Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Didn't This Used to be Investigated by the Justice Department?

20px|Windows Live Logo Windows Live OneCareImage via Wikipedia
OK Here's the scam.
  1. Invent an operating system that's full of vulnerabilities
  2. Create some software that plugs the holes (let's call it OneCare, for example)
  3. Sell it
  4. Find that no-one buys it because others sell similar software except cheaper and better
  5. Make your software free
  6. Drive all the other manufacturers out of the game
  7. Sell your software at a new, higher, price
Microsoft are at point five on the list. Six and seven are sure to follow soon.

In the meantime take advantage of their "generosity" to make your Windows machine safe to use.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft to offer free security
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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Can Teaching in a Virtual Environment be Productive?

The current BBC News logoImage via Wikipedia
Teaching in virtual environments can be very productive, Bill Thompson
Can it?

BBC NEWS | Technology | Moving to the Second Classroom
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Is e-Learning a Distinct Profession?

This image ilustrates that the distance betwee...Image via Wikipedia
More and more institutions (usually at the prompting of funding councils) are demanding that courses be available on-line. Of course the distance between the aim of providing a course on-line and the final course is a long one and is not a journey that, whether from lack of interest or lack of skill, not all learning professionals can take.

Is there a place, then, for professional e-learning practitioners who exist solely in the ether?

Angela Boothroyd explores that question further here:

Studying Online: E-learning as a profession: Part 1
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Monday, 24 November 2008

Credit Crunch Creates Courses

Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 running under Window...Image via Wikipedia
Interesting Article in Science Daily about how the complete lack of available cash could lead to a boom in e-learning.

Bottom line is that companies see savings to be made by creating a course once and rolling it out to many users rather than paying a trainer to deliver the course personally.

I agree with the sentiment; although the statement
The newest solutions make it possible to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a course for a thousand employees within two hours.
makes me cringe. There's more to learning that presenting information. And there's less to PowerPoint than presenting information.

Economic Crisis Boosts E-Learning
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Friday, 21 November 2008

Being a Gifted Speaker Isn’t a Gift

Speak album coverImage via Wikipedia
Change This is always a good place to go for giving your brain a kick start. The various manifestos available may not always be correct (or even good), but they are always thought-provoking. This one for example by Frances Cole Jones reminds us that public speaking isn't an inate gift but something that can be worked on. As the site says:
Despite a pervasive idea that some people areborn with a 'gift' for public speaking—and that this gift is the reasonthey excel when presenting themselves—my experience has proven this isn’t so. I believe that everyone can be a great speaker, and this includes you.
See if you agree.

ChangeThis :: Being a Gifted Speaker Isn’t a Gift
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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Other Video Chat Applications

Lifehacker.Image via Wikipedia
Following on from my previous post on Dimdim I found a LifeHacker post discussing the five best video chat applications.

Have a look and see if any of them fit your needs.

Hive Five: Five Best Video Chat Applications
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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

dimdim is SmartSmart

Photo of a modern videoconferencing systemImage via Wikipedia
DimDim is a free, web based video conferencing utility. As they say:
With no software to download or install, Dimdim forever democratizes webbased live meetings. In seconds - right from your browser - you easily host or attend web meetings complete with audio and video conferencing, desktop and document sharing.
With Dimdim you can host meetings for up to twenty people at no cost. With no software to install it may be easier to use in institutions with locked down desktops.

Give it a try here:

Dimdim: Free Web Meeting, Free Web Conferencing, Meetup, Open Source, Net Meeting, eLearning, web conference, Unified Collaboration, Online Meetings, Online Training, Free Screen Sharing, collaboration, live meeting

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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Calendar Applications Just Don't Get Any Easier

Deadline (reality TV series)Image via Wikipedia
Busy people wouldn't be as busy if they'd just stop trying to finfdnew ways or organising themselves and just get on with their work.

With that off my chest Deadline is, without doubt, the simplest planning application ever.

Just throw a task and a time at it and it will let you know by mail, chat, inter-galactic thought transfer, etc.

Deadline: Home
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Monday, 17 November 2008

Sho What Ish Soshiku?

my life on the floorImage by bierzak via Flickr
Students never want to keep a record of their due work. The complexities of a paper diary seem beyond them. They lose it in their home or, more likely, they don't fill it in in the first place.

How about a super snazzy Web 2.0 version of an assignment diary instead? Perhaps the nice interface will prompt them to actually use the thing.

Got to be worth a go.

Soshiku › The Smart Way to Keep Track of Your Schoolwork
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Thursday, 6 November 2008

PDF to Word Conversions - Online and Free

Latest PDF File IconImage via Wikipedia
PDF files are wonderful. They are a standard, feature rich, easy to use format that makes exchanging files easy. What they don't do well is exchange data.

I've lost count of the number of times I've received a PDF and wanted to grab the text and edit it. Anyone who's tried to do the same thing will testify that it can be one of the most frustrating computing problems around. I've spent inordinate amounts of time re-typing information contained in a PDF in order to be able to re-use it.

Enter, stage right, PDFundo. This web site allows you to upload a PDF and receive a Word file in return. For free. Without registration. And in real time.

What else can you possibly need to know?

Free PDF to Word Doc Converter! Just plain and simple pdf conversion software.
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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Did Ye Ken?

Following on from my previous post on the, classic, Shift Happens video Joe Wilson blogged about a Scottish themed version developed by various HMIe staff (and others!). Definitely worth a look.

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Memory4Teachers Provide a Free USB Drive

Memory4Teachers are supplying a free USB drive to staff in schools and colleges all over the UK.

It comes complete with a set of educational resources ready to use.

Claim your drive here:

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