. dhtmlxToolbar is an advanced JavaScript navigation component that enables [you] to create an attractive vertical or horizontal DHTML toolbar within minutes. It's flexible, powerful, lightweight and easy to use. ...This Javascript toolbar supports several buttons types (image, image with text, select box). [No] browser compatibility problems. dhtmlxToolbar works perfectly in all main Web-browsers (IE, Mozilla, FireFox, MacOS X Safari, Opera). Having great feature set, wide variety of options, flexibility, cross-browser compatibility, powerful JavaScript API allows this Javascript component to create superior DHTML toolbars.

    Facilitator's Guide to Reflection & Portfolio Development

    The process of thinking about learning - the process of reflection - can be a powerful process for building self-awareness and self-confidence. Reflection increases self-knowledge, better preparing people to make deliberate, well informed choices for their futures. Furthermore, if what has been learned matches the requirements for a job or an educational program, and if it is adequately documented, it may be possible to have this learning formally recognized.

    This guide is intended to be used by facilitators to support learners' personal and/or professional development through a process of reflection. The activities for reflection were developed for use in a group setting and can be adapted as required. They can be embedded into any learning environment to enhance the process of self-discovery through reflection.

    Digital Portfolios: An Enduring Promise for Enhancing Assessment

    An article from
    Despite predictions that digital portfolios were just another trend in the search to enrich the assessment of student achievement, they continue to offer powerful possibilities for improving teaching and learning. Portfolios have survived for two substantial reasons. First...

    Electronic Portfolio FAQs

    Helen C. Barrett, Ph.D is an internationally-known expert on Electronic Portfolio Development for learners of all ages.
    I frequently receive e-mails asking different questions about electronic portfolios. I realize that many of the answers are buried on my website. So this page contains links to specific pages or websites where these answers can be found.
    See also Dr. Barrett's blog: E-Portfolios for Learning.
    I have created this blog to discuss my ideas on electronic portfolios to support lifelong learning. I hope to share some of my concerns about the current direction of electronic portfolios in High Education and K-12 schools.
    Hear Dr. Barrett in a recorded webcast: Portfolios in High Schools - to "e" or not to "e". BC describes this recorded webcast:
    Dr. Helen Barrett, keynote speaker for the BCEd Online Conference in April, gives a brief overview of the literature on the electronic portfolio development process and highlights several strategies that enable reflection: blogging and digital storytelling.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Five Instructional Design Principles Worth Revisiting

    This article revisits these principles:

    • Learning is not performance
    • The medium is not the method
    • Match external and internal conditions
    • Authentic practice makes perfect
    • One size does not fit all

    By keeping these principles in mind, regardless of the context or final product, designers can be more confident that their designs are based on sound theory and research, and will maximize learning and performance.

    Modular CSS

    I'd never thought of this concept before, and it seems to be a good approach to simply life in the CSS lane.
    This isn't a new idea but looking at people's code it doesn't seem to be a particularly widely used practice: modular CSS. That's a poncy name for the very simple idea of grouping related styles into separate stylesheets. The same set of tasks turn up on project after project and a little careful thought can save hours of foundation work, allowing you to get on with the serious business of turning a flat design into a web page far more quickly. The broad groups that I use are: typography, forms, layout, navigation and colour.

    Content with Style

    Brand new and just launched, we'd like to show web developers ways to use and reuse their code. Find your way to our articles, event calendar and hand-picked selection of links from other interesting places.

    Introduction to elearning

    An audio-visual presentation that has some good information, whether you're experienced with eLearning or brand new to it. My link is to the blog entry at eLearn Space where you'll get the direct link to open the presentation.

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Skills for Access: Creating Accessible Multimedia for e-learning

    This web site provides you with a comprehensive resource on issues relating to multimedia, e-learning and accessibility. Whether you're new to e-learning, want to know more about specific accessibility issues, or are an expert multimedia developer, we believe you'll find information relevant to your needs.