elearningWatch February2011

and a happy new year ! The festive season seems to get shorter each year, although we have enjoyed some very pleasant weather for a change, unlike UK and our friends in parts of Aussie. The odd Cyclone does touch us occasionally but doesn’t interfere with the consumption of NZ Pinot Gris, I’m pleased to say.
As always there is heaps of stuff appearing on the Web and finding useful resources that haven’t been splashed across every Blog and social network gets more difficult. However there is a smorgasbord of sites in this posting with something for everyone (I hope). Critical thinking, LMS comparison report, website evaluation, teacher resources, body browser, free course, assessment resources, biology animation and education tools plus conferences and the odd one out make up the list of sites for you to explore.
I’ll be involved in helping to run an online certificate in Open, Flexible and Networked learning during this year. So a busy time ahead.
March madness looms
1. Active learning for Critical Thinking: Techniques
This site has a wide range of useful resources, ideas, definitions and suggestions to improve critical thinking. Peruse the information from the link below, and if you have time have a look at the resources on the site


2. Open Source Collaborative: Moodle Assessment Report from the North Carolina Community College system (NCCCS)
Seems like a very thorough assessment and comparison of Moodle and Blackboard, with useful conclusions. Well worth reading if you are interested in LMS. Follow some of the other links on the page for work done by others in a similar vein.


3. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Why its a good idea for students (and others) to evaluate Web resources.
Clean and simple site with some useful ideas, guides and suggestions for teachers and students.


4.Dr. LeBeau’s HomePage: A Resource for Teachers, Students and Curious Adults
I guess you could spend a serious amount of time perusing the numerous web sites linked from this resource. Its gets updated regularly and there is a wide range of useful sites and lots of useful material. The odd advert doesn’t get in the way.


5. Content, Curriculum and Resources for Teaching Math. Teacher resources from Maplesoft
Thanks to Tony Bates for this link. (If you haven’t visited Tony’s site lately, now’s your chance . He has been doing some great upgrades and improvements).
Some useful’ free’ resources for mathematics teaching.


6. Open & Free Courses: No instructors, no credits, no charge.
Lots of information and useful material in a range of subjects. Need to be motivated to learn and work independently with these rich resources. Check browser compatibility before using.


7. JISC Online supplementary resources – Effective Assessment in a Digital Age
More of those very useful resources from the JISC camp. If you haven’t got the original Effective Assessment in a Digital Age booklet you can download it from a link on the left hand side of the page below.


8. Google Body Browser.
If you haven’t seen and used this tool yet, it’s about time you did. Everything you ever wanted to know about the body (well maybe not everything). A very useful resource for students in biological and health sciences
Note the need to have a WebGL browser, which is relatively straightforward to acquire.


9. Learning Tools from CAST
CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning.
There are a number of tools that are worth exploring. I worked my way through the UDL Online Modules and found them quite informative with some interesting ideas and suggestions which can be applied in many teaching and learning situations.


10. Animation Biology from Carnegie Mellon’s Office of Technology for Education and Department of Biological Sciences.
Some nice examples with clear explanations accompanying the animations.


11. Conferences
11.1 ascilite 2011, Changing demands, changing directions will be held at Wrest Point Casino, Hobart, Tasmania Australia, 4-7 December 2011.
ascilite 2011 has three sub-themes:
Equity of experience
Evidence-based practice
For more information about ascilite 2011 visit the website at:


11.2 ALT-C 2011. Thriving in a colder and more challenging climate.
The 18th international conference of the Association for Learning Technology will be held at the University of Leeds, UK, 6-8 September 2011.
Key dates
Submissions close on 21 February 2011
Presenters’ registration deadline 27 June 2011
Earlybird registration deadline 4 July 2011
Registrations close on 12 August 2011
Full details from


12. The odd one out :Thinkexist
Often looking for that elusive quote? Try Think Exist with 300000 to choose from.
‘You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.’
Friedrich Nietzsche quotes (German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture, 1844-1900.)


Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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