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VIII. DISTANCE AND ONLINE LEARNING

Software/Applications for Distance and Online Learning

Recommended:

*** Sakai Project
Over 350 educational organizations use Sakai as a learning management system, research collaboration system and ePortfolio solution. Sakai is a community of academic institutions, commercial organizations and individuals who work together to develop a common Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE). The Sakai CLE is a free, community source, educational software platform distributed under the Educational Community License (a type of open source license). The Sakai CLE is used for teaching, research and collaboration. Systems of this type are also known as Course Management Systems (CMS), Learning Management Systems (LMS), or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE).

*** Claroline
Open source course management systemClaroline is an e-learning platform designed with an emphasis on usability; no training is needed and teachers can design course websites in no time. Providing institutions have all the necessary hardware and bandwidths, there is no extra cost as the software is free to download.

*** Course Webs: making distance learning easy
This commercial software allows teachers to create complete online distance-learning courses. The platform enables the developer to manage and edit content, create quizzes and tests, upload files for students to access, and set up discussion forums.

*** MIT open source
The MIT site is well-known as a pioneer in promoting free and open-source software (F/OSS) and offering online programmes and courses to the general public. F/OSS allows the user to modify the source code and thereby adapt a given piece of software to their own needs.

*** Moodle
Moodle is a course management system (CMS), a software package designed to help educators create quality online courses. One of the main advantages of Moodle over other systems is a strong grounding in social constructionist pedagogy. Moodle is open source software, and runs without modification on Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Netware and any other system that supports PHP, including most webhost providers. Also available in 34 languages, including: Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Thai, with more being added all the time.

*** Nicenet Internet classroom assistant
Sign up to Nicenet for free public access to the Internet Classroom Assistant (ICA2), a sophisticated communication tool that brings WWW-based conferencing, personal messaging, document sharing, scheduling and link/resource sharing to a variety of learning environments. Free and with no advertising.

*** Teaching tools
The Discovery Channel offers a range of services and materials for teachers of all subjects, including teaching tools that allow you to store lesson plans and work sheets in your own online account.

Other Useful Sites:
Album Express and Easy Thumbnails v1.0

This site brings together freeware and low-price commercial software for website developing, including thumbnails, an alternative Notepad and graphic design packages.

Bravenet
Join Bravenet for free and access all the Web tools and developer resources you need for your site, from domain names and link directories to hit counters and chat rooms.

FusioNBot ASP
FusioNBot provides search engines, site maps and reporting, a facility which allows you to analyze your users’ search details to better provide the information they require. There are various services, starting with the basics for free and moving up to the Platinum Package.

eBoard.com
This online tool enables teachers to communicate easily and regularly with parents and students, without using any hardware or software. They can upload information on homework and assignment due dates, class schedules, photos, messages and more. Free 30-day trial, then US$39 a year.

intraLearn
IntraLearn technology can be used by teachers to develop and deliver online educational courses. With minimal IT skills and a standard browser, teachers can help students make the most of features such as email, chat rooms, streaming multimedia and other communication tools.