elearningWatch April2010

Hi everyone
well, a quarter of the year has flown by, Easter is around the corner and autumnal weather looms on this side of the globe. We can’t complain (but probably will). Our summer has been exceptional, at least in the North Island that is. Now it’s time to concentrate more on work than play.
The Apple iPad is about to land in our laps and it is interesting to follow the debate on its potential use (or not) in education (see selected links below). Some have already written it off whilst others have applied some excitement, creativity, vision and innovation to its possibilities. I like to keep an open mind and keep it simple. I think it will work in education in different ways and in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. It joins the smorgasbord of learning technologies from which the learners and educators can choose what best meets their needs.
One size doesn’t fit all, and any report, evaluation, analysis or research on the use of technology in education is a mere snapshot of what might exist; reality can often be very different. The environments in which a student learns creates his or her own educational reality. The increasing tendency is for that reality to be shaped by Web 2.0 tools, handheld devices and technologies that lend themselves to mobile learning.
Most of the huge number of applications available for the iPod can also be used by the IPad. I’m sure innovative and creative educators will exploit the potential of these applications and some will produce new ones that encourage and support student learning, understanding, knowledge and creativity as well.
V.1.0 of the iPad won’t necessarily be the magic bullet for educational innovation. V.2.0 might very well have a bulls eye attached.
This posting includes a link to some interesting articles form the Australian Flex e news site, top 50 blogs for elearning tools and tips, iPad debates, bibliography maker, art history timeline, medipedia, case studies in science, periodic table, language learning, curriculum design and delivery projects,conferences (ASCILITE 2010, AL-C 2010, ILTA 2010, Mobilelearn and MoodlemootNZ), a kiwi commercial break and the odd one out.
May, we meet again. Until then keep pushing the frontiers of learning as there shouldn’t be any boundaries, only pathways to success!
1. March edition of Flex e news: Some articles worth reviewing and maybe getting some ideas for your next project. Have a look at the new toolboxes. These are developed for vocational education and training and available for users in NZ and Aussie.
E-learning joins the iPhone app race
Eleven new Flexible Learning Toolboxes have been released.
Can virtual worlds really be used as a tool for meaningful teaching and learning


2. The Digital Learning People: Top 50 Blogs for e-Learning Tools and Tips.
Not sure that fifty will keep you fully occupied, but as its Easter I will egg you on to give it a go. There are some useful links to explore. and probably one of two you have seen before.


3. Who is already intending to exploit the potential of the iPad? and what will it do for education, if anything?
Some interest sides of the debate. I’ve said my bit.






4. National Centre for Case study teaching in Science. This site has some excellent resources and is well worth perusing if you are into case studies and think your science curriculum might benefit from a different approach.
Extract from the site:
‘ALTHOUGH the case method has been used for years to teach law, business, and medicine, it is not common in science. Yet the use of case studies holds great promise as a pedagogical technique for teaching science, particularly to undergraduates, because it humanizes science and well illustrates scientific methodology and values. It develops students skills in group learning, speaking, and critical thinking, and since many of the best cases are based on contemporary and often contentious, science problems that students encounter in the news (such as human cloning), the use of cases in the classroom makes science relevant.’


5. Medipedia. A complementary approach to that of Wikipedia? No doubt there is a vast amount of information on this site and its got some high profile supporters.
It’s purpose:
‘ The Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public’.
Useful as a comprehensive reference source, and building all the time.


6. The Mixxer, Language Exchange Community for Everyone. Here’s an interesting site to encourage the development of language skills and to establish communication channels across the globe. Using Skype, it enables students and tutors alike to learn different languages.


7. The Periodic Table of Videos. This is similar to another site posted some months ago but with an added dimension of videos to support understanding the various elements. Nicely done and a good link for those teaching science.


8. Smart History: A multimedia web-book about art and art history. Well, this is a fascinating site with a wealth of information and resources. A lot of work has gone into this.
Extract from the site:
‘Smarthistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook’
The fact that it is free is quite remarkable but a real gift to those interested in the topic.


9. bibme: This site enable you to create and format a bibliography for your citations. Simple free and easy


10. Transforming Curriculum Design and Curriculum Delivery through Technology. Funded through the JISC elearning programme
There are a large number of projects focused on elearning and curriculum design and delivery. Some have been underway for a few years and others are still developing. There are a lot very useful and interesting outcomes which will make a real contribution to student learning and the student learning environment. The various projects can be accessed from the link below
Extract from the site:
The Curriculum Design and Delivery programmes represent one of the biggest undertakings yet delivered under the JISC eLearning Programme. Together they represent an investment of 8m pounds over a four year period with the Curriculum Design projects running for 4 years (2008-2012) and the Curriculum Delivery projects for 2 years (2008-2010).


You might want to explore the newly launched programme blog as well
JISC Curriculum Design and Delivery


11. Conferences
11.1 Moodle Moot NZ 2010
13th-15th April, hosted at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) in Christchurch.
International guests including:
Martin Dougiamas (founder and lead developer of Moodle)
Julian “Moodleman” Ridden
Shane Elliott (Pukenui Technology)
Martin Knott (Moodlerooms, USA)
Full day workshops for Developers, Administrators, School Teachers, and New Moodle Users.
Details and registration at the official NZ Moodle Moot website:


11.2 ALT-C 2010: ‘Into something rich and strange’, making sense of the seachange. The 17th ALT annual conference will be held at the University of Nottingham, UK, 7-9 September 2010.


11.3 ascilite 2010 ‘Curriculum, technology & transformation for an unknown future.’ is the 27th annual ascilite Conference. The conference will be held in Sydney, New South Wales Australia. It is being jointly hosted by The University of Technology Sydney, The University of Queensland and Charles Sturt University
You are invited to develop proposals for full papers, concise papers, posters and workshops, due date Monday 21 June, 2010
Full Details from


THE conference to be seen at in Australasia!
11.4 mLearn2010
Submission of Abstracts : 14th May 2010
Submission of Papers: 11th June 2010
Posters/Demos: 15th September 2010
Notification to Authors: 30th July 2010
Early Bird Registration: 30th July 2010
Pre-Conference Workshops: 19th October 2010
Conference: 20th-22nd October 2010


11.5 The Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) will be holding its 10th Annual Irish Learning Technology Association Conference, EdTech 2010, at the Athlone Institute of Technology on May 20th – May 21st 2010.
Its got some really good keynotes, Elliott Masie, Jane Hart and James Clay (who was a keynote at ascilite 2009). Good choices!
For more information:


12. KIWI commercial break: For NZ residents
ePortfolios: Practical Scenarios of Personalized Learning
Date: Sunday, 25nd April 2010
Time: 1 pm to 3 pm
Venue: Museum Hotel, Wellington
Institutions can agree that ePortfolios are a strong tool to encourage student/staff reflection, stronger learning outcomes, and improved quality of learning. ePortfolios provide a wide-range of opportunities in personal, educational, and professional contexts.
This session will explore and discuss some practical scenarios for ePortfolios and demonstrate how they can be used to support a personalised learning experience that extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom, online environment or workplace. Utilising the Desire2Learn ePortfolio, this will be an interactive session and will build upon current knowledge of ePortfolios and foster a network of interested institutions.
Limited spaces available. Please RSVP by 16th April
For more information or to RSVP contact Kristin Greene:


13. The odd one out : ScribbleMaps
Interested in geography, going away, need to keep some information about a place? Have a look at scribble maps and also have some fun. Keep the kids amused over Easter break
Extract from the site
‘Scribble Maps is the quick and easy way to rapidly make and share maps!
With Scribble Maps you can:
– Draw shapes and Scribble!
– Pace Markers and text
– Create a Custom Widget
– Save as KML/GPX
– Send maps to friends
Whether it is planning a vacation, or plotting a hiking trail, Scribble Maps can help you out! ‘


Nothing uneggspected in this posting.
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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