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.