Happy New Year! For those of you familiar with the ‘old’ look of this Newsletter, you will notice that I’ve freshened it up…new beginnings and all that. What do you think? [grin] I’ve also ensured it is ultimately cross-platform…meaning that you should be able to see it well on a PC, tablet and your smartphone. It’s the way we have to go these days as this 2012 survey across 13 countries shows that 69% of people across all age-groups regularly access the internet through a mobile device – imagine what the result would be if they only surveyed our Gen Y students! [chuckles]
So…if you’re creating lots of ‘PC only’ e-learning content, perhaps have a re-think! 😉
BECOME A MAGAZINE EDITOR!
Speaking of creating content for viewing on mobile devices, how would you like to be able to create a magazine that you can flick through on your tablet or e-reader? Too hard? Uh-uh….have a look at Glossi. Its all template-driven, drag’n’drop stuff which anyone can create and publish, even me. 😉 Now, imagine if you told students that for their assignment, they wouldn’t be writing a boring text document, but creating a magazine! They’d love it! Or maybe instead of presenting content in a standard way, you turn it into something your learners can view on their phone or tablet. Glossi is still in beta so you need to request an invitation, but it’s free and easy to use. Here’s a video with more information about it:
GETTING FUNDING FOR E-LEARNING
All this e-learning stuff is great…but where’s the time and budget? With an ear to the ground, I heard about a free webinar coming up called Are you Looking for Funding for your Training or Research Project? It’s being run by Grants and Tenders who gather that sort of info together into a Newsletter for members. The webinar is on 8th February and I’ve popped it up onto the SA PD Calendar with details of how to register. Interested in receiving their Newsletter? If you attend the webinar, they’ll give you free access for a week so you can see if it is what you need. Also, if you email and tell them you heard about them here in the SA E-learning Newsletter, they’ll extend a 6 month membership to a year…so, 50% off! Oh, and if you’re going down that path, I’d highly recommend you read 10 Top Tips for writing a successful funding application.
USING APPS FOR TEACHING
A new app I’ve just come across is Bump. It has an innovative way of sharing information (photos, contact info etc) and as explained in a blog posting from Wide Bay TAFE called Bump and Learn, teachers are coming up with some great ways to use apps such as this one, in their classrooms. The FAQ explains how it works, and if you’re into cheesy videos [rolls her eyes] then perhaps Spread the Bump Love won’t leave you wanting to get that 1.08 minutes back into your life. 😀 If you’ve been researching different apps, have a read of Beyond the App – You Found an App, Now What? If your appetite has been whetted, check out 10 Incredible iPad Apps for Education and/or Top 10 Best Android Apps for Teachers. (Thanks Melanie Doriean for that link)
HOW TO TURN LEARNING INTO A GAME
Sometimes the best way to learn is with games! I’ve been collecting links to various training games, so thought I’d share some of my findings with you – some are online and others are downloadable, but all free. If you’re in Construction, then the Whitecard Game will be useful (lots of blood….students love it.) [chuckles] The games 3D Energy Efficiency Simulator and Play it Safe (OHS) are aimed at Engineering/Sustainability/OHS type areas, and then there’s Virtual Hotel, an online game teaching safety in the hospitality industry. Trading around the World may be useful for building an understanding of Economics, and Edheads have some quite diverse ones including Simple Machines and Virtual Knee Surgery. What Teachers Really Think About Game Based Learning is an insight into teacher/trainer opinions, but if you’re really inspired and you want to get into creating games yourself, perhaps have a look first at 7 tips for a Game-Based Learning success (Hint: turn the sound off) and then download the Game-based learning design practical guide.
PROVIDING ONLINE SUPPORT FOR CUSTOMERS OR STUDENTS
I think this is a fabulous tool…whether for training or for your business. It’s called ClickDesk and although I’m only using the freebie version, it’s great for providing a real ‘on the spot’ service. The best way to get your head around what it does is to go to the SA E-learning Support Services website…go on, click on the link right now….I can wait [hums to herself]. In about 15 seconds you’ll have a little box pop up on the bottom of your screen saying I’m online (if I am). Go ahead and give it a try ie click on it and say hello! (If you’re doing this at 3:00am because you can’t sleep…well, I won’t be there but you can leave a message [grin]). Now wouldn’t that be great service for your customers? Or your students? Or your clients? Here’s a video which explains more, plus this is cool…if you go here and scroll about 2/3 down, you can put in the URL of your own website and see what it looks like!
USING TABLETS FOR TEACHING
There’s a passionate discussion going on over at E-learning Conversations about iPad ‘handouts’ to students at a Sydney University, and that the union is calling them ‘free trinkets‘ intended only for marketing. Why don’t you pop over and offer your own opinion? Do you believe that it will change the way teachers teach? Perhaps I should send them The 60-Second Guide To Teaching With Tablets. [cheeky grin] Another model is for a training organisation to have ‘classroom sets’ of tablets, which I guess is a cheaper way to go. But I know from talking to trainers who have to manage the cardboard box full of them, that its not as simple as one might think…so if that’s you, A Quick Guide To Managing A Classroom Full Of iPads might help. 🙂
LET’S TALK ABOUT ONLINE ADS AND PRIVACY…
I was reading this eye-opening blog post called 5 Sci-Fi Ad Techniques That Are About to Make Life Creepier…eeek! Billboards that whisper to you? A computer that can hear you and present relevant ads? (Disclaimer…its a fascinating read, but I don’t take responsibility for the couple of naughty words). ;-D Another eye-opener is Rethinking Privacy in an Era of Big Data. But how do YOU feel about being presented with advertisements on every website you use? Are you nervous about those websites gathering info about you, so that they can tailor the ads for you? If it bothers you, you could install something like TrackerBlock, however why not head over to E-learning Conversations and let’s talk about it. Perhaps we need to just give up and accept that privacy is a thing of the past?
I thought it was about time I introduced you to LOCO, as you two possibly haven’t met yet. 😉 LOCO stands for Learning Object Composer, and yeah…it creates learning objects such as quizzes and other e-content. What makes it neat is….say….you want to create a quiz for your Moodle course, but you have students who can’t get online and need your quiz as a Word document. You can always do this manually of course, however LOCO allows you to create your quiz, then output it into different formats so you only have to do the job once. And it’s not like everyone has heaps of spare time these days! Here’s the project leader who can tell you more about it:
You can download the Beta version right now. LOCO is being trialled in several TAFE Institutes, through the National VET E-learning Strategy’s Emerging Technology Trials projects. Oh, as an aside, the Emerging Tech people have introduced a Funded Technology Trial Filter on the site, so you can trawl through to look for something specific. Handy!
COST SAVINGS…AND BETTER WORK/LIFE BALANCE
The obvious thing about working in an online world is that you don’t need to be in the office. I was reading Allison Miller’s latest Digital Capability update, and she says “Australia aims to have at least 12% of employees able to work all or some of their time from home, as telework can save businesses money and increase their productivity.” According to the Department of Broadband, Communications & Digital Economy, the NBN is going to make this much more ‘do-able’ – in Why is it Important, they say, “For employers, telework can deliver cost savings and productivity gains, increased workforce flexibility and the ability to better attract and retain staff.” If you’re an employer, why don’t you try out the Telework ROI tool to see what cost savings you could make? If you’re an employee, browse through the Employee Telework Checklist so that you are aware of the considerations and obligations. Here’s a good article from Leo Gaggl called Telework – Using tools Tested in Online Learning. Personally, I work at home one day a week, and find I get sooooo much more done on that day! [grin]
CREATING VIDEO IS GETTING EASIER AND EASIER
I know trainers who get their students to demonstrate competency or knowledge by creating a video with their phones. Its more interesting for them…and boy, so much more fun for you to mark! [laughs] One tool I quite like is WeVideo. I like it because it has two editors…one ‘super-simple’ and one full featured (I headed straight for the super-simple [chuckles]). I also like it because it integrates straight into social media networks like Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter. They have some good pricing for education (including free) – here’s an overview:
AND SO A NEW YEAR OF E-TECH AND E-LEARNING BEGINS…
When it comes to e-learning and technology, where do you think its heading? Seven Trends, Predictions, and Resolutions for the New Year is one opinion, as is Trends in Learning Technologies to Watch in 2013. So…are you excited? Are you ready for the Classroom of Tomorrow?
Perhaps you’re feeling inspired? Motivated? Scared you to death? 😀 Don’t forget that I am only an email or a phone call away, so if your organisation needs any help, advice, suggestions or direction with any aspect of e-learning…contact me! It’s my job!