S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

July 2011

5 Comments

Hi everyone,

You are most likely reading this because you are somewhere along the e-learning road.  Maybe you are right at the beginning and staring at what may seem a very distant horizon…or maybe you are just tootling along nicely …or maybe you are picking up speed and racing your competitors! [grin]

Marlene's soapboxThe important question is…WHO OR WHAT IS DRIVING YOU? Over the years it has become clear to me that those organisations and individuals who are the most successful with e-learning, have their learners in the driver’s seat. All the plans and decisions are based on learner needs.   So if you are being driven by your love of technology, or by your manager, or by your accountants, or by anyone or anything else other than your learners’ needs…..tell them that they are welcome to come along for the ride, but they have to sit in the back seat.   OK, I’ll get down off my soapbox now…let’s get into July’s list of topics. 🙂

LET’S START WITH SOME INSPIRATION

This is the latest in this series of videos…..

For those of you who are past seeking inspiration and just want a giggle, this came up on Twitter while I was writing this Newsletter:  Proposing marriage on the ledge of a tall building, what could go wrong? [chuckles]

YOUNG LEARNERS – AND ASSESSMENTQuick check on Google

…it should be the case that if someone asks you a question, you should get five minutes to access whatever sources you use in your daily life to answer that question...” This is a quote from the article When the Baby-Boomers Meet the Mobile Generation which opens up all sorts of debate about what assessment may ‘look like’ in the near future. But hey…why can’t it be happening now?  The article Student Involved Assessment provides a video example and then talks about a similar scenario…that of ‘reaching out’ to others.  Food for thought?

Resizeimage.orgALL I WANT TO DO IS MAKE A PHOTO SMALLER

A simple thing, but specialised software can complicate it by giving you a hundred options that you don’t need.  If you only want to make an image smaller (say…to put in an email or onto your online course), then check out ResizeImage.org.  Its free…nothing to download…you don’t need an account…and all it does is resize your image.  Simple!

ARE OUR WORK HOURS CHANGING?People working to the clock

Do you work a precise 8 hours per day…or do you ‘blur the boundaries’?  I was taken by Andrew Douch’s posting Work, Rest & Play in an Anytime, Anywhere Century which explores the notion that our concept of ‘work hours’ is changing, and in the case of online teaching and training, maybe needs to change. What do you think?  Have your say in the poll below (once you’ve voted, you’ll be able to see the overall percentages).

Paper.liPUT OUT YOUR OWN NEWSPAPER

This is about Paper.li  I won’t ramble on as you’ll find the Introduction pretty much says it all, but essentially …”Paper.li is a content curation service. It enables people to publish newspapers based on topics they like and treat their readers to fresh news, daily.”  How cool would it be to create a newspaper for your students…or your organisation…or have your students create their own!.  Or do one for your club!  I did some searching for examples and came up with Adelaide Tweet’s Morning Edition or for a more topic-based one, how about Natural Stone Design & Construction. Here’s one created by students but you can do your own searching right on the front of the site.  Is your imagination firing yet? [cheeky grin]

GETTING STARTED WITH THAT MOODLE COURSEMoodle

Many people get a Moodle course set up for them (eg from e-Skills) …take one look….and then retreat! [grin] That blank course may look daunting, but if you have a look at How to Set Up Your Moodle 1.9 Class you should be able to follow through the steps.  Start from step 2 and try to ignore the very annoying ads. [grrr….] Another useful ‘just get me started’ resource is the Two Minute Moodles…little videos of all the things which are sometimes confusing.

Industry Lunch and Learn sessionsE-LEARNING FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Have you been attending the Framework’s online  ‘Lunch and Learn’ free industry online sessions? They’ve all been recorded so if you’re keen to look at the benefits and challenges of e-learning for workforce development, or want to know more about finding a training partner for support, you’ll find the recordings (plus hand-outs) at Develop Your Workforce with e-Learning.

HAVE YOU NOTICED THE LITTLE +1 ON YOUR GOOGLE SEARCHES?Google +1

The next time you do a Google Search, have a look for the little +1 icon (like in the image here).  Google’s +1 (pronounced “plus one”), is a bit like FaceBook’s “Like” button, except that it does more. Each time someone clicks on the +1 button, it signals Google’s massive search machine to move this link closer to the top….so the user gets to choose what is a good link, not the search engine (or some company with lots of money [frowns]).   Apparently its Already More Widespread Than Twitter’s Tweet Button ….although…. There Is One Thing Missing From Google’s +1  offers an alternative opinion.  Interesting.  [grin] (By the way, don’t confuse this with Google’s new Google Plus social networking platform…different thing and one I’ll deal with in the future).

Learning Design ToolCREATING EXCELLENT ONLINE COURSES

Definitely something we all strive for, but it isn’t always the simplest task…which is why when I come across new tools like this Checklist for Strong e-Learning (via Cathy Moore) I can’t wait to pass them along to you.  And while I’m thinking about it, this might be a good time to remind you about the Learning Design Tool which is is designed to “...assist you in the process of choosing and developing a learning design for a learning resource which covers a unit of competence, or elements of a unit, in a Training Package.  Nothing to download and it caters to different skill levels.  You can save, modify and review your work as you go and it makes a terrific project management or professional development tool.

CHANGE  ANY WEB PAGE…NO SKILLS REQUIRED!BO.LT

Oh, I love this!!!!  It’s a new tool called BO.LT and basically, it copies any website then allows you to delete, change and add things, giving you a unique URL so you can  share it.  Wow!  How many times have you wanted to send your students a link but not all of what was on the page was what you wanted them to see…or bits might be distracting, or have ads all over them.  This way you get to send them to only what you want them to see plus what you add!  Here’s a video that explains how it works:


MarleneWow…the world of e-learning is a long and fascinating road, but I think I need a pit-stop [laughs].  I hope to see you all back here next month but in the meantime, why don’t you help to ‘spread the word’ and forward on this Newsletter to colleagues?
Cheers,
Marlene

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5 thoughts on “July 2011

  1. Thanks once again Marlene. Love the look of bo.lt and paper.li

  2. Another great edition – customising web pages look good and I will try it soon – and thanks for the proposal laugh at the beginning.

  3. Thanks all for the encouraging words everyone…I’ll keep writing this Newsletter as long as they let me. [grin]

  4. Marlene, thank you for the newsletter it has spawned some great ideas for me; cheers

  5. Hi Marlene,
    Another great newsletter. Thank you.