Sunday, December 02, 2007
I was very impressed about how the model of the next generation system, described at the end, reflected the concept of a personal learning network that centres on the learner. This is a concept that I have been reading about for a few years and I feel that I personally have constructed my own personal learning network to meet my professional development needs. So, here is a model of how this could be extended to our students, as life long learners. And I had a chat with one of the authors of this paper, Ali Jafari, and he is building the system and offering it to us. It is call epsilen and you can look at it at http://www.epsilen.com/
It is worth the read. After reading it, consider how we can start to change our thinking about our e-learning systems to meet the needs of 21st century students. And if we don't will the students be attracted to the institutions that do? I wonder if this is just like 10 years ago when we were considering getting on the e-learning bandwagon or being left behind. I suspect it is.
I am putting a group of people together who would like to collaborate on discussing these issues and helping to move us ahead. Email me if you would like to join us at RodCorbett@gmail.com
Please place comments here.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Some of portable apps include:
- Open Office - the free alternative to MS Office and some would argue is better.
- GIMP - a full featured photo and image editing program.
- Audacity - record, edit and create MP3 audio files
- Mozilla Firefox - the for browsing the web
- Mozilla Thunderbird - for working with your email
- Mozilla Sunbird - calendar and task organizer
- Nvu - for developing websites.
- Miranda - for instant messaging with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users
- Firefox Accessibility Extension - Make Firefox more accessible
- On-Screen Keyboard Portable - Easily access an on-screen keyboard
- Virtual Magnifying Glass Portable - A full-featured screen magnifier
Saturday, November 24, 2007
- You can have more than 20 items in your survey.
- There is more flexibility if the item formats
- And there are standard items available to use.
Go to http://toofast.ca/ to sign up for an account.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
- It is free.
- It is available for Linux, Mac, Windows and even has a Ready-to-Run version for Windows so you can run it on a computer without installing it. You can even run it off a USB stick.
- It is easy to use
- It creates some great looking multi-page learning objects that your learners just need a current web browser to access.
- It exports the objects in HTML, Zipped packages, and SCORM and IMS packages so you can put them on a CD-ROM, website or into Blackboard of similar LMSes.
We are exploring how students could use this to create their e-portfolios as well as other electronic presentations.
There are many examples you can check out at http://exelearning.org/Examples
I suppose what I really like about eXe is that it allows us to be platform independent when we develop our online course content, quizzes and guides. This is really important if you are considering moving from one platform to another, like from Blackboard to Moodle. Or it is even more important if you want to share your modules with others.
Check it out at http://exelearning.org/
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I have posted the document to Google Docs so you can access it from the follow link:
I would like to contact Clayton directly to give him feedback or to add events to the list his email address is email@example.com
Thursday, September 27, 2007
What is it? It is a tool that allows you, with a microphone, dictate text into your computer applications. The cool thing is that once activated you can use it with any applications, not just MS Office applications. You can also use it to give voice commands to your office apps.
The best way to find it is to open MS Word and pull down the Tools menu and select Speech. If it is not showing then you may need to click on the double arrows at the bottom to show all options. Once you click on Tools>Speech, you will get a tutorial appear that will walk you through testing your microphone and training the speech recognition software. Basically, you need to read to your computer several pieces of text so that it can learn how to match your voice patterns to text.
Tips, the more you train it the more accurately it recognizes your speech. And it really helps to use the same microphone all the time and talk clearly, consistently. Headsets with the boom microphones work best as they pick up better then other microphones. You can pick one up
for about $25 for a good one.
Try it, you may be surprized just have useful it is. And you don't have to pay for it.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I have been using Google Docs as an alternative to MS Office and Open Office. Although the tools still lack many features, I find that I have the features I need and the power to collaborate on editing and have the documents saved on the website where I can access them from any where, makes it worth using. I am also very tired of how I can copy and paste text from MS Word documents without a lot of formating tags coming with it that mess up the text I am copying. With Google Docs this is all taken care of.
The Presenter tool in Google Docs has the essentials for building a PowerPoint like slideshow but lacks many of the fancy features, like animations; although that may be a good thing. You can upload a PowerPoint file into Google Docs now and use this tool to post your slides online either for your students or as a supplement to a conference presentation you may have given. This makes it very easy to add your presentations to your e-portfolio. This tool will come in really handy for students that are tasked with group work assignments where they need to collaboratively build a presentation for the class. It can then be delivered either online or f2f.
A unique feature is included that allows you to delivery your presentation live online, with a live chat tool to dialogue with your audience.
So far there is no support for audio narrations but I am hoping that will be added later.
Oh, and it is free to use, no advertising. You just need a Google Account. Check it out at http://docs.google.com/ and add a comment on what you think of it.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Rent it and enjoy it.
- It is free to use.
- There is nothing to install
- The contents are on a server that is not affiliated with the college
- It is very easy to use for novice students
- There are privacy controls on each page and each page has it's own URL.
- It is hosted by a service that should be around for a long time so students should feel they can own the site and use it after graduating.
Click here to access this tool.
Please comment if you have tried using this tool or if you have found any better tools.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Check out the article at http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9030802 and let us know what you think out it.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
It is very easy to use. Download it from here but you have to verify your Window XP or Vista is legal. It import photos of any size but over 640x480 works best.
You can add special effects like panning and zooming. You can even make a whole slide show from one photo by zooming into different parts of the photo.
It generates WMV files of various specs for on computer, PDA, mobil device, playing or email sing.
If you need your slideshow in other formats, you can convert with ZamZar.com to other formats.
You can add a voice narration but must use microphone, can't import MP3 or wav files. If you need to do this, use MS Movie Maker.
One of the highlight features is that you can easily add back ground music from a MP3 or CD or you can also generate your own original (royalty free) music.
It if Free but requires Windows XP or Vista. Mac users should use Garageband.
Friday, July 06, 2007
The first is the Hypster PDA. Click here to learn more. This started out as a joke but it works so well that many people are using it. Or click here to see how to use Hypster PDA for GTD.
Next is PocketMod. Check it out at www.pocketmod.com This is like Hypster PDA but you can use common letter sized paper.
Then there is Thinking Rock, which is an actual stand alone computer application that is open source. This software helps you to use the GTD system and it prints out reports in PocketMod formats.
For Gmail users you can configure your Gmail account to do the same thing Thinking Rock does but it is online and accessible where ever you can access your Gmail. Go to http://spaceagewasteland.com/gtd%20with%20gmail.pdf to read a white paper on how to do this.
And finally, there is a Firefox addin that even makes it easier for you to use Gmail for your GTD system. Go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3209
Check them out.
Oh, if you want to check out the book by David Allen about GTD click here
If you are using the GTD system, please post a comment here and let us know how it is working for you.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
FLV is the format that Google Video, YouTube and TeacherTube use for their videos.
Check it out at http://www.download.com/FLV-Player/3000-2139_4-10467081.html
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
As yet, there appears to still be no limit on how many documents you can post into your account and I ran across a posting in the Google Blog that they have acquired www.zenter.com, which will give them technology to add a PowerPoint like presentation tool to their Google Docs and Spreadsheets tools. Go to http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/more-sharing.html to read more about this. Google is planning to roll out the new tool this Summer. I hope they include a way to add a voice narration to the presentation files.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I really appreciate these presentations being made available through MP3 because even though it is online, I could attend any of the sessions live because I have been just too busy this week. I also find it restrictive that I need to use Elluminate to view the archive recordings. I love the MP3 recordings because then I can load them into my MP3 player and listen to them anyway. I can also share them easier.
The URL for the Podcast list in RSS is http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/foe-2007/podcast/index.xml which came up right into my Google Reader, which even offered to play them for them. Nice.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
What I get from this article is that we would be more effective teachers if we stopped using so much technology in our scheduled class-time to present content or have quizzes. But we should use the technology to develop content and admin quizzes outside of scheduled class time so we can use that valuable time to have more open, less structured discussions and other interactive learning activities. The notion of teaching naked is to prepare to take some risks in your classes, with less content to hide behind and allow the students to set the directions of the activities more.
The article explains this much better so click here to access this great article by Jose Antonio Bowen and post a comment on what you think about it.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Click here to access the handout, which includes the to 10 time savers as well as several that didn't make it into the top ten.
We had about 25 instructors attend our presentation and several of them expressed appreciation for the timesavers as many they were not aware of and they felt they could use right away.
We also presented a similar presentation for Researchers where some of the timesavers are the same but you can access that handout by clicking here.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Click here to access
Saturday, April 28, 2007
If you didn't receive a postcard or the images got mangled through the email then click here to view it.
The online registration using SPORG is now open at http://adeta.org/symposium/registration.html
This is going to be a great event. Don't miss it.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The conference will be held on May 25, 2007 in venues all over the Second Life world, with exciting presentations, vendors and exhibitors, and everything an educator needs to know to get started exploring the possibilities for teaching, learning, and research in Second Life!
There is no cost to participate in this conference but you do need to sign up for a Second Life identity or account, which is free. Go to http://www.secondlife.com for that.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
The scary conversion is that you (and your students) can convert PDF files that shouldn't be editable to an editable Word, RTF or HTML document. See a list here.
This site also supports batching up several files to be converted at once.
Zamzar also has the ability to convert videos from sites like Google Video and YouTube.
The interface is super easy to use. First, you upload the file you want converted (or provide the URL), second, you select the format you want to convert it to and then you supply your email address where you will be notified when you can download the converted file. You can't convert files bigger than 100 MB and you have 24 hours to pickup your file.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The call for proposals is justing going out for presenters at the Distributed Learning in the 21st Century: Shaping the Future of Learning Symposium taking place October 17 to 19, 2007 in Edmonton.
The due date is May 14th to get them in. Please consider sharing some of your insights, research and/or practices that will help us Shape the Future of Learning.
All presenters will receive a discount on their registration fees.
Click here for more details.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
So, this site is full of templates that generous people have shared with the public, you can download and use these templates on your websites, legally. The site claims to currently have over 2000 free designs. Terri told me that you do have to sift through them to find the best ones.
I am going to starting using them more. I use Dreamweaver for my websites and it comes with very few templates.
Monday, April 02, 2007
I had abandoned using the Lotus Notes Calendar at work that I used to have M-Notes installed that synched my PDA with that calendar. Well with GooSync installed, now my Lotus Notes Calendar is synchronized with my Google Calendar.
Oh and GooSync works with a lot of mobile devices, including cell phones, palms and smart phones. Click here to look up your device.
Check it out at http://goosync.com
Thursday, March 29, 2007
When you install it on your Pocket PC, it turns it into a Skype Phone, for free. All you need is a WiFi connection and you can make calls without a subscription, if you call other Skype users. For a low fee you can call nonSkype users on their telephones.
Go to http://www.skype.com and download it.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Features that I like are the flag for reporting inappropriate material and you can embed the video clips into your only courseware. It is all Flash based, like the others, so it is easy to share links to your students. I also like the guidance and position about posting copyright materials. This will help us feel confident that in using the clips from the site, we are not violating anyone's copyright.
So, this site will be as good as we make it by posting our video clips to it. Check it out at http://www.teachertube.com/
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I also found the wide range of very innovation apps in the lists that I have never thought of before. There are sites to help you improve your health and network with others doing the same. Apps for networking with others is all kinds of ways.
According to lists, the most popular app is blurf a trivia question game.
What is also nice of this site is the you can read reviews and ratings on the Web 2.0 apps/sites so it can help you make sense of the new Web 2.0.
Monday, March 05, 2007
"Changing Learning Systems: Forces & Disruptions"
Changing Content Models
Changing Business Processes
Changing Learning & IT Models
This content is based on our research with our 240 member Learning
CONSORTIUM. We are tracking a rate of more than 30% of corporations in
LMS and LCMS "reconsideration". This on-line module includes my audio
comments on the key business drivers that are impacting LMS selection and
Saturday, March 03, 2007
What can you do with Notebook?
- Surf the web and grab quotes, notes and images from the web pages you find useful and they automatically copy to one of your Google Notebooks.
- After open up your notebook and edit, organize, and insert your notations.
- After you have the notebook set the way you want, you can share it with your students or peers but simply making it public and sharing the URL, all with seeing one single HTML code.
So, if you are an instructor, you could put together some pretty nice looking presentations with images and resources from the web very quickly and post them into your online course.
Or, if you are a student working on a class presentation you can use Notebook to compile your notes and findings and present to the class. You can even collaborate on developing the presentation.
This conference will be very different because of the take over of WebCT by Blackboard and the organizers are working hard for make this a conference for all WebCT and Blackboard users in Canada, as well as other platforms.
The call for proposals is out right now and the due date is March 20th. If you are accepted your registration fee is cut to $100.
Plan to attend. I have submitted proposals to offer the 25 Google Learning Tools workshop that Jeff Hamilton and I have developed. This workshop has attracted a lot of interest when we have offered it. I am also working on a concurrent presentation about the top 10 free tools you can use to enhance your WebCT or Blackboard courses.
It will be a great conference. See you there. Click here for details.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Publishing with Google Tools Module
In this module you are going to use some of the Google blogging tools to find useful blogs to read, subscribe to their feeds, and even publish your own blog and website.
Google Tools Explored in this module:
- Google Blog Search
- Google Reader
- Google Alert
- Google Page Creator
- Find useful blogs that have postings that would want to read on a regular basis.
- Setup a blog of your own that you can use to publish your own thoughts, opinions or commentaries on an area of your interest.
- Setup two tools that will act as agents for you to alert you to new postings on selective blogs or just generally on the Internet, as well as make it easy for you to read the postings.
- Create an HTML based website using Google Page Creator
- A Google or Gmail account login.
- This module guide is a posting in one of my blogs in Blogger, one of the most popular blogging tools around. Google acquired Blogger awhile back and recently it just came out of Beta release. Explore the features of this blog. Can you find the archive of past postings, organized both by date and topic?
- This blog is one that I started a few months ago to post my views and reviews about Ed Tech. Post a comment at the bottom of this post and let us know who useful you may find this particular blog useful, or suggestions on how I could improve it.
- Think of a topic within Ed Tech that you would find useful and enter a keyword or two into the Search Blog tool at the top and left of the page and see if I have posted something about that. Did I?
- There are thousands of blogs out on the net and many on Blogger along. Click on the
Next Blog>> link at the top and centre and take a look at another blog. Would you find this one useful? You may need to click on the Next Blog>> again.
Google Blog Search
- Now lets search all of the blogs out there for some useful posts. Go to the Google Blog Search and enter in a key word or two describing a topic you are interested in
reading about. Find at least two blogs that you will want to subscribe to later in this module and bookmark their URLs.
- New blogs are created every minute and there may be one that is useful to you that gets created tomorrow. Well, you could always do another Blog Search to find it but better yet, use the Google Alert tool to let Google let you know. Go to Google Alerts and enter in a keyword or two you would like to be alerted about, and your email address. You may want to change the other options or just leave them as their defaults. If you are already signed in with your Google account you won't need to enter your email address. You can have as many alerts as you wish.
- Hopefully you now have 2 or 3 blogs identified that you would like to read on a regular basis. We are now going to set up Google Reader to help you monitor and read the postings on these sites. If you would like a list of blogs that I subscribe to see below. Go to Google Reader and sign in with your Google login. As you create your Reader for the first time, you may choice to add some of the feeds offered but it is up to you.
- Most blogs have an RSS feed when will allow Google Reader to automatically check for new postings and present them to you to read. It is easy to add these to your Subscription list in Reader because you just need to click on Add Subscription and paste in the URL from the blog site and let Google Reader set up the feed connection. Add 2 or 3 blog sites subscriptions to your list. Feel free to add any of the ones I have listed below.
- If you get a lot of blogs subscriptions, you can go to the Manage Subscriptions tool where you can set up various folders, tags and other tools for organizing your subscriptions. Now take some time to actually read some of the postings. As you do, notice how Reader keeps track of what you have read. It will do this even if you access Reader from multiple computers because the information is stored on the server and not your computer. You can use the tags feature and some of the advanced publishing features to share selected postings with your class.
- Would you now like to create your own blog? Go to the Blogger start page and sign in with your Google account. Review the information about blogs presented here.
- If you are ready to create your blog click on the big orange arrow that say Create your blow now and follow the directions of this wizard. Feel free to just create test blog, it is free. Or if you have figured out a purpose for you blog, create one and start publish your postings.
Google Page Creator
- Blogs are different than Websites and you may want to build a website using
the Google Page Creator tool. Click
here to access my website built in Google Page Creator. What is nice about
this tool, is that it is free, no HTML knowledge required and you get 100MB
- Click here to start your own website using
this tool. To get started, simply click on Create a New Page button and follow
the directions on the new page. Explore the tools. Look for buttons to change
the look and layout of the page. And experiment with the editing tools. When
you are finished you can Publish your page by click on the publish button and
you will see the URL for your site at the bottom. It should be something like
- Try adding a gadget or more pages and then inserting links to them on your
home page. Could it be any easier to publish a website?
- Go back to the Teaching with Google Group and look for the discussion thread
about Publishing with Google Tools. Review the postings there and post your
own message describing how useful you found the Google tools you explored in this module. Please include links to your Blog and Page Creator website so we can view them.
- Go to the bottom of this page and click on the Reward link for a reward video clip on Google Video for completing this learning activity.
- What is Google Blogger? by Marziah Karch
- What is Google Reader? by Marziah Karch
- Google Blogging
- Jeff's Google Page Creator pages
Some blogs I subscribe to about Educational Technologies:
- Blogging Pedagogy
- Ed Tech Journeys
- Online Learning Update
- Rick's Café Canadien
- SVSD Classroom Technology
- Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day
- and my blog, Rod's Ed Tech Review
Click here to access the next module in this workshop, Google Does Office and More.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I found that I could easily do the following useful things:
- Remove red-eye from a photo
- Take a photo using my Web Cam
- Crop that photo
- Resize the photo
- Adjust the brightness
- Save it to me computer or email it to a friend
- And a lot more features
Thursday, February 08, 2007
This is consistent with some of the work we have been done to encourage instructors to improve their classroom presentations. Typically we use PowerPoint but the slides have more text on them instead of visuals. But, good visuals are hard to come by and you don't have permission to use most of the really good ones. So what is the solution?
How about this, buy yourself a digital camera. You can pick up one for less than $100 right now. Here is one on the FutureShop website that would work great. Click here to see it. These cameras are 5 Megapixels, which is all you need. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and you can use it to create your own visuals for your teaching, whether you are in class or online. Carry it around and take lots of pictures of things that will have you illustrate your presentations. Take pictures and short video clips of examples of the concepts you are teaching. These cameras will let you take hundreds of photos on inexpensive memory cards. Pro photographers take over 100 photos in order to get a really valuable one.
You can then use Picasa, a free photo organizer and touch-up tool. It will help you transfer your photos from the camera to your computer where you can sift out the best ones. It is a free download from Google and it is better than the software that comes with the camera.
Click here to download Picasa.
I have also just discover a new free online tool for editing and organizing your photos. It is call Picnik and you can access it at http://www.picnik.com/
You can also download Wink, a free tool for making narrated slide shows in flash movies that you can post on the Web.
These are the new tools of the teaching craft. Just like you need to buy yourself a computer, a headset with microphone and now a digital camera. Don't balk at not getting your school to pay for it, you need these tools and you need to master them, or get left behind.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
All of the music appears to be in Flash format so you just need the Flash Player installed. And the flash files download quickly while playing, then frees up your network connection for other things.
Check it out at http://www.tropicalglen.com/
Saturday, January 20, 2007
The dates are April 17-19, 2007 with pre-conference dates: April 3-4, 2007. The call for proposals is still open but the due date for submissions is January 26.
The theme for this year is Blending Community and Multimedia in Ubiquitous Learning.
I have attended this conference a couple of times and it is very worthwhile. It attracts participants from all over the world.
Because it is an online conference you can save travel costs and the registration is low ($99 US) because they don't have to rent large halls or feed you.
Click here to access the information website.
To install it on Windows, go to the Installers website at http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/
You will need to download and install the GTK+ 2 Runtime Environment first but that is available from the same site.
Installers for Unix and Mac OS are available from http://www.gimp.org/
This tool could be used by teachers and students for developing images and photos. It supports many advanced features like:
- Pattern and Radiant fills
- Pressure sensitive pen tablets
- Multiple Language support
- Additional plug-in for Animation development.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Click here to see the basic start page in Soople, But click here for a great set of advanced math based calculator tools that students and teachers would find very useful.
Click here to access the article and post your comments below. Do you agree? Do you have your own?
Saturday, January 13, 2007
This clip was produced by the Media Production Services unit at Mount Royal College. It is being shared to the public for learning purposes so feel free to show it to your classes if you find it useful. It is being streamed out using the MRC Breeze server so it should be quite viewable even on a dial-up connection. The URL is http://breeze.mtroyal.ca/p33333291/
The presentation is very well produced and speaks to common issues and concerns that students have when working with a group to complete an assignment. Well, you may want to skip over the animated introduction.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
On Jane's site you can find the following lists:
- Over 400 free tools for elearning
- a Guide to Choosing & Using Free Tools
- Free ebook about elearning
- Free conferences that you can attend about elearning
- a list of articles and interview about elearning
Monday, January 01, 2007
We found a solution, a alternative player Real Alternative . And best of all it is free. Click here to access it now. It is based on the freeware Media Player Classic, which is a really nice little player that have many other uses other than playing Real Media.
Here are the reasons I recommend this:
- It is easier to install and use.
- It is fast, free and legal to distribute.
- Plugs nicely into IE or Firefox
- Plays a lot of other multi-media formats
- Also plays DVDs better than the other DVD players I have:
- Support real-time zoom
- Supports saving bookmarks in your media presentations and DVD movies.
- I can fast forward and rewind easier.