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Introducing the Connect Thinking E-Learning Academy


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Galaxiki - big update with over 100 new features

Galaxiki is the award winning fictional galaxy that is owned and can be edited by its community. It's a social network and web 2.0 site for everyone interested in science, fiction and space.

Each star, each planet and each moon in our online galaxy is represented by a wiki page that can be edited by its site members. Users can make changes to solar systems, add creatures and write stories. One of the main goals is to invent and write collaborative stories, which requires users to make sure their solar system histories remain compatible.

In July 2011 Galaxiki Team  introduced Galaxiki 2.5, the latest version which offers more than 100 new features. It is now possible to edit most of the solar system physics, you can add or edit planetary rings and the site offers a new search engine. There are also lots of new social networking features including solar system ratings and comments, bookmarks, user awards and user status updates.

Galaxiki has won several awards - it was one of the SeoMoz Web 2.0 Awards winners, it was community site of the week in Linux Journal and it was site of the day on Yahoo, and Pocketlint for example.

Galaxiki membership and editing community stars is free. Some users want to own a personal solar system that cannot be edited by other members, therefore its possible to get a personal system by making a donation (you can give as much as you want, starting at $1). The site itself is being financed through donations and a small amount of advertising.


Related link

Source: Galaxiki Team

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Free Webinar: UNHCR’s innovative approach to achieve a global content management strategy

UNHCR’s innovative approach to achieve a global content management strategy
An experience from the field.

When: 26 July 2011,
Time: 12:00 EST / 9:00 PST / 18:00 CET

Atish Gonsalves, Director of Learning Technology at the United Nations High Committee for Refugees (UNHCR), Alessio Artuffo, Director of Operations and Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO at eXact learning solutions NA, will present the audience with an actual experience from the field of a fully functioning LCMS project using IMS specifications for standardizing learning content production and procurement processes within large organizations.

Learning Content Management in large organizations & key drivers to a learning content-centric strategy

Enable global collaboration of content production processes
Drastically increase your ROI and decrease your time-to-production while maintaining high-quality standards and consistency
Join the webinar and learn how the adoption of an enterprise content management solution, XML based, SCORM certified and supported by multi-channel RLOs (Reusable Learning Object template libraries), assists the UNHCR content development capabilities.

This webinar will include a practical demonstration of the new version 8 of eXact LCMS, now supporting also: advanced Web based and off-line authoring, Android and iPad delivery, dynamic publishing on legacy LMS 3rd party platforms.

Register online

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The 20 Meanest Teacher Evaluations of All Time

Liz Nutt has been in touch to reminds us about this published article below.


Students may suffer through the semester with professors they don’t appreciate, but with finals come student evaluations, and they’re not always pretty. Fair or unfair, teacher evaluations can be pretty entertaining, and we’ve pulled out a selection of the meanest (and funniest) teacher evaluations we could find. Enjoy these evaluations — and be glad you didn’t have these professors (or students).

Professor Wikipedia: The author of this evaluation admits it’s a nasty one, but it sounds like it was deserved. His professor often reads Wikipedia in class and also uses the website for weekly lecture references. The student chose to spend his time learning from a YouTube professor instead, as his professor failed to teach effectively, and suggested that the school send his professor’s pay to the YouTube professor.

Related link
Take a closer look at's blog

Thanks to Liz.
Enjoy your reading!


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FREE Webinar: How To Tell Your Story With a Better Bio

Free Download:

How To Tell Your Story With a Better Bio
Date: Tuesday July 26th, 2011,
Time: 3pm EST (NYC time).

This session is for authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, and entrepreneurs.

The “About” page is one of the first pages people visit on your website. It’s where people naturally go to decide if they like you, trust you, and want to do business with you.

Obviously, there’s a lot at stake. It’s also the hardest page to write. Because you have to talk about yourself. And you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing.

In this webinar, you’ll learn the following insights, and more:
  • #1 simplest thing you can add to your “About” page for immediate results
  • Why character trumps credentials, and how to reveal a deeper story
  • How to know if you’re bragging versus engaging your audience
  • The Chocolate Secret: an instant way to endear yourself to readers
Nobody wants to sound lame, boring, or boasting. By applying a few key storytelling techniques, you’ll learn how to attract more clients and build your thought-leader mojo.

Register below with your name and email to receive the webinar info.
Register Now

Michael Margolis teaches entrepreneurs how to tell their story. The son of an inventor and artist, Michael is obsessed with all forms of storytelling. His book Believe Me: a Storytelling Manifesto for Change-Makers and Innovators has been downloaded by more than 10,000 people. Michael curates the Reinvention Summit and recently commissioned the world’s first research study on “About” pages. Michael’s work and ideas have been featured in Fast Company, BrandWeek, Storytelling Magazine, and more.
Read more about Michael.

Enjoy this free webinar!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

ESL Kids in the Classroom? How to Get them Up to Speed with Technology by Lenore Holditch

Today I have Lenore Holditch as guest blogger.
Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

It's remarkable the speed with which children can grasp and apply technology. "Digital natives" possess a seemingly innate ability to pick up any computer or electronic device and learn its principle components with only a few tries. At the same time, however, the kids who are naturals at technology are those who have been exposed to it since a very young age, when they were undergoing important developmental changes, enabling them to learn things quickly like picking up language. However, there is another cohort of students, those whose second language is English, and who may have not grown up with technology at all. Here are a few tips for ensuring that you can have all your students on the same technological page.
1.  Encourage technology exposure outside the classroom.
If a student does not own a computer or have Internet access at home, then make sure that you encourage your student to participate in after school activities in which using technology is emphasized, like going to the library or joining a technology club. This is particularly helpful because one class period per day is not enough to provide students the exposure they need.

2.  Teach all your students to use Google Translate. 
Google Translate epitomizes the very international world that the Internet has become. If you have students who are trying to improve their language skills, whether English or a foreign language, then Google Translate is a must-have. The great thing about Google Translate is that, by adjusting settings, users can have a web page displayed in the target language. Then by hovering over an unfamiliar phrase or word with the cursor, the phrase is translated to the native language. This enables ESL students to learn new words constantly while still being able to defer to their native language in an emergency.

3.  Discourage "Internetspeak" especially among students who are trying to improve their English.
Nearly two-thirds of students use informal text slang in school assignments, as noted in a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life project. As such, while poor writing skills are already a problem among most American students, it is especially important to discourage ESL students from using such terms. For students whose first language is English, most of them do know better than to use LOL in a school assignments, but for ESL students, they may pick up bad habits that can be harder to fix if not corrected in time.

4.  If parents are not aware, emphasize to them during conferences how important technology is to their children's future success.
As then First Lady Hilary Clinton once so famously noted, "It takes a village to raise a child." Parents and other family members are instrumental keys to their children's success. Parents of many households who do not own a computer may not have one because they don't understand its importance. Of course, it's not absolutely necessary to have computers and Internet access at home, but be sure to explain to parents why being regularly exposed to technology will put them ahead of the curve in the future.

Teaching ESL kids is always a challenge to begin with, but keep in mind that by vigorously immersing your students in technology, both their language skills and general life skills will improve by leaps and bounds.

Related link
Take a closer look at's blog 
This guest contribution was submitted by Lenore Holditch, who specializes in writing about top online colleges. Questions and comments can be sent to:

Many thanks to Lenore.
Enjoy your reading!

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Friday, July 01, 2011

New issue of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) is Now Online

Photo: Terry Anderson
"IRRODL issue 12.5. is certainly one of the strongest we have published. Rather than try to summarize the nine research articles, one research note, and one book review, I will merely list the topics. I hope doing so encourages you to retrieve the full text of those subjects that tweak your interest.
As always, issue 12.5 features contributions from many countries. There are three articles from the USA, two from Sweden, and one each from Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ghana, and Spain." summarizes Terry Anderson, Edtor."

Just look at this interesting line-up below.

Research Articles
By Bill Anderson, Scott W F Lee, Mary G Simpson and Sarah J Stein

Open access textbooks and financial sustainability: A case study on Flat World Knowledge
By John Levi Hilton III and David Wiley

Liminality and disinhibition in online language learning
By Margarida Romero and Elena Barberà

Research Notes
By David Starr-Glass

Book Notes

The impact of e-learning programs on the internationalization of the university

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