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Showing posts from 2008

Zoho Creator

I thought I’d share this web application I came across in my quest to find a relatively simple app to help us manage our mentoring data in the DL Orientation. Our specific needs were that it be a free online database, password protected, had the capability of rapid form development without too much programming knowledge and was easy for the end user to use. The application that met these requirements was Zoho Creator ( a part of a suite of online applications including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, wikis, organizers and more. What’s great about Zoho Creator is that they have an online repository of applications already developed that you can download to your account and use for free. Initially, I tried some of these applications, but it was overkill for our needs. Zoho Creator can do a lot if you know programming and they have a pay model where it allows you more flexibility and features. I think Zoho Creator would be a useful tool for both …

iGoogle, do you?

iGoogle (formerly Google Personalized Homepage and Google IG), a service of Google, is a customizable start page similar to My Yahoo! and Windows Live Personalized Experience. You can login from or using your Google account. Its features include the capability to add web feeds and Google Gadgets.

I started using iGoogle about a year ago but only changed my theme to make it pretty. Recently I started to add web feeds from various blogs to keep updated on different technology. I added Larry Ferlazzo's blog which is for teaching ESL, ELL students but it provides great Web sites and technology for classroom integration. He has a best Web sites of the year post that is great for finding a variety of learning tools. I also added Mashable and various gadgets for news feeds, photos of around the world (places I hope to see one day), and weather. It's a nice way for me to get a snapshot of what's happening without going out to search for info…

Microsoft Office OneNote

If you're like me, you hate to use paper and try to conserve by using as little of it as possible. I've been using that great PDD notebook that Robin Racoma illustrated, but now I'm running out of room...if you're in the same situation, this is a great time to try out a digital notebook program. In an attempt to improve efficiency and effectiveness I've been playing around with the Microsoft Office OneNote program. I use it to take notes for meetings, phone calls, or simply do research. Some of you may have even seen the icon under the Office folder, but never had time to explore it. I've been using it since I got my new computer because it was already installed.

One may say, "I use Word to do all my note taking." OneNote allows you to do more than just write text. In addition to allowing plain text, it also allows you to add graphics and images where and however you want. It gives you a free form canvas (just like my trusty PDD notebook), to…

Parent Guide

Aloha käkou,
Here's the document I mentioned during yesterday's staff meeting that NACOL (North American Council for Online Learning) created. I think a good marketing tool may be to do a customized version to give to parents of potential `Ike Hawai`i students. One question that the marketing consultant asked me was, "Besides culture and credit, why should students take your courses?" I had previously mentioned that we marketed our courses as being culture-based, which may not be a big need for our target audience in the D.O.E., and that a challenge we encounter is that not all schools give core credit for our courses, which is a need for our targeted Hawaiian learners. So besides culture and credit, why should they enroll in our online courses? I think if we can make a convincing argument, based on research, to parents that distance learning skills will be valuable and even vital for their child's future success in any endeavour, then we may be able to open up an…


A "wouldn't it be nice" idea that's been around a while is the ability to tag a map with images that are linked to more information about the site. Kelly C suggested it as a way for students to share knowledge about a cultural/historic site or the geographic area they live in with classmates. (right, no addresses!)

There are now cameras and even storage media that embed latitude and longitude into images as they are shot. But you don't need fancy new toys to do this. I tried Flickr's geotagging map and it's fun and supereasy.

Want to try it? Log in to Flickr
Sign in as "techedine" password "wist101" yea, corny.
Click the "You" tab then the "Your Photostream > Map" or Organize > Your Map links.

Click the Satellite link in the upper right. Cool view! (you may need Google Satellite downloaded).
Images along the bottom of the screen with colored dots have already been dropped onto the ma…

Current and Evolving Accessibility Practices: Practical Advice from Two Institutions

Current and Evolving Accessibility Practices: Practical Advice from Two Institutions
Presented by: Afsaneh Sharif & Donna Scalzo, Office of Learning Technology, University of British Columbia, John Louviere & Neal Legler, Faculty Assistance Center for Teaching, Utah State University

Online learning environments hold great promise for expanding access to education for students with time and geographic challenges. Providing a supportive learning environment involves considering the needs of a wide range of learners and instructors, including those with physical and cognitive disabilities or technical limitations.
The ability to do this can be somewhat challenged within the structure of a course management system such as Blackboard (WebCT) Vista, as full control of the web interface may not be possible. In response to student and faculty needs, educational developers from two institutions, the University of British Columbia and Utah State University have worked to determine how som…

Scratch - OWAU discussion 10/28

Aloha kākou,

I while back, I learned about this product from a presentation at the eSchool conference. The speaker was so excited about Scratch and was having so much fun demonstrating it that my mind began racing immediately. "I could use it in `Ike Hawai`i courses and I bet I could use it to develop tons of activities for the A`o Makua `ōlelo Hawai`i courses". Then, reality set in as I returned to work intending to try it out after I finished my "next" task. Well, you know how that goes. 7 months later, I finally took a stab at it out of necessity of course. I really wanted some type of activity to teach my students about different Kapu in old Hawai`i without having them just read a list of them.

So, what it Sratch? Simply put, it's a developer's tool (a very inexpereinced developer like myself). It allows you to create activities and games using "coding" that is in a drag and drop format. The codes are pre-written & range from phrases like &q…

Adobe Connect Pro Cool Features

Aloha Everyone,

I was cleaning up my Inbox today and found and email from Adobe Connect, which led me directly to the Adobe Connect Exchange where you can download things to enhance Adobe Connect.

I fooled around with the “Meeting Room Backgrounds” and “Quick Meeting” downloads.
(I’ve also added it to my delicious site if you’d like to link up directly from my network list)

For the meeting room background, it looks like you can upload content and customize your background to the way you want it. Most of the time, we use up most of the space for pods, so I’m not sure how useful this would be unless we show the pods after users log in.

The quick meeting download was cool. I uploaded the file already as, so if you folks want to integrate this with meeting rooms you’d like to direct users to, you just need to do the following.…

Avatar Chat

Aloha all,
Here's my o wau topic for this week. We all know the power of the Avatar and their popularity with our learners from our A`o Makua courses and I know we have discussed ways to incorporate them into our `Ike Hawai`i classes as well. Well, I can't take credit for finding this resource. Our resident Avatar expert a.k.a. Christy told me to check it out because Avatars can now chat. So please join me in finding out what other engaging and motivating feats these amazing characters can do to help us provide meaningful learning experiences for all our students. You can read about OddCast and their AvatarSpace or go to their Web site and test out some of these features. I'm hoping that this may provide us with a motivating way to get students, in both programs, to participate in some cooperative learning and sharing. Let me know what you think and if you feel this would be a valuable application to use.
Mahalo - look forward to reading your responses!

Blackboard World 2008: The Power of Web 2.0

I thought I'd share a couple of Web 2.0 tools that came from a presentation that I went to at Bb World this past July that was titled "The Power of Web 2.0." The presenter was a high school teacher in a San Diego public school. She described many free tools and how she used them in her class. A couple that I thought were intersting were ToonDoo (creates comic strips and is the basis of their social network) and (creates mind maps). The great thing is that it's free, platform independent and no software installs. The presenter also gave her web site that lists even more Web 2.0 tools. You don't need an account to try out, though it does require an account for ToonDoo. I created a generic account for ToonDoo, username "vsdl", password "vsdl2008". I know mapping software is used in some of the 'Ike Hawai'i courses so maybe this would be a useful alternative. As for ToonDoo, at the very least it's entertainin…

Web 2.0 - Learn.Connect.Share

We've all heard a lot about Web 2.0 and this presentation showcased a lot of the tools and the way that they use it. The presentation was done by Eastern Kentucky University at the Blackboard World '08 Conference and Wimba wanted to have them present during their distinguished lecture series. They've incorporated Teams LX which we've looked at before when we thought it was free :). They use it for Wikis, Blogs, and Journaling. They also use Blackboard Sync which integrates with Facebook and also has social bookmarking similar to the site that Dorothy shared. You can check out their presentation through their presentation course on Blackboard:
Username: bbworld08
Password: 1234

Adobe Connect & Blackboard

This morning I signed up for a Webinar that focused on the integration of Adobe Connect 7 with Blackboard 7.3 or later. The "how to" part of it is pretty user-friendly, essentially following the same procedure to add a meeting as if you went through connect. The nice thing is the single sign-in that comes with setting up meetings and the integration of the meeting into the Home tab and into the course. We haven't moved in this direction yet but it's only a matter of time. For more information:

Free talk - Photos and Video Documentary Storytelling Oct 11

I know its a long way off and you may or may not be interested but Pacific New Media is having a free talk by a film maker titled "Documentary Storytelling with Photography and Video and Possibilities for Education"

Has anyone thought about how we or our students could use personally captured image and words to tell stories? What it could be like, how it could help them learn and shape perspectives? How to do it EASILY?

Fire Eagle, taking location to new heights

Another social opportunity, this time through Yahoo!. It's amazing to me how the Web is transforming everything we do, how we organize, make friends, find places to eat. This site integrates with other location dependent social networking sites to broadcast your location to the world. I thought it was an interesting concept for our students or adults to reach each other on a personal level and "see" where they all are. It's kind of like the dot on the map concept but taken to a whole new level. Take a look at their Application Gallery for other cool sites. I thought it could also be used for conference attendance or trips to keep people updated of where you are and what you're doing throught the social networking blog. Check out their blog for a video presentation of the tool., A Social Bookmarking Manager

I was introduced to this Web site awhile back, but haven't had a chance to create an account and play around with it. Therefore, I thought I'd use my owau opportunity to begin building our VSDL network so we can share great resources with each other. One of the main benefits of using this Web-based bookmarking tool is that you won't need to import or export bookmarks that are specific to a Web browser anymore. Once the toolbar is downloaded, it's also really simple to add a bookmark and tag words which allows for easy searching. To link to my bookmarks, just add me via my username "dohirata." Have fun and please let me know what you think about this site!
Dorothy :)

Adobe Captivate 3

I've been able to play around with Adobe Captivate 3 for the last few days. Apparently, it offers a lot more than Captivate 2. It allows you to create online tutorials, interactive quizzes (linked to the gradebook-I haven't learned how to do this quite yet), and branching capability to direct and adapt to different learner modes. You can also give immediate feedback if answers are incorrect. All these things are available in addition to the components of Captivate 2. For those of you that have used Captivate 2 extensively, you'll appreciate this article.

Let me know what you think.


Thank you for reviewing the memory site. Am starting a new thread, I hope. Will be short to test. The second article I will send by email since I don't see an attachment button. if i remember. joan

Is Blogging 4 us?

After an inspiring keynote speech at the KS Ed Tech Conference on June 9th, I thought it might be fun to explore the idea of blogging in our department & with our programs. For this OWAU session please read the article found here & post your comments. If you have the time (hahaha) you might want to select one of the web site readings listed in the "Notes" or reference section of the article & share what you learned, too.

I was thinking that this might be a way that we can share our OWAU articles without taking up too much time during our meetings. Also, I was thinking about possibly adding blogging to our VSDL newsletter if we decide to move to an online version. Thoughts?

Also on a side note, this blog was created using that's affiliated with Google. This post should be private, if I set it up right ;), & only invited people have access. I just wanted to test this o…