S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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

February 2012


Hi everyone,

My mum is going on a holiday soon, so I thought I would buy her a cheap ‘point and shoot’ digital camera. She’s 84, and she told me  “don’t get me something with lots of buttons!” 🙂  Well, the task wasn’t as easy as you might think!  It seems that “the camera is migrating to the higher end, because the lower end is now being done perfectly well by the mobile.”  This quote comes from Technology: what’s next for the extinction list? and it made me think about what I would miss…and what I didn’t even realise was going! What will you miss?


I don’t use a fax anymore, or a filing cabinet.  But workplaces are changing even more dramatically and Microsoft’s new offices in Pirie Street, Adelaide are an example as  employees don’t have desks… instead they access communal benchtops and lounges using laptops, mobiles and instant messaging systems as tools of the trade. But even further change…did you know that the Australian Government greatly supports tele-work..i.e. working from home? What do you think…are you for or against these radical changes? Check out Say Goodbye to your Cubicle for some interesting perspectives then leave a comment to offer your opinion.


Quizlet logoQuizlet lets you create flashcard sets with your own terms and definitions (or use whatever is already created there).  It’s designed for Language studies but I can’t see why it can’t be used for…say…. learning the scientific names for plants in Horticulture, or parts of the body in a Health subject.  Here’s one about electronic circuits…note that you can select to see only one side of the card, or both. Now click the blue ‘Test’ button underneath.  Think you could use these, maybe for some formative self- assessment?? 🙂 Oh, and you can embed them too.


Here are the Top 20 Tools 2007-2011…in other words, the last 5 years.  Use the poll below to indicate which ones you use, then check the results to see how we’ve all voted.


Voicethread logoOnline conversations can be a great thing (eg forums) but sometimes its easier to just talk instead of typing…especially if you aren’t fast on a keyboard, or struggle with written English, or have a disability that makes it difficult.  VoiceThread has been around for a while but I thought I’d give it a plug as it’s incredibly useful (here’s the Overview and here’s an example…click on the squares down each side to hear the voices.There are loads of resources and how-to’s to get you started such as the ones on Teaching without Walls.  And for you Moodle users who want to embed them?  Haha..I dug this up just for you. [grin]


ABC iView logoMaybe you were watching this really interesting show on TV last night, with your feet up and a glass of wine in your hand. 🙂 But then you thought “Hey…this would be good for my students to watch!” So what do you do?  Why, you just go to the internet site for the channel and show them from there, or send them the link!  You’ll have to put up with some annoying ads…but what’s different about that! [laugh]  Here are some easy printable instructions and the sites for Channel 2, Channel 10, Channel 9, and  Channel 7.  Instant resources!


I noticed from the January edition of this Newsletter that all the links relating to Moodle got the highest clicks!  So I thought I’d give you more…see how responsive I am? [pats herself on the back] First of all, I liked this simple video (below) which explains how to use labels to create simple menus.  Saves cluttering up the front of your lovely site with too much text and explanation.

If you are brand new in the Moodle world and still getting your head around the difference between the 3 commonly used formats (social, topic and weekly), then these examples might help. Something else that might help everyone is the updated version of 3 things they wish someone had told them in their first week using/developing Moodle. The top one for me is “there’s no right or wrong way to use Moodle!”


Let’s face it….you probably hate marking assignments as much as your students hate writing them.  So why not start doing things differently?  The article The Three Foundational Principles of Student Engagement and Student Motivation sounds onerous, but its a short little read which will give you some innovative ideas for assessment…like handing over the decisions and plans to your students!  Something similar is How to Make Fun in Student Assessment. My thinking is that I always try to consider what I’m trying to achieve from the assessment, and getting students to simply write pages of text rarely does it justice. 😉


I like this video…it’s Australian (makes a pleasant change 🙂 ) and provides some really common-sense hints and tips for ensuring your students aren’t feeling isolated, worried, unmotivated…or bored out of their collective brains! [cheeky grin]

If you’re up for a good read, this is interesting too:  Bringing Life to Online Instruction with Humor


Broken Co-worker websiteHave you seen the Broken Co-worker scenario? It’s ‘doing the rounds’ at the moment so you may have come across it elsewhere….it’s a great resource that deals with workplace issues. If you like checking out different multi-media resources then E-learning Examples might interest you…some are better than others. [grin] Oh, and while I’ve got the attention of those who might be creating multi-media, the 2012 set of e-standards for creating accessible and reusable e-learning content for the VET sector has been published.


The clever people at Commoncraft have just released their latest video Copyright and Creative Commons.   Another video on the same topic is the one below, (which might be a good one to show students):

If you’re looking for ‘all things Creative Commons’, then start with CC Search.

Email me!Well, I’m all worn out with running around the internet looking for useful stuff for you! [puff, puff] I’d love you to leave a comment to let me know what you found the most interesting or useful…it would help for next month.  Or…perhaps just forward this Newsletter to a friend or colleague – let’s spread the love. 😀


4 thoughts on “February 2012

  1. Absolutely Brilliant Marlene
    Your Brilliance is becoming increasingly Radiant
    May I acclaim/proclaim You as the eLearning Goddess?

  2. This newsletter renders quite nicely on an iPhone …. Nice !