31 March, 2006

Listen to Cakes! Thanks to Talkr

You can now listen to a machine generated audio version of Cakes. Just click on the 'Listen to this Post' link under each post or subscribe to the feed:


using a Podcast reciever such as Juice.

We've set this up using 'Talkr' which allows you to subscribe to audio versions of blogs, and to create audio versions of your own blogs for others to subscribe to.

Talkr doesn't accept the Atom feed from blogs set up with Blogger like this one. Sending Cakes feed through Feedburner and submitting the resulting Cakes feedburner feed worked.

The audio will only be available for those posts that are part of the current and future feed. The older posts will not be available as audio files.

29 March, 2006

Online Training 3: Updating the Glossary Wiki for the 'PG Cert in Teaching & Learning Support in HE'

We use a Wiki as a glossary for the 'PG Cert in Teaching & Learning Support in HE'. This training shows users how they can make change. The videos are in .wmv format and will play in Windows Media Player 7.1 or higher, but ideally you need version 9 or higher.

01 Introduction - 1:38
02 The Glossary - 1:49
03 Logging In - 2:26
04 Adding Definitions - 3:09

27 March, 2006

Online Training 2: Course Genie 2.0 (61 minutes)

Here is the complete Course Genie 2.0 training.

Again it is in .wmv format. If you do not have the software to view it, we recommend that you install Windows Media Player version 8.0 or above.

01. Introduction - 0:56
02. Installing and Opening Course Genie - 2:54
03. Formatting the Word Document - 5:19
04. Generating the Web Pages - 3:29
05. Setting up a WebCT Content Module - 4:38
06. Menus and Options - 3.18
07. Sections, Pages and Images - 6.54
08. Special Characters - 1.27
09. Tables - 1.57
10. Comments - 0.53
11. Hyperlinks - 2.31
12. Pop-ups - 2.04
13. Metadata - 1.28
14. Accessibility - 2.23
15. Troubleshooting - 0.42
16. Quizzes - 1.21
17. More Styles - 1.22
18. Subheadings - 1.00
19. Glossaries - 1.54
20. Importing the glossary- 1.51
21. Schemes - 1.04
22. Adding Schemes - 2.26
23. Changing the Logo - 5.25
24. Changing the Stylesheet - 2:10
25. The Final Result - 1.14

Online Training 1: Using Mind/Concept Maps to Structure your Assignment

This is the initial version of some training that we've developed using Camtasia Studio. Please give us any feedback in the comments!

Mind/Concept maps have been used for thousands of years to help people think through complex subjects. This training aims to help you start using them yourself to help your learning. The example shown is of using them to help you think through developing a structure for an essay. These files are in .wmv format.

1. Introduction - 1:12
2. Mind Map - 1:55
3. Concept Map - 1:35
4. Essay Title - 4:53
5. Developing the Map - 5:16

13 March, 2006

SightSpeed Video Mail

Mark Roche and Mark Schofield have been using SightSpeed as another possible way of allowing people to take part in meetings that they can't physically get to.

It's benefits are that it seems easy to set up and use (you just need a webcam), it is free, and it allows to make video messages upto 30 seconds long, which you can email to people or blog. I've recorded one as an example.

07 March, 2006

OPML Reading Lists

With all the talk about reading lists in the Postgraduate Certificate course I'm doing, I was interested in looking at how OPML reading lists would fit into this.

OPML reading lists are lists of blogs that you could pass between different blog aggregators (e.g. Bloglines). You might want to export a list to a new piece of blog aggregation software that you want to use, or could pass it between people.

If there are several blogs related to an academic subject, a tutor could keep a reading list on, for example Bloglines, for thier own use. They could export the file and pass the list onto students to add to their own Blog aggregator accounts.

An example of an OPML file can be found on the BlogBridge site. This could be imported into a blog aggregator like BlogBridge (needs installing on your machine) or Bloglines (available online). This file could easily be made available through WebCT for students to use, and it could be displayed in WebCT too.

To display your list of blogs in WebCT you can use the following code in a text block on a WebCT organiser page. This links to the list of blogs that I am subscribed to using Bloglines. If you had a bloglines account, you would change 'id=pfh' to 'id=' your own username (note that your username is different to your login name and > or< tags have been changed to ]or[).

[script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="http://rpc.bloglines.com/blogroll?id=pfh&target=blank"][/script]

Thanks to Bruce McKenzie for this code.

In case you are interested in the technical information, OPML stand for Outline Processor Markup Language and is XML based.

06 March, 2006

PD170 Camera Workbook

Adrian discovered this guide to using our PD170 camera. It's been blogged here before, but it seem relevant again. If you are thinking of doing anything with ithe camera and have a couple of hours, this is well worth reading to get you started.

02 March, 2006

Using Wikis as Annotated Reading Lists

We were discussing with certain academic members of staff about reading lists. Some have been considering developing annotated reading lists. These are reading lists that they or their students would add notes and comments to, to share what the books would be best used for.

We’ve developed a Wiki as an example (readinglist is the password if you want to edit it) to show what could be done to enable this. If we created one of these for a module, students would need very little training to make changes to it, and it could be linked to from the courses WebCT area and the courses reading list on the Library Catalogue.

I don’t know how this would work in the context of an undergraduate module, but it feels good to be making connections between the new technologies that are becoming available, and real world situations where we can use the technologies to enable people to do things. Mark Roche is developing an innovative use for blogs as a very simple VLE for those who cannot afford one, which he might report back to us when he’s finished developing it.

01 March, 2006


If you have used podcasts and online audio much, you might have developed a slight frustration that you cannot browse them to find relevant sections, like you can with blogs and indeed any textual information. In my experience this means that listening to podcasts is not a very efficient way to 'graze' your way through relevant information, and personally I just listen to them while performing other tasks that I can do subconciously.

Well the solution to that issue is here thanks to http://podzinger.com/. This increadibly well thought out site, uses voice recognition technology to turn the audio into a searchable text file. So if you search for "Learning Technology", for example, you will get links to the registered podcasts that mention this phrase.

But not only that!

You will be able to see the context in which the phrase was used and you even get a link to that section of the podcast. If you use a podcast reciever you can subscribe to download any future podcasts that use the phrase, which might be an efficient way of searching for relevant information on very obscure topics that are mentioned little and aren't worth searching for regularly.

In my mind, this technology makes podcasts as useful as blogs for information 'grazing' and discovery.

Communication in Difficult Situations

Communication Nation is a sometimes interesting blog, with a noble aim. Today it has an exceptionally convincing article covering how to deal with difficult people and situations positively! Something that we all have to face at times.