Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Carol's Corner Office - MS Office tips and tricks

Lots of tips and tricks for MS Office here. Also check out her Free Word Bytes Newsletter. I hear from very-inside sources that Carol is going to start offering Open Office information along with MS Office very soon.

Free Computer Utility Software

Dave, the site owner, writes, "All of the software listed is spyware and adware free at the time it is listed."

IconArt -- FREE utility for creating icons

"IconArt is a highly-compact cursor & icon creator. Icons are used to illustrate programs and files. One example are the shortcuts on your desktop. IconArt allows you to either draw the whole image from scratch using all common tools or to import an image to turn into a icon or cursor."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dave's Computer Tips

Daves Computer Tips"This site contains tips, tweaks, and general advice related to computer hardware, computer software, computer peripherals, and other technology devices." Dave also offers a free biweekly newsletter that:
"...contains important computer news, computer security tips, software reviews, computer hardware, and software tips articles, as well as discussion about programs I find useful. ...Whether you are a geek, a computer owner, a computer user, or someone who thinks Windows are only for looking out of you will find something useful in my newsletter!"

Sunday, May 27, 2007

SLurl: Location-Based Linking in Second Life

What is SLurl?
SLurl provides direct teleport links to locations in Second Life. If you have Second Life installed, clicking on the map link will automatically teleport you to that location in-world.

Why use SLurl?
In addition to allowing customized control over mapping locations in Second Life, SLurl also provides a better experience for web users who don't have Second Life. Instead of getting an error when clicking on web links that begin with "secondlife://", visiting a SLurl link gives potential new users a chance to sign up.

Also, check out this SLurl Builder, a handy online tool to help you build your direct links to SL locations.

Reuters reports from Second Life

Reuters of London have assigned a bureau chief, Adam Pasick, to a full time job reporting from inside Second Life! (He says it's difficult to explain his full time job to his mother/grandmother :) This site, complete with RSS feed, is filled with news, blog, videos, audio & video interviews with a range of Second Life subjects, Second Life Business News and Economy reporting, including a dollar value & daily spending charts, a Dollar/Linden currency converter, and lots more, all directly from Second Life. Of course, there's also a Reuters office tower in Second Life.

See this video report from CBC [note: you may be asked to install DivX to view it, but that's all Good!]. Complete with action videos taken inside Second Life, it's an excellent overview of what Second Life is growing to mean and do in our world. As a non-Second Lifer (I bet they have a word for us 'outside world' people?), I thought this video was one of the most informative I've seen so far. I've been told it costs money to "film" scenes from inside Second Life, so I guess this video is like an exclusive treat, courtey of CBC News and Reuters.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Games & Learning

UK's FutureLab's handbook "reports on some of the latest developments in the design of bespoke educational games. Such games are designed to be as rich and dynamic as their mainstream 'cousins', but are intended for particular formal educational outcomes. It also asks whether and how schooling should be adapted to accommodate the use of games."

Top Ten Missing Features of Second Life as an Educational Simulation Platform

Clark Aldrich's says,
"Second Life truly is a phenomenon. It is exactly what the name and vision imply: an example of a parallel 'multiverse'. People will learn much in it, as they might alternatively learn via participating on a real-world sports team, running a real-world lemonade stand, or walking around a great real-world city....Perhaps most importantly, participants learn 'to be' through expressing themselves, including building elaborate sets, and exploring alternative groups with which to interact. Meanwhile, corporations will set up shop in Second Life, as in FaceBook and MySpace, to be where the kids are in an attempt to speak their language and get some eyeballs. But when people talk about it as a platform for Educational Simulations, I am less excited. In fact, here are my list of top ten missing features from Second Life..." - NEW Education Site

A CNW Group (Canadian Newswire) article calls this new section at "Canada's most comprehensive online destination site for current and potential post-secondary students has finally arrived. Announcing the launch of, the first website in Canada to offer continuously updated higher education news... up-to-the-minute analysis, interactivity and points-of-view ... It's an essential resource for students and recent graduates looking to make educational decisions." Extensive education/university content, including a personalized version of the famous Maclean's University Ranking Tool: Use Maclean's data to create your own ranking of Canadian schools.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Free Language and Translation Tools

"Lingo24 seeks to be the leading language and translation site on the Internet. Below you can find our early offerings – please do bookmark this page and come back soon, as we have more irons in the fire!" I recommend you check out their "Parasaurus Englix – English language paraphrasing tool". It's kind of like having a thesaurus for full phrases rather than just words. I used it on a few English phrases and idioms and got some interesting results.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WebCT Tips by Dick Evans

"I have been using WebCT since the 1990's at Rhode Island College. We are currently on release 4.1, but are testing release 6. As questions arise and I find a solution, I write a White Paper for faculty reference. This blog describes some of those papers and links to them on my college Web site."

Monday, May 21, 2007

CADE presentation

Heather Ross and I presented at the CADE-AMTEC conference in Winnipeg. Heather re-introduced me to the work of Rick Schwier, and we used his elements of community framework from Shaping the Metaphor of Community in Online Learning Environments to demonstrate that SCoPE is a virtual learning community. Heather and I met online through SCoPE, and met f2f for the first time at the conference in Winnipeg.

Inserting the presentation from slideshare seems to pull the page elements in all directions, so here's a link instead.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Scratch - FREE application / programming language

Developed at the MIT media lab,
"...a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design. Scratch is available free of charge from the Download page. To find more about the educational ideas underlying Scratch, visit our Educators page."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Free e-Learning Tools

from UBC Arts ISIT: "The e-learning tools listed here are publicly available for academic use, within and outside the University of British Columbia."

The tools include a WebCT Discussion Extractor, Timeline tool, Multimedia learning object authoring tool, Image annotation tool, and more.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

PowerPoint to Flash Conversion Tools

Robin Good's "PPT2Flash Top20". Robin asks, "Why Would You Ever Want to Convert a Powerpoint Presentation into a Flash File?" and gives us a "detailed list of the key advantages for converting a PowerPoint presentation into a Flash file. No matter what your final goal is, a Flash-based presentation goes a long way in making your content easily accessible and distributable."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Computer Science Directory

"This directory is developed as a project to list computer science links and articles with high quality. Here you'll only find the best of the best.This directory is developed as a project to list computer science links and articles with high quality. Here you'll only find the best of the best."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Blog Law » 12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know

"...increasingly Internet activity, and particular blogging, is being shaped and governed by state and federal laws. For US bloggers in particular, blogging has become a veritable land mine of potential legal issues, and the situation isn’t helped by the fact that the law in this area is constantly in flux. In this article we highlight twelve of the most important US laws when it comes to blogging and provide some simple and straightforward tips for safely navigating them."

Moodle Buzz

A collection of links to "Moodle news and publications from around the world."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Convert Document, Image, Music and Video Formats (even YouTube videos!). Exact conversion types listed here.

Blackboard Educate / Innovate

Blackboard Blog: Educate/Innovate
"Educate Innovate is the Blackboard blog about the convergence of education and technology. We aim to use this as a forum to generate discussion about the topics, news, and latest trends impacting e-Learning and campus service offerings; and hope to provide insight about how technology can enable educational innovations for both."
Check out Rob Shea's May 8/07 posting about Ask Dr. C.
[look for moi ;)]

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wiki Pedagogy

"This article endeavours to denote and promote pedagogical experimentations concerning a Free/Open technology called a 'Wiki'."

Second Life Keyboard Shortcuts

I'm linking you to an EduForge blog post that links you to a file of shortcuts and also provides credit for the file.

Games-based Learning; a serious business application

"This white paper has been written to serve as an introduction to what is rapidly becoming a very hot topic in training and education: gamesbased learning (GBL), also known as ‘Serious Games’."

Check out the extensive resource lists within this paper/report.