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Mailing Number 42 - 27 September 2004

219 subscribers on publication date. 11621 page-views since publication.

This opt-in usually Fortnightly Mailing summarises resources and news I come across in the course of my work which I think will be of value to others with an interest in online learning and the internet. An always useful guide - Stephen Downes, Canada.   There is something for everyone in these mailings - Jane Knight's e-Learning Centre, UK.   Recommended reading - Caroline Kotlas - CIT Infobits, USA.

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14th International World Wide Web Conference. The conference will be in Chiba, Japan, 10-14 May 2005. One of its 10 tracks will be education. The paper submission deadline is 8/11/2004. Conference web site.

10% of UK Post Office staff go online through work scheme. According to this 17/9/2004 article from VNUnet, the Royal Mail has delivered 22,000 home PCs to postal workers as part of its 'Learning for All' scheme, which takes advantage of tax breaks provided under the UK government's Home Computing Initiative (HCI), covered previously in Fortnightly Mailing 31. 10% of the Post Office's ~200,000 employees have taken advantage of the scheme, under which they can get a fully installed and supported internet-ready PC for around UKP4.40 a week, together with access to a wide range of e-learning content.

University of Phoenix fined ~10 million dollars. According to this report via Associated Press, the world's largest largest for-profit university, over half of whose 0.2 million students study on-line, was fined USD 9.8 million by the US Department of Education, which concluded that the university was so focused on boosting enrollment that it pressured recruiters to accept unqualified students.

Storage vs. bandwidth. Piece by Jeremy Allaire commenting on the "storage vs. bandwidth" debate and questioning the currently dominant view that future users of media-rich content (including e-learning content) will download it slowly for viewing/using later at high quality, rather than viewing/using it immediately at lower quality.

Google. From The Economist here is:

(Let me know if these links become inaccessible.)

Resources [back to top]

The e-University Compendium - Cases, Issues and Themes in Higher Education Distance e-Learning. This compendium of over 20 articles, edited by Paul Bacsich, with Sara Frank Bristow, and published by the UK's Higher Education Academy, is described as "a historical account leading up to the formation of the UKeU (eUniversities)" which "although not intended as a learning and teaching resource, should be of value to researchers and historians".

myskoool - a new concept in e-learning solutions. Dave Pickersgill sent me details of myskoool, "an Intel driven initiative which provides interactive learning resources which aim to support the understanding of Science and Maths at Key Stages 3 and 4". myskoool is a comprehensive, impressive range of mainly Flash-based learning resources, "concentrating on identified areas of difficulty" in Maths and Science. The resources can be downloaded for use from an institution's network, or accessed over the internet. Regrettably, the site does not work wih Macintosh computers nor with browsers like Mozilla; and from a cursory examination it looks as if it has not been designed with the needs of people with disabilities in mind.

Accessibility presentations. Accessibility can be defined as "the way in which all users (disabled or otherwise) can identify, access and comprehend information online". BoxUK is the UK developer of Amaxus, an XML-based content management system. In May 2004 the company ran an accessibility workshop. All the Powerpoint presentations from the workshop, including that for an opening keynote by Julie Howell, Digital Policy Development Manager of the UK's Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), can be accessed from the BoxUK web site.

Australian learning designs site. Learning Designs is a valuable Australian Universities Teaching Committee supported site "designed for teachers and instructors in higher education to access a rich set of resources that support the development of flexibly delivered high quality learning experiences for students". Contains exemplars, categorised by focus, including concept/procedure developing, project/case, and role-play, guides, such as on how to develop mental models of non-visible physical phenomena and tools, such as an online self and peer assessment tool.

MIT Outreach Initiative. The MIT Outreach Initiative is a Microsoft Research supported programme which "seeks to disseminate innovative educational technology tools that can make a significant, sustainable difference in how well and quickly students learn, how much they remember, and how fast they can shift from absorbing facts and concepts to creating new ideas and solutions themselves". The site describes six projects, including Magic Paper, which will "let computer tools capture and understand ideas that are today captured in pencil on scraps of paper", and iLabs, which are remote laboratories case-studies at MIT "for understanding the complex requirements of operating remote lab experiments and scaling their use to large groups of students". Unfortunately there are no links to the projects themselves.

Oddments[back to top]

If dogs or cats wrote blogs

Joy of Tech cartoon of cat and dog bloggers

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Last updated - 26/9/2004; © Seb Schmoller, but licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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