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Sat, Nov 28, 2009

Empathic Listening Audio Tutorial - as a Grazr widget

In 2008 Gregorio Billikopf and colleagues at the University of California created an hour-long audio seminar entitled Listening First Aid designed to teach empathic listening. They provided the mp3 files as a zipped download that they suggested people burn to a cd to listen to in the car or in a portable cd player.  In an effort to make this material more easily accessed (and to experiment with enclosures in Grazr), I have reused this content to create a web widget that can be embedded in a blog or course management system and listened to online in your web browser.

Here’s the listening widget link, which I have embedded and displayed below. To use the widget, click on the title of a listing item to reveal the audio player for that segment. To add this widget to your site, click on the “View” menu and choose “Add to your page”. This will take you to the Grazr site where you can customize the look of the widget (width, height, color scheme, default view, etc) and then copy the code you need to use to include it on your site.


Note: The audio files for this demonstration are hosted on the server, which could become an issue if the widget becomes popular and bandwidth use goes up, but the process of hosting it on your own server would not be difficult if a program expects to make heavy use of this or another embeddable widget of the same type. You would need to edit the RSS 2.0 file that organizes the content (you can see the link to it in the Grazr Widget embed code) and point to the files in their new location.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 11 28 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Wed, Nov 18, 2009

Council on Foreign Relations Multimedia Crisis Guides

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been actively developing a series of interactive Crisis Guides that help explain complex international conflicts and crisis quickly and engagingly. The list of guides currently includes:
crisis guides
Crisis Guide: The Global Economy
An in-depth, multimedia look at the causes and consequences of the global economic crisis that seeks to unravel the questions surrounding the downturn and shed light on its policy implications, drawing on insights from leading thinkers on economics and international affairs.

Crisis Guide: Climate Change
Climate change is one of the most challenging problems facing the international community. Explore its causes, effects, and various policy options. 

Crisis Guide: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Learn about the unique mixture of religion, nationalism, historical and economic grievances, territory, and geopolitics underpinning this conflict.

Crisis Guide: Darfur
An Emmy-winning examination of the crisis in Darfur. Learn about the history of Sudan, the international context of the crisis, and the “responsibility to protect.”

Crisis Guide: The Korean Peninsula
Over half a century since Korean War’s end, conflict persists on the peninsula. Explore the military, economic, and nuclear dimensions of this frozen conflict.

Other interactive “explainers” are available as well, providing timelines, maps and slideshows on topics of global interest. Browse the full collection here.

Also available are a series of Academic Modules developed to support course development around topics where the CFR has expertise. Find out more here.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 11 18 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Sat, Nov 14, 2009

Conflict History Timeline Using Google Map Flash API

If you visit you will find a nice example of a mashup that uses the Google Maps Flash API released last year and opensource data available from Freebase and Wikipedia. The end result is an interactive browsable timeline of war and conflict across the globe. You can scroll through time to get a sense of where the conflicts were happening in a given period and then click on the listing for a particular conflict and zoom in to see a closeup of the region on the map and additional details on the conflict itself. While it is labeled as an early (alpha) version, it works well and looks great.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 11 14 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Fri, Nov 13, 2009

Back Issues of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and The Rotarian online via Google Books

The scanning elves at google books have continued to work hard to provide us with full-text goodies, including a growing collection of full color back issues of magazines.

A couple of the currently available publications may be of special interest to readers of this blog due to their special concerns for peace and conflict resolution. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (in publication since the 1940s) and The Rotarian (in publication since 1912) are available for searching and online reading.

You can browse back issues, and even embed a given issue in your website or course management system using the link link in the upper right when viewing an issue. See two examples of the embedded view below.

This one embeds a specific issue of The Rotarian that reviews their work on peace:

This example links to a specific story on the history of the Pugwash movement in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 11 13 | Filed under Research Tools  

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Digital Media in Conflict-Prone Societies

A new report from the Center for International Media Assistance entitled Digital Media in Conflict-Prone Settings explores the unique conditions under which digital media operate in conflict settings. It was written by Ivan Sigal, executive director of Global Voices and a former senior fellow at the United States Institute for Peace. It makes for an interesting read.
image Here’s the website abstract that accompanies the report:
“Throughout history, war has affected media, with conflict often creating an information void. In the 21st century, media has begun to affect war more than ever before. Digital media technologies x96 particularly participatory, networked tools x96 have increased communication and information dissemination in conflict settings, affecting all sides and involving new producers of news coverage. These new tools can be used to foment violence or to foster peace, and it is possible to build communication systems that encourage dialogue and nonviolent political solutions. The international media development community must adapt its conflict-zone programs to fit a new media environment, designing projects that encompass digital media applications that encourage more open communities and states, provide venues for dialogue, and reduce control of information.”


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 11 13 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Thu, Nov 12, 2009

Sim Games for Entrepreneurs

The Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence has created a set of fun, low bar to entry, online games that teach skills needed by entrepreneurs. I enjoyed playing Robo-Rush without ever having to read the instructions. Maybe starting your own business isn’t so hard after all… grin The Sims Games for Entrepreneurs site provides the following games:
Price Point
Fistful of Dollars
Cha-Ching! Pro
Galactic Zappers



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2009 11 12 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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