Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Title V News

We have some small but important updates regarding Title V this week. The mentoring portion of the grant is well under way with the first few mentor training sessions already completed. The e-mentoring course itself is under development, and a trip to CBC is planned for this Friday (3/23/07) to kick off the collaboration between CBC mentees and UHV mentors. If you would like more information regarding the online mentoring program please contact Robert Cortez:

The Title V website is up and running! Additional information regarding all three components will be added as the grant progresses. We hope to have some bulletins and newsletters available on the site within the next few weeks. The website should prove to be a useful resource for anyone involved in Title V or anyone with questions regarding Title V. The website is located at

If you have any questions not answered on the website, please email them to

If you have any questions or comments regarding the site itself, please email

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What’s Happening in the Other Online Courses?

Once in a LTD workshop, a faculty member told me now and then he felt he was in a "technology vacuum", and he would love to learn what his peer faculty members are doing in their online courses.

Obviously he is not the only one who has this feeling. Having the same thoughts, the educators of Sloan-C have collected several effective practices of learning effectiveness, which include class participation, discussion, rubrics development, peer evaluation, virtual lab, and many other aspects of online course. Each practice is briefly summarized, and the URLs to the courses and the relevant resources are provided.

Learning about what the other faculty members are doing in their online courses is interesting, and can often bring great inspirations and ideas. Therefore, we always cordially invite you to share your online teaching experience with the other UHV faculty!

Friday, March 09, 2007

What's on the Horizon?

Each year the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Project publishes a report discussing new technologies that will impact education. The 2006 Horizon Report was a collaboration between NMC and EDUCAUSE and the results are well worth reading. Download your copy here from EDUCAUSE.

From the report, the technologies to watch include,

  1. Social Computing
  2. Personal Broadcasting
  3. The Phones in their Pockets
  4. Educational Gaming
  5. Augmented Reality and Enhanced Visualization
  6. Context-Aware Environments and Devices
Social Computing (collaborative online tools) and Personal Broadcasting (podcasting and video blogging) are already exploding and this report describes the "time to adoption" as one year or less, so the time is now. Further, within two to three years, the Phones in their Pockets (enhanced mobile devices) and Educational Gaming (simulations, virtual worlds, social play and others) will become widely adopted tools for education.

Read this report and then think about "where do you want to go?" It's a much different world online that it was just a few short years (maybe months?) ago. And, remember this was last year's report.

Friday, March 02, 2007

HTML Tips Pt. I - Writing HTML vs. Using a Webpage Editor

HTML has the reputation for being a tool for ‘advanced’ web designers or computer programmers. The truth is HTML is nothing more than a way to tell a web browser how to format content. Web browsers can’t distinguish between bold type, italics, paragraphs, or other formatting options on their own, so they depend on HTML ‘tags’.

Tags work like quotes. When a writer wants you to know that someone says something, he or she uses quotes. Likewise, when a web designer wants a browser to display something like bold type, he or she uses ‘tags’. We’ll get into more detail with tags in future blogs.

Frontpage, Dreamweaver, and even Word automatically create HTML for you, so why should you spend time trying to learn HTML?

  • Knowing some basic HTML will save you time. Webpage editors don’t always give you the result you expect. You will be able to spot the problem and fix it immediately rather than spending time trying to make it work (or settling for what you get) in a webpage editor.
  • HTML generated by editors is inefficient. Inefficient code can cause some parts of your page to be inaccessible to certain browsers, and can also cause excessive load times.
Take these two sentences for example:

This is sentence one.
This is sentence two.

If you put these sentences into Word and save it as a web page you will end up with a file that contains over 100 lines of HTML. You could get the same visual result writing your own HTML in just six lines. The extra HTML causes the Word file to be over 50 times larger than necessary, and even these simple sentences may not be formatted as you expect in certain browsers.

It’s not necessary to code your entire site by hand (or even know every HTML tag) to make your page more effective and efficient. Next time we’ll take a look at the various tags and how simple it is to write your own HTML. In the meantime, here are some great HTML resources: