Monthly Archives: February 2009

Doodling and Note-Taking = Winner

© S.Lingk -

© S.Lingk -

Today I came across an interesting article in the Time magazin about an experiment that shows that if you doodle during a meeting or presentation you are able to remember more details afterwards.

And that reminded me of an interesting post of Jeff Cobb on his blog Mission to Learn about taking notes. Are you a note-taker? I have to confess: Yes I am!

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WiZiQ opens Public Class Scheduling to all Teachers

In their blog WiZiQ announced  that from now on every teacher can schedule public classes on his own. Before you had to apply for a public class and a WiZiQ member set it up for you.

Therefore let us have a quick look on this feature and how a teacher can use it to promote himself.

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Teacher Rockstars Part 1/3 – The Early Years

Since my presentation on the eduConference of about “Turning Teachers into Rockstars” I have been thinking about this picture. The more I thought about it, the more I found out that this is indeed a very good picture of what an online teaching carreer might look like.

So I decided to make a “documentary” about this. It will consist of three parts and we will follow a teacher Rockstar and his music making brother on their way to the top.

First Episode: The Early Years

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Soon on Myngle: Classes with up to five Students

Today Myngle announced that they will launch the possibility of class sessions on their platform. The feature will be available somewhere around the 2nd of march according to their announcement.

This makes Myngle the third provider of group lessons on the internet next to WiZiQ and eduFire.

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Short Update on my Livemocha Experience

Yesterday Livemocha announced via Twitter that they cracked the 2.000.000 members barrier. If I am right this is only six month after they had 1.000.000 members. Quite an impressive growth rate!

Today Livemocha announced some improvements they have implemented now and some great features for the near future.

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Check List for On-line Teachers

This is a comment provided by China_Mike which I think is too important “to just be a comment”. Therefore I made a blog post out of it.


In the future language tutors will need some guidelines about when and how to pursue on-line instruction. The decision to teach on-line isn’t an easy one. The decision to teach on-line probably means added work for the teacher in the short term and possibly added risks in hanging onto local students in the long term. However, as students move on-line, teachers who don’t follow this growing herd may miss out on some opportunities. Keep in mind that at present the on-line market is probably millions of times smaller than the off-line market.
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Converting Offline Students to Online Students

Shall you convert your offline students to online students? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?

I came across this question in a community forum of an online teaching platform. The biggest problem of those platforms seems to be: How to get paying students. Interesting enough most of these platforms have no solution to this problem when asked by their teachers. Au contraire, they ask their teachers how they think to get students on the platform.

And the most discussed issue is: why don’t you simply convert your offline students into online students by bringing them to our platform?

So, here are my thoughts on this.

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Just a quick Update

I took some days off and headed down south to Bordeaux just to relax a bit and sort some thoughts I came up with in the past couple of weeks.

There will be a recap of my trip in my private blog “My Brittany“. If you are interested how I spent my free time, you can have a look over there ;). And there will be a professionel recap of my decisions in this blog here, of course.

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Review: an Inspirational Evening on eduFire

logo-edufire1Last sunday was hosting the second eduConference under the headline “Turning Teachers into Rockstars”. This great and inspirational meeting was followed up by a very interesting and even a bit frightening presentation of Jon Bischke, CEO of who talked about “Connected Consumership“.

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Myngle introduces New Lesson Packages

Today Myngle introduced three new lesson packages and discontinued the  5 lesson package which was the smallest a teacher could offer to their students. So what do the new packages look like and what are the conditions for teachers and students?

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WiZiQ Sessions are now WiZiQ Classes announced today that they will rename the WiZiQ Sessions into WiZiQ Classes.

Today, we take one more step to increase our relevance to education, online teaching, eLearning and teaching community. We are disbanding the use of the term “session”.

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eduConference 2 on – Turning Teachers into Rockstars

Today, sunday 8th of february I will attend the second eduConference on

Infact, I received an email from Koichi friday night, asking me if I could do a presentation there. And as I love presentations and conferences, I said “count me in”.

Now I am working on the slides and I really hope that I will finish them on time. Continue reading

In the Spotlight: The Language Learning Community


Online since: May 2008
Offer: Language Learning Platform with Community. Free and Paid Premium Services.

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Skype 4.0 for Windows

As I mention Skype in most about every post about online teaching, I just wanted to mention that the new Skype Version 4.0 has been released for Windows.

Skype 4.0 for Windows

What are the new features? Most important for me, from the online teacher view, are:

  • Best-ever sound
    Calls are crystal clear and even more reliable. Plus our ‘smart help’ picks up any sound issues and helps you fix them during a call.
  • Bigger video
    Feel like you’re talking face-to-face with great sound and picture. Fill your screen with the faces you love.

Other features are a new look, of course, the possibility to jugglebetween conversations and I think some others they did not mention yet.

I am looking forward to try it out with my students and I will write a review about my experiences with the brand new Skype, of course.

You can download Skype 4.0 for Windows here.

Tool of the Month: Dabbleboard

To open this new category of useful tools for online teaching and education 2.0 I chose Dabbleboard.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons you should use Dabbleboard:

  1. Dabbleboard is easy and fun to use. Unlike other whiteboard applications, Dabbleboard feels as natural to use as a marker on a whiteboard, or a pencil on a sheet of paper. Just draw strokes and Dabbleboard will detect most common shapes. Click anywhere and start typing to enter text. And if you need to modify anything you’ve already drawn, all the tools are there right next to the selected objects. No more visiting the toolbar a hundred times just to make a quick diagram!
  2. Dabbleboard is fast. Since you don’t need to spend time constantly changing tools in the toolbar, you can draw much faster. The natural interface also requires less of your attention, so you can focus on your ideas rather than on the software. Dabbleboard gets out of your way and just lets you draw.
  3. Dabbleboard is flexible. Everything you draw can be moved, resized, deleted, and replicated. Even freehand strokes. And with unlimited Undo and Redo, you’ll never have to think twice about trying something new.
  4. Dabbleboard produces pretty drawings. Okay, we admit you don’t need your whiteboard drawings to look like works of art. But other applications that make you scribble with the mouse produce messy drawings that your friends or coworkers would have trouble even understanding. Unlike a marker or a pencil, a mouse is difficult to control precisely, so Dabbleboard steps in and cleans up your strokes for you.
  5. Dabbleboard lets you easily reuse previously-made drawings. With drag-and-drop simplicity, you can add drawings to your personal library, and copy something from the library to your current drawing. You can even visit the public library and copy drawings others have made. You’ll never have to draw the same thing twice. The more you use it, the more useful Dabbleboard will get.
  6. Dabbleboard allows sharing and real-time collaboration with anyone anywhere in the world. Your friends and coworkers can view and edit your drawings whenever they like. Or you can log in at the same time to brainstorm ideas together.
  7. Dabbleboard works with hardware you already have, including your favorite computer. Unlike some other solutions, there’s no need to purchase additional proprietary equipment. You can even use it in a conference room with a projector.
  8. Dabbleboard works with other software you already use. You can upload images made with other applications and embed them into Dabbleboard drawings. And you can download images made with Dabbleboard for use in other applications. Users with Pro accounts can also download SVG files and open the drawings with Microsoft Visio, Adobe Illustrator, and many more applications.
  9. Dabbleboard is secure. Unless you make your drawing public, each drawing can only be viewed by those you’ve shared it with, and by no one else. We even make sure no one can guess the location of your drawing by using random 160-bit keys. All users log in securely, and users with Pro accounts access everything securely with SSL.
  10. Dabbleboard is free! We want to help the world think and communicate visually, and we won’t let a little money get in our way. We also offer Pro accounts at reasonable prices.

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Academic Earth: Thousands of video lectures from the world’s top scholars

This is amazing. Just read about in the weekly review of Jane Hart. This website offers thousands of video lectures from Universities like Berkeley, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, … for free!
Their mission is simple:

Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world class education.

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