Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Free online event: Blastoff - Taking Education into OERbit

You are invited to participate in this free online event!

December 7, 20:30 - 22:00 GMT
Facilitator: Paul Stacey

Join Paul Stacey on the Starship BCcampus in this journey through the universe of Open Educational Resources (OER). Learn how OER are opening up a new education frontier. Visit OER colonies throughout education space and see for yourself what an OER is and how they are being used to create credentials. Find out how you can use OER in your own teaching and learning practice. Discover how the future of OER is being shaped by Foundations, public government Ministries, and everyday educators who simply choose to become OER space cadets. Buckle up as Paul takes you into OERbit! This session is part of the Professional Learning Series organized by BCcampus, eCampusAlberta, and Alberta North.

Access the details in the Professional Learning Series group at SCoPE.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

30 Web Tools in 30 Minutes

Dean Shareski from Prairie South School District in Saskatchewan prepared this slide show of 30 Web Tools in 30 Minutes for an IT meeting. There are some great recommendations here! 30 for 30

Monday, November 08, 2010

SCoPE Seminar: Blogging in Professional Networks

Facilitator: Glenn Groulx
November 8-26, 2010

This 3-week seminar will cover blogging strategies for participating effectively within professional networks. Topics will include strategies for gathering information from various online sources, organizing these sources within blog posts, and connecting with experts and peers by engaging in way-making activities to explore, find and connect with others.

SCoPE seminars are free and open to the public, and are facilitated by volunteers in the community. There is no need to register. Just show up! To contribute to forum discussions you will need to create an account on the SCoPE site -- a quick process.

Direct link to Blogging in Professional Networks seminar:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Getting Organized in the Google Era"

In “Getting Organized in the Google Era” author Douglas C. Merrill, former CIO for Google, gives us some good tips for optimizing how we manage the information we deal with daily and improve our retention and learning. He provides a good rationale for why we should better use the power of “search”, labels and filters on our email, and share our work in the "cloud". In addition, he outlines how he combines both digital and paper-based techniques for information management. Particularly helpful are the chapter book summaries which he entitles “Encode This”. The final chapter is an annotated list of the authors' favorite software tools, browsers, apps, and gadgets. While the book strongly favours Google applications (no surprise here), Merrill is quick to admit his bias and offers alternate tools we can use. "Getting Organized in the Google Era" is a great primer and particularly helpful for those looking for practical suggestions on how to be more organized, less stressed and integrate work and home life.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to Be an Excellent Online Instructor

How to Be an Excellent Instructor is a podcast with Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt about good online instruction and faculty training. These topics are the subject of their forthcoming book, The Excellent Online Instructor.

Palloff and Pratt, authors of several excellent books on online teaching and learning, will be presenting at the 2010 Online Teaching and Learning Conference (OTL2010), October 19-21, 2010.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

Today from Mashable, 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers.
The possibilities for social media tools in the classroom are vast. In the hands of the right teacher, they can be used to engage students in creative ways, encourage collaboration and inspire discussion among even soft-spoken students. But we’ve already made our case for why teachers should consider using social media in their classrooms. What about the how?
What fantastic tools are you using?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sign Up Genius

Last week John Goldsmith posted about Sign Up Genius, a free online tool for creating and managing group sign up lists. This is one of those tools that you don't know you need until it exists! As someone who is always has projects on the go that involve organizing volunteers and planning events -- from sporting events to conferences -- these sign up templates will certainly come in handy.  And what a perfect way for students to manage the details of group projects!

This Habitat for Humanity sign up sheet nicely illustrates how it works:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Screenjelly - What's on your screen?

Stephen Downes mentioned Screenjelly on his blog this week. It's a quick and easy way to share what's on your screen. The recording is limited to 3 minutes which forces you to be concise -- not a bad thing! :-) There are many obvious educational uses for this tool.
Screenjelly records your screen activity with your voice so you can spread it via Twitter or email. Use it to quickly share cool apps or software tips, report a bug, or just show stuff you like. To start recording, click on the red button. No need to install or download anything!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Wendy McElroy from Camosun College gave a shout out about this tool via Twitter as one of the fun Web 2.0 tools she wants to try. Ediscio is a free service for creating and sharing flashcards online. Ediscio is useful for individuals and for studying in groups. You can also share your cardboxes with others. Here is a list of main features:
  • Create and share flashcards online
  • Work collaboratively on flashcard sets
  • Enrich flashcards by images (upload), videos, and LaTeX-based math formulas, and many text formatting possibilities (Word-like interface)
  • Automatic, customizable learning schedule according to Leitner system
  • Query modes which help focusing on weak spots
  • Query options include swapping of question and answer, and an automatic comparison mode
  • Learning statistics as tag-cloud, based on keywords which are assigned to flashcards
  • Visualization of learning progress as a diagram
  • Long-term statistics and after each learning session
  • Rights management for each cardbox
  • Catalog of all cardboxes which are configured for public access
  • Import, export, (XLS, CSV, Html) and print flashcards
  • Social network features like making friends, mail; and automatically finding experts for specific keywords among friends
  • Classroom features which help a teacher to assign cardboxes to a whole class
  • Newsfeed about activities in cardboxes of class
  • Learning statistics which relate to a whole class

Thursday, June 10, 2010


John Goldsmith aka @detools brought our attention this morning to a new service called A.nnotate.
A.nnotate is an online annotation, collaboration and indexing system for documents and images, supporting PDF and MS Office formats. Instead of emailing different versions of a document back and forth you can now all comment on a single read-only copy online. Unlike online word processors, the document is displayed in high quality with fonts and layout just like the printed version. It is easy to use and runs in all common web browsers, with no software or plugins to install.
This tool has a number of uses from individual knowledge management (what you write in the margins as you read) to collaborative projects.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Read It Later

Looking for ways to manage your work flow better? Kathreen Riel suggests Read It Later, a tool for creating a list of items you come across on the web but need to defer reading until later.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

List of web 2.0 tools for instruction

This article and list of tools comes via Tony Bates' blog: Do you have experience using these tools in teaching?
Lloyd, M. (2010) 18 Web 2.0 tools for instruction Campus Technology, April 28
This very useful article asks two experts, Sarah Robbins (aka Intellagirl), of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Bloomington, and Mark Frydenberg of Bentley University, to pick their favourite web 2.0 tools for instruction. Here’s their choices (read the article to find out why, and how they’ve used them):

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Education for a Digital World - Edition 2.0 Webinar Series

The Education for a Digital World - Edition 2.0 webinar series is based on the soon-to-be-released book Education for a Digital World - Edition 2.0, edited by Sandy Hirtz and Kevin Kelly. The series is organized in partnership with Steve Hargadon, manager of Learn Central. Book chapter authors are invited to give an overview of their chapter, followed by Q&A from the live audience. These 30-minute sessions will be recorded.

The collaboratively authored book, and its predecessor Education for a Digital World, represent a shift in how educators are sharing their research, experiences and best practices in online teaching and learning. Facilitated completely through virtual interactions, this new model of authoring went beyond writing and editing to become an international effort in community building and professional growth.

book cover design by June Kaminski

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection, "200 years of human culture", has very interesting images that are freely available for download for personal, academic teaching or study use, under one of two Creative Commons licences.

Credit: Wellcome Library, London  
ROSSI Bernardino, a notebook of surgical lectures, 

Naples 1738.
Illustration of dental instruments.
Collection: Archives & Manuscripts
Library reference no.: WMS and MS 4268

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Teaching and Learning in Networks

This online event is open to everyone!

eCampusAlberta, Alberta-North, and BCcampus invite you to a 90-minute web conference as part of the Best Practice in Upgrading Online Conference organized by Bow Valley College and NorQuest College.

When: March 24, 2010 @ 13:00 pm PDT (your time zone)
Presenter: - George Siemens
Where: Elluminate Live (see details)

Randy LaBonte, PD Coordinator, Alberta-North

George Siemens, Social Media Strategist, Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI), Athabasca University.

Session Description
Social media and networked technologies have become prominent in society. In response, educators have started to actively research how social and technological networks impact the role of the teacher. Decentralized learning content and distributed learner interactions call into question many of the activities teachers perform in traditional courses and classrooms. This presentation will explore participatory pedagogy and highlight practical activities teachers can utilize to increase learner involvement in networks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps

This is an excellent overview of tools for collaboratively creating mind maps from the Free Technology for Teachers blog.
Mind maps or graphic organizers can be invaluable tools for visual thinkers and visual learners. The process of creating a mind map can help students gain an overview perspective on complex, multifaceted concepts. Mind maps can also help students outline an essay or story they're planning to write. The following list contains nine tools that can be used by students to create mind maps independently or collaboratively.
This list is of particular interest in light of the current Tools for Collaborating Online seminar discussion at SCoPE. There is a discussion on mind maps underway now. (Newcomers and latecomers are always welcomed in SCoPE discussions.) 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Screencasts with Screenr

Screenr is VERY easy to use! Click record and off you go creating a screencast up to 5 minutes in length. There is nothing to download and it is free.

Here is an example created by Amanda Coolidge, Communication Chair for the BC Educational Technology Users Group, to highlight upcoming activities. Through the Screenr site Amanda published a link to her screencast directly to Twitter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pimp Your Post

Why use text when you can talk from a coffee cup!! :-D Research and experience shows that a strong start toward building community can do wonders for learning and engagement in your online course. For most online courses, this begins with the introductory post or icebreaker activity. Join us for Pimp Your Post -- Jazzing up Introductory Posts in Online Courses, a 1 week extravaganza of exploring easy, fun, and free ways to go beyond the plain text forum post. We'll kick off with a 1-hour web conference on February 12, and carry on a week of "sandboxing" at SCoPE.

* Combination of synchronous and asynchronous discussions
* Participate in all or any portion of this event

Gina Bennett and Tracy Roberts


* Web conference: February 12, 2010 at 11:30 PST, 19:30 GMT (check your time zone)
* Asynchronous discussion February 12 - 19, 2010

* No registration required
* Create an account on the SCoPE site to contribute to discussions and to customize your visits

This web conference and seminar is brought to you by the British Columbia Educational Users Group.

Friday, February 05, 2010

FREE online educational games, learning activities

Sheppard Software says, "We make learning fun."

FREE online educational games, learning games, and activities for kids of all ages. Articles, quizzes, and more, all quickly accessed online. There's even some good Canadian content there; for example, Canadian geography tutorials and games.

ALSO from Sheppard Software: Free software for teachers & Schools. "We design educational software and online games with these goals: 
  1. To add sound and visual effects to make learning fun and more memorable. 
  2. To design games with many difficulty levels so that players will continue to be challenged no matter how far they progress.
  3. To provide games that will exercise players' brains."

Kate's little side note: So, this guy calls me on the phone, raves about my site, PinkFlamingo's Resources Lists, then asks me to provide a link to Sheppard Software on the site. In the 10+ years I've had the site, I've had many link-exchange contacts, but never before by phone. But it was really the compliments that worked on me; whether or not they were just a marketing ploy, they worked. Good thing to keep in mind as an approach to take when trying to get anybody on board about anything -- the compliments go a long way, don't they?

Friday, January 29, 2010

BCIT Guide to Developing Online Courses

The idea behind British Columbia's Institute of Technology's Developing Online Courses site is to bring together a basic guide to online course development, with accompanying resources, such as checklists and templates, that will be useful to a variety of people involved in creating online courses.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Horizon Report

The New Media Consortium 2010 Horizon Report is now available!
The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the NMC’s Horizon Project, a research-oriented effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

SynchTube Beta : Watch Videos With Friends in Real Time

Nik Peachy tweeted about synchtube this morning, so I thought I'd try it out. This is a specific need I've had in the past as an online facilitator -- how to have a conversation while viewing/analysing video clips. This simple tool works very well!

From the synchtube beta site:
Watch Videos With Friends in Real Time: "Simply paste a YouTube link and create a room. You can share this room with others, and watch videos in real-time... well enough talking, just try it already!