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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Broadband in the UK growing fast

BT reports that more people signed up for broadband in the last three months than in any other quarter.

The 600,000 connections take the total number of people in the UK signing up for broadband from BT to almost 3.3 million. Nationally more than 5 million browse the net via broadband.

The growth means that Britain's broadband population has now overtaken some other European nations.

You can read the full story in BBC News - Thursday 4th November

Going Googly

I’ve come across a couple of google related resources recently so thought I’d group them all together here. (Three is your lot though – any more and I may start going googly!)

1. Google Help: Cheat Sheet
"A neat one page printable Google cheat sheet (from Google) covering various Google operator examples, calculator operators and advanced operators to make your searching of Google more focused with better results. A nice sheet to place next to your computer or laptop!"

(via Marcus P. Zillman)

2. Use Search Tabs in Google
You know how to find web pages on Google, so now learn how to go directly to images, newsgroups, a directory, or current news. It's all in the Tabs.

Techlearning has a good video tutorial that shows you how to search more effectively using the tab features in Google.

You need the free Apple QuickTime veiwer to view this content

3. Google Guide - Making searching even easier
And finally, here’s a comprehensive guide to using Google.

Google Guide is an online tutorial making searching even easier. In the Google Guide online tutorial, you (or your learners) can learn:

  • How to select terms and search (more) effectively
  • How Google interprets your query
  • What's included with your results
  • How to search using Google's special tools and shortcuts
  • What to do when you can't find the answer you want
  • When Google added services, features, and options (Google's Feature History)
  • How Google works

The author, Nancy Blachman, says: “Google is so easy to use, why take this online tutorial? If you're like many people, you use only a small number of Google's services and features. The more you know about how Google works, its features and capabilities, the better it can serve your needs.

The Google tutorial contains many examples and exercises designed to give you (or your learners) practice with the material presented and to inspire you to find amusing or useful information. It could also be very useful as supplementary info for your learners who are learning how to effectively search the internet.

BBC launches Welsh to English web translation tool

BBC Wales has developed a computer programme that enables English translations for users of Welsh language websites.

The programme, Vocab, is available free of charge to Welsh-language websites. When users hold the cursor over a word, its translation appears.

A new version of Vocab, which is shortly to be made available, will offer different levels according to users’ reading ability in Welsh. The programme was developed by the BBC Wales’ New Media department.

By John Tilak, Digital Media Europe

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A guide to effective practice with e-learning

The JISC Learning and Teaching committee is funding an e-learning Programme to run until August 2007. The overarching aim of the programme is to identify how e-learning approaches might be used to facilitate learning and to advise on how these approaches might be implemented.

The programme focuses on four areas:

  1. e-learning and Pedagogy
  2. Technical Framework and Tools for e-Learning
  3. Innovation
  4. Distributed e-Learning

The first publication from the e-Learning and Pedagogy strand ‘Effective Practice with e-Learning', was launched recently at the RSC Learning Journey Conference. The booklet is a practitioner-focused publication outlining the key principles and theoretical perspectives underpinning designing effective learning with technology. It also has ten 10 new case studies, five of which have accompanying video clips on a complementary CD-ROM.

Copies of this guide will be distributed to all UK post-16 and HE institutions in early November. A pdf version of the guide is also available on the website.

Web Based Learning Resources Library

This is an American site that offers a useful practitioner’s resource for the delivery and management of education via the Internet. The site attempts to informally catalogue tools, topics and issues of interest to those developing for web-based learning initiatives.

The three areas cover: 1) Issues and Resources for Web Based Learning, 2) Software Tools for Web Based Courses, and 3) Distance Education course catalogues and other distance learning opportunities.