S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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


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December 2009

Hi everyone!

First of all, a sincere welcome to all newcomers to the SA E-learning Newsletter.  You most likely ticked the box on your E-Dayz’09 registration, and that’s great!  Welcome!! If you aren’t new, you will have already noticed that there are changes to this Newsletter.  Firstly, it has a new author…me! [big grin] My name is Marlene Manto and I’m the E-learning Coordinator for South Australia, with the Framework.  I’m inclined to waffle but I’ll do my best to keep to the point while I’m writing this Newsletter [winks].

Secondly, the Newsletter will now be produced in WordPress so you can make comments, ask questions, see archived copies and have access to lots of other links and information. (If your firewall prevents you from accessing any of the resources, just let me know and I’ll find an alternative for you.)  Please go to the POLL to cast your vote about what you would like to see more of in future editions of this Newsletter.  🙂

So…let’s get on with it……

FREE MONEY!

Now that got your attention, didn’t it! [chuckles to herself] I’m not making any promises here but I’ve heard that there might be some funding for e-learning Innovations projects again next year.  If you were at E-Dayz’09 you may have seen this years projects at the Showcase Cocktail Party.  The 2010 Guidelines aren’t out yet (probably January) however feel free to ring the SA Framework’s Innovations Coordinator (Doug Purcell) for a chat about the possibilities.  You can find him on 0438 824 583 or at douglas.purcell@sa.gov.au Go on…what do you have to lose!  🙂

WHEN IS GOOD FOR YOU?

Is that a question you’ve heard before,  probably from some poor person trying to organise a meeting time to suit a number of people?  [sigh]  It’s a pain, isn’t it.  But this might solve everything!  Came across a neat little tool that does it all for you…it is FREE…no downloads…no logins.  It’s called When Is Good and I’ve even created a ‘How To’ resource for you to follow.  If you’re a manager, flick this on to your admin staff…they will love you for it!

THREE NEW TOOLBOXES

If you deliver training in any of these areas, you might want to check out these ‘hot off the press’ Toolboxes for TAA E-learning E-lectives, Small Business Management (Cert IV level) and the revamped Cybertots for the Cert III Children’s Services.  Oh, and don’t forget that all the learning objects from these and other Toolboxes, are all available FREE from the Toolbox Repository.

E-DAYZ’09….THE AFTERMATH

Were you lucky enough to get to E-Dayz’09, South Australia’s premier e-learning conference?  If you couldn’t make it, you can still catch up as  some of the E-Dayz’09 speakers were recorded (especially the Keynotes), and some of the workshop presenters have uploaded their resources.

SOLVING PROBLEMS WITH RESEARCH

Do you have a problem/issue in your workplace that research might help to solve?  Just need some time (and money!) to do that research? [grin] I’ve just found out that NCVER are offering ten $4,000 scholarships for novice researchers working in the VET sector.  Applications close 17 February 2010 and you’ll find more information at the NCVER website.

FREE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

People often ask me where to learn more about ‘e-learning stuff’ (well, that’s my technical term [grin]).  The  SA Framework Unit runs FREE workshops which are advertised via this mailing list…lots more coming next year so if you are on the mailing list, you will hear about them.  Plus there are the VET SA workshops (not free but cheap) which will be happening again in 2010.  However if you find it difficult to get away or you live/work in a regional area, perhaps an online conference/workshop such as e-Events would work for you?  And the best thing about these, is that they are usually recorded, so you can ‘attend’ them anytime.  Here are some instructions to help you try it right now.

SPEAKING OF LEARNING NEW THINGS…

Amazing how sometimes one can just fall over useful stuff!  I was on a completely unrelated search through Delicious yesterday (sometimes a much better place to search than Google), when I came across ’15 Free Guides That Really Teach You USEFUL Stuff’ Of particular interest to me was the ‘The Underground Guide to the iPhone’, ‘Twitter: Best Practices & Tips’ and the ‘Laptop Buying Guide for 2009’.  But there’s heaps more…and all quite diverse.

CLOUD COMPUTING…HUH???

Have you come across the terminology ‘Cloud Computing’?  It is a subject that has an explanation problem – people have a hard time understanding it because it’s difficult to explain quickly but here is a short video which I’m hoping will help to explain the concept.  TAFE SA and Flinders Uni are switching to cloud computing for 2010, and if you’d like to get your head around what all this might have to do with education, then this blog posting  Cloud Computing and Education might help.

E-LEARNING TOOLS…WHAT SHOULD I BE USING?

It’s confusing, isn’t it.  When it comes to e-learning, there seem to be zillions of tools, applications, platforms and gadgets.  Where do you find them? And how on earth do you know what’s good and what everyone else is using?   Each year, the top 100 tools for learning are compiled from learning professionals all over the world.  Here is the 2009 Top 100 List…but if you just get familiar with the top 10 then you’ll be ahead of most people.  [grin]  This newsletter will be working through the list over the next few months, telling you more about each tool and providing help to get you started.

ARE YOU A TWIT?

Everyone seems to be all a-twitter about Twitter these days.  I started to write something about this little tool (seeing as it’s top of the list above) however I found this little guide – Twitter First Steps – by Deanne Bullen and it pretty much says it all!  I used to be very sceptical when I first came across Twitter, but now I’m a convert. Hmmm… [puts her hand to her ear]… I can hear you saying “Go on, convert me...I dare you!”  [laugh] Well let’s start with Nine great reasons why teachers should use Twitter and after that, you might want to check out this video:   How to Use Twitter in the Classroom And don’t forget to connect to me!  I’m marlenemanto on Twitter.

SOCIAL MEDIA…INSIDE ORGANISATIONAL WALLS

Does your organisation have a social media policy?  Should it?  What if somebody posts something offensive about a colleague on YouTube..or encourages students into Facebook without understanding the privacy settings?  Yeeks!  And of course this applies to ALL organisations. Perhaps you might want to first check out ‘Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy…and then once you’ve decided that you definitely need one, have a look at ‘10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy‘.  If you’d like to look at some examples from other organisations, try this online database.

USING SKYPE IN THE CLASSROOM

Have you heard of Skype?  That great little tool that enables you to chat to your relatives overseas without the huuuuge phone bills?  Well, why don’t you try using it in the classroom?  “Good grief!” I can hear you say..”How and why would I use it in a classroom?”  [chuckles to herself]  OK, let’s begin with this blog posting 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom which will give you some ideas, but if you find the whole thing a bit scary (or you don’t have a clue where to begin), then check out this article from a teacher who admits “I had the hardest time learning to use Skype! I had several other fellow educators look down at me for “being so dumb” that I didn’t know how!”  So go on…if she could do it, you can too!  🙂

FUN WITH PHOTOS!

And finally, just something for funDumpr is a website that allows you to upload a photo…and turn it into..well..lots of weird and wonderful things!  I liked the gadget  that put my photo into a Christmas ornament – that would be fun to make cards for the festive season.  And then I turned it into a pencil sketch…and then a jigsaw puzzle.  OK, maybe it doesn’t have huge educational potential but maybe it could just jazz up that Moodle course.  Or maybe it will just keep the kids entertained over the holidays.  [grin]


Well, that’s it for this month.  I  hope you’ve found something in the above list which has piqued your interest, and perhaps encourages you to explore further.  If you are already using any of the above, why don’t you click on the ‘Leave a Comment‘ link below, and tell us what you use…what you are doing…or what you have found helpful.  This is the final SA E-learning Newsletter edition for 2009 so I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas season and lots of e-learning activity (and fun!) for 2010.  Don’t forget that if I can help in your e-learning journey in any way, just let me know.

 

Cheers,
Marlene