S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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


June 2010

Rain cloud

Hi everyone,

Brrrrr…..I’m not a winter person so I’m suffering in this cold weather, and it’s not helping to know that there are months of it ahead! [sigh]  Oh well…[kicks herself under the desk]…stop complaining woman and get on with it .  🙂  Let’s get into June! On your marks…get set….


  • Thursday, 3rd June – 3 hour workshop on ‘Strategies for Keeping Up with E-learning‘.  More info here.  To register phone 8348 4070.
  • Wednesday, 9th June – 3 hour workshop on ‘Using Google Documents for Business and Training‘.  More info here.   To register phone 8348 4070.
  • Thursday, 10th June – 3 hour workshop on ‘Developing your e-Resume or online professional portfolio‘.    More info here.   To register phone 8348 4070.
  • Wednesday 16th – Thursday 17th – Framework Online Conference.  More info here.  Registration opening this week.
  • Friday 18th – SPECIAL E-LEARNING EVENT on E-assessment and Copyright (2 separate presentations).  More info here.  To register click here.
  • Wednesday 23rd – NCVER breakfast – Training the VET Workforce.  More info here.  To register click here.
  • Friday 25th – DFEEST Forum on Assessment (Ed Note: assessment in general..not e-assessment).  More info here.  To register click here.


PosterStreet“Free posters for your school, office or home! Just download and print! No registration required!” Poster-Street looks like a great site if you are interested in some motivational, funny and thought provoking wall art to decorate your classroom, office or training area.  How about “Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.”  Oh, I do sooo relate to that one!!!! [laugh] You can also add them to your Facebook and Twitter.


The fabulous people at Commoncraft have come up with a new video explaining Wikipedia. They say “Wikipedia is an amazing resource, but it’s not always clear what helps to ensure that the articles are factual and high quality. ”  For example, did you know that everything added to Wikipedia needs to be referenced?  And that it needs to be unbiassed?  If you already know all about Wikipedia (and don’t need to be convinced that it’s a useful tool [grin]), then you might be interested in some of these links. First we have WikiRage, which tracks the pages in Wikipedia  which are receiving the most edits over various periods of time.  Or WikiTravel, which has free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guides…over 23,000 destinations so far! And what about Unusual Articles which is a page for Wikipedians to list articles that seem a little unusual….like Gravity hill, a hill that gives the illusion of objects rolling uphill. Weird!  [chuckles to herself]


Enough frivolity.  [grin]  Lots of talk lately about e-assessment with the report ‘E-assessment and the AQTF: Bridging the divide between practitioners and auditors‘ starting many heated conversations.  Why don’t you table this report for discussion at your next staff meeting, and/or come to hear the researcher speak here in Adelaide?  I did some trawling and have come up with some sites/reading for you on this broad subject of e-assessment, so perhaps you might like to start with ‘Using Wikis and Blogs for Assessment in First Year Engineering‘ which is a UNISA report.  If you just want something short to get your head around this topic, [grin] spend 3 minutes reading ‘Why use a blog for assessment’?…and…’Approaches to Assessment 2.0‘…or go straight to the list of topics on the  ‘Transforming Assessment‘ website which has been the home for this SA based project.  Some work is being done overseas too which you can read about in this UK report ‘Effective Practice with e-Assessment


Remember those ‘Choose your own adventure’ books where you got to make choices about which direction you wanted to go?  Sue McShane from the ACT has used ARED to create a fun pathway through the jungles of e-learning resources and tools on the Framework site.  This online webventure will allow you to ‘trek’ at your own pace through the areas applicable to you, and therefore caters for beginners to advanced e-learning explorers. You can access the webventure from HERE….but best of all, if you aren’t familiar with ARED (Application for Rapid E-learning Development) you will also get to see an example of this tool in action.  Two for the price of one!  🙂


You may remember that 13 organisations in SA have been awarded some funding for e-learning projects this year (details here).  Lot’s of interesting activity happening including some e-assessment, e-portfolios, e-inductions, Moodles …and heaps of other activity.  The reason I’m reminding you about them is that they are beginning to post their Introductions on the Framework site.  Why not register so you can say hello and ask them questions!? 😉


A construction site is the last place you expect to see an iPhone but a Sydney builder is hoping to change that with the built-for-purpose Tradie’s App.  “Once derided for being too precious and fragile, the phone is making inroads into not-so-gentle environments thanks to a myriad of rugged covers and young labourers’ obsessions with the device.”  Will plumbers be next on board? Cabinet-makers? Electricians?  Hmmmm… [scratches her head while thinking about this].  While we’re on the subject of iPhones though, I’ve come across a nice site called iPhone Help which gives new users some answers to questions such as ‘How do I rearrange the app icons on my Apple iPhone…or….How can I get songs off my Apple iPhone?’  Perhaps you’re experienced with it though..in which case you may like to have a quick read of ‘iPhone Apps for Education‘ for some ideas.  What about Moodle on an iPhone????  Or ’10 Free iPhone Apps To Learn A New Skill In 10 Minutes‘??? 🙂


“How many times have you said to your class ‘OK you’ve got five minutes to do this or find that’?”  I’d like to thank the Wodonga TAFE e-learning Newsletter for pointing me to a cool little online egg-timer.  Clever…and very handy!  And while I’m giving them credit for coming up with some useful tools, they’ve also found a neat little tool for helping your meetings run on time.  Well done guys!  I’m a Type-A personality so anything that helps me in my constant battle with time is a good thing!  [laughs]


Have you heard of the VET Teacher E-learning Toolkit? Basically, it sets out the minimum web and desktop functionality requirements that teachers need to support the effective use of e-learning strategies.  All good stuff but it’s a little dated now and needs an update…. and we’d like to ask YOU to help. Pretty please?  [wheedling look] All you have to do is respond to this online survey about your own use of e-learning tools and applications. The survey takes only minutes to complete, containing seven questions about which web-based, desktop-support and virtual classroom tools and applications you use, and about your experiences using these tools.   Thanks in advance!  🙂


Global Voices

I’ve been meaning to tell you about Global Voices for a while now.  It is a community of more than 300 bloggers and translators around the world who work together to bring you reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media.  You can search under countries…or topics…or check out the latest coverage on what you might be hearing about on the local TV News (i.e. citizen videos about the ‘Red Shirt’ problems in Thailand), but with an ‘ordinary citizen’ perspective.  I can think of many educational applications for this site, but it has value anyway as a way of teasing out a ‘real story’ from what you hear on the 6 o’clock News.


One of my favourite blogs that I read regularly is Jane’s E-learning Pick of the Day, and I came across this gem recently… 2 must-read blog posts on the subject of memory, learning and the design of the teaching process (or instructional design). Some great quotes like “…the vast majority of structured learning is content-rich  and interaction-poor“, and “Designers need to get off the content bus and start thinking about, using, designing and exploiting learning environments full of experiences and interactivity.”  These are two powerful blog postings that every learning professional should read and digest as good e-learning design starts with good learning design.  I challenge you to read them both. 🙂


Hot off the blog presses comes this compilation ‘90+ Essential Social Media Resources‘ with essentials such as ‘How to Springclean your Twitter accountSocial Enterprise: 5 Tips for Getting Execs on Board’, ‘6 Free Websites for Learning and Teaching Science‘ and ‘How to find Long Lost Friends on Facebook’ ….plus another 86. [grin] Have fun!

Well I’m hoping that this lot will keep you going over June.  I know there seems to be a large number of links but if you set aside half a coffee break per day (the other half is for chatting [grin]), then you could possibly ensure that you get a quick squizz at most of them.  After all, you can click on a link and hold a cup of coffee at the same time…can’t you???  [raises her eyebrows]  😉

Stay warm and dry everyone!