Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FREE Printable Paper

A variety of printed patterns on paper, ready for you to print and use. For example, you can print out just about any kind of graph paper you can imagine. Lined papers, music notation paper, accounting paper, decorative stationary, business cards, and more.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Online Etymology Dictionary

"This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Google Book Search

Google Book Search
I know, everybody knows everything about Google. But just in case you haven't seen this service (still in beta)....

"Finding books is as easy as finding websites with Google Web Search."
  • Use keywords, phrases, quotations; you get all the books whose contents match your search terms. You might also see a few snippets - sentences of your search term in context.
  • Click on a book title and you'll see basic info like in a card catalog.
  • If a publisher or author has given permission, you'll see a full page and be able to browse within the book to see more pages.
  • If the book is out of copyright, you'll see a full page and you can page forward or back to see the full book.
  • Clicking on "Search within this book," allows you to perform more searches within the book you've selected.
  • You can click on any of the "Buy this Book" links to go straight to an online bookstore where you can buy the book. In many cases, you can also click "Find this book in a library" to find a local library where you can borrow it.
  • Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Top 100 Tools for Learning Spring 2008

    From Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day: "The list has now been finalised from the contributions of 155 learning professionals from education, workplace learning and continuing professional development." Several viewing options; the one I prefer is by type of tool.

    Making Change: Ideas for Lively eLearning

    "In this blog, you'll find practical ideas that will help you create lively, powerful elearning for adults in the business world." I like the blog entries because they're not just theoretical suggestions; the focus is on ACTIVITY. Each entry includes very practical examples for what's being suggested or described. As just one example, I've linked to the entry entitled Which verb will keep your learners' interest? (I had fun doing the short, fun active-verbs task included in the entry.)


    If your web host doesn't offer a stat counter, this one was highly recommended to me. "A FREE yet reliable invisible web tracker, highly configurable hit counter and real-time detailed web stats. Insert a simple piece of code on your web page or blog and you will be able to analyse and monitor all the visitors to your website in real-time! Free, Fast, Responsive, Quick loading and Reliable Service. Invisible Tracking - no ads on your website. Accurate real-time website statistics with detailed visitor tracking and analysis."

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Avoiding Plagiarism

    A helpful resource from The OWL at Perdue. A set of articles for students and teachers. Among other helpful tips, the site offers descriptions of what constitutes plagiarized work. Also included is a page of Best Practices for Teachers.

    Monday, April 07, 2008

    Word Cleaner - Doc To HTML Converters

    First a tool with a cost, followed by a free tip/trick.

    Word Cleaner: "Welcome to the easy way to convert word documents to HTML/XHTML and automatically clean up the code! Word Cleaner is the perfect tool for web designers and people who have to maintain web sites. Word Cleaner will save you hours spent tediously converting Word (and .rtf & .txt) files to HTML/XHTML and cleaning them by hand. You can also clean up existing html files. Best of all our powerful templates enable you to create processes that automate your document conversion and cleaning."

    Word-to-HTML for FREE: This trick is from Madeline Koch, a colleague in my Editor's Association of Canada. "Here's a nice and easy trick. Email the Word file to your gmail account. It will give you an option to open up the attachment in a browser window, and you then ask your browser to show the source code -- copy and paste it into your html editor, tweak it as needed and presto! A web page. Hugely grateful for whoever told me this trick!"

    WiZiQ Online Teaching, E-Learning and Live E-tutoring for Education

    "A FREE alternative to expensive conferencing tools selling as online teaching/learning software." WiZiQ is virtual classroom that's also a multimedia platform, "equipped with live audio-video communication, chat, content sharing, and session recording capabilities." Includes a whiteboard, video and audio chat, document sharing including PDF, and Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel. Similar to commercial options like Adobe Connect, Webex, Elluminate, Marratech, etc. "WiZiQ brings students and teachers together regardless of the boundaries. With absolutely no cost to join or use its state-of-the-art virtual classroom, WiZiQ is becoming a vital tool in an online teacher’s or a student’s toolkit." Also check out their WiZiQ Live Class Module for Moodle.

    Saturday, April 05, 2008

    April 4/08 sunset from skyhome

    skyhome sunsets
    I never, well hardly ever, post anything but links & resources. Today I just have to do a personal post to show you yesterday's amazing sunset sky, as viewed from right here where I'm working (home office). Click the thumbnail to view.

    The Virtual Classroom Project

    Konrad Glogowski's project on the Second Life island of jokaydia (with the support of jokay Wollongong, the island's owner). Glogowski describes it:
    "Over the next three months, I will invite individual educators to design and build their ideal learning space for use as either a virtual classroom in Second Life or as a prototype for a real-life classroom. These “Educators-in-Residence” will share their vision and expertise by creating their ideal classrooms on a parcel of land designated especially for this project....The purpose of this project is to start conversations about learning in online communities, virtual worlds, and everyday physical classrooms."

    Growing up with Google: What it means to education

    Diana G. Oblinger in Chapter 1 of Emerging technologies for learning, begins with a description of the 'Net Generation'. "Today’s students bring a consumer orientation to education..." As an educator I appreciated the detailed exploration of the world of today's net student, as well as the section on what we can do for this generation (the Implications For Education section). "It is dangerous to assume that we understand students simply because we were once in the same shoes."

    Emerging trends in serious games and virtual worlds

    Sara de Freitas, in Chapter 4 of a research report, Emerging technologies for learning. "Serious games and virtual worlds allow us the potential to provide support for our learning communities, broaden our networks of learners, [and] provide tools to support creative learning activity and experience design." Also within this chapter is a helpful table of Definitions and terms of games.

    Second Life in Education (wiki)

    "This space is designed to provide an overview of the educational possibilities of virtual worlds, in particular Second Life." Within this space, Jo Kay (aka jokay Wollongong) and Sean FitzGerald (aka Sean McDunnough)...
  • document a detailed list of Educational Uses of Second Life,
  • provide a range of useful resources for educators, and
  • link to a range of handy Second Life online resources."
  • Seven Habits of Highly Connected People

    Seven Habits of Highly Connected People: By Stephen Downes, posted in Lisa Neal's blog (and soon to appear in eLearn magazine). He makes some excellent observations. If you want to learn how to expand your abilities and presence within online social networking, this is a good place to start. My favorite is "Be yourself:...Learning and communicating are not merely acts of sending content over a wire. They are about engaging in (what Wittgenstein called) a ‘Way of Life’. Having a cat is as important for a physicist as having an advanced research lab..." (So I've been thinking I'm a computer addict, but actually it's just that I'm involved in a Way Of Life.)

    Moodle: Using Learning Communities to Create an Open Source Course Management System

    In his blog post introducing this paper, Stephen Downes says: "There are many lessons to be learned from the development of Moodle, not the least of which is how the creators used learning communities to help them build a product to support learning communities." The paper was written in 2003, co-authored by the founder of Moodle, so it's a now-historical look at the beginnings of and ideas behind the Moodle open source strategy. (At the time, the paper indicated a sense of Moodle's future: "The system is already proving quite successful...")

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Blackboard Educator Central

    Created for Bb's K-12 Clients. "Made for districts wanting to manage and evaluate professional development activities, expand professional learning opportunities, and build powerful communities of practice."

    Getting Results

    A FREE Professional Development Course for Community College Educators. Their press releasesays: "WGBH-TV and the League for Innovation in the Community College are pleased to announce the launch of Getting Results multimedia professional development modules for training community college faculty. The modules focus on the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics specifically in Advanced Technology Education classrooms. The modules include real teachers and students in real classroom settings across the country, representing a range of fields, institutions, programs, and subject areas. Suitable for self-study, face-to-face training, or other formats of online and on-site use... Extensive curriculum, including downloadable PDF versions of web-based text, is now available online at no charge."

    3 ESL Resource Sites for learners and teachers

    This group of authors have created three ESL sites.
    "All of the content on our websites is 100% free and we update the sites with new exercises regularly."
    Learn English Feel ESL portal with free English grammar and vocabulary exercises, printable worksheets, video-based exercises, lists of American idioms and phrasal verbs, and much more. "Your one stop site for free ESL resources. Whether you're studying English, or looking to download free worksheets/handouts for class, this website will provide you with the resources that you need. ...Whether your level is Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced, you'll find what you need to help you speak and write better English. Don't miss our video-based exercises - a great way to practice listening comprehension." "One-stop source for ESL grammar and vocabulary handouts and worksheets. Our content was created by people with many years of teaching experience - so you know that you'll get handouts that adhere to high-quality standards. ...All of the worksheets are in PDF format and are arranged by category (verb tenses, articles, prepositions, etc.)"

    Business English: "One-stop source for Business English. Our content was created by people with many years of corporate experience - people who actually use Business English on an everyday basis, so you know that you'll get the best, most accurate business vocabulary, phrases, expressions, and jargon." Content is divided by topic, including accounting, sales and marketing, project management, interviews, information technology (IT), and more."

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    Suite101 Courses: FREE

    " offers free, fun, and accessible online learning for a wide variety of general interest courses designed with you in mind. All you have to do is pick a course or a particular lesson and simply click and learn…it's that easy!"

    Here are just 3 examples of the MANY they offer.

    For teachers:
    "Teacher's Net has you covered. Even if you currently have nothing but the knowledge of how to open programs and type a few sentences, you're going to end this course with the knowledge of how to create an entire technology base for your classroom, including integrated technology lesson plan creation, web quest creation, and even a classroom website. These are specific projects that you will have completed and entirely ready-to-use in your classroom - in one month's time." The course lessons are entitled Communications, Instructional Design, and The Virtual Classroom.

    For students:
    College Strategies: "The course is jam-packed with info that can save you time, money, and frustration. Many drop out of first year unnecessarily due to being unprepared. If you are already a freshman and feel you are overwhelmed, this course can help you too! ...There are no courses offered in college on “what to do once being accepted to college”, while it is such a big transition in life it should be mandatory. That is where this course comes in; after completion you will have more knowledge than most students in their senior years do and the ability to jumpstart your academic and social life so you get the most out of it. Right away!"

    For writers:
    Professional Writing: "By taking this two-week course, you will be. This course will provide you with enough resources and contacts to keep your career as a professional writer going long after you've stopped reading." The lessons: Basics of Writing Professionally; Hone Those Skills!; Market (and Market); Manage to Write!"