August eWatch

Hi everyone
well here we are in August and I hate to say it’s still raining and maybe as much in some areas here as it is in the UK. Yellow submarines and mud puppies are now in vogue.
This month has a wide range of subjects for you to explore. There’s a couple of free e-books including one by Diana Oblinger on Learning spaces. Also included is an excellent practical guide to flexible learning, some useful stuff on accessibility, the Hitchhikers guide to course development, a very nice guide to online pedagogy plus higher education online resources and the main site for the JISC e-learning programme.
Don’t forget to visit the conference sites and especially those of you in New Zealand, the best MoodleMoot ever is just around the corner! ASCILITE is always a good conference and with Ron Oliver and Daniel Tan in charge the 2007 event promises to be even better.
The odd one out will provide some light relief.
That’s it until September (and hopefully) spring arrives.
1. A practical guide to providing flexible learning in further and higher education. This one of a number of very useful and practical documents from this site.It is a nicely put together and a comprehensive guide to the adoption/implementation of flexible learning.
You can either download the .pdf document or use the Web site (or both) Well worth perusing.
Download: Retrieved on 21/07/07 from

OR if you want an online version
retrieved on 11/07/07 from :

2. ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to Course Development’ You will need to create an account to access the extensive resources on this site. It is created in Moodle and very easy to navigate.

3. An Electronic Textbook on Instructional Technology. This site has a lot of information and help for developing course structures and materials. There are several ‘pages’ with a focus on a specific aspect of instructional technology. Useful as a guide.

‘aims to be the leading educational advisory service, working across the UK, in the fields of accessibility and inclusion’.
This is another excellent JISC funded advisory service, with the very capable
Dr Simon Ball as the senior advisor keeping things on track.
I have pointed readers to this site in previous editions of elearnwatch. It’s always interesting to revisit a site from time to time to see if any useful changes have occured. TechDis gets better all the time.
This time have a look at ‘Assistive Technologies, The Untapped Potentials’, page.
Some very useful information and help here. It would be good if,apart from Windows machines, they explored some of the clever ‘assistive’ technologies built into the Macintosh platform as well.

In a related vein: Webaim
Extract from the site
‘Our Mission
WebAIM’s mission is to expand the potential of the Web for people with disabilities by providing the knowledge, technical skills, tools, organizational leadership strategies, and vision that empower organizations to make their own content accessible to people with disabilities’.

and if you are really into building accessible Websites Joe Clark has serialised his entire book online. Originally written in 2002, some of the info can be viewed as’historical’ but there is still a lot of useful information embedded in the pages.

5. Learning Spaces, an EDUCAUSE e-Book written by Diana Oblinger. This book is available online to download complete or as individual chapters. If you are involved in teaching and learning and are interested in the role and effects that learning space design has on student learning then this is well worth downloading and reading.

6.Stumbleupon: This is a very different kind of Web search facility.
‘StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 2,954,850 other websurfers with interests similar to you’.
The Stumbleupon toolbar( download) works in Firefox and Internet Explorer
Give it a go, you may be surprised with the results.

7. EduResources Weblog–Higher Education Resources Online:
‘This weblog focuses on locating, evaluating, discussing, and providing guidelines to instructional resources for faculty and students in higher education’.
This site is worth visiting even if only for the link on Thursday 26 July on the home page which takes you to a very comprehensive list of learning object repositories. The Link on Sunday July 15th to LeMill is also worth perusing. It identifies itself as a ‘Web community for finding, authoring and sharing learning resources’.

8.JISC e-Learning Focus:
‘The e-Learning Focus site aims to provide a route into the e-Learning Programme for the wider community. It will report on its results as they become available, and provide commentary, news and articles to support the work of the projects’.
A well designed site which provides links to all the different activities/ tools/ information associated with the e-learning programme. Well worth bookmarking for frequent visits.

9. Online Instruction Pedagogy Guide. From the University of South Alabama Online Learning Laboratory. This a a very comprehensive guide with some excellent materials in a series of ‘lectures’. Very useful.

10 Electronic resources for Research Methods. Features a drop-down menu of links to a variety of sites dealing with a wide range of research methodologies. Each link provides even more links to the research area of choice. Should be something here for you.

11. Welcome to the MoodleMootNZ07. This is the official site of the 2007 New Zealand MoodleMoot. Being hosted by WINTEC in Hamilton in the Waikato region. It promises to be a grand event with the big man himself, Martin Dougiamas, in attendance. Watch this space and sign up to attend.
**Registration is now available on the site.

11.1 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.
**Please note that the deadline for submission of proposals has been extended to AUGUST 20
From 2- 5 December 2007.

11.2 ALT-C 2007: Beyond control
Learning technology for the social network generation
4-6 September 2007, Nottingham, UK.

BOOK NOW – places going fast:

Fees for attendance are at:

Book now for FIVE pre-conference workshops:
– NCSL’s Tools for eLearning: an interactive workshop
– Rapid Creation and Deployment of Advanced e-Assessments using QuickTrI
– Introduction to ePortfolio with PebblePad
– Generative Learning Objects in the making
– Designing learning spaces: visions, issues and practices.

The ‘interactive’ programme is now live.

Keynote and Theme speakers:

“[taken from the] ALT Digest, a fortnightly publication from the
Association for Learning Technology (ALT) –

Odd one out:
12. Exploratorium online exhibits. Some light entertainment while the rain falls. Quite fascinating. You might have to download some plugins to see them all.

Richard Elliott
New Zealand

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