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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Editor's Hand Picked Headline News


Below you'll find my Hand Picked Headline News today.

Making Wikis Work for Scholars

Even if they won’t admit it, students are using Wikipedia to kick off their research and fill the gaps in their class notes ... right now. It might not show up in the bibliography, but the free, open source online resource has long since become the starting point for settling factual disputes, brainstorming paper ideas and even offering suggestions for further reading.
If that’s an open secret, then so is this: For all the hand-wringing over whether Wikipedia is a legitimate source for completing college assignments, some professors are quietly incorporating it into their classrooms and even their research. Others, noting features of the Web site that contribute to inaccuracies and shortchange the value of expertise, are building variations on the model that are more amenable to academics and to peer review.


Social-networking apps can pose security risks
Experts warn users to be careful about what they post...and download

Using those cool little applications designed to enhance social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook can make personal information as public as posting it on a billboard.Trouble is, most students (and educators) never have a clue.
Consider Sarah Brown. She's unusually cautious when it comes to social networking. The college sophomore doesn't have a MySpace page and, while she's on Facebook, she does everything she can to keep her page as private as she can.

Related links

Source: eSchool News

Film School: To Spice Up Course Work, Professors Make Their Own Videos
By JEFFREY R. YOUNG

Sometimes Edward J. Berger leaves class with the nagging feeling that some of his engineering students at the University of Virginia just aren't getting it. Maybe the concept he was trying to get across was too abstract. So he heads back to his office, films himself working through an actual problem, and posts the video to the course blog.
Most of the students tune in, even though watching is optional and the cinematic style is not the kind of thing that fills seats at the multiplex.


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Article appears in 2008 edition of Journal of Interactive Online Learning (JIOL).


Take a look at this article appears in Volume 7, Number 1, Spring, 2008 edition of Journal of Interactive Online Learning (JIOL).

Best practices in teaching K-12 online: Lessons learned from Michigan Virtual School teachers
By
Meredith DiPietro, Richard E. Ferdig, Erik W. Black and Megan Preston
University of Florida, Gainesville

Abstract
Virtual schools are rising in popularity and presence. Unfortunately, there is a relative dearth of research related to teaching and learning in virtual schools. Although there are numerous handbooks addressing teaching online, there is little research on successful online teaching in the K-12 arena. Much of the existing research focused on teaching online is rooted in face-to-face content, not focused on content areas, built upon a post-secondary audience, or fails to use data from the teachers themselves to triangulate findings. This article reports on a study of 16 virtual school teachers from the Michigan Virtual School (MVS). It reports on best-practices from the interviews conducted with MVS teachers; and also provides research triangulation for those practices. The paper concludes with implications for policy, research, and practice.

About the authors
Meredith DiPietro is a doctoral candidate in Educational Technology at the University of Florida. Her research incorporates theories of psychology and pedagogy to investigate the integration of digital technologies into online and off-line educational environments. She has extensive experience working with virtual schools and is currently researching the pedagogy of virtual school teachers.

Richard E. Ferdig’s research centers on combining cutting-edge technology with current pedagogic theory to create innovative learning environments. Dr. Ferdig is an associate professor in Educational Technology at the University of Florida, where he co-directs the EdTech Online Program.

Erik W. Black is a doctoral fellow and candidate in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. His research blends contemporary psychological and educational theory in the analysis of data derived from virtual and technology-rich environments.

Megan Preston is a elementary education major in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. She has experience working with virtual school to explore the instructional practices of virtual school teachers.


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Recommended Book 'We-think' by Charles Leadbeater

We-think: The Power of Mass Creativity

Synopsis

Society is based not on mass consumption now but on mass, innovative participation - as is clear in phenomena from Wikipedia, Youtube and Craigslist to new forms of scientific research and political campaigning. This new mode of 'We-think' is reshaping the way we work, play and communicate."We-think" is about what the rise of these phenomena (not all to do with the internet) means for the way we organise ourselves - not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations. For the point of the industrial era economy was mass production for mass consumption, the formula created by Henry Ford; but these new forms of mass, creative collaboration announce the arrival of a new kind of society, in which people want to be players, not spectators.This is a huge cultural shift, for in this new economy people want not services and goods, delivered to them, but tools so they can take part. In "We-think" Charles Leadbeater analyses not only these changes, but how they will affect us and how we can make the most of them.
Published on: 2008-02-18

About the author

Charles Leadbeater is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy and drawn on that experience in writing his latest book We-think: the power of mass creativity, which charts the rise of mass, participative approaches to innovation from science and open source software, to computer games and political campaigning. We-think, which is due to be published in 2007, is the latest in a string of acclaimed books: Living on Thin Air, a guide to living and working in the new economy; Up the Down Escalator, an attack on the culture of public pessimism accompanying globalisation and In Search of Work, published in the 1980's, which was one of the first books to predict the rise of more flexible and networked forms of employment.
In 2005 Charles was ranked by Accenture, the management consultancy, as one of the top management thinkers in the world. A past winner of the prestigious David Watt prize for journalism, Charles was profiled by the New York Times in 2004 for generating one of the best ideas of the year, the rise of the activist amateur, outlined in his report The Pro-Am Revolution.
Read more...

Related links
Charles Leadbeater (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


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Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy Uddannelsesrapport


Tiltag til at fremme iværksætteri blandt danske studerende er endelig begyndt at give gevinst. Ud over at antallet af udbudte kurser er steget, er der sket en mindre stigning i antallet af ansøgere.
Af
Morten Jasper

Den seneste uddannelsesrapport fra kompetencecentret Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy (ØEA) konkluderer et markant større udbud af iværksætterkurser og en mindre stigning i antallet af ansøgere, og dette er en pil i den rigtige retning.
Rapporten konkluderer endvidere, at de videregående uddannelsesinstitutioner, det vil sige universiteter, professionshøjskoler og erhvervsakademier, i de senere år fået øget fokus på undervisning og træning af studerende i entreprenørskab.
Læs mere...


Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy (ØEA) er et kompetencecenter inden for undervisning, men fungerer også som fond for de 12 medlemsuniversiteter under Øresundsuniversitetet.
Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy vil skabe overblik og langt bedre information om de mange muligheder indenfor entrepreneurship-undervisning i Øresundsregionen.

Entrepreneurship subjects across 12 universities in the Øresund region.
Øresund Entrepreneurship Academy unites and develops strong competences and experiences with entrepreneurship education at the universities of the Øresund region.
Rapporten udkom 30. maj 2008.
Published on: 2008-04-30.


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Sunday, April 27, 2008

EDUCAUSE Review Latest Issue Online!


Just look at these articles in this EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 43, no. 2 (March/April 2008) below.


Conference Connections: Rewiring the Circuit
By George Siemens, Peter Tittenberger and Terry Anderson

Increased openness, two-way dialogue, and blurred distinctions between experts and amateurs have combined with numerous technology tools for dialogue, personal expression, networking, and community formation to “remake” conferences, influencing not only how attendees participate in but also how organizers host conferences today.

About the authors
George Siemens (
gsiemens@elearnspace.org) is Associate Director, Learning Technologies Centre, at the University of Manitoba and is Founder and President of Complexive Systems Inc.
Peter Tittenberger (
tittenbe@cc.umanitoba.ca) is Director, Learning Technologies Centre, at the University of Manitoba.
Terry Anderson (
terrya@athabascau.ca) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University

Architectures for Collaboration:Roles and Expectations for Digital Libraries
By Peter Brantley

Libraries are successful to the extent that they can bridge communities and can leverage the diversity of the quest, the research, and the discovery. By building bridges among various sectors, libraries will be able to define themselves in the next generation.

About the author
Peter Brantley ( pbrantley@diglib.org) is the Executive Director for the Digital Library Federation (DLF), a not-for-profit association of libraries and allied institutions.

E-Books in Higher Education: Nearing the End of the Era of Hype?
By Mark R. Nelson
What is the reality with respect to e-books? Will e-books finally take off? After nearly two decades of talking about how e-books are right around the corner, have we finally reached the corner?

Comments on this article can be sent to the author at drmnelson@gmail.com


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Editor's Hand Picked Headline News


I'm Still Rezzing by Bob Sprankle

Yesterday, I was browsing in a used bookstore and found something more than the hand-me down literature in the bookshelves. Posted on two of the walls in the shop was an exhibit of what was described as “found art.” It was in fact a collection of all the things that were found within the pages of the used books. I guess people sell their used books but forget to take out what they leave inside as bookmarks. There were all kinds of things: grocery lists, receipts, baby photos, to-do lists, even a very intense and personal love letter.
Read more...

Source: TechLEARNING

Picture This: Explaining Science Through Drawings

If a picture is worth a thousand words, creating one can have as much value to the illustrator as to the intended audience. This is the case with "Picturing to Learn," a project in which college students create pencil drawings to explain scientific concepts to a typical high school student. The National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education, provides support for this effort.
Read more...

Source: ScienceDaily

New MASIE Social Network for Learning Experts

Elliot Masie, the American eLearning expert and director of the Masie Center, has recently formed an online community. It is called "LearningTown!", and its organizer describes is as a "vendor-neutral learning focused network". The "village for learning professionals" is sub-divided into special-interest groups such as mobile learning, nextgen learning, women and learning, boomer learning, and others.
Read more...

Related link
Learning Town is a Village for Learning Professionals, hosted by Elliott Masie of The MASIE Center

Source: CHECKpoint eLearning

Professors Gone Paperless by Elia Powers
Continuing their campaign to draw attention to the cost of textbooks, the Student Public Interest Research Groups celebrated Tuesday what they’re calling a major milestone — reaching 1,000 professors who’ve signed a statement supporting the use of free, online and open source textbooks.
Read more...

Source: Inside Higher Ed


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Analysis: How multimedia can improve learning


New research sheds light on students' ability to process multiple modes of learning
By Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News

An analysis of existing research supports a notion that already has begun to transform instruction in schools from coast to coast: that multimodal learning--using many modes and strategies that cater to individual learners' needs and capacities--is more effective than traditional, unimodal learning, which uses a single mode or strategy.
According to a new report commissioned by Cisco Systems, adding visuals to verbal (textual and/or auditory) instruction can result in significant gains in basic or higher-order learning, if applied appropriately. Students using a well-designed combination of visuals and text learn more than students who use only text, the report says.
Read more...

Related links
Cisco Systems
The Metiri Group
Multimodal Learning through Media: What the Research Says

April 2008 issue

  • Report: Multimedia can improve instruction
  • Math panel: Streamline curriculum, focus on fractions
  • $50 handheld targets elementary students
  • Schools add digital arts to the curriculum
  • Latest carrot for students: Free cell-phone minutes
  • Adobe launches free web version of Photoshop
  • Netwatch
  • Grant Opportunities
Want to read the current issue?

Source: eSchool News


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The E-learning Handbook: Social Networking for Higher Education: Resources for Higher Education by Robin Mason and Frank Rennie


Here is yet another book, I thought you may find interesting.


Synopsis
Student engagement with digital learning resources and online social networking are strong forces in education today. How can these resources best be utilized by educators and course designers in higher education? This book aims to provide the reader with enough background information to appreciate the value of social networking, especially for distributed education. Through highlighting the most relevant, interesting, and challenging aspects of e-Learning the book provides practical advice for using social networking tools in course design. This volume covers the following issues of course design using social networking: key issues of social networking as an educational technique; designing for a distributed environment; strengths and weaknesses of delivering content in various formats: text, audio and video; specific media: blogging, wikis, podcasting, webcasting; constraints on course design; and, implementation, evaluation, induction and training.Illustrated by short descriptive case studies, it also highlights contact addresses, websites, and further reading to help readers find resources and enhance their design.
Published on: 2008-04-18

About the authors
Robin Mason is Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University where she is a specialist in the design and practice of online teaching and learning.
Frank Rennie is Professor of Sustainable Rural Development at the UHI Millennium Institute in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.


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Best of The eLearning Guild's Learning Solutions: Top Articles from the eMagazine's First Five Years

The Best of the ELearning Guild's Learning Solutions: Top Articles from the EMagazine's First Five Years
By Bill Brandon (Editor)

Synopsis
The Best of eLearning Guild offers a unique approach to the topic as it covers three different, yet often intertwined, approaches to eLearning: Strategy and Management, Capturing Skills and Knowledge, and Facilitating Skill and Knowledge Transfer. The book covers the most common technologies, such as authoring tools, XML, and storyboarding as well as the more cutting-edge technologies such as mobile eLearning and reusable learning objects. In addition, there will be a companion webpage, on which customers will find never-before-published tips, tricks, and techniques from several of the contributors, keeping the book up-to-date well after the first reading.
Published on: 2008-04-21


Content list
Foreword by David Holcombe.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

SECTION 1: e-LEARNING STRATEGY AND MANAGEMENT.
Chapter 1: If You Only Look Under the Street Lamps . . . or Nine e-Learning Myths (Lance Dublin).

Chapter 2. High Attrition Rates in e-Learning: Challenges, Predictors, and Solutions (Margaret Martinez).

Chapter 3. Learning Measurement: It's Not How Much You Train, But How Well (Jeffrey Berk).

Chapter 4. The XML e-Learning Revolution: Is Your Production Model Holding You Back (Doug Wallace and Anthony Levinson).

Chapter 5. Integration of e-Learning and Knowledge Management (Desiree Tryloff and Victoria Bowen).

Chapter 6. The Design Document: Your Blueprint for e-Learning Standards and Consistency (Monique Donahue).

Chapter 7. Steps to Creating a Content Strategy for Your Organization (Ellen Wagner).

SECTION 2: CAPTURING SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE.
Chapter 8. Back to the Basics: Revisiting Great Training on Behalf of Great e-Learning (Allison Rossett).

Chapter 9. Evolution of an e-Learning Developers Guide: Documenting Decisions and Intentions (Mike Dickinson).

Chapter 10. Evolution of an e-Learning Developers Guide: Instructional Design and Project Management (Mike Dickinson).

Chapter 11. Using Microsoft Word for Rapid Storyboard Development: Efficient Production of Professional e-Learning Storyboards (Cynthia Holmes-Radner).

Chapter 12. The New Frontier of Learning Object Design (Ellen Wagner).

Chapter 13. Avoiding Assessment Mistakes That Compromise Competence and Quality (Patti Shank).

Chapter 14. Templates, Reusability, Future-Proofing, and the Technology Side of Rapid e-Learning (Kendrick Abell).

Chapter 15. A Team of One: Rapid e-Learning Environment at Break-Neck Speed (Stephanie R. Sanford).

SECTION 3: FACILITATING SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER.
Chapter 16. Six Principles of Effective e-Learning: What Works and Why (Ruth Clark).

Chapter 17. Bridging the Formal-Informal Gap: Blended Learning Evolves (Clive Shepherd).

Chapter 18. Behind the Screens: A Look at The eLearning Guild's Online Forum Series (Karen Hyder).

Chapter 19. Fast Track Your e-Learning Video Development: Targeting Production Needs Analysis (Laura Levy).

Chapter 20. Simulations and Games: Revisiting Their Strategic Value (Allison Rossett).

Chapter 21. Be Constructive: Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis as Constructivist Learning Tools (Joyce Seitzinger).

Chapter 22. Using Radio Production Techniques to Improve Synchronous Communication (Marc Gamble).

Index.

About the Editors.

The eLearning Guild is a worldwide Community of Practice for e-Learning design, development, and management professionals. The Guild offers members high-quality learning opportunities, networking services, resources, and publications. Members represent a diverse group of managers, directors, and executives focused on training and learning services, as well as e-Learning instructional designers, content developers, web developers, project managers, contractors, and consultants. Discover more at www.elearningguild.com.

About the Author
Bill Brandon, a 40-year training industry veteran, is the editor of The eLearning Guild's e-Magazine, Learning Solutions, as well as their e-Books.

eBooks from The eLearning Guild are guaranteed to put a wealth of information at your fingertips!
239 Tips for Producing and ManagingFlash-based e-Learning Content

In February and March, 2008, The eLearning Guild conducted a survey of its members, asking for their favorite tips for producing and managing Flash-based e-Learning. A total of 147 members responded to the survey, contributing 239 usable tips on 28 products (17 of which were not included in the original list).


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The latest edition of EDUCAUSE Quarterly


Just to let you know that these article below, appears in the latest EDUCAUSE Quarterly Volume 31, Number 1, 2008.

E-text readers designed for use in higher education will reduce textbook pricing and address environmental concerns
By Charles Hannon

A May 2007 Congressional advisory committee found that average full-time undergraduates spent between $700 and $1,000 on textbooks in 2003–2004 and that from 1987–2004, textbook prices at four-year public colleges rose 109 percent compared to a rise in the Consumer Price Indout the authorex of 65 percent.1 We all complain, not least the students, but we never do anything about it.

About the author
Charles Hannon (channon@washjeff.edu) is Associate Professor and Chair of Information Technology Leadership at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.

This research describes the lessons learned during initial implementation of e-folios at four teacher education programs
By Barbara Meyer and Nancy Latham

Many universities use electronic portfolios (e-folios) to collect student work and assessment data for accreditation purposes at either the program or unit level. Programs within teacher education can include early childhood, elementary, middle level, and secondary education. For accreditation, each program is responsible for meeting a specific standard set for that program. Teacher-education programs must align their curricula and student outcomes with state and national teacher-education standards. These standards provide direction for the selection and inclusion of artifacts in the e-folio and affect its organization.
With e-folios, students can enter evidence such as lesson plans, parent communication samples, and implemented assessment strategies. Evaluation data are aggregated and disaggregated to demonstrate that a program meets the necessary standards and to highlight the program's strengths and weaknesses. Colleges of education can use the data to guide changes in their curricula.

About the authors
Barbara Meyer (bbmeyer@ilstu.edu) is an Associate Professor and Nancy Latham (nilatha@ilstu.edu) is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University in Normal.
Meyer currently serves as the Coordinator for Secondary Education and is the former Electronic Portfolio Coordinator for Teacher Education. Latham serves as the Coordinator for the Early Childhood Program at Illinois State University.

An exploration of e-mail communication between faculty and students at UNC Chapel Hill identified issues surrounding the use of e-mail to advance instructional outcomes
By Meredith Weiss and Dana Hanson-Baldauf

"The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate," claimed theologian and educator Joseph Priestly.1 Born in 1733, Priestly could hardly have imagined the Internet, e-mail, and instant messaging, although his prophetic statement presaged a dilemma now faced on college campuses worldwide. The popularity of and reliance on emergent computer-mediated communication technologies such as instant messaging, blogs, and social networks have arguably widened the generation gap between faculty and traditional undergraduate students. Marc Prensky defined this generational technology divide by coining the terms digital natives and digital immigrants.

About the authors
Meredith Weiss (mlweiss@e-mail.unc.edu) is Associate Dean for Administration, Finance, and Information Technology in the UNC School of Law. Both she and Dana Hanson-Baldauf (hansonda@e-mail.unc.edu) are PhD candidates in the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Computer-generated mind maps, or e-maps, serve as a graphical interface for presenting, organizing, and navigating web-based course content and files
By Michael F. Ruffini

Many university faculty design and upload course materials to the web using either their own website or a course management system. They typically present content in a linear or sequential structure, using hyperlinks to access course files, websites, and folders. Sequential ordering of content employs chronological or alphabetical order, or arranges content from general to specific. This approach ignores the adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words." If a picture is worth a thousand words, it is because a visual image can generate more cognitive associations that enhance critical thinking and memory than can words by themselves.

About the author
Michael F. Ruffini (mruffini@bloomu.edu) is Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the Department of Educational Studies and Secondary Education at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.






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21st Century Teaching and Learning by Ruth Reynard, Ph.D.

Read this article I thought you may find interesting below.


21st Century Teaching and Learning, Part 1

I am what is currently known as a "digital immigrant" simply because I did not grow up with new technology--"digital native" (Prensky, 2005, pp. 8-13)--but acquired certain skills and understanding of new technology through necessity. As that necessity demanded, I acquired skills that would help me navigate and survive new challenges while remaining true to my own already established ways of knowing and learning and processing of information. My background in higher education has been in traditional research-based universities that have been driven by asking questions, not teaching.

Part 2 in this series will address types of skills needed in teachers, skills required of students, and holistic measurement of success.

Related link

About the author
Ruth Reynard is the director of faculty for Career Education Corp.
She can be reached at rreynard@careered.com.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE, Volume 9, Number 2, April 2008

Don't miss this article from Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education TOJDE, April 2008, Volume 9, Number 2. This is the second issue of the year 2008.



REFLECTIONS ON SCREENAGERS, FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AND NET-SUPPORTED LEARNING
By Mike K. MOULTON
Learning Centre
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
NORWAY

ABSTRACT
This paper outlines a strategy for a faculty development program with respect to net-supported learning. Many universities and colleges are struggling with meeting the demands of a rapidly changing world. Reflections in this paper are based on experiences from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Attention has been given to the intelligent use of technology as a means of meeting pressing challenges. What does this mean? I ask a series of questions, the answers of which form the basis for a faculty development program. What qualities and skills should our graduates have? What consequences does this have for the way we approach teaching and learning? And what role does technology play? In short, we must focus on faculty training courses and the ensuing development cycles of trial, error, refinement and sharing. Guiding principles for these activities should be:

1. It is about learning.
2. It is about easy access.
3. It is about emphasizing collaboration.
4. It is about support.


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T.H.E. Journal online!

NASA this week moved a step closer to branching into educational gaming
By Dave Nagel

The agency presented its vision of a science education-focused massively multiplayer online game to more than 200 potential software development partners in a workshop Monday sponsored by NASA Learning Technologies, an educational technology incubator project.
The idea of the MMO educational game is to present NASA content in such a way as to draw students into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning and to spark interest in STEM-oriented careers. It will be aimed primarily at teenagers, according to NASA, focusing on middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students.


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eSchool News Online!

Gaming helps students hone 21st-century skills
Environments such as Second Life can both stimulate and educate, experts say
By Laura Devaney, Senior Editor, eSchool News

Online gaming can help students develop many of the skills they'll be required to use upon leaving school, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, agreed educators who spoke during an April 16 webinar on gaming in education.
Sharnell Jackson, the chief eLearning officer for Chicago Public Schools and the webinar's moderator, noted that gaming and simulations are highly interactive, allow for instant feedback, immerse students in collaborative environments, and allow for rapid decision-making. The webinar was sponsored by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

Related links

Around the Web

University of Central Florida students freak out when they go tech-free

For one week--five days, really--a class of college students was assigned to unplug and live a tech-free life, reports the Orlando Sentinel. No cell phones. No iPods. No computers, TVs, or video games. It was enough to make a "millennial" weep. What would they do? Read a book, suggested Mary Ann Murdoch, who teaches English composition at the University of Central Florida. "They were mortified at the thought of this," Murdoch said. "It's not just something I'm doing to be trendy or funny or frivolous.

Related link

Source: eSchool News


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The Internet Scout Project

Check out these highlights from The Internet Scout Project below.



What goes on during an earthquake? Who came up with the theory of plate tectonics? What can the fossil record tell us about the evolution of life on Earth? These are all fine questions, and students and educators with a thirst for geological knowledge will find the answers to these (and many more) questions in the "Earth Revealed" television series.


Readers may have heard of the "digital divide", but what about the scientific "digital divide"? The Open Science Directory is attempting to bridge this gap by providing access to a wide range of journals to researchers in both developing and developed countries. Working with the support of EBSCO Information Services and Hasselt University Library, the Open Science Directory provides access to approximately 13000 scientific journals.


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Monday, April 21, 2008

10 Resources to Help Students Improve Their English Grammar by Heather Johnson


Heather Johnson posted an excellent article listing 10 Resources to Help Students Improve Their English Grammar

Whether you are an accomplished literature major or an ESL speaker, everyone could use the occasional help with his or her English language skills. Students are often writing essays or reports in college and grammar mistakes can cost major points when a project is graded. Help to improve yourself and your GPA by using the following 10 online resources.

The Element of Style – Most writers and English majors are familiar with The Element of Style, a classic reference book by William Strunk, Jr. If you need to write a paper and do not have a copy of this book nearby, there is no need to panic. The online version will work just as well.
Dr. Grammar: Frequently Asked Questions – This list of FAQ was compiled by Professor James Hiduke, aka Dr. Grammar. Here, you will find answers to common grammatical stumpers, such as Accept or Except?
50 Tools to Increase Your Writing Skills – Listed here are 50 outstanding tips and tricks to improve both your grammar and writing skills.
AskOxford.com Grammar and Spelling Tips – This helpful guide is provided by the makers of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Guide to Grammar and Writing – This extensive guide is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation. It includes study guides, printouts and interactive quizzes for the self-led language student.
Guide to Grammar and Style – Written by Rutgers University professor Jack Lynch, this guide is revised on a regular basis.
HyperGrammar – This is an outstanding electronic grammar course that was developed by the University of Ottawa's Writing Centre. From punctuation to building clauses, you will find a wealth of knowledge on this site.
Economist Style Guide – This is the style guide that is followed by all columnists who write for The Economist. Although geared toward journalists, it serves as a handy resource for any kind of writer.
Verbix – Need some help with your verb usage? Verbix is a free online tool that can conjugate verbs in just about any language.
OWL Handouts – OWL, or Online Writing Lab, is a resource developed by Purdue University. Here, you can print convenient handouts on common spelling and grammatical errors.

With the free resources above, you may never again have to crack open a book on English grammar. Not only will your speech improve by using the sites above, your college papers should show a marked improvement overall.

Related link
Skip the Tuition: 100 Free Podcasts from the Best Colleges in the World by Heather Johnson

By-line:
Heather Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a monthly contributor for OEDb, a site to help students select among accredited online schools.
Heather invites your comments and freelancing job inquiries at her
email address.


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Friday, April 18, 2008

eSchool Top News and Site of the Week


Take a look at the news below

Judge: Turnitin.com doesn't violate copyright laws
By Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor, eSchool News

A federal district court judge threw out a lawsuit against the online plagiarism detection service Turnitin.com last month, ruling the web site--which stores student papers in its database and compares them with new submissions--does not violate copyright laws.
Students at McLean High School in Fairfax County, Va., and the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona filed a lawsuit in October 2006 arguing that Turnitin.com committed copyright infringement when it stored digital copies of students' essays in its database. U.S. District Court Judge Claude M. Hilton ruled March 11 that unauthorized use of copyrighted work for news reporting, comment, and teaching did not constitute copyright infringement.

Related links

Site of the Week


Free online course management system gives educators another option

CollegeBrain.net is a free, web-based course management system that enables instructors to manage their courses online and gives students access to collaborative tools. The site lets instructors build courses, manage students, collect and grade assignments, post announcements, manage discussion forums, and keep in contact with colleagues. All courses that are created and materials that are uploaded are permanently stored on CollegeBrain.net, unless deleted by the creator, according to the service. This allows information to be referenced and used at any time.

Related links

Around the Web


The works of one of the most towering figures of modern science are now available to anyone on the web, CNET reports. The Darwin Online Project on April 17 released more than 90,000 online pages of Charles Darwin's photographs, sketches, and manuscripts, including the first draft of his theory of evolution. Transcripts of many of the documents have been published in the past, but this is the first time that the original manuscripts have been made available to the general public--and seeing these works in Darwin's original scrawl somehow adds to the weightiness of what you are reading.

Enjoy your reading!

Source: eSchool News


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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Self-Organized Learning Environments and University Students’ Use of Social Software: A Systems Theoretical Perspective


Just look at this article, by Christian Dalsgaard and Helle Mathiasen,
Denmark

Self-Organized Learning Environments and University Students’ Use of Social Software: A Systems Theoretical Perspective

Abstract

The paper will argue that new possibilities of digital media, especially social software, have a potential regarding development of self-organized learning environments and facilitating self-governed activities. The point of departure is that IT only plays a role as an available technology, and is in itself simply an offer. Based on a sociological perspective, the paper will clarify the concept of self-organized learning environments, which emphasizes the self-governed work of students. This perspective implies that an institution frames the project work of students and invites them to develop self-organized learning environments. Using an empirical study, the paper will argue that social software tools as a communication environment have the potential to support students’ development of self-organized learning environments. We find that students’ creative use of social software is an essential point, when planning higher education.

About the Authors

Christian Dalsgaard is an Assistant Professor, PhD at the Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus. His research is concerned with development of learning technology on the basis of a learning theoretical approach, and he works with design of open-ended learning resources in support of self-governed learning activities.

Helle Mathiasen is an Associate Professor, PhD at the Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus. She is Director of Centre for Research in IT & Learning. Her research lies within the field of Educational Technology and Educational Research.


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

eSchool News Online!


Take a look at these highlights below.

As the demographics of higher education change, campus officials are looking to tailor their online courses accordingly

Many ed-tech advocates have voiced support for distance learning as a way for K-12 students to take courses not offered at their regular schools or enroll in courses for college credit. But another group of learners--adults who turn to distance learning to return or expand their schooling--is attracting more and more national attention.
Colleges and universities are examining the needs of adult distance learners as they develop online courses that meet the needs of not only 18-to-22-year-olds, but also those students who might have full-time jobs and family responsibilities.

Related links

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One educator demonstrates that blending face-to-face and online instruction can lead to better student grades and understanding
By Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News

“Hybrid courses,” or courses that deliver part of their instruction in a traditional lecture manner and part in an online environment, are becoming increasingly popular among schools and colleges. Proponents of the concept say it capitalizes on the benefits that both face-to-face and online learning can provide—and now, there is some evidence to suggest that hybrid courses can help students learn more effectively.
Read more...

Related links
McFarlin’s study
University of Houston

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Source: eSchool News


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eLearning Papers Nº 7 ▪ 2008

Read the latest issue of eLearning Papers

Rapid e-Learning, as an informal educational tool for advanced students
Nicolò Antonio Piave
University of Macerata / Studio e-LearningONE di Formazione e Consulenza

Summary
This article deals with the possibility of introducing rapid e-learning software, usually used by teachers and content producers, into a hybrid learning paradigm and informal educational tool.
The advantage of using this kind of software in virtual classrooms represents the birth of two different but correlated free resources markets among the classic Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): one with simple resources, useful to be combined among them in order to create more complex digital contents, and another one made up of several complex resources coming from previous internal resources markets or, alternatively, directly from the Web.
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Distance training of teachers in a rural area in Kenya
Chiara Pozzi
Sociologist, e-learning didactic designer, Centro di Produzione Multimediale, University of Milano-Bicocca

Summary
Globalisation has intensified and delocalised social relations at a worldwide level; it has connected “distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa. Local transformation is as much a part of globalisation as the lateral extension of social connections across time and space.” (Giddens, 1990).
The revolutionary changes that have occurred in information technology and the ensuing phenomenon of the digital divide are important aspects of this process. In this study, we analyse the digital divide by looking at it from a peripheral perspective, compared to the developed world, where this revolution has started. Africa and Kenya thus become the changing local context from which we observe the penetration of new technologies as part of the globalisation process.
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