Tag Archives: e-learning

Learning in a digital age – are we prepared?

Learning in a digital age – are we prepared?

4-7th November 2008

Register now for the third international JISC online conference. This important conference for practitioners and managers embedding e-learning into their practice focuses on the tension between the tried and tested and the wholly innovative. e-Learning may now have established a foothold in learning and teaching, but are the demands of delivering the curriculum restricting its innovative potential? How can we plan to ensure the best possible e-enhancement of learning in the future?

Keynote speakers are Professor Gilly Salmon, University of Leicester, on transforming curriculum design through technology and Professor Rose Luckin, London Knowledge Lab, on the relationship between learners, their tutors and institutions. The closing keynote is being delivered by John Davitt, writer, broadcaster and education technology specialist.

The conference has two themes each running over two days and will also include guided tours in Second Life facilitated by the JISC Emerge team. During the reading weeks, the two weeks prior to the conference, there will be orientation sessions for delegates new to Second Life. We are pleased to have James Clay, mobile-learning enthusiast, as the conference blogger. Some sessions will make use of the Elluminate real-time web conferencing system.

Finally, the e-Learning Showcase will provide a shop window on innovative work from JISC e-Learning projects and services and social events include a virtual fashion show.

Details of the programme are available at www.jisc.ac.uk/elpconference08.

Delegates from further and higher education and from overseas are welcome to take part. The conference takes place in an asynchronous virtual environment which can be accessed wherever and whenever is convenient to you. Book now. The fee is £50 per delegate

How will technology change teaching?

I really enjoyed reading Bill Thompson’s column on the BBC News website this week, where he wonders about how technology will change teaching.

If every student has a powerful network device that plugs them into the network, and work on digitising every book and other forms of knowledge has been successful, then what is the point of teaching “facts”?

He makes the very valid point.

Just as we try to encourage kids today to learn enough mental arithmetic to decide whether to believe the calculator’s answer, so we need those using tomorrow’s vast supercomputers to have a sense of what is going on that will allow them to judge the validity of the answers they get.

Overall an interesting column, well worth a read.

Innovating e-Learning Conference e-Books

One of the problems with being off work for a while is you do miss a few things, so catching up on the JISC website I was pleased to see that the e-Books from the 2007 Innovating e-Learning Conference had been published online.

‘Institutional transformation’ and ‘supporting lifelong learning’ were the themes of the JISC online conference held earlier this year and two conference e-books have been published today to reflect both of these themes.

You can download the books from this page (scroll down).

You can read the outcomes of the joint presentation I delivered and the discussion  that followed on Personal technologies and the future of learning in chapter five of book one.

Innovating e-Learning Conference e-Books

The books make for interesting reading if you missed (or even just missed parts of) the conference and are a useful reminder of what was discussed for those that took part.

Engaging Interactions

If you are developing e-learning materials or learning objects it can be nice to add an interaction.

B J Schone has written a very nice ebook on twenty five different engaging interactions.

I hate boring eLearning courses. I get frustrated when I’m not intellectually engaged in a course and when I feel like I’m wasting my time. I know many learners feel this way, too. As an eLearning developer, I’ve had good luck using engaging learning interactions in my courses. These interactions break up the monotony and improve the learning experience for the end-user. After covering new material in a course, a learning interaction (or from here on, simply an interaction) gives the learner a chance to actually do something and (gasp!) apply their knowledge!

This covers a lot of different ways in which learners can interact with a subject (through e-learning) and therefore enhance the learning process.

Can e-learning save money?

It is often thought that e-learning can be used in order to “replace” teachers and save money.

This is a bit of myth for virtually all educational institutions. e-Learning can’t replace teachers, you still need someone to facilitate and support the learning experience.

But e-learning can save money, let me give you an example.

Three local institutions deliver an A Level in Zebra Studies. They each deliver to five or six students.

Zebra Studies

If all three institutions can collaborate and deliver a single course in a mixed-mode delivery to the 15-18 students, then rather than three staff been paid to deliver, each institution only needs to pay a 1/3 of a member of staff.

You use e-learning to support and enhance the delivery. You use online discussions, video conferencing, podcasts, video webcasts, etc…

The students will benefit from the larger group, more so if students withdraw, withdrawals from a small group could mean not only a group which is unviable from a cost perspective, but also from a learning pespective – it is always difficult to break into groups of three when there are only four students!

Rooming costs will also be lower.

Institutions don’t need to be just FE colleges, they can also be schools, HE institutions as well as colleges.

Only a thought.

Also where there is cross curriculum areas, ie Customer Service, Finance, Health & Safety, groups could be combined in a single college to save on costs. A single cohort of twenty students instead of two groups of ten – actually that one doesn’t even need to use e-learning, just co-ordination!

Photo source.