A WebQuest on Blogs and RSS

I recently noticed (thanks blogshop) a WebQuest which has been developed to explore the question “How do educators use the Internet?”. I am a strong proponent of the use of webquests in education, and this site certainly provides a neat frame for learning about blogging and RSS.

View the webquest here:

Also, if anyone is interested in seeing a small collection of WebQuests developed by my former students, check out: http://education.uregina.ca/iteachered/webquests.htm

Choosing a Wiki – Article

Here is a useful article from IRRODL titled “Educational Wikis: features and selection criteria”. With over 200 wiki engines to choose from, any guidance is certainly good to have when choosing a wiki technology. Here, the authors have identified basic selection criteria based on a wiki’s features … but I guess it’s up to us to actually perform the side-by-side comparisons. Is there a decent comparison out there?

See the full article here:

“When life’s an open blog” …

I came across a neat article in The Star Online (A Malaysian new source) related to “new directions” in Malaysian education due to the widespread use of blogs.

View the full article here:

Of course, many of the identified uses of blogs and blogging will not be new to most readers, but I especially appreciate how this activity is perceived to be helpful in the following ways:
– in being able to publish opinions without the editing of censors
– to comment on course material which helps to “train creativity and imagination”
– provides anonymity in the commenting of political issues
– improving English language and general communication skills
– provides an active forum for daily expressions and reflection

It’s interesting how much blogging is perceived to have taken off with Malaysian youth and how it is reported to “herald a new, youthful voice of the Malaysian community.” Although it’ difficult to see the entire, accurate picture in one article, it’s certainly a neat snapshot.

Napster.ca Launched … to a tune by the Dayglo Abortions?

Napster has finally launched it’s music subscription service in Canada. While I didn’t download the service interface (and don’t have any plans to), it looks like the service will charge a minimum of $1.19 per song, and is also offering a $9.95 per month charge for its new streaming service.

An article on SlashDot reports that this is the third online music service launched in Canada, after PureTracks and ArchambaultZik. Napster, also doesn’t seem to be the cheapest (PureTracks offers songs as low as $.99).

What I find perhaps most interesting is the choice of song that Napster.ca has chosen for it’s “new Canadian animation” on the splash page. Most of you won’t recognize the tune as it was done by a fringe Canadian punk rock band called the Dayglo Abortions. The song is called Proud to Be a Canadian, and while the title seems innocent and patriotic enough, the actual full lyrics are quite appalling. View the full lyrics at your own risk. Couldn’t they have picked the Hockey Night in Canada theme instead? (go Flames)

Choosing a CMS, Blogging System, Forum Tool, etc.

Although I do love the never-ending choices of robust software that the open source movement has given users, that same factor floods us with so many similar emerging products. It’s impossible to keep up with new developments.

However, I have recently discovered opensourceCMS, a directory of CMS tools, blogging tools, forum tools, etc. with the motto “Try before you … install”. It’s a terrific site which will help choosing appropriate tools much easier.

StumblingUpon the del.icio.us MemeStream of Furl n’ Spurl

I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of these social bookmark managers (+) that have been popping up recently. I finally took the plunge and tried a few (relatively) new ones out. The following services do not all fit in exactly the same category (re: purpose and functionality), but they often seem to be mentioned under the social bookmarking guise. I checked out furl, spurl, del.icio.us, memestreams and stumbleupon.
Continue reading


We (educationaltechnology.ca) have just set up the TeacherResourceWiki. This is my first real experience with a wiki (other than as a user), and I am hoping that this becomes a useful resource for teachers. At the very least, I will be introducing the idea to my undergraduate class this fall.

The basis for the wiki? Educators can collaboratively develop a useful hotlist resource, wiki-style, and develop appropriate categories for the management of these sites. The TeacherResourceWiki can be found at:

Feel free to add to the content. Right now, there are a few links added to the ‘high-school’ section, but other than that, the rest is bare. Now to see if this project catches on.

Also, we are redesigning the entry page to the educationaltechnology.ca site. The current list of resources can be found through this page.

Stay tuned for more content in the future.

MoveableType Goes Commercial

It looks like I won’t be upgrading to MT 3.0 anytime soon. As MT Developer Edition has been released, there have been some major changes to the MT licensing structure. While there will be a free version of MT 3.0, it sounds like it will be limited to single users.

Check out the user revolt at:

Time to seriously consider switching to WordPress (ahhh … good old GPL).

A Short History of Blogs

For those interested in understanding your own place in blogging history, this site summarizes some of the key points in the relatively short history of web logs.

Blogging 101:

There are some neat examples of the many varied types of web logs out there, with some beautiful designs. The full article is nice as it does gives a good overview of several of the forms and reasons for blogging. Good resource!