S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

December 2011


Hi everyone,

And a one…and a two….and a….”Weeee wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Yeeeeear…..”  OK, I’ll stop now.  [laughs]  This is my very last SA E-learning Newsletter for 2011 and I can’t believe another year has somehow zipped by! The other thing that continues to amaze me is the incredible rate of change…


Do you realise that the iPad has been around for less than 6 months, and yet they are already common at conferences, meetings and on the bus! Do you sometimes feel exhausted with the rate of change? If you do, take comfort from the fact that you most definitely aren’t alone – there are days I could drop every piece of technology from the top of a high building! [grin] I found this podcast interesting   Staying Sane in the Fast Lane (MP3) …or you might like to read Technology Stress and How to Overcome it or maybe How to Prevent Technology From Increasing Your Stress Level.  Please let me know if you come up with a magic fix! 🙂


Have you heard of Animoto?  In their words, “Educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom. It’s powerful features can be used to create stunning presentations incorporating images, video clips, music and text.”  It reminds me very much of Microsoft’s PhotoStory3 but Animoto seems to have some advantages in that it works ‘in the cloud’ and there is nothing to download, making it easy to share your videos via email, on a blog/website, or export straight to YouTube.  (Yes, good for education…but I’m also thinking, perhaps a family video to send to friends for Christmas?? [winks])


Speaking of video, with the National Broadband Network (NBN) about to be rolled out seriously and quickly over the next year or so, the word on the ground is that video will be coming into it’s own as an e-learning tool.  If you’re getting into video, you might find these tips useful.


For something a little different,  have you come across Scoop.it yet?  Now, Scoop.it is a free, publishing-by-curation platform and it creates online magazines out of readily available content. Here’s a Guided Tour  but they go on about using it to start your own magazine to get famous [grin]… and I don’t think the creators have considered how useful this might be for education!  Think…if you are teaching in Agriculture, you could start a magazine all about the latest trends happening in Agriculture, for your students!  Better still, get them to create the magazine and share it!


How aware are you of ‘the tracks you leave behind’? Click the Play button on the video below…it will make you think!

Right, I can see you’re getting completely paranoid now, and vowing to stay away from the internet! [laughs] Hang on a minute though, as it is it is possible to track at least some of your footprints.  I would start with Google Alerts which is an incredibly simple tool and a good place to start….just write in your name. A similar tool is SocialMention which monitors social networking sites. In Footprints in the Digital Age the writer makes us consider our responsibilities as educators, and check out My Footprint ….a useful resource for students.


If you do, you are flying in the face of the increasing move toward ‘Open Content’.  As stated in the 2010 Horizon Report, “The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way academics…are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed in their courses.” In a nutshell, this means that content is no longer king, and that educators are recognising that it is the teaching and support that is the key factor in successful learning.  Not convinced? [grin] Then check out MIT Open Courseware or Stanford University or Open-of-Course or WikiEducator.  Another example…if you know of somebody who has a fear of flying, suggest they enrol in the free Fear of Flying online course!  Something new I’ve come across is P2PU which is peer to peer learning…where people work together to learn a particular topic.


Read in the Official Google Australia Blog that Aussies are starting to get quite innovative in how they are using Google Earth.  Oh, and I’ve also discovered that there is actually a Google Earth for Educators site…cool! 🙂  I think I might have shared these resources before, but as my brain is getting old and confused, maybe other’s are too [laugh] so how about – How to Teach With Google Earth and Google Earth Lessons.  And it’s not all about Science…one I loved was Where Are You From…great for those working with new arrivals or others from non-English speaking backgrounds.


It takes a while to browse through this e-book (created as a SlideShare presentation), but there are some gems… so maybe with a sandwich in your hand?  Or a glass of wine? [cheeky grin]


Audacity is recording and audio editing software…quite free, and relatively easy to use.  It’s been around for a while but this just shows that it’s popular. 🙂  A resource I’ve been recommending of late is How To Use Audacity…pretty much says it all! [laughs] Audacity does need to be downloaded and there is just one teeny little extra step, but please don’t be put off.. follow these instructions and you’ll be up and running in no time. (If you need extra help, try this video tutorial).  When you’re up and rolling, get some inspiration from 10 Great ways to use Audacity with your Students  or try Recording a Podcast.


I’ve talked a lot in the past about Facebook for education, but have you thought about it from a business perspective? OK, maybe your business is training, but is that really so different…especially as we’re about to go into the era of Skills for All and Facebook might be the ideal place to start marketing your course offerings to potential students!  Let’s start with 32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business, and there are some great ideas on Designing A Facebook Fan Page. But beware of the 10 common social media mistakes.  If you’re just needing a giggle, try Facebook – Social Media Marketing or Massacring. 🙂


Just imagine…you are walking through a large, educational institution when you hear the sound of a saxaphone…..

After seeing the above video you should be really feeling the Christmas spirit [grin], so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and the best of all gifts….a relaxing holiday break.  Thanks for reading my ramblings during 2011 and I’ll see you all back here in 2012!



6 thoughts on “December 2011

  1. Hi Marlene, thanks for the great read and ofcourse interesting array of e-toys. Hope you and your family have a great Xmas. Love the Santa’s little helper hat…

  2. Merry Christmas Marlene – hope your stocking is well stuffed (err… in a nice way of course) and that you’re back next year full of vim

  3. Well done marlene. Thank you for all your hard work. I dont always reply but I always read 🙂