Well that’s it…the Framework is officially finished. Boo hoo… But it’s like that old saying “when a door closes a window opens”….so I’m not feeling sad at all! :-) The windows have just been thrown open on a brand new National VET E-learning Strategy which is far broader than the ‘old’ Framework, reaching out to businesses, industry groups and community groups. We can invite more people to the party! [grin] But it’s still all about technology and learning…so let’s get on with it…
THE ART OF STORYTELLING …WITH STORYBIRDS
Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print. When I came across this my first thought was that it might be something only suitable for school teachers…but then I wondered if perhaps I had dismissed it too quickly. The stories are very visual (here’s an example) and may work extremely well for those learners who don’t cope well with lots of text. Or where you need to teach an otherwise boring set of facts. Worth a look? :-)
HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE BACKCHANNEL
Have you ever considered that your learners walk into your training room with the ultimate engagement tool right in their pocket? Do you take advantage of this? The article Speaking Up in Class, Silently, Using Social Media is a story from one teacher. And what about the backchannel of an organisation, often considered by managers as something to be firmly controlled. [grin] Have a read of Backchannel Learning in an Organisation for some thoughts and ideas…and maybe even a light-bulb moment! :-)
TURNING ‘WATER COOLER CONVERSATION’ INTO VALUED TRAINING
The article in the paragraph above refers to Yammer, so I thought it was timely to explain this free communication tool for those who haven’t come across it before. Basically, Yammer is like Twitter (brief messages) except that it is internal and private amongst employees within an organisation. For example, TAFE SA uses Yammer to connect staff across the whole state allowing employees in rural campuses to talk with their metro colleagues. But can this random conversation have purpose? Hold those initial opinions and read Turn Up Engagement With A Yammer Treasure Hunt! Ready to head into Yammer? [laugh] Perhaps check out Yammer Best Practices — Increase Adoption & Engagement as a first port-of-call. Then go for it!
GET INTO READING
The long summer break is starting to come up over the horizon, with the promise of lazy summer days spent engrossed in a good book. [stares off into space with a dreamy look] Jo from DECS sent me the link to e-Books@Adelaide which is a long list of totally free and downloadable books. You can read them online…or print them…or better still, download them as an e-pub file so you can read them on your iPad, Kindle or other e-book reader. Apparently, people who own an e-reader read more, according to A look at the reading habits of e-reader owners, and Readers turn the page on technology. As someone who owns one, I’m inclined to agree. :-)
WHAT ON EARTH IS A QR CODE?
I seem to be seeing more and more QR codes these days…in magazines and even on the sides of supermarket items! What’s a QR code? QR stands for ‘Quick Reference’ and QR Codes explained by Common Craft is a nice little video which explains it very simply. Essentially, they are like a barcode which takes you off to…well, wherever the creator wants you to go! Ambra from DECS sent me this great list of links which includes 50 Creative Uses of QR Codes and QR Codes in Education. I was thinking…if you’re having to teach using a boring textbook with diagrams (or text) explaining how to do something, why not add in a QR code which leads your learners to a YouTube video demonstration?! Just an idea… [grin]
Are you over 25? Does this sort of comment make you as irritated as it does me? Grrr…. [stamps her foot] Well we aren’t alone as John from the TAFE library passed on this link The Fallacy of Digital Natives which states the opinion that “Learning and technology has nothing to do with generational divides.” But that is just one person’s opinion….what do YOU think? Complete this little poll to see what everyone thinks…
IF YOU CAN TYPE, YOU CAN MAKE A MOVIE
Xtranormal is a fabulous little tool which lets you make simple movies. Teachers can use it, businesses can use it, learners can use it…and according to the Xtranormal people, “Movie-making, short and long, online and on-screen, private and public, will be the most important communications process of the 21st century.” With what is happening around the National Broadband Network, I’m inclined to agree with them! Below is a video explanation (and it’s also an example of an Xtranormal movie):
PS: If you want to get your Xtranormal movie into Moodle or onto a business website, just put it onto YouTube first then embed it…instructions here.
USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MARKETING
You might be a small business owner, or a TAFE lecturer, or you run a private training company….but in this day ‘n age, it is crucially important to promote your ‘brand’ and draw in new customers (students, clients, talented employees…whatever). With this in mind, I thought I would share a resource I created recently called Marketing your Small Business with Social Media. It was something I did to support a presentation for small businesses, but I got to thinking that marketing is really important, even for training organisations. Check out the video below
TO TRAIN…OR NOT TO TRAIN…THAT IS THE QUESTION
This is about workforce development. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff lately that seems to say we jump into training as an auto-response to fix apparent issues, without considering other possibilities. When Training is Not the Answer is one of these, but I particularly like Jane Hart’s comment in The changing state of workplace learning when she says “...only around 20% of the learning that takes place in the workplace is “visible” in the form of FORMAL learning (i.e. courses, classes, workshops etc). The other 80% of learning takes place informally...” So why do we always think formal training is the answer? [scratches her head]
ABOUT E-PORTFOLIOS, MOODLE AND GOOGLE SITES
Really didn’t know what to call this paragraph! Creating Student e-Portfolios with Google Sites is a nice example of a (completely free) Moodle course, however it is actually a ‘How To’ resource to assist teachers to set up individual e-portfolios on Google Sites, for their students. Bit of everything really! For those of you who look after a Moodle, you can download a copy of the course for your own server. Or you could simply do the course yourself, online.
Anyway, I must dash off now as the launch of the new National VET E-learning Strategy has caused my In Box to over-floweth…big time! [giggles somewhat hysterically] I may have to do the Time Management course currently running through e-Skills…I could do with some extra time in my day! :-)