items lists of those users are displayed also, similar
with the collections of those who saved a particular resource at del.icio.us. We can
speak here about loosly coupled online communities who share domains of
offers language filter, while Shared Reader
publishes tops for shared lists and for the sources of the shared
These new tools are interesting because you can find in
real-time news / information, which are appreciated by many users.
I would say that because the tools process the lists added by
users to their databases, the results are not very relevant.
I pressume it's possible that Google Reader
will provide soon the facility of displaying the items shared by the
most numerous users, also tops of the sites / blogs with the
most numerous subscribers using Google Reader
Reader could publish for each RSS feed, together with the
subscribers number and the posting frequency ( which exist now ), the medium number of users who share items from that RSS per item. For this blog
this could be as below:
Share items of Google
Reader is similar with Clip / Blog This at
which could also provide the top of the items saved by the most
Here the information for an RSS feed could include not only
the subscribers number, but also the citations
number, the frequency and the medium number of Clip / Blog This
per item. As example, for this blog:
The maximum number of users who can share an item on Google Reader
is equal with the subscribers number of that RSS feed. We can
find this number at Google Reader
/ Search and Browse, providing the feed address.
It would be interesting to be able to seach for a blog address
Reader ( or Google
Reader ), and to display the items which were shared and the
numbers of shares - this would be another metric for a blog visibility
could provide for a blog address the number of items saved
/ Blog This.
Despre OS, OER si eLearnTS in interviul din Checkpoint eLearning, cu o zi inainte de Software Freedom Day
Liţă, Permanent Editor, Checkpoint eLearning,
a avut amabilitatea de a-mi adresa cateva intrebari referitoare la utilizarea
sistemelor Open Source, a resurselor educationale deschise in
invatamantul romanesc si la deschiderea mediului eLearnTS de la Timsoft
(RO), September 2007 – (by Elena Lita)
Open Source, a term proposed in 1998, refers to a set of principles and
practices that promote the access to the process of planning and
implementing various products and resources. The term is primarily used
in relation to software. A wider term is FLOSS (or FOSS) - Free Libre
Open Source Software. Carmen Holotescu, an instructor at the Automation
and Computer Science Faculty - Politehnica University of Timisoara, the
coordinator of the eLearning firm Timsoft, and the author of two
eLearning guides speaks about the use of Open Source in Education.
1. Why should OS be used for educational purposes?
Holotescu: The main benefits of open
source software as
concluded by UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational
are adaptable functionality, lower overall costs, vendor independence
(increases choice, competition and transparency), adherence to open
standards, the software’s position as a public good,
The recommendations of the EU for educational policies are to avoid
lifelong vendor lock-in in educational systems by teaching students
skills rather than specific applications and by encouraging
participation in FLOSS-like communities. This adds value to the skills
learnt by students, such as a positive attitude towards information
technology that favours the ability to create and actively participate
and collaborate rather than just consume.
In Romania, the interest and the use of open source software by
teachers, pupils, and students is very important, but most initiatives
are personal. Many Linux and LAMP users are active in user groups,
building online communities with online support and discussions forums,
but also with periodic face-to-face meetings. Romanian Linux
distributions were developed by teams formed by young students.
A lot of workshops and conferences in which actors from educational
system participate take place, such as Linux and Virtual Learning
Environments at University Vasile
Goldis Arad (, which has convened five times editions),
Linux Open Alternative Days - LOAD , or
the International Conference eLiberatica organized by
Romanian Open Source Initiative.
2. Is OER a viable alternative at this moment?
Holotescu: Open source software is
based on and uses
open formats, and for this, it is used to create Open Educational
Resources (OER). In Europe and worldwide, there many projects have been
developed that deal with OER that are the subject of numerous debates,
studies, policies, and educational priorities. The term Open
Educational Resources was adopted at the UNESCO Forum in 2002,
following the analysis of the impact that the Open Courseware projects
have had on higher education.
The Open Educational Resources include materials (content) for teaching
and learning: open courseware and open content projects, free courses,
learning objects directories, and educational journals. The OER are
generally characterised by the following attributes:
the access to open materials - open content - is
for educational institutions and individual users;
the content is licensed so that it may be reused
educational activities; to this end, the content observes open
standards and formats;
educational applications are open-source - the
and it can be modified or adapted, or interfaces are made available -
APIs - that enable the creation of new applications.
technologies make it possible for educators to access and
exchange online resources. Until a few years ago, most of the materials
created were protected, the authentification of the users’
being needed. Nowadays, most of the resources are created and posted
freely on the Web using the collaborative systems available via Web
2.0. Just like the FLOSS enables the users to reuse or modify the
software, the OER allow users to adapt the materials and systems to
self-instructional and other learning environments.
But ultimately, the OER imply a fundamental change in the educational
process, favouring the focus on the student.
3. Is there any connection between eLearnTS and the OS
Holotescu: The eLearnTS is an online
developed by Timsoft that can be configured for online courses, for
training in companies, for online communities, or as a collaborative
platform for distributed teams. In our company, we use it to deliver
IT, management, training the eTrainers, online courses for
universities, firms, or for individual learners, and as collaborative
platforms for our European projects.
No matter what the subject of a course is, the learning community
formed by the participants and the facilitator builds a pool of useful
resources for future reflections, too: RSS feeds; blogs of the
facilitator, participants, and other practitioners; wikis with topics
related to the course; collections using collaborative bookmarking
systems; and localization of other open resources.
The platform is based on open technologies - LAMP (Linux, Apache,
MySQL, PHP), and collaborative exercises realized by the participants
frequently use Web 2.0 tools. We consider that each online course, each
new learning experience in which somebody takes part, should be
integrated into the continuous learning process in which the person is
number of computers, especially in the rural areas, should be increased at least
at the value of the EU indicator of number of computers connected per 100 pupils:
computers should be located in classrooms, in libraries, in teachers rooms.
61% of EU25 schools provide computers in classrooms.
possibility to provide to schools presentation toolkits consisting of
( wireless ) computer / laptop, projector and interactive whiteboard for be
used in the classrooms.
provision of other ICT equipments could be taken into account: whiteboards,
laptops, printers, projectors, PDAs, scanners, digital video cameras.
access for schools should be provided - now 44% of Romanian schools are connected,
while 67% in EU25.
Assure ICT support
and maintenance: extend the possibility that schools sign contracts for ICT
support or maintenance with professional ICT service providers.
Create a website
for ICT support ( on MERY or MCTI websites ):
FAQ ( both could
be organized as wiki ),
for administrators, technical staff, teachers who want to improve their
presentation of free and open source solutions,
blogs of practitioners,
and a specific online integrated system are needed to the ongoing monito-ring
and evaluation quantitative and qualitative of ICT use and impact in education
( ARACIP makes no references to the ICT evaluation and doesn't have an online
system for evaluation ).
Such a methodology
is needed to inform decision makers on whether to expand or modify a particular
policy or programme and develop future actions.
The online system
could offer the possibility to schools to evaluate the grade in which ICT
is used and to suggest future steps.
The system to
implement the European indicators and benchmarks , Romania has to report
in EU and international programmes.
Some specific actions
related to open source software could be:
pilot programmes in schools to evaluate the using of OS
the use of open source software in schools and in educational institutions
for operating systems, applications, for virtual learning environments and
content management systems, for open educational content development
training programmes for teachers and administrators to contain open source
solutions presentations and applications, not only proprietary solutions
pupils and students skills, not specific applications; the ICT and Technological
Education manuals to present both proprietary and OS solutions
a dedicated website ( or an area on the Ministry's website ) which provides
technical support, download area, best cases sharing, online communities
for actors from education systems and other practitioners
( be partner ) round tables, conferences related to open source software
schools with DVDs containing OS software and guides
with organizations which activate in OS, with user groups.
The educational content
which already exists, mainly in AeL, should be used more intensive by teachers
and students: connections with curricula, the skills they develop should
be more clear; encourage and support the sharing of best practices - could
be published on the MERY website, and aggregated from other sites, blogs
Partnership with European Schoolnet and eTwinning
Schools and participation in projects related to OER, presented above. Schools
to be informed and stimulated to participate. It seems that in the autumn
Romania will be a partner in the eTwinning programme, with ISE as the national
coordinator ( update: in October 1st, Romania has become partner
). Also the possible partnership with Romania appears in European
Schoolnet - Work Programme 2007 .
Create a repository with
the educational projects in which Romanian schools and educational organizations
have participated, such as Leonardo, Socrates, eContent programmes: trained
human resources, gained experience and skills, produced materials could
be used, projects could be continued or new ones could be started.
with publishers, broadcasters, libraries, cultural institutions to provide
access to their own resources.
Implement an online system
for collaborative production of open educational resources by teachers and
students, based on Web2.0 collaborative technologies. OER can make a valuable
contribution to a diversified supply of learning resources, supporting methodological
diversity, and promoting the individualization of the learning process:
content organized by tags,
specifying target groups, disciplines, skills, types of activities in which
to be used; define quality criteria; possibility for peer review, user comments
and ratings, best practices sharing. It is not necessary that the resource
to be created and uploaded on this platform, but it is possible that a link
to a resource elsewhere created by user is shared, and then validated with
the other users
collaborative tools to
create materials; templates could be provided
community - users
profiles could include interests, name, location, skills, inte-rests specified
and searched by tags; users to be able to work together for produ-cing educational
materials, communicating in discussions forums, and using the collaborative
tools; support also for blogs, wikis, RSS feeds
training - self-paced
tutorials, but also online courses could be organized for teachers and students
on this platform.
In general, the teachers
training programmes should contain topics related to OER, new licenses and
tools to create educational materials in a collaborative manner.
Encourage a competitive market for educational resources production,
guarantee transparency of supply and equal opportunities to market actors.
a set of quality criteria:
principles:effective learning and teaching, the focus from presenting content
to engaging learners in productive learning activities. assessment, improve
practical and cognitive skills
online system to evaluate the educational software with a database of suppliers
could be implemented.
central portal can be created to provide the connections with all the categories
of resources above.
and Sharing - Web2.0 technologies
Inform, train, and encourage the teachers and pupils to use Web2.0
technologies: RSS, blogs, podcasts, wikis, collaborative bookmark
systems, social networks.
Topics such as online
plagiarism, new licenses, online security should be discussed with pupils.
The educational websites
should offer information related to these issues.
Provide RSS feeds for
all the educational sites developed, for better monitoring by possible users.
Promote blogs written
by innovators in education.
Offer hosting service
for educational blogs and wikis, using open source solutions.
Encourage and support
schools and other educational institutions to use virtual environments for
learning and collaboration based on these solutions.
of Learning - Virtual Learning Environments, eAssessment, ePortfolios
Start with a pilot program to investigate
the impact on education of a 21th century open school, having an
integrated online platform, based on open source solutions and open source resources
for communities of learning and interest dynamically created
courses supported by a virtual environment with online resources and discussions,
being accessible from anywhere, anytime, from home too, open also to parents
to monitor their children's progress
tool to assess pupils knowledge and skills, and to provide online guidance
and materials for development
for pupils ePorfolios which will be ongoing developed during their lifelong
learning; learners set up and develop their own ePortfolio for documenting
and reflecting on the progress and results of their study work
online resources accessible to the community
projects collaboratively developed with other schools
wikis to share experience.
Training - flexibility, online courses, new technologies
standard for ICT skills for teachers to take into account the new skills
recommended by EC, required to collaborate, to share practice, to use the
new technologies, to moderate online environments.
Encourage a competitive market for training programmes, guarantee
transparency of supply and equal opportunities to market actors.
the training programmes, teachers should be able to know and practice new
collaborative and communication technologies.
The training programmes for teachers to contain open source solutions
presentations and applications, not only proprietary solutions; also OER, new licenses, tools to collaboratively
create educational materials.
possibility to acreditate online courses would assure flexible in-service
training, assuring the tailoring to the specific needs, and would give examples
of good practices
developed via formal, informal and non-formal to be recognized, as recommended
an online system to assess teachers ICT competencies and to offer guidance
for future development.
mentoring and collaboration in online communities - with online tutorials
and guides, case studies, discussions - assure experience sharing, learning
from the others experience.
Encourage the use of blogs,
wikis to share experience and to continuously learning.
Train e-trainers, use
the experience of organizations which activate in this domain, in Leonardo,
Socrates, and Grundtvig programmes too.
The BlogDay rules specify that the
recommended blogs should be new, different from the own culture, point of
view and attitude.
It's hard to select only five, but here's an attempt.
I've recently discovered the following 6 (!) blogs written by BlogHers, and I'm sure you will appreciate them too:
Public Policy Watch
- my own interests are in urban, education, and
economic development policies; the focus will be on Republic of Moldova, since
this is my current location; the 31th of August is the Romanian Language Day in Moldavia - please read Lucia's note on this topic.
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don?t search around and look for the ?coolest? book you can find. Do what?s
actually next to you.
Learning Design - Rob Koper, Colin Tattersall, Springer: "MOT+,
described above, provides a powerful graphical language which aims to provide
learning designers with the tools which they require to define any structure
which they may need."
Five years ago, when I was trained to become Online Instructor for UMUC, one
of the papers I have to study and to debate with my colleagues was the wonderful
Principles of Good Teaching Practice written by Dr. James W. King
from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The principles are listed below:
Encourage Student- Faculty Contact
Encourage Cooperation Among Students
Encourage Active Learning
Give Prompt Feedback
Emphasize Time on Task
Communicate High Expectations
Respect Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning.
adaptations of these principles and a
with these principles for traditional and online instruction.
Since then I have read and have written a lot of articles on this topic.
I also use this tool in my online courses:
here is an example
for a Unix course, having an extended HTML description - which the examples
above don't have, and also comments on the image and in the forum.
Sometime ago I invited the Romanian teachers to join the
flickr in Education group in order to learn/produce/share Educational
And a few days ago I presented the
possibility of using BubbleShare:
to an image/set of images you can add a voice presentation and the students can
comment in a forum - so a new possibility of creating Educational Resources.
Subscribing to the RSS provided for each image - Learning Resource in our case - by both flickr and BubbleShare, the teacher/facilitator and the students can monitor the posted comments.
Grundtvig 3 Course - Open Distance Learning ? Teacher Training
The Grundtvig 3 Course - Open Distance Learning ? Teacher Training ( Reference Number: IT-2006-048 ) will be organized during 10 - 14 July 2006, in Urbino - Italy.
The objective of the course is to introduce the participants to considerations needed before successfully providing ODL. Focus will be on:
? the ideas and concepts of ODL
? pedagogy of ODL
? reusable Learning objects
? identifying and analysing needs and wishes
? looking at examples of best practice
? examining the components of ODL
? Evaluation, legal aspects and quality.
1250 ? (all included: tuition, excursions, course materials, book, full-board).
Only travel to and from Urbino is not included.
Registration and application for a grant:
If you want to apply for a grant it is essential to follow the following procedures:
1. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, your function, your private address, the address of your institution and your fax number. Also give us a short description of your experience in ODL. You can do this by completing the form attached to this document and by sending by e-mail to email@example.com and / or by fax to +39 ? 0721-979988.
2. You will receive a statement from Kylene De Angelis (by fax and by post) if you have been accepted on the course (pre-inscription)
4. Send the application, together with the pre-inscription statement to your Socrates national agency.
5. Deadlines for submitting the grant application are flexible depending on the country: ask your national agency!
6. If you receive a grant from your National Agency, immediately notify the course organisers: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then receive the final letter of acceptance.
The course organisers:
This course, organised by Training 2000, is the result of the Grundtvig 1 project ?IAML?? co-ordinated by the Het Gemeenschapsonderwijs (Belgium ? Flemish Community). The partners are: Provinciaal Onderwijs (Belgium); Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium); Odense Seminarium (Denmark); Training 2000(Italy); Universidade Aberta (Spain); Edinburgh University (United Kingdom); Pedagogick? Fakulta Ostravsk? Univerzity (Czech Republic); Eesti Taiskasvanute Koolitajate Assotsiatsioon Andras (Estonia).
Some Resources proposed for the partners in ELF Project - "E-Learning
Facilitators: analyses of their different roles within different methodologies
and approaches"; coordinator Universit? degli Studi di Napoli IT:
Blended learning can be defined as the combination of multiple approaches
to pedagogy or teaching. For example:- self-paced, collaborative or inquiry-based
study. Further to this blended learning can be facilitated through the use
of 'blended' virtual and physical resources. Examples include combinations
of technology-based materials and traditional print materials.
LAMS is a revolutionary new tool for designing, managing and delivering online
collaborative learning activities. It provides teachers with a highly intuitive
visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities.
These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work
and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration.
eXe - http://exelearning.org/
Learning Objects authoring environment; LOs can be exported in SCORM,
IMS, Web site; sections:
?Free Text Area
?Image with Text
? A review and analysis of content authoring software in relation to eXe-
Sandy Britain, April 2005: eXe, Burrokeet, Lectora, SoftChalk, Lesson
Qualifications Transparency refers to the visibility of certificates
for vocational and other qualifications.
What it is:
Consists in the adoption of certification indicators or instruments that
apply the principle of the 'transparency of certification'
Makes visible the information required for understanding the contents and
characteristics regarding a vocational qualification;
Improves the spendability of vocational qualifications in the training
systems and on the labour market in a perspective of a European education,
training and labour-market context, thus fostering personal mobility.
first of all, congratulations to Nir Ofir,
the initiator of this virtual event, and to all the participants - don't forget
to see the locations and to browse the notes put by participants on
BlogDay Guest Map
wonderful weblogs, most of them which can't be found on A-Lists, were
recommended - here a lot of statistics and lists could be realized, but more
important is to know, to read the new weblogs
Technorati counts almost 300 posts
( you can monitor them using this
RSS ); let's note that the tags with over than 5000 posts appear on Technorati Tags main page, so BlogDay2005 is not listed there
Fernando Plaza Blog?s 02 Experiment is a nice tool which compares the
Bloglines subscribers number of two
weblogs chosen from a list ( it would be better if the links to the weblogs would appear too, not only their names ). Also you can add your weblog if it has over 200
subscribing by e-mail - a few
services can be used
visiting the weblog site.
survey reveals that only 11% of the weblogs readers use RSS to monitor them.
Only if the feed is provided by
Feedburner you can find the total number of your readers who monitor the RSS.
Presuming that the percentage of the readers who use Bloglines is similar for
most of the weblogs, to know the Bloglines subscribers number is important,
being an useful metric for the weblog value ( notoriety, visibility ).
Bloglines API doesn't offer this value.
You can find a weblog subscribers number by browsing a Bloglines account -
see mine - or by browsing
the Feed Directory - the
search service here would be more useful if it would return the weblog having
the name specified.
So a program which to display the number of subscribers should determine the
siteid value of that weblog starting from an account which contains that
The PageRank, the
Bloglines number of subscribers, the
number of links found by search engines, together
with seach feeds, but also
links to different systems which offer other valuable information on the
visibility/ notoriety of a weblog/site are
The PageRank, the
Bloglines number of subscribers, the
number of links found by search engines, together
with seach feeds, but also
links to different systems which offer other valuable information are
listed for each item in Collection.
ELF - E-Learning Facilitators: analyses of their different roles
within different methodologies and approaches: coordinator
Prima Universit? degli Studi di Napoli, Italy;
partners from Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Poland, UK, Danmark, France; a Leonardo project.
There are situations when you need a group RSS starting from a few RSS feeds:
If your site provides more RSS feeds, you can offer the possibility of
subscribing to a single one, to the group RSS; as example, the four RSS feeds
produced by Timsoft have as equivalentTimsoftRSSs,
a Blogdigger feed, and are listed on
Students participanting in my online courses implement sites providing RSS.
To monitor their projects I create a group RSS; all the students subscribe to
this one too, thus having the image of all projects.
Sometimes you would like to have a single RSS which to contain the items of
your favourite newspapers RSS feeds.
Bloglines is a wonderful service, which I use daily, in order to monitor over
850 feeds - http://www.bloglines/public/camih, but also to search and to find new
information ( search, related feeds, users public collections, credibility of an RSS given by number of subscribers and citations ).
My feeds include weblogs, sites announcing their news using RSS, search feeds, podcasts; but also
the weblogs of my students working for their diploma or participating in online
Bloglines deals wonderful with the private RSSs produces by the online courses
using the virtual environment of
Colections of RSS are displayed in my online courses using the
Bloglines export service.
for each account create an RSS with the new added feeds; why? we learn
from the resources collected by others ( a solution is given by Superfan - http://www.unpossible.com/superfan/userBloglines ); this RSS would be a measure on how
her/his OPML is changing; of course each user might choose to share this RSS
or not; such an RSS would be similar with that one created by
del.icio.us for each user:
the possibility of creating search feeds for the citations option; it's
useful to keep up with the citations of sites or specific postings
the possibility of searching specifying the OPML in which a search to be
realised; now each user have the possibility to search in her/his feeds
collection; the option could be extended: to specify whose collection to be
used; or an external OPML to be specified;
because very often a user feeds collection counts hundreds of RSS: when
you try to add a RSS you already have in collection, the message "You are
already subscribed to that blog." to specify also the Folder which contains
to be able to find the collections saved by users under specific Folder/ categories - similar with
Technorati, delicious, flick,MetaFilter; as an example: a search for the feeds saved under Java folder to
display all the users who have a folder named Java in their collections:
RSS is an
open protocol for publishing/syndicating the information on Web. An RSS ( or RSS
Feed ) -
Rich Site Summary feed - is a XML file, which describes the updated content
of a site. Initially this protocol was used by Netcape in order to create My Netscape
pages; then RSS was adopted by the news syndication services and weblogs.
RSS is also considered the abbreviation of RDF - Resource Description
Framework Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication.
A RSS file includes a logo, link and title of the site, and also the news items;
each item consists of the URL of the news, a title and a description.
Systems called aggregators ( online systems - the best knows is
Bloglines; read why
I love Bloglines ) or desktop RSS Readers read RSS feeds and inform
the subscribers on the news on the corresponding site; thus the information is
syndicated. The contents of
RSS feeds is stored in databases, which can be searched using different search
By subscribing to RSSs you are able to monitor different sites without having
to visit them periodically; also you reduce the possibility of receiving viruses
and spams by newsletters.
The search engines specific to RSS index the information in a few
seconds/minutes after the RSS feeds were updated, while the classic search
engines make the new information visible in a few days.
This is why the RSS feeds and weblogs - which produce RSS - are called the World Live Web.
Preparing a resources collection for the projects/proposals in which Timsoft
eLearning pentru manageri,
Defeminization of Poverty: The Balkans/Asia
Minor E-Entrepreneur Development Project, Grundtvig/Leonardo projects:
Evaluation of enterprise education and entrepreneurship training
Entredu.com- a forum for analysis of the different features and
cultures of enterprise education and training in Europe. Entredu.com contains
a classification of the theories and practices in a state-of-art matrix and
provides a frame-of-reference for new development in the field of enterprise
education and training
EUBusiness - Europe's leading independent online business
information service about the European Union
EQO - The Code of Practice for e-learning - identify and describe the good practices specific to e-learning (overlapping and synergy between technology, pedagogy, organization) and organize them according a service and a processes oriented approach
- improving SME participation and success rates in the 6th Framework Programme
and ensuring more effective and faster integration of the associated candidate
countries when building the European Research Area