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).