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From ace:uk to wobble
I have moved. Well, I've set up a new blog, because I changed jobs recently. However, my new blog, 'wobble'
still has articles of interest to anyone interested in the adoption of e-learning so I hope you'll stop by.
Like ace:uk, wobble also has news feeds, resources and a wealth of information all of which you can access online for free. You can of course, also request your own free regular email updates, by simply entering your email address on the site itself
I hope that many of you find my new blog as useful as you did ace:uk and that you will continue to support me through your readership. It’s your feedback and support that guides the work.
Happy reading - I look forward to keeping you posted!
Sort your searches with Yahoo!
applies a new twist on searching. It sorts search results for your query into commercial or non-commercial (informational) results, based on whether you're shopping or seeking information.
It has a slider on the page, which you control to decide how you want your results sorted. The midpoint of the slider represents the default setting, and as you move the slider right, toward "researching" or left toward "shopping" the results are automatically re-sorted for you.
Useful if you know in advance whether you actually want to buy something or merely find information.
One of Emily Wilson's Favourite Tipples, in Freepint
Online Tip - Distributing Photos on a CD
This article has a really good tip for distributing photos on a CD
, complete with a built in slide show and a customized photo CD cover (using free software called Picasa
.) It’s really easy to do and allows you to create a really professionally packaged CD in a matter of minutes. I tried it earlier and it really is simple yet effective. The article itself explains how it’s done.
But as well as creating gift CD’s you can also use Picasa to:
- Make picture collages.
Select a group of pictures, and Picasa will create a collage of them like the quick one I’ve included above.
- Turn your photos into a movie.
Select your best shots, adjust the delay time, sizes, and video compression settings. That’s it. Picasa will render a movie that you can play and share.
- Make a personalised desktop picture or screensaver.
Pick a favourite photo as your desktop picture or add several into your screensaver rotation. What better way to enjoy your photographic genius at your desk?
- Create a poster.
Picasa can tile any picture you select, allowing you to print each part and reassemble them at poster size – up to 1,000% larger than the original.
(John, whose photos I shared last week, loved the editing features Picasa has for fixing your images up and ‘turning those grey skies into picture perfect days’.) But whether you’re into photo editing or you’re not, the gift CD feature and all of the others listed above do make this a very useful piece of software – which, let’s not forget is also free!
To give it a whirl yourself, you can download Picasa here or find out more in a tour here.
via Quick Online tips
Wikibooks to offer free eTexts for education
I mentioned wikibooks last week
in a post that outlined several projects online that anyone can edit and contribute to. And yesterday, Stephen Downes signposted this article by Robert Brumfield
, Assistant Editor, eSchool News which discusses wikibooks in more detail.
Key features of the article for me were as follows:
- Because the content is freely licensed, "it can be freely adapted by teachers to their local conditions, without having to get permission..." (I agree, as a tutor I always liked to personalise my own learning resources and often worried about copyright issues if using other peoples stuff)
- "When you get feedback from teachers on the local level, the cycle can be much faster than it could ever be in a traditional publishing environment," Wales said. (Jimmy Wales, is the founder of Wikimedia. And again I agree, inaccuracies can be changed and material updated quickly by willing volunteers. How often have you been just absolutely IRRITATED by an error in a text book that you can’t change?!)
- "Textbooks are really expensive and get out of date quickly…If people thought a Wikibook was of adequate caliber, I think it would be a slam-dunk in universities ... in community colleges and public colleges, where the reality of the economy is bearing down on education, you can imagine how successful a good Wikibook could be."
If you use text books in your work but haven’t yet had a look at wikibooks, now might be a good time to at least browse and make a note of the site. The list of books is clearly growing so possibly worth noting the web address and checking back periodically with an eye on your future resource needs.
Copyright Free Images For Your Resources
My mate Johnny M is both a keen photographer and a keen Flickr
user, uploading high quality photographs to the web for the world to see.
He has very kindly made his entire collection of over 1,000 photos
available for you to use in training notes, presentations, posters etc. All he asks is that if you use one of his pictures you credit it to him. (Thanks John, you're very kind!)
I recently used a selection of photographs from John’s ‘Animals and Birds’
category when I created a PictureGrid
learning activity. The badge in the sidebar of this blog also shows a sample of some taken from his Macro category. There are 35 more categories too
, so if you’re after images to use in your materials, before you are tempted to nick any from Google it could be worth having a look at what’s available there! John's are all identified as having been taken by JohnMUK.
(Please note though, that not all Flickr images are copyright free – you will need to check with the copyright holder for any others you might wish to use. )
- If you like the look of Flickr yourself you can read more about it here or see some of it's features and sign up for your own free account here.
- See an example of how Flickr can be used to illustrate a website or webquest here. (Press F5 or refresh the webquest page to see the images randomly change each time the page is loaded.)
- Or if you’re after even more choice, in terms of images to use, there are other sources of high quality copyright free images mentioned in a previous post.
Almost Time - Get Safe Online
On Thursday this week (27th October) launch activities are set to begin for a new initiative designed to protect users online.Get Safe Online
will provide independent, expert advice for citizens and small businesses on how to protect themselves against threats such as viruses, spam, spyware and online fraud.
It should also be a valuable resource tool for learning centres, providing information and advice on a range of internet security issues for both staff and learners.
Possibly worth marking in your calendar and having a look at the site
later in the week.
UK and Ireland Based Edu-bloggers Map
We began with a directory of UK and Ireland based edubloggers
. Now thanks to Josie Fraser
there’s also a map of exactly where we are. So if
- you’re keen to see who is based near you and writing about ways of using technology to support teaching and learning,
- or you're an edublogger of any shape, size or persuasion..
...head on over to Frappr
to have a look or leave your details!
This will form a great resource for everyone interested in using technology in education, so I’ve also added a link to the map in my sidebar. This should make it easier for you to keep an eye out for any new edu-blogs that might be springing up near you!
And if you have a website yourself, you can get a button too from the bottom of the Frappr page.
From Gmail to GoogleMail
Following a dispute over the Gmail trademark, ‘Gmail’ has been renamed to Google Mail
in the UK. (A while back, I was dishing these free Gmail email invites
for anyone who wanted a free web based account with a whopping 2.6 gigabytes of storage.) Now, they are no longer issuing new @gmail.com
addresses – any new addresses will be @googlemail.
For existing Gmail users, although the name is changing, the email service remains the same. To sign in, you can go to the same page as before, or you can now also visit: http://mail.google.com/mail. The plan is only to issue @googlemail.com addresses to new users.
Find out more in a BBC Technology News article here
or from Google themselves, here
ICT Cash Boost for Forty Public Library Services
Forty public library services across England have recently received a share of a £750,000 ICT cash boost from the UK online Public Libraries Challenge Fund.
The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the University for Industry (Ufi) awarded the grants to enhance the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provision of public libraries to local communities, particularly excluded groups. The grants were for projects that “…..cover a range of innovative ICT applications, from Wireless 'hotspots', to satellite provision on mobile libraries, interactive whiteboards for e-learners, and portable ICT equipment for use in local communities.”
Want to see if your local areas library service was successful? All 40 services that are due to receive the funding are listed in the last paragraph of this article here.
From eGov monitor