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