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.