Thursday, December 30, 2004

Acadia's Remote Microscopes and MIT's iLab

Over a year ago I went to a cool presentation by a Technology Manager at Acadia University where he showed that Acadia students could have remote control access to an Optical Microscope from their residence rooms via an Internet connection. How cool is that? Remote experimentation! I'm a big fan!

Well, take a look MIT's iLab Project. This is great! Now, would they allow remote access from students not registered at MIT? Likely not as the aparatus would fall under extensive demand and their own MIT students would experience huge difficulties getting on the aparatus. Would they consider "hosting" experiments such like this for other institutions by replicating the aparatus and leasing out time? I don't know. Interesting possible business concept though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

WebCT Compile Tool: Captivate

My colleague Erika and I have been exploring Macromedia Captivate. Here's a presentation that we made that will be used to introduce students taking a WebCT course how to use the Compile Tool. For those unfamiliar with the Compile Tool, it can be used to compile together all the individual HTML files of a content module into one file that can be printed in one step. This can save the student a great deal of work as some content modules can have dozens of individual HTML files in them. Printing them one by one is indeed arduous! The Compile tool makes this process much easier and quicker.

Please view our short Captivate demonstration. It has screen tips demonstrating each step. The final output Flash movie is only 306 kb in size so this presentation is a manageable download even at low connection speeds (only 43 seconds at 56 KBps). Once downloaded the first time, students can view the presentation as often as they like before trying to use the Compile Tool in their course. (Note that the Flash Player browser plugin is required to view this file.)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Digital Copyright Issues in Canada

There is continued confusion amonst instructors about Digital Copyright issues and processes in Canada. A lovely article (PDF Format)authored by Lori Wallace of the University of Manitoba appears in a recent issue of the CADE journal. It's definately a good read for anyone in Canada working on Digital Copyrights. Ignorance is certainly not bliss when it comes to copyright infringements.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Blogs in Education

I'm going to do some brief research to compile some relevant materials together that describe how to use weblogs in education. I will post this results in this message.

1. Apple Distinguished Educators Bloggers have a nice list of scenarios where blogs might be useful in an educational context.

2. Blogging and RSS — The "What's It?" and "How To" of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators by Will Richardson.

3. Weblogs@UPEI describes a recent initiative at the University of Prince Edward Island where each student is assigned a blogspace for use during their academic degree at UPEI.

4. Blogs in Education from the University of Houston - Clear Lake

5. Weblogg-Ed - A Blog about Blogs in Education! written by Will Richardson.

6. Resources from the EDTU Discussion on Blogs in Education October 2003.

7. Educational Blogging by Stephen Downes in EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 39, no. 5 (September/October 2004): 14–26.