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New Zealand software unlocks web for teachers

Media Release
Monday 5 May

New Zealand software unlocks web for teachers


A tool for developing educational content for websites without the need to know web languages is an international award finalist at the Learning Impact annual conference in Austin, Texas this month.

CORE Education eLearning Director Derek Wenmoth says the eXe (elearning XHTML editor) open source authoring application has been in development since 2004, with funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

An open source application is one in which the code that writes the programme is accessible by anyone on the internet. The idea is that people around the world can add to the code and assist in the application’s development and they are expected to put their changes back on the internet for others to benefit.

“While programmers from around the world have participated, the key development has been from New Zealand. Key members of the eXe development team have recently joined CORE Education, and will continue to provide ongoing support and development of the product as a part of CORE’s commitment to supporting elearning approaches that are future-focused and support effective pedagogical practice,” Derek says.

eXe is not a learning management system, but rather an environment for authoring web-based elearning content.

eXe is freely available for several operating systems, including Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. It has been downloaded thousands of times, is available in more than two dozen language translations, and has brought accolades from around the world for New Zealand's innovation in elearning.

eXe has already been adopted in several international jurisdictions to support elearning initiatives, including the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science's "Open Source and Standards in Education" software distribution. It was also named as one of the "Top 100 Tools for Learning 2007" compiled by the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies in the UK.

eXe is able to work across different systems that fit within the international inter-operability standards that have been set up by the IMS Global Learning Consortium.
While the product is open for anyone to access freely, New Zealand will benefit from sale of support services around eXe.

eXe won third place in last year’s Asia – Pacific regional IMS Global conference held in Queenstown. At the time it attracted huge international attention and was subsequently nominated for the international IMS Global awards being held in Texas from 11 – 16 May.

As well as speaking about eXe at the awards, an accompanying expo is a further chance for CORE Education to promote eXe.

“Ideally we’d like to come back here with some funding which will enable our team to develop eXe to the next level,” Derek says.

To find out more about eXe, visit the project website: http:exelearning.org.


ENDS

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