December elearning presents for the festive season

Hi everyone
the year, it comes to a close and I guess most will be looking forward to the festive season and some time away from all those luvly students… yeah right!
The online dimension is ever present, and not a Christmas one at that. However, students won’t change a habit of a lifetime. On this side of the globe they will be off to the beach asap. So you don’t lose touch and to prevent withdrawal symptoms, this posting has a range of links guaranteed to rivet you to your mobile device and inspire you for the coming year.
I have included a link to’Derek’s Blog’.It’s operated by Derek Wenmouth in New Zealand and it’s well worth feeding off Derek.He’s a good lad and has some very interesting views and practical advice on education and technology.
Thom Cochrane pointed me to a site that determines how well your blog (or that of your favourite practitioner) is patronised, bit of an ego booster if you get a good score, plus a Web site that progressively accumulates links to sites highlighting Web 2.0 activities.
Wikis, blogs, podcasting and Moodle were the subject of a workshop run by Thom Cochrane and I in Wellington recently. There was a lot of interest in the use of these tools and how effective they can be for a range of actvities.
I have included a couple of links to Wiki sites. One enables comparison between Wiki software the other is the Twiki site which some say is more powerful, adaptable and feature rich than MediaWiki.
There’s also a link to a ‘catablog’ amongst the resources plus a site for easily creating your own Web presence, open access resources, JISC pedadgogy site, hints and guides on podcasting, a free digital book and handouts, a resource for creating all sorts of online forms, a very useful graphic novel and to finish the season, the odd one(s) out.
1. Social meter: Enter the address of your favourite Blog or your own (which could be one and the same thing!) and see how many links are being made and where from. Not surprisingly, Stephen Downes and Alan Levine(Cogdogblog) score highly

2. GoToWeb 2.0. The complete Web 2.0 directory. Icon links to a big selection of Web 2.0 sites. Need to have lots of spare time to peruse this lot.

and not quite the same but doing something similar is
Original signal:
Collates a range of Web 2.0 sites, all with an access link Shows a ‘pop up window’ with a short description of an item as the cursor is moved over items/articles within the individual sites. There’s a wide variety of interesting stuff here. Get more by goinf directly to the featured sites

3. Wikimatrix: This is a very interesting site which lists a large number of Wikis from which you can choose and compare functionality and features.Well worth the effort.

4.Twiki: an Enterprise Collaboration Platform, is a free open source Wiki(programmed in Perl) which has been compared with several other Wikis and appears to have the edge in functionality and features. See for yourself.
We have been here before but in the early days so things have changed.
‘Welcome to TWiki, a flexible, powerful, and easy to use enterprise collaboration platform and knowledge management system’.

5.Derek’s Blog. A true New Zealand Blogger
A blog which keeps up to date with much of what’s new, interesting and potential useful in the world of the education Web.
Although Derek’s major focus tends to be on the primary/secondary sectors, those in tertiary are sure to find some real gems amongst his perambulations, comments, theories and sharp eye on good practice.

6. A FREE digital book from the e-Learning Guild:339 Tips on the Implementation of an LMS or LCMS
‘is an amazing collection of tips from hundreds of your professional colleagues. Nowhere will you find a more comprehensive set of tips that you can use to improve your LMS and LCMS implementation efforts. This eBook is available for everyone regardless of their affiliation with The eLearning Guild -so don’t hesitate to tell all your colleagues about it!’.

7. Five Steps to Designing Podcasts that Teach :Is a useful resource/guide for those who want to use podcasts in their teaching. Includes the application of ‘Podagogy!’.

and in a similar vein from EDUCAUSE. Seven things you should know about Podcasting.
NB: this is a .pdf file

8.Icebrrg: HTML Web forms,surveys and invitations made chillingly simply. There is a free account plus you can pay a monthly fee for more advanced features. This worth exploring if you have a ned to create a variety of forms for use on the Web

9. 20 Free handouts: From the ALT/LSDA ‘E-learning making it work conference’ held in London on 13 October 2005. They are all small.pdf files and are based on 20 workshops, covering a wide range of examples of e-learning good practice from FE, Adult Learning, and Work-based Learning.
I have read a few of them and they provide some insights into details of various projects and their outcomes. Some contain some good tips on what to do and what is not necessarily good practice. The focus is UK education but much of what is discussed is generic/universal.

A compilation of all the handouts can be downloaded from the site
10. JISC should be well known to you by now and the elearning pedagogy group has recently released a draft report on the Learner experiences of e-learning (exploring subject differences)- from the LearnerXP project. It is emphasised that this is a ‘draft’ and should not currently be quoted or referenced. There’s other stuff on the site which is also worth a look at.

11. OpenDOAR: A Directory of academic Open Access Repositories on the Web. This is a new site which is aimed at researchers to enable them to access information in a range of repositories around the world.
Extract from the site:
‘The OpenDOAR service provides a quality-assured listing of open access repositories around the world. OpenDOAR staff harvest and assign metadata to allow categorisation and analysis to assist the wider use and exploitation of repositories. Each of the repositories has been visited by OpenDOAR staff to ensure a high degree of quality and consistency in the information provided: OpenDOAR is maintained by SHERPA’.

12. Wetpaint is another relatively new site which enables anyone to create their own Website.It has also been used successfully as a collaborative tool for workshops/ information feedback at conferences. A nice tool for educational use?
Extract from the site:
‘The heart of the Wetpaint advantage is its ability to allow anyone — especially those without technical skill — to create and contribute to websites written for and by those who share a passion or interest. To do this, Wetpaint combines the best aspects of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks so anyone can click and type on the web’.

13. Global summit 2006: This site provides a series of links to
Blogs, Podcasts, Papers and Presentations associated with the 2006 summit held in Sydney 17-19 October 2006.
There are some well known names here and the resources are well worth perusing especially those from George Siemens.

14. The product design process: A Graphic Novel. This an amazing and fascinating little ‘book’ which is free to download. It was produced as a senior thesis by Allison Wong at the Stanford
In her own words:
‘This book was developed as a tool to help students unfamilar with the product development process, teaching the main steps and familiarizing students with working in groups and with deadlines. Based off of user testing and from product design philosophies from textbooks, MIT courses, and design company strategies, it is currently used in the senior design class, 2.009, the Product Design Process, as supplementary reading’.
Well worth downloading and learning from the lessons therein!

15. ALT-C 2007
Keep an eye on this one and register early. Remember what happened this year!
Beyond Control
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(s) out as it’s the festive season and you will need something to occupy all that time.
The life and times of Samuel Johnson and literature relating to the man and his times. A fascinating read and a very well constructed Blog.

Monster Librarian
A source for readers of horror fiction to find another book to read.

for those interested in pies, patties, port and parties, a site dedicated to the history of food. Some very tasty original Christmas recipes to experiment with

That’s it for 2006. Trust you enjoyed at least one of the links.
Have a pleasant and relaxing festive season.
eLearningWatch returns in February 2007.
Best wishes
Richard Elliott
New Zealand
‘Learning in the Driver’s seat, Technology turning the wheels’

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