Monday, June 30, 2008

WebAnywhere: A Screen Reader On the Go

Launched June 27/08, a web-based screen reader for the web. "It requires no special software to be installed on the client machine and, therefore, enables blind people to access the web from any computer they happen to have access to that has a sound card. ...WebAnywhere's will run on any machine, even heavily locked-down public terminals, regardless of what operating system it is running and regardless of what browsers are installed." WebAnywhere reads aloud Web text on any computer with speakers or headphone connections.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 - David Le Blanc

Canada David LeBlanc's site has some good resources. David is a Burnaby, BC teacher who's completing his PhD at SFU on the topic of Instructional Design for Collaborative Learning in Distributed Environments, using Activity Theory. If you're curious about what that means, check out a 10 minute presentation, in which he uses video and slides to introduce the theoretical framework. David is also involved with a collaborative Moodle server community, Learning Together Apart, which offers some free-enrollment professional development courses for teachers.

Learning Together Apart

A Moodle site/server that "...has been established for professional educators and their learners. Courses are developed, delivered and maintained by individual instructors and supported by the collaborative participation of the members of this community." There are a few free-enrollment professional development courses, so have a look around. If you start with the first item on the menu when you get to the site, "Miscellaneous", you'll find Exploring Moodle Modules, a "Sample Course [that] will show examples of everything that you can do in Moodle".

Ten Tips and Tricks for the Online Student

This article is from 2004, but all the excellent tips are still relevant. I like the first one: "Read everything twice. Read everything twice." And the best one is probably #9, "Be your own guide." The author's reason for #9 is a good one -- there are still online facilitators/teachers who "have not [yet] adapted to this new classroom", whereas many students entering online learning now have been raised with the internet, with self-guidance online, and can adapt more readily to this style of learning.


"Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank tool that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Internet, gathering good Internet links, and turning them into online learning activities. Support is built-in along the way through Mentality Tips. In the end, you'll create a web-based activity you can share with others even if you don't know anything about HTML or serving web pages."

"What about that crazy name? Filamentality combines the 'filaments of the web' with your 'mentality' allowing you to create a variety of formats that meet your personal or learner needs."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

iTunes U

"iTunes U puts the power of the iTunes Store to work for colleges and universities, so users can easily search, download, and play course content just like they do music, movies, and TV shows. ...iTunes U delivers easy, 24/7 access [via Mac or PC] to educational content from hundreds of top colleges, universities, and educationally focused organizations across the country....Students can sync iTunes U content with any iPod or iPhone."

"Beyond Campus is the iTunes U area that features a broad spectrum of audio and video materials from sources other than colleges and universities, such as American Public Media, PBS, the Museum of Modern Art, and Smithsonian Global Sound. ...From K–12 lesson plans to interviews with famous artists, Beyond Campus on iTunes U is constantly expanding content."

The Prime Directives for an e-Portfolio

10 essentials and features of ePortfolios.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Geo Education site

"...helpful information on using Google Earth, Maps, Sky, and SketchUp in your K-12 classroom. For years, this suite of products has been identified as a powerful learning toolkit that can help your students conceptualize, visualize, share, and communicate information about the world around them. The Google for Educators team hopes these tools will empower you to bring the world's geographic information to your students in a compelling, fresh, and fun way."