All posts by James Clay

100 ways to use a VLE – #6 Bookmarks

One of the useful aspects of the Gloucestershire College VLE is the ability to store a series of bookmarked web links on a course.

These links can be accessed from any computer which is something that Internet Explorer fails to do as it is restricted to one computer.

Also these links can be accessed by your students at a time and place convenient to them (whether that be at home, in college, or at work). Rather than type them out they can click and there the page is there for them either within the campus or in a new window.

You could always use a social bookmarking site such as del.icio.us, but one of the advantages of using the VLE is that it can track who has clicked the links.

Moving

On Friday the 29th of June Gloucestershire College will be moving its Learning Gateway (library) from their old 1930’s Brunswick campus to their new state of the art new campus on the Gloucester docks.


Gloucestershire College

Moving seventeen thousand odd books, fifty computers and lots of other stuff, makes you realise how moving from one VLE to another though complicated and complex, can be relatively simple to physically moving a learning environment.

The move won’t impact on the VLE as the VLE runs on servers on our Cheltenham campus, however it does mean that I personally will be quite busy and therefore won’t be online as much as I am now.

JISC RSC South West Annual Conference

Today I was at the JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) South West annual conference in Bridgwater. I missed the morning as I was in a meeting in Cheltenham, but did manage to get there in time for lunch!

I had missed some great sessions in the morning (according to the attendees I spoke to) but did manage to see the exhibitors in the exhibition whilst eating my lunch.

Met with David Sugden and had a chat about Web 2.0 and banning amongst other things and also Jaiku.

I meant to take some photographs and post them, but forgot once I was inside talking and listening.

Overall a good event and well worth making the effort to attend.

Primary School pupils lead the way with blogging

Pupils from a primary school in East Dunbartonshire are at the forefront of a new digital learning phenomenon.

Children in the pilot group at Woodhill Primary School in Bishopbriggs are using blogs to communicate with schools across the UK and Europe and making podcasts on a range of subjects, including French language.

Read more

What this demonstrates is one of two things, firstly if primary school children are using web 2.0 tools and are podcasting, why is this not used more in FE, why do we find it so difficult to embed the use of this kind of technology?

Secondly as this has made the BBC News does this not mean that this is not run of the mill normal stuff that happens in primary schools, it is quite unique and special and this is why it is being reported?

Copyright and VLEs

I sometimes get asked what materials can I upload to a VLE, are there any materials I can’t upload due to copyright.

Basically what I advise is do not upload any copyrighted material unless you have the rights, a licence or permission from the copyright holder to do so.

Sometimes you will need to check multiple permissions for a single resource as the text, images and diagrams may have different rights holders.

Staffordshire University have a (obviously HE centric) guide on copyright and VLEs which gives a more detailed explanation of the issue.

There is also the JISC Collections activity which I wrote for them which also covers some VLE issues amongst others.

Copyright is a complex issue and there are a lot of myths about copyright and education. If you are not sure about something, check don’t assume it will be okay.

Facebook

Unlike other social networking websites (read MySpace and Bebo) the college does not block Facebook (nor does it block Virb either).

I signed up or Facebook but to be honest found it quite a challenge to interact with, Virb was a lot easier, though I am hearing a lot about Facebook at the moment specifically about Facebook applications.

Not sure if I will stick it out with Facebook, can’t really see the purpose of Facebook from an e-learning perspective, though from a social networking perspective I am sure it works really well.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to James Clay’s e-learning (and ILT) blog.

When I was director of the WCC I use to blog on a regular basis on e-learning issues, since then I have moved to what is now Gloucestershire College as their ILT & Learning Gateway Manager.

I have been meaning to restart my e-learning blog for sometime, but didn’t have the webspace or the software to do it. After much thought I have decided to try out WordPress and see how it goes.

James Clay