S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

November 2010


Hi everyone,

Somebody once told me that change is like a fast-moving train, and we have 3 choices.  We can jump into the driver’s seat and go full-steam ahead!  Or we can hop into a carriage and just go along for the ride.  Or we can choose to stand on the platform and wave goodbye.  The one thing we can’t do is stand in front of it and try to stop it!  Technology and e-learning is a very fast-moving train……so where are you on this ride? 🙂


2011 is going to roll around quicker than we think, and possibly a new batch of students will come with it.  Do you want to welcome them with a boring text-based welcome?  No…of course not!  You want to inspire them and let them know that there are fun times ahead. [grin] So here’s a simple idea….why don’t you adorn your Powerpoint/Moodle/ printed handout/website with a hand-made welcome sign –  I found Fan Sign Generator which makes it easy to come up with something original (simply click on the picture you like, write in the text box then click ‘change Fansign text’….when you’re happy, right-click and select ‘Save Picture As..’). If you want to get adventurous make your own sign!


Came across the Educator’s Guide to Making it Visual – “What do images have to do with learning?  A lot!…yet, most formal learning environments are comprised purely of textual or auditory content. In contrast, today’s web 2.0 landscape has altered our informal learning environment….  Get creative and open up your mind to the possibilities of teaching with images!”  (Use the scroll bar on the right to go down the list of suggested tools).   Flickr is a great source of photos to make your Powerpoints more visual, but keep in mind that you must only use those which have a creative commons license…and attribute them accordingly.  It’s explained in detail in How To Search & Credit Properly-Licensed Photos On Flickr.  My short version is 1) click on Search, 2) click on Advanced Search, 3) put in your search term then scroll down and click the button that says ‘Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content’, 4) take note of the owner and address of the photo you want to download, and then show this info wherever you have the image.


First of all I have to admit that I’m an avid Facebook user however I’ve made sure that I understand and use the privacy settings.  The other rule of course is that I never post anything that I wouldn’t want my mother to see. [wink]  If you aren’t sure about how to set up your privacy settings, here is a fairly good video explanation which may help:

Trainers and educational practitioners are increasingly using Facebook to connect with their students though, so here are some Guidelines about the safest/best way to do this.  Local TAFESA Hairdressing staff and students have their own TAFESA Hairdressing Facebook page as do the TAFESA Fashion students.  If you use Facebook with your students, click the Comment link and tell us what led to this decision…and how it’s working out for you!


Wordle: SA E-learning Newsletter This is a word cloud of the SA E-learning Newsletter (all editions)…and it is obvious that I use the words Moodle, know, learning, check, like and Twitter, faaar to often!!!  🙂  It’s an example of  a Visual Data Analysis tool called Wordle which “...is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.”  But what’s the point?  Check out 10 Uses of Wordle for Learning for a list of ideas and then try it for yourself.


Did you know that “people who buy e-readers tend to spend more time than ever with their nose in a book“? So says the results of a study documented at The ABCs of E-Reading.   Kerrie Smith provides insight into many common questions in her blog post e-books and e-readers: devices and formats, but if you’re looking for something that explores the whole concept of e-books at a deeper level, I would suggest Books in the Age of the iPad which is a thoughtful reflection.    Not into philosophy?  Here is something practical then – create your own e-book with eReadUps !  “…an eReadUp is an ebook full of articles about something you want to read up on….The eReadUps engine takes articles you select from a list and collects them all together into an eReadUp that you can read on your ereader device.


Web 2.0 is a well-used term these days, so here is a funky way to explain what is Web 2.0 and how it’s changing the internet, society and … education! Oh, and turn up the volume! [laugh]

And as if web 2.0 isn’t complicated enough to explain, everyone is now referring to Web 3.0!  This site neatly sums up the main differences though, between Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0: Web 3.0 Concepts Explained in Plain English.



Photo by See-ming Lee



“Parents, u r gonna be surprised by this, but a study from the University of Alberta says that the abbreviated and unpunctuated language commonly used in instant messaging and texting probably has no effect on your child’s spelling abilities.” This statement comes from the article OMG! Texting and IM-ing doesn’t affect spelling….but oooh they can be hard to decipher at times!  Here is a great list: Text Messaging & Chat Abbreviations for those times when you feel you need some help. 🙂


Well, when you want to create a resource on how to develop more efficient work processes in the manufacturing industry (and you don’t want to use boring text), what about video! But who can afford talented actors? [frowns] TAFE in Geelong (the creators of this video) thought long and hard too…and came up with LEGO!

If you think this would be useful in your own training program, feel free to simply show it in your classroom, or embed the video into your LMS.


My thanks to KerryJ who alerted me to this great resource via Twitter…..Best Ways of Using Moodle.  If you are trying to avoid Moodle (or any LMS) just becoming a recepticle for links and documents, this presentation gives some great tips on what Moodle tool to use, and why. And for lots more ideas on how to make both your classroom and online learning fun and interactive, check out Tips and Tools for Fostering a Creative e-Learning Class.


OK, that’s enough of the learning.  Feel like playing a game? [cheeky grin]  Then pop along to Guess the Google.  And of course I’m not condoning wasting time….wait until your next break. [wink]

I hope I see many of you at the INNOVATe SA e-learning conference, otherwise feel free to contact me anytime if I can help you with e-learning.




4 thoughts on “November 2010

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention November 2010 « S.A. E-Learning Newsletter -- Topsy.com

  2. Hi 🙂
    Initially we used a group page for the project group to keep us updated, because of the way we could easily add links, photos and hold a ‘conversation’. We use it now with the students because it’s familiar for them. We don’t have a Second Life group ‘per se’, but we encourage them to post photos and comments to the Women’s Ed group and they submit reflections via private message. Using Facebook allows them to connect and and most stay in touch through Facebook after the unit has finished 🙂
    It also allows them quick and easy access to their lecturer (sometimes too quick and easy (especially when said lecturer shows up in their chat list at midnight lol )and vice versa.
    I also encourage my literacy group to set up a Scrabble game with each other through Facebook, but they’ve been having some issues accessing that for the past few weeks.

  3. Hi Cathy, and thanks for letting us know about how your Innovations project has progressed. Why did you first start using Facebook? Is it just because “if you can’t beat them, join ’em!” 🙂

  4. Hi ,
    Just thought I’d mention that TafeSA North has a Women’s Education group with 129 members and growing.

    We also use Face-book in our Work Effectively with Others – Virtually Anywhere Women’s Ed unit offered from the Elizabeth Campus (you might remember it from last year’s Innovations funding and Edayz)