Tag Archives: e-learning

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #007 – We’re not negative!

This is the seventh e-Learning Stuff Podcast, We’re not negative!

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #007 - We're not negative!

Download the podcast in mp3 format: We’re not negative!

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

In this the seventh e-Learning Stuff podcast, James is joined by  Nick Jeans, Kev Hickey, Dave Foord, David Sugden and Lilian Soon.

Today we discuss teacher training and e-learning.

The coffee is usually better…

Those of you who know me will know that I quite like online conferences and have participated in a fair few over the years.

JISC are running another of their innovating e-learning conferences this November.

JISC Online Conference – Innovating e-Learning 2008: 4- 7th November

Programme now available online.

The programme has a range of presenters and facilitators including quite a few from FE, Richard Everett, Geoff Rebbeck, Ellen Lessner, Andrew Williams, amongst others. There will be quite a few people from FE attending as well.

There are a few advantages of online conferences over traditional face to face conferences, feel free to add to them in the comments.

With an online conference it is feasible to go to all the presentations and workshops even if they are at the *same time*.

If you are a reflective person, then like me the question you actually want to ask the presenter is thought of as you travel home on the train, with an online conference you have a chance to reflect and ask that question.

You can attend a meeting at the same time as attending the conference.

You can teach a lesson at the same time as attending the conference.

You can watch Merlin at the same time as attending the conference.

You can attend the conference at 2am, useful for insomniacs and those with small children.

Having said all that it is useful too to make time for the conference, shut the office door, work from home for a bit, wear headphones, move to a different office, work in the coffee spaces in the college.

You can see presentations again, you can pause them, you can ignore them and (virtually) walk out without feeling you may be offending someone as their talk doesn’t relate to you as you thought it did.

No more do you have to stand on platform 12 at Bristol Temple Meads wondering if the delayed 18.19 is in fact ever going to arrive before you freeze to death.

The coffee is usually better.

The coffee is usually better...

A few disadvantages as well…

No bag, so nothing to add to that huge collection at the back of the cupboard in the office…

No physical freebies, no mouse mats or mugs…

From the JISC, further reasons to attend.

Innovating e-Learning 2008 will put you in touch with e-learning ‘thinkers and doers’, both nationally and internationally – with a vibrant social scene,  it’s a great place to network

Innovating e-Learning 2008 also offers a wealth of content to engage with, if it’s new ideas you’re after – 10 expert sessions plus 3 keynotes make this an extremely rich and engaging event

Being held online, it has some unseen advantages – a pre-conference reading period gives you a chance to cover a lot more than is possible at  a f2f conference and you have a chance to think about what to ask the presenters

If it’s debate you’re keen on, a high degree of interaction between participants and presenters is another plus of the conference – last year’s Innovating e-Learning was highly praised for ‘the sheer amount of real interest and useful conversation’ it generated

The content this year is the most wide ranging yet – from Using Second Life for learning and teaching (tours with experienced guides available free!) to Mobile technologies – disruptive or enabling? With expert presenters, this is a chance to explore what you have heard about, but may not yet have put into practice

Innovating e-Learning 2008 is for further and higher education – the programme for 2008 has widespread appeal

Innovating e-Learning 2008 still costs only £50 per delegate and can be accessed online at times and places convenient to you. This has to be the most cost-effective staff development event ever!

Book now for JISC  Innovating e-Learning 2008 :  4-7 November 2008

100% of last year’s delegates thought the conference was good value for money. Here’s what some delegates said last year:

Peter Whitfield, City College Manchester
I have enjoyed this so much!  Even though there are frustrations in bringing about change.  I will take away a desire to me more disruptive in my designs for learning and make no apology for tossing tired models out in favour of creativity, collaboration and student-centred activities.  And with the motivation of the inspirational presentations and discussions at this conference I will be less apologetic for doing so.

Karen Pinny, Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies.
I have found this discussion really encouraging and stimulating and will be going away with a reinforced enthusiasm to explore some of the issues further with my unsuspecting students!

Finally the JISC have asked if I will be the conference blogger, hmmm, do they realise what they have done….

Go, you’ll enjoy it.

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.