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  The intersection of convenience and security
by Darren Crone - Friday, July 6, 2007 @ 09:56 am

Well, I just downloaded RealPlayer BETA. It is most cool. Now you can save any streamed video to your hard drive. Technically speaking, this is great, but one of the key advantages of using streaming technology is the degree of control maintained over material (i.e. it couldn't be downloaded). I wonder what effect this will have on those using copyrighted material under the Fair Use umbrella?


  Can I Get The Keychain Version, Please?
by Matt Crosslin - Tuesday, July 3, 2007 @ 02:28 pm

This pic has been making the rounds in email recently, but I thought it was a great reminder of how far we have come:

More popular and funny pictures at

What is it? A 5 MB Hard Drive from 1956. This pic shows the one ton drive for the IBM 305 RAMAC. I have mp3s now that won't fit on that thing.....

  The University of New Orleans Enters Second Life
by Erin Jennings - Thursday, June 28, 2007 @ 08:48 am

The University of New Orleans recently joined the ranks of higher education institutions that have established virtual campuses in Second Life. Unlike most participating universities, which primarily use their Second Life islands to recruit new students, promote their school, and experiment with virtual worlds, UNO's purpose is more essential: to maintain classes in the event of another Hurricane Katrina-like disaster. If students, faculty, and administrators are forced to evacuate during a storm, they can reconnect with each other through Second Life.

Although the university uses Blackboard to manage its online courses, UNO administrators believe that the "presence" created by avatars in a 3D space raises the level of online class interaction. The university will offer two courses at its virtual campus starting in the fall.

Currently, the New Orleans Island campus is closed to the public.

  Video Blurbs: Multitouch Interface and the Semantic Web
by Katrina Adams - Wednesday, June 27, 2007 @ 03:29 pm

Turns out that MIT's Technology Review is a very interesting site. (No surprise there. How much more wonderfully geeky can you get than MIT?) While browsing their site, I found their Documentaries section to have several interesting video clips, two of which I thought fellow edugeeks would find interesting.

Jeff Han on a Better Interface
I know I've mentioned this before, but Tech Review currently has an interesting video available titled "Jeff Han on a Better Interface". Not only does the video discuss the obvious advantages multitouch functionality provides in terms of user interface, but he also discusses multitouch in relation to mirror and virtual worlds, collaboration, and information management.
[Jeff Han on a Better Interface]

Tim Berners-Lee on the Semantic Web
The inventor of the World Wide Web explains how the Semantic Web works and how it will transform how we use and understand data.
[Tim Berners-Lee on the Semantic Web]

  Second Earth: Social Virtual Worlds Meet Mirror Worlds
by Katrina Adams - Wednesday, June 27, 2007 @ 02:36 pm

(Many thanks to Erin, our newest EduGeek, for sending this to me!) MIT's Technology Review posted this week a really interesting article discussing the inevitable merge of social virtual worlds (i.e. Second Life, There) with mirror worlds (i.e. Google Earth, Microsoft's Virtual Earth).

Great detail is given on what's currently being done in these two areas of the metaverse. As you know, I (and my fellow EduGeeks) are currently enamored with Second Life and virtual worlds in general, so much of the information presented on that platform was not too new. (However, if you're new to SL, this article has lots of great info and SLURLS to specific locations in-world, which is incredibly handy.)

I must admit after reading the article that I'm neglecting to pay any attention to mirror worlds, and specifically Google Earth. I was incredibly interested in hearing about what's already being done with these types of quasi-3D-mapping resources. The ability to create and view user-generated content added as layers on top of these virtual maps is ripe with educational opportunities. Great article!

Second Earth
The World Wide Web will soon be absorbed into the World Wide Sim: an environment combining elements of Second Life and Google Earth.
[read entire article]

  elearning 2.0: All You Need To Know
by Katrina Adams - Tuesday, June 26, 2007 @ 08:46 am

The Read/WriteWeb blog recently posted an interesting article titled "elearning 2.0: All You Need To Know". Very good overview of how Web 2.0 tools are being used in education. Lots of links out to additional information, blog posts, and articles. Interesting read!

elearning 2.0: All You Need To Know

  Does "Anytime, Anywhere Education" Include Teachers?
by Matt Crosslin - Monday, June 25, 2007 @ 08:02 am

One of the biggest selling points to online education is that it is "anytime, anywhere" learning - meaning that you can learn according to your schedule, where ever you can get access to the Internet. I know it doesn't always equate to this exactly in real life, but it does get close most of the time.

At a recent focus group, I was discussing how I had a hard time figuring out the plagiarism rules for a class I was in online. The issue wasn't stealing someone else's work - it was reusing a portion of my own work. Both papers in question needed a section on the history of EdTech and, well, there's not a wide range of ways to cover that in a few paragraphs. I couldn't find info about self-recycling in the syllabus of either class, so I researched it online and found that the academic community seems to be split on it. So I decided to try as hard as I could to make both sections totally different (which proved difficult) and not chance it.

The response at the session was the usual: "why didn't you just ask the professor?" My response was supposed to be "I'm a pretty do-it-yourself guy, and I didn't want to wait for the response." All that came out was that I didn't want to wait for the response. Then the uproar followed: "well, those professors should get on the ball and respond faster! How dare they wait more that 12 hours to respond to e-mail!" (yep, someone said all that)

Really? I mean - if your bossed required you to check your work email at home and respond at all hours of the night, what would you think about that job? In a face-to-face class, if the professor's office hours were on Thursdays, and class was on Tuesday, and you had a question on Friday - guess when you would get your answer? Maybe on Monday, bu probably In four days. Definitely not 12 hours.

If we are going to promote "anytime, anywhere learning," I guess we do need to expand office hours beyond the fours hours a week that they traditionally have happened. But there has got to be a balance. Professors have lives, too. They need to take time away from work during the week to be refreshed themselves. And they need time to keep up with their field of study so that they can give us current, relevant information. So, where is the balance?

  Preview of Princeton in SL
by Katrina Adams - Thursday, June 21, 2007 @ 09:58 am recently got a sneak preview of Princeton University's island in SL, which is currently closed to visitors. The blog includes extensive information on buildings and architecture featured on the island. Princeton obviously dedicated plenty of resources to create an impressive virtual presence. The sim will open to the public for the next academic school year (we assume Fall 2007).

Click here to view the entire post.

  Big Brother is watching (you take your online exam)
by Darren Crone - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 @ 01:13 pm

In our program we use proctored exams extensively. While it does add an extra layer of security to online testing, it can be very inconvenient to students who have to find a proctor, show up to take the exam, and often-times pay for the service. A new $125 system is being implemented by Troy University. This locks down the student's computer, requires a fingerprint for authentication, and features a microphone and a camera capable of seeing 360 degrees. The software offers some pretty neat features as well. Check out CNN's story on it at:

Here is a link to Software Secure's website:


  YouTube Goes Global
by Matt Crosslin - Wednesday, June 20, 2007 @ 07:29 am

I guess I thought this always existed, but apparently not. YouTube has announced that they have launched local versions of their site in nine different countries (Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom). The point is to offer content in the native languages of these countries. Maybe I am behind the times, but don't they speak English in the U.K.?

Just kidding - they also want to offer content that more accurately reflects the culture of those countries, and there are cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K.

This can end up being a great tool for language and cultural classes. YouTube also announced that they have signed agreements with networks like BBC, Spanish Antena 3, and France 24 to offer professional content on these sites. Sounds like an all around great idea for educational purposes alone, much less cultural and other related uses. It would be great to see this happen in other countries such as Russia, India, and the Middle East.

  Will They Be The Metaverse Generation?
by Katrina Adams - Wednesday, June 13, 2007 @ 01:34 pm
  Technology to Support Students With Disabilities
by Matt Crosslin - Wednesday, June 13, 2007 @ 11:12 am
  Spring Widgets: RSS made easy
by Darren Crone - Monday, June 11, 2007 @ 04:01 pm
  Wikis in Plain English
by Katrina Adams - Wednesday, June 6, 2007 @ 10:39 am
  Is Online Education a Marketing Ploy?
by Matt Crosslin - Monday, June 4, 2007 @ 07:41 am
  Microsoft Photosynth
by Katrina Adams - Thursday, May 31, 2007 @ 09:15 am
  Microsoft Surface
by Darren Crone - Wednesday, May 30, 2007 @ 07:37 am
  IOL Presentations - Web 2.0 and Second Life
by Katrina Adams - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 @ 02:46 pm

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