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Introducing the Connect Thinking E-Learning Academy


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stanford team puts campus on map; wins Google Earth 3-D modeling contest

Recently graduated senior Joseph Bergen and nine other students worked together to map the Stanford campus in 3-D and emerged as one of seven teams to win a contest hosted by Google to create 3-D models of their respective college campuses for the search giant's geographic information feature, Google Earth.

Recently graduated senior Joseph Bergen is more familiar with the architectural intricacies of Stanford's Main Quad than the average observer. After spending about five hours trying to capture every exterior face of the structure on film for a digital 3-D modeling project—snapping nearly 400 pictures—Bergen noticed the subtle differences between the history and math corners, as well as the strange looks from his peers.

Related link
Google's 'Build Your Campus in 3D Competition'
Stanford on Google's 3D Warehouse

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How Dartmouth Produces Video Podcasts by Dian Schaffhauser

With an $8,000 investment, Dartmouth's Department of Physics and Astronomy has set up the capability to provide video podcasts for courses that enable students to watch lectures they may have missed or that warrant review. Now, said Lab Manager John Largent, the New Hampshire school is exploring how it can make lecture capture available campus-wide.
Up until the summer of 2004, only a single professor in the department was in the practice of making one of his courses available for viewing after class. The media format was videotape, which had to be checked out from the library.

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The latest EDUCAUSE Quarterly

The latest EDUCAUSE Quarterly Volume 30, Number 3, 2007 is now online.

Text Messaging to Improve Social Presence in Online Learning

A pilot study of text messaging explored its usefulness in enhancing social presence and communication in online courses.
Jimmy, an Army private, waiting in a hot and smelly tent West of Baghdad; Molly, a stay-at-home mother, waiting with her baby in a Laundromat for clothes to dry; Jane, a science teacher, waiting for the ferry to arrive; and Keith, a cell phone account executive, waiting for a day of cold calls to begin.
What could these four people possibly have in common? They represent the types of students continuing their education through distance education programs at East Carolina University (ECU). For each of them, accessing course content means connecting to the Internet to receive information presented on a Web-based learning/course management system such as Blackboard, Sakai, or Moodle.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Leveraging multimedia for eLearning by Ruth Clark

Use instructional methods proven to align with natural learning processes
Take a look at this white paper developed by Ruth Clark, author of "e-Learning and the Science of Instruction" and "Efficiency in Learning."

Face-to-face classroom learning versus eLearning
Figure below shows a histogram of the effect sizes from over 300 studies comparing learning from various forms of electronic distance technology to learning in face-to-face classrooms. As you can see, most of the effect sizes fall close to zero, indicating no practical learning differences between a digital and face-to-face delivery. However, in some cases,computer-delivered training resulted in more effective learning than classroom learning, and vice versa.

In this white paper, we’ve looked at some of the most important guidelines for using visuals,audio, text, and interactivity in ways that promote human learning processes.

Related links

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Learning Outcomes of Blended Learning by Brandon Hall Research

Blended learning is viewed as having better outcomes than both traditional face-to-face instruction and e-learning alone.
According to a survey Brandon Hall Research conducted in March of this year of more than 150 learning professionals, the overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they believed that a blended learning strategy produced better learning outcomes than either face-to-face training alone or e-learning alone.

Blended Learning — Learning Outcomes vs. Face-to-Face

Blended Learning - Learning Outcomes vs. E-Learning


As mentioned earlier in another post, The Real Story: Blended Learning, provides the definitive analysis you need to create and optimize an effective blended learning strategy. This report examines:

  • The instructional design implications of blended learning
  • The benefits that new Web 2.0 technologies can provide to blended learning
  • What learners prefer in terms of training modalities
  • The role of learning management systems in blended learning implementations
  • And much more

This report is also available through a subscription to the Brandon Hall Research Library

Related link
The Real Story: Blended Learning.

Source: Brandon Hall Research

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Executive member of the EDEN Executive Committee

Professor Morten Flate Paulsen, Director of Development, NKI Distance Education, Norway was elected as Member of the EDEN Executive Committee at the Annual General Meeting in Naples.
Morten has got his Doctorate of Education from the Pennsylvania State University and Master of Science in Engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology.

Related link

Source: EDEN

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Executive Summary HELIOS report 2007

Is e-Learning contributing to Innovation of the European Society?

Take a look at some highlights on this issue by downloading the Executive Summary of the HELIOS Yearly Report 2007 "e-Learning for Innovation".
Download the Executive Summary HELIOS report 2007

The concepts and ideas above are outlined are expanded in the HELIOS Yearly Report 2007, which is articulated as follows:

  • Chapter 2 – e-Learning Contribution to European Policy Objectives presents the main outcomes of the HELIOS thematic analysis on the extent to which e-Learning contributes to: increasing access to learning, improving employability, fostering personal development and citizenship, supporting internationalisation and innovation of Education and Training systems, fostering organisational change. .
  • Chapter 3 – e-Learning for Innovation presents the state of development of e-Learning in Europe through the analysis of the evolving ‘e-Learning territories’, the concept introduced in the HELIOS Yearly Report 2006 to define the combinations of different aims, methods, learning patrimonies and value orientation that - better than traditional education and training sectors - may help to understand the different speed and different evolution paths of ICT for learning. .
  • Chapter 4 – Foresight on e-Learning Developments - In and around the 2.0 (R-) Evolution provides an insight on the most significant expected trends in e-Learning developments for the years to come. .
    Chapter 5 – In the Agenda presents the concluding remarks resulting from the HELIOS study on e-Learning developments in Europe in 2006/2007. .
  • Chapter 6 – Building the European Observatory presents the main conclusions and recommendations in view of a European Observatory on e-Learning for innovation.

The HELIOS Yearly Report 2007 is the result of two years of research work coordinated by the HELIOS consortium and involving major EU eLearning actors.
"e-Learning for Innovation" is now available to order


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LearningPortal introduction - new eLearning Video Site

Bill Hornbeck has been in touch to reminds us about the launch of the LearningPortal.
We are very early stage and have recently initiated a “soft launch” of without any announcements or fanfare while we add new presentations and work out some preliminaries in the Beta stage.
We are adding quality presentations in the Training and eLearning sector now and are seeking ‘Charter’ Content Owners to add their presentations to the mix.
LearningPortal serves as an integrator and aggregator of digital media knowledge-based content for online, on-time and anytime distribution of audio and video Training and eLearning presentations that are distributed in the form of streaming media and digital downloads.
Check it out.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Schools combat cheating one student at a time by Sharon Strauss

Local educators say students aren’t cheating more than in the past, but there’s a modern technological twist to the way they sneak in exam answers or plagiarize term papers

Photo Illustration Greg Kreller

Parents should be aware of a school’s policy for electronic devices and Internet usage, especially in regard to cheating. Some Canyon County schools even have an all-out ban on such things as cell phones, iPods and MP3 players, partly because of the role the gadgets play in cheating.
Local principals emphasize that the majority of students are honest in academics, and instances of catching a student cheating are rare. That’s partly because of electronics bans in class. At Caldwell High, a blanket no-use policy is in effect for cell phones, although students are allowed to use iPods and MP3 players during their lunch period.
Vallivue High has a total ban on electronic devices on campus.

Idaho Press-Tribune

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Educators assess iPhones for instruction

Apple's iPhone made quite a splash when it debuted earlier this summer--and educators, too, are intrigued by the device. As new applications emerge that can run on the iPhone, some of which specifically target education, schools are considering whether the iPhone can be an effective classroom tool.
Techies and trendsetters, Apple fans and cell-phone enthusiasts have all been buzzing about Apple's new iPhone. Many educators, too, are intrigued by this new technology and are weighing its potential impact in schools.
While some educators applaud the iPhone's revolutionary interface and its access to more than 300 applications, others say its high cost and lack of certain key features--such as a video camera--will keep them from investing in the device for their classrooms, at least for now.
Fueling schools' interest in the iPhone is the emergence of education-specific applications for the device.
In June, Apple announced that the iPhone would support third-party Web 2.0 applications. Soon thereafter, Software MacKiev--a maker of software for the Macintosh platform, such as World Book, HyperStudio, and 3-D Weather Globe and Atlas--became one of the first companies to develop an educational application for the iPhone, releasing This Day in History. The software tool is based on the widget by the same name included with the 2007 World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, and it lists historical events that correspond to each day's calendar date. Best of all, it's available free of charge for iPhone users.

Source: eSchool News

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social and Educational Networking

Ninety-six percent of U.S. students ages 9 to 17 who have internet access use social-networking technology to connect with their peers, and one of their most common topics of discussion is education, according to a new survey.
A remarkable 96% of students with online access report that they have ever used some form of social networking technology, according to a new study from the National School Boards Association. That includes activities such as text messaging, chatting and blogging as well as participating in online communities such as Facebook or sites designed specifically for younger children, such as Webkins.
More than 70% say that they use social networking tools at least once a week. The 9-to 17-year-olds surveyed spent almost as much time using social networking services and Web sites as they spent watching television, about 9 hours a week online, compared to 10 hours a week watching television. And unlike TV, these teens and tweens are behaving creatively when online, uploading photos or artwork they have created or videos they have made. And it's not just all music and video sharing. Nearly 60% of online students report discussing education-related topics such as college or college planning, learning outside of school, and careers. And 50%of online students say they talk specifically about schoolwork.
The report, "Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social and Educational Networking," is based on three surveys: an online survey of nearly 1,300 9- to 17-year-olds, an online survey of more than 1,000 parents, and telephone interviews with 250 school districts leaders who make decisions on Internet policy.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Slideshow by Stephen Downes delivered to Council of Ontario Universities, Online to Toronto

Collaboration Tools and Web 2.0

Discussion of collaboration, web 2.0 tools supporting collaboration, trends and principles underlying the tools.
See slideshow

Related link
Look at the new eLearning video today at the top of my weblog

Source: SlideShare and Stephen's Web

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Look at the new eLearning video today at the top of my weblog

About Helge Scherlund's eLearning Video Today

The presentation showed the Video recording of Stephen's talk to the International Conference on Open Courseware and eLearning in Taipei, Taiwan, June 13, 2007

Slideshow presentation to the International Conference on OpenCourseWare and E-Learning (ICOE) held in Taipei, Taiwan on June 11-13, 2007

Related link

About Stephen Downes

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Stephen Downes lived and worked across Canada before joining the National Research Council as a senior researcher in November, 2001. Currently based in Moncton, New Brunswick, at the Institute for Information Technology's Internet Logic Research Group, Stephen has become a leading voice in the areas of learning objects and metadata, weblogs in education, content syndication, digital rights and related issues.

Related link

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Personalized learning and learning platforms?

Nils Hjelmervik's thoughts about personalized learning and learning platforms?
Lately I've been working on trying to develop a course on personalized learning in learning platforms. I've also been looking into some common perceptions of the term "personalized learning" especially in the UK. The thing that strikes me the most is that some people are led to believe (from some software provider) that personalized learning is about customizing a user interface. If a student is able to alter the color of the background it's personalized learning. From my point of view that's NOT personalizing learning.

About Nils Hjelmervik

Nils is e-learning adviser and project manager in a Norwegian company called it's learning.

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The Future for the VLE?

Some thoughts on personal learning environments: the future for the VLE?

See slideshow

About Neil Currant

Neil is currently project officer for the Enhancing Learner Progression (ELP) Project at the University of Bradford and Leeds Metropolitan University. The project is part of JISC’s Distributed e-Learning programme. His and the projects area of interest is in electronic portfolios particularly as a means to support entry into Higher Education. He is also interested in what e-portfolios can offer in addition to traditional portfolio learning.
He also teaches on a MEd in Training & Development at the University of Bradford and is a qualified school teacher who during his career to date has been involved in the teaching and learning of students from age eight through to undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He works with distance learning students using blended learning methods and has a strong interest in how people learn.

Related link

JISC's (Joint Information Systems Committee)

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Latest web articles and report from Futurelab

Check out the latest interesting web articles and report: 'Extended learning', an account by Jim Fanning of how his school has been exploring the use of VLE, 'How personal is personalisation?' by Merlin John, which examines the implementation of e-portfolios in schools and finally 'An open approach to learning' Laura Dewis, OpenLearn’s Communications Manager, explained to Kim Thomas.
A new report on the MobiMissions prototype shares findings on the design and use of social, mobile, location-based applications to support learning.

Extended learning
By Jim Fanning
Jim Fanning from Tideway School reports on a project in his school which is investigating some of the issues surrounding the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in the classroom.

How personal is personalisation?
By Merlin John
The focus on the technical elements of learning platforms may be eclipsing the transformational nature of e-portfolios, the heart of the learners’ experiences, writes Merlin John.

An open approach to learning
By Kim Thomas
Not content with making many of its course materials freely available on the web through its OpenLearn project, the Open University is throwing some collaborative learning tools into the mix. Laura Dewis, OpenLearn’s Communications Manager, explained why to Kim Thomas.

Mobile, collaborative, location-based learning: a case study of the MobiMissions prototype
By Lyndsay Grant, Hans Daanen and Tim Rudd

MobiMissions is a new location-aware mobile phone game prototype
created in partnership between Futurelab and the Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) at the University of Nottingham.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Galaxiki Project

Jos Kirps has been in touch to reminds us about the launch of the Galaxiki website.
Only seven weeks after its official launch the Galaxiki website is on its way to become a highly successful web 2.0 site. Galaxiki is a new kind of wiki based community portal that allows its members to edit stars, planets and moons in a virtual galaxy, creating an entire fictional world online.

"It's very exciting to see how many people like Galaxiki! We got a lot of positive feedback and many suggestions within the past few weeks", said Jos Kirps, the creator of Galaxiki. "The site is being updated on a regular basis, new features emerge nearly every day: improved galaxy exploration tools, search tools, planetary editors or translated contents for example.
We now just launched the movies and books section, a completely new site area where community members can manage their private collections of DVDs or books and share information about them.
And we still have a lot of new stuff in the pipeline."Galaxiki combines well known web 2.0 features in a revolutionary new way. Millions of stars, planets, moons, pulsars and black holes can be explored using an intuitive 2D map. The idea behind Galaxiki is that community members can create fictional life forms and write about their histories on their planets. The ease of use attracts all kinds of users, so that the target audience is not limited to science fiction and astronomy addicts.
Visit Galaxiki website for more details.

Related links

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Congress taking aim at diploma mills by Tim Grant.

Hundreds of nonexistent schools are selling degrees on the Internet.

When Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle came under scrutiny last year for authorizing $27,000 for a controversial study written by her mother's boyfriend, she defended the study and its author saying, "He's a Ph.D. He's qualified."
Lee Otto Johnson, who submitted the 85-page report on city health issues that consisted of reports written by other agencies and an essay on race and religion, does list a doctorate on his resume from Columbia State University. But it's a school that never existed except as a company that sold phony degrees to people willing to buy them.
Columbia State University, which had no campus, no faculty and no class work, has been shut down by federal authorities who declared the wildly profitable Internet company a "diploma mill." Its owner pleaded guilty in 2004 to fraud charges.

Source: Post-Gazette Local News

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Monday, August 13, 2007

MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching and Innovate.

Take a look at these articles, appears in MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching and Innovate.

Questioning the Student Use of and Desire for Lecture Podcasts.
By Laura A. Guertin, Matthew J. Bodek, Sarah E. Zappe and Heeyoung Kim.


The use of audio files, specifically podcasts, has become more visible and accessible to students in higher education. Despite a lack of pedagogical research on the benefits of podcasting, several universities have adopted the technology of using audio for instruction outside of class and sharing of information. Although institutions and instructors have embraced the technology, have the students?
A professor in an introductory geoscience course for nonscience majors recorded the audio from classroom lectures and made these audio files available through the university’s online course management system. Student accesses of the audio files were tracked. The students were surveyed about their knowledge on how to utilize the audio files and if they believed the audio to be of some use.
Although percentages were not high in terms of student accesses to individual lectures, and a little over half the students were aware of how to access and utilize the files, all of the students reported a perceived value to having lecture podcasts available.

Source: The MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT)

Reschooling Society and the Promise of ee-Learning: An Interview with Steve Eskow
Chad Trevitte and Steve Eskow

In this article, Chad Trevitte interviews Innovate guest editor Steve Eskow about the concept of ee-learning and the promise it holds for revitalizing higher education. Eskow defines ee-learning as a combination of the electronic technologies employed in online learning ("e-learning 1") and a pedagogy of experiential learning rooted in real-life settings in the world outside the university classroom ("e-learning 2").
As he discusses ee-learning in the context of previous philosophies of educational reform, Eskow argues that this mode of pedagogical practice seeks to bridge the gap between theory-based instruction on the one hand and practical application on the other. Eskow also addresses the ways in which ee-learning offers an alternative to the traditional view of the university as a self-enclosed space of learning, while still supporting the development of conceptual and propositional knowledge that educators typically value in the setting of the campus classroom. By allowing students to pursue their work in specific, authentic, contextualized settings while consulting with instructors and peers online, ee-learning offers a pedagogical approach that aligns knowledge and experience in a reciprocal, mutually enhancing fashion.

Source: Innovate

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Friday, August 10, 2007

The Rise of e-Learning in Nigeria

Efem Nkanga in this report looks at the rising adoption of the e-Learning platform as a tool for effective knowledge dissemination in Nigeria

E-Learning is gradually becoming the fastest growing form of international and domestic education in recent times. The e-Learning technology is a phenomenon that has taken the entire globe by storm in the field of education. The rise of this new model has been enabled by the increasing deployment of the world wide web and information communication technologies (ICTs) across the globe. This rise has enabled a process where instructors and students use the computer to generate, advance and share knowledge because e-Learning is a computer supported collaborative learning process with the technology of the computer deployed as the main platform.
On the global terrain, e-learning has enabled scores of people to get their degrees online while working from the comfort of their homes, offices etc. E-learning, which refers to any education received electronically through the Internet or from a software programme, began at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a few brave faculty members who decided to try something new. The faculty members were said to have started the process by making their course syllabi, lecture notes and class assignments available to students via the Web. The students enchanted by this new offering from their lecturers responded positively and started seeking out the particular instructors or courses that featured online components.


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Fremtiden ligger i Ørestad af Nana Askov

Sms’er og laptops med messenger åben i undervisningen er helt legale. Der er ingen klasselokaler, intet lærerværelse eller rektorkontor. Fremtidens gymnasium ligger i Ørestad og åbner på mandag.

Vicerektor Thomas Jørgensen (tv. på billedet) og Allan Kjær Andersen (th.).
»Det var egent­lig mit kontor. Men jeg synes ikke, jeg ville sidde inde bag en væg, når alle andre sidder sammen,« siger Allan Kjær Andersen og peger mod en glasvæg ved siden af indgangen. Som rektor skal han på mandag tage imod de første elever på Ørestad Gymnasium i København i det helt nye byggeri, der er tegnet af tegnestuen 3XNielsen.
Og med 12.000 kvadratmeter åbent rum i fire etager er det bestemt ikke et traditionelt gymnasium, der har rejst sig som et kæmpe glaskvadrat over for indkøbscenteret Fields i Københavns nye bydel Ørestad.
Glasburet, der var tænkt som rektorkontor, er omdøbt til mødelokale, og Allan Kjær Andersen sidder sammen med resten af det admini­strative personale – eller rundt omkring i husets mange arbejdsstationer.
»Vi har med vilje valgt ikke at have et lærerværelse. Læ­rerne sidder der, hvor eleverne er, når de har kaffepause eller spiser frokost. Og det gør jeg også. Det er et stærkt signal om, at der ikke fore­går noget hemmeligt. Eleverne må komme alle steder,« siger Allan Kjær Andersen om indretningen, der mest af alt minder om et åbent kontormiljø i en meget moderne virksomhed.

Source: metroXpress

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CMC Modes for Learning Tasks at a Distance by Trena Paulus

Here is an interesting article, appears in Volume 12, Issue 4 (2007) of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, JCMC.

CMC Modes for Learning Tasks at a Distance
By Trena Paulus

Which communication mode(s) do experienced distance learners choose as they collaborate on tasks, and what do they talk about in each mode? How do the participants choose modes for various aspects of a task, and which phases of knowledge construction are present? In this study, case study and computer-mediated discourse analysis procedures are used to investigate transcripts and individual reflections of 10 small groups of distance learners. The findings reveal that the discussion forum was used significantly more often for conceptual moves and for later phases of the knowledge construction process. Email was used more for social moves, and chat was used more for later phases of knowledge construction. Implications for providing groups with various CMC modes to complete tasks and for advising novice online learners about the affordances of each mode are addressed.

About the Author
Trena Paulus is an assistant professor of in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee where she teaches courses in research methods and collaborative learning. She investigates meaning-making processes in online learning
environments utilizing methods of discourse and narrative analysis.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Visual learning for the future

Cutting-edge teaching and learning using visual imagery — along with printed words on the page — is being pioneered at the University of Nottingham.

A grant of £1.8m is being devoted to new technologies that enhance student learning and add value to the student experience via interactive video links, digital film-making facilities, stereo 3D projection equipment, pocket PCs, mobile learning technologies and 'virtual' environments. Innovative new technology has already been introduced in more than 16 schools, institutes and departments across the University, with many more projects ongoing. Extensive research shows that visual imagery can play a powerful role in accelerating learning.

Source: scenta

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

What Explains Toddlers' Linguistic Leap? Math

Simple math may explain why toddlers experience a sudden burst of words—and why some talk earlier and more than others.
By David Biello

TODDLER TALK: The explosion in language between the ages of one and two can be explained by a simple mathematical model—the bell curve—as long as some words are more difficult to learn than others. Cognitive scientist Bob McMurray of the University of Iowa set up a relatively simple mathematical model of word learning on a commonly available spreadsheet, assessing the potential to learn each of some 200 words. He set a numerical threshold at which a given word would be considered learned, operating under the assumption that it would take kids time to learn each word, they could pick up multiple words at the same time, and that some words were more difficult to process.

Source: Scientific American

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