Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Kathy Schrock introduces "Jottit": "Neat wiki! This allows teachers to have a classroom wiki that is only accessible to students who have the password and students do not need an email address to sign-up." I'm linking to her post, which includes a link to the wiki site.

Webinar: Podcasting Xtreme

Led by Jane Himmel and Julie Navar:
"When we talk about "extreme" podcasting, we're not just talking about cutting-edge tools. Rather, we're trying to help people take their podcasting to the next level by delving more deeply into the design process of producing an effective, educational podcast. How? Primarily by taking an instructional design approach, and analyzing information needs and audiences to determine if podcasting is the right match with your instructional needs. During our Webinar we also discussed current trends; how to incorporate music and other elements of commercial podcasts; hardware and software needs; and ideas about distribution - all with the goal of helping you create a more creative and engaging final podcast."
[They provide the link to the the archived recording of the Webinar; click this post's title.]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Text to Speech Software

TextAloud: In 2004 I posted an entry about this application. "TextAloud MP3 is Text To Speech software that uses voice synthesis to create spoken audio from text. You can listen on your PC or save text to MP3 or wave files for listening later."

Just as an update, this week's WinXP News says: "TextAloud is the world's leading text-to-speech program, available now with optional AT&T Natural Voices for the best in computer speech. TextAloud uses voice synthesis to convert text into spoken audio. Listen to text from email, web pages and documents on your PC or create MP3 or WMA files for use on portable devices like iPods, PocketPCs, and CD players. Imagine being free to relax, get up and stretch, or work on other things while the information you need is read to you in a pleasant, natural sounding human voice. Better still, leave your computer behind. TextAloud can save your daily reading to audio files for your portable player.", makers of the above software, offers several other tools for text-to-speech.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Moodle Playpen

"This site demonstrates the use of Moodle when augmented by community code." Helen Kershaw of Knowplace says, "The best Moodle theme expert in the world. We're not kidding -- this fellow is just the best! On his site you can take a look at the leading, bleeding edge of the latest Moodle versions and manipulate things too!"

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Online Education Glossary sites

Glossary of Online Education Terms from Digital Bridges

eLearning Glossary from WorldWide Learn

ELearning Glossaries from EdTechPost

eLearning Glossary from eLearning Guru

Some readings about Online Learning

Annotated Bibliography for Online Teaching: Categories of articles include Overview of Online Teaching; Theory of Online Course Writing; Practice of Online Course Writing; Web Design for Online Course Writing.

Theories of and for Online Learning: "We see changes in teaching and learning emerging from the nexus of a changing landscape of information and communication technologies... We see the need for, and the emergence of, new theories and models of and for the online learning environment, addressing learning in its ICT context, considering both formal and informal learning, individual and community learning, and new practices arising from technology use in the service of learning. This paper presents six theoretical perspectives on learning in ICT contexts, and is an invitation to others to bring theoretical models to the fore to enhance our understanding of new learning contexts."

Friday, September 7, 2007

File Extensions

File extensions and file types resource. Find file extension details here including easy-to-understand descriptions and associated applications. Search by extension, view common and most visited extensions, and click to extension categories including audio and music files, game files, system files and text files.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Firefox Extension for Ask Dr. C Search Engine

In her blog, Laura Gekeler says: "The WebCT 'Ask Dr. C' forum/knowledgebase is still alive and well. And I still use it frequently before responding to questions I'm asked. Nowadays my preferred browser is Firefox (especially for administrative tasks in Blackboard Vista because of the 'stop script' feature). So I installed Henk Schotel's Firefox extension (last updated 11/2006) which searches Ask Dr. C for me, much as a Google toolbar would perform a websearch. To get it, use Firefox to navigate here and click on the Ask Dr C link to install it. It works great!"

Monday, September 3, 2007


"A network of students, educators, and professionals working together to foster video production and internet publishing in a safe online learning environment. SchoolTube gives you the ability to safely upload your video onto the internet to share with other educators or students. All SchoolTube videos have been moderated or teacher approved for viewing. Our high standards are based on the STN Code of Ethics."

Theories and models of and for online learning

"For many years, discussion of online learning...has been pre-occupied with the practice of teaching online and the debate about whether being online is ‘as good as’ being offline. ...We see the need for, and the emergence of, new theories and models of and for the online learning environment, addressing learning in its ICT context, considering both formal and informal learning, individual and community learning, and new practices arising from technology use in the service of learning. This paper presents six theoretical perspectives on learning in ICT contexts."

Pedagogical Templates for E-Learning

A report that "...describes a series of pedagogic templates for the integration of technology into teaching and learning... The main objective of this report is to provide an overview for IoE academics who are interested in integrating e-learning into their courses. This report has been designed to guide practitioners on how e-learning can be used in the context of a course, and the description of each template focuses on the pedagogical aspects of using e-learning."

eXe : eLearning XHTML editor

[eXe = eLearning XHTML editor]
"The eXe project is developing a freely available Open Source authoring application to assist teachers and academics in the publishing of web content without the need to become proficient in HTML or XML markup. eXe can export content as self-contained web pages or as SCORM 1.2 or IMS Content Packages."
Watch the video intro on YouTube.

Grammar Grater: PODCASTS

"...a weekly podcast about English words, grammar and usage for the Information Age. Because we live in a time of e-mail, blogs, instant messaging, even online product reviews—everybody's a writer. And with the global nature of communication, there's not a single style guide everyone uses. To help sort through some of the confusion, host Luke Taylor and the Grammatis Personae Players (Cory Busse and Amy Ault) take linguistic bugbears and put 'em through the Grammar Grater."

Grammar Girl: PODCASTS

I've seen this referred to as "one of the most downloaded educational podcasts on iTunes" [reference]. A "real-life science writer", Mignon Fogarty, has built up a great resource site of "Quick and Dirty Tips: Clean Up Your Writing". My title link is to this week's tip; scroll down to see others (they're all on one page). The left panel has links to titles and a search box. I like the fact that the podcast also appears in text form.

Google Maps ~ Embedding in webpages:

This is a great idea for courses that involve reference to maps. "The Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) lets you embed Google Maps in your own web pages with JavaScript." Embedding a fully interactive map is easy. The interactivity on your embedded version is identical to the original: your page visitor can see/close the address box, drag to move the map, zoom in/out, toggle between map/satellite/hybrid views.

How do you do this? When you look at their sign-up site, it seems more complicated than it is. Here's the simple version:

First, you have to sign up and get a "Maps API key". Keep track of that key somewhere.It gives you permission to embed any Google Map in a webpage. (Sign-up is quick. You need one key per website you use.)

How to embed a map:
1. Navigate to the location you want to show on Google Map.
2. On the top right corner of the map, there is a [link to this page]. Click it to get a snippet of HTML. From there you can use "customize" if you want to select a map size. (Default size is shown in my example below.)
3. Copy and paste the HTML code to your web page.

Easy, right? You can also go beyond basics to add a number of features: define areas, add text, add links, add controls, pop-up info/event windows, overlays, driving directions, and more. Google supplies "mapplet" codes for these. The maps do NOT include advertising at this time. (Google will give 90 days notice if they change this policy.)

Here's an example (the place I work, Columbia Square Adult Learning Centre):

View Larger Map