Archive for November, 2004

5 things to do with a forum

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

I’ve been using a simple robust Web based forum with a number of students studying an ICT module on an Applied Science course – students include 16-19, mature full time and mature evening class students. Teaching is primarily face-to-face but with online follow up.

I used the Gossamer Threads forum as it is free to non-profit [...]

Brian Harvey

Thursday, November 25th, 2004

Brian Harvey has a nice simple home page. He gives out a free book on programming in LOGO - Computer Science Logo Style based on his work in releasing the open source Berkley Logo interpreter. Berkley Logo was started as a student project.

Brian is also quite rare among north americans in having an interest in [...]

How SpamAssassin works

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

SpamAssassin is labelling some of my e-mail as spam. Often it gets it right, but sometimes it gets it wrong (e-mail from my own Web server forms is voted spam).

A rather old but useful article on how SpamAssassin does the sums gives basic information on the multiple rule scoring approach. The gory details are on [...]

Nursing numeracy support material

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

Numeracy support material for nursing is based on a numeracy course in the department of Health Studies at York University.

There is a lot of useful vocational context here and some nice examples, alas hampered by dated Web design (frames based site, flash animations used to convey material, assumptions made about screen size and so on).

The [...]

Study skills for science students

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

Martin Greenhow’s Study Skills Online page has a lot of information for science oriented students following Undergraduate degrees. You can download the lot as a Word 6 file but the resulting 34 pages of dense text is a little daunting. Better to link into a page now and again from the online version.

Martin has a [...]

From College to University

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

The mathscentre Web site has a growing collection of resources in a variety of formats – short leaflets on key numeracy skills (all of fractions on two sides) to longer packs of materials.

The student portal maps leaflets and revision books by vocational subject but often the leaflets are generic. The Web site does not appear [...]

Algebra book online

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

James Brennan is providing his Understanding Algebra book free for online access. This algebra text is geared to US educational requirements and styles but there is a lot here that Access students doing science modules could use.

The book is pure exposition of the basics – few worked examples and no problem sets. I found it [...]

Fax your MP

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

Fax your MP is a simple service that does what it says. You can fax your MP from a computer connected to the Internet. You just

type in your postcode
the database comes back with a page about your MP and links to recent votes and speeches
you can then type in a fax (or e-mail if the [...]

Disinfecting a Windows PC

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

A useful article from The Register explaines what to do if your Windows PC gets infected by a virus. The article also mentions a number of free virus checkers and firewalls. I currently use AVG on the reconditioned Windows laptop – looks like time for Avast and Zone Alarm.

PROPS online newspaper system

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

PROPS is an online publishing system designed to mimic the workflow found in a small newspaper. Journalists can write stories which can be assigned by an editor. A story can be tracked through first, second and third re-writes and finally added to an ‘issue’ of the newspaper. Issues can be final (ie published) or staged [...]

Death by Powerpoint

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Boring meetings and the main culprit seems to be PowerPoint. Edward Tufte has concerns over the Cognitive Style of PowerPoint as reported at some length by Wired Magazine (September 2002) under the headline PowerPoint is Evil.

How to not bore students with PowerPoint

Maximum 5 to 7 slides
Use PowerPoint for what it is good at – drawing [...]

More test

Sunday, November 7th, 2004

This is the paragraph or two that runs ‘above the fold’ with perhaps just a sentence now and again to set the scene.


Sunday, November 7th, 2004

MindGenius is a ‘mind mapping’ software tool for making ‘bubble notes’ or ‘mind maps’ – visual diagrams that allow you to explore the links between ideas. Many teachers in humanities subjects use ‘mind maps’ to motivate students doing essay plans and so on. I’ll be using one to help forensic science students produce a report [...]

Online banking hiccup

Friday, November 5th, 2004

The BBC news story on the recent problems with the Cahoot online banking service also mentions an HCFB error where an e-mail was sent to 2,500 people in such a way that they could all see the addresses of the other recipients (CC rather than BCC).

What I find interesting was that this latter e-mail hiccup [...]