Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

Archive for December 2005

WebCT Communities

Currently I’m active in a handful of WebCT-related communities and want to spread the word about them. I’m a strong believer in the power of online communities and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them. If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of WebCT, I hope you find these folks as helpful as I have:

Written by jlongland

December 31, 2005 at 12:58 am

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Turning Point

Ok, gotta make this one quick. Need sleep.

I attended a demo today and had a chance to see Turning Point in action. I have some exposure to eInstruction, Qwizdom, and some of the other audience/classroom performance systems – but there were so many clever little features in Turning Point that had me ooohing and aaahing. First and foremost, Turning Point isn’t an application, rather, it’s a Powerpoint extension/module/add-on. Straight out of the box, they have a large number of instructors who will be able to more easily adopt clickers because of their prior experience with Powerpoint – no new program to learn. Just a few new tricks inside an old favourite. Unfortunately there is no cross-platform support, PC only. Mind you, clever features don’t make a good tool if only a small percentage of instructors are aware or in need of such features. The clickers themselves were the smallest I’ve seen to date, although I’m sure there are likely smaller and smaller versions already in development or already out there.

What the heck is a clicker? ELI has a great PDF: 7 Things You Should Know About Clickers

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December 14, 2005 at 5:57 am

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Feature Submission Success with WebCT Vista 3.06

I always feel great when a vendor listens to their users. Correction, I feel great when they listen to me. A few months back I suggested that WebCT should provide a means to programmatically specify forwarding email addresses for the Vista mail tool. For those unfamiliar, the Vista mail tool is similar to email but contained entirely within WebCT. Users can login to WebCT and specify a forwarding email address, but the icon to do this isn’t particularly obvious. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d take a screenshot. Anyhoo, Vista 3.06 was released earlier this week and forwarding email addresses can now be specified when creating users.

Now the issue (from my perspective) is to reply to the forwarded message from my email account and have it directed accordingly in Vista. Perhaps a reply-id could be added to all forwarded messages such that when Vista receives a reply containing the reply-id, the mail is then directed appropriately within the Vista mail tool?

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December 14, 2005 at 5:39 am

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What does blogging mean to me?

D’Arcy recently remarked that he’s putting out ~25,000 words a month on his blog. I’ve himmed-and-hawwed for a long time about whether I should begin blogging again. After much consideration, here I am – and only a few posts so far. A typical day brings with it a few tirades, but I don’t tend to blog them – I’d quite like to… I suppose I need some sort of outlet for those types of rants, but I don’t think they contribute anything to any conversation. Well what does this blog mean to me then? I like to write, I like to talk, and I like to talk with my hands. I could go on about anything – but I’m trying to be disciplined. I’m going to try and keep my topics within the ballpark of emerging technology, geekdom, instructional technology, and higher-ed computing.

Perfect… nice and vague.

Written by jlongland

December 4, 2005 at 5:27 am

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Musings of a good, long sit.

I’m one of those always-connected folks in a luddite sort of way… I don’t have a cell phone, PDA, or Blackberry (currently I enjoy being ‘disconnected’ but I’m increasingly tempted by PDAs). I’m addicted to Thunderbird. Between my email, newsgroups, mailing lists, and RSS feeds – I’m constantly tied into the worlds of my choice. My focus is very targeted – I’m not a 300+ subscription person. Don’t have a count off hand, but I likely have under 50 subscriptions. It pains me that I might be missing some good/valuable content, but it’s such a delicate line between productivity and addiction. I’ve recently realized that in spite of my limited focus, the nature of the blogosphere is such that my existing sources will likely comment on anything outside my focus that may be of interest to me. Not really an earth shattering revelation, but definitely a testament to the power of communities and social networks. So a thank you to those who make the email, newsgroups, mailing lists, blogs, and wikis worth reading.

Written by jlongland

December 3, 2005 at 11:01 pm

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