Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bradwell's Edgeless University

Peter Bradwell identified the term edgeless university. It seems that something comes up daily that moves us closer towards identifying further trends towards what Bradwell defined as the “Edgeless University.”

What is the Edgeless University? It is identified as follows:

“that the function they perform is no longer contained within the campus, nor within the physically defined space of a particular institution, nor, sometimes, even in higher education institutions at all.”

Bradwell, the author of “The Edgeless University,” for DEMOS identified the following trends that will, , impact education these include, I also added one or two to the list:

1. Open repositories of online content

2. Social Media Networks like Facebook, Twitter

a. Increased collaboration of people who are not geographically co-located

3. Semantic Web tools

4. Use of Virtual Learning

5. The economy

6. Increase in numbers of students

7. Open course ware/open education resources

8. Open and free universities

9. New ways of accrediting learning

10. Open scholarly journals: information is now more searchable

Taken one at a time how have these trends, tools or circumstances moved education closer to the concept of the “Edgeless University?”

1. Open repositories of online content have been around for years with the advent of in 2000. Now you can do a search for open course ware in general or discipline area specifically and find a plethora of resources.

a. Some of these are as follows with their mission or state purpose following:

i. Lecture Fox

1. Lecturefox is a free service. You can find high-quality classes from universities all over the world. We collect without exception lectures from official universities, and we have a special interest in lectures from the faculties physics, chemistry, computer science and mathematics. In the category “faculty mix” you can find miscellaneous lectures from other departments like electrical engineering, biology, psychology, economics, history and philosophy.

ii. Academic Earth

1. Academic Earth is a repository of video lectures from educators at Yale, MIT, Stanford, UCLA. Their mission is, in part; Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world class education.

iii. Flatworld knowledge

1. From their website they state: We preserve the best of the old - books by leading experts, rigorously reviewed and developed to the highest standards. Then we flip it all on its head. Our books are free online. We offer convenient, low-cost choices for students – softcovers for under $30, audio books and chapters, self-print options, and more. Our books are open for instructors to modify and make their own (for their own course - not for anybody else's). Our books are the hub of a social learning network where students learn from the book and each other.

2. Social Media, networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace

a. Defining their roles in education has been blogged about, research however I believe they have yet to be applied enough by a critical mass in education in order to determine their effectiveness in education.

b. That being said the number of users demonstrates that the use of these sites is gaining ground every day. While this may not necessarily mean that users consistently use the sites but more importantly that they have access to and the skill level to be able to use them in some manner for education or a tool similar to them.

i. A list of the sites and the number of registered users can be found at this Wikipedia site.

3. Semantic Web Tools:

a. Sites such as Twine

b. A full listing of Semantic Web Tools is here at Sweet Tools

4. Use of virtual learning

a. Growth in online

i. Affordability and availability of learning management systems

b. Online Education Database

c. Virtual Worlds for learning

d. Increased informal learning

e. Mobile learning

i. Studywhiz

ii. Brainhoney

iii. Driven because of ubiquity

5. Economy

a. Having a well educated population facilitates the economy of a country/nation

b. Improves quality of life

c. Secures the country’s role on the global stage

d. Improves a nation’s ability to work its way out of a recession

e. Also reduces a university’s ability to work raise funds for capital projects

6. Increase in the number of students

a. Driven by the economy and a demand in increased technical skills we will see people commit to lifelong learning more than ever before.

7. Open Courseware/Open content

a. MIT’s open courseware initiative

b. Open Education Resources : OER content is made free to use or share, and in some cases, to change and share again, made possible through licensing, so that both teachers and learners can share what they know.

c. Open Courseware initiative

8. Open and Free Universities

a. Peer 2 Peer

i. From the website: Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses.

b. University of the People

i. From the website: University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first tuition-free, online academic institution dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. The high-quality, low-cost and global pedagogical model embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring collegiate level studies to even the most remote places on earth. With the support of respected academics, humanitarians and other visionaries, the UoPeople student body represents a new wave in global education.

9. New and acceptable ways of accrediting learning

a. Certifications

b. Assessment

c. Projects/activities

d. ePortoflios/Portfolios

e. Employer certification

10. Open Scholarly journals/research

a. Directory of Open Access Journals

b. Open Access Journals in Education

c. Highwire Press Stanford University

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does illustrate the bits and pieces of Bardwell’s Edgeless University being in place and coming together. The resources are available for a university to become edgeless, to be global, to be open they harness and organize this is fundamental to future success.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Flocks, Twines and Aardvarks OH MY!

We have had the industrial age, the information age, and what some have dubbed as the knowledge age..I propose that what we are now entering is the first phase of the Social Everything Age...I just received in the mail a book entitled Socioeconomics, by Erik Qualman Social Media, Social Networking, Social Learning----on and on! Or perhaps we are entering the Semantic Age which is difficult to define as I am not sure that a singular definition of Semantic has been identified yet..but perhaps that isn't important various definitions of Semantic are as follows:

Semantics is the study of meaning.

Semantics: is of or relating to meaning, especially meaning in language

Further searches on the term Semantic Web lead me to this:

Semantic Web is an evolving development of the World Wide Web in which the semantics of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content

For more in-depth reading on the Semantic Web I suggest reviewing A Semantic Web Primer by Grigoris Antoniou, Frank Van Harmelen available in Google Books.

I started this post with a single purpose of writing about Twine. I am using Twine as a social bookmarking tool, but have engaged in discussions with others which lead me to the conclusion that they found it to be much more. In the process of using it as a social bookmarking tool I started to join Twines, add items and interact with others. However the single purpose of focusing this posting on Twine lead me on a safari. I entitle this a safari because In the process of discovering Twine I also discovered Flock and AardvarK!

While I was thinking and planning this post on Twine I was reading about Semantic Tools from a feed in Google Reader and was reading about a Semantic Web tool called Aardvark. I signed up for Aardvark and based upon my personal interests I was quickly connected to a network of people who shared similar interests as me. Because was researching for this post on Twine I asked my network if they had any experience in using or applying Twine for education purposes, I swiftly receive a response back via Instant Messenger (which is also integrated with Aardvark as an option when you sign up). That response/dialogue is as follows:

I've been Using it since the beginning, and it's a great resource to aggregate pages of interest for a group or team; you can all add to a twine or have the twine aggregate from keywords or many other options. It's inherently social. I'm not sure how you would integrate it into a curriculum, but what education level are you interested in using it for?

this would be at the college or university level. I thought if you could use discipline specific content from the web and put it into a twine the students could then access the content there and discuss/make comments on addition current/related content could be added if seen as appropriate.

That seems like a perfect paradigm; as long as the guidelines for suitable content are explicitly defined there should be no problem: the comment system combine with individual aggregation of pertinent topics seems like something conducive to focused topical learning.

This dialogue occurred late on a Friday night, now I am excited to see what kind of discussion I could get going on a higher traffic date and time. I did find Jordan's responses very helpful. One can't help but be astounded that you can have this sort of exchange by firing a shot in the dark on an obscure topic almost instantaneously.

In the process of doing all of this I also came across Flock...One glance at the website and I realized this was a tool that I could my attempt at defining this I will just say it's a "web browser for your social networking sites." I will work more on defining the application of Flock on the future but I am excited by it.

Twine was first rolled out in October 2007 as a semantic bookmarking tool by Radar Networks. There were many press announcement heralding this roll out, however by March 2008 writers in Read, Write Press were already expressing disappoint in the tool.

From a June 1 article in Fast Company by Dan Macsai about Twine I learned that:

Founder Nova Spivak...stated that Twine is: "Digg ... on Ritalin." Twine's unique visitors have grown more than 40% each month since its October 2008 debut, topping 80% in February 2009 -- more than 1 million uniques."


Based upon the article and my experience in using Twine it works like this:

You can join or establish your own threads, or "twines," centered around specific ideas ("social media"), people ("Barack Obama"), and events

Users fill them with content found around the Web.

The site then tracks the articles they add and the topics they follow, and assembles an interest-based personality profile.

Based on what Twine learns about you and the users in your shared Twine..., it sends you news and friend recommendations

Example of the Twine Digest:

50 Social News Websites You Can Use « SEO-INRA's Blog
Bookmark added by at 11:01 AM CDT
There are a great deal of social news sites on the Internet, sometimes too many. Most of them are dormant and are no longer active, largely because they were poorly marketed and hence, never had an active community of users in the first place.

Why Adults Have Fed Twitter's Growth - Bits Blog -
Bookmark added by at 05:34 PM CDT
But one big reason for the disparity is simple: When Twitter became popular, teenagers already had their favorite Web sites for communicating, so they were not interested in a new one. The people who discovered Twitter were adults who were new to social networking.

Eco-friendly Human-based Energy Production
Bookmark added by at 06:01 AM CDT
As we are squeezing every bit of our lives to save on energy, some radical ideas pop-up, asking why don't we produce energy from our everyday deeds . Watching my two kids in the playground, I thought about the opportunity cost of the energy their crazy games could produce. It was a funny idea, ...

Memristor minds: The future of artificial intelligence - tech - 08 July 2009 - New Scientist
Bookmark added by at 05:55 PM CDT
EVER had the feeling something is missing? If so, you're in good company. Dmitri Mendeleev did in 1869 when he noticed four gaps in his periodic table . They turned out to be the undiscovered elements scandium, gallium, technetium and germanium. Paul Dirac did in 1929 when he looked deep into

As you review this posting I want you to be aware that these are things that I put together in a matter of a few hours, reviewed, had a dialogue with individuals and all at my "fingertips.." I am sure you have had similar experiences, however I am of the generation or background that is amazed by having all of this at hand.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Formal and Informal Learning

Dennis W. Cheek, PhD stated and many others also state that learning is at the very core what it is to be human, it is what humans do.

One could state that learning is learning whether it is defined as informal or formal and that it is the documented achievement of quality indicators that give learning credibility. Is it tangible evidence that the learning has successfully competed a learning task or achieved a learning objective that provides the learner with the credentials necessary to provide evidence of educational attainment.

What are the specific definitions of formal and informal learning that delineates between the two? Formal learning may be defined as learning that takes place with in a teacher-student relationship, however from this definition there is clearly no guarantee that this type of learning guarantees a student the type of documented credential necessary to demonstrate that he/she has achieved the learning outcomes.

Perhaps Jay Cross gives the final definition on both formal and informal learning as:

Learning is formal when someone other than the learner sets curriculum. Typically, it’s an event, on a schedule and completion is generally recognized with a symbol, such as a grade, gold star, certificate or check mark in a learning management system. Formal learning is pushed on learners.

By contrast, informal learners usually set their own learning objectives. They learn when they feel a need to know. The proof of their learning is their ability to do something they could not do before. Informal learning often is a pastiche of small chunks of observing how others do things, asking questions, trial and error, sharing stories with others and casual conversation. Learners are pulled to informal learning.”

Further definitions of informal learning are:

Informal learning is semi-structured and occurs in a variety of places, such as learning at home, work, and through daily interactions and shared relationships among members of society. For many learners this includes speech acquisition, cultural norms and manners. (retrieved from August 25, 2009)

Informal Learning – Occurs in everyday life and may not even be recognized as learning by the individual. For example, using a television guide may not be equated by an individual as having learned how to use a table. Related concepts/terms include: incidental learning.(retrieved from August 25, 2009)

undamentally the question to be asked may be —Should we recognize or accept informal learning and if so how do we measure achievement by the student towards certain learning objectives or outcomes? Furthermore who sets these standards and how are they assessed? Is that sort of learning measurable and how? Through a review of portfolios, assessments, projects and activities?

There are many barriers to recognizing informal learning as credible and documenting achievement of learning objectives through informal learning.

There are many resources available for a learner to access in order to pursue hs/her informal learning goals. These resources include podcasts available on Itunes U, Videos on You Tube Edu Channel, MIT’s open courseware, OpenCourseWare Consortium, Academic Earth, and the learner may also want to access learning object repositories such as Merlot. We should not overlook repositories of online documentaries, the Internet Archive, and sites like Connexions.

The challenge that lies before the education community in my opinion, is how best to assess informal learning. It seems that this is a change that we cannot resist, so it will benefit the self-directed learning and educational institutions to facilitate the validation of such learning.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New site

My blog posts will also be available on, however I will continue to make my posts available here. ...until I get the new site figured out and that may take a while.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Using mobile/handheld devices for Learning

Using Mobile/handheld devices for learning:

The focus of this entry into my blog is on eTech Group's June 2009 report on Global Mobile Learning, IPod Touch and Studywiz Learning Environment. I happen to own the handheld Ipod Touch, if you are not familiar with this device I suggest you go here to find more information. Understanding the use of the mobile device and its application to learning is essential. According to research conducted by the Pew Research and American Life Project the use of handheld devices will be the primary way to connect to the Internet by 2020. Using mobile devices to access the Internet via mobile cell phone access is seen as more possible instead of the use of computers via broadband connections. It is estimated that approximately 4.6 billion cell phones are currently in use. Contrary to this report Brandon Hall Research reports that "by the end of 2009...2.6 billion mobile phones will be in use. That works out to 41 percent of the global population carrying mobile phones by the end of 2009," (retrieved from August 2009).

The ubiquity of mobile devices is changing the way we learn as well. The eTech Group's is a presentation of the application of handheld devices for lean ring. This study addressed several things including studying the potential of handheld devices such as the Ipod for learning. In this study the learning management system or learning environment, Studywiz was used. Information on Studywiz can be found here, this study was my introduction to Studywiz and this is something I will have to explore further. Two school were included in the study, the study was at the elementary grade level.

This study sought to answer several questions, two primary ones are:

How can a mobile device (such as the Ipod Touch) improve our student's understanding of themselves in a global context.


What impact does movie learning and multicultural text have on student achievement and cultural appreciation.

Several activities were designed for the students to apply in using their handheld devices:

Putting Google links and projects in a blog
Browsing the Internet for research
Synching tunes with Itunes
interviews with local media
Calendar settings
Using video with the Ipod
Discussions in English
Using Studywiz Learning Environment
Audible for Audio Books
Numeracy Web Applications

Students also created their own podcasts.

The Ipod was also used for:

Sending attendance logs by faculty to administration
Immediate communication from one teacher to another
Pushing emails in Studywiz environment
Encourage parents to log-in to Studywiz Learning Environment to read messages and blogs from teachers

Details on Studywiz:

After the class the students indicate increased confidence in:

Word Processing
Studywiz learning environment
Presentation software and Internet

Main activities included:

Researching school assignments
Blogs, wikis, chts
Downloading music and videos
Social Video sites
Increased the use and range of techniques
Increased the use of Internet research
Blogging downloading audio and videos and podcasts

The students agreed, when giving their feedback that the use of technology was important in improving their lives. Some of the challenges that the teachers found in applying the new technology was the need for time in using the technology and changing their pedagogy from that of a teacher centered focus to a learner centered focus.

There are many resources on the use of Mobile Learning/handheld devices for learning on the internet. I suggest you get out your Blackberry,I Phone, Ipod touch and search them out!

The full report can be found here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10 Free Online Photography Courses, Tutorials, and Seminars

10 Free Online Photography Courses, Tutorials, and Seminars

Digital cameras have opened up the world of photography for so many people, but even if you're only "pointing and shooting," there are lots of tips and tricks out there that can help you increase your knowledge and expertise.

Indeed, no matter what your photography skill level, you can find loads of free information online to help you take your photos to the next level and have all your friends asking who took those professional-looking shots.

Here are 10 free online photography courses, tutorials, and seminars that can help you become a better photographer:

1. Beginning Photography Tips & Techniques Video Series: eHow's 14-part series that explains the differences between using a 35 mm camera and a digital camera, how to load film into a 35 mm camera, various film formats, how to correctly use light meters, and other basic photography techniques.

2. Jodie Coston's Classroom: Ten free lessons from an award-winning freelance photographer covering composition, aperture, shutter speed, landscape, portraits, and more. Very comprehensive and also includes discussion sections.

3. Night Photography Lesson: Offered by School of Photography, this free online course explains the basics of night photography, including timed photos, flash guns, and self timers; other paid courses offered as well.

4. PhotoFlexLightingSchool: Free lessons for those who wish to improve their photographs through increased knowledge of the use of lighting.

5. Offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced film and photography courses covering areas such as optics, cameras, light, webpage layout, and digital photography.

6. Photo Seminars: Comprehensive list of available seminars, including those devoted to wildflowers, travel, winter photography, and a special 3-part series on garden photos.

7. PhotoWalkThrough: Collection of tutorials on how to use photo editing software, particularly Adobe Photoshop.

8. "The On-Line Library of Digital Photography," which runs the gamut on digital camera information from basic camera equipment to pixels and image sensors.

9. SLR Photography Guide: Collection of tutorials on everything you need to know about using your SLR digital camera.

10. Suite101 Photography Basics Course: Four lessons covering the history of photography, your camera "toolbox," camera basics, and lighting.

Happy snapping!

Guest post by Michelle Fabio, Guide to Law School, who also writes about online nursing education at and loves playing around with her digital camera. Check out her photos at Flickr!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Merlot Conference, Second Life for Education, etc., etc.,

HI all,

I have just returned from the Merlot Conference in San Jose! I have to say that my head is spinning there is so much going on at Merlot that it is not possible to sum it up in one blog post, but I will start with some general observations.

John Willbanks provided the opening Keynote. John is from the Creative Commons ( a non-profit organization that provides "edicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

We provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof." (retrieved from

I had committed myself to facilitating four Second Life tours with the presenter in world, I was apprehensive to say the least! It was a trial and error/pilot project! While I think the technology worked beautifully there were certain things that I learned I could not do such as opening people's profiles, going in to mouselook, and doing searches while having my screen projected to the meeting room. If I did any of these things my computer locked up and I had to totally reboot the computer.

Saying that though I do believe the tour of Virtual Ability was well received and special thanks to Gentle Heron and especially Eme Capallini for Virtual Ability and conducting this presentation. I was pleased to see so many new people just coming in to Second Life at the conference..and doing so well as they got their "virtual world bearings" and were getting teleported and participating in the sessions. I hope they go back to Virtual Ability and participate in the orientation.

The next presentation was from Jonathon Richter, Wainbrave Bernal, who gave us a tour of the Merlot Campus and a presentation on the new CLIVE hud developed by SIFY...let me say this technology is amazing. This innovation in Second Life really had folks at the conference buzzing about the use of Second Life as a means to access Merlot resources!

On Saturday we had an excellent presentation from AJ Kelton Director of Emerging Instructional Technologies at Montclair State University. I give AJ a hard time but he is really the one who introduced me to the use of Second Life as content for learning, creating a learning environment and learning experience in world. The Theorist Project at Montclair State does just that.
Finally we toured Sci Lands, Jim Zeigler of Northern Michigan University introduced us to the Speech and Language Center in Second Life. With a larynx that an avatar can walk through, interactive quizzing, and more than life size ear that can be toured this is an amazing build. The person who built this learning environment is top notch and I encourage you to contact Jim for more details. His contact information is on the NMU website. As I checked NMU's website I see there are many innovations occurring in Second Life by educators there.

IN addition to this I would like to point out that some of these sessions are not so much about the build itself but what can be done and how it can be done in Second Life. Hopefully people picked up tips on navigation and communication through these sessions. In addition to this I hoped that they learned something about resources on the web regarding Second Life and how to use those to learn more about the program.

I would like to recognize the Elluminate sessions I also facilitated. The technology worked great but I learned a's best to block off a whole day for presenting these sessions rather than individual blocks of time for each. We did trials runs with each presenter prior to the session and that seemed to work fairly well.

I was thrilled with Judy Greaves presentation on the Library of Commerce there is a great deal of quality resources there to incorporate into your course and it is well organized and indexed. Other presentations using Elluminate included Turning Technologies on gaming and Ramona and Carmen on Web 2.0 tools application to teaching.

Overall a great conference I was honored to go and in spite of the technical hiccups I hope we see an expansion on the virtual conference next year!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book discussion The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr

Sometimes a good non-fiction book can be even more engaging than a good fiction and such was the case for me when I read Nicholas Carr’s The Big Switch, Rewiring the World from Edison to Google. Nicholas Carr also wrote Is Google Making us Stupid?

This book provides an analogy between the development of electricity to the development of internet, computer applications and technology as a utility. Based upon this analogy we are on the precipice of seeing computer and internet services as ubiquitous. It is a new age that is both exhilarating for information junkies like me and can be extremely frightening as we consider the data gather capabilities and the privacy that we are giving up as we create a “web based” identity.
In Carr’s comparisons he views the Internet as follows:
1. As utility
2. As disruptive technology
3. Change to how we work
4. Change how businesses operate
5. Change in business models
a. What previously took 1000’s of employees now may only take a handful
b. Advertising—revenue is generated by clicks on ads not by content or service
6. Web content is not generated by “experts” but by users and amateurs and peer reviewed by users for credibility.

When Carr wrote this book Cloud Computing was not the buzz word of the day . Today there are many variations of defining this term:
Wikipedia: Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet.[1][2] Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the "cloud" that supports them.[3]

IBM: Cloud computing focuses on the user, and offers highly efficient acquisition and delivery of IT and information services. Cloud computing is defined and characterized by massive scalability, superior user experience, and new, Internet-driven economics.

Martin McBrown’s Blog: Grids and cloud computing share many of the same features - large sets of computers that can be used to handle 'work'. The distinction between grids and clouds is that in a grid you tend to have a huge array of computers working on a single tasks or purpose..
whereas in a cloud the computing power is a general resource that we can use for pretty much anything.

Carr gives a fascinating illustration of how companies such as Flickr, YouTube, and others handle millions of videos, photos, and other media with relatively small staffs, accessing resources of companies such as I BM and Amazon, and demonstrated how these companies welcome their use. Second Life uses services from Amazon to manage their log-in services.
Reading this book you begin to notice a trend though. This means your activities in the “cloud” are not anonymous, not just with Flickr, YouTube, or Linden Labs. These service providers may be accessing and storing data on user activities in a variety of areas.

The world is changing, it seems at a quick pace, however it started with Edison and electricity as a utility.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Merlot Conference

I am attending the Merlot Conference in San Jose this week. I have been involved with Merlot for the past year, it is related to my job in coordinating the online programs and services for the six public universities in South Dakota/
Merlot provides an avenue for faculty to peer review learning objects. According to the website:
Merlot is a leading edge, user-centered, searchable collection of peer reviewed and selected higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. MERLOT's vision is to be a premiere online community where faculty, staff, and students from around the world share their learning materials and pedagogy.
MERLOT's strategic goal is to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning by increasing the quantity and quality of peer reviewed online learning materials that can be easily incorporated into faculty designed courses.
A learning object is a resource, usually digital and web-based, that can be used and re-used to support learning.
Wikipedia offers the following definition of learning objects:
Learning objects offer a new conceptualization of the learning process: rather than the traditional "several hour chunk", they provide smaller, self-contained, re-usable units of learning.[1]
They will typically have a number of different components that range from descriptive data to information about rights and educational level. At their core, however, will be instructional content, practice, and assessment. A key issue is the use of metadata.
Learning object design raises issues of portability, and of the object's relation to a broader learning management system.
As a member of the Merlot leadership committee and someone who has an interest in virtual worlds, specifically Second Life I saw a connection between the services that are offered by Merlot, the learning environment offered by Second Life and learning objects/ In essence the learning experiences offered by Second Life are learning objects or a series of linked learning objects.

Because of the conference, my experiences with a virtual conference in Second Life I thought it would be a great experience to offer a virtual conference for Merlot, or some type of virtual world experience. As I started to put out some requests for information I learned that others, specifically Jonathon Richter at the University of Oregon was actively involved in developing resources and a link between Second Life and Merlot. With Jonathon’s help, and the assistance of individuals from Dakota State University, and Front Range Community College we toured and reviewed sites for the conference.

Four Second Life sites have been selected for tours for the Merlot conference, these include Virtual Ability Island, Montclair State University’s Theorist Project, Sci-lands, and Merlot CLIVE.
Merlot Clive is, according to the website;
The Center for Learning In Virtual Environments (CLIVE) is a collaboration between The Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE) at The University of Oregon, Sun Microsystems, and MERLOT to create two complimentary spaces - here on the World Wide Web and also within 3D space - for comparing, contrasting, and informing educators about the potentials and challenges for learning and teaching in Multi-User Virtual Environments. CLIVE is partnered with The Media Grid's Immersive Education project - an initiative to develop a universally accessible open source interface and repository for educational learning materials developed in 3D Virtual Worlds.

Virtual ability also has a website and from their website they:
Virtual Ability, Inc. helps people with these kind of challenges (disabilities) get into, and become successful in virtual worlds like Second Life.
The Theorist Project is:
The Theorist Project is a learning area and working classroom currently focused on Counseling Theorists. Current exhibits include Adler, Gestault, and Rogers (content provided by students) and Freud's Office and Iceberg.

SciLands is a science related sim that is comprised of 32 islands with a science focus:

• Island reservations in a pure Science region, with shared resources and other Science-based organizations, initially centered around the Space Industries and the acclaimed International Spaceflight Museum.

The Merlot Conference is rich in information, not only on Second Life but also information on initiative in education and projects that are faculty are applying to b e effective in their teaching. Information on the conference can be found here and more information can also be found here ttp://

Friday, August 7, 2009

Open course in Sustainable Development

I have been reading Curtis J. Bonk’s The World Is Open which covers the definition, application and implication of Open Education. If you believe in and advocate for Open Education he requests that you participate in 10 things as a call to action, while I won’t cover all of those in this entry today I do intend to follow through with one of his requests. Bonk asked that we find and index fee online courses in our areas of expertise. Following that request I have provided one such outline below. My dissertation research and interest was in Sustainable Development, therefore I found the following resources for informal/open education listed below. Some of the resources listed below may not be from accredited institutions of higher learning but may serve as resrouces/text materials.

Technology and Global Development (WM0903TU)

Companies and governments have to decide upon technological strategies, i.e. which products are to be developed and which processes and infrastructures are required for the future. Several tools to consider technological strategies are dealt with in this course.

Technics and Future (WM0908TU)

Companies and governments have to decide upon technological strategies, i.e. which products are to be developed and which processes and infrastructures are required for the future. Several tools to consider technological strategies are dealt with in this course.

Technology in Sustainable Development (WM0922TU)

Next to their master all TU Delft students can specialise in sustainable development. This course is one of the requirements for the specialisation. It consists of a full-time week of guest lectures and workshops which takes place on a boat, and a group assignment to solve sustainable problems.

Technology Dynamics for Sustainable Innovation (MOT1410

Conducting innovative research is working on the edge of the known and the unknown. In creating new technology the result is never guaranteed. Society faces a tremendous challenge in order to develop in a more sustainable way. What role is there for technology in this process of change? How could we stimulate innovations in technological systems?

Sustainable Energy

This course assesses current and potential future energy systems, covers resources, extraction, conversion, and end-use, and emphasizes meeting regional and global energy needs in the 21st century in a sustainable manner. Different renewable and conventional energy technologies will be presented including biomass energy, fossil fuels, geothermal energy, nuclear power, wind power, solar energy, hydrogen fuel, and fusion energy and their attributes described within a framework that aids in evaluation and analysis of energy technology systems in the context of political, social, economic, and environmental goals.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

The “Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit” is based on the idea that communities and educational systems within communities need to dovetail their sustainability efforts. It includes action plans on which to base educational change and develop sustainability goals.

Cities in Space, Place, and Time:

Welcome to the UEP 252 web site. This course will introduce students to the history of cities and metropolitan regions, focusing specifically on the actions of planners and policy-makers and how these actions shape our communities. The course is required for UEP MA students.

Environment and Sustainable Development, Spring 2007

This course will examine policy responses to environmental problems caused by economic development with special attention to innovation. The central topic of the course is innovation for the environment, which is explored through a number of lectures and discussion meetings.

Sustainable Development: Theory, Research and Policy

This course examines alternative conceptions and theoretical underpinnings of the notion of "sustainable development." It focuses on the sustainability problems of industrial countries (i.e., aging of populations, sustainable consumption, institutional adjustments, etc.); and of developing states and economies in transition (i.e., managing growth, sustainability of production patterns, pressures of population change, etc.). It also explores the sociology of knowledge around sustainability, the economic and technological dimensions and institutional

The Sustainable Development Education (SDE) Network

The Sustainable Development Education (SDE) Network is the Scottish network for organisations and individuals involved in sustainable development education. Members are committed to enabling people to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to build a fair, just and equitable society that is living within the environmental limits of our planet.