Everything you need to get happening with teaching online. It will cost you nothing but 2 hours of time, and not a sent!

Blogs (Weblogs)
Wonderful! So easy to set up (see Western Sydney, Free and Open thread in this forum)
Since Google opted into Blogger things have improved out of site.
1. Extremely simple to set up
2. No advertising Banners
3. Now has comments, so it is an excellent collaboration, group work, and constructivist/constuction-ist learning tool
4. Can post images straight up using the free Hello image sharing and chat program
5. Can post from and to email
6. Can post audio from a telephone!
7. Many stylish templates to choose from, and very easy to change the style to suite your own needs.
8. Very easy to manage
9. Very well networked with the whole world blogger community in that similar topical blogs, interest areas and locations are automatically linked to your blog and user profile
10. An interesting plan to make money, where if you agree, Blogger will post target ads on your blog and pay you for it!

The only down points I have found about Blogger so far is:
(NB. This list is currently growing thanks to the comments to this post. I intend to offer constructive criticism to Blogger in a week or two.)
1. Cannot seem to edit comments as an administrator, though I haven’t looked too hard into this as it doesn’t matter to me.
2. Archiving only by month, week, day and not by topic. But I have experienced trying to archive by topic in other blog type projects, and it just never ends – Blogger keeps it simple for you. And with the Google search function, finding stuff’s not a problem.
3. No ability to keep a links of bookmark page or pages – though with a single post using the excellent post editing tools, a list could be made.
4. Cannot import from other Blogs – although Blogger is already working on this, but cut and paste is a pretty easy work around.

Blogger gets 5 out of 5 from me, for eez of use and ultra simplicity. At this stage, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Open Office
Open office is huge! Some other’s in this project have regrettably dismissed it as too bulky and too … different… but I stuck with it and after about 3 or 4 months using only it for all my word processing, spread sheeting, and presentations (PowerPointing) I think Open Office is far superior to its costly Microsoft Office rival.
Recently TAFE NSW sent out an email to all its staff requesting them to stop using copies of TAFE licensed MS Office at home, and to purchase their own!! I was infuriated by this, as its only because TAFE NSW is so tied up with Microsoft that its employees have to use it. Many now work from home as committed part timers (me) and the prospect of having to buy MS Office on top of the computer, Internet connection, phone bills and everything else, just to keep up with our fulltime TAFE buddies is just outrageous! Not to mention the bloody viruses I get hit with because I’ve been using Microsoft!
But no more I say. I use Open Office and so should TAFE. Its better, its free, its still free even when its updated, it comes in many more languages, it has more features…!
The biggest thing I use Open Office for is creating PDFs from my work. I’m pretty sick of getting 1 meg word documents in my email from TAFE these days. Especially when they are only 1 page long! If our fulltime buddies used Open Office to quickly and easily turn that 1 meg word doc into a PDF, that 1meg would be reduced to 100Kb!
There is so much to say about Open Office, its features are excellent and many. START USING OPEN OFFICE!

I haven’t had much chance to explore the options for setting up eGroups, but I do have one running on yahoo.
EGroups are fantastic for communicating on mass through email. Many of us forget to check forums and blogs to stay in touch, but an eGroup linked into a blog solves all that. Posts are put up on Blogs AND sent to the egroup, so there’s no escape. EGroups are good!
But Yahoo egroups are a hassle. Just finding the link for Groups on the Yahoo page is a problem. Then becoming a member of Yahoo, just so you can either join an egroup or start one is amazing. I think they even asked me what my grandmother’s maiden name was! But if you can wade past all that guff, once the egroup is running, it is trouble free. I’d be interested to know of any better eGroups than Yahoo. You can start or join your Yahoo eGroup here
You can join the TeachAndLearnOnline eGroup by clicking the link in the top banner of this site.

Free Hosting.
Well, if you managed to join yahoo, you may as well take advantage of their free hosting at GeoCities. Get a free site and post all your PDFs and other media there. Then all you need to do is simply link to them from your blog! Your blog can really come alive with a free server full of your media backing it up! GET YOUR SITE UP NOW!

I have not used Microsoft Internet Explorer or Outlook for about 3 – 4 months now. Instead I have been using the free and open Mozilla package. FireFox Browser and ThunderBird email client. To many, they are just another browser and email client. That’s what they are to me as far as using them goes. But to many others they are the best ones out there, it just depends how “into” it all you get. Personally, I just use it and that’s it. I don’t download updates and features, though I may soon, and I don’t look into and use all its superior features.
The big big plus for using Mozilla for me is security from viruses. Since using Mozilla I have not been hit with a single virus, spy, or trojan etc to worry about. Back in the IE and Outlook days, it was constant and very damaging. This is a load off my mind, and I’m sure yours too. START USING MOZILLA!