S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

June 2011


Hi everyone,

Brrrr….it’s been so cold lately, so pull up a chair in front of my cosy fire and let’s have a nice chat. How are you going with e-learning? Lacking the energy?  Need some inspiration? [grin] OK…let’s see what we can do about that…read on…. 🙂


…a WEB quest!  A webquest is  ‘an inquiry-oriented activity where most or all of the information that students explore and evaluate comes from the internet.’  If you haven’t seen one before, check out Frankenstein – an example of a webquest about this literary character…or Disabilities or Differences – a webquest about disabilities…or To Spray or not to Spray – a webquest about pest control.  Inspired? 🙂  I’d suggest starting from WebQuest.Org which is a site all about webquests, including the basics of how to create them.  If you would like to get started straight away with a very simple webquest, try teAchnology. (Note:  If you don’t have the prep time for creating webquests, try splitting your student group into two and tell one group to create a webquest for the other to complete…you’ll be amazed at what they learn and you get to sit back and relax in front of my fire!) [cheeky grin]


Augmented Reality (AR) is very much on its way, according to the Horizon Report which predicts that we will see AR in education in the next 2-3 years.  Not sure what it’s about, or how it might possibly be relevant for training?  Heh heh…food for thought in this video….

If you’re now in the mood to have your brain stretched, next have a look at the video The Best Use of Augmented Reality Ever, or perhaps the potential of Microsoft’s Kinect in education.  I know what you’re thinking…it’s all a bit ‘out there’ and nothing like AR is happening in little ol’ Adelaide!  Really? [raises her eyebrows] Have a look at what they are working on down at Flinders University!


Ever wished you were able to ‘reach through’ the phone to draw a diagram for the person on the other end? Well, this might be an answer – Dabbleboard is an online collaboration tool that’s based on the simple whiteboard.  It’s quite private (unless you choose to share), and it’s free.  🙂


Creative Commons (CC) is a type of copyright license  which essentially allows you to ‘borrow’ the work of others (with conditions they set), because by assigning it a CC license, they’ve given prior permission for you to use it. You’ll find a more detailed explanation on Wikipedia.  To search for Creative Commons resources that you can use, try the Creative Commons Search page which allows you to search a number of different sites at the same time. Wikimedia Commons is another source of CC material, and the article How to find Creative Commons licensed materials may provide some useful ideas.


Speaking of Creative Commons,  Flickr is a website where you can easily search for, and download, Creative Commons licensed images for use in your Powerpoints, handouts and to make your online courses less ‘texty’.  To find out more, check out the article  How To Search & Credit Properly-Licensed Photos On Flick …and for those of you who’ve been doing all this since the dawn of time [grin], have you heard about ImageCodr? It’s a super-easy way of generating the code to properly attribute Flickr photos.  Here is one I prepared earlier…

Funny sign by Me-Liss-A, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Me-Liss-A 


The following is a public service announcement from Moodle News...
[falls around laughing]  OK….maybe that’s just a teensy bit over-dramatised but you get the idea.  Unmoodling your Moodle is a good place to start,  and here are are a whole stack of Moodle Tips that might be useful too.  Not into Moodle yet?  Did you know that training providers in South Australia are able to get a FREE Moodle classroom? [listens for the phone which is bound to ring off the hook now] 🙂


The idea of using games as part of learning has been around a long time.  Have you seen SafeWork SA’s Virtual Hotel….or Smokescreen, a game about online safety….or maybe MedMyst, focussing on medical mysteries?  You may be interested in How Social Media & Game Mechanics Can Motivate Students, or the (fairly serious) article What Makes a Good Learning Game?   But for your everyday, simple activities, then you can’t go past the Thiagi Group.  for ideas such as Interactive Lectures or the tried and true Email Games.


The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials  is chock full of bits and pieces…such as how to disable the “clicking sound” on the iPad Keyboard or how to Quick Scroll to the Top of Any Page.  All useful stuff!  Many educational institutions are currently trialling the use of tablet computers (such as the iPad) and you’ll find some details at iPad Trials in Australia.  I also recently came across iPad Curriculum, which is a collection of applications, practices, and use of the iPad as a learning device.


The NBN (National Broadband Network) will be “...the digital equivalent of the Trans-Australian Railway, linking towns small and large, bringing new life and new opportunities to our economy and our communities“.  So say some….but what do you think? The NBN means much more than the cables in the ground, and you might find Internet 2.0: your guide to the national broadband network a useful ‘pull it all together’ guide.  When it comes to SA,  Getting Connected, Staying Connected: Exploring South Australia’s Digital Futures provides real insight into the current connectivity issues, especially in regional areas.  And how might all this affect us personally?  The video below is a bit corny [grin] but it does give insight into how life might be different once the NBN (like electricity) becomes an everyday thing.


Well….it depends on what you are wanting to do! It’s a good question though, as the different tools seem similar in some ways, so when Stephan from TAFESA alerted me to Blogs, Wikis, Docs: Which is right for your lesson?, I thought “Ahah!  That might be useful!”  [triumphant look] So I’m passing it on.  But what if you’re the step before that, and trying to decide on the ‘perfect wiki’ out of the zillions available?  Came across WikiMatrix which asks a series of questions then presents you with a list of wikis that match your needs.  Personally I’m a fan of WikiSpaces but I’ll be the first to admit it doesn’t do everything.  [grin] (To choose a blog, try Weblogmatrix).


OK…one more little idea for those of you who have grandchildren (and I’ve just read the stats about the average age of the VET workforce, and that’s more than a couple of you [chuckles]).  How about playing games with the grandkiddies…online?  Grandparent Games offers a wide range of educational activities designed to encourage interaction, learning, and fun! And what a lovely activity on a cold, wintry Sunday afternoon.

On that note, I need to go and get some more wood to throw on the fire, but let’s catch up again next month!  Don’t forget that if you need any help, advice or support for e-learning, I’m only an email or phone call away. And yes…I DO mean that seriously.


6 thoughts on “June 2011

  1. These eNewsletters ooze the perfect personality to do them
    Thnq Marlene – may they continue 4ever
    Is that dog Your Chauffeur?
    Lucky Dog – I wanted that job

  2. Thanks everyone for your comments and support for this Newsletter. I’ve been following the comments about the ‘scroll of death’ both here and in Twitter/Yammer, however (to play devil’s advocate [grin]), everyone who says that they like it….is a trainer! I wonder what the students think? 😉

  3. Have posted this on my FB. Thanks for a very useful, entertaining and interesting eNewsletter 🙂 I was happy to keep scrolling (totally agree totally with Peter about ‘click torment’).

  4. I think the scroll of death isn’t a bad thing – in fact it’s preferable to something else – the “click for next page torment”

    I HATE reading an article that’s been broken up into pages – a lot of the time I use the internet on my laptop – scrolling is easy – I just have to wipe two fingers over the trackpad to scroll the page

  5. Awesome e-learning newsletter if you are interested.

  6. Love the newsletter Marlene I linked to it from my blog. Cheers and keep on learning Rob