another month has flashed by and Guy Fawkes is about to reawaken… again. Nov 5th is just as avidly celebrated in New Zealand as it seems to be in UK. Must be our roots or something. I can smell the red, white and blue smoke from here (suitably filtered for health and safety reasons).
Web 2.0 features prominently these days in the Blogs and Web pages of the enlightened educator. Essentially Web 2.0 subscribes to ‘connectivism’ and the potential of social software such as Wikis, Blogs and Podcasting to facilitate sharing of personal musings and activities and to enhance the inter-connectivity between the users (learners), wherever they may be.
This posting has some links to Websites which promote the use of social software and extol the virtues of being connected and where the students are at!
You could be lead to believe that ‘everybody’ is on to it. My experience is still the 80:20 rule. 80% of academics are thinking about what to do while the other 20% are doing it.
‘Those who think it can’t be done are usually run over by those who are doing it!’
There are so many new resources being created on the Web, that keeping track of what is happening becomes a real challenge, even with RSS feeds and links to favourite sites. Such is the nature of the information explosion that one is hardly likely to see more than 10% of what’s available.
The links in this posting provide access to a meagre few of the latest developments and some of the good stuff that may have been around for while, but hidden from view. Navigating the pages will sometimes bring up some more gems. So explore, be prepared for the unexpected and learn on the way.
Note taking, a raft of developments from Google, social software, report on the CAMEL project from JISCInfonet, learning resources, podcasting, a couple of conference notifications, a new search engine plus a few more sites of interest, including the odd one out, are included in this posting.
1. The Cornell Note Taking System: If you haven’t seen or used it already, this is well worth perusing if you are involved in studying or for your students who might want to have a better way of taking notes. It has been around for quite a while but maybe your students don’t know about it.
and this one provides some templates
In addition, the Website below is primarily aimed at the office worker but its hints and tips on note-taking complement the Cornell system. If you are into texting you may already have a short hand of your own that can survive a transition to useful note taking.
Have a look at some of the related links on this site. Some look as if they could bevery useful as well.
2. Connectivism: This Blog focuses on the various issues associated with Connectivism using Web 2.0 and the changes occuring in the learning environment.
You will probably have to search the Blog to get to some of the ‘meaty’ stuff. The white paper submitted by the Blog author is well constructed makes for interesting reading . It is a (.pdf) download
Connected Learning Community
This site is a relatively new initiative as part of the Australian Flexible Learning Network and has some useful guides for those interested in Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. It is a Wiki so contributions are invited.
3. Mobile podcasting : The Website says ‘All About Mobile Life’, and there is lots to review and contemplate in relation to Web2.0 and Mobile 2.0
Podcasts on your mobile phone from the UK. Check out the site and see what’s on offer from entertainment to comedy to music. Will it happen in NZ?
4. The Levelator for podcasts is a piece of software that enables podcasts to achieve much better sound stability and quality. It’s free fro non-commercial use
Extract from the site:
‘So what is The Levelator? It’s software that runs on Windows or OS X (universal binary) that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three. It’s much more than those tools, and it’s much simpler to use. The UI is dirt-simple: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better’.
5. A new social network site? Want to be ‘u’ and share with others? Explore, ruminate and decide for yourself.
Extract from the site:
‘Wallop is the exclusive social experience where it’s easy to ‘be you’ and connect with the friends you choose.
Wallop redefines the social networking experience and unlocks the potential of self-expression online’.
6. Web 2.0 in Health Learning: An interesting read with some very good suggestions on how Web 2. 0 technologies can be used to enhance learning in the health sector.
‘Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, podcasts and blogs could be quite effective tools in e-learning for health professionals in patients, according to a new paper published by BioMed Central’.
The Biomed Central paper on Web 2.0 in Health Learning can be downloaded from the above site
7. Intute: Advertised as the ‘Best Web for Education and research’, this site certainly has a wide range of resources accessed through links to the major disciplines. Certainly bound to be something for you!
Extract from the site:
‘Intute is a free online service providing you with access to the very best Web resources for education and research’
8. A different kind of search engine? Searchmash. Some very good results from single or two word input. Try ‘e-learning’. You can display Web pages or images from the drop down menu. I quite like it and it’s very quick to respond.
9. There are a number of Web browsers available and each seems to be vying with the other to improve/increase functionality. Opera, Flock, Safari and Firefox are the most common and all have a band of enthusiastic followers.
I tend to use Safari but Firefox is an excellent backup. If you haven’t tried it, the new version, V.2.0 is now available for download for a range of operating systems.
10. Googling along:
You will need a Google account to be able to use some of these resources. It’s quite easy to establish either via your mobile or the Web.
Build and customize your own search engine. Another new development from the people at Google.
This development has the potential to revolutionise personal searching techniques, giving you the opportunity to focus on what really lights your fuse and keeps you interested in e/ flexible learning or whatever.
and yet another one of those developments, build and publish your own Webpages. It’s still in the test phase and you are invited for a test-drive
Extract from the site
‘Google Page Creator is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive web pages in just minutes’.
and another one, the Literacy site, combining a number of resources/facilities all in one place
and finally for us educators the whole lot in one parcel ?
Try creating and then sharing your calendar in Google . A very useful and powerful application.
11. Learning Resources Centre
Web Learning resources: A web based learning resources library.
Extract from the site
‘This page, one of three in the series, is an educators’ resource for delivery and management of education via the Internet.
It focuses on web based learning for higher education, especially for at-distance, adult learners but has application for web based learning in general.
12. This web site attempts to informally catalog (and occasionally compare, contrast and editorialize on) the tools, topics and issues of interest to those developing for web-based learning initiatives’.
13. JISCInfonet and the CAMEL project.
This project has recently been completed and I received a copy of the report last week. Essentially it focuses on the many facets of Collaborative Approaches to the Management of Elearning. It’s well worth reading, providing many insights into the value and importance of collaboration on a level playing field. A copy can be downloaded from the JISCInfonet site.
A CDROM is being produced to complement the report and there is always a possibility that the UK developers will either send you a copy or maybe even sell you one.
14. LIFT conference: A conference about the challenges and opportunities of technology in our society
7-8-9 February 2007 Geneva, Switzerland
From the site:
‘What are we going to talk about?
This year we will talk about the web, mobile technologies, economy, design, technological overload, entrepreneurship, ubiquitous computing, social software, ethic, and much much more’.
15. ALT-C 2007: Keep an eye on this one and register early. Remember what happend this year!
Learning Technology for the social network generation
Nottingham, UK, 4-6 September 2007.
16. ASCILITE 2006 (3 – 6 December) 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.
17. Odd one out: Famous people. ‘Famouspeople.com is an online biographical reference which chronicles the lives of famous people throughout the world’.
Maybe you are here and didn’t know it?
Compare the first site with the second from the BBC. Both provide some fascinating stories.
One more Watch to go before 2006 comes to an end. How time flies.
So until December dawns enjoy your surfing.
‘Learning in the Driver’s seat, Technology turning the wheels’