S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

March 2011


Hi everyone,

I like this little cartoon –  it’s a good reminder that it’s one thing to make changes ….but one has to KEEP MOVING!  [grin]  The world of everything ‘e’ moves fast and it doesn’t matter if it feels like you aren’t keeping pace…even if you’re taking baby steps you are at least progressing in the right direction and won’t get run over by the technology steam roller!  (Well, that’s what it sometimes feels like 🙂 )


Where might technology be in the year 2020? (Keep in mind that’s only 8 years away!) Here is one viewpoint:

For the more cynical amongst us, you might prefer this parody. [chuckles to herself]


Those of us in the education industry know about learning styles..that some people like to learn by listening,  some by watching etc. 100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner is a great list of different web 2.0 tools, divided up by learning style which may help with that ‘challenging’ student.  On the topic of learning styles though, what if I quoted to you “If classification of students’ learning styles has practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated.”  Ooooh… controversial!!  Read more at Learning styles: Worth our time?…and make up your own mind.


“...teens are technowizards who surf the Web with abandon [and]…the best way to appeal to teens is to load up on heavy, glitzy, blinking graphics.”  If you work with teenagers you are probably jumping up and down right now, and yelling “Noooooo!!!!” Settle down though, as I only grabbed this quote from the report Usability of Websites for Teenagers to get your attention. [cheeky grin]  It certainly warns against making your online stuff boring though!


Speaking of engaging your students, Xtra Normal is a unique service that enables students to create animated, narrated movies just by typing the dialogue then dragging and dropping characters and set elements into the movies. It’s really easy, and they even have an education-safe version.  How about forgetting about that boring assignment, and tell your students that they have to present a movie version instead!


Wiggio is a free, online toolkit that makes it easy to work in groups. On Wiggio, you can share and edit files, manage a group calendar, poll your group, post links, set up conference calls, chat online and send mass text, voice and email messages to your group members. This might be a useful little tool for groups of students…or maybe your local footy club. 😉  This video explains how it works:


You’re about to drop that photo into your Powerpoint, and all of a sudden you stop dead.  “Can I do this?” you ask yourself. “Will I get into trouble somewhere down the track?” Copyright is a topic that has jumped into many conversations lately, so the Framework has organised a free online webinar which will be held on Thursday 24 March (12pm – 1pm SA time).  You can attend right from your desk – just go to this link.  Don’t worry if you can’t make it though…it will be recorded.  In the meantime, check out Copyright Kitchen or get involved in the Copyright in Context Community of Practice.


Are you in need of a voiceover?  (No..I don’t mean a make0ver [chuckles]) Perhaps you’ve uploaded a Powerpoint to Slideshare, or a screen recording using Screenr…or even just a bunch of photos you are turning into a digital story? I’m hopeless at voiceovers though as it always comes out sounding stilted and with lots of ummms and aaahhhs.  [laugh] So I found this great set of instructions, How to Write a Voiceover Script, and I thought I would share.  🙂


An e-portfolio is essentially a collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by the user, usually on the Web. It replaces that old, black Lever-Arch folder…you know the one.  [grin]  Case studies documenting the 2010 E-portfolio Implementation Trials are now available and I thought I would highlight the SA one which was the local Royal District Nursing Service, who trialled the PebblePad e-portfolio system.  The best part is that they have chosen to present the final report as a webfolio put together in PebblePad.  A masterly touch. 🙂  If you’re interested in e-portfolios, you might like to attend the ePortfolios Australia Conference in Perth on 17-18 October where you’ll get to see examples of how VET is using e-portofolios.


Many readers of this Newsletter are very experienced e-Facilitators however there are also many who are just venturing into the whole ‘teaching online’ experience.  A bit scary at first? [smiles] How about reading 10 Things I’ve Learned About Teaching Online which is a very realistic perspective. Or you may love the dot pointed E-Facilitator Q & A.  For the ‘e’ part of e-learning you might want to check out 20 Technology Skills that Every Educator Should Have….and for those of you who are experienced, there is an interesting webinar coming up on March 28th (4:30pm SA time) called What would you include in an eFacilitator Job Description? Should be good!


How would you like to be totally awesome on Twitter?

No?  Don’t care about being awesome?  [laugh]  Well, what about using Twitter in an awesome way, in your classroom?  10 Steps for Educators New to Twitter… is a good resource, and the video The Twitter Experiment gives some insight.  What’s that I hear you say?  Letting students use mobile phones in class will just distract them?  Hmmm…the report Tweeting Students Earn Higher Grades seems to indicate otherwise.  🙂   Oh, and here’s something for all the wonderful librarians that support educators… 20 ways that librarians can use Twitter.

I hope you got at least one little thing from the list above…something to help you to keep ahead of that e-learning steamroller. [grin] Please email me or give me a ring (8226 1673) if I can help in any way eg meet for a chat or do a formal presentation or meet with your management…  Or whatever!  🙂




4 thoughts on “March 2011

  1. Hi Marlene,
    Anyone who has studied the principles of learning from sound psychological principles will not find any controvrsy in the statement about learning styles. The way in which we may prefer to take in information has nothing to do with learning. So much about e-learning describes the use of tools to make things look pretty. Very little is ever mentioned about sound pedagogical principles to guide design of learning materials.

    • Hi Petar,
      Thanks for your considered response. I too feel that often the ‘learning’ part gets left out of e-learning and am keen to see basic pedagogical principles reflected in all online offerings. I believe that this is happening more now as the initial ‘hype’ of e-learning has matured into a more strategic and educational approach for many training organisations. We’ll keep encouraging that! 🙂

  2. another excellent newsletter – thanks miz marlene 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words…and please let me know if there is any topic you would like me to focus on in future editions. Otherwise I’m just making it up as I go along. 🙂