first signs of spring, time to plant a few more veges, with the help of dog of course!
This month has been a busy one again, partially due to planning a nine week intensive course for a group of Chinese educators from the TVET sector (Technical and Vocational Education and Training).Also been managing the SharEFest submission process in conjunction with an excellent group of external reviewers; some very interesting presentations have been submitted.
From time to time I have a look back through my archive of things learning technology. The other day I came across an email I sent in Sept 1999 to the original LearnTec forum (the predecessor to eLearningWatch) Bit of interesting history really as it relates to the announcement that a new website ‘google. com’ had been launched. Almost 16 years ago to the day!
Here is copy of the original email, note the date:
Organization: To: Learning@unitec.ac.nz,
Technology@unitec.ac.nz, Forum@unitec.ac.nz Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 13:21:13
Subject: Google comes of age
Hi everyone
on a number of occasions during the past year I have encouraged you to use
‘Google’ as your main Web search engine. Up until recently the site was in
Beta form now its become an official site. This has got to be one of the
most powerful search engines ever. I hardly use anything else. It has now
been officially launched. Clean, crisp , clear and accurate! Try it and use
it from now on!
Google’s New GoogleScout Feature Expands Scope of Search on the Internet
New Search Destination Site Provides Unprecedented Ease of Use, Helping
Internet Users to Find Information Fast and Effectively
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — September 21, 1999 — Google Inc., one of the
fastest growing search destinations on the World Wide Web, today announced
GoogleScoutTM, a revolutionary new feature that expands a user’s access to
related information beyond the results of a search query. The company today
also announced the launch of its new website at www.google.com.
Richard Elliott
‘Learning in the driver’s seat, Technology turning the wheels!
If you Google ‘GoogleScout’, you will be taken to the original announcement.What’s on the Web, stays on the Web.
How time flies and I’m still Googling amongst a plethora of new apps and tools.
In the posting this month there are links to Mobile learning practices,search engines,video assessment, writing style guide, free media resources, thinking guides, developers guide,Thesis builder, learning registry, everyday mysteries conferences and the odd one out.
That’s it for now
1.Style for Students Online: Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age.
This is a really excellent resource with 10 chapters of very useful information. Well worth reading and exploring for that guide, tip or piece of information that will help with improving the assignment, essay or note-taking.


2. Media repositories for elearning. How often have your searched for ‘free’ images and related resources for educational use? This site has a useful list of repositories in a range of disciplines. Wikimedia commons (Wikimedia family seems to be growing by the day!) is an interesting place to start and explore.


3.EdTech Developer’s Guide: A primer for software developers, startups and entrepreneurs.
A little bit different to the usual guide on education matters. It has some useful links, comments, suggestions for looking closer at what needs to be created and in some cases how much difference a particular App could make. Worth reading.
Extract from the guide:
‘(content is)
Crowd-sourced from knowledgeable educators, developers, and researchers who were willing to share what they have learned, this guide is designed to help you apply technology in smart ways to solve persistent problems in education. It is our hope that this guide will answer key questions and highlight critical needs as you explore opportunities to develop digital tools and apps for learning’.


4.Exploratree from FutureLab in the UK. A wide range of templates relating to various ‘thinking’ guides. e.g inviting feedback template: Create lots of ideas around an issue then turn ideas into actions.Easy to use and lots of useful templates. You will need to create an account if you want to save your work.


5.Thesis builder and Online Outliner: A step by step guide to help students create, organise and manage their Thesis or project. A nice little tool:


6.From Educause Review:Students’ Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education: A Multi-Year Study. An very comprehensive and interesting report providing data on the extent and use of mobile devices in personal activities and education. The conclusion gives some insight into trends and comment on future potential and use.


7.Everyday mysteries. Here is a wide range of resources which examine some of the the myth and mysteries associated with a number of disciplines. Lots of interesting and useful resources for your students.


8.Learning Registry: The learning registry is a new approach to capturing, connecting and sharing data about learning resources available online with the goal of making it easier for educators and students to access the rich content available in our ever expanding digital universe. Maybe you have something to contribute or to retrieve?


9. Video assessment made easy with Moodle Video Assignment App. A interesting and useful article about that integrates with the assignment activity in Moodle and enables easy assessment of video submissions made by students. Looks like a good way to go.


10. Search Engine Colossus: Well you can spend a lot of time here seeing how others search for information.
Extract from the site:
‘Search Engine Colossus: International Directory of Search Engines can be looked upon as an effort to give the internet “structure”. This WWW roadmap allows surfers to efficiently gain access to the far reaches of the net!
It is hoped that visitors will have an informative, fascinating internet surfing experience as they gain better understanding of their fellow world citizens’
Get on your surfboard an give it a go.


11. Conferences for 2015
11.1 Ascilite 32nd conference. Perth, Western Australia.
Globally Connected, Digitally Enabled: November 30th to Dec 3rd 2015.


11.2 8th Annual New Zealand Shar-E-fest: 28th and 29th September 2015.
The organising committee is delighted to announce that

Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for tertiary Teaching Excellence

, is a GOLD sponsor for the event. The committe would also like to acknowledge the continuing support of


The NZ Ministry of Education Tertiary eLearning reference Group will hold their meeting around the same time as the Shar-E-Fest and some of the members will be attending the SharEFest.
We are very pleased to announced that adjunct Associate Professor Rob Phillips from Murdoch University, Western Australia has accepted our invitation to to be the Keynote speaker and workshop presenter for the 8th Annual NZ SharEFest. Rob will also present at The Open Polytechnic, AUT University, The Auckland University and Northtec
For the first time, the Sharefest keynote and other presentations will be live streamed to an audience at Otago Polytechnic. Otago Polytechnic will also provide some presentations for the event which will be live streamed to Hamilton.(Thanks to Becca Black, the Manager of OP online at Otago Polytechnic and Dilani Genera for the collaboration).
SharEFest 2015 information and Registration form:


The FINAL call for submissions has been released:


11.4 DEANZ conference 2016
First Call for Submissions has been released.
Conference dates: 17th-20th April 2016
Conference Venue: The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
THEME: There and back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education
DEANZ2016 conference website:


Early Bird Registration:


If you are interested in taking the opportunity to be a sponsor of the event, please contact me.
12.0 The odd one out: On this day. A fascinating site if you are into a bit of history and memorable events that occurred on the day you access the site. Have a look and wander. You may be surprised at what happened 200 years ago or maybe on the day you were born! Could be repeated today. You can look and see if you are famous, dead or alive.


Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
Auckland, New Zealand

Back to top