23 November, 2010

Quickly Updating the Files in Blackboard Using WebDAV

I've been asked how to update files in Blackboard using WebDAV, and though it worth sharing the instructions more widely. We have not used this method much and so are not aware if any problems and complications may occur. Let us know of your experiences if you do try and use it.

WebDAV allows quick updating of files on Blackboard through the familiar Windows Explorer interface. I'm not sure if this method will work on on other operating systems than Windows.

The first step is to find the URL for your Blackboard section. This video (which has no sound) shows the process in Blackboard version 8 which we currently use. Watch it full screen.

In Learning Edge/Blackboard 9.1, you can find the URL in a slightly different way.

When you have the URL for your Blackboard section, you can add it to your network places following these instructions.

Does blogging make better teachers, nurses, managers?

Andy Carvin's learning now blog on a screen at National School Boards Conference
I’ve just started following someone widely regarded as a bit of an e-learning guru: Stephen Downes.   The first email update I received inspired me enough to create this posting.

Stephen pointed me to a post by Dean Shareski:
“ … suggesting that the way to make better teachers is to get them to blog.”
I’ve just read the article – perhaps something to consider across all professional courses at Edge Hill?  (Can I can hear ethical alarm bells ringing!?)

Comments sought, kindest regards,

Image by Steve Rhodes

17 November, 2010

"Have You Googled Yourself?": Online Presence and Online Identity

We ran a session today for 3rd Year Students to introduce concepts around their online identity, which was approached from the perspective of them looking for work.

The supporting slides are below. Select 'View on Slideshare' for the opportunity to see in full screen view.

Firstly we noted the evidence that some employers search online for information about potential employees. The case for freelancers needing an online presence is more obvious, but was also mentioned.

We asked the students to search for themselves online using Google, Cluuz and a tool on the MIT site, and asked them to think about what they found about themselves and the impression that might give to the world.

This led on to talking about ways of developing a web presence either though a website, a profile on something like LinkedIn, or a collection of their accounts and published work on a Google or claimID profile.

Next we moved on from static resources and looked at the role of engaging with your community. LinkedIn have created the 'brandyousurvey' quiz to help you think about the way you network online, and the students went through this. This led to looking at ways that you can connect with a global community such as writing a blog, reading and commenting on other's blogs and real-time tools like Twitter for sharing resources and conversations. The links between these tools and lifelong learning were brought up.

Finally students were asked to think about steps that they want to take to develop their online presence, and make a plan.

Has anyone else had experience of running sessions along these lines? Do you have any advice that might help our sessions in the future?

09 November, 2010

“Facebook for books”


LibraryThing, a site described as “Facebook for books”, is a cataloguing and social networking site for book lovers.

Users can; create personal collections (up to 200 with a free account), discover new books (by tags, ratings, reviews and recommendations), and get involved in conversations about books. There is even a ‘local’ search so you can find book stores, libraries and book related events near by.

For more info visit the site and take a tour.

Did you know… that the Edge Hill Library Catalogue also uses LibraryThing for Libraries?

The new feature was added in the summer and gives you another way to find books in the Edge Hill Catalogue – browsing by tag.

When you find an item record in the Edge Hill Catalogue, if it’s been tagged, you’ll see a tag list at the bottom of the page – click on one of the tags to open the ‘Tag Browser’ window.

On the left you’ll see the item’s tags and related tags. On the right you’ll see items that match the selected tag. Click on an item to go to the library catalogue record or continue browsing by tag, by clicking on one of the tags shown or using the search box*.

*You can search for a word (adventure), a phrase (children’s fiction), or a combination of words and phrases (adventure, children’s fiction). You can also demote (-Harry Potter) or remove words and phrases (–19th century). 

Take a look next time you use the Library Catalogue.