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Frihet och humanism är mina ledord. Livet är en kamp mellan gott och ont. Dessutom lokal politiker och arbetar mot en dräglig miljö. Bosatt i Vallentuna.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mozilla Composer - A better way to translate to html

Today i got a lightning bolt in my head when it strock me that an easy way to solve our problem with getting a good html code out of word-files. And it work like a charm. I hope this is a solution for us getting Insipio talking webb to work.

What you need to get this to work is Mozilla Composer thats is in the Mozilla suite and Word. You open your word document you want to translate and simply select everything and do copy. Open a new dokument in Mozilla composer and simply paste the document into Composer. Save the file and you got your good html file without the problems you get with saving it as html in word.

Hopefully we can get our courses to speak out to us.

Afterthoughts: Seems i had a brainmeltdown. Of course the pictures won´t follow the html-code and thus we can´t use this method. Though if you have the images put them in a folder and make sure the <"img src="/folder/picture.jpg""> in the html-code points to the right place you got a good way to translate your word files to html. to bad one cannot do that in Edulink.

Somehow the computer was too smart and kept the images in the memory and thus pointed for me so it looked like it worked.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Design sites for better visual reach.

Effective Color Contrast is one thing that can improve your sites accessibility. Also the point size is of importance. If you try to improve your site you will reach more people and your message will have much more impact.

Here you can find a palette that are good for people with colour-deficient vision.

If you want to be safe using black on white is a good solution with clear fonts. You can read more about colour-deficient and colour.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Readrunner - improve reading online

Yesterday we had a visit from Readrunner who are selling a nice solution for improving the speed of reading. This will make an excellent addon for people with dyslexia. It is an asp.net solution and will work much like a webbreader (example Readspeaker or Insipio)

This is a nice example how much of the technique for increased accessability are making it easier for everyone. With increased readspeed all will be able to access more knowledge.

The solution also had a feedback function where the reader can express the reason stopping reading. "Words to complicated", "Taking a coffeebreak" or other reasons. This function can of course be used to secure the quality of your material.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Blogs as a searchable data base

I realize that sometimes its not important to have an open communication with your reader. You can use blogs as a way to store knowledge and they also are searchable using google.

As an example i recommend Enkelriktat.
At a same time as the blog is growing there is a way to sort the knowledge under different categories, at least with Moveble Types. Here as an example you can read about Dyslexia

Niklas who write the blog use this option in the best of ways and he let me glimpse of the potential of using blogs as searchable data bases.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Video selling blogs as a tool for teacher.

I just came across a interesting link of my fellow blogger Will R. who are a nice source of experience about elearning. The small movie comes in several formats. I recommend to use the quicktime version.

It tells about some uses and experiences that teacher and students made. Well worth a look. Tip is to check into Will R. now and then there are always something interesting to read.

Monday, November 15, 2004

EU and elearning

EU has made attempts to approach the elearning concept. It seems though that their platform on Internet is slightly slow or maybe almost dead.

Please visit it and vitalize EU eLearning. There are of course many projects running and also new openings for starting projects or joining one ongoing.

I wish this site was more alive so we could develop european eLearning more.

Of course there are lots of discussions of blended learning since this probably are the most common version of elearning in Europe at the moment.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Accessability - the importance of individuality.

As i have talked with people about disabilities i have came to one conclusion. There is no easy solution to make the Internet accessible for everyone, but one need to see what each individ needs.

This is why i like Dive Into Accessibility and the approach how to make your material or site more accessible. They have personalized different problems with a couple of persons and you can read about there trivial encounters with the web.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Moodle, an open source CMS (or LMS)

As Open source may not be a choice for the professionals, since there is little or no support it is still a good start to get to know new software. Moodle could even so be an exception when it comes to support since their forum is full of enthusiasm and creative people.

Also i run into The Barn where one on an idealistic basis offer people free elearning using Moodle. The resources in africa are restricted so i think there will open source play an even more important role.

It is an course managment system or learning management system. There are several others of these systems around and all have their pros and cons.

One function that Moodle have that i miss in Edulink (our CMS) is that you can write math formulas direct in the system. As it is now i still have problems with explaining Equation editor to the students with little computer knowledge.

There are other users of Moodle even here in Sweden. University of Uppsala have started to use Moodle as a cms for some of their online courses .

The gain in using a CMS is in administration of the exersizes and tests. It makes it easy to follow each students advances. Another point is that one can have everything at one place - Material, Tests, Exersizes, Discussions and Communication.
Of course there is cons to. You are a bit tied to the systems limits. It might take some time and education to learn how to handle the system, but then you save so much more time when you have mastered it.

About seminar of blended learning...

Yesterday i attended a seminar where people shared their views and experiences of flexible learning...

Hmm i think in english is the term blended learning. In Sweden we have several organisations which origin is when the last paradigm change took place. When we went from a farmer society to an industri. Folkbildningen is one of these organisations. Now we are facing a new paradigm shift where industri society are going into an information society. The new era is going to change people and also organisations have to adapt to these changes.

It is here where blended learning will be the answer for Folkbildning in which direction the development of how to share knowledge to many people.

At the seminar they presented several good examples of how people already are working to cooperate within Folkbildningen and also together with other organisation and society.


Few examples: A-nätet ; SV´s Virtuella värld

We also had some interesting discussions about how to adapt blended learning and how to spread knowledge about methods.

More will be presented on CFL´s site when they have made an compilation of the seminar.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Audioblog - a way to make it personal.

I always promote the use of different medias since we all use different sense when we learn. There is actually a way to use Blogger and a mobile to put sound to your Blog, Audioblogger. I am not so found of mobiles because of private reasons. I instead use Audacity to record my ramblings then i put the mp3:s on Geocities and then i link to the mp3s from my blog.

Telling my view of Audioblog

There is so many ways you could use this feature. I myself is thinking of starting a blog with lessons of Math where i write math in the blog then i comment and explain them using sound. This i think will lead to make the eLearning more personal and also give the students a feel of lessons online.

There now i actually have done that. Matematik A. It will be exciting to see what respons i get from the students. I think it will make it more personal and thus it will be easier to communicate.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Open Office have several uses

There is some Open source applications that are useful. Open office has several uses. The most useful is the feature so that you can export as PDF. This means that you easy can convert your Office files into PDF. Another useful feature is the one that you can turn your .ppt files into .swf this means it is easy to share your powerpoint documents over the internet.

More over i like the new Draw feature. One problem being a math teacher on distance is trying to get your students express themselfs in formulas. I also like that there is an equation editor in Open office at start. In MS Office you have to install it and that is a hindrance to people with little computing experience.

The draw part of Open office could be used as a free formula writer and then copy the forumla into the document. This would be more simple for people with little computing experience.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Blogforum

In Stockholm 15/10 there will be a bloggforum sponsored of IDG. There will be three panels each focusing about one area. The areas are Politics, Knowledge and Media. I hope this forum brings new ideas and also open up for a wider use of blogs. I see so many use for this simple publishing tool.

Nordic blog about eLearning?

I today got an idea about starting a blog together with other people involved in eLearning in the nordic countries. If you are intrested in sharing your experiences with a broad public. Contact me. Easiest to reach me is email to "bengt at mkfc.se".

We could use an place where we can present new findings and new experiences with a new tool and so on. There are several good things that can come out of this. Maybe finding partners that you can work together with starting new networks.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Usage of pictures showing passing of time

Pictures is always a great way to make the flow of the virtual world take on more real time. Its probably easier for us people up in cold sweden with the passing of the seasons.

Will take your course to the edge of wintertime.

You can of course use symbols that also connects to different holidays that are closing in though i think that is a bit corny.

Better is then to show pictures of moving things. Clock represent time. Use symbols to make it clear for them that time is passing.

Colours is good in text or in pictures to make them to pay attention.

Flash and edulink

It is useful that you can use Flash in Edulink. Even though the accessability is low with flash it can be a useful tool like this Flash Graf calculator.

Mathgraf

Since this also makes the tools which you use to solve different exersizes. Of course you also can use it to have quizzez and exersizes in Flash of course.

The best is that it makes it easy for you to make simple animations to explain different complex subjects that might be hard to explain.

Of course you also can use Open office to make you presentations into SWF and then also present those in Edulink too.

Using Blogger as a project dokumentation

I just recently started a project trying to find out if you could use a blog as project log and also at the same time making the dokumentation for the project.

Since it is easy to add members to a blog you start the only thing the other coauthors must do is register. I guess this is a way you also could use blogs internal if you got a blogtool. Its useful since you can let the persons responsible for different areas to edit their area and others can comment it and put in tippers as the projects go on.

I also was thinking you could use blog in a class this way where you let the students use the blog for presenting their area of the project. This way the can comment the others work and it will build up fast. Take an example you let a class write about a country and let different student write about different areas. Like some write about economics others about geology or so.

There are many uses of blog. Only the imagination sets the limit.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Up and running again

I am writing this blog as a project logbook. I will write about tools, methods and all that involve elearning in general and also accessability in particulary. The focus will be on improvement for teacher and students.

This is a follow up and i hope an improved version of my Mblog which was stolen from me. I know now one cannot trust in a free service on the net. We all learn from experience.

This will make me always to have materials as copies in files on harddrive or secure on a burned CD. Why is it that i don´t seem to learn to have backup.
Even so the Mblog was more an experiment than anything else.

It was made so that i would learn the limits and possibilities of a blog. I also learned how to use Moveable types in an easy way.

I am planning to put my blog on an own site so this blogspot.com adress is only temporary.

The reason why i use Blogger is several. One its realy easy to use so it will be easy for students to start one themself. One can save the blog on a remote site and several authors is possible. Google is the owner which will at least make it longlived wise from experience.