S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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


August 2010

Hi everyone,

Did you know that there are only 142 days until Christmas? I’m sure you are thinking “she must be going mad“, but thinking about Christmas is one of the many strategies that I use to cope with loooong, dark winters.  [chuckles to herself]  Truthfully though, time is definitely flying by and Christmas will be here before we know it!  And so much still to get done!  So…let’s start with…..


Lots of e-Skills hands-on workshops coming up for August.    More information about the content of each of the workshops is on the e-Skills website, and you can register for any of them by phoning 8226 4345:

  • Friday,6th August (AM) – Creating Interactive Resources with eXe! (For the NON experts! Great to upload into Moodle)
  • Friday,6th August (PM) – Moodle:  The More Advanced Stuff (how to use some of the tools you’ve been avoiding)
  • Tuesday, 10th August (AM) – Learn to be a Twit! (How to set up and use Twitter as your own Personal Learning Network)
  • Tuesday, 10th August (PM) – Create an online Newsletter with WordPress (How to create a newsletter just like this onefacilitated by me!) 🙂
  • Friday, 27th August (AM) – E-Assessment with Moodle (a focus specifically on e-Assessment in Moodle)
  • Friday, 27th August (PM) – Moodle:  Advanced Admin and Facilitation Tools (similar to above but covering more general topics)


The SA Moodle Meet-up conference is technically a ‘September thing’, but seeing as it is on 3rd September, next month’s Newsletter will be too late to tell you more about it. Well, that’s my excuse to drop it in here.  [smile] Have you registered yet for the conference?  I wouldn’t delay it too long as I get new registrations drop in daily, and we only have limited spots…100 max. [grin]  I notice from the ‘top clicks’ section of last month’s SA E-learning Newsletter that one of the links you really liked was Joyce Seitzinger’s Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers. So with that in mind, we contacted Joyce and asked her (she’s from New Zealand) if we could ‘beam her in’ for the SA Moodle Meet-up conference…and she said YES!  There’s also going to be a great panel looking at what you can bolt on to Moodle such as Sloodle, Google Apps & Mahara.  Ya gotta be there!!!  🙂  Oh, and the Framework recently did a Product Profile of Moodle, which includes an example of how a hairdressing academy is using it.


I came across this little video quite by accident as I was looking for something else….you know how that can happen. [grin]  It was created by students and is based solely on words.  Well…that might be a bit boring I first thought and the first couple of minutes had my mouse arrow hovering over the stop button.  But then the message started to sink in and I was drawn into what these young people were saying. ….


Let’s move to something quite different now… an online quiz creator called MyStudiyo.  I freely admit that I didn’t find this one myself – Stephan from the TAFE Learning Materials Unit sent me this link, and I thought it was worth passing on.  Basically, with MyStudiyo you can create interactive quiz content for your website, Moodle or blog quickly and easily. You add your own content to quiz templates and create a customized quiz for your audience. After you’ve created your quiz, copy and paste a few lines of code into your website (or Moodle) and it embeds into your own site. Voila!  You can add text, audio and video (including YouTube links). Here is a quiz about Google as an example.  Want to check out what it looks like embedded?  Here’s one to test your DIY skills.  Got questions?  Try the excellent FAQ.


I know that e-learning is something that you tend to think of as only related to formal education, but did you know that 50% of Australian organisations use e-learning as part of structured or unstructured training they provide to their employees (up from 40% in 2009)?  I know because it says so in the recently released 2010 Employer E-learning Benchmarking Survey Report.  The 2010 RTO and Teacher surveys are also underway at the moment, so if you or your organisation have been asked to complete one…can you please get that in?  It’s really important as it provides valuable data for the whole country.  Do it for Australia.  [winks]


When it comes to the good and bad of social media, I think I’ve heard just about every perspective. When I talk about social media, I’m referring to media such as Facebook and Twitter which may seem a waste of time if engaged in during a working day. [frowns thoughtfully]  Or is it?  For example, Research shows social media use has postive impacts on business morale and performance is a recent article which has a very positive slant.   Social Media in the Workplace: Boon or Bane? sort of sits on the fence, although it seems to swing a bit to the positive but How to manage social media in the workplace definitely seems to be frowning.  🙂  This video is one of my favourites though, and seems to take the mickey out of all the doom-sayers.  Beware who you are showing it to! [giggles]

If you are still new to this whole ‘e’ thing and not sure what social media is about, watch this instructional video:  Social Media in Plain English.  And if you are well into it, then check out Jane Hart’s A Practical Guide to using Social Media in your Job.


No…not the kind you mow, although I’m sure you aren’t doing much of that in this cold weather! [grumpy look] Sorry…couldn’t resist another reference to the cold. [chuckles to herself] No, I’m talking about LORN, the ‘Google of learning objects’…well, that’s what I call it.  Those of you well into e-learning have been using it to download free learning objects for yonks, but seeing as there are many new people to this Newsletter, I thought I’d mention it again.  Basically, LORN provides access to learning resources from a variety of learning material collections. The collections contain everything from interactive digital learning material which can be incorporated into your learning management system to learner guides which can be printed.  Just type a search term into the box on the front page of LORN, and you’re away!  Note that you can preview and download just about everything you find.  Oh, and if you are already a LORN-user, I would be so very grateful if you could  fill out the survey about your use…your input is invaluable to improve the service.


Saying you use Twitter wrong is like saying you use paper wrong. Unless you’re stabbing a baby with it, you’re probably okay.”  This is a tweet from @markdavidson and it just ambled through my Twitterstream today and made me chuckle.  If you are yet to be convinced about Twitter (it took me a while to really get a good relationship with it), then check out this Slideshare powerpoint called Twitter Myths:

If you are intrigued enough to find out a bit more about Twitter, start with the video Twitter in Plain English …or…. The Complete Guide to Getting the Most Out of Twitter.  If you’d like to follow me on Twitter I’m  marlenemanto and easy to find, but if I don’t follow you back, you may find the reason on 14 Reasons I Won’t Follow You On Twitter [cheeky grin]  Still not convinced?  Then please read Here’s Where the E-Learning Community Provides Practical Value…it might just change your mind.  😉


Maybe LMS vendors would be better off sticking to their knitting and letting the maelstrom that is the profusion of targeted ‘2.0’ (for want of a better term) tools that are emerging virtually every day to provided support for process-based learning.”  Ooooh…now that’s a bit inflammatory, isn’t it! [shocked look] It comes from the article Real learning – let’s not confuse it with completing templated exercises, and is a really interesting article looking at the actual design of learning, and where some organisations get it wrong.  Cathy Moore (who was a Keynote for E-Dayz last year  has written a blog post with a similar perspective called Why you want to focus on actions, not learning objectives.  And then there’s this blog posting which is an oldie but a goodie  Build Better E-Learning Courses By Getting Rid of Some of the Content.  When I see Moodle courses with scrolling pages of boring content and links to text-based resources, I soooo wish I could somehow hint that they take some of this advice on board.  😉

OK, that’s enough for the day.  It’s getting dark and that means my heater and a glass of red wine is calling. [grin]  But before I leave you with this list of ‘e-learning-related stuff’ to wade through  (that’s the technical term, by the way [laughs]) , I’d like to offer a genuine invitation – would you like me to come and talk with you and/or others in your organisation about e-learning?  It’s easy to arrange…you only need to email me and we’ll set up a date and time.