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The Open University

The Open University

5 Tools To Monitor Website Changes Want to know when prices drop at shopping sites? When someone posts a new message in a forum? When your favorite website updates that is not offering an RSS feed? All of these usage scenarios and many more cry for programs that can monitor website changes. What should a program that monitors website updates come with? It should obviously check the website in intervals and compare the active state with a previous state of the website. The following list contains five tools for monitoring websites. Check 4 Change Check 4 Change is a Firefox add-on. A few options are provided by the add-on. Update Scanner Update Scanner uses a different approach than Check 4 Change. The interval of the checks for website changes is set to once a day by default. Available are sound and popup notifications. Site Delta Site Delta is the third (and last) Firefox add-on for monitoring websites. Users can configure the scan options in two tabs. Change Detection WebMon The program comes with an easy to use interface.

7 Things To Avoid in Online Training Video Design Jeremy Vest knows video design. Having been a teacher, marketer, art director, author and instructional designer, his company xTrain are leaders in online video training having won Emmys for incorporating award winning television production with software-based training. The following is a summary of his slightly longer post that he brought to my attention today – thanks! 7 Sins of Online Video Instructional Design Not connected to learners When creating video training, have the SME address the camera, do not just show screen shots. Jeremy Vest is the CLO of Splash Media, author of Exploring Web Design, President and Founder of xTrain. Related Posts:

Scrapbooking, Greetings, Slideshows and More at Smilebox 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web Great HDR Photography by Ásmundur Þorkelsson Few times people have been asking me to dig around and post some HDR (High dynamic range) photos for inspiration, something that I would think is nice, so I thought to my self who is better talk about than Ásmundur Þorkelsson I’ve been following him for quite some time now and I must say am really impressed with all his work not just the HDR photography, OK enough talking and let’s get down to business by displaying some but not all of his HDR work, if you want to get in touch with Asmundur you can just click on his name and it’ll take you right to his profile, so here it goes … © All rights reserved by asmundur

An online collaborator’s handbook: What it takes to get a group working online. : Indaba I’d like to have a conversation about how online collaboration works, based on some things we learned while building the Indaba fieldwork platform, a tool for organizations that use distributed teams to collect data or write reports. Over the last ten years I have used, loved and hated online collaboration tools with teams in more than 100 countries. It’s not magic. Online collaboration is simply getting stuff done over the Internet, and online collaboration tools, all of them, have some means of addressing three functions: relationship management, knowledge management, and project management. Put more simply: keeping people connected, getting them the stuff they need, and sorting out what to do next. But before I can talk about that, I need to vent a little. Prologue: Why you hate your online collaboration tools. This is a picture of Frank Lloyd Wright. This is a picture of a hammer. This is a picture of Fallingwater, a landmark in modern architecture. Goals and invitations Who’s doing what?

Top Sites Blog - Discover Best Websites and Blogs The World as Your Campus: Designing a General Ed Curriculum for Life One of the biggest hurdles people face when embarking on a journey of self-education is deciding what to learn. There are so many possibilities that it’s difficult to narrow down the options. If you still don’t know what you want to focus your self-studies on, may I suggest you take a bit of time for “general education.” In the “world campus,” a general education is anything that helps you explore your own interests and share a common understanding with humanity. An inspiring essay from William Upski Wimsatt, published in Utne Reader, explores one self-educator’s personal curriculum: “I…enrolled as a student at the University of Planet Earth, the world’s oldest and largest educational institution. Here’s my curriculum: Live in a different city every year. Now, that’s an exciting curriculum. Once you’ve completed your general education studies, you’ll be better prepared to choose a focus and begin delving deeper into the subjects you love.

The American Scholar: A Declaration of Intellectual Independence “The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must be a university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another, which should pierce his ear, it is, The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson Just 61 years after the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, Ralph Waldo Emerson offered a declaration of his own urging Americans to stop being “parrot[s] of other men’s thinking.” The groundbreaking speech, later titled The American Scholar, is a treasure trove of autodidactic insight. In his speech, Emerson draws attention to three ways that people can become independent thinkers and free themselves from over-reliance upon the ideas of others. Study the Past

The Joy of Practical Learning…What Can You DO? An unfortunate number of people graduate from high school or college with a lot of knowledge and no practical ability. I’m a firm believer that practical learning (i.e. the ability to do something) is just as important as academic learning (i.e. knowledge about something). Practical learning encompasses anything that helps someone master a skill or ability. It includes skills that are sometimes considered drudge work…cooking, painting, fixing a car. Why Practical Learning? While skill-based learning comes naturally to some, many people are more comfortable with academic learning. When I graduated college, I loved reading and thinking. Over the next few years, I set aside time to escape from the written word and focus my energy developing skills. If you’re more of a thinker than a do-er, it may be difficult to focus on practical learning. There is great satisfaction in being able to accomplish something. Practical Skills Everyone Should Learn Can you: Your Mission: Find Something You’ll Love

How to Learn on Your Own: Creating an Independent Scholar Resource Plan One of the most challenging and gratifying parts of learning alone is the opportunity to search for and select your own learning material. Students in traditional classrooms usually don’t get to decide how they are going to master course content. Instructors decide for them in the form of textbook selection, quizzes, tests, group projects, etc. As an independent learner, you can make your study time more effective by using only the learning methods that work for you. A resource plan is a document used to brainstorm the learning material you can use when you begin your studies. Before you write a step-by-step schedule, think of every resource that is available to you (such as books, websites, knowledgeable people, etc). This article will show you how to create a resource plan to use in your independent studies. Step 1: Set a Goal The first step to creating a resource plan is to decide on a single goal. Step 2: Collect Materials Step 3: Make Connections Step 4: Take Action

Motivation and Self Improvement The Liberal Arts as Guideposts in the 21st Century - Commentary By Nannerl O. Keohane The very broad, capacious form of education that we call the liberal arts is rooted in a specific curriculum in classical and medieval times. But it would be wrong to assume that because it has such ancient roots, this kind of education is outdated, stale, fusty, or irrelevant. In fact, quite the contrary. A liberal-arts education, which Louis Menand defined in The Marketplace of Ideas as "a background mentality, a way of thinking, a kind of intellectual DNA that informs work in every specialized area of inquiry," lends itself particularly well to contemporary high-tech methods of imparting knowledge. We all wrestle with the challenges of educating students who are used to multitasking, doing their homework while listening to music and texting on their iPhones. An excellent example of the power of multimedia coupled with the liberal arts is "Imaginary Journeys," a general-education course sometimes taught at Harvard University by Stephen Greenblatt. Nannerl O.