Saturday, November 09, 2002

Winter has made an early arrival in southern Alberta.

Canada Olympic Park (COP) and Lake Louise have both been open for a week. I haven't skied or snowboarded yet this season, but I'm scheduled to work the Winterstart Worldcup Downhill and GS Races at Lake Louise again this year, so it won't be long before I'm on snow again.

Today I learned more about the "Auto Panorama" function on my Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom camera.

The "stitched" picture that I've linked to at the bottom this post, started life as a *.jpg file that was nearly 7 MB in size and had physical dimensions on the order of 40" by 10" -- great if you're looking to produce a poster, but not practical for web posting -- to one's blog, for instance.

Producers of web content need to make their content relatively easy to access if they want it to be seen -- if the download takes too long your audience won't wait. They'll cancel the download and point their browsers elsewhere. You've got on the order of 15 seconds before users will be hitting the Stop button on their browsers to cancel a given download.

With that in mind, follow the link below to access a 203 KB version of the stitched "panorama" shot of Early winter in Calgary I made today.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Once again I struck gold today in the DailyLinks from elearningpost.

As is usually the case, In search of the perfect e-tutor from Fastrak Consulting, contained more valuable links.

The Learning to teach online (LeTTOL) link is a case in point. The home page for this accredited on-line distance education course is another example of how learners are accessing resources via the 'net.

For me the key is that online educators, trainers or tutors learning and becoming accredited online, means that each will "walk a mile in the shoes" of their students. I know that completing studies toward an M.Ed. online is giving me a new appreciation of the challenges facing online students.

I can also attest to the benefit of being an online tutor. It really is true that you can't fully appreciate a subject until you teach it. I learned this last semester when I had the opportunity to tutor some colleagues at OISE/UT and co-moderate a class conference.

Resources from the Fastrak article.

Links from the LeTTOL site.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

More about Hot Potatoes.

While in looking at the wonderful resources posted on Paolo Cutini's site, I came across a link to -- a hosting site for content produced with V 5.5 of the software.

I'm once again very impressed with what I've seen so far. This resource allows teachers to score the progress of students and provides an effective avenue for feedback to both the online instructor and student. Very powerful stuff.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Another great link from

Preparing Teachers to Use Learning Objects provides background and implementation advice for teachers who would like to teach with objects.

There are a number of great references to the "state of the art" including reference to the work done by the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT).

Definitely worth a look for those who'd like to know more about the "nuts and bolts" of developing and delivering object-based curricula.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I was in looking at the toils of the Half-baked gang at UVic again over the past couple of days. The Hot Potatoes suite continues to evolve very nicely.

They've added a certification program for trainers that is unlike any other I've seen. I told a colleague today that the certification process itself represents extremely effective instructional design. Competencies are clearly defined and a "fill in the blanks" web form allows the prospective trainer to list the URLs of exhibit sites for evaluation. Paolo Cutini -- a certified trainer -- has done a great job with Hot Potatoes.

I'm especially impressed with the evolution of the Hot Potatoes. The developers have done, and are doing, a great job of keeping their product effective and relevant. No mean feat in the 'net world of the last few years ;-) For instance, I found the following on their site this afternoon:

Export to XML formats compliant with IMS e-learning specifications (if and when these become stable and practical)

The thing is ... they're not joking; their medium is constantly changing -- I remain very impressed by the way they're keeping up.

Monday, November 04, 2002

I've been revisiting some sites in my research and visited Robert Schank's occasional column -- Educational Outrage.

I found his July 4, 2002 column particularly germane in my efforts to refine the SMART Education Object (SMARTEO).

Stay tuned....