September moon heralds some useful thinking

Morning/afternoon/evening all
The July/August issue of Educause has a wealth of information and discussion related to learning space design, an area (pardon the pun) which has been a passion of mine for many years. The article by Long and Ehrmann “Future of the learning space, breaking out of the box” is particularly interesting in that it advocates moving from ubiquitous computing to situational computing, promoting the mobile learner and reducing dependence on traditional rooms packed with computers. Moving the responsibiliity for the technology to the learner not only develops independence and an increase in productivity, it also has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of the IT infrastructure on campus.This edition also touches on the nature and future of e-learning.I think that the majority of papers in this edition are well worth reading.
” The Tertiary (e)Learning team at the Ministry of Education, together with the Tertiary (e)Learning Reference Group, are developing Effective Practice with (e)Learning guidelines to support practitioners who are considering adopting or who have already adopted (e)learning as a means to enhance the quality of learning and teaching at their institutions”. Case studies/ examples of good practice are being requested. For those of you who are interested in contributing, a template is attached
Tony Bates is recognised world-wide as one of the most practical and pragmatic of education gurus with a wealth of experience in distance education, online/ e- learning, the use of technology in learning and teaching and the effective and efficient management of the same. Tony informed me recently that he had ‘retired’ which is like saying the moon is made of cheese, and green at that 🙂 He is still very active and a source of inspiration for many. I would encourage you to visit his Web site and associated pages. Many words of wisdom will come forth (or even first ,if you employ expeditious navigation!)
Other links in this posting provide information on questioning, managing e-learning , an article on Moodle in Language learning,some guides to distance education an e-learning toolkit and more for your blogjam:-)
1. EDUCAUSE and LEARNING SPACE DESIGN July/August 2005 edition of Educause Review. Some excellent articles on the nature, design and use of learning spaces

2.The Tony Bates home of e-Learning and Distance education with a raft of links and useful information:

3. Jamie McKenzie has been around for a while and is another of those (few) educationalists who explore and put into practice what really works for the learner. He has a number of Web
resources and one which has some useful stuff on the nature of questioning is at

see specifically

Practical application of Jamie’s ‘slam dunk’ concept can be seen in action at

4. A site that has numerous (and in many cases, excellent) information packs , called ‘infokits’, on aspects of e-learning and information technology management is the JISC Infonet site . The packs are regularly updated and can be downloaded for free

5. The Matrix “The matrix is an online tool, developed by NCSL and Becta, which facilitates self-evaluation and action planning” This is a very nicely designed set of tools to help in the planning process for a range of educational activities. Have a look at the online tutorial and then register and develop your own action plan

6. An e-Learning Primer is a publication by Susan Codone, Ph.D. Raytheon Interactive Pensacola, Florida (2001)Its a bit dated but is does have some useful approaches to managing and developing e-learning. This is a .pdf download

7. Are you ready to Moodle? A well written article from Language Learning and Technology which provides some more ammunition for those facing price hikes to consider the possibilities offered by Moodle.

8. DISTANCE EDUCATION AT A GLANCE a series of guides from engineering Outreach at the University of Idaho. Very comprehensive, easy to navigate, some great tips and nicely put together. Well worth exploring

9. JISC: Tools Integration Project Final report (draft v.1.5) This is a very comprehensive report on the outcomes of a joint project for integrating software.Of interst to those who are following the progress of open source systems and more specifically LAMS.
An extract from the site:
“The Tools Integration Project (TIP) focused on integrating software according to this software development paradigm. Specifically the project has integrated:
the Bodington virtual learning environment
The Learning Activity Management [learning design] System (LAMS)
AMSTOIA online assessment system
using the WebAuth single sign-on mechanism.
This practical exploration to building integration points between software components has allowed the teams to better understand how to move forward with this general approach to providing and consuming services between software artefacts”.

10. The ICCA toolkit is available as a download or as a Flash activated site which enables navigation through the various sections. It provides some excellent and practical advice on the establishment and maintenance of e-learning within an educational institution. I used both the Flash enable system and the download. Well worth the effort.
Extract from the site
“As part of the aim to help organisations with the more successful integration of e-learning, ICCA has developed a Toolkit to provide a framework and best practice principles for those who are planning on – or are already – integrating technology into work and learning. It can be used in workplace learning and performance systems, and within public and private education and training bodies”.

11.The e-learning Queen: Blogs abound and you have to be careful these days that you don’t get stuck in blog-jam ( although you could spread it about) 🙂 This particular blog always has some good thought provoking stuff in e-learning and a comprehensive set of links to useful e-learning stuff either in blogs or websites. Well worth exploring.

12. The odd one out……. with the general election looming in New Zealand and the promise of tax cuts, oodles of money to spend and paradise revisited… yeah right! This site is probably the best place to go to make all that money last longer….

That’s it for now

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