You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2005.


Picassa screen shot.

ADawg put me onto Hello at first, which has enabled me to add pictures to my blogs with the utmost of ease (and still for free), and now he has shown me the light with Picassa Google’s latest gift to the world!
Don’t over look this one! Get Picassa! It really is amazing. It does so much including some pretty fancy image editing, sorting, viewing and compiling… It’s oh so easy, its only a 1.8meg or so download, and its free!
This is the latest must have addition to your multi media toolbox.

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This is the first time I have seen or heard of the Queensland based Media Culture.org, and their article on Blogging – Educational seems pretty good, with some interesting links out on the topic too.

From the article:
“…Will Richardson, one of the leading advocates of educational blogging and maintainer of Weblogg-ed, believes that more teachers and schools are beginning to experiment with the technology as a communicative tool for students and parents, a place to publish student work and “manage the information that members of the school community create” – it has also been seen as a cheap alternative to course management systems (Downes, 2004)…”


In December 04 I posted on the use of artistic beauty and entertainment in eLearning resources, linking to a charming multi media interactive focusing on Alzheimers Disease as its subject matter… today another post about the charms of artistic sensibility in eLearning resource design with a link to The Asylum. (Sent to me by Aaron)

At first it might seem like a joke (especially if you know my friend Aaron), and in many ways it is quite a brutal joke, but when you spend some time with it there is a lot of educational content and intent in it to do with the practice of phsyciatric care. I learnt quite a bit from this game, it is well worth having a look at. No doubt you know someone with mental illness, this site will help give you a little understanding and insight to contemporary phsyciatric care in a comical and light hearted way.


A long and diverse list of the latest free and open software to keep an eye on.

Of particular interest at the time of writing this post was:
ProjectForum provides a professional and easy-to-use Web-based focus for your team’s work and collaboration, helping to move documents and projects forward quickly. Its flexible wiki-style forums fill the gap between the scattered flurry of email and the time and expense of meetings or teleconferences. It allows you to build a project site or intranet where everyone can actively and directly contribute. Downloadable and hosted versions are available.

CourseForum is Web-based e-learning software that makes it easy for you and your students to interact, whether to create, post, share, or discuss course content. With just their Web browser, students use Courseforum to get answers to questions, dig deeper into issues, and work on projects at any time and from anywhere, not just when classes meet. It is powerful but easy to setup and use. Downloadable and hosted versions are available.

ALE is an image-processing program used for tasks such as super-resolution, deblurring, noise reduction, and anti-aliasing. Its principle of operation is synthetic capture, combining multiple inputs representing the same scene.

J-Bird is a record keeping system for observations of birds. In the parlance of birders, it is bird listing software. It is oriented toward birding trips. Information recorded includes region, trip date, locality, keywords, notes, species observed, and notes on individual species. It can record sightings, produce trip reports, produce composite lists such as life lists, tally observations by category, and query sightings. Regional checklists can be built, used to record sightings, and be included in trip reports. Sightings can be exported to CSV tables and HTML tables.


This survey, sponsored by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and conducted by
Princeton Survey Research Associates International, obtained online interviews with a
non-random sample of 1,286 internet users.

Point of Interest to education:

57% agreed that virtual classes will become more widespread in formal
education and that students might at least occasionally be grouped with others who
share their interests and skills, rather than by age.
56% of them agreed that as telecommuting and home-schooling expand, the
boundary between work and leisure will diminish and family dynamics will change
because of that.

We in eLearning tend to work on projects with these 2 points as in firm belief, but 57 and 56% are not big margins to invest and believe in the future with…

Some particularly interesting quotes I thought:
“Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. The Net will wear away institutions that have
forgotten how to sound human and how to engage in conversation”

“The next decade should see the development of a more thoughtful internet. We’ve
had the blood rush to the head, we’ve had the hangover from that blood rush; this
next decade is the rethink.”

“Health care is approximately 10 years behind other endeavors in being transformed,
and will experience its boom in the next 10 years.”

Here’s a chance to learn more about blogging in various fields, or to present a paper on how blogs are used in your field.
“Based upon and aligned to the BlogTalk European concept (2003, 2004), BlogTalk Downunder aims to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and bloggers to develop a platform for discussion on the use of weblogs both as a social and technical phenomena. The associated implications will be expected to both inform and enhance research and practice in this multi-disciplinary forum.”

I heard a wild conspiracy rumor from my Bro inLaw about Google this afternoon and he pointed me to Google-Watch.
One of my posts last month praised Google’s services at length so I’m interested in anything that may show otherwise, and Google Watch certainly has some very interesting things to say. At first I suspected it was a big counter marketing strike by Yahoo, but reading into it a bit showed that even if it is, there’s still some important information being mentioned there.
Its primary concerns are to do with a likely Google monopoly over information (I remember experiencing an eerie silence on searches to do with Iraq on many a Googling occasion) and the page ranking system Google uses. There’s more on Gmail, Google and censorship, how bloggers toy with Google, and a rise in commercialism at the expense of non commercial information… Some juicy issues to at least be aware of…


If this development goes the way I hope it does, media developers could save thousands of dollars in software thanks to the JahTools
suite.
Includes: Movie, image, audio editing. 3D animation. DVD authoring. and a player...
All free and all open source!
Its all in a development stage at the moment. I have joined the team and will be offering feedback from the perspective of an eLearning resource developer.
Many thanks to Joyce for sending me this link.

I’ll be slowing down the posts on the free and open software revolution soon. The flexible learning Framework has asked me to write a paper on the OpenCourseWare Project and this will give me a bit of closure on it all. But here’s another primer on free and open software and its effect on the not for profit sector. Obviously there would be many parallels for DET people to consider, especially if public education accepts that in many ways it too is not for profit…

Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A Primer for Nonprofits