Monday, January 29, 2007

27 tips for teleconferencing

Anne Zelenka, posted a posting on Web Worker Daily about 27 tips for teleconferencing. There are many very useful tips here that apply to learning conferences. Check it out at

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Free Online Music Jukebox

Clayton R. Wright just emailed me this really cool site where you can go and play 100's of top hits from the 1950's, 60's, 70's and up to 1982. I found several of my old favourites like Crimson and Clover, Stairway to Heaven and Honkytonk Woman. The best thing is that this site is free and you can just pick a play list and go back to work, listening to the music in the back ground.

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

Saturday, January 20, 2007

TCC 2007 Online Conference

TCC Worldwide Online Conference or Technology, Colleges and Community is a online conference designed for university and college practitioners. Interact in live presentations from the comfort of your office or work place. This year will be the 12th annual online conference.

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.

GIMP: Free Photo Graphic Editor

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. It is a bitmap based editor that is free and easy to use, yet very powerful and rivals programs like PhotoShop and Fireworks.

To install it on Windows, go to the Installers website at
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

This tool could be used by teachers and students for developing images and photos. It supports many advanced features like:
  • Pattern and Radiant fills
  • Layers
  • Pressure sensitive pen tablets
  • Multiple Language support
  • Additional plug-in for Animation development.
Plenty of online tutorials are available at

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Soople: A New Face to Google?

Check out this tool. Soople is an alternative user interface to Google. It gives you a series easier search entry forms so you can access the more advanced, but hidden, search features of Google. For example, did you know there is a Glossary, Calculator, Name finder and other cool specialized search tools in Google?

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.

Predictions for 2007

has published a list of predictions from several of the gurus in the field of e-learning. These include Don Norman, Elliot Massie, Stephen Downs, Curtis Bonk, and many more.

Click here to access the article and post your comments below. Do you agree? Do you have your own?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Group Effectiveness Video

This video clip is about 12 min long and in Flash format for easy access over the Internet. This presentation reviews and illustrates the principles of effective groupwork. It can be applied to all types of teams.

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

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

Jane Hart's E-Learning For Free Information Service

I have been wanting to build a website where I had lists of all of the free and useful elearning tools, online presentations, books and other resources so I can share these with others and invite others to help me add to the list, and this blog is one way of me trying to do this. But the other day I ran across a site just like the one I had in mind but Jane Hart had already built it. This is a great site and a lot of very useful lists. Check it out at

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
In Jane's blog she share a pick of the day, every day. You may want to subscribe to this one. I have.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Real Alternative and Media Player Classic

About a year ago I ran into a problem that our IT department had blacklisted the Real Media Player for installation on our college computers, yet we had just subscribed to a PD Resource site that required the Real Media Player in order to play many of its recorded presentations. The reason Real Media Player was blacklisted because it now carries with it a lot of spyware and other undesirables.

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.
BTW, if you also want to avoid installing QuickTime, there is a QuickTime codec for Media Player Classic also. Click here to access.