Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Respondus Test Bank Network

"If you use Respondus or StudyMate, and if you use a textbook from a leading publisher, you can get the official test bank for that textbook in Respondus format for free. From there it’s easy to create online tests, learning games and even iPod activities using the publisher content." My title link is to a page of information about the Test Bank Network. Or you can link directly to the Network here.

Moodle Test Question Importer by Respondus

Their "QTI Importer plug-in allows the importing of test questions that have been exported from Respondus 3.5 in an XML format known as the IMS QTI. Respondus Inc. recently updated this plug-in and will provide maintenance and support of this code in the future" The page I've linked to has FAQs that explain what the Respondus QTI Importer can do -- and what it can’t.

Create iPod Quiz files with StudyMate or Respondus

"The latest versions of StudyMate (Version 2.0.3) and Respondus (Version 3.5.4a) allow you to generate files in the iPod Quiz format." This page explains it all, and includes "a few authoring tips, caveats, and general advice" from the Respondus staff.

Friday, October 26, 2007

SpokenText - Free online text to speech converter

Spoken Text records from PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, RSS news feeds, emails and web pages, and convert them to speech automatically. The files are saved as MP3s so you can listen to them on your favorite audio device.
"Our goal is to make the conversion of text to speech as simple as possible and in so doing make it accessible to everyone. The vast majority of the technology we use in our daily lives are way too complicated and overwhelms us with unneeded options and features. To this end we focused on providing a quick and simple way to convert your text content into spoken audio, for listening to on an iPod or your computer."

EduGarage: for Blackboard Developers

Launched October 23/07, this new website by Blackboard "is the place developers can meet to collaborate, leverage expertise and find all the resources they need to build powerful, successful educational tools."

McCord Museum of Canadian History

"The McCord Museum conserves and presents over 1,375,000 objects, images and manuscripts, all irreplaceable reflections of the social history and material culture of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. These myriad items – glass negatives, hoop crinolines, pieces of fine china, hand-forged tools, beaded headdresses, historical letters and documents – represent the lives and dreams of the men, women and children that came before us. They are words and actions brought to life, witnesses of our collective memory."
Explore the museum using categories like Collections, Artists, Objects, Time Periods, Geocultural Areas, Geocultural Map, Thematic Tours, etc.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Free Math Help.com

"We have many math help resources available, including math lessons, math games, and a math help message board." Featured Tools: worksheet generator: "You can create addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, or even geometry worksheets online, and even generate PDF's to print!" And their Flash Equation Graphing Tool. "The program can graph more than one equation, print an image, and allows you to move around the graph easily".

Learning Objects - The World Has Become Our Repository

Darren Draper:
"Much like the "most famous scream in Hollywood", there exists a plethora of educational content (much already digitized) that is just as effective in its reuse as it was in its first use. Wherein many original issues surrounding the implementation of learning objects centered on the practicality of creating and maintaining a centralized repository, it appears that Google has provided our much needed, neatly indexed repository: the world wide web itself."

Educational Uses of Second Life

Stephen Downes comments: "This is a remarkable list of educational applications in Second Life - easily the most comprehensive I've seen anywhere - with descriptions, links and screen shots. You could easily spend the entire day with Second Life and this web page going from place to place (I've gone to a bunch of them)."

Why use technology in the English classroom?

This whole article is a gem. To entice you, here are a few snippets so you get the drift of Michael Umphrey's opinion and the article's direction.

"...using technology to teach English. Why would I do that? Well, why do cowboys sing?"

"For generations, educators have labored toward the goal of bringing young people to basic literacy, giving them the power to encode and decode written language. ...But today basic literacy isn’t enough."

"Lots of kids are already their own publishers, posting whatever they want on My Space."

"English teachers should be excited by the prospect of a culture of writing consisting of more than a few “stars” and the bestseller lists."

"Whenever possible, school work should be real work. ...Great writers have always known that everyday life is the source of powerful writing."

"This is a good time to recommit to being not primarily consumers of commercial culture but also producers of our own culture, our own literature about the places and lives that we know. And if we do it with our students, we’ll find all sorts of intractable problems won’t need to be solved. They’ll just dissolve. Besides, it’s a great adventure. It’s also a necessity."

"Technology has enormous potential to make missing class less disruptive both for students and for teachers. Actually, it’s not potential. Everything we need now exists. Learning how to use it and getting districts to spend the money is another thing."

Google Notebook Browser Extension

A little-known helper within Google notebooks -- easily create your URL for your website citation. This browser extension helps you take notes from websites by simply marking the text, then using a right click to get to a special “copy” command. The program automatically records the url for complete citations. Downloading this extension gives you access to this mini Google Notebook feature, which allows you to:
- Clip and collect information as you surf the web.
- Stay in your browser window.
- Organize your notes from the web page you're on.


A few sites about copyright:

"Fair Dealing" (Commonwealth copyright info): This wikipedia entry is a starting point if you're at all confused about copyright guidelines. "Fair dealing is an enumerated set of possible defenses against an action for infringement of an exclusive right of copyright."

"Fair Use" (like the above, unique to the U.S.A.): (wikipedia entry) "A doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test."

The Copyright Website: "Welcome to the Internet's first and premiere Copyright Registration and Information Resource. The Copyright Website strives to lubricate the machinations of information delivery by providing transparency to a particularly opaque and obtuse area of intellectual property. Whether you want to protect your own work, or check out the legal hijinks of the movie, recording and software industries, you've come to the right place!"

Canadian Copyright Act: The full text of it.

Access Copyright (formerly CanCopy): Canadian "innovative copyright licensing solutions". "In schools across Canada, from elementary to post secondary, the comprehensive photocopy licence from Access Copyright is at work every day, making sure Canadian educators and students have access to a global repertoire of content to meet their learning needs. The licence gives educators and students advance permission to copy from millions of copyright protected newspapers, magazines, journals and books from around the world, complementing what is allowed under fair dealing, educational exceptions under the Copyright Act, and through the public domain." Access Copyright also provides for advance clearance and pay-per-use licenses "for copying beyond the limits of the comprehensive licence. Pay-per-use licences can cover needs such as digital uses (posting content online or scanning it, for example)."

The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy: Confused about copyright for education purposes? Check out this article/report.

If you need more, please visit my resource site's page of links about copyright.


"Dapper is a free, web-based service that enables users to easily create an interactive feed from any website for consumption on any platform: RSS reader, iGoogle, enterprise mashup, mobile phone, etc. Users can make a dynamic feed (API) that changes based on user input for any website. With Dapper, anyone can create RSS feeds, universally embeddable widgets, and XML (among other formats) for any website." [from Answers.com]
See this short demo video that illustrates how easy it is to make a "Dapp".

Dapper Facebook AppMaker:
"Turn any website into a Facebook application -- no programming required!" "Use your own header, footer, background styling — really make it yours — and with absolutely no programming. If you can make a Dapp, you can make a Facebook app."

150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively

A categorized and alphabetized list of links that
"...focus on places where you can conduct research, software that is free and easy to use, and services that will remove that "extra work" monkey from your back....This list focuses solely on those tools that can make your writing life easier."
Their categories are: Almanacs; Business and Legal Matters; Citation Styles; Dictionaries; English Language Skills; Genres; News Digests; New Media Resources; Organization; Professional Organizations; Rhetoric; Toolboxes; Writing Services; Writing Skills; Writing Software.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I referenced this website back in 2000. Thought I'd mention it again; it's still probably the best netiquette information site on the web.
"'Netiquette' is network etiquette, the do's and don'ts of online communication. Netiquette covers both common courtesy online and the informal 'rules of the road' of cyberspace. This page provides links to both summary and detail information about Netiquette for your browsing pleasure."

Monday, October 8, 2007

bFree Blackboard Course Content Extractor

From the University of N.Carolina:
"With bFree you can Open a Blackboard™ archive to browse and preview the course materials; Search for words in titles, descriptions, wikis, forums, and file names; Preview content items automatically; Extract selected materials as an independent web site that mimics the original course; Extract selected materials as plain files and folders. The extracted web site can be put on a web server or even loaded into another online learning system."

Friday, October 5, 2007

LMS Satisfaction Features & Barriers

Tony Karrer's summary post about a survey that measured, among other details, user satisfaction with a number of Learning Management Systems. He links us to the eLearningGuild's Learning Management System research report, and includes some of the charts that illustrate various satisfaction categories...answers to questions such as satisfaction level, satisfaction with particular features, are you planning to replace, primary barriers, importance of features, etc.

CBC Archives

"On this Website you'll find a selection of radio and television clips from the Archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Some of these files have rested quietly at the bottom of our vaults for more than 60 years and are, for the first time, now accessible to the general public."
A section for Teachers, with grade level lesson plans to complement topics on the website. Podcasts. Archives timeline. Index of topics, index of clips, index of interviews. Topic-based sections of the site (e.g. people; war; arts & entertainment; politics & economy; etc.).
"All educational materials are free to use within the framework of educational, non-commercial use. Copyright restrictions dictate that clips cannot be downloaded."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Educational Uses for Google Earth

Quoting directly from my Google Earth email newsletter. NOTE: THE FIRST 2 LINKS BELOW WILL OPEN YOUR GOOGLE EARTH; they're not weblinks!

Educational Uses for Google Earth "Teachers and students should be aware that Google Earth is a great tool for education. And, it's not just about geography. Google Earth has been used by educators in many subjects including: science, literature, history, cartography, GIS, and more. Check out some examples like: Places quoted by Shakespeare or the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

For Google-created resources, teachers should visit our Google Earth for Educators site, or check out some Sky lesson ideas. For some ideas from our users, see the JuicyGeography blog by Noel Jenkins in the UK, or a summary by Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog."