July eWatch

G’day everyone
The JISC online conference has come and gone. It was an interesting and worthwhile experience with a lot of conversation and debate about many issues associated with e-learning and teaching, Web 2.0 technologies, online communities, VLE’s and much more. It was very well managed with a good range of topics. Being the other side of the world made little difference to contributions although I would say we were in the future, they were living in the past! (not really, but you could see it that way).
However, the people who created the daily summaries did a very good job and didn’t miss any of the comments from the antipodes and elsewhere. Thom Cochrane has kindly agreed to let you view a version of his presentation to the JISConline conference on his Wiki which is included in this posting.
Don’t miss the next JISC online conference and keep watching the activities of JISC satellite activities such as JISCInfonet and their excellent guides and kits, the Pedagogy Group and their publications plus the numerous other projects it supports.
This posting has some degree of concentration on searching the Web and search engines. Even though I am a Googlelite at heart (and I note they have just released a Linux version of desktop search software, which simultaneously scans the Web and computer-stored data for results), I still like to explore other search engines to compare and contrast and its certainly worth while. Google doesn’t pin everything down that one is after.
The usual list of conference is included with one, MoodleMoot 2007, specifically for those in New Zealand (or if you happening to be passing through). The big Moodle man himself will be in attendance. It’s being held at WINTEC in Hamilton. An excellent venue!
Other sites link you to free Moodle resources, free concept mapping tool, free online educational resources, communities of practice, Vocational Education and Training using appreciative inquiry as a tool and some teaching and learning resources.
1. KartOO visual meta search engine. Try this one against some of the others and see how the results compare A very different visual interface


2. Mooter Web search Engine. Here’s another one that has a different approach an produces results in ‘clusters’


3. Search engine tutorial. Useful if you are still getting 1.5 million hits.


4.BareBones 101. Another internet search tutorial which should help you hone your searching skills.


5. Search Engine showdown. It’s called the users guide to Web searching. It has some very useful hints, tips, resources and comments.


6. Appreciative Inquiry: seeing our organisations as living systems. This is a very interesting article (one of many on the icvet site) which explores the concept of appreciative inquiry and how it could/can be applied in workbased/placed education and training


7. Language and learning online. This is a nicely designed site with lots of useful material.
‘Language and Learning Online is a collection of resources to help you improve your academic performance. These resources include online tutorials, interactive exercises, and examples of Writing for Subjects’.


8. Higher Education Academy Research teaching nexus
‘These pages offer a selective listing of international web-based sources and Academy initiatives to support individuals, course teams, institutions and national systems wishing to link teaching and discipline based research’.
Now that’s a good idea!


9. Free a very versatile Concept map tool
IHMC CmapTools version 4.10
‘Description. The CmapTools program empowers users to construct, navigate, share and criticize knowledge models represented as concept maps. It allows users to, among many other features, construct their Cmaps in their personal computer, share them on servers (CmapServers) anywhere on the Internet, link their Cmaps to other Cmaps on servers, automatically create web pages of their concept maps on servers, edit their maps synchronously (at the same time) with other users on the Internet, and search the web for information relevant to a concept map.
The CmapTools client is free for use by anybody, whether its use is commercial or non-commercial. In particular, schools and universities are encouraged to download it and install it in as many computers as desired, and students and teachers may make copies of it and install it at home’.


10. Architectures for Conversation (ii): What Communities of Practice can mean for Information Architecture.
The author ( Andrew Hinton) recommends you view this at full screen. It is certainly a very interesting presentation on Communities of Practice. There’s a lot in it and its worth the viewing time. The slide transcripts are way down the page if you want to read them one by one.


Alternatively you can download this presentation (updated version) and others from Andrew’s blog:


11. Free Online Educational Resources: a list of free online educational resources including video links, podcasts, syllabi, textbooks, etc.
This is an interesting ‘Wiki’ with quite a range of links and probably something for everyone. Worth exploring. Have a look at the main Wiki ‘home’ page for links to other resources


12. Free courses and resources for your Moodle site. Mainly aimed at the UK education sector, however many of these courses and applications can be adapted and used elsewhere. For a start, click on the course link in the ‘about us’ box and scroll down to ‘Essential Software’ and click. There is a large range of resources here. You could spend forever.
Extract from site:
‘Here you will find a wide range of courses that you can use in your Moodle installation. All of these courses are released under this Creative Commons License and are free of charge. Just download the required zip file and restore the course using the link in your Moodle installation. Full instructions are available here’.


13. 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.


13.1 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.
From 2- 5 December 2007


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


You can now register to attend at


Bookings are coming in faster than last year, so we strongly advise that
you book well before the final deadline of 10 August (we had to close
bookings three weeks early last year).
Fees for attendance are at:


Pre- and post-conference workshops: information for organisers


LATEST news:
The revised draft programme is at


– and changes have been shown in yellow highlight (you may need to
refresh your browser if you viewed the previous version).
The interactive timetable will be available mid-July, with links to the
Information derived from:
“[the] ALT Digest, a fortnightly publication from the Association for
Learning Technology (ALT) –


14. Thom Cochrane’s presentation to the JISConline conference: ‘Using Communities of Practice to develop educational technology literacy in tertiary academics’ It has lots of interactive stuff and useful approaches, comments and feedback on using social software/Web 2.0 applications in education and how to get others to use them!


15. The ODD one’s out? It’s mid-term break over here so plenty of time to do nothing or entertain significant others.
Try the Interactive currency table and determine what the NZ$ is worth, anywhere and see if you can afford to hop off for the weekend.


While we are on a sort of mathematical bent. Have a look and see how many people are populating this planet. You are only one of them!


Or if you prefer to while away your time guessing try flipping a few coins


For some fun for all, Electrocity from Genesis Energy NZ.
‘ElectroCity is a new online computer game that lets players manage their own virtual towns and cities. It’s great fun to play and also teaches players all about energy, sustainability and environmental management in New Zealand’.


That’s it folks, until next time

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