Tag Archives: ilt champions

I am not a meerkat…


…and this is not an invitation…

So can you be both closed and open in social media? Is it oxymoronic to be unsocial and be on social media?

I have been writing and reading many discussions recently on the openness of social media and identity.

Lawrie in a recent post on his blog recounted a story about an adventure on a boat and the potential impact having an active social media life can have on your real life. He makes this point in his post:

There is a role for curating your online self, a conscious curation, it does not have to impact on who you are as a person, your authenticity or credibility, but we should be mindful.

What I found interesting about the story was how being somewhat open and public on the internet, there was an assumption by some in that story that those same behaviours that we find online are acceptable offline in the physical world. It made me reflect on identity both online and offline. Can we be social online and not as social offline? What do we mean by social and what norms of behaviours are acceptable and which are not.

There is a balance between what you do online and undertaking a similar approach offline. I occasionally chat with people on the Twitter, discuss presentations at conferences and re-tweet and like posts that other people make. Off the Twitter, I occasionally chat with people on the train, or in the supermarket, I may discuss presentations at conferences whilst queuing for coffee, and will applaud at appropriate moments.

Though I do talk to retail assistants and other customers in shops, or chat to people at a conference, neither of those behaviours as far as I am concerned do not mean I am your friend and you can pop around my house whenever you feel like it! In a similar vein, just because I @ you in a tweet, or heart your tweet, comment on your blog, this doesn’t mean I feel I can pop around your house for a cup of tea, or you can visit me for Sunday lunch.

Continue reading I am not a meerkat…

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #021: Goldilocks, what’s that all about then?

So what do you understand by inclusion? Can we use learning technologies to improve inclusivity?

We discuss the ILT Champions Conference at Gloucestershire College, including the unconference format used and the learning spaces seen at the college. Do we need big names at conferences? Do we need keynotes? How do we make conferences financially viable?

We move onto planning. Do you plan your lessons a week, a month or a year in advance? Is planning a good thing or does it hinder creativity?

This is the twenty-first e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Goldilocks, what’s that all about then?

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Goldilocks, what’s that all about then?

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

James is joined by Dave Foord, David Sugden and Nick Jeans.



Informal Unconference

This week was the ILT Champions Conference at Gloucestershire College a national event that had ILT Champions from across the UK descending on the college to share what they do.

Unlike other conferences which have a strict agenda with keynotes, presentations and the odd workshop. We decided (well more I decided) to do something different, to run an unconference.

With this kind of event it is the delegates (the audience) decide the agenda and what will be presented.

I did consider that this may have one downside in that what we want to see and discuss might not always correlate with what we need to see and discuss. This is not so much about dictating what the audience should see, but ensure that they are informed about issues and subjects which they may have not considered fully or dismissed as not relevant (though it might be).

This is something I may consider for future events, combine free flowing sessions with some more formal presentations. This still brings up the question is how and who decides the content for the formal presentations.

ILT Champions Informal Conference

Today I travelled across the country to Oaklands College for the informal ILT Champions conference which was set up by Peter Trethewey.

I was presenting on micro-blogging and we looked at Jaiku, Twitter and Flickr.

We didn’t have a huge amount of time, but I feel we had a good discussion, even if we did go down a few ratholes.

In the afternoon in an open session I led, we discussed spaces, web 2.0 and aspects of Keynote.

I attended a very good PowerPoint session led by Dave Foord in which he covered the “magic” of PowerPoint. He made the very valid point that as a lot of staff are familiar with PowerPoint using it to improve the interactivity and engagement of learner, and this is probably a better option than trying to do similar things with new or different software. I also said I would link to his interactive heart PowerPoint presentation.

Earlier in the day, Richard Everett gave an illuminating overview on how Oaklands College were moving forward the college in the utilisation of e-learning.

One thing I like about Richard’s approach is that he focuses on the pedagogy and the learning, and using technology to support that process. With him, it is never just about the technology.

I enjoyed Ellen’s session on speech to text and text to speech technologies, her demonstration really showed the value of this software for learners.

Rob Englebright’s session on VLEs led to a really good discussion on how local colleges need to interact and engage with the LEA in their area and the LEA needs to do likewise.

Overall it was a really good day and a good idea. Thanks to all that helped to organise and run the event.

Hopefully there will be another day like it at another college.