Tuesday, August 12, 2008
All the offers I have seen so far are for Windows computers and it appears that you have to download and install on the "give away" day in order for the license keys to activate.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
If you are teaching a course about online learning, you may want to consider using this as your textbook. Students can buy the hard-copy if they wish or they can save the dollars and download it.
Terry Anderson is a Professor in the Centre of Distance Education at Athabasca University and he holds a Canadian Research Chair in Distance Education. Click here to go to his online portfolio. Terry also posts to a blog or two. Check out his Virtual Canuck Blog at http://terrya.edublogs.org/
Saturday, May 24, 2008
10 Trends in e-Learning that are worth watching.
Sub Notebooks based on Linux that are primarily designed for cloud computing. http://eeepc.asus.com/global/
Cloudo where your desktop is online. http://www.cloudo.com/
Storage on Websites is cheaper. You can get 125 GB for $10 a month
Google, Yahoo and MSN for online computing
Email effectiveness is decreasing. As a communication channel it is clogging up with volume and spam.
The server load to filter spam is becoming enormous.
RSS Feeds and readers could become a second channel of communicating but it still have low acceptance. www.google.com/reader
Instant Messaging is not taking over yet. www.pidgin.im/
Social Networking is growing.
Using social networking to enhance learning is emerging with significant potential – www.facebook.com
The central principles are very interesting.
The learning is in control of their postings and how has access to them. Personal Learning Networks.
Centralizing on lifelong learning journals
Wiki like technologies are maturing into full power collaboration tools for
project management and coordination
Content Repositories and Knowledge Management system.
Symposium on virtual environments in biology, medicine and history.
Technologies that are developed and maintained by large communities of users and not vendors.
Open Office is becoming a real alternative. - www.openoffice.org
Based on Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP platforms.
First emergence of Linux based commercially availability personal computers with only free software on them. http://eeepc.asus.com/global/
Older and more mature systems are becoming too large and unwieldy and difficult to maintain and keep nimble.
Blackboard is one and Windows is another example.
$500 laptops where Windows license is about half of that. and MS Office is about the same.
Windows is bogging down with Virus, spyware and firewall security
Open Content movements
More and more expertise is being shared for free.
Creative Commons Movement http://creativecommons.org/
MIT, OU UK and my other PS institutions are sharing their course content with the public. http://www.opencontentalliance.org/
Electronic libraries and books being available to public for free. http://books.google.com/
Portable Apps and PC
USB Memory flash drives now 8 GB and affordable.
USB Hard Drives pocket up to 250 GB – Put your whole life on it and carry it in your pocket.
USB Not pocket size 1 TB and affordable.
Open Office and other apps that can run from a USB drive and
Personal Media Players, Cameras, PDA and merging with Cell Phones
Dell stopped making their pocket computers.
Smart phones are emerging as significant players
e-Learning authoring tools are more sophisticated and affordable.
Authorware 12 years about was $3000 now there is eXe for free and Captivate for $500.
eXe request less time in training and free http://exelearning.org/
MS giving one away. http://www.microsoft.com/learning/tools/lcds/default.mspx
Generation of learners that have grown up with computers, computer games, the Internet.
My 6 year old is already using Webkins. http://www.webkinz.com/us_en/
Other online metaverses like
Everyone is so busy
5 Minute presentations
Little time for reflections
Greater demands on instructors and learners.
Scope of knowledge required is growing.
Connectivity to knowledge is becoming more important than knowing the knowledge.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
But this week I discovered that the Royal Bank is giving the 2G Surf models away for free is you switch over to one of their accounts. Click here to check it out. So now you can get one for free and try it out.
I recommend that you get one of these low end models and if you do like it, buy the 8G or 900 models as they have the memory you will need. Then give the 2G Surf to a child as they make great computers for children.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
For all of you who are struggling with getting used to the new menus, or lack of, in MS Office 2007, there is an interesting solution. Addintools (http://addintools.com/)has a plug in for MS Office 2007 that restores your familiar office 2003 like menus. It is not free but may be worth the purchase, if you are frustrated with the new menu system.
Click here to learn more.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
I have taken it for a quick test drive and it looks great. Check it out at http://www.photoshop.com/express/
Friday, March 21, 2008
... I have run across a free web conferencing system that we are exploring using at the conference to provide live access to the presentations by the online participants. It is call WiZiQ and the URL is at http://wiziq.com
Besides being free it has the following features that I like:
- It only requires you to have Flash Player installed to use it and most everyone has that already, how else would you watch your YouTube.com programs. This also eliminates the majority of the problems that users have using other systems that require propriety software to be downloaded and installed.
- It records the sessions in Flash format so they can be viewed afterwards with just Flash Player.
- It appears to have all of the functionality of the other systems and it very simple to learn to use.
- There are also features for sharing content files and having tests online.
- it is Free, did I mention that already?
We have been doing some testing and it seems to work very well, is there anyone reading this that is using it? Please let us know how it is working for you.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I now have one of the new ASUS Eee PC units to try out and I really like it. They can purchased from Memory Express or from The Source by Circuit City starting as low as $299. I now have the 8GB model for $499. A student pointed out that I can double the RAM from 512 MB on the 4GB model to 1GB by replacing the RAM chip for a $25 1GB chip.
I have also found a couple of interesting sites that help you to learn more about this unit:
- Asus's own learn about the EeePC site.
- Here is a easy guide from the site above
- Here is a EEEPC User Community site. complete with forums where to ask questions about the machine.
- An online simulation of the software interface, menus and apps on the unit.
- It is small, light weight and inexpensive.
- It is Linux based and liberates me from MS.
- It comes with Open Office installed which I am getting to like much better than MS Office.
- It is designed to be a portable Web browser. I now use more Web-based apps than installed and this would work great for me.
- It is flexible, you can change the software on it, add SD Memory and it comes with 3 USB 2 ports.
- This also would be a great computer for my daughter, who is in grade one. It is easy to use, durable and comes loaded with lots of software.
Earlier in March, Asus announced that they are coming out with a 9" screen version in June (the current version has a 7" screen) that will come with 1GB or RAM and 8 GB or 12 GB of SST Hard Drives. Not only is the screen better but the resolution on it will be 1024x600, while the current one is 800x480. As best that I can tell, the size the unit is only slightly larger.
If you have one, let us know by posting a comment.
Quick Media Converter, is a free very powerful video and audio conversion tool. Converts to and from most formats including : FLV, AVI, DIVX, XVID, MPEG, MPEG2, MP3, Real Media, TS, Quick Time, PSP, Ipod, Iphone, WMV, VCD, 3GP, 3G2, M4A, AMR, H264, and H263. It also allows you to record videos or take pictures from your Web cam or DV Cam flux, in avi format and convert it to any format you want.
Included are two users mode - Batch Conversions Mode 1 for all users: Easy intuitive includes standard conversion settings to allow users to convert without having particular skills. Mode 2 Advanced: For skilled users allows more flexibility and more specialized conversions. Access to
www.cocoonvideos.com where if registered for free you can upload and share your converted videos and pictures (free 2 Gigabytes). Converts to and from mobile phones. Converts all FLV files or Youtube Daily motion Break. Captures and records Web cam and DV Cam flux (video and sound).
Works with Windows 98/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Thanks for Dave Flynn for passing this along to me.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
- Blackboard classic version 8.0 was released last Fall and this Spring Vista and Campus Edition (former WebCT products) version 8.0 will be released. These editions are not much different then proceeding versions but this action will synchronize the version numbers of the three products.
- The real interest part of this is that Bb is promising the release of Blackboard 9.0 before the end of 2008. This is the Next Generation edition that will have significant differences from previous version AND this is the version that finally merges the two former WebCT products with the classic Blackboard product. From the little they showed of the mockups, this product will have a whole new look, feel and new features. The timing of this release means that many schools will be testing this release out in the first half of 2009 and considering upgrading to it in the Summer of 2009, or not.
- My jury is still out if this is good and bad news. The new is good in that now we know what is planned. But could be bad because most schools may not be able to afford the new product. It promises to deliver all of the Web2.0 functionality that we are looking for but it seems to me that most of these features will be distributed in the suite of modules that Bb offers. At most schools, they just run the one core module and can't afford the extra modules.
- I have a meeting with a Bb representative this coming week so I will raise these concerns to him and report back here.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I assume that there was a great reason for introducing this new set of formats that would off-set the pain it is causing, but I can't think of any.
Anyway, you can download the Compatibility Pack from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en
or you can use http://www.zamzar.com to convert your files.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
It is 19 minutes long but worth a view and thinking about. Go to http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/25 to see it.
It is kind of like the www.dhmo.org that is a parody of many sites about toxic substances. BTW, if you can't see the humour in this site, ask a chemistry student.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
- If you need to extract a document from an old course that you have an archive file, you can use bFree an avoid having to mount the file back into a Blackboard course shell.
- You can convert your course into a web site with the same structure, that can be shared outside of Blackboard either on a disk or website.
- This would be a very useful tool if you needed to move your course from Blackboard to a different LMS.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Useful topics covered include:
- Virtual worlds like Second Life
- Blogs and wikis
- Podcasts, videocasts and screencasts
- What is Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0?
- RSS Feeds
- Mobile E-Learning
- Social Bookmarking
- And many more
Click here to check it out.