Thursday, December 07, 2006

Robin Good's Resources: reviews of web conferencing tools plus....

Robin Good (alias for Luigi Canali De Rossi) provides a wide range of
resources that can be accessed free. Here's a sample:

1. Robin Good's Official Guide To Web Conferencing And
Live Presentation Tools

The guide involves over 650 Web pages and 800+ color screenshots
covering 23 tools with 22 comparison tables across the whole range
of features and facilities. Luigi states that it is updated to
October 2005 (but I notice a review of Groove - Feb. 2006).

This resource can be accessed here:

or by clicking here.

The table of contents is available here.

[The subsequent posting on Adobe Acrobat 8 (Acrobat Connect)
gives you some sense of the depth of the reviews provided.]

2. Mastermind Explorer

This is a monthly newsletter sharing new tools, technologies and
providing access to critical unexposed information to facilitate
positive change, through better communication and more
effective learning.

Here's some features of this monthly newsletter:

- More than 30 pages of reviews and useful content
- No ads
- Independent (truly)
- Unique articles and exclusive content not available elsewhere
- RSS Newsfeed (for each one of the research categories covered)
- Daily news blog (Sharewood Tidings)
- All content archived and searchable online
- Text only - compatible with all email clients
- Only some rights reserved - Creative Commons license
- Over 8200 subscribers in 50 different countries
- Free - no strings attached
- A work of passion and good research

Here's Robin's (Luigi's) stated philosophy:

MasterMind Explorer supports Open Source tools, valuable
Shareware and Freeware, non-profit projects, alternative tools
to large software monopolies, Grassroots tools and technologies.

For more background on the content/purpose and Luigi himself
can be found on the sign-up page here:

Here's a post that you might like to reflect on over the
Chrissie break (it asks some challenging questions):

Learning: Will my kids still go to College?

Review of Acrobat Connect - Online Collaboration and Web Conferencing

Online Collaboration And SOHO Web Conferencing:
Acrobat Connect Is The New Reference

by Robin Good, 7 December 2006

This is Robin Good's assessment of Adobe Acrobat 8 (Adobe Connect)
which was released on 6 December 2006.

Here's the introduction:

"Yesterday, Adobe officially announced the release of the new
Adobe Acrobat 8 which carries now within itself the fertile seed
of easy-to-use real-time online collaboration for just about everyone.

The new Acrobat Connect not only facilitates instantaneous
document exchange and review but makes web conferencing and
collaboration instantaneously accessible from the hundreds of
millions of existing Acrobat users out there.

Yes, the breakthrough news for the new Adobe Acrobat 8, which
is a major new upgrade from the preceding version, is not so much
the cool and highly usable new interface or advanced new commands
but rather the premier integration of the core Macromedia Breeze
technology, now labeled Connect, into every single instance of
Acrobat Reader and Professional versions.

To me this, is really "the announcement of the year" for the web
conferencing and online collaboration industries. Nothing that has
happened in 2006 has had or will have the impact that the
introduction of Acrobat Connect (Macromedia Breeze under disguise)
technology will have on the use, adoption and popularization of
such collaboration and conferencing tools."

For the full article, click here or click the title of this post.

Illinois Online Conference (IOC) for Teaching and Learning - February 14th to 16th 2007

Below is an invitation from Stephen Garran to join the 2007

Even if you are not intending to present or participate, I would
strongly recommend you visit the "live archives" from
the 2006 conference. The conference papers and Powerpoint
presentations are embedded in an active blog.

I had a browse and created the post on collaborative learning
from one quick look. There are heaps of useful resources here
- all you have to do is subscribe for free to get a username and

Here's Stephen Garren's invitation to the
2007 conference:

"Presentation proposals are being accepted for the 5th Annual
Illinois Online Conference (IOC) for Teaching and Learning.
Featured speakers include Tony Bates, Margaret Maag,
Chip Banks and Jonathan Finkelstein.

For more information, go to our website at:

Submissions will be accepted through December 13, 2006.

The conference will be held February 14-16, 2007. Please
submit your proposal here:

This year the Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform
(CTER) Online Master of Education Program from the University
of Illinois will feature a hybrid conference live from the University
of Illinois in Champaign and through the IOC community.

Presenters and participants online will be given access to both the
IOC and CTER conferences. This conference - which is attended by
participants from all across the globe - is held entirely on the
Internet using: live virtual classrooms, recorded
presentations, email, web poster sessions, synchronous
chats, discussion areas, and other Internet technologies.

IOC was created to focus on issues and concerns of K-20 classroom
faculty and related technology support, learning resources, student
services, and workforce development professionals.

IOC 2007 takes place in a LearningTimes Online Conference
Community - an online environment in which groups of participants,
both small and large, gather electronically to learn, collaborate and
network. Not sure how an online conference works? Want to
experience the conference community before registering?

Highlights from last year's conference are available at:

For more information, please contact:
Stephen P. Garren, Director of Learning Technologies
Center for Technology and Professional Development
Lake Land College, 5001 Lake Land Blvd.Mattoon,
IL 61938 Phone:(217) 234-5459 "

Storytelling & Collaborative E-Learning

This 15 page pdf by Janet Salmons, PhD, covers:
  • Storytelling styles for the collaborative online classroom
  • A taxonomy of collaborative learning
  • Align storytelling activity to collaborative skills development
  • Use discussion questions to stimulate meaningful exchange
  • Exchange online through digital storytelling
  • Webliography on collaborative e-learning
The pdf is available here:

If you are into collaborative learning, Janet's blog
for educators is well worth a visit with articles on
collaborative/team learning, blogs and team learning,
teaching with virtual teams, visual mapping and learning
through stories:

Some of the resources she shares include the following:

Concept Maps and Shared Concept maps -
ClaiMaker -
(specifically designed to construct and map arguments
and debates)

Stanford on iTunes U: Revolutionizing Curriculum and Communications

Report from Profiles in Success

"Palo Alto, CA - In April of 2005, Stanford University joined a
select group of pioneers. As a founding member of the
Apple Digital Campus Exchange, the university began exploring a
future in which pervasive computing and the use of devices such
as iPod would play a significant role in education. Soon after, the
university launched its "Stanford on iTunes" initiative, which
gave users an easy way to access rich digital materials. Now,
Stanford on iTunes U offers a wealth of audio and video content
to the university's academic community worldwide.

Stanford on iTunes U first got underway when Stanford's Vice
Provost for Undergraduate Education began exploring the
possibility of delivering course content to students via an
iTunes site. Soon after, the Office of University Communications
recognized the potential to deliver recorded lectures and other
campus events to alumni and the general public through an
iTunes U site. Given the university's enormous repository
of content, this new medium immediately proved invaluable
in keeping the Stanford community connected."

For the full report (3 pages) go here:

PS. The Apple Digital Campus Exchange is well worth a visit:

I had a browse and subscribed to a series of podcasts on
learning Italian - free resources provided direct to my iTunes
for easy download to my iPod.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Social Networking: Five Sites You Need to Know

Here is an excerpt from Fred Stutzman who has a blog
dedicated to his thoughts about information, social
networks, identity and technology:

"In preparation for some upcoming research, I've been
surveying the field of Social Networking sites. The only way
to characterize growth in the field is explosive; while I don't
have actual numbers on how many social networking sites
are out there, my informal survey shows we are talking at
least hundreds, with more coming online each day.

In the span of a year, social networking has proliferated
- hundreds of millions of users have accounts on SNS-enabled
sites. Indeed, social networking is now "just another feature"
of many sites - we're coming to expect sites to be SNS-enabled.

At this point, you're probably familiar with the major SNS
players - MySpace, Facebook,, even
Friendster - as there are hundreds of emergent SNS players,
what are sites you need to pay attention to? "

Here's Fred's annotated list:

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Understanding Learning Networks: Stephen Downes

Presentation to Universite de Moncton, November 2, 2006.

This presentation is an excellent resource - great Chrissie

It brings together lots of seemingly disparate ideas in the area
of online learning/e-learning.

You can download the Powerpoint presentation here:

The presentation is also available in MP3 format here:

Stephen covers topics such as:
Web 2.0
- content creation & posting
- collaborative writing
- content syndication (RSS networks)
- aggregators
- webtops
E-Learning 2.0 (diagram)
Personalised learning environments
The Future of Online Learning

This is a great way to review your own learning for the
past year and review the connections between the different
elements. It also gives some insight into where online
learning is headed.

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Mobile Learning Journal

Mobile Learning: An Online Reflective Journal on Mobile
Learning Practice

by Leonard Low

I have re-visited this online journal (blog) and continue
to be impressed.

If you want to keep up-to-date with what is happening with
mobile learning, here's a good place to start:

You can subscribe to the Leonard's newsletter or receive RSS
feeds by going here:

Here's some recent posts that give you a flavour of what's on offer:

Mobile Learning goes retro
Bluepulse: Aussie innovation best mobile media platform ever?
Top 10 Freeware Apps for M-Learning
PortableApps Suite: Take your tools anywhere
Augmented reality m-learning concept
Mobile phone convergence (humour)
iTube: Get YouTube [educational] videos for your iPod/PDA

When you are visiting don't forget to check out the great
listing of categories/subcategories provided on the right
side of the blog.

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