S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

News from SA (supported by the National VET E-learning Strategy)

May 2012

Hi everyone,

I have a question for you:  Who is responsible for your professional development?  Is it up to your organisation (or manager) to organise, fund and provide the time and opportunities? Yes? No? Photo of lunch by the computerYou might be lucky, or you might be waiting a veeeeery long time. [grin] The truth is that there is an increasing need for everyone to take charge of their own development needs….and in this century where technology can cut corners, luckily this isn’t as hard as it used to be.  For example…have you heard about the  ‘Let’s Talk Learning‘ free lunchtime webinars?   They start at noon SA time…and you need to have lunch anyway… so you might as well listen in and nourish yourself in more ways than one! [chuckles]  Of course if you’re subscribed to the SA E-learning mailing list, I’ll keep you posted when anything new comes up…promise. :-)

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR OWN LEARNING

Right…we’re on a roll now! You’re in charge! Ever wanted to learn a musical instrument…or fix your car…or learn to paint?  Top 10 Highly-Desired Skills You Can Teach Yourself might be a starting point.  If you’re after something a bit more..ummm….academic…then maybe Wikiversity is worth a look.  How about Intro to Computers (I’ve always wanted to know what a motherboard was [grin], or How to Build a Basic Webpage. For something ultimately useful, there’s always Speed Reading Techniques.  You can even teach yourself Moodle with these simple videos. Feels good to be in charge, doesn’t it! [smug look]

CREATING RESOURCES…USING GLO MAKERGlo Maker Logo

I found out about Glo Maker via Julie Goodburn from TAFESA who posted it up on the Yammer network…so of course I investigated!  In a nutshell, Glo Maker is an authoring tool for creating rich, interactive learning resources….which can even be delivered via Android mobile phones!  There are quite a few samples…I like this one that explains decimals.   Lots of Guides to assist you to get started too.

CURATION = COLLECTING & ORGANISING

Pinterest logoI’ve been noticing the growing interest in curation.  The amount of stuff on the internet is too ridiculously huuuuge these days, that we have to have ways of putting what we want into manageable, self-organised chunks.  Pinterest has been in my ‘field of vision’ for a while, so I thought I’d mention it.  They say “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.”  Some information here, but this video explains it quite well:

I’m thinking it might be a good way of organising project material? Or as a planning tool for when ‘visual’ is important? For some additional perspective, have a read of Pinterest? Not a fan..but I’m paying attention..the Re-Rise of the Visual.

MOODLE FOR MOBILEMoodle for Mobile

Quite a number of people have been asking me when Moodle will be available for mobiles.  Well, there have been a number of people working on just that for a while now!  You can already download an iPhone  app for Moodle 2.1, and here is a video demonstration so you can see what it looks like.  There is apparently a clone for Android and Blackberry on it’s way, but for more information, you could check out the Mobile Moodle FAQ.

USING AVATARS IN EDUCATION

Do you use avatars in your learning material?  I read a recent blog posting which I’d like to share…Avatars in elearning: Helpful? Annoying? My personal belief is that they can be useful if you don’t overdo it…but pleeeease don’t have the voice coming on as soon as I go to the page!  Sheeesh!  [rolls her eyes]  When it comes to creating your own avatar, my favourite site is Voki - it’s been around for a while but thats because it’s quite easy to use and people like it.  Even I can do it! ;-) Here are some simple instructions…why not give it a go!

TWITTER…FOR BUSINESS…OR SURGERY!

The talented people at Commoncraft have brought out a new video called Twitter for Business which is an “…introduction to how organizations are using Twitter to inform, educate and endear.” Lots of businesses are using Twitter for marketing these days, but be careful with this, and find out more before you jump in boots and all! [shakes her finger] Perhaps have a read of 4 Ways Your Business Can Avoid Being a Menace on Twitter to get some tips. Twitpic But hey…you have no idea how far Twitter is reaching these days!  “Doctors at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital made medical and social media history last month by live-tweeting an open heart surgery for the first time ever. …The live-tweeted open-heart surgery was born from that spirit of using technology to educate.”

DOES LEARNING NEED TO BE IN STRAIGHT LINES?

Unfortunately most of the elearning courses I see are linear and not very interactive. Linear isn’t bad on its own…. But what tends to make the linear course unbearable is when the course navigation is locked. And we tend to lock it because we’re worried that the “learner will not get all of the information.” This quote comes from How to Create Interactive E-Learning …but what if you’re stuck with linear?  Check out this video for some ideas….

LOOKING INTO THE FUTUREHorizon Report

Did you know that Personal Learning Environments will become mainstream in VET over the next 2-3 years?  And that we will have ‘tele-presence’ by 2017?  If you are keen to know where education is heading, I would highly recommend reading the ‘hot off the presses’ Technology Outlook: Australian Tertiary Education 2012-2017 from HorizonAU.  You do need to register to be able to download it..but it’s all free and a simple process, so don’t let it put you off.  :-)

ROLL ON THE NBN!

In your homeI can’t wait to get the NBN (National Broadband Network) at my place.  I know it’s costing a bit, but did you know that it costs one billion dollars per year just to maintain the current copper network? And the NBN is going to make a huge impact…including for education.  Hype aside, you might be interested in The top 10 benefits of the NBN…or the Rollout Map so you know when you will get it…or what an NBN fibre installation actually looks like.

LET’S FINISH OFF WITH SOME FUN!!

I’m sick of working [grin] so let me share some of the (less than serious) stuff I’ve come across in my travels around the web.  Firstly…remember when you were a kid and thought if you could dig a hole deep enough, you would come out the other side of the earth?  So…where is the other side of the earth?  Try the Antipodes Map!  How useful!  [giggles] Or…what about 20 Strange and Hilarious Google Street View Sightings (click the ‘next’ button to see them all, and read the explanation on the right).

MarleneThat’s it for May!  I hope you found at least one link in this lot, which is useful and relevant for you. If you have an opinion about any of these topics (or are doing something related to them, please click on ‘Leave a Reply’ below, and tell us about it! Don’t forget you can also ring/email me if you have any questions about e-learning…anything at all! Just try me! :-)
Cheers,
Marlene

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