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Mailing Number 2 - 20 September 2002

Feedback on these mailings, concerning content, design, material I ought to feature in the future, is always welcome. If you want to send me some, please email me. Remember that my subscribers are a varied group, so some of what follows will for certain be irrelevant to you!

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Caught my eye


'Making IT Happen'. Jos Kingston highlighted Sheffield Hallam University's new PDF guides to Office 2002 applications, available for academic nonprofit purposes under Sheffield Hallam University's rather enlightened conditions.

TUC updates. In the last Mailing I drew attention to the LSC's sign-up service for information mailings. The TUC operates a similar service - which you can tailor to your requirements. Here, for example, is a typical TUC Labour-market Briefing.

JISC and TechDis. The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has reorganised its support resources relating to managed learning environments, and the JISC-funded TechDis service has published a review of the accessibility of some commonly available learning environments - Towards accessible VLEs.

Two useful resources from the American Society for Training and Development:

Standards. The Maisie Centre (an influential mainly US learning and technology consortium) has published a Making Sense of Learning Specifications & Standards: A Decision Maker's Guide to their Adoption (750 KB PDF) . Concise, well-written, and only occasionally over-the-top in its endorsement of the drive towards the application of standards.


eLearnaccredit. An organisation to watch (in the keep a wary eye on it sense of the word) is 'eLearn Accredit', which describes itself as 'an international project, exploring the steps ahead in the development of internationally agreed quality standards in the provision of on-line learning'. It claims on its site to have garnered a lot of support and/or interest from a wide range of high profile organisations, including IITT, Ufi, DfES, QCA.

LeTTOL. The LeTTOL web site has been completely revamped (.... fingers crossed for success in the 2002 National Training Awards competition......).

Sun pushing Linux desktop applications as alternative to Microsoft - here is an article from the New York Times on 17/9/2002, which I've posted on my site because you need a login to access it on the NYT site (apologies for the Starbuck logo top right).

eArmyU demographics June 2002. From the Sloan Consortium, comes a 10 slide Powerpoint presentation (1.7MB) profiling by gender, ethnicity, academic level etc, the ~25,000 people who have joined US eArmyU online courses in the last 12 months.

Developments [back to top]

I booked early enough to get a place on the IMS Global Consortium's Open Technical Forum in the Magna Centre in Rotherham on 26/9/2002. I intend to include a short report from the event in the next Mailing, due on October 4th.

Oddments [back to top]

I found an interesting approach to presenting 'advice' information on the UK Online site, in which guidance resources are organised around the "life stages" of an enquirer, rather than by subject. I'd be interested to learn of other examples of this approach.

Haiku Error Messages like this one:

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank

will be old hat for some, but for others, here are some more.

Finally, for anyone interested in the 'join' between traditional typography and web-design, a plug for the excellent Design Tutor and its editor's informative and wide-ranging web-log.

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Last updated - 20/9/2002; © Seb Schmoller

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