WikiEducator workshop

Another Wikieducator workshop starts tomorrow:

The Learning4Content (L4C) initiative is conducting face-to-face workshops in 52 Commonwealth countries – and online workshops every month. To date, this is the largest wiki skills training project on the planet.

The L4C initiative will help WikiEducator achieve its goal of a free version of the education curriculum by 2015. Each L4C workshop participant receives free wiki skills training in return for providing a free lesson or learning resource to WikiEducator.

Register here:

This is a great place to learn about open content and using mediawiki.

These guys are a little modest.  This may even be the largest wiki skills training project in the known universe.  I dislike the three terms skills, training and project, but this is worth a look.

New HERDSA website

What a cool new site: the HERDSA website. Tons of nice papers online, including some of a distance education theme.

And this is even more cool. A Regional Community site:

So this has both the local and the international connection.  This uses a great Open Source  CMS with forums and so on. Those of you who have been around a bit will recognise it from the image.

To my knowledge, this is the FIRST community of it’s type in New Zealand. I suspect Stanley Freilich could be behind it.  If this is true, well done Stanley!!

The Death of the Page Turner: Deal With the Application First

Title: The Death of the Page Turner: Deal With the Application First

Author: Mike Sullivan and Michael Gardner

Many designers and subject matter experts default to “knowledge first, application last” as the pattern for e-Learning. But is this always the right way to go? In this week’s article, two experienced designers offer another view, one that starts with a job simulation, allows learners to guess and make mistakes, and builds in interactivity through performance. This approach not only provides a welcome change of pace, but it also improves learner performance on the job.

Via The eLearning Guild. You will need to be logged in but registration is free.

New Blog provider

I came across this site recently as a new offering for school blogs The bit I was really excited about was the class home page. I don’t know of any other free hosted blog systems that do this (though no doubt readers will tell me of some). Here is the list of features:

  • Class homepage to communicate with students
  • Independent yet inter-connected blog accounts for students
  • Central console to manage students accounts with control over accounts and content
  • Multiple Options for registration process
  • Review capabilities of student entries
  • Upload images or insert videos
  • Make all or selected students’ writings private
  • Selection of templates or your own CSS editing
  • Customizable headers
  • Hosted application – no installation, automatic updates, no hassle
  • FREE SERVICE with on demand upgrade options
  • Learning Spaces edited by Diana Oblinger

    Cover“Space, whether physical or virtual, can have a significant impact on learning. Learning Spaces focuses on how learner expectations influence such spaces, the principles and activities that facilitate learning, and the role of technology from the perspective of those who create learning environments: faculty, learning technologists, librarians, and administrators. Information technology has brought unique capabilities to learning spaces, whether stimulating greater interaction through the use of collaborative tools, videoconferencing with international experts, or opening virtual worlds for exploration. This e-book represents an ongoing exploration as we bring together space, technology, and pedagogy to ensure learner success.

    Please note: In addition to the e-book’s core chapters on learning space design principles (chapters 1–13) , this site also offers case studies illustrating those principles (chapters 15–43), including links to examples of innovative learning spaces. The entire collection is complete and available for printing as individual chapters or the entire book.”

    e-Portfolio update


    ePortfolios are a hot item in the news this week with several items worth noting. One is the posting of the ePortfolio Project and Mahara Update No.3 on eduforge which got a mention by Stephen Downes who also points to a powerpoint presentation you can download for more information.

    Mahara is is a collaborative venture funded by New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Commission’s e-learning Collaborative Development Fund (eCDF), involving Massey University (lead provider), Auckland University of Technology, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, and Victoria University of Wellington. The project is charged with developing an open source ePortfolio application and to provide implementation strategies for the New Zealand tertiary sector – although it is clear that what is being developed will have much wider appeal, both nationally and internationally.

    A Review of the Literature on Portfolios and Electronic Portfolios (.pdf) that was completed as part of the Mahara project has also been released. it provides an overview of benefits, functions, and successful criteria of portfolios, and an exploration of portfolio use in teacher education, medicine, and nursing. The second half of the report explores eportfolios (the section on benefits is quite thorough).

    Also recently released is the EduTools ePortfolio Review, a review of seven ePortfolio products on the behalf of seven partner institutions or systems of institutions. I wasn’t able to locate a print form of the report, but there’s a link to a webcast featuring the research results of the ePortfolio project.

    And lastly, a list of ePortfolio readings and papers posted on Helen Barrett’s blog. This includes an article from the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology by David Tosh, Tracy Penny Light, Kele Fleming and Jeff Haywood titled Engagement with Electronic Portfolios: Challenges from the Student Perspective. A line from the abstract sums up a lot of my feeling about the use of ePortfolios in education:

    If students do not accept the e-portfolio as a holistic means with which to document their learning in different contexts and more importantly, agree or wish to use the e-portfolio as an integral part of their educational experience, then the potential impact the e-portfolio will have on learning will not be realised.

    (Cross-post from Derek’s Blog)

    How the web went world wide

    I was catching up with a backlog of blogs to read this evening and found this entry on BBC News from 3 Aug. Did you know it has been 15 years since the web went live.

     “One key date is 6 August 1991 – the day on which links to the fledgling computer code for the www were put on the alt.hypertext discussion group so others could download it and play with it.”

    Could we live without it now?

    Read more…

    The Future of Learning in a Networked World

    Otago Polytechnic has initiated a traveling open space conference called The Future of Learning in a Networked World. International speakers will come to Dunedin on September 18 and travel to participating institutions in Dunedin, Christchurch, Northland, Auckland and Wellington to discuss this topic with local audiences.

    For further details see their blog.