February 2007 Watchlog

and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all. By now you may have settled back into the routine of work or maybe even still be on vacation. Whatever you are up to, find a few moments to peruse this month’s selection of Web resources.
This could be called a ‘bumper’ edition as January was work challenged on this side of the globe and no-one was watching!(well I had one eye open).
It is increasingly apparent that Web 2.0 and its social dimension is adding both a positive and continually expanding influence on the way information is recorded, shared and accessed.
Included here are some links to blogs and Websites which support and provide informed comment on the use of learning resources on and off the Web wherever you may happen to be. They serve to encourage the exchange of information, Webalogue and networking with peers and contacts worldwide.
Amongst the links, the Horizon 2007 report on emerging technologies to watch,is well worth downloading
I have included a reference to the CAMEL project again plus some links to some more useful resources from JISC. Several conferences and a couple of conference reports are also listed.
Developments with Google resources, a ‘growing’ bibliography site, open and future labs, elearning guides, mobile and handheld resources, Cyberlibrarian and the European Kaleidoscope site make up the rest of the mix.
To finish off, the odd one out.
1. ELI 2007 (Educause Learning Initiative) conference report from Jacquie Kelly published on the conference Blog.
Use of Mobilephones/email: UK vs USA the differences
“The importance of work like this survey is that it demonstrates that there is not a single profile for a ‘digital native’ – the profile changes over time – there is a spectrum of digital nativeness.
For colleges and universities this presents a dillema, how to engage with these youngsters (who are sophisticated in their use of technology) in a few years time as well as cater for those who, for whatever reason, are not (yet) comfortable with using technology in learning.
“A visit to Georgia Tech campus rounded off the day. We were given a tour of their incubator facility which certainly has the ‘wow factor’. Various types of spaces with different, very comfy furniture were well used by students. I talked to some of the students and they really love this space. Such a sensible approach to have an incubator facility prior to a major refurb or new build. Some of the images from the visit should appear soon on the JISC infoNet Flickr site”.
I really like the fact that some thought is being put into the creation of learning environments/spaces and giving the students a chance to feedback on how well they work before wholesale implementation occurs.
There’s plenty of other interesting stuff on the blog as well as this report.


2. Horizon 2007 report. This well worth downloading and reading. it is very well presented and provides insights into the possible future trends in higher education.
I found the section on the ‘New Scholarship and Emerging forms of Publication’, particularly interesting.
Extract from the 2007 report:
“Horizon Project, a research- oriented effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within higher education.
As it does each year, the Horizon Advisory Board again reviewed key trends in the practice of teaching, learning, and creativity, and ranked those it considered most important for campuses to watch”.
The report reflects the ongoing collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program.


3. A return to the CAMEL project from JISCInfonet which is getting a lot of enthusiastic support.
‘The CAMEL publication, which highlights some of the things participants found out about e-learning and about each other, is available to order as a hard copy booklet or download in PDF format.
The recently-issued CD-ROM, ‘Using the CAMEL Model to Build a Community of Practice’, is now additionally available to view online or download locally as a zip file. All formats are freely available to view, download or order within the UK further and higher education communities’.
To access these resources please visit


4. The Apple iPhone: The more one looks at this device the more one can see the potential for mobile learning and teaching.
Take a look and read the specs if you haven’t done so already, and see if you can come up with a list of things it can be configured to do for your students (and you of course).
There’s bound to be look-alikes and variations a plenty in the coming years. Communication and integration of powerful digital technologies will engage and motivate the social networking learners of today and tomorrow.


5. Wikiseek. This is an interesting search engine which enables you to search Wikipeadia and its external links. They say it’s a better way. Give it a go and make up your own mind.


6. LabSpace: Developed by the Open University in the UK, This site, the experimental zone for Openlearn (the Open University Learning Space for online courses developed using Moodle) enables you to try some of the new technologies that support the online learner.
You can download a free copy of brainstorming software (Compendium) and also use a FlashMeeting system. You will need to register


7.1 7th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2007) July 18-20, 2007 Niigata, Japan


Theme:”Distributed social and personal computing for learning and instruction”
7.2 ALT-C 2007
Don’t forget to register early. Remember what happened last year!
Beyond Control
Learning Technology for the social network generation
Nottingham, UK, 4-6 September 2007.


7.3 ASCILITE 2007: Providing Choices for Learners and Learning.
For the first time ASCILITE is to be held at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
This is one of Singapore’s largest educational institutes and has a very impressive campus. The campus has excellent resources and personnel and I am sure they will be great hosts. Don’t miss it.
From 2- 5 december 2007


7.4 ICOOL 2007
3rd International Conference on Open and Online Learning
Pedagogical Scripting for Open and Online Learning (OOL)
11-14 June 2007
Hotel Equatorial, Penang, Malaysia


8. From JISC
8.1 The proceedings of all three themes of the 2006 JISC Online Conference ‘Innovating e-Learning 2006: Transforming Learning Experiences’ are now available as downloadable e-books from


The event was based around themes of work in the Pedagogy and Innovation strands of the JISC e-Learning Programme and took place last March:
Designing for Learning: exploring how practitioners design learning activities in a technology-enabled context
Learner Experiences of e-Learning: introducing JISC-funded research into learners’ experiences of technologies in learning
Innovating e-Learning Practice:covering innovative uses of mobile and wireless technologies, design of physical learning spaces, and applications of games technologies in teaching and learning
The proceedings of each theme have been assembled into e-books of the same name which can be downloaded in either an A4 or A5 format, to print out or to read onscreen.
Academic papers and summaries of the discussions are included. Presentations and multimedia exemplar resources associated with each session can be accessed online via web links given in the text.
8.2 JISC project: A User-Oriented Planner for Learning Analysis and Design
‘This project will use existing pedagogic design frameworks, and a learning activity management system (LAMS), to develop and test two linked planning tools for course level and session level learning design’.
A development team which includes Diana Laurillard, is working on this project and the intended outcomes have tremendous potential for education.
The templates (under development) can be used as a guide for designing/creating learning/teaching resources that support pedagogically sound principles while endeavouring to supports and meet the needs of the learner.
The ‘pop ups’ associated with the various sections of the module planner provide very useful guides.




9. Madox is software designed to produce resources for people using mobile devices such as phones. There is a free version for personal use
Extract from the site:
‘Maxdox®’ Mobile Publisher software provides the tools to rapidly create content rich mobile publications.
Limitless design possibilities and easy to use features give you the freedom to create high quality marketing, advertising and communications materials made for mobile phones’.


10. Handheld Learning site
Extract from the site:
‘Handheld Learning promotes the use of mobile technologies and mobility to enable transformational improvements in teaching and learning through conferences, online knowledge sharing, consulting, teacher training and the provision of innovative software.
The Handheld Learning Forum
In our short existence we have established the most active online community on the Internet for educators, academics, developers, manufacturers and publishers who share knowledge, experiences and ideas concerning the use of mobile technologies in teaching and learning’.
There is a growing list of links to a variety of resources that promote/ relate to the use of mobile technologies. Click on the links button
You can register on site


11. Wink (PC Linux only) Is new software , free to download, which enables the creation of tutorials primarily aimed at teaching software use, but can be used for a raft of other tutorials. Tutorials can be displayed using Flash Player
Extract from the site:
‘Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users’.


12. Futurelab publication: A handbook on learning with handheld technologies. This is a pdf download which includes some useful information and four case studies on the use of handheld technologies.


13. From the TLT group a report on the study of five iCampus projects. The full report entitled:
“Factors Affecting the Adoption of Faculty-Developed Academic Software: A Study of Five iCampus Projects,” is available for download from a link on the site.
Links are also provided to the five individual projects.
This report and the individual project sites are well worth perusing as they provide some interesting outcomes and questions about how slowly or quickly technology is adopted into mainstream and why or why not.


14. Cyberlibrarian: ‘Web Searching, Sleuthing and Sifting’ is the heading of this site. It provides an overview of the syllabus associated with the title.
The various lesson plans include some very useful links to resources that will help in finding what you want on the Web. Nicely done and I found it very useful.


15. Online Open Directory Project. This site has many, many links to a variety of resources for a huge range of disciplines.
Extract from the site:
‘The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors’.
The ultimate Web catalogue! This link takes you to the section on Online teaching and learning. You can of course search all over the site


16 Ideas Blog. An interesting bog which provides some links and comments on various aspects of instructional design for elearning.
The link to ‘A Framework for the Pedagogical Evaluation of eLearning Environments’ is one of many valuable resources that can assist the practitioner in designing effective elearning environments’.


17. Links to E-learning Articles and Links Pages and e-learning guides.
This is another one of those sites that attempts to collate as many links as possible to elearning sites so you don’t have to go searching.
Many of the links should be familiar to you but there are possibly a few that are not and will be worth exploring. Resources are grouped under specific headings and the author encourages feedback and suggestions for inclusion from users.


18. Kaleidoscope: Shaping the scientific evolution of technology enhanced learning.
Extract from the site says it all:
‘Kaleidoscope is the European research network shaping the scientific evolution of technology enhanced learning. It integrates the leading research teams in the field, who work collaboratively across educational, computer and social sciences to transform the quality and reach of the learning experience. Kaleidoscope fosters innovation and creativity through the development of new technologies, methodologies and concepts, defining the challenges and solutions for interdisciplinary research’.
Have a look at some of the case studies to see what is being achieved.


19. Bibsonomy. A new way of keeping track of your bookmarks and those of people with similar interest. Nice approach and one that grows on you as well as the site.
Extract from the site:
‘BibSonomy is a system for sharing bookmarks and lists of literature. When discovering a bookmark or a publication on the web, you can store it on our server. You can add tags to your entry to retrieve it more easily. This is very similar to the bookmarks/favorites that you store within your browser. The advantage of BibSonomy is that you can access your data from whereever you are. Furthermore, you can discover more bookmarks and publications from your friends and other people’.
Registration is free.
Pick one of the busy tags and see what you can find of interest.


20 . Docs & Spreadsheets integrates with Gmail : Some of you may have a gmail address and now Google has integrated a system that will automatically import an attachment into Docs and Spreadsheets (via a user activated link). A very handy and useful development.


21. The Odd one out
This is something different and maybe the way of the future? A Wiki developed and managed by Amazon.com for collaborative comparing and commenting on the latest and the greatest in gadgets and the like. All part of the social software revolution.


That’s it for this time around. March looms, so until then enjoy the days.
Richard Elliott
New Zealand
‘Learning in the Driver’s seat, Technology turning the wheels’

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