Blog Pile

Building a Fence (real object) and Building Things out of Learning Objects

Last weekend I built a fence around a vegetable garden in our yard. I am not really much of a craftsman, but this project came out pretty nice. Working with the hands got me thinking about (reaching for the metaphor) building things out of learning objects.

garden fence

I have harped before that there has been way too much emphasis on the creation of the “repositories” and the piles of meta-data, and the search tools- and almost nothing on the craft, the art, the magic, of building something out of the things inside the collections.

Last week at one of our faculty instructional technology meetings, we were trying to get some commitment to taking on the learning object issue. There was the usual tired, over-trodden attempts at definitions, a lot of shrugging, and then the often worded desire for some sort of magic, point and click tools that would assemble LOs into meaningful learning activities.

As the line goes in the hilarious Australian comedy The Castle:

“Dreamin’!”

But as I worked on that fence I thought about what an un-realistic, un-attainable, expectation this dream places on technology…

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Learning Objects + RSS + Blogs: The Lora and Boris Show at NMC Online Conference

Wow. In a very un-MERLOT-ian scheduling coup, we have the opening session (right after Wayne Hodgins! October 14) for a presentation at the NMC Online Conference on Learning Objects.

For those that missed the MERLOT 2003 presentation, this is your chance to see it during this conference, except now we get to add the razzle-dazzle (sound) as the conference format is via Macromedia Breeze. This is the return of Lora and Boris, and their blogging adventures on learning objects in their discipline.

The presentations are made available to conference attendees to view any time– Brian, D’Arcy, and myself get to then be available at a scheduled time for a live chat.

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Mikey and Alec Comment Show

Well there are spammers and then there are goofballs you have nothing better to do then send juvenile comments to my blog. This dog lifts a leg on Mike and Alec.

Congratulations to “michael farrell” and “Alec” for their Oxford English command of the written word (congrats also for being added to the banned IPs for CDB and having their clever words buried in this dog’s back yard, under those old tennis shoes and the dead squirrel).

Revel in the wisdom of these modern Shakespeares:

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Hot off the Presses: MLX Special Collections

This is the first glance at a new part of the Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX), what we are calling MLX Special Collections:

An MLX special collection is a set of packages associated with a specific project or program. We created this functionality to provide unique MLX URLs that would generate a listing as well as to provide a search functionality in the project web sites.

As prototypes, we have created a few collections for projects such as Systemic Reform In Science (SyRIS) modules and an internal Learning Grants program.

This is all part of our tireless campaign to build in services and value to different programs and groups within our organization.

Bascially, all items added to the MLX now have a field in the creation form. If the item is to be associated with a special collection, the person entering it inserts a 4 character code (just like the discount codes you enter when submitting a rental car reservation online) that “tags” the package for association with the collection.

Once in place, we can do all kinds of things…

Blog Pile

Under the Flash and Gee-Whiz of Online Learning– a student experience

Thank Jeremy Hiebert for sharing via his blog Old-School Adminstration of Online Learning’ÄÝ . Jeremy is very favorable of his online learning experience at Memorial University, which is a miracle considering the administrative hurdles placed before him. It is amazing students manage to learn online despite that our institutions are still operating in the wrong […]

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OtherBlog MovableType Plugin

Just came across the nifty MT Plugin: OtherBlog. This allows MovableTyple blogs to be able to include content on the same server. Plugin based way of including posts/info from other blogs on the same installation. I’ve yet to even try it, but I can already think about our BlogShop a way to provide a “super-blog” […]

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Way Cool Tool for Getting out of the Blog Style Box

This looks rather useful for weblogers who are still mired in the out of the box templates: Firdamatic: the Design Tool for the Uninspired Webloggers “is an online tableless HTML layout generator that allows you to create and customise layouts easily only by completing forms, making creating skins for your Firdamatic-based layout a breeze.” Not […]

Blog Pile

Sharable BlogLines

Awesome, this is a step up in usefulness for Bloglinesthe online RSS aggregator. You can now make the collections of feeds you post on BlogLines public, and thus collections of feeds can be shared via a simple URL. Actually I had submitted this as a suggested feature when I looked at the site a few […]

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Hey (Hic)… this Merlot is tasting better…

Okay, this dog is going to anger management. After our recent barking on Sipping MERLOT’s RSS Feeds: Is this Boone’s Farm or Dom Perignon?, we enjoyed some good discussion with some MERLOT insiders. The bottom line is that MERLOT still has a fabulous wealth of intstructional resources, and should be on the Bookmark list of […]