Friday, August 31, 2007

I am now updating these resources via Squidoo

I have created a number of Squidoo lenses to provide
regular updating of these resources on online
learning and e-learning.

Here are the links:

Have you been using the free Squidoo platform
in your teaching?

Be inspired by Lensmaster Evelyn Saenz who states:
"My passion is teaching and finding ways to teach
children in fun, hands-on, creative ways. The unit studies
I make on Squidoo reflect my view that learning should
be integrated and no skills should be taught in isolation."

To see Evelyn's innovative lesson plans, CLICK HERE.

I've also created a lens on Squidoo Marketing
Strategies that you can draw on to develop and
market Squidoo lenses about your courses, your teaching
and yourself:

On these lenses, you will find links to my free
email course on developing and marketing
Squidoo lenses.

Registration for this e-course also comes with a subscription
to my weekly ezine where I offer updated Squidoo
marketing strategies and hints.

My e-book on Squidoo marketing can be found

Ron Passfield
Brisbane Australia


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Market your blog or online course with Squidoo

Squidoo is a fairly new social networking site with a
difference. It has a very professional look about it
and provides the opportunity for anyone to create
a "lens" on their work.

Squidoo donates a percentage of their advertising
revenue to charity.

You can create as many lenses as you want - and its

Here's some good examples:

Alternative learning systems:

Self-directed, distance learning:

National parks and monuments:

On wine:

How to sing:


For resources on how to use Squidoo, check out this site.

Squidoo is ranked 6/10 by Google so having your website
or blog linked to Squidoo via a lens will help your own search
engine ranking.

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

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:

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Internal Tags:

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.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Internal Tags:

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.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Internal Tags:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

PFP Blog Survey

Please contribute to the survey on the PFP Blog:

Why are we doing this survey?

The PfP Blog is currently funded by the Australian
Flexible Learning Framework, Queensland. It was
previously funded by LearnScope and the Department
of Education and Training.

In order for the Blog to continue into 2007, we
need to assess its value for you as a VET
practitioner. We are interested in how it has
contributed to your professional development
(and that of others) and how it has assisted you
in your work.

We really appreciate your time and effort in
completing this survey at this very busy time
of the year:

Ron Passfield

Indigenous Engagement - national forum

WHEN: 9am - 4:30pm, 5th December 2006

WHERE: Mecure Hotel, Brisbane

COST: $99 (including GST)

REGISTRATION: To register online click here.

To download the registration form click here.

PROGRAM: To view the program click here.


If you cannot attend, you may be interested in the reports
and mp3 summaries of the four cases being showcased:

Jobs for our mob: Indigenous e-learning for mining and construction skills
Top End Groove: e-learning for cultural tourism
E-governance in Indigenous Communities
Homeland micro e-business: e-learning on very remote Indigenous communities

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Survey - Social Software for Learning


The Australian Flexible Learning Framework is funding
a research project focusing on the use of social
software for learning.

The current research investigates how social software can
best support teaching and learning in VTE and the learning
and development of VTE practitioners.

It’s being funded by the Research and Policy Advice and
Knowledge Sharing Services projects of the Framework.

The researcher is Val Evans Consulting and work is well
underway. You can monitor progress through the Social
Software Research Wiki and Blog.

The current phase of the research is the launch of the
Social Software for Learning Survey which aims to target
a broad audience - those who are less familiar with the
concepts as well as those who use social software frequently.

We’d appreciate your support by -
1. participating in the survey yourself
2. referring your networks to the Flex e-news story

You are also strongly encouraged to contibute to the
SocialSoftware Research Wiki and Blog.

Contributions, insights, responses to specific research
questions or just general musings, related to this contemporary
subject are welcomed.

The research team is particularly interested in
your stories - share your stories, musings and/or your
visions , and add your links to the research wiki or contact
the researcher, Val Evans:

Alternatively, you can contact Paula Johnson:

Knowledge Sharing Services and Research and Policy Advice

Technorati Tags: , , ,

The Power of MySpace and the "MySpace" Generation

One of the EdNA network groups has been discussing the power of
MySpace and the MySpace Generation.

At one stage, this question was asked:
How many of you in the community, have a myspace, facebook or
Xanga [site]?

Stephen Downes' response to this question throws some light
on the possible future online environment and the challenges
it presents for educators. Stephen is happy for this information
to be shared in the PfP blog:

"I do, have had for a couple of years now. I have accounts on
LiveJournal, Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut,
Tribe and a bunch of others. The technology isn't that complex,
and they all work more or less the same, only the marketing is

Most of these sites are blocked in school divisions and even at
the TAFE level. This of course in no way prevents students
from accessing them, even during school hours (as contact
may be maintained by mobile) but it does prevent them
from being used to support learning.

I would not invest heavily in any of these spaces, as they are
a transition phenomenon. A transition to what is less clear
- YouTube overtook MySpace as the most popular website a
few months ago, but growth flattened after the Google
acquisition, as you can see on Alexa:

I would also not bother taking the time to block them - such
action is in my view merely a pandering to fearmongers, and
not an effective tactic - but that is another story.

My own view is that we are moving toward permanent
personal presences on the net. That is, a person's online
presence would not be site-based, as it is with any of these social
networking services, but would be access based. It would either
be a part of their web client (ie., a part of their browser, the way
Flock does it) or a shell or webtop through which they access
other resources.

The reason for this is that it produces a single identity that
can be used across a number of different sites. This means that,
once the access point is created, users no longer need to log
on (contrast this to 'single signon' systems that are being
developed for the education sector, that work only at schools
or universities).

It also means that a person's network of connections can
extend across the internet, not mattering at all on which
service they use. Hence, if a person uses service A as a webtop,
they can still include their friend in their network, even if that
friend uses service B.

It also allows identities to be (semantically) attached to content.
It may be surprising, but there is no widespread usage of an
'author' field in metadata today; although RSS and Atom support
this, most content editors don't fill it in, because there's no point
- either the author information is not available, or it can't be
used by the aggregator (there is not enough use of formats other
than RSS or Atom to make their use of the author field relevant).

Moreover, there is no 'place' to link to, nothing that constitutes
an authors presence online (even where author fields are used,
as in Dublin Core, only base strings are used (foolishly) and not
web addresses).

It is taking longer than it should to develop such a system -
and meanwhile, the number of site-specific Web 2.0 applications
begins to proliferate - because there is no good business model.
These sites thrive by locking in traffic into their own services,
and hence, are not interested in infrastructure that allows travel
between sites (this is also what motivates the education sector
systems, such as Shibboleth, but nobody will admit it).

Preliminary work is being done toward this sort of infratructure
in the development of the Person al Learning Environment (PLE):

... although it still continues to be a bit application (and education
focused). In the wider world, there is some hope OpenID, will take hold, although its functionality is
severly constrained.

Yadis, , represents a nascent attempt to create
a common standard. PeopleAggregator, , is attempting to develop the
network, but is again too site-heavy.

What these trends mean for the education sector is
that in a few years we can expect students to arrive in our
classes with an already established web identity.

What this means is not only that they will have their own email,
instant messaging, voip and other addresses (which they will
much prefer to use over any school system) they will also
have their own tools for creating content (significantly -
they will have these tools, they won't need to have them

They will use a variety of services - for video, for example,
some may use Premiere to create video while others may use
Bender, and some may post to Google Video and others to

It will be increasingly difficult for education systems
to continue blocking these sites - I read on a discussion
board yesterday the recommendation to "take your students
out of class" in order to allow them to upload their video

Some schools may consider creating their own versions of all
the services (and will pay Blackboard (who will claim to have
invented it) a fortune for the software). But this approach will be
seen as barren and sterile - you cannot create an internet out of
a classroom population; even with today's mega-classes, the
population is just too small (reseach the 'one percent
phenomenon' of people commenting to listservs, posts and

On the other hand, opening learning to the students' web
environment opens up numerous possibilities for the
educational system. Because their work is now being
performed in public, rather than in the hothouse of the
classroom, students are much more motivated (this is
a most commonly documented result of the use of
blogs in the classroom). (Though it should be noted that
this increases stress, and that some students may not
want their work displayed - this is why they need to have
personal control over their environment).

It also opens up many more networking possibilities.
The obvious is that conversations with students around the
world may be encouraged. But more importantly, students in a
given field will begin to interact with practitioners in the same

We already see this happening on discussion lists (such as this
one (or would, if it were more open)). This allows practitioners
to take on the role of (informal) teachers through the process
of performing their work.

In the long run, what we will find is that this capacity leads
to much more continuity of community than today.

With students and workers increasingly mobile, following an
increasingly fickle employment market, it has been difficult to
maintain family and community ties. Permanent web presences
and communities offers an obvious counter to this trend.

Sites like Flickr, especially, allow people to maintain family
connections, instantly sharing photos. Skype and other
communications tools allow them to converse in real time,
bridging time and distance.

A lot of people focus on the 'MySpace generation', as though use
of this technology were an age-related phenomenon. Empirically,
it is - the bulk of users tend to be from a certain age group. But
age is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for use. A major
secondary group of users is the elderly, who have seized on the
internet as a means of breaking through isolation and boredom,
and to restore tenuous family connections.

Nothing in principle prevents adults from becoming as adept as the
younger generation. It requires, though, adapting to what might
be called net values. It requires being able to adapt to the
coexistence of multiple points of view, with no real mechanism for
determining 'the truth'. It requires giving up the capacity for
management and control, giving up the idea that you can enforce
compliance (how could you, when they can simply log off?)
and make people do things, even if it's good for them.

It requires that you become less inclined to create walls and borders
around your life, that you do things (like take notes and conduct
meetings) online and in public, rather than privately, as used to
be the case.

This is what makes the new online environment such a
challenge to teachers and administrators. What the
internet brings to the new generation is a set of affordances not
previously available, and with these affordances comes a new
attitude and behaviour, one which embraces autonomy,
diversity, openness and interaction."

(Emphasis added and paragraph structure changed to increase
readability on the blog.)

Show parent
See this post in context

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Internal Tags: