Friday, October 20, 2006

Connect the Dots: Students, Blogs and the Nobel Peace Prize | PBS

Andy Carvin talks about blogging and the Grameen bank Nobel Prize. What's the connection, you might ask, but read it and see. Then comments from students about the value of blogging are eye-opening.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Course Development

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Course Development is a really cool Moodle-based site that assists in content development.
From the site - "

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Course Development is designed as a resource for individuals with varying levels of course design experience.

Individuals new to higher education can use this site to help design their first classroom based course integrating technology where appropriate.

Experienced instructors, being encouraged to place materials within a learning management system, can use this site to decipher the differences between Web-Presence, Web-Enhanced, Web-Centric and Online courses and how to plan courses for online delivery.

Instructors of online courses, looking for new ideas and ways to improve their course, can use the site to improve content development by finding sources for pre-developed content and ideas to improve student centered learning.

Instructional Designers and Instructional Support Staff can use this site as a reference for themselves or as a resource for the faculty they support."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Gmail - [TTLUG] CMS Matrix

I got this via email on the Trinidad and Tobago Linux USers Group mailing list.
This is for anyone who needs to choose a Content Management System (CMS) for a particular project.
They compare many of them, both open source and non-open source.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Education website with interactive games for children

This website, provided by the US state of UTAH, provides online games for Language Arts, Math, Health, Social Studies and more. These are fun and interesting ways for students to learn and test themselves on concepts. They include Puzzling Puzzles, Brain Benders, Strategy Games, Memory Games, Word Games, Math Activities, Social Studies, Science, Health, Media, Money Games and more for students from K-12.
Try it out and explore, and comment on how they work.

How to Design and Publish Your Website with Open Source tools

How to Design and Publish Your Website with Nvu:
For people in the developing world and especially in Education, where funds are perenially low, open source tools can solve a lot of needs. In the web development space, here are a few tools that can replace the expensive proprietary tools, such as dreamweaver, photoshop and illustrator.

Web development: NVU is a free alternative to Dreamweaver ( )
InkScape ( ) is a free vector art application similar in many ways to Illustrator or Fireworks
Paint .NET ( ) for Windows, or The Gimp ( ) are bitmap editors (similar to Photoshop)
GIMP-GAP is a set of plug-ins for the GIMP-2.0 that extends GIMP for creation of animations based on a series of frame images. GIMP-GAP is the next development step of the Video Menu that once was part of gimp-1.2."
Unfortunately, Flash has no open source alternative as yet... but there is some work going on here

I'll update as I get more tools.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Relationship Of Gender To.Faculty Use Of Online Educational Tools

Relationship Of Gender To Faculty Use Of Online Educational Tools
This is a really interesting research paper that questions whether gendered use of the Internet and hte Web extends to higher education faculty, and discusses possible implications.
"Online courses have become a vital part of the curriculum for most post-secondary institutions in the United States. Whether used for distance learning or as an enhancement to classroom teaching, the integration of online courses marks a distinct change in the system of higher education. According to this attitude of innovation, especially in the online environment, the traditional method of lecturing is no longer appropriate. New methods of instruction must be introduced into the online teaching world. How will these methods be defined and implemented? Who will define and implement them? One aspect to be considered here is the role of gender. The role that gender plays in online teaching has not yet been investigated to the extent this topic warrants, and specific pedagogic questions with respect to gender have neither been asked nor answered. The purpose of the study was to pose and report on some gender-related questions. Do male and female faculty make different teaching choices in online instruction methods based on their gender? Do these choices reflect societal gendered tendencies regarding technology? What are some of the implications for teaching and learning in higher education?"

Monday, May 22, 2006

What Exactly is a Blog, Anyway?

TeacherSource | . What Exactly is a Blog, Anyway? | PBS
An interesting article by Andy Carvin that discusses bloggin gin the classroom. It's meant to
help teachers who are unfamiliar with blogging, and also as a launching point to talk about things like podcasting and video blogging in the future.
I think that this might help teachers in Trinidad who are afraid to allow their students to blog as part of the course, to get more comfortable with the use of these tools.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Education Podcast Network -- The Landmark Project

Education Podcast Network -- The Landmark Project
Way cool - this is what we are talking about!

Webby awards - educational websites... are they any good

Interesting take by Andy Carvin on the 206 nominees for the Webby awards. BTW - I totally agree with Andy that sites in the education category need at this time to be looking at how to USE the web to get students involved in ONLINE learning, not just using the web in the same old ways. Community sites, tags, collections, multimedia, all these are possibilities.

TeacherSource | . Should Students be Allowed to Carry Cell Phones? | PBS

TeacherSource | . Should Students be Allowed to Carry Cell Phones? | PBS
A very interesting discussion about the use of technology in classrooms. Should students be allowed to carry cell phones to school? The parents say YES- it's about safety. The school admins say NO - it's disruptive. But then, what about looking at using the phones in the classroom? Can we not use cellphone techoogy in education as well?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Online Discussion tools

From a mailing list that I subscribe to - a very nice concise explanation of the tools that we have been looking at - written by James Jones

"Discussion Lists --

Great for this is me announcements, What do you think about this type questions, or I'm having issues implementing such and such. If archived online can be indexed by search engines. :-) Check out

Not so good when restricted to a single topic. Or when an online archive isn't present. The list tends to stagnate.

Forums --

Pretty good for how to posts, tips and tricks, and tracking comments. Indexed by search engines :-) Here is an example of a highly used forum -

A royal pain to find useful information, when the base structure is disorganized. Or when the comments on a single post goes on and on for several pages. that post has 5 pages of comments. Now if that is the absolute only place I can find any information about the topic at hand I'll wade through that but a trip to the dentist would most likely be more interesting.

Twiki / Wiki's --

Really good for how to posts, best practices, editable by a large number of people etc.

Can be over kill for static content. While you can edit the page you can't really place a comment outside of the discussed area. You have to make a new entry in the posted page and anyone can remove your comment.


Defiantly fits the news post type role and people can comment. Blogs can also be used to give a recap of the more interesting dialogs that occurred during the week with groups using any of the above methods. Could be a good way to point people to your more user active areas.

Doesn't really foster an active community. Seems to foster a passive community....

MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning

The New Media Consortium and the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, working in collaboration with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, are soliciting abstracts for chapters to appear in a series of volumes entitled the MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. The MacArthur Foundation Series will explore the intersection of digital media and learning from the perspectives of experts, visionaries, and thought leaders chosen from across the globe.

As many as 60 authors will be selected to write chapters for one of the six volumes that will comprise the first topics in the series. The project enjoys substantial support; authors who are selected to participate will each receive an honorarium of $10,000 US for their chapters.

I write to encourage you to submit an abstract for consideration.

The Call for Abstracts contains considerable information on the project, submission information, and detailed descriptions of each of the topics. That document can be downloaded at

I hope you will also share this announcement with others whom you think may find it of interest -- we hope to reach both the leading thinkers and writers in the world on these topics as well as those whose ideas are significant but less well known.

Dr. Laurence F. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer


The New Media Consortium
sparking innovative learning and creativity

2499 S Capital of Texas Hwy
Building A, Suite 202
Austin, TX 78746-7762

tel 512 445-4200
fax 512 445-4205


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Podcasting: A New Voice on the Net

Podcasting: A New Voice on the Net
This interesting article discusses podcasting and how it can be used.
"If you've ever wanted to speak directly to your audience, here's your chance. While blogs give anyone with something to say a means to publish their views on the Web, podcasting gives those with a computer and Internet access a chance to create and post their own radio broadcasts."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Building Educational Web Sites with Moodle

Building Educational Web Sites with Moodle
An excellent article on the value of using content management systems, and educational systems, such as moodle, for education activities."

Five years ago, Web designers and teachers who wanted to build a site had to code HTML by hand or use an editor like Macromedia Dreamweaver, Microsoft FrontPage, or Adobe GoLive. You then had to upload files to a server. Few busy teachers had the time to acquire these skills. With the advent of content management systems, Web publishing became easy enough for anyone to pick up quickly.

With a CMS like Moodle, you don't need any Web design skills, all you need is the ability to write and teach your ideas using images, text, or any media on the Internet -- there's no software to buy or install. Just go to any computer, open a Web browser, and make changes to your site. Moodle also works well for those with old computers, slow Internet connections, and older browsers. All you need is PHP -- an HTML scripting language -- installed on your system, and you're ready to go."

Pretty much what I've been trying to say since October. Dreamweaver is useful, but a lot less useful than Moodle or Mambo for non-technical people to develop powerful tools quickly.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Google Web Page Creator

"Google Page Creator <> is a web based application that uses a basic what-you-see is what-you-get style of interface, designed to allow anyone to create and publish web pages, regardless of skill or knowledge level.

"It's as easy to create a page on the web as it is to create one on a word processor," said Justin Rosenstein, product manager for the new tool.

Google Page Creator allows you to arrange text, images or other types of web content and upload the web pages with a single click, without the need to know web programming languages such as HTML or Javascript, or how to configure and transfer pages to a web server."

Read full story at:
Google Introduces Web Page Creator

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NEW dgSURVEY: Online Education: What Can It Deliver?

Just got this in an email - interesting survey. It would be cool to have responses from the Caribbean.

Educational resources available via the Internet, from online course materials to virtual classroom videoconferencing, offer some of today?s most cutting-edge applications of cyberspace. However, e-learning has not always lived up to its promise for schools, faculty, and students in developing countries. A Development Gateway Special Report scheduled for March 2006 will examine the challenges and opportunities of online education in the developing world.

We would like to know what Development Gateway members think about online education in developing countries. Please take few moments to answer a short survey at ( Selected responses will appear in the 'From Our Members' section of the Special Report. Thanks for your help!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wikis in Education - Westwood - a case study

Our Space: We began to use our wikispace as the companion to our Computer Science curriculum but are expanding it for use in Computer Fundamentals, Keyboarding, and Computer Graphic Design.

We started with one page ( where I posted words relating to Web 2.0. I divided the students into groups and had them collaboratively research their topic on the Internet, summarize their findings, and link to their sources. I have found that it is the perfect tool to help students summarize and synthesize information! Every student, regardless of ability level was able to contribute in a meaningful way!

We've expanded it considerably and now have links to our student wikispaces ( Of particular interest is the 10th grade "study hall" ( where the students have created a
listing of homework with links to the pages they have created to study for exams! They update this on their own! It has its own life!
I'm most excited that they have an electronic forum to exchange academic information from home! I like that I can monitor who has added material and can control who contributes to each space.

Our Community: The students and faculty of Westwood Schools.

Our Experience with Wikispaces: The first day, the students started getting excited. The second day, they were thrilled and engrossed in learning about our topic. For their quiz on creating wikipages I had them create their own space on the school topic of their choice. That
is when I found them squealing in the hall talking about their english wikispace or history wikispace. The other faculty, who are always cutting edge, began asking what this "wiki thing" was. Some of them have created their own pages and are creating projects next semester
to move from paper portfolios to wikispaces. I've been asked to do a teacher in service training on January 2nd to bring all middle school and high school teachers up to speed.

I have used countless technological tools -- but I have never found a tool so useful in the educational process. We use blogging, podcasting and all of the other features of Education 2.0. I believe, however, that wikispaces are the thing that will integrate all of these technologies into meaningful experiences.

Read more about about which features work well for us:

Read a full summary of our Wikispaces experience: