online learning

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Supporting Online Awareness

Indiana University: Center for Reseach on Learning and Technology

The Center for Research on Learning and Technology (CRLT) at Indiana University's School of Education provides some great resources, research and publications including video presentations, journal articles and papers, that focus on teaching, learning and technology. One long running CRLT project, directed by Professor Thomas Duffy, is the Learning to Teach with Technology Studio (LTTS). The LTTS provides online teacher professional development courses that focus on integrating technology in the classroom. Some LTTS classes can be applied as graduate credit. Good stuff!

online learning in action - check it out!

Please take a minute and check out the site TheWorldIsNotFlat.com. I am enthralled by it because it is:

  • Drupal based (with a tricked out design by Rain City Studios)
  • created by believers in Social Design for the Web
  • August and my first day of summer "vacation"
  • inspiration for the travel and blog about it aspirations that I have been kicking around with my husband
  • using free social networking and experience sharing tools for blog posts, pictures and video
  • demonstrating a wonderful way to learn and share via the Internet - online learning in action!!!

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e-learning 2.0 from Read / Write Web

Just pointing to an interesting take on e-learning 2.0 from the Read / Write Web site.

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Online Learning World back to Blackboard: We ain't playin', either!

Wow. I grabbed some sleep last night and woke to see this inspiring piece from Steven Downes. Seems the online learning world has once again rallied (gosh, net neutrality, then DOPA and now the Blackboard patent) and is quickly getting its collective ducks in a row pulling together a historical "prior art" record (see links to wikis from Moodle and Wikipedia) which could be used when challenging the patent in an infringement suit. In addition, Ed Tech Talk #58 (live on Sunday, August 6th) will be dedicated to a discussion of DOPA and the patent issue.  The show notes indicate that they would like to "finish this show with a community response statement."  Who knew online learning could provide this much drama?

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Blackboard to Rest of Online Learning World: We ain't playin'

With DOPA and net neutrality taking up so much space, I was almost going to let this story pass. I mean, Blackboard couldn't really try to enforce a patent related to such a nebulous concept as technology relating to systems and methods involved in offering online education, could they? Well, they did - as seen in this copy of Blackboard's suit against rival Desire2Learn - linked from an article about the suit in the Inquirer.net.  And at warp speed. While the patent was issued back in January, the patent announcement and suit filing date in TX are one in the same - see, told you they ain't playin'. I guess the biggest question now is - "Who's next?" Sakai? Moodle?

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Behind the DOPA numbers . . .

The sponsors of Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) - House Bill HR 5319 cite a seemingly staggering statistic. Quoted directly in Findings section of the Act is the statistic from the United States Attorney General that "One in five children has been approached sexually on the Internet." It is right there in black and white printed in House Act HR 5319 RFS. Read any article about DOPA and this is one of the most frequently cited U.S. Department of Justice statistics and apparently key to the arguments in support of DOPA in the House. Stated on a recent ABC News report, the statistic was framed as, "One in five children is now approached by online predators." Make sure to come back to this ABC "quote" after you finish reading the rest of this post.

OpenAcademic Integrates Elgg, Drupal, Moodle and Mediawiki

Ok. How about we pretend for the moment that there is no threat to open Internet access or to social networking learning opportunities in public schools . . . why? Because there is a really cool social networking initiative that deserves our attention over at OpenAcademic.org. The OpenAcademic project launch was announced today with the goal of integrating Elgg, Drupal, Moodle and Mediawiki into a new open source online learning environment. The goal is to provide a broad offering of tools to support both informal learning options (e-portfolios and personal workspaces), as well as formal online course sites. As the project is just in the early development stage, we will have to wait to see a demo. However, the project's goal is to offer OpenAcademic for download and installation free of charge as an open source project.

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So, "Trendy" Online Learning is a Bad Thing?

Between the U.S. House defeat of COPE Net Neutrality provisions and their recent 410 - 15 passage of DOPA, I am really beginning to question my online learning aspirations. Is it as dire as some predict? Are we headed straight for the Internet Dark Ages?

I didn't fully grasp the twisted mindset on the DOPA issue until I read the text of the DOPA House Bill - Warning! Like hearing Senator Stevens' explanation of the Internet, it is painful to read how our elected officials define and characterize the Internet resources that I rely on daily in my online learning interactions. With a sweeping broad brush, they condemn all commercial social networking websites and chat rooms. Setting aside the fact that Congress makes a distinction between "commercial" and "noncommercial" sites (I guess predators are repelled by "noncommercial" sites?), I am dumbfounded that the drafters of the Bill selected the word "trendy" as the best choice to negatively portray the image of chat rooms and social networking sites. Oooo! Watch out! You are reading this blog on a "trendy" Drupal social networking site . . . how scary . . . Lindsay Lohan may be logged on, too. Oh, wait, no worries . . . this is a "noncommercial" site . . . but, if I run banner ads? . . . Thank goodness Congress is there to burn our online wiki books, toss the baby out with the bath water and protect us from all this Internet madness . . .

Local social interaction for online distance students

After my "being spaces" post yesterday, I started thinking about the missing link of local social interaction in online distance learning. One Google search led to another and before you know it, I stumbled on Meetup.com, a site designed to help people find others who share their interests to form local community groups. Believe it or not, but there are 5 other registered users of Meetup.com near my zipcode who have an interest in forming a local group to discuss Online Education and 22 others with an interest in Education and Technology - go figure! The "Online Education Meetup" is set up for those wanting to" "Meet other locals who are interested in discussing online university educations. Students, graduates, and professors at online universities are meeting up to form social networks, filling gaps left by the online learning model." How funny and cool is that?!

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"Being Spaces" for Virtual Students

I love being a online distance student. On-demand learning is definitely for me! While I am amazed at the "friendships" I have developed through online collaboration, distance learning can be a lonely experience. Most of a distance student's learning time is spent in solitary activities - reading, writing papers, adding comments to asynchronous discussion boards. While most courses now include some synchronous component (we use Breeze at IU for weekly live webcam sessions), there is little opportunity for live informal (virtual) sessions with fellow students and no opportunity for live informal (human f2f) interaction.

Innovate - Live Webcasts

I received an e-mail yesterday outlining the upcoming Innovate-Live Webcast schedule for this summer. Here is a cut and paste of the schedule:

All times are New York time. You may use the world clock at

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ to coordinate the time with your

time zone. The schedule for the June/July Innovate-Live Webcasts is provided

IST Associations

Instructional Systems Technology Association Web Sites:
* Association for Educational Communication Technology - http://www.aect.org
* International Society for Performance Improvement - http://www.ispi.org
* International Society for Technology in Education - http://www.iste.org
* American Society for Training & Development - http://www.astd.org
* Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education - http://www.aace.org

IST Associations and Job Posting Links

Here is a list of various IST related associations provided by our instructor:

Instructional Systems Technology Association Web Sites:
* Association for Educational Communication Technology - http://www.aect.org
* International Society for Performance Improvement - http://www.ispi.org
* International Society for Technology in Education - http://www.iste.org
* American Society for Training & Development - http://www.astd.org

YackPack

Give it a try! Looks like it would be a fun "voice"

Writely - The Web Word Processor

I've been working with Writely - an online web word processor - for the past couple of days. So far, it appears far superior to other writing collaboration tools (and wikis) I have seen. Beyond the word processing and wiki like functionality (spell check, comments, multiple save as options- to Word, a PDF, etc), it includes a lot of fun bells and whistles, such as document RSS feed functionality to allow the tracking of collaborator changes on your feed aggregator. Overall, the interface is simple and clean. As a (former?) Word user, I had a seamless transition to Writely.

AP Article on Online Education

Still more than a little lack of understanding about this new fangled online education stuff . . . [This AP article | http://www.businessweek.com/ap/tech/D8F461R00.htm?campaign_id=apn_tech_down&chan=tc] made the rounds today in most newspapers and online. Unfortunately, I can't say it did much to help the average Joe understand what an online college program is like or to explain what the advantages or disadvantages are for either the student or the school. Of all the issues surrounding a college online education, the fact that online courses may be drawing too many on-campus eligible students was highlighted by the author as a trend that "poses something of a dilemma for universities".

Presentation Help

Since it seems you need to learn Power Point about a week after you learn your ABC's , I thought I would share this blog I have been following. It is dedicated to the ["art" of preparing presentations | http://presentationzen.blogs.com/presentationzen/] I've sat through (and likely have given) presentations with Power Point screen overload and this guy breaks it all down to a simple and visually attractive result. Today, he has a [post on Steve Jobs | http://presentationzen.blogs.com/presentationzen/2006/01/kawasaki_on_ste.html] (often regarded as the King of Presenters) at his recent Key Note at MacWorld. Just thought I'd share this information as the school / conference room would be a much better place if everyone adopted these techniques!
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