Tue, May 31, 2005
The Education Podcast Network
Podcasts are essentially free audio files that are made available via subscription to an RSS feed that enables automatic download of new files to the user’s computer and portable music player. Educators are getting excited about the potential for using podcasts as part of the teaching and learning experience. A new site entitled the Education Podcast Network provides a good starting place for people looking for educational content distributed via the podcast format. The site categorizes available feeds in useful ways, lists new episodes from these feeds, and provides an online player for folks who want to listen to the content on their computer.
According to site creator David Warlick, “The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century. Most of the producers of these programs are educators, who have found an avenue through which they can share their knowledge, insights, and passions for teaching and learning and for the stories that they relish and teach.”
Fri, May 27, 2005
Covering Conflict - Journalism Materials from Mediachannel.org
Journalists are often very interested in conflict because it can be an interesting story. However, the manner in which conflicts are covered can have significant positive or negative effects. MediaChannel.org has developed a nice set of materials on Covering Conflict to help journalists consider some of the core issues associated with good coverage of conflicts. Included is a video interview with Alan Nairn on what went well and what didn’t go so well with media coverage of the escalation of conflicts in East Timor.
Peace Corps Kids World Site
The Peace Corps Kids World site introduces young people to the various areas of the world where Peace Corps volunteers work. The site mascot is a dog named Travelor, who helps kids get an idea about what is involved in becoming a Peace Corps volunteer. Included is a game called “Pack Your Bags” that requires the user to answer questions correctly in order for Traveler to acquire the needed items for a Peace Corps assignment.
Tue, May 24, 2005
Princeton University Library Academic Management Toolkit
The Princeton University Library offers regular workshops designed to support the development of good management skills among library staff and affiliates. One nice outcome from these workshops is a series of handouts that cover topics addressed in the series. These are available for download as word documents. Look toward the bottom of the page here for the most updated list. At the time of posting, the following word documents were offered:
Coaching (Word; April 2003)
Managing Library Meetings (Word; April 2003)
Participatory Decision Making (Word; April 2003)
Conflict Management Series (All in Word; May 2003)
—Barriers to Listening
—On the Spot Conflict Management
—Open Ended Questions
—Writing a letter - a conflict management tool
—Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
USAID Conflict Toolkits
The USAID Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation has released 3 new documents exploring issues that are core to their development mission. The pdf files are available for download or for order as hard copies. These “toolkits” explain the connections between the focus area and conflict and aim to provide USAID missions with access to concrete, practical program options, lessons learned, and information about potential partners, mechanisms and monitoring and evaluation tools for implementing more effective conflict programs.
The toolkits are as follows:
Youth and Conflict
Land and Conflict
Minerals and Conflict
Teaching About the War - materials from Rethinking Schools Online
Teaching About the War is a collection of materials from the Rethinking Schools Online site. It includes materials that focus specifically on the US War in Iraq, as well as articles that address the more general issues of armed conflict and society’s priorities. Content areas include:
Mon, May 23, 2005
Video Paper Builder
VideoPaper Builder 2 is a multimedia creation tool for users of any level of technology skills. The software is cross-platform and runs natively in OSX or on Windows machines. VPB2 imports hypertext (HTML text), image, and video files, and assists the user in synchronizing these files as a single user-navigated multimedia web document. VideoPaper Builder 2 generates menus, links, framesets and slide shows, and organizes the imported files as an HTML coded document viewable in a web browser. Videopapers can be published in CD-ROM or posted on the Internet. Essentially, a Video Paper is a multimedia document that combines three elements:
- Digital video with subtitles, to be viewed by the user either as a whole or in segments predefined by the author.
- Text with commentaries and background information on the video (for example), with buttons to play relevant segments of the video.
- Images shown at pre-determined moments of the video that provide contextual information about the videotaped events.
See this example product on the topic of ultimate frisbee to get a sense of the kind of materials produced by the toolset. The tool is provided by the Concord Consortium based in Concord, MA. Version 3 of Video Paper Builder is scheduled for release in the Summer of 2005.
Thu, May 19, 2005
Conceptual Frameworks Learning Object
This nicely designed Conceptual Frameworks Learning Object was produced by Faculty at University of Ottawa, Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. It is hosted at the Innovation Centre, home to several other Learning Objects. According to the description, “This learning object helps students struggling to create a conceptual framework or concept map for a major project or thesis.” Students thinking about their conflict studies research project might find this quite helpful.
Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide
The Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide website is described by its creators as a resource for those who use theatre techniques for other or more than arts or entertainment purposes, and for those whose theatre styles incorporate other than traditional presentation styles. It provides mainly links to websites and reading materials on the many and various ways that people are using theatre and drama for social change.
Wed, May 18, 2005
Ombudsman Lesson Plans and Video Clips
The British Columbia Ombudsman’s Office, headed by Howard Kushner, now provides online video clips and lesson plans for use in high school social studies and prelaw courses. Provincial ombudsmen, like the office in B.C., are applying what has been referred to as the “classic” ombudsman model. The Ombudsman receives inquiries and complaints about the practices and services provided by public bodies, and may investigate to determine if the public body is being fair to the people it serves. This model is different than the internal organizational ombuds that seems to be more common today.
Tue, May 17, 2005
Conflict Resolution Courses at UNESCO’s Education Server
UNESCO has an education server known as D@dalos that is dedicated to civic and peace education. It contains a great deal of information on human rights issues. They have recently added a Peace Education section with materials developed by the Institute for Peace Education in Tubingen, Germany. Organized into 5 basic courses, the materials explore what is peace education; what is meant by peace; how to deal with conflict in a constructive way; and what fair play has to do with peace education. Readers might particularly appreciate the section on Conflict Analysis which offers 10 different methods for assessing conflict, or the materials on how sports can be used to promote peace and conflict resolution skills.
Mon, May 16, 2005
Creative Whack gives tips on thinking different
The Creative Think website includes the “Creative Whack” button, which when pressed, provides you with a random creativity spurring concept or source of inspiration. Think of it as a “whack up side the head” in a good way…
Fri, May 13, 2005
Mediation and the Americans with Disabilities Act Help Documents
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Council on Disability (NCD) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have released two publications addressing how to ensure that mediation of equal-employment-opportunity disputes is accessible to people with disabilities.
The documents, entitled Questions and Answers for Mediation Providers: Mediation and the Americans with Disabilities Act and Questions and Answers for Parties to Mediation: Mediation and the Americans with Disabilities Act, address the obligations of all private and public sector mediation providers, including employers that offer their employees mediation as a benefit of employment. The documents are written in a question-and-answer format and consider topics such as:
- Types of reasonable accommodations that may be necessary to make mediation accessible to people with disabilities;
- Best practices for ensuring that mediation is accessible;
- The confidentiality of medical information disclosed during mediation; and,
- Recommended types of ADA training for mediators.
Wed, May 11, 2005
Collective Process Handbooks from The Common Wheel Collective
The Common Wheel Collective, an radical egalitarian community group based in Staten Island, has developed a multi-part Collective Book on Collective Process, to serve as a handbook exploring democratic process within collectives, focusing on the problems that develop and possible approaches toward fixing those problems. It is an evolving document with contributions for various people. Book One explores “Is this what consensus looks like?”, Book Two examines the question “Is this the just society we want to model?”, and Book Three focuses on “Some solutions.”
Tue, May 10, 2005
U.S. Department of Peace Alliance Website
PeaceAlliance.org is the website for groups working to establish a U.S. Department of Peace. Currently (May 2005) alliance members are gearing up for an historic citizen lobbying effort to create a U.S. Department of Peace, sponsored in the House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich. The bill will be re-introduced on September 13th, 2005. This bill establishes nonviolence as an organizing principle of American society, providing the U.S. President with an array of peace-building policy options for domestic and international use. The 3rd Annual Department of Peace Conference will be held Sept 10-12 2005 in Washington as part of the run-up to the lobbying effort. The website offers audio and video information, including audio clips providing organizing tips.