Friday, February 24, 2006

simple videoblogging

OK vbloggers...Conn McQuinn introduced me to Sightspeed, a free, cross-platform tool for video conferencing. Now you can record your videos, up to 60 seconds, and post them to your blog. Check out Conn's video.

using add-ins and mash-ups

If you are involved in presenting any kind of information on the web (websites, blogs, etc), then you want to know about add-ins* and mash-ups. Add-ins and mash-ups allow us to integrate live feeds from other sites into our own.

For example, here's a live map showing all the ski conditions around Tahoe. I was able to create the feed for this map at

Try clicking on any of the links or information in the map--you'll immediately see the power of add-ins.

Some other examples:

What we are doing in reality in using a javascript script tag to call that dynamic feed into our own site. Not familiar with javascripting? No problem! Use the converter at to create the code for you! Then all you have to do is paste that code into your website or blog. What could be easier?

Monday, February 06, 2006

keeping current in online teaching

A lot of teachers ask me how I stay current and up-to-date in online teaching: best practices, standards, new technologies, the list goes on. Well, in addition to attending conferences, reading books and journals, I use these free internet resources:

  • First, I subscribe to the daily news at This quick email gives me highlights of the latest news in distance learning.
  • Second, I subscribe to the Pew Internet Reports. These research reports are fascinating and give trends on usage of internet technologies. If you want to know what's hip, what's happening and current, subscribe!
  • Third, I'm a blogger. I like to read a variety of blogs in educational technology, and use Google Reader as my RSS aggregator. Don't know about RSS aggregators? Basically, Google Reader allows me to subscribe to multiple blogs and all the daily entries show up in my browser--saves me time having to click around from blog to blog. Also, check out Google's Blog search tool to find blogs of interest to you.
  • Fourth, I created the Center for Online Educators as a home for all the information I collect! I'm so happy to be able to share those resources in a centralized location for other online teachers.