Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Australian e-Portfolio Conference

The Australian e-Portfolio Conference is scheduled for Dec 6 and 7 2005 at Uni of Melbourne. It will be held in conjunction with EIfEL (European Institute for E-Learning). The conference strands include *ePortfolios for Higher Education; *ePortfolios for learning - pre-school, school, ‘not school’; *Professional portfolios; *Digital storytelling; *Mobile learning; *ePortfolios policy issues; *Knowledge Management and *ePortfolio software.
TAFE Victoria is sponsoring a debate, "Should everyone have an e-Portfolio?" The TAFE VC e-Portfolio website offers educators an opportunity to create your own personal space (10Mb limit). Note conditions.
Refer to previous posts on the open source Elgg software highlighted at various European e-Portfolio workshops/conferences.

What is RSS and why should you care?

As an avid fan of RSS, I was pleased to see Search Engine Watch dedicating some space to RSS.
Search Engine Watch has provided an easy to understand 3 part series on RSS feeds with Part 1 on What is RSS and why should you care? These contain useful links for those discovering RSS, possibly for the first time, or curious to find out more about feeds.
Part 2 is on RSS Search Engines and includes a comparison on different search engines, giving the thumbs up to Yahoo as "arguably the farthest along with RSS. Yahoo's advanced search lets you limit results to XML, RDF and RSS file types." Easy integration with MyYahoo! personalised space.
Part 3 in the series (on RSS readers) is out tomorrow.
Lots of different feeds to subscribe to on their webfeeds page.

Open vs Private groups on EdNA Groups

EdNA Groups (based on Moodle) has proved to be very successful in the short 6 months it has been providing a free service to the Australian education and training community. EdNA Groups is updating its services with some custom enhancements which will ultimately enhance Moodle upgrades.
One excellent example is the Online Mentoring Network providing resources, activities and discussion about "exploring tools for, and methods of, mentoring and coaching online." These include collaborative resource wikis on topics such as emerging tools and technologies and mentoring resources.
So what's the controversy?
Leigh Blackall (Teach and Learn Online blog) has posted thoughts on whether EdNA Groups should provide open or private spaces with an interesting reference to longevity of the resource and the usefulness of social software available elsewhere. Value of folksonomy and aggregation possibilities!
Leigh believes that "... teachers and educationalists would be better spent engaged with the open Network, learning the popular tools and understanding the nature of the Internet..." It is sheltering individuals and groups from 'global conversation'.
I use EdNA Groups, my (work) Moodle site and various social software tools and can see EdNA Groups filling a valuable need in providing opportunities for collaborative workspaces, both open and closed. Some developing communities value the ability to conduct discussions and share resources in a private space, protected from the glare of cyberspace.
I also use and promote social software and Web 2.0 tools in facilitating global dialogue and professional learning.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Engaging Youth with Emerging Technologies

Found this link on the ETN blog to an archived Australian Flexible Learners Network webcast (via Elluminate) on Engaging Youth with Emerging Technologies. Audio was very inconsistent and, at times ear shattering, but the content was well worth the pain! In particular, the discussion on m-learning (a project called txt me - using mobile phones and SMS) with disengaged youth.
Points included multi level preparation, critical criteria, mobile phone etiquette, impact on learners and practitioners. Good advice for those interested in m-learning on how young people view their phones (mobile, personal space) and having a saturation point so avoid use verging on spamming.
Ended with some insights on using podcasts with a similar target group and some URLs to follow up the projects discussed.

Learning 2005 Blog and Podcasts

Learning 2005 event is providing free video, audio and pdf files via this blog in the lead up to the conference. All content is freely available (Creative Commons License). Includes some interesting postings such as "Personalization and Learning" audio (Wayne Hodgins) - reasons for, challenges and future. An area of personal interest.
Other audio files include "Social Networking and The World of Learning" (Elliott Masie) and one with the curious title of "SME Burnout - Subject Matter Experts Exhausted" (Elliott Masie). Add these to my tags on personalisation, folksonomy and investigate SME.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Piczo provides another example of a free service (for now at least) for teens >13 and adults who wish to take advantage of the intuitive, instant publishing tools to create a webspace with images and lots of linked pages (use the template or create ones with titles of your choosing) and share ideas and photos with friends.
Very straightforward way to claim your own webspace and get up and running with a professional looking site in a very short time.

Ziepod - new podcast player, search, aggregation

Robin Good has highlighted a new podcasting tool on his MasterNewMedia blog, "Streaming Podcasts Is The Way To Go: Ziepod The Sleek Podcasting Player Is Here." I currently use iTunes 4.9 and have investigated iPodder but this sounds like it is worth exploring as he calls it
"a new, outstandingly designed podcasting player, search tool and aggregator."
Ziepod's site mentions its ease-of-use toolkit for findiing and managing audio-based content (podcasts). Has some cool tools like ratings.
Especially liked the link to a handy website to locate quality podcasts. Yet another service to evaluate in this range of tools to support podcasting. Search by text feeds, audio feeds and tags. Integrates with Ziepod. Has a nifty slideshow as support material.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 Radio launched

I have been exploring the fuctionality of Elgg Learning Landscape, open source software and its functionality for blogs, e-portfolios and social collaboration. Elgg's stated goal is one of "connecting learners, instructors and resources creating communities of learning."
Elgg provides a personal presence online and a set of tools which facilitates interaction. (login with valid e-mail and experiment, obtain a hosted site or download source code and set up your own. Elgg provides all of the following "weblog, journal, store of files like photos and ... documents, communities, social networks." Elgg provides a personal space which can be shared with friends - sense of folksonomy.
Elgg is very exciting and is continually developing, making use of the functionality of Web 2.0 tools. Radio has just been launched with a range of podcast discussions around emerging technologies, learning landscapes, online pedagogy ... with invited guests such as George Siemens, James Farmer, Helen Barrett and many more. These discussions promise rich and interesting dialogue - a must for your pod catcher.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Social Software highlighted on The Shifted Librarian

Just checked one of my favourite blogs and found this valuable resource: "The Library Social" conference presentation (pdf format) on social software from The Shifted Librarian, Jenny Levine. (Northeast Kansas Library System).
Includes comments on IM, SMS and other tools such as blogs, wikis etc and many examples of social software.
Comprehensive paper with useful links. Posted a link to my social bookmarks to share with others interested in social software, folksonomies.

Konfabulator widgets now in Yahoo! stable

The Konfabulator widget gallery is growing in popularity as more widget makers contribute their widgets, ranging from cool tools and utilites, incorporating RSS, webcams and the like to utterly useless and cute or geekie widgets. The ratings and numbers of downloads give useful clues. Some of the lowly rated widgets still have high download figures! Lots of widget fans must be keeping watch on the gallery judging by the numbers of downloads for some widgets within 24-48 hours of posting to the gallery.

The Loosley Coupled blog provides some thoughts on Yahoo's purchase of Pixoria and acquisition of Konfabulator for the ability of widgets "to feed live information directly to the desktop, bypassing the browser."
Download Konfabulator 2 for Windows or Mac from the Yahoo! Widgets site.

Buckyballs DownUnder

Schools Australia-wide will be participating in 'buckyball' workshops with Nobel Prize winner, Sir Harry Kroto, on 17th August, during National Science week. Workshops will be streamed live to their schools via technology provided by Centra Australia.

Wonderful use of technology to provide not only a series of face to face workshops but also a virtual experience with a world renowned scientist and hundreds of middle and senior school students.

EdNA Online provides additional information on Sir Harry Kroto. "In 1996, (he) won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, for his discovery of the ball-like C60 carbon molecule, Buckminsterfullerene. This discovery has since had impact on the science of nano-technology." Autobography on and Wikipedia and details of his 1996 win in the field of Chemistry.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wonderful world of web 2.0

Lots of interesting posts relevant to the revolutionary world of web 2.0 which is transforming the way we use the web. I like this posting "Posting, Subscribing, and Tagging" by VC (Fred Wilson) which I came across via a Technorati tag for web 2.0 and discovered how popular it was when I added it to my bookmarks along with 52 others! Blogs, feeds and tags and the new social collaboration or folksonomy are opening up opportunities not possible under web 1.0 but blossoming in the wonderful world of web 2.0.
Fred comments, "We are five years into the posting revolution, two to three years into the subscribing revolution, and maybe one year into the tagging revolution" and there's more to come. What's around the corner?
Another must read posting on web 2.0 is from Troy Angrignon's blog: "Shifting paradigms: The mental evolutionary process of moving from web 1.0 to web 2.0 in 17 steps."