S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

December 2010

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Hi everyone,

DECK the halls with boughs of holly…Falalalaaaa Lalalalaaaa..  OK…I’ll stop now.  [grin]  Just trying to get you all into the Christmas spirit!  My plan is to use this Newsletter to sort of ‘wrap-up’ some of what has happened this year, as well as focus on some of the more important tools and resources that have emerged.  Throw in some meaty topics to argue over at the Christmas get-together, and some fun stuff to keep everyone amused over the holidays.  Fair enough? 🙂

ARE YOU A 21ST CENTURY TEACHER?


21ST CENTURY = DIFFERENT WAYS, DIFFERENT TOOLS

21st Century educators don’t say ‘hand it in’; they say ‘publish it’.”  This is a quote by Lisa Nielsen as stated in Andrew Douch’s blog Different types of authentic audience (and a compelling use of Facebook) I’ll admit it – I love Facebook.  But then again, the largest demographic of people signing up for Facebook is WOMEN OVER 55, so I am simply evidence of these statistics. [chuckles] Even farmers, who are normally right at the beginning of the food chain, are learning about Facebook and Twitter to reach out to the end-users of their products. But you’re not into raising wheat or sheep are you, so  how about 100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom or Every Teacher’s Must-Have Guide To Facebook.  It’s all an option!  (Pssst…if you are a small business or Not for Profit, have a read of this article).

AN ALTERNATIVE TO BORING FORUMS

WallWisher is basically a ‘web page’ that you can set up and invite people to post messages, expressing their thoughts on a common topic easily.  I know…sounds like a forum but this is much more visual, flexible and ‘organic’.  Take a look at this Demo Wall to get the idea, or check out the FAQ.  Why not get your students (or family) to post their holiday plans! In 2011 I am determined to get more organised so I’m thinking I might use it for my own To Do list. [grin]

CATCHING UP AND KEEPING UP

I know you’ve all been incredibly busy and may not have had the time to attend Professional Development events, conferences or webinars.  The good news is that these are often recorded in some way so maybe in between the Christmas drinkies, you can pop on a headset and listen to some of the speakers recorded at the INNOVATe SA conference (especially Andrew Douch).  Or maybe catch up with what transpired at the RTO Forum on the National Broadband Network this week.  Oh, and don’t forget the Framework’s 13 free e-Gems webconferencing sessions throughout 2010 (look down the right hand side for the list)….reeeeally great value there such as Navigate the maze of e-learning and Building e-capability that sticks: a no-fuss approach for busy organisations.

SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE WORKPLACE

Ooooh…an emotive topic depending on whether you are the boss or the worker. [cheeky grin] A recent article reports that “…many organizations appear scared to death of Enterprise 2.0. They’re worried that people will use the new tools and accompanying freedom to broadcast hate speech or porn…That “social” is too close to “unproductive” or “time-wasting.”  And in Jane Hart’s recent blog post she says “…In many organisations  it is actually happening UNDER the radar of L&D and IT, as individuals by-pass enterprise systems  … particularly where access to public social sites has been blocked.” I think the debates will go on but Commoncraft have just released a new video which explains how the world of external company communications has changed thanks to social media – and ways organizations can react responsibly.  OK, I know its aimed at businesses but don’t the same principles apply in a training context?  What do you think? Leave a Response to offer your opinion.

YOUTUBE – HAVE YOU CHECKED IT OUT?

Most people these days seem to have well and truly discovered YouTube.  There is an amazing amount of instructional material including an Education section but I’ve found that the best way to search for FREE learning resources is just to type whatever you like into the Search box, beginning with the words ‘How To…’.  In a couple of minutes I came up with How to use a bandsaw and How to put out a grease fire safely.   Can’t access YouTube in your workplace?  Then check out 47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom.  If you are a seasoned YouTube traveller, then you might want to browse through 12 Fun Hacks for Getting More Out of YouTube.   If you need convincing about the whole thing,  the following video might help [smile].

VIEWING THE WORLD THROUGH A CAMERA LENS

Do you like to take photos?  Perhaps hone those skills with The Daily Shoot. This site encourages a simple daily routine to motivate and inspire you to practice your photography, and share your results! It’s not a contest and there are no prizes. It’s simply about encouraging you to pick up your camera and take photographs. I think this would be an amazing idea not only for yourself…or photography students, but for any class activity where you are trying to encourage students to really consider different perspectives.  And you will also get some practice with social media. [grin] PS:  I also came across some hints on How to photograph Christmas lights.

ORGANISING MEETINGS…NECESSARY BUT TEDIOUS

You know the score…you need to organise a meeting but it can be a nightmare.  You might find How to schedule a meeting in Outlook helpful, and I find WhenIsGood really useful to work out a date/time when at least most people are free!  Always the challenge! [grin] It’s super simple to use – you don’t need to download anything, or even create an account.

LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS…WHERE ARE YOU?

Did you know that a number of organisations are already pushing their LMS to the side or abandoning it altogether? this is explained further in Where are you on the LMS adoption curve?, and it looks something like this:

But if you feel that an LMS is right for you and your organisation, then that’s absolutely fine, and it’s worth turning your online courses into engaging and effective learning. Check out the Framework’s new Learning Design Tool which has some useful scenarios.  Cathy Moore has many great ideas such as Why you want to focus on actions, not learning objectives…or something ultimately practical – How to Organize & Manage Your E-Learning Course Files.

LISTS OF TOOLS TO EXPLORE

Recently I presented a couple of workshops in Hobart at their Tas-eDay e-learning conference, and because I’m a sharing sort of person [grin] I thought you might be interested in the wikis I created:  Ten Places to Find Free Stuff for Teaching and Creating content from scratch (and rethinking what you already have).  OK, perhaps you know about all those tools and resources, so wade your way through the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010.  That should keep you busy. [laugh]

GETTING SOME CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!

I must finish up with some Christmas time-wasters…just for the fun of it. [grin]  An oldie but a goodie is Elf Yourself where you can upload a photo (yourself or family member..heh, heh) and become a dancing elf! Can’t remember the words for The First Noel, then try this siteSend an e-card or two, grab some free Chrissy images for your party invitations, and perhaps ensure some quiet time for the kids/grandkids by showing them some of these Christmas games. And finally…how would you feel if you were just sitting in a shopping mall food court resting your tired feet after some frantic present shopping…and….

I think on that note, I will wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a relaxing holiday break and a chance to recharge those batteries for the brand new year ahead.  I’m off to find some tinsel to hang on my computer. [grin]

Cheers,

Marlene

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