S.A. E-Learning Newsletter

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


July 2010

Hi everyone,

Here in South Australia, we never..ever…complain about rain.  We love rain.  We don’t get enough rain.  We say, “bring on the rain!!!!”  (And if I say this out loud often enough, I may convince myself.  [grin])  Now, while my umbrella is drying in the corner and my coat is creating steam next to the heater, I’ll let you know what is happening in the e-learning world.


Lots of e-Skills hands-on workshops!  Following is July’s list of topics but you can find out lots more information about each of the workshops on the e-Skills website, and you can register for any of them by phoning 8348 4070:

  • Monday, 5th July – Working with Images & Photos (demystifying file formats, resizing, copyright etc)
  • Monday, 5th July – Introduction to Video (how to make movies with MovieMaker!)
  • Friday, 23rd July – E-learning: Let’s Start from the Beginning (for those who feel they’ve been left behind) 🙂
  • Friday, 23rd July – Where to Find Free Stuff for Trainers and Students (a smorgasbord of tools…and a chance to try them)
  • Friday, 30th July – Getting Started with Moodle (for the beginner who wants to get started)
  • Friday, 30th July – Moodle Intermediate (for those who know more than the basics but not yet advanced)


I read an article recently, called Not everyone ready for the digital textbook revolution which cites a study stating that “…most students aren’t ready to read their textbooks electronically.”  But…then…the Victorian government has bought 500 iPads for use in schools, so obviously they don’t agree, and neither does Jerry Leeson from Education Services Australia here in Adelaide, if his blog review of the iPad is anything to go by.  🙂  A study has been done on  onscreen reading, however this does not cover e-books such as the Kindle which uses e-paper.  Hmmm…methinks the debate will go on, with maybe blood on both sides!  What do you think?  If you (or your team or organisation) are using e-books in education, hit the comment link below and tell us about it.


How did you ‘collect stuff’ without a computer?  You probably put into into a binder…right?  But what if it is a website?  I’ve come across a site called LiveBinders, which claims to be ‘…your 3-ring binder for the Web‘.  This neat little application allows you to collect resources from the web and then organise them as you would in a binder..neatly, with tabs. The idea is that it puts everything in one place…with a single web address which you can then email or add to a website or Moodle.  Perhaps a useful thing for collecting resources for students? [wondering look]  If you’d like to see an example of somebody else’s binder, check out ‘21st Century Education‘ or ‘Copyright free/ Public domain images‘  (Note that you navigate the different areas of the ‘binder’ using the tabs across the top).


Do students actually need to come to school to get what we are giving them?  This is the question asked in this blog posting…why don’t you have a quick read to see if you agree?  I think we all need to continually challenge ourselves as the world is changing, the work world is changing, and our learners are changing.  Are we ready? If you’re looking for some bedtime reading [grin] you might want to read ‘The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age‘….or maybe just check out this video for some inspiration  (make sure your sound is on)…..


OK…it obviously depends on your teaching/training context, but have you had a look at Google Earth yet?  Perhaps you’ve been thinking that Google Earth is just something you muck around with on a Saturday arvo, and try to find the Colosseum… or perhaps your aunty’s house in London. [laugh]  But a couple of sites that may make you think a bit more laterally are Twenty-Five Interesting Ways to use Google Earth in the Classroom and Google Earth In Education.  Perhaps you’d like to Explore Mars in 3D or Explore the Ocean?  What about Real World Maths?


A quick note to let you know that I presented at the DFEEST forum last week on the topic of E-learning on a Shoestring, and I thought you might like to have a look at the WikiSpace I created to support it as there are heaps of links on this topic. And hey…I’m a sharing kind of person! [grin]


Do you ever wonder how to find music you’re allowed to use in your videos?”  This is the question asked in this blog posting about a new website/tool called Friendly Music. Following is a video which explains more about it.  If you have students who create video for assessment, you might want to point them to this site.  And if you wish you knew more about making video…well…go back up to the beginning of this Newsletter and look for the workshop coming up about how to create video!  It’s easy!


Do you work with disabled or struggling learners?  The Framework has many resources which can assist, including a Toolbox, case studies and staff induction programs.  You’ll find them all here.  There is also further information about assistive technologies at TechMatrix, which has useful articles such as Multimedia to Support Struggling Students.


I read this blog posting with a bit of a giggle, however there are some important lessons in it about setting up course content. When it comes to instructional design you can really get into learning theories, or you may want to check out Instructional Design for Online Learning, however what I think is really important is your learners.  What do they need?  How do they ‘interpret’ what you have designed?  Perhaps they are using different perspectives and work/life experiences that change the perspective? Or maybe they just don’t see things the way you do.  I think this video is a great example of what can happen if the learning isn’t guided….and I bet it gives you a giggle too! [chuckles to herself]


The latest ‘must have’ for those who teach with Moodle, is the Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers, created by Joyce Seitzinger. Here is Joyce’s blog post where she explains it, but basically it’s a poster size guide that you can download and stick up on your wall.  It compares the functionality and pedagogical advantages of some of the standard Moodle tools,together with a really useful column which indicates how easy it is to set up.

MarleneWell that should give you something to do for July. [grin] I know a few of you lucky people are off on leave for part of this month…hope you enjoy your break!  And for the rest of us…well…we’ll just look enviously on and say things like “Hrrmph!  At least some of us are here to keep things going.”  [laugh]  Not that I’m jealous or anything!!