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Mailing Number 48 - 2 February 2005

247 subscribers on publication date. 11642 page-views since publication.

This opt-in roughly Fortnightly Mailing summarises resources and news I come across in the course of my work which I think will be of value to others with an interest in online learning and the internet. An always useful guide - Stephen Downes, Canada.   There is something for everyone in these mailings - Jane Knight's e-Learning Centre, UK.   Recommended reading - Caroline Kotlas - CIT Infobits, USA.   A useful source of market and academic information. Highly recommended. - Epic plc Email Newsletter, UK.

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Dan Corry to be Ruth Kelly's adviser on ICT and e-learning. Ruth Kelly, recently made Secretary of State for Education is reported to have appointed Dan Corry, Director of the New Local Government Network to advise her on a range of issues, including ICT and e-learning, and FE, and, with Roger Darlington, HE. Recent Corry article in Guardian Online. Biography in Disinfopedia.

EU Creates New 200 Million Euro Digital Content Program. Rafat Ali reports in PaidContent that The European Parliament has created a new digital content program, called eContentplus, which will support the development of multi-lingual content for innovative, online services across the EU. The budget of the programme is about 200M Euros for the period 2005-2008.

Ambitious claims made for the Acce-Lerator online authoring toolset. This time last year I reviewed, pretty positively, the book version of Clive Shepherd's Learning Object Design Assistant (LODA). Acce-Lerator, which contains an online version of LODA, has just been released for free use in the Further, Adult and Community Learning sectors, having been developed with LSC funding by The Training Foundation. According to the product's web site, Acce-Lerator "will be an ideal way for all staff in the sectors to gain first-hand experience in creating learning materials and adapting pre-existing materials" and "uniquely offers powerful, integral support and training tools for educators which make it the complete solution for all, particularly those new to e-Learning". When I tried to launch Acce-Lerator, I got the Java Web Start security warnings "This application is requesting unrestricted access to your local machine and network." and "It is highly recommended not to install and run this code." So I went no further. I am keen to hear reports from readers who have successfully used Acce-Lerator. (For IE users there is an animated walkthrough of Acce-Lerator on the NLN web site.)

Theme speakers for ALT-C 2005 announced. The Association for Learning Technology (for which I work half-time) has just announced that the following people will be Theme Speakers at ALT-C 2005 in Manchester in September 2005.

  • Design and development - Tom Boyle (LTRI, London Metropolitan University).
  • Quality and standards - Stephen Downes (Canadian National Research Council, New Brunswick, Canada).
  • Architectures and infrastructures - Oleg Liber (CETIS).
  • Implementation - Sal Cooke (Techdis).
  • Collaboration - Gary Miller (Penn State University).

Three conferences. These look worth considering.

  • The Shock of the Old 5: Implementing Innovation. Oxford, 7 April.
  • Beyond the Red Tape: Are the needs of governments, educational institutions, and learners inherently at odds? Oxford, 8 April.
  • Prisoner Education: Learning from Europe, including use of IT in prisoner education. Warwick, 12 and 13 April.

Resources [back to top]

Scientific basis of climate change. Enough readers responded positively to On thinning ice in Mailing Number 47, for me to include this link to the Summary for Policymakers of the 2001 "Third Assessment Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)".

Can web service technology really help enable "coherent diversity" in e-learning? Self-assured, clear article by Scott Wilson from CETIS in which Scott, with whom I worked on the Draft for Public Comment of Parts 1 to 3 of "BS 8788 - UK Lifelong Learner Profile, UKLeaP" "explores technology and pedagogy and suggests that a service oriented approach to system design could lead to greater pedagogic diversity". The optimist in me is convinced. The pragmatist feels that the world described is too perfect, too sterilely disconnected from the messy world of real teachers, learners, institutions, commercial suppliers, and systems.

E-learning Europa. Lavishly refurbished EU funded site, in the European Union's 20 official languages. The new version of has theme based content organised under the 4 areas of Schools, Higher Education, Learning and Work, and Lifelong Learning. Some bits of the site did not work in Mozilla.

JORUM. The JISC Online Repository for Learning and Teaching Materials "will be a repository service for all Further and Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom, providing access to materials and encouraging the sharing, re-use and re-purposing of them between teaching staff". JORUM is due to launch later this year. From the JORUM web site you can access the following overview documents.

  • Functionality Overview - December 2004.
  • Strategy and Vision - December 2004.
  • Why use it? December 2004.
  • JORUM Specification - January 2005.

Oddments[back to top]

Has the UK's Labour Government redistributed income?

This chart from the 29/1/2005 Economist, based on recent analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, shows, on the right, the large amount of income redistribution which there has been since 1997.

 Institute of Fiscal Studies data from 29 January 2005 Economist showing UK income redistribution since 1997

Jazz musicians. Wide range of classy, atmospheric, black and white photographs by Russ Escritt, whose day-job is as an official of the trade union NATFHE.

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Last updated - 3/2/2005; © Seb Schmoller, but licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.

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