You will notice some design changes in the web site (many thanks to my Word Press expert, Robert Ouimet, of Bigsnit Media, for the design changes). The main change is to make the home/front page <https://tonybates.wpengine.com/> more dynamic. When you now arrive at the home page, you will find the latest posts to the site, with the most recent first. The ‘old’ home page is now the ‘welcome‘ page, which can be accessed by the pull-down tab at the top of the page. The welcome page also contains instructions on how best to use the web site.
Also, we have taken advantage of the Word Press 2.8.4 update to offer more choices/access to posts through the sidebars on the right of the page. The other top pull-down menus are more or less the same. There is a new calendar which lists where I am at any particular time, which can be accessed through the ‘Contact’ pull-down menu at the top of the page.
The web site, which is now just over a year old, was getting around 10,000 hits a month before the summer break, with a large number of people from outside North America accessing the site. Although I do not have accurate data on demographics, it appears to be particularly popular with students of e-learning, as the most popular pages accessed are ‘Recommended graduate programs in e-learning,’ (the most popular page by far), folllowed by ‘Tony’s Papers‘, and then ‘The Eight Classic e-Learning publications?.’ The most popular personal blog to date is ‘Does technology change the nature of knowledge?’
There are several kinds of resources now available through this site, apart from access to my papers and books, gathered from sources around the world:
- Personal blogs on key issues in e-learning, such as Does technology change the nature of knowledge?, often accompanied by excellent contributions from readers
- Collections of resources on specific topics, such as e-portfolios and virtual worlds and games, managed by external experts such as Natasha Boskic and Lourdes Guardia
- A bibliography of selected research articles organized by topic, culled from leading academic journals in the field of e-learning
- News articles and events, culled from a variety of sources, such as Inside Higher Education, and reports from research groups such as CIDER and Re.Vica (This means I am a ‘news aggregator’. Robert Thomson, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, expressed the following opinion of news aggregators: ‘There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tapeworms in the Intestines of the Internet’ – did he mean me?)
- The occasional book review – always interested in receiving review copies, but no punches pulled!
- Events such as conferences, workshops and seminars relevant to e-learning
Increasingly, I am having to make difficult decisions about where to concentrate my efforts, because of the sheer volume of material available, so feedback from you, the users of this site, would be invaluable. So here are some questions:
- Which of the six categories above do you find the most useful?
- Are there major omissions from what I am covering? For instance, I don’t give a lot of coverage to new technology products per se, such as the latest mobile phones – the focus is more on educational applications of technology.
- Is there too much focus on one particular region or country? – or not enough?
- Is anyone – especially those doing a Ph.D. in e-learning – interested in managing a specific topic area for me, such as learning or instructional design, learning styles, millenial learners, mobile learning – or any other e-learning topic of interest that you happen to be studying? (see e-portfolios and virtual worlds and games as possible models).
- Is e-learning (still?) a useful term?
- Are there any other ways this site could be improved and made more useful for people interested, studying or working in e-learning or related areas?
I am really hoping to get feedback from you about how best to improve this site and I look forward to your comments.
In Manaus in 2005, visiting a project by the Brazilian Army to provide online school programs for children of soldiers who were with their parents in army camps along the Brazilian border in the Amazon basin