Virtual Communities, women

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Kudos to all the ladies who engage & contribute to the world of technology.  You continue to influence and inspire those around you.


Today is Ada Lovelace Day:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognized. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.   c/o

Be sure to celebrate by posting about women who inspire YOU.  Although the numbers are growing , there are less women in technology.  Let’s be sure to recognize those we admire.  Speaking of which, here are just a few of the many women who inspire me:

blogs, Social Media

Characteristics of Blog Design

Today I found a great article on how to pretty up your blog, especially if you are blogging for professional reasons.  I think I will do a bit of blog design review & updates as well.


The 13 Characteristics of Outstanding Blog Design include:

1. Readability

2. Useful Sidebars

3. Unique

4. Comment Design

5. Integration of Ads (for professional blogs)

6. Effective, Usable Navigation

7. Images in Posts

8. Footer Design

9. Color Scheme

10. Icons

12. Subscription Areas

13. Social Media Integration


For those of you who are just starting out, be sure to check out these tips from PROBLOGGER that shares Blog Design for Beginners.

blogs, Collaboration, Higher Education, Photo Sharing, Social Media

Happy Birthday ACE!

For those of you thinking about implementing a new online, web 2.0 project for student learning… I say: GO FOR IT!

This is the 1 year anniversary of the ACE pilot project that was initiated at The Academic Advising & Career Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough.  Happy Birthday, ACE!


ACE (Academic & Career Explorer) is an online, peer buddy who connects with students at UTSC to share information & resources about job search, academic questions, career options and study skills support.  You can connect to ACE various ways online:

The ACE project was a fun project to work on with staff and students.  Kudos must go out to E-Lin, Suzanne, Esther & the great team of student staff at the Centre for all their creative work and on-going support.

Here’s a shot of E-Lin celebrating ACE’s birthday today with some cake (office tradition), of course:


Micro-Blogs, Social Media

What the Tweet?

There’s a whole lot of buzz in the news, on the political scene and elsewhere about micro-blogging with Twitter.  As an educator, you decided to join to see what the tweet it was all about.

The good news is that educators CAN use this social media tool to connect with resources & individuals in their profession.  Be sure to check out The Top 100 Edu Tweeters who share great resources, information & news about education.

Here are a few that I have been following on Twitter [and I am sure that a few more will be added shortly]:

  • @OpenUniversity: The Open University offers university education to everyone, and shares tips, news, and developments through this Twitter stream.
  • @utpress: This Tweeter offers news from Canada’s oldest and largest scholarly publisher.
  • @Librarian: This tweeter works to “reach the parts other libraries have yet to reach.”
  • @edventures: John Martin is a technology architect for higher education.
  • @eduguru: Follow edguru to learn about Internet marketing and web development for higher education.
  • @higheredu: Higher Edu works to get colleges and universities on Twitter.
Higher Education

A National Technology Plan?

National Education Technology Plan: Action Steps

To help states and districts prepare today’s students for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow, a set of seven action steps and accompanying recommendations have been developed.

  1. Strengthen Leadership
  2. Consider Innovative Budgeting
  3. Improve Teacher Training
  4. Support E-Learning and Virtual Schools
  5. Encourage Broadband Access
  6. Move Toward Digital Content
  7. Integrate Data Systems

This national plan was initiated in 2004 to increase the involvement of technology in K-12 education.  I hope that this tech plan will also be part of the educational reform focus for the new administration.  The changes to K-12 technology use can and will impact students who attend college & university.

There may not be a mandate for higher education to have a specific, uniform technology plan, however there are a few trends to follow from the last few Horizon Reports  c/o Educause.  Many institutions have seen great value incorporating technology into their strategic plans and recognizing the need for this support and growth.

Are you aware of what YOUR institution is planning for technology development & support for learning?  Find out.

Conference, Higher Education, Learning Technologies, Professional Development

Campus Technology Conference 2009

Campus Technology Conference

July 27–30, 2009
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Reasons to attend:

  1. A New Approach to your Academic Technology Future
  2. Real Information from the Real World
  3. Nonstop Networking Opportunities
  4. Collegial Environment
  5. The American Experience


If you can make the conference, I am sure that it would be well worth it.  I know that my professional development budget has been spent, so I will just stay tuned for the archives.  Here are recordings from the 2008 Conference.

For more information & updates be sure to follow @Campus_Tech on twitter.


Update:  Just found a FREE Conference from Purdue University if you happen to live close by.  

April 21- 22, 2009

Learning Technologies

Technology Assists Learning.

Technology is often created to make things more efficient and our lives easier.  I also think that there has been excellent developments in the field of technology to support our various learning needs. 

New technology, such as the Kindle II e-reader, are supporting learners who have disabilities and also offer text-to-speech support.  I think I first viewed this gadget as a new reading toy, but this little device has such a greater purpose for supporting learners.

  Other technologies that are assisting the classroom include:

  • SMART Boards: interactive white boards engage learners
  • Free video lectures: streamed on the internet or downloadable
  • Class portal: lecture notes, slides & other course material; discussion board and option for virtual office hours

Students are using technologies that are often free, social and portable:

  • Accessible mobiles & PDAs
  • Laptops
  • Digital cameras (with CapturaTalk)
  • Screen shot readers
  • iPods or mp3 players to view recorded lectures

What are other new technologies that YOU have seen students utilizing at your institution to help them learn?


For other contributions about assistive technology tools used in education here are just a few links to check out: