October Fest of elearning resources

well ALT-C 2006 has been and gone. It was a most enjoyable experience shared by over 600 delegates.
For once the Keynote speakers all had something to say and said it well. Their presentations can be found online (see link below).
The wide variety of papers provided plenty of food for thought and the summaries provided by the Theme speakers put them all in perspective.
The employment of Theme Speakers are a good idea, providing a synopsis of the general trends, common threads and innovations (and perhaps a few deviations) within a particular group of papers.
Next year is Nottingham and the themes, call for papers and key dates are already posted . You will need to be on your toes and book early if you don’t want to miss out as I am sure some did this year because registrations were closed early due to unprecedented demand. Well done ALT!
A brand new JISC site is being launched on 2 October so keep an eye out and visit as soon as it is launched.
You might want to have a look at the new Sony Reader, seems as if this is a breakthrough in ‘e-book readers’. Very crisp clear flicker free screen and holds as many as 80 books. Could be developed as a very useful tool for the mobile learner.
This posting has some links to
JISC Infonet, eFestNZ, ALT-C 2006 and 2007, language learning,
ASCILITE 2006, LAMS, Sony Reader. Learning technology and e-learning resources, image manipulationsoftware, Web based word processor, some math stuff an online journal and the odd one out
1. ASCILITE 2006: December 3-6 Sydney Australia
‘This year’s theme, ‘Who’s Learning? Whose Technology?’ focuses attention on understanding the needs of a diversifying population.
In 2006, ascilite will be held in Sydney. The conference venue, the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, rests on Sydney harbour in the Royal Botanical Gardens, just walking distance from the Opera House’.


2. First LAMS conference
‘The focus of the conference is on designing for the future. Where will Learning Design take us now? How is LAMS shaping up? What are the challenges for individuals and organisations? Importantly we want to capture the experience of those who have used LAMS and share some of the lessons learnt in higher education, the K-12 sector, vocational and professional education.
The conference will be held in the heart of Sydney, at the Sydney University Conservatorium of Music’


3. JISCinfonet
Trust this group to be well up with the play! Their latest offering is on ‘Social Software’ This is a much talked about area of elearning/education as the convergence of digital technologies is rapidly changing the way in which people communicate, work and learn together.
The potential of social software in teaching and learning needs to be exploited to enable students to get the most from their learning experience and respond to how they like to learn.


While you are in the hallowed halls of Infonet, if you haven’t perused the Change Management pages it’s about time you did. Some excellent practical and useable stuff here. As is always the case you can download all the good bits and put them into practice. Could be an eye opener for some managers I know!


4. GIMP: For those of you who follow and support the open source developments and like to manipulate your digital images,
‘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’.


5. Writely : The Web Word Processor is now part of Google. Whilst still in Beta ,it is worth exploring as a potential collaboration tool and part of your social software resources.
Extract from the site:
Share documents instantly & collaborate real-time.
Pick exactly who can access your documents.
Edit your documents from anywhere.
Nothing to download — your browser is all you need.
Store your documents securely online.
Offsite storage plus data backup every 10 seconds.
Easy to use.
Clean, uncluttered screens with a familiar, desktop feel.


6. Create a graph and joy of joys, Calculus!
These sites contain some good examples to work through. Great for reinforcement learning of principles and practice.




7. From Oxford University Learning Technologies group comes a Website with links to a vast and rich array of learning resources. Must be something here for you.
Extract from the site:
1.1. Learning Technologies Resources
General Resources
Life & Environmental Sciences
Arts & Humanities
Mathematical & Physical Sciences
Medical Sciences
Social Sciences
Additional Resources
1.2. Subject Resources
Resource Discovery Network


8. Accelerated learning: If you are interested in helping your students learn faster and perhaps better, this site provides lots of information on accelerated learning


9. The new Sony Reader: It’s not very often that I comment on a particular product but I think this is worth having a look at as its potential for use in education has yet to be explored. With a capacity of up to 80 books it could be very useful for the mobile learner.
There are opportunities to develop resources for this device so you could create a course manual, syllabus guide, course notes etc. Check it out and make up your own mind.


10. List of Online Resources for e-Learning: Produced by Birbeck University of London, this is an alphabetical list of a very wide range of resource links. It will take you some time to peruse , but there is a lot to explore , some old some maybe new to you.

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ccs/elearn/links1.htm – E

11. Language learning: Chinese. For those of you who are teaching the Chinese language this site should be very useful. There are a huge range of links to resources aimed at helping the learner develop their Chinese language skills.
The site is maintained by Created and maintained by Dr. Tianwei Xie
Dept. of Asian and Asian American Studies, California State University at Long Beach and is updated regularly.


12. Journal of Interactive Online Learning: is published by the National Center for Online Learning Research (NCOLR). There are some very interesting articles in past issues of this journal. The sentiments and conclusions expressed in the first article in the Summer 2006 (A survey of Faculty Teaching Online) may ring a few bells .You might also want to consider submitting your own manuscript.


13 Learning Styles: A very full site with lots of useful descriptors , links and resources related to individual learning styles. A feature is identifying your learning style using a graphic technique.
Extract from site:
‘Learning-styles-online.com provides free information and tools to help you understand and use learning styles effectively.
Learning styles are a way to help improve your quality of learning. By understanding your own personal styles, you can adapt the learning process and techniques you use. This site is dedicated to helping you better understand learning styles, as well as providing an easy way to discover your own styles’.


14. ALT-C 2006 and 2007
ALT-C 2006: Click on the numbers on the programme to see the abstract under specific themes. Full papers will be progressively posted to the site.


Keynote presentation file can be obtained as downloads from the main ALT site


ALT-C 2007:
Beyond Control
Learning Technology for the social network generation
Nottingham, UK, 4-6 September 2007.


15. eFest 2006 September 27-29 : This conference will be over by the time you read this posting. The Website has some interesting abstracts many with a unique New Zealand flavour.
Check out what those in the Antipodes are up to. Keynotes included Stephen Downes and Diana Oblinger from Educause (who incidentally gave a very good presentation at ALT-C 2006)
‘eFest is for practitioners exploring the use of technology in teaching and learning, including teaching staff, course designers and developers, technologists, policymakers, decision-makers and those engaged in learning and training’.


16. JISC: Check this link after October the first and explore the new site. Excellent projects underway and plenty of resources to guide you in your own developments.
There is such a wealth of information and resources here,you should have this permanently bookmarked or on your RSS feeds.


17.Odd one out: The timeline of Art History from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A very nicely created, comprehensive and fascinating site on Art History from around the world from early times (20,000 BC) to the present day. Well worth spending some time to explore and discover.


November is already looming on the horizon so until then enjoy surfing the Webwaves.
Richard Elliott
New Zealand
‘Learning in the driver’s seat, Technology turining the wheels’

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