Friday, December 29, 2006

Teacher Created Rubrics for Assessment

From the Online Professional Development for K-12 Teachers - University of Wisconsin: Rubrics for various subjects at various levels:

Cooperative Learning Rubrics
Research Report Rubrics
Writing Rubrics
Math, Art, Science Rubrics
Oral Presentation Rubrics
Rubrics for Primary Grades
Web Page and ePortfolio Rubrics
Video and Multimedia Project Rubrics a section on Creating Your Rubrics

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Ready for Internet Explorer 7?

Maybe you already have it, if your settings are for automatic updates. If not, here are two helpful sites.

Internet Explorer 7 checklists
"Whether you're a consumer, developer, or IT professional, we've created the checklists to make sure Internet Explorer 7 is compatible with your favorite websites and applications."

Internet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit from Microsoft.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Logorrhoea is my personal word of the day, found accidentally at

Logorrhoea or logorrhea (Greek λογορροια, logorrhoia, “word-flux”) is defined as an “excessive flow of words” and, when used medically, refers to incoherent talkativeness that occurs in certain kinds of mental illness, such as mania. The spoken form of logorrhoea (in the non-medical sense) is a kind of verbosity that uses superfluous or fancy words to disguise a useless or simple message as useful or intellectual, and is commonly known as “verbal diarrhea.”
So I told my partner and he's just coined a new word (in the title of this post). Take it, use it, spread it around, but link to this blog post when you do, ok?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Practical Uses of Math And Science (PUMAS)

Ralph Kahn, author, describes the site as
"...a collection of one-page examples of how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes can be used in interesting settings, including everyday life. The examples are written primarily by scientists and engineers, and are available to teachers, students, and other interested parties via the PUMAS Web Site. Our goal is to capture, for the benefit of pre-college education, the flavor of the vast experience that working scientists have with interesting and practical uses of math and science."

10 Academic Resources Daily

"Our main purpose is to provide valuable solutions for students and young researchers; disseminate additional knowledge, skills and attitudes that are useful in their youth work; communicate within the academic community of scholars, professionals and students from all branches. We share information about scholarships, grants, conferences, study abroad opportunities, exchange and professional training programs and internships all over the world."

The Teachers' Lounge - lesson plan resources

Lesson plan resources. A wiki site. Rob Lucas, author, explains:
" first year of teaching, I spent many late nights planning lessons for the following day. During those nights, a single thought gnawed at me: Thousands of other teachers across the country were doing just as I was, and thousands more had done so every year for decades. Yet there was no way for me to fully benefit from the experience of all those who had come before. I’ve created this website to change that....any registered user...can post lesson plans, links, handouts, PowerPoint presentations—virtually anything! And you don’t even have to know HTML. Editing a page is as easy as using a word processor. My vision is that over time, we can develop an extensive library of creative, finely-tuned, engaging, exciting lessons."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

E-Learning Concepts and Techniques E-Book

"This e-book, E-Learning Concepts and Techniques, is the result of a collaborative effort by students in the Bloomsburg University, Department of Instructional Design spring 2006 E-Learning Concepts and Techniques online class as well as several guest authors and contributors from around the world." Headings include: What is E-Learning? Instructional Design Models for E-Learning; E-Learning Tools; Instructional Strategies; Development; Delivering; Evaluation; Web Standards.

Folklinks: Folk and Fairy-Tale Sites

A colleague sent me this link and said, "I came across this great web site as I searched for short short stories that can be used in English classes. 2 great things about it: 1) it includes folktales from all over the world and 2) it is categorized by subject or topic or theme. Enjoy."

WikiBooks and WikiSource

WikiBooks and WikiSource: Wikipedia's Free collections of textbooks. "Wikibooks went online on 10 July 2003, and there are 22,403 modules currently on the site." ..."Wikibooks differs from Wikisource because content on Wikibooks is expected to be significantly changed by participants. Raw source documents such as the original text of Shakespearian plays is hosted on Wikisource instead."..."Wikisource collects and stores in digital format previously published texts; including novels, non-fiction works, letters, speeches, constitutional and historical documents, laws and a range of other documents. All texts collected are free of copyright, either because this has expired or because the text has been released under a GNU Free Documentation License."

Free Academic Podcasts

This site has a list of 145 (to date) links. Says the site author: "About a year ago, I put together a listing 30 or 40 free podcasts of lectures from Universities. When I started putting together another list, I was amazed at how many more lectures are available. The lectures in this list are all free and don't require any type of authentication--you don't have to be a student to download them. The links are to the rss feed of class lectures. If you copy the URL and in iTunes click on Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast it will automatically download the lectures and new ones as they become available."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Skypecasts Academic Potential

This article describes the latest offering from Skype, Skypecasting, and discusses its potential for education.

"Skypecasts as “large, hosted calls on Skype.” Sound pretty simple. Basically you can create or join a large online conference call with UP TO 100 people. Skypecasts are scheduled to begin and end at a certain time and usually have a certain topic of discussion. The users must download and use Skype in order to join the Skypecast."

"There are many programs out there that already allow users to create online classes, but those cost thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars to implement. This option is FREE. That price tag is always a big plus for education and their limited resources."

"Overall, I was very impressed with Skypecasts and the potential it possesses in education. Above all else mentioned above, I think it is absolutely necessary to help students understand cultures beyond their own. This technology opens up the way for them to do that, not only through other people’s Skypecasts, but by having students create their own."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Podcasting in Education

The author explains podcasting, links to articles that show it works well in education, links to working examples, provides some ideas for you. A section entitled 'How to go about it: Curriculum and Class Management'. A technical section with info about applications, plus some downloads and resource links.

APA addendum for citing ONLINE SOURCES

This guide is from SFU librarian Jamie Anderson, August 1, 2006. "The APA Manual should be your main source of information for citing sources, but this addendum was put together to cover several types of electronic sources which are not covered by the APA. Here’s what the guide covers: Webpages, Blogs, Online Journal Articles, Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries, Email, Online Images, The TECH 100 text Teamwork and Communication."

Writing Guides from SFU Library

This is a very helpful site. Includes STYLE guides, WRITING guides, and other tools. Includes style guides I hadn't heard of until now -- CBE (for biologists), IEEE (for engineers), and MUCH more...check it out.

Teaching with Games

Final report of a study/project by FutureLab. "The Teaching with Games project was a one-year study designed to offer a broad overview of teachers' and students' use of and attitudes towards commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer games in schools. It aimed to identify the factors that would impact the use of these entertainment games in school and describe the processes by which teachers plan and implement games-based learning in existing curricular contexts. Finally, it aimed to provide recommendations for future games-based learning approaches in schools for teachers, developers and policy makers."

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


"This is the place for teachers who work online or are new to online to work and share together." From their newsletter: "is devoted to resources and skills needed to use technology in the classroom as well as building skills with these technologies and facilitation when working with students in a virtual environment."


A new community devoted to all things moodle. Links to moodle resources as well as moodle courses and facilitation skills.

Second Life + Education (a new page on my site)

Click the title to link to my newest page in my Resources site.

Communities and Institutions & Organizations already in SECOND LIFE

This site lists (so far) Universities, Colleges, Schools, Organizations, Libraries. It a wiki site ~ "feel free to log in and add your own content. For a more extensive description of [Second Life] projects, see Second Life: Universities and Private Islands."

7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergrad Education offers these for their own faculty. "How can students and faculty members improve undergraduate education? Many campuses around the country are asking this question. To provide a focus for their work, we offer seven principles based on research on good teaching and learning in colleges and universities."

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0

"TOOLS" is the topic of this first of a 3-Part series of articles. "The following is a compilation of Web 2.0 products that I’ve personally researched and tested. These services are grouped into two main categories: Tools and Office Applications. Some more specific services include: organizers, gradebooks, research tools, document managers, diagrams, and more."

Best of the Best Web 2.0 Web Sites

"What makes a site a Web 2.0 Site? Web 2.0 is the second coming of World Wide Web. New and improved sites that make the web their platform, provide users a way of interacting with each other, and organize and categorize their content are perfect examples of Web 2.0. Below is a list of web sites that are the best of the best!"

Dimdim: The world's FREE web meeting

"Dimdim is the Open Source web conferencing company. With Dimdim you can show Presentations, Applications and Desktops to any other person over the internet....Attendees can use either Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox 1.5 while Presenters can use Internet Explorer 6 on Windows (XP/2000/2003) only. Firefox porting for Presenters will be available soon. Please understand that this is Alpha version with known issues and bugs and our development team is squashing them. This release is meant for technically skilled early adopters."[my emphasis]

Learning Resources for Civics and Citizenship Education

This week the WWWTools For Education newsletter is featuring the topic of Civics & Citizenship. LOTS of links and information on the topic of civics in several countries. Includes links to collections of resources and classroom resources. A civics glossary. Advocacy links. Civics in the news, including some links dealing with the USA election this week. Resources for Professional Development.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

PowerPoint compression tools

Diehard MS Powerpoint fans are always looking for ways to optimize the usually-big files for browser use inside online courses, etc. These two tools were mentioned recently on the webct users' list. Each one was praised highly by the person who recommended it. Both have a free trial and a low cost when you want to purchase it.

Optimise & compress PowerPoint® files up to 95%
No proprietary plug-ins or viewers are needed.
The .ppt file format remains at all times.
A true plug-in… no stepping in & out of PowerPoint®.
Simple to use… no expert knowledge required.
Easy to install & manage.

Reduces your PowerPoint® file size by up to 96%.
Your original presentation doesn´t get modified; PPTminimizer creates an optimized copy instead.
Transparent Integration in Outlook®, Windows-Explorer® and PowerPoint®!
Save time: No need to zip/unzip anymore.
Due to the integrated E-mail function of PPTminimizer, the presentations can be sent directly after the optimization.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

ESL Resources for Instructors and Students

Check out this newest collection of links on my Resources site.

Bedford Handbook Online Resources

Lots of free goodies here at the "companion web site for The Bedford Handbook. Includes online resources for writing, gramma, and research. No charge. No activation code required." Includes peer review tools, grammar helpers, writing and research tools, and special sections for Instructors & students.

OpenLearn at Open University

(Britain)From a BBC News article: "The OU is making its educational resources available free on the net for anyone in the world to use. It aims to make 5,000 hours' worth of material available by April 2008 - not only for learners, but for educators to adapt and use for their own purposes." Open University says, "Open content provides the opportunity for access to high-quality learning materials which would not otherwise be available and affordable to many groups within both the developed and developing worlds...We want to lead the learning revolution, experimenting with new models of content and technologies. OpenLearn is a huge step towards this aim. The philosophy of open access and sharing knowledge - a cornerstone of this project - matches the founding principles of the Open University."

The complete work of Charles Darwin

"The largest collection of Darwin's writings ever assembled...contains every Darwin publication as well as many of his handwritten manuscripts. All told there are more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled. More than 150 ancillary texts are also included, ranging from reference works to contemporary reviews, obituaries, descriptions of Darwin's Beagle specimens and important works for understanding Darwin's context. Free audio mp3 versions of his works are also available."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Education meets Second Life: virtual world education departments

About 4 or 5 years ago my partner was "addicted to" the multi-user micro world, Ultima Online. They called it a "game" but it was a full, rich underworld, populated by millions of people of all ages, but dominated by youth. At the time, we (both of us teachers) thought what an amazing education tool it could be if we were to set up a school within that world. A "real" (academic) school where students could earn real-world graduation credits. Why not?.... the game already used real-world money for property transactions and more. Students could earn not only course credits and degrees for the "real" world, but in doing so could also earn other items that would be of value to them in their virtual world.

Of course, we didn't take that idea any further, and now in 2006 the rest of the "real world" is catching up to our idea. Will they acknowledge that we were the first to think of it? Ya right. Nevertheless, I'm glad it's finally happening. Academia, welcome to your Second Life.

Second Life lands B.C. campus

Sloodle - 3D Learning Management System

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Women of Web 2.0

"Women of Web 2.0 is for all who are using the tools of the internet whether it be in a classroom setting, leading seminars, authoring books, maintaining blogs or wikis, or just enjoying the tools of the internet in an educational and exciting way."

Robin Good's Official Guide to Web Conferencing and Live Presentation Tools

A rich resource for web conferencing Systems reviews, comparisons. Also: recommended solutions; key strengths & weaknessees; functionality; terminology; and a directory of vendors. One-stop shopping :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

WebCT VISTA - Adding News Feeds to your Course

A tutorial from Georgia Southern University. - Teacher & Student resources

Many teaching and student resources under a clear Table of Contents, includes a wide variety of subject areas and levels: Math, Reading Comprehension, Themes, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets.

Math Resources

The following were recommended by a colleague who teaches math. Recommended by a colleague who teaches math. Site has Math help at all levels: practice, tutoring, tools, games, and homework help.

SOS " resource for math review material from Algebra to Differential Equations."

A-Plus "...web site was developed to help students improve their math skills interactively." Headings include: Flashcards, Game Room, Homework Helper, Worksheets. Lots of help for students and resources for teachers. Lessons, homework guidelines, study skills, and links to reviewed internet sites.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Create a Podcast using Powerpoint

Randolph Decker's posting in eGram about a quick technique for converting your favorite Powerpoint presentations into podcasts.

AskAway: Virtual Reference Service

The province of British Columbia and BC's public and post-secondary libraries have launched a new reference service that uses a live, chat-based format to offer immediate, interactive and knowledgeable help online.

The AskAway website uses special software to connect BC residents with librarians from 46 public libraries across the province. It also connects with 100 librarians from 20 BC colleges and universities to provide specialist resources for post-secondary students, including access to academic research databases:

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Timesavers for Teachers

"Timesavers for specializes in often-used, teacher-created, classroom management forms, practical teacher tools, report card comments, worksheets and teacher resources used by teachers of all grades on a regular basis. "

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Web 2.0 and eLearning 2.0 Start-Up Guides

A list of links for "...a few new start-up guides/introductions to Web 2.0 and eLearning 2.0."

Half an Hour: Things You Really Need to Learn

"Your school will try to teach you facts, which you'll need to pass the test but which are otherwise useless. In passing you may learn some useful skills, like literacy, which you should cultivate. But Guy Kawasaki is right in at least this: schools won't teach you the things you really need to learn in order to be successful, either in business (whether or not you choose to live life as a toady) or in life." Stephen Downes says, "Here, then, is my list."

A good list indeed! Now all we need to do is convince our Education ministries to go for this curriculum!

Google Book Search

Starting August 30/06, readers can find new, and free, downloadable versions of some of the world's greatest books.
"Working with our library partners, we're expanding access to books that are out of copyright and have become public domain material. Users can search and read these books on Google Book Search like always, but now they can also download and print them to enjoy at their own pace."

Web 2.0 could be used in health e-learning

An article from eHealth Insider.
"Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, podcasts and blogs could be quite effective tools in e-learning for health professionals in patients, according to a new paper published by BioMed Central. The very interactivity of the technology could prove a boon for professional and patient education, providing that any changes and collaboration is effectively monitored....If effectively deployed, wikis, blogs and podcasts could offer a way to enhance students', clinicans' and patients' learning experiences, and deepen levels of learners' engagement and collaboration within digital learning environments..."

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Free Resources for Learning English Online. Useful as a reference site too. Free exercises, idioms, common abbreviations, slang, proverbs and much more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

What is mLearning?

Start with " m-learning is mobile learning: using mobile technologies (such as mobile phones and hand-held computers) to enhance the learning process. With a background of more than 4 years of trialling, research and development, m-learning has helped thousands of learners from all walks of life to develop their skills, confidence and motivation to learn."

mLearning Tools

Stephen Downe's article, posted in the blog Half An Hour. "...when we are thinking about mobile applications, probably the primary challenge will be to enable people not only to receive relevant content in this multimedia language, but to compose, on the fly, with no more real difficulty than (say) speaking, multimedia messages, that can be beamed to colleagues or broadcast to the world."

Thinking Worlds

"Serious Educational Game Online" ~ " incredibly versatile and globally unique educational games authoring engine. This game allows you to play, edit, create and even share games with other members of the Thinking Worlds™ community. Thinking Worlds is based on well researched and proven learning principles and has already been used to develop highly engaging games in many subject areas. This is your chance to take part in a GLOBAL six month BETA trial of this new exciting learning-based game for FREE."

Here's an article about Thinking Worlds from the blog: Educational Technology & Life.

Wikis in Education

from wwwTools for Education, a full page all about Wikis. Headings include Terminology, Overviews & Background Reading, Role of Wikis, Pedagogy, Implementations, and many links to existing wikis for you to explore - teachers, students, courses, etc.

Mobile Musings

The new blog from the K-12 Handhelds site. "This blog will feature a variety of thoughts, news, best practices, and other items of interest related to mobile technologies and one-to-one computing."

Weblogs in the Classroom

From Australia's Dept. of Education & Training. Articles include: Educational Value of Weblogs; Classroom and Teacher Applications; Getting Started. Links to free blogging software.

Gong - The Web Voice Communication Tool

"A FREE system for voice communication on the Web. It allows groups of people such as students and teachers to participate in discussion groups using their computers, using both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous chat. It is commonly used by schools and universities for providing a 'voice board' for teaching purposes. There are several different ways you can use Gong. All are free and unlimited."

Moodle eLearning Course Development

The SchoolForge site has a link to the 73 page book here [5 mb]. Read about the book here.
"A complete guide to successful learning using Moodle, focused on course development and delivery and using the best educational practices. Moodle is relatively easy to install and use, but the real challenge is to develop a learning process that leverages its power and maps effectively onto the content established learning situation. This book guides you through meeting that challenge."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Skype Users: Try Unyte as a Teach/Learn Tool

A colleague has tried this with his online students and said: "Unyte is a plug-in for Skype which allows you to share your desktop, transfer files, share application all while using Skype to talk to the remote user. The plug-in is available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 users right now with a Mac OS X version on the way." For what reasons does he use it with students? "I've also used Windows Remote Desktop or Apple Remote Desktop to manage a remote user's desktop to help fix technical problems or show how to use an application on the user's system."

Monday, July 31, 2006

SocialStudyGames ~ Research, News & Resources

"I created this site in October, 2004 as a way to share all of the great resources I am finding in the course of my doctoral research into the social aspects of gaming. ... I wanted to be able to cull the best resources together to... give us all a greater holistic understanding of this emerging area. ... the social/psychological facet of games research ... a repository of resources, both original content and links to all the great stuff scattered all over the Web."

MindStorm: The Web 2.0 Gateway

They offer lots of information for Ajax Developers, plus a selection of pre-made FREE "web widgets to enhance your blog or website".

Here's an example -- a widget that AUTOMATICALLY searches for YouTube videos on the topic of "Education". CLICK TO SEE THE WIDGET EXAMPLE. LINK-NOTES: Clicking on the link will open a new window on my site's page about Web 2.0. From the example, clicking a video's thumbnail will take you to the YouTube site. Close that browser window to come back here. Thanks!

Videoblogging and VodCasting in Education

A full page of information and links in the wwwTools For Education newsletter. Subtitles include: Resources for Beginners; Examples of Videoblogs; Educational Practice; Class Work; For Teachers; For Professional Development; Student Videoblogs; Educational Videoblogs and Vodcasts; Resource Lists; Directories; Books.

ESL using Archie Comics

Each comic comes with a Learning Guide that has a complete transcript of the lesson including a glossary, sample sentences, comprehension questions and cultural notes.
"My name is PatC. I am a former middle school science teacher who now works for Archie Comics. I wanted to let you know about the ESL podcast I am producing on the Archie site. The podcast started out as something for students that I teach once a week (an ESL class) but I am having so much fun doing the podcasts that I am making them available for free to others."

Error Message Generator

This is fun, and might also be used to create popup messages in your course pages? Error Generator will create your image for you, then you can save it to use with an image-mapping program (to activate the buttons on the image) and/or a popup javascript. ~ Author Biographies & Their Literary Works

FREE ONLINE. "...our site is the Reader's Ultimate Resource for Published Authors. Get the alphabetical list of authors. See the Biography picture and read Literary works of the eminent authors by clicking on their name." Categories of works available are extensive -- short stories, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, plays, novels, essays, children's literature, and more.

Tools for Math Education

The newsletter wwwTools For Teachers has a whole issue devoted to this topic. Subheadings include Roles for ICTs in Math Ed; Motivational Maths; Concerning Hardware; Some Useful Software; Lessons & Activities; For Students; Collections of Resources (huge list of links); Toolbox; Professional Reading; Books. You math teachers will be on this page a while!

Sunday, July 30, 2006 - get an answer box of your own

You can put an answer look-up box within your course pages, on your website, etc. Several options available for shape n size of box. Here's just one -- TRY IT OUT! - Teacher Toolkit

This is a grrrreat site with LOTS of stuff! Lesson plan tools, free downloads, how-to's, and so much more.
Give your students instant access to the reference material they need for papers and research. Add to your classroom, media center and home computers to give you and your students free, instant access to reliable facts, definitions and information on over three million topics.

Aperto Elearning Solutions

Aperto eLearning Solutions: "...focuses on integrating innovative Open Source technologies with commercial learning management systems (LMS), such as WebCT and Blackboard. Aperto was created by WebCT co-founder Sasan Salari, who left WebCT in January 2006 after eleven years. Sasan saw a significant interest by higher- and further-education institutions to embrace the use of new community-building technologies in conjunction with their LMS." Aperto has now partnered with Elgg (see next item here).

ELGG Learning Landscape: This system was mentioned by Kevin Reeve as one way of including a blogging tool in a course; Elgg is one of the WebCT powerlinks. "Elgg is a hybrid of weblogging, e-portfolios and social networking. It is hoped this combination of features will provide an engaging environment for learners to create their own learning space and then connect to others, forming online communities of learning. ... There are two options to get an Elgg account. You can register for an individual account hosted by Elgg or you can take the system and install it on your own server. Elgg is an open source application. ... Elgg has been developed to serve as a stand alone personal learning landscape or as a complimentary addition to existing learning environments. Elgg has been developed to serve as a stand alone personal learning landscape or as a complimentary addition to existing learning environments. The emphasis with Elgg is very much on the learner."

ALSO: In a WebCT forum posting, Sasan Salari offers this: "Further to Kevin's message regarding Elgg and WebCT, you might also want to have a look at the Flash demo that I created, which shows the integration and some of the Elgg capabilities."

Web 2.0 - more about it

What is it?

"The term Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that lets people collaborate and share information online. In contrast to the first generation, Web 2.0 gives users an experience closer to desktop applications than the traditional static Web pages. Web 2.0 applications often use a combination of techniques devised in the late 1990s, including public web service APIs (dating from 1998), Ajax (1998), and web syndication (1997). They often allow for mass publishing (web-based social software). " Source: Wikipedia, about Web 2.0.

Bravenet's Webmaster Tips n Tricks newsletter's July'06 issue is devoted to Web 2.0 -- ideas, info, applications, etc. (I guess that link won't be permanent -- I looked everywhere on their site for archive links but they seem to only link to the current issue. Sorry. BUT! search their site for lots of resources. Just in case, here are a few of the items mentioned in this July issue:

Scriptaculous: "The Scriptaculous Javascript Library is the most widely used and distributed of the web 2.0 effects libraries. It contains many cool features and effects such as dragging and dropping, grow/shrink, animate position, highlighting and much more."

Rico: "Another very popular web 2.0 effects library. It's an open-source javascript library providing full ajax support, drag and drop management, cinematic effects and more."

Prototype: "The javascript base code that many effects libraries have been written on. The Prototype framework is intended to simplify development for dynamic web applications. Basically, it reduces many of the repetitive javascript code pieces that you would commonly use for creating dynamic effects and other javascript-based applications."

E-Learning 2.0 - Why the New Tools? Stephen Downes. Here's the link to his powerpoint presentation. Then link to the comment blog about the presentation and Stephen's ideas.

Web2.0Slides: "...a self-running slide show of over 1,400 of the best Web2.0 sites. It's categorized by tags and sorted alphabetically. What's cool about it? You can click on any site in the left-hand column to pause the slide show and surf around. When you're done, simply click PLAY, and it will begin right where you left off. Perfect for Web 2.0 couch 'taters. But if you're antsy and want to click around on sites, go right ahead—it won't stop the show."

Please visit my NEW page for my Resources Site: Web 2.0

Javascript Pop up window generator

The most flexible and powerful tool of its kind on the web, use this JavaScript wizard to instantly create, customize, and add pop up or pop under windows to your site! Control precisely the frequency of the window, whether it's once per browser session or any desired period (ie: once every 24 hours). For the uninitiated, a popup refers to a secondary, usually smaller window that loads on top of the main window, and contains a separate HTML document inside of it. To create your own popup, just follow the three simple steps below, and grab the generated code. It's that simple!

Wimpy MP3 Button Generator

So you can use MP3s: "Wimpy Button is a quick and painless way to add a single sound to your web page. Wimpy Button does not require any kind of back-end server-side scripting... just standard old HTML." Cost is $19.95. Embeds the audio player right in the HTML page, with Play and Stop buttons.

Using Audio Files on your webpage

Partners in Rhyme makes it very simple to embed an audio file as bg music (or whatever) , complete with a very simple interactive control bar to give your page visitor the option to play or turn it off. But remember -- 'embed' is now a deprecated HTML element, though it still works in most browsers. ("IE supports embed as long as the visitor has the appropriate player already installed. If not, they get an error and a generic broken-plugin icon, but no help. " -- quote is from the site below...)

Bye Bye Embed is an even better article because it addresses the combo of object/embed to make your audio work in all browsers. This article, however, goes beyond that to provide code that works without 'embed' -- for all sorts of media: Google Video, You Tube, WinMedia Player & Quicktime.

AJAX: Web-Based Software, full-featured

Ajax has an MS-Word-like online word processor -- create a new file or open a .doc file from your drive, save to your hard drive, publish to the web, share & collaborate, all right from a website. They have other applications too, including a Sketch app, spreadsheet (xls) app, Tunes player, video mixing (eyespot), and more. This is from the Ajax blog:
The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Is It Time to Dump Your Desktop?” In it the author reflects on the possibility for businesses to switch to web-based software once it is “good enough” for a big percentage of users. In this article, Ajax 13 was mentioned as one of the companies that is producing online alternatives to Micrsoft's widely used Office software. The appeal that the low cost alternatives have, continues to create a growing threat to the MS Office Suite.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Goal-Setting and Self-Regulation in Online Courses: The Basics

Linking thinking - Self-directed learning in the digital age:
"This study was undertaken to explore the extent to which and ways in which Information and Communication Technologies or ICT (basically global networks of computers and other associated digital devices) have impacted on learning. Instead of looking at learning in formal education and training settings, I have chosen to consider the dynamics of independent self-directed learning, especially that which is undertaken by adults."......"Adult learners are beneficiaries of self-regulation because it allows them to create order out of an often chaotic existence, and it helps them organize time, energies, and resources. This is a vital element as adults seek to balance career, family, travel, goals, dreams, and responsibilities. The following are steps that will help the adult learner build skills needed for self-regulation..."

Linking thinking - Self-directed learning in the digital age

"This study was undertaken to explore the extent to which and ways in which Information and Communication Technologies or ICT (basically global networks of computers and other associated digital devices) have impacted on learning. Instead of looking at learning in formal education and training settings, I have chosen to consider the dynamics of independent self-directed learning, especially that which is undertaken by adults. "

"...the world's first marketplace, launched in April of 2006, where smart educators can buy and sell original course materials. The time has finally arrived for the power of the internet to meet the power of our best educational minds." It's not just an exchange site; there are tools to help you find material and there's a "...7-Part Evaluation Process? Or, how will potential buyers know if they can trust that materials for sale are good?"

Synchronous Discussion in Online Courses: A Pedagogical Strategy for Taming the Chat Beast

Craig Smith says he has "...devised a protocol for virtual classroom etiquette—or "chatiquette"—based on research on classroom discourse and conversational turn-taking." He actually lists his rules within this article, so check it out!
"Online instructors, particularly those who have recently begun to incorporate online components in their teaching, have good reason to feel concerned about the potential for chat sessions to become less than productive in their courses. However, the protocol of virtual class chatiquette may serve as a helpful tool as they seek to tame the chat beast in their online courses while still ensuring that synchronous communication maintains the immediacy and vitality that is often lacking in asynchronous communication. Although I am still chat room avoidant, these guidelines helped me to overcome my fears and utilize such technology more effectively and productively in my own teaching."

Better Questions for Learning Professionals

from Tony Karrer's eLearning Technology blog:
"Now, let me start this diatribe with a brief rant on the importance of asking the right questions. In my mind, it is THE most important skill or ability to have....What Questions Are We Asking? ...My guess is that just as most learning professionals can tell you the problems with the interactivity question, they can similarly suggest lots of much better questions that might be appropriate instead..."

When to Wiki & When to Blog? Differences?

"Blogs and wikis, because they are different spaces, manifest/take advantage of/engage different epistemic and rhetorical possibilities and serve different rhetorical and epistemic ends. They engage different rhetorics: one topical, carved from the inside out; the other chronological, staying on top of things. "

Friday, June 16, 2006

REQUIRING Student Portfolios?

This was in this week's newsletter from Stephen Downes.
Helen Barrett Required High School Portfolios, Electronic Portfolios June 16, 2006. "Helen Barrett and I are of one mind on this, and I really like the story she tells to illustrate the point: 'The students there were required to set up a 3-ring notebook, put in specific sections and assignments. When a group of the students graduated from high school, they built a bonfire and burned their portfolios.' The issue is ownership. When students are required to create portfolios, and worse, told how they should be structured and filled, they lose any ownership over the process, and the portfolios become, as Barrett reports, "another example of what Lee Shulman calls 'perversion' of the original concept of the portfolio."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Create PDF Online free

Convert MANY file types to PDF for free! "There's nothing to install As a web based service, PDF Online allows you to quickly generates PDF from your PC, Mac, or Linux, from your home, your office or anywhere in the world."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Start here |

"As you may have guessed, this is a great place to start if you are new to blogging, interested in using blogs in the classroom, or would like to find out about (Canadian) social software initiatives in the areas of education, teaching and learning."
Headings include:
1. Blogs for Beginners - *Start Here
2. Read and research
3. Comment and discuss
4. Select a Technology
5. Tools of the grade
6. An introduction to podcasting (QAFocus)
7. What is Web 2.0? (QA Focus)"

Eyes Wide Open: Five Views of Quality in Online Education

"To learn more about quality indicators and their relation to institutional, faculty, student, and public needs, CenterPoint interviewed five people with intimate knowledge of online education:"

Podcasting Legal Guide - Rules for the Revolution

Published by Creative Commons, this is a very readable guide.
"This Guide Does Not Provide Legal Advice"..."The purpose of this Guide is to provide you with a general roadmap of some of the legal issues specific to podcasting. EFF has produced a very practical and helpful guide for issues related to blogging generally ( This Guide is not intended to duplicate efforts by EFF, and in many cases refers you to that guide for where crossover issues are addressed. Our goal is to complement EFF's Bloggers FAQ and address some of the standalone issues that are of primary relevance to podcasters, as opposed to bloggers."

Wednesday, June 7, 2006


"AbiWord is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft® Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks....AbiWord is unique among word processors in its drive to become a fully cross-platform word processor. Our source code is carefully written so that AbiWord will run on virtually any operating system with a minimum of time spent on porting. This combined with our support for internationalization (the ability to run AbiWord in many languages) gives AbiWord a massive potential user-base."

Monday, June 5, 2006

text-talk lingo:

Couldn't resist leading you to this site. In a recent discussion in a course I've been taking online, there was disagreement about how much/little students should be allowed to use messenger-style typing in the in-course discussion forums. Well, if you're an instructor who wishes you knew what they're saying, this is the site for you. Complete with translator so you don't have to dig through the page after page after page of lingo. Go for it, esp. if you're a text-talker 1ab.

afgo frm yt

Sunday, June 4, 2006

The Best on the Web for Teachers

"The Web Portal For Teachers" from the TeAch-nology site. "As we are sure that you are aware, there are tons of wonderful web sites available to teachers. In fact, we created our site to help teachers find those sites. We have reviewed many wonderful sites..." and they have a ranking system now. Their categories include: Teachers, Administrators, Higher Education, Current Trends, Literature in Education, Professional Development.

Barbican - Can I Have A Word?

"Giving teachers new ideas and resources to inspire creative writing in the classroom."

Biology Teacher Resources

BioEd Online: Presentations, slide sets, teaching resources, biology news, professional developments, discussions, hot topics, and more.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Informal Learning ~ The Power of Dialogue

Questions considered in this article -- well, in the dialogue described in the article. :) --
What habits do we need to let go of in order to have true dialogue? When does facilitation draw attention to the process or the moderator rather than furthering the inquiry? How does dialogue emerge from among a group of strangers, and what conditions are the most evocative for true inquiry? What role does individual ego play?

Also check out the same author, Jay Cross, on What Is Informal Learning?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Student Satisfaction Survey Report

Student Satisfaction and Perceived Learning with On-line Courses

This paper reports on a N.Y. Learning Network survey. It "...examine[s] factors that have contributed to the high levels of learning and learner satisfaction..." Four sections describe and explore:
  • information regarding the systemic implementation of our asynchronous learning environment
  • issues that contribute to learning effectiveness from a faculty-development and course-design perspective.
  • factors that significantly contribute to perceived learning and student satisfaction in on-line asynchronous courses...offers recommendations for course and program design based on these factors.
  • learning effectiveness at the level of individual institutions through examples from specific courses. studies present and examine important evidence relevant to learning effectiveness from a single-institution and individual-faculty perspective.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Optimizing Your Syllabus for Online Students

The authors say, You can keep your syllabus traditional, or you can make it a course map, schedule, and contract, among other things. The authors say,
"Online course syllabi serve as platforms upon which to stage, manage, or enhance your course and function as a kind of contract between you and your students. Students will most likely download, print-out and follow your syllabus like a map, using it to chart their progress in your course. It's a good idea to post a downloadable version of your syllabus, preferably in rtf format, in addition to the online version so your students can print it out easily."

On the bottom of the page above there's a link to Syllabus Writing 101, a Course & Template to guide you through making a great syllabus document.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Free PowerPoint Templates

A user forum where new templates are uploaded regularly. Free to help yourself!

Learning for Life -- Adult Education

This article asks some good questions. Although it's written about the British system, it could have easily been written about the British Columbia system where I work (and where we're experiencing cutbacks to adult education nearly every year! Some quotes from the article below; click the title to read the rest.

The national mental-health strategy highlighted the importance of adult education in promoting positive mental health; the neighbourhood renewal strategy noted the importance of learning for communities seeking to overcome social exclusion. The Wider Benefits of Learning research centre at London University has shown that taking part in learning increases racial tolerance, gives you a better chance of giving up smoking, and prolongs your active life in retirement. All in all, the case for adult learning is a powerful one. On the other hand, public provision for adults has been plummeting .....

Too often policy for adults seems to be made by sewing together what is left once young people's needs are met. ... How much public money should be used to support lifelong learning? How much should individuals pay? And how best can we make sure employers invest in their staff? Adults deserve clear answers - and there is no better time than Adult Learners' Week to secure them.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Podcast Tutorials

A long list of links to tutorials at the Podcast & Portable Media Expo website. (Click the title of this post to go directly to the tutorials page.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tools to Prevent Test Cheating

Here are just a couple of what's available. (More tools and ideas on my Resource Links page about plagiarism and also on my Quiz Resource Links page.)

SecureExam Browser: "A security application that locks down any web-based tool or platform, transforming school specific applications into secure testing vehicles. Like other Securexam applications, Securexam Browser creates a secure test environment by locking down the Windows operating system on the test-taker's laptop or desktop computer, only allowing access to the test application via our secure Internet browser. Giving exams on the internet has never been this easy or secure." Can be used with any testing situation, plus it's one of the WebCT/Blackboard Powerlinks.

Respondus Lockdown Browser: "...a custom browser that creates a secure testing environment within the WebCT and Blackboard e-learning platforms. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading."

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Now Skype offers free unlimited conference calls for up to 100 people! Read this article from Robin Good. You can join in on a Skypecast to get the feel of it (click here for links to find Skypecasts) or host your own Skypecast.

Beyond Text: using your voice online

Not only about podcasting. Includes other technologies for your courses -- voice chat, voice boards, voice email.
This resource demonstrates ways you can introduce online voice technologies into your course design and delivery and provide increased flexibility and engagement for learners. It can be used as an individual guide or as a resource for professional development and training sessions. There are three sections:
  • Case studies: See how teachers have used online voice tools to provide new learning opportunities for different groups of learners.
  • Facilitator guides: Gain an overview of online voice tools and how you can integrate them into teaching and learning. "The facilitator guides have been developed as an introduction to a number of voice tools and to model ways that you can integrate them into your teaching practices."
  • Future directions: Explore the future directions of voice online and how it may assist to promote new practices in innovative teaching and learning.

Blogging for Learning

From WWWTools For Education, an excellent page of with links, resources, and much more. Headings include: Terminology, Ideas for Content, Pros and cons of Educational Blogging, Pedagogy, Practical Treatments. Also a section of links for Adminstrators, Educators, Learners, Classes, Librarians, and several other education categories. The article quotes Will Richardson (from Webblogg-Ed) as saying that "people know what blogs are, and what they are really seeking now is pedagogy, not training. It feels like, finally, this is no longer a technology as it is another way to connect and communicate. It's feeling like in some places, at least, blog thinking is becoming embedded."

Should you buy a DSLR or Point and Shoot Digital Camera?

The article lists the pros and cons of each.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Podcasts for teaching ESL students

A list from K12

WebCT Icon Chart & Download

A handy place to download complete sets of WebCT icons. Provided by e-Learning@Ed.

Games For One And All

from TeAchnology: "Whether you're looking to use games for educational purposes or just looking for some fun, we have you covered! We constantly add new games. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a gaming console? Our games are totally free!" Their category headings are: Educational Games; The Animated Arcade; Other On-line Educational Games; Silver Membership - Make your own educational games. Online Teacher Resource

Worksheets, Teaching Tips, Teacher Resources, and Rubrics. "We provide free and easy to use resources for teachers dedicated to improving the education of today's generation of students." FREE access to:
27,000 lesson plans
Teaching tips
6,500 FREE printable worksheets
Games and Downloads
Preformatted rubrics
256,000 reviewed sites
Printable generators

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Best of History Web Sites

"Best of History Web Sites is an award-winning portal that contains annotated links to over 1000 history web sites as well links to hundreds of quality K-12 history lesson plans, history teacher guides, history activities, history games, history quizzes, and more."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sites for Teachers

" contains only links to sites that contain teacher's resource and educational material and the sites are ranked by popularity. No more surfing countless pages to find the occasional "good" site. Also, doesn't just allow any site on the list. has strict rules for the listed webmasters."

Timesavers for Teachers

Here's what they say: "World's largest and most complete collection of printable, interactive, often-used teacher forms, report card comments, checklists, worksheets, award certificates, passes, masters, units, and other downloadable timesaving ideas for busy teachers."

iPods and Podcasting in Education

From wwwTools for Education, a feature page full of information, links, resources. Headings include The Hardware; Definitions, Descriptions, Educational Values; Serious Reading for Educators - and Some Listening Too; Podcasts at Work in Education; Listings of Podcasts and Related Resources

Sunday, April 16, 2006

podictionary - book resources

A long page illustrating all sorts of resources about WORDS -- dictionaries, books about words, electronic resources and other "entymological connections".

podictionary: the podcast for word lovers

"Podictionary is the audio word-a-day. For a couple of minutes Charles Hodgson discusses the unexpected history of words you thought you already knew."
There's a cute thing in the top right corner that says, "Wait a minute, I don't want to know about podcasts: An email alternative."

SMARTBoard Lessons Podcast

"Delivering fresh and engaging lesson ideas at least weekly! ... The purpose of this site is to accompany a podcast that focuses on using SMART Boards in the classroom. Each episode will feature a lesson, a podcast, and user comments. ... The goal of this podcast to share lesson ideas that use technology to engage students in learning with a focus on SMARTBoard Interactive Whiteboards between educators. It will be a maximum of 20 minutes so that teachers can listen on lunch breaks or recesses as they mark papers or on their way to school in the morning via their iPod."

Friday, April 14, 2006

ELGG Learning Landscape

This system was mentioned by Kevin Reeve as one way of including a blogging tool in a course; Elgg is one of the WebCT powerlinks.
"Elgg is a hybrid of weblogging, e-portfolios and social networking. It is hoped this combination of features will provide an engaging environment for learners to create their own learning space and then connect to others, forming online communities of learning. ... There are two options to get an Elgg account. You can register for an individual account hosted by Elgg or you can take the system and install it on your own server. Elgg is an open source application. ... Elgg has been developed to serve as a stand alone personal learning landscape or as a complimentary addition to existing learning environments. Elgg has been developed to serve as a stand alone personal learning landscape or as a complimentary addition to existing learning environments. The emphasis with Elgg is very much on the learner."

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Google Page Creator

You need a GMail account to use it.
"Google Page Creator is a free tool that lets you create web pages right in your browser and publish them to the web with one click. There's no software to download and no web designer to hire. The pages you create are hosted on Google servers and are available at for the world to see."

Podcast Station

"Podcast Station is Win 2k and XP compatible software. It is built on the professional, award winning VoxPro platform, a product sold worldwide and used in radio broadcasting news and control rooms to record and edit phone calls and other stereo audio on the fly for quick turn around to air. VoxPro Podcast Station is a single screen program that will record, mix, edit and publish your podcasts. It provides an easy to use production solution taking you from the start of a podcast to publishing on the net on one screen. It’s like having a broadcast console on your computer. No need for mixers, amplifiers, compressor-limiters, it's all built in and easy to use. On screen buttons can be assigned music, sound effects and interviews from MP3, WAV, WMA,AIFF, whatever, with the ability to play them back while recording your podcast."

Engagement with Electronic Portfolios: Challenges from the Student Perspective

"While it is generally agreed that e-portfolios have great potential to engage students and promote deep learning, the research that has been conducted to date focuses very little on student perceptions of value of the e-portfolio for their learning. If students do not accept the e-portfolio as a holistic means with which to document their learning in different contexts and more importantly, agree or wish to use the e-portfolio as an integral part of their educational experience, then the potential impact the e-portfolio will have on learning will not be realised. This paper highlights four themes arising out of research that is underway within an international framework of collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, the University of British Columbia and the University of Waterloo. "

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Course Development

Topics include Planning Courses (for both Online and Classroom Based), Content Development, Assessment & Evaluation.
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to Course Development is designed as a resource for individuals with varying levels of course design experience.
  • Individuals new to higher education can use this site to help design their
    first classroom based course integrating technology where appropriate.
  • Experienced instructors, being encouraged to place materials within a
    learning management system, can use this site to decipher the differences
    between Web-Presence, Web-Enhanced, Web-Centric and Online courses and how to
    plan courses for online delivery.
  • Instructors of online courses, looking for new ideas and ways to improve
    their course, can use the site to improve content development by finding sources
    for pre-developed content and ideas to improve student centered learning.
  • Instructional Designers and Instructional Support Staff can use this site as
    a reference for themselves or as a resource for the faculty they

Educational Freeware (K-12)

"This site is dedicated to listings, descriptions and reviews of the best free educational software for Windows, both web based and downloadable. "

Addressing Gender & Learning Style in Course Design

"Do Gender and Learning Style Play a Role in How Online Courses Should Be Designed?"

"The Kolb Learning Style Inventory was used to identify differences between the learning styles of 168 students in traditional face-to-face courses and students in matched courses taught online. Additionally, the data for the online courses were divided by gender to determine if gender was a factor. Results of the analysis found that there was a difference in the learning style of the online student and the student in the face-to-face course and that gender was a factor in the relationship between learning style and student engagement. The implications for online course designers are significant. When designing online courses the learning style and gender of all students must be considered."

Open Source Project: An LCMS Alternative -- Moodle

My link above is to EdTechPost's description of a funded research project wherein "6 institutions have done pioneering working to investigate the viability of Moodle as an alternative, and have made the resulting reports available for all to see. The project was funded by ... BCcampus." What grabbed my attention was that one of the several offerings by the research group is documentation about how to migrate WebCT 4.1 courses to Moodle.

Podcast: Learning Management System Selection

This site links to a 51 minute recording that provides coverage of the 2005 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference Session entitled The Matrix Transformed: Achieving Better Focus and Insight in Learning Management System Selection.

Teachers' Perceptions of Video Games

MMOGs and the Future of Preservice Teacher Education:

"P.G. Schrader, Dongping Zheng, and Michael Young examine how preservice teachers' personal experiences with video games inform their views of gaming in the classroom. They link the results of their study to current literature and conclude that preservice teachers' experiences steer them away from game genres such as massively multiplayer online games and toward using games as rewards. The solution, the authors conclude, is to provide preservice teachers with new experiences in their training programs that make them aware of the educational potential of games in the classroom."

Award-Winning Professors Offer Ten Teaching Tips

A group of Duke faculty and staff are promoting excellence in teaching with public talks, weekly meetings and research projects.
"The Consortium for Scholarship on Teaching and Learning (CoSTL) has been meeting for two years, drawing participants from longer-running informal discussion groups within departments. CoSTL participants, about 25 each week, are mostly math and science faculty with “professor of the practice” titles, who are responsible for teaching but not research. Their research, they say, is on how best to teach undergraduates."

Bitty Browser

They call it a "Picture-in-Picture for the Web". This is SO kewl! I can think of many applications for this "Bitty Browser", from in-course links/feeds to using multiple browser boxes as a website organizing method. Check it out as you think creatively (click on the title of this post).

Here's an example -- I used a Bitty Browser to post my list of subscribed feeds on my Resource Site's Acknowledgement page.

The Illustrated History of the Roman Empire

An full site that calls itself the "leading web resource on Rome". Includes empire maps from various dates, reenactors (photos/descriptions of people re-enacting various battles and events), categorized chapters, FAQs, a bulletin board, resource links, and an online quiz.

SyncToy for Windows XP

SyncToy is a FREE "PowerToy" from Microsoft.
"...easy to use, highly customizable application helps you copy, move, synchronize, rename, and delete files between folders and computers.... digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops.

Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without added complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder."

Sharing Photographs and Other Still Imagery

From wwwTools For Education (one of my subscription newsletters), here's a full page of information and links on this one topic. LOTS of useful leads here, so I'll leave you with this page link rather than pointing out individual items. Headings include Why Share Pictures?, Pedagogical considerations, Sharing Pictures in Educational Practice, Hardware, Software, Software for Sharing, Albums, Mixing the Media, Tools & Toys, Resources, Books.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Librarians' Internet

Frances Long at says, "The invisible internet is the name given to specialty areas that are available but not generally well-known. When I want a trusted, reviewed site for research etc. the first place I stop is The Librarians Internet." Check the details in their extensive "about us" section/pages and you will see that they do have strict guidelines and review processes before including sites in their database.

I especially like using their Reference section.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The Graduation Portfolio Workbook (BC, Canada)

"The Graduation Portfolio Workbook focuses on the mandatory core aspects of the six prescribed Portfolio Organizers as well as the student presentation that must be completed by all students planning to graduate. This Workbook was developed for teachers of students with learning challenges to clarify the required core aspects and presentation components. The Graduation Portfolio process encourages students to gather and present evidence of skills, knowledge and competencies that will support a successful transition beyond Grade 12. The authors felt that once students clearly understood the process and became engaged in it, they could confidently proceed to explore choice aspects that best reflect their talents, interests, and abilities.

"This Workbook has been designed as an electronic workbook. ...All the files related to the Graduation portfolio are available for download. To download, click on item in list on the left."

ViewletACE, Qarbon's Survey and Quiz Software

ACE: (Ask, Collect, Evaluate) This new Qarbon offering has a sizeable price tag attached, but is certainly worth looking at. Check out their demo.
"Forget those dull HTML-based quizzes and surveys. Get the power of Flash to captivate your audience with stunning graphical quizzes and surveys. ViewletACE is the most efficient way to create dynamic, customizable Flash-based surveys and assessments without the need for extensive training and development time."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Canadian Information By Subject

"The objective of the National Library of Canada's Canadian Information By Subject service is to provide links to information about Canada, arranged by subject, from Internet resources around the world. ... Canadian Information By Subject includes pointers to many different information sources. ... Please note that this service is updated regularly and is constantly developing and expanding. Be sure to check back often to see the latest additions."

Learning & Teaching using ICT

Material for Primary & Secondary school teachers. A rich site of resources, lesson plans, ideas for using communication technologies in the classroom.
"Develop your teaching practice using ICT. Here are all the materials you will need to teach a wide range of subject topics using ICT, from planning and preparation to evaluation. Whether you are new to ICT or more experienced, these materials can be used by all teaching professionals."

SKYPE in the Classroom

The article explains what Skype is and offers suggestions for how it can be used in education. Tells you how to get started, discusses safety and technical issues, and more.
"Skype is an example of a potentially “disruptive” educational technology tool because it can fundamentally change the teaching and learning environment. ... teaching and learning in the 21st Century can no longer be a traditional experience of “sit and get.” Teachers as well as students must strive to creatively employ technology tools to access, evaluate, synthesize and communicate information. Only by engaging in this active process can “information” from the Internet be translated into “knowledge” in the minds of learners. Classroom teachers can leverage the potential of disruptive technologies like Skype, weblogs, podcasts, or one to one technology immersion initiatives to increase student motivation to communicate with authentic audiences, spend more time on assigned tasks, and develop essential literacy skills needed for vocational and lifetime success in the twenty-first century. Translated, this means increasing student achievement, while simultaneously encouraging students as well as teachers to engage in worthwhile and creative tasks. Twenty-first century educators should aspire for nothing less."

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Free Online Educational Resources

Annotated links to various types of resources, including locations of courses & online institutions, podcasts on education topics, articles, lessons and more.

More Podcast sites

Podmatic: "Create, find & send podcasts" Lots of categories to browse/use, including an Education category containing hundreds of podcasts and other links. "...podcasting has traditionally been restricted to the crafty, tech-savvy and patient. ... many would-be podcasters are confronted with an array of technical hurdles (i.e. recording software, RSS and XML syndication, hosting, etc). ...To expedite podcasting's transition from fad to mainstream, our goal is to drop these barriers of entry for people interested in producing podcasts."

The Learning Pod: "Conversation, chat, discussion and information provided by people in education for people in education together with teachers notes."

Odeo: "Odeo is a creative way to record and share audio—and it's free. ...As a company, we believe strongly in the democratization of media. We think that giving more people powerful tools for the creation and distribution of media will result in more knowledge, ideas, art, truth, and amusement available to all."

Contemporary Online Teaching Cases

This site "... has been designed to help teachers work creatively and productively in their online teaching. Each of the cases locate new media and online technologies in the context of broader views of what it means to teach and learn effectively in different disciplines and professional fields in tertiary education. ...We hope the site provides you with plenty of ideas on how to develop and use new media/new technologies in your teaching."

The menu is good for drilling down to see the topics/cases you're most interested in. One example: I went to Approaches To Learning > Activity Based Learning and found this case study: "Using online multimedia to help student teachers develop post-primary curriculum and teach art and graphic design. ...This case illustrates the use of rich multimedia and online discursive activities to enhance students' learning and curriculum development skills in visual arts education."

Each case/topic is presented in voice segments, and many provide text transcripts of those audio clips.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Finding Articles Online

In this article, author Mary Ellen Bates mentions several sources for an articles search, going into detail about what they have, are good for, quality, etc.
"When you're looking for magazine or journal articles, search engines can be helpful, but other specialized search tools are often a better bet—particularly in the academic, scholarly and sci-tech areas."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Springdoo - EASY WAY to create/serve audio over the Internet

Springdoo is touted as a way to "talk your emails", but really it's a good tool for people who want an easy and FREE way to create internet voice files.** "Springdoo is an easy way to record, store and serve audio over the Internet. Some people are even using Springdoo to record audio messages that are then placed on websites, chat rooms, dating sites and blogs for anyone to listen to....You do not need any special software or services to record and / or play a Springdoo. Springdoo uses streaming file technology, so there are no file attachments to send in emails and / or download. You can create a Springdoo using your computer and a microphone, or any telephone such as your land line, mobile / cell or even a pay phone."
**After reading their Help files, I see that you can only save the voice files to your computer if you use their paid phone service. And :( it's not available in Canada yet, apparently.

Multimedia Learning in Games, Simulations, and Microworlds

A chapter from Multimedia Learning in Games, Simulations, and Microworlds by Lloyd P. Rieber.
"This chapter reviews and critiques the scientific evidence and research methods studying the use of games, simulations, and microworlds as multimedia learning tools. This chapter focuses on interactive educational multimedia, which is distinguished from scripted forms of educational multimedia by the degree to which users participate in and control the multimedia software."

Gaming for Education

An excellent set of links under the headings: Definitions, Organizations and Research Centers, Game Development Books, Journals related to Game Development, Design and Development, PowerPoint Games, Kids Sites.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

book - K12 Handhelds

[K-12] I don't usually include info about books on this site. But this integration idea appeals to me and I think the page is worth looking at. The books aren't expensive and come with CDs containing packaged lessons, guides, etc. Book titles include integration Across The Curriculum, ...into the Writing Curriculum, ...101 Great Educational Uses For...., Tips n Tricks for...., Handhelds for Teachers & Admin.

Attensa for Outlook

Attensa for Outlook: (Quoting from's list of windows feedreaders.)
"Works inside Microsoft Outlook to bring up-to-the-minute RSS news feed headlines and Podcast content from your favorite Websites and blogs right into neatly organized Outlook folders. Now you can stay on top of RSS news and your favorite blogs without all the surfing. Attensa for Outlook is the first RSS news reader and news aggregator for Outlook that lets you use a toolbar in your browser of choice, Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer, to easily add and manage RSS news feeds and subscriptions from Websites and blogs. And, it's the only Outlook RSS reader that automatically loads audio Podcast files into iTunes and Windows Media Player playlists."

RSS Compendium at

A huge collection of RSS resources. You can subscribe to keep up to date with their news and additions.

RSS Readers for Windows users

Click the title to get to the list, provided by -- then look at the rest of their site. Loaded with RSS resources.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What Is Web 2.0?

1. Web 2.0 and Education: The newsletter wwwTools for Education devotes their current issue to this question. Several resources & links to help explain Web 2.0. The following commentary (in my #2) is from their newsletter.

2. "Tim O'Reilly's What Is Web 2.0? Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software (September 30, 2005) is a core document in the field, tracking the Web 2.0 concept back to a conference brainstorming session which juxtaposed Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 associations and identifiers to come up with a formulation of Web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices, most conveniently visualised and presented here as the now renowned Web 2.0 meme map. Seven principles characterising Web 2.0 practices are explored."

Respondus - LockDown Browser for testing environments

Respondus LockDown Browser - Beta Available:
"A beta release of Respondus LockDown Browser is now available to academic institutions. The browser locks down the testing environment within WebCT and Blackboard so that students are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until it is submitted for grading."

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Current Research in Learning Design

"This papers introduces Learning Design, analyses the different papers and provides an overview of current research in Learning Design. The major research issues are at the moment: a) the use of ontologies and semantic web principles & tools related to Learning Design; b) the use of learning design patterns; c) the development of learrning design authoring and content management systems, and d) the development of learning design players, including the issues how to use the integrated set of learning design tools in a variety of settings."

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

The 25 Absolute Best Web Resources for Writers

Listed under headings such as How To Write, What To Write, Where To Find Information, How To Format Your Paper, Study Help, and more...

834 Tips for Successful Online Instruction

The tips are from a 2005 questionnaire of eLearning Guild members on the subject of Synchronous Instruction. The tips are organized under headings, and the paper has a detailed Table of Contents so you can zoom in on the tips you're most interested in reading.
"As might be expected the tips ranged from a single word (Plan! or Practice!) to as many as fifteen separate tips running over 350 words! They also ranged from the simple and obvious to the unusual and subtle. They covered the complete gamut of behavior for an online instructor. We are providing these tips to everybody who is interested in being more effective at doing online synchronous instruction."

Audio learning, Podcasting, and what it means for learners and trainers

This Clive Shepherd interview (podcast) is divided up into short segments, each labelled so you can zoom in on your particular interest. Titles of the sections include
  • Why use audio for learning?
  • Podcasting needs learning design too
  • What is the grammar of podcast design?
  • Soft skills and podcasting
  • Music and podcasting
...and more...

Google for eLearning

Two good articles from the Kineo group, whose recent survey "...revealed that over 40% of people thought Google would dominate informal learning ahead of workflow learning, email, wikis etc."

Delivering Instructionally Sound Content with PowerPoint & Breeze

"An article from Macromedia. "Not many eLearning developers or instructional designers think of PowerPoint as a tool for building online courses. Surprisingly, PowerPoint is the second most frequently used tool for creating computer-based training applications – Dreamweaver being number one. The truth is that PowerPoint, when used correctly, can help you create rich, compelling, and instructionally sound eLearning content....In fact, most people have created some kind of presentation with the tool. It's not difficult. Given these facts it's easy to see why leveraging PowerPoint in the development of online content and eLearning would make sense. It's a tool that SMEs already know how to use. Using Macromedia Breeze and PowerPoint to create and deploy online courses also makes sense. With Breeze, anyone with basic knowledge of PowerPoint can easily add narration, animation, quizzes, and surveys to PPT content and publish that content efficiently over the web via Flash Player."

15 free or low cost eLearning Technologies + 50 Ideas for Free eLearning

Matthew Fox of Kineo (an intelligent team whose focus is "stirring up learning with fresh thinking") writes a review of
"...15 key free or low cost technologies you can to develop e and blended learning for next to nothing. From authoring tools, and from Podcasting to chat rooms, I’ve technologies to get you started. I also show you when and appropriate to use them in your learning programmes."
He then goes on to
"...give you over 50 different ideas about technologies in your organisation to start making improve the effectiveness of your learning."

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Unbolting the Chairs: Making Learning Management Systems More Flexible

"We contend that the current technical design philosophy of today's Learning Management Systems is substantially retarding progress toward the kind of flexible virtual classrooms that teachers need to provide quality education. In order to have substantial development of specialized teaching tools at an acceptable rate, LMSs need to be designed from the ground up to make development and integration of new tools as easy as possible. In this article, we will make the case that specialized teaching tool development is, in fact, radically slower than it ought to be. We will propose reasons for this evolutionary logjam, suggest LMS design qualities that would break it, and provide guidelines that technical and non-technical stakeholders within an organization can use together to help select an LMS that is designed for a future in which the virtual chairs are unbolted and teachers have control over their teaching environments again."

eLearning Predictions for 2006

E-learning experts map the road ahead -- An article made up of quotations from the experts. In today's eLearn Magazine.

APA & MLA style software, templates

I just added a bunch of new entries on my writers' style guides resource page (linked on the heading above). Here are a few of the new additions today, including software & word processor templates:

  • APA Style Guide eBook: FREE downloadable reference manual. "This e-book will show you how to format your essay to conform to the style as set out in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). It contains examples of referencing of the most common sources, the way to layout your essay, page headings, page spacing, font type and size, paragraph indents, how to enter in-text citation etc. and includes links to more APA information sites on the net."

  • APA Style Helper: from the APA site. "APA-Style Helper 5.1 provides you with new organizational and help features, enhanced text processing capabilities, and step-by-step assistance in the creation of your document. APA-Style Helper 5.1 also provides you with a consistent work environment - your word processor. The new design eliminates the need to import your document into Microsoft Word, as previous versions required, saving you time and effort." FREE demo version; $34.95 to purchase.

  • APA Perrla software: This looks very easy to use. Click the "tour" link on the left menu to see what I mean. Built to work with MS Word for PC only. $24.95 to purchase.

  • APA Template: " Includes document templates for both APA (5th edition) and MLA (6th edition). Sets up your Word document with the proper title page, preset margins, page numbering codes, and page headers. All you have to do is write your paper. Has built in Style Settings for section level headers and quotes, so formatting text as you write is easy. Includes CiteWrite - a limited version of Citation, to help you format references and bibliographies. Saves your bibliographic information in a datafile, so you won't have to retype it again for editing and revisions."

  • Reference Point Templates: Available for APA and MLA styles. Templates are available for use with Word, WordPerfect, AmiPro, Word Pro, MS Works, and StarOffice. "Quickly and easily download and install everything you need for a paper perfectly formatted in APA style or MLA style. Use your existing word processor and document software - nothing new to learn. Create title pages, abstract pages, margins, page numbers, even citations with ease. Type in author, title and journal; hit "enter" and you have a perfectly formatted APA style reference or MLA style works cited entry. Get menu-driven help and friendly customer service at your fingertips. Eliminate hours of frustration and focus on the content of your paper instead of the format." $27.95 to purchase.

  • StyleEase for APA Style: You can get it in versions for APA, MLA, Chicago Style, and Turabian Style. "StyleEase for APA Style for Microsoft Word formats your papers and references in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th Edition). Simply choose from one of four document styles for theses, dissertations, journal articles, or term papers. You focus on the content of your paper, and let StyleEase handle the rest. " $35 to purchase.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Captivate (Macromedia)

(formerly RoboDemo) I own Quarbon ViewletBuilder for this, but I've been reading some high praise for Captivate as THE software to own when you want to prepare a screen recording (screen capture tutorial, presentation, etc.) with audio. Bruce Landon (Douglas College, Vancouver, BC) wrote in a forum:
"If your time is important for about $200 (ed pricing) you can get Captivate which works quite nicely for making high quality flash screen shots with audio (recored live or editied in). seems to work fine and with little effort."
Scott Leslie (Ed Tech Post) then tried it and responded:
"Wow - it totally rocks! I installed it, ran it and made my first screen recording in under 5 minutes. Really nice piece of software that truly put all of these others to shame, and Bruce, you were doubly right about it being worth the price just for how easy it makes doing these screen recordings. Really nice piece of software."

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

FREE Web Page Analyzer & Speed Test

"Try our free web site speed test to improve website performance. Enter a URL to calculate page size, composition, and download time. The script calculates the size of individual elements and sums up each type of web page component. Based on these page characteristics the script then offers advice on how to improve page load time. The script incorporates best practices from HCI research into its recommendations."

10 Tips for Online Teaching Success

The 2005 'WebCT Exemplary Course Project' winners share 10 of their best practices in designing and delivering high-quality online courses.

In addition, they provided in-depth looks into their classes in personal interviews available now via the ECP Web site (click a course name to access the interview with its designer).

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Content Management Systems: Do's & Don'ts

"CMS doesn’t have to be synonymous with failure. There is no doubt that the right CMS, properly implemented, can offer real benefits to organizations of all sizes. The catch seems to be that it’s not always easy to find the right CMS, let alone a qualified team with the skills needed for a proper implementation. ...With this in mind I offer a few do’s and don’ts that could help you minimize your chances of joining the ranks of those who are unhappy with their CMS."

20 Technology Skills Every Educator Should Have

"...most educators use a variety of tools-including video, e-mail, desktop conferencing, online programs such as WebCT and Blackboard, as well as video conferencing-to teach. Thus, it is no longer acceptable for educators to be technology illiterate. With that in mind, here is a comprehensive listing of the technology skills that every educator should have. Because as computer and associated technologies continue to change and evolve, educators must continue to strive for excellence in their work. Today that includes continued time and effort to maintain and improve their technology skills (as much as some educators do not want to admit)."

The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities

A categorized site that truly leads to some excellent FREE software.

Project Gutenberg -- FREE books online

The link above is to the USA site; there's also an Australian site. There are 17,000 FREE books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog.
"These ebooks may be read on a computer using a simple text editor or viewer. The books are in the 'public domain' and all have been prepared by volunteers."

Google Books

In spite of the current controversy surrounding copyright issues, I think it's admirable that this and other sites are making texts more and more available. Here's what Google says about their initiative:
"In May 1961, JFK said that he was going to put a man on the moon. The idea was unthinkable at the time, but within the decade, the goal was achieved. Google Book Search is our man on the moon initiative. We see a world where all books are online and searchable. How exactly will this be done? How long exactly will it take? We aren't sure, but we're committed to making it happen."
When you get there, read their "about" page.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

8 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Web Site

From Lockergnome, a set of guidelines useful to anybody creating a webpage, whether it's a general website or to be used for your course material.
"Ever notice how some Web sites feel great, energetic, fun - you just want to linger to soak up more? And yet other sites are truly repellant. These tips will help you create a truly happening site."

Feed2Podcast - create a podcast out of your blog

Free sign-up for this service. The Feed2Podcast engine instantly turns your blog's RSS feed into a Podcast. See this explanation and review on Jake Ludington's MediaBlab.


"Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users. ...a standard Windows-based UI with drag-and-drop editing makes it very easy to create high quality tutorials/documentation.

It is estimated that Macromedia Flash Player is installed in more than 90% of the PCs. Using Wink you can create content viewable across the web in all these users' desktops. Similar applications sell for hundreds of dollars, while Wink is free with unrivaled features."

Virtual Professor goes WIRELESS

A new page on my Resources site, devoted to links and resources on the topic of Wireless & Handhelds for Education.

a.k.a. Pervasive eLearning

Handheld Computers in Education

This article from wwwTools for education covers definitions and background into, then offers a long, categorized & commented set of links to several excellent resources and articles on the topic. An excellent starting point!


K12 A site devoted to the use of handhelds in education. Page topics include the two below, as well as Products, Classroom Solutions, Bookstore, Grants, Cool New Stuff, Professional Development, Events.

101 Great Educational uses for your handheld computer: The article groups the uses under the headings Administrative Applications, Communication and Collaboration Applications, Teaching and Learning Applications.

Getting Started: "Just getting started with handhelds? Here are some of the things that you will need to think about and resources that will help."

How PDAs Work

From the fantastic HowStuffWorks site, an excellent article for those of us who don't yet own a handheld. Explains the various types/brands, their differences in technology and use, and more.
"In this article, we take look at the PDA -- where it's been, how it is converging with other devices, and where it's headed. We also examine how PDAs work and give you some pointers on how to select one."

The Handheld Educator: Top 10 Reasons To Use Handhelds

A one-page summary of Best Practices for Handhelds in Education.
"Teachers rely on best practices, the strategies learned from experienced educators and researchers, so they can use the most effective methods to teach their students. Many components make up a best practice. Some techniques are ageless and withstand the test of time. And some that are new and innovative, like using handheld computers, show great promise."

E-learning on the move

"Over the past seven or eight years, universities and colleges in the US have been introducing wireless technology into campus life. In the UK and at universities in other countries around the world, pilot projects that started at the end of the 90s are now giving rise to 'wireless ready' learning environments, overcoming the restrictions of hard-wired technology. In the ever-more competitive national and international markets for students, this is a campus facility that universities are increasingly dangling before the eyes of potential freshmen."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Web Album Generator - Free photo album creator software

Web Album Generator: FREE! Create online photo albums really fast. I just tried it and it's easy, very fast, simple and fun to use. Thanks to Anthony Tobin's blog posting for this one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kids Educational Software

Smart Neurons provides educational software for preschoolers and kids to help enhance their pre-reading skills, story building logic and imagination. ALSO check out their Resources list of education-based sites.

Royalty free stock photos

To get the FREE images you have to sign up for a free account at Fotolia. They also have images to purchase, starting at just $1 per image. They say, "Thousands of new images a day." If you're a photographer, you can sell your photos to them, setting your own price. They say, "Highest commision in the industry (up to 80%)."

Free Audio Clips

Download and use on your website. There are several different types of audio files available in this Bravenet library:
  • MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface): Typically smallest in filesize
  • AU (Audio file): The sound format for Java
  • WAV (Wave file): The sound format for Windows.

Free Clipart

From the Bravenet Webmaster Resource Center - hundreds of free images to download and use on your website.

Webmaster Resource Centre

Bravenet offers an excellent all-in-one resource site. Includes Quick Reference Sheets for various types of code (HTML, CSS, more), articles, tutorials, MiniTools for your website, free clip art, fonts, scripts, and other free downloads and tools. A must-have bookmark!

Bravenet CSS Reference Sheet

What I like about this one is how thorough it is -- each entry (1) explains the property, (2) gives a list of all possible values for it (3) gives an example of how to use it. Excellent for beginners and beyond.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

TechTerms Dictionary

"The goal of the Tech Terms Computer Dictionary is to not just define computer terms, but explain them as well. While defining computer terminology may be simple, explaining what each term means is more helpful. contains hundreds of computer and technology terms, all with detailed explanations." - The File Extensions Resource

"A searchable database of file extensions with detailed explanations of each file type."

50+ RSS Ideas for Educators

The title is a little misleading. The document is not just ideas, it begins with the basics -- explaining the technologies available, how they work, outlining various applications to use, illustrated tutorial on getting going, and then finally a descriptive list of ideas to get you inspired and on your way. Chock full of links to resources. EXCELLENT!

The 10 Principles of eLearning

"There are ten basic Principles of Learning that, when practiced, help us grow in understanding and make us successful in whatever we attempt to do. These ten basic Principles of Learning are really a series of actions that successful people people can take in their daily lives. In fact, since learning is such an integral part of living, these rules might more appropriately be called the basic principles of a good life."

50 ideas for Free eLearning

It's not a numbered list, but is full of good information about various free and low-cost learning environments. Starts with "5 Minute Insights" if you don't have time to read the whole document. I like the approach: outlining the types of content/communication/delivery and then commenting on each as to their role in eLearning, features, limitations, and how to do it for less.
"...A key weapon in your armoury is low cost scalable technology. Don’t panic! Whilst your budget may not stretch to commissioning a bespoke e-learning programme or buying a learning management system there is a lot you can do to make learning have an impact in your organisation. I review 15 key free or low cost technologies you can start using today to develop e and blended learning for next to nothing. From free LMSs to authoring tools, and from Podcasting to chat rooms, I’ve selected the best technologies to get you started. I also show you when and where it’s most appropriate to use them in your learning programmes. I also give you over 50 different ideas about how you could apply these technologies in your organisation to start making savings immediately and improve the effectiveness of your learning."