elearningWatch May2010

G’day (sorry for the delay in posting )
It’s been so pleasant weather wise that I even sat on the beach looking for good stuff around technology in education . Didn’t find any on the beach apart from the odd sand pit and a wave of excitement. However, it seems that Apple iPad sales have already exceeded expectations and reports on its use are gradually appearing. I’m attempting to follow the pros and cons of it’s use in education. There’s already lots of positives being reported and the odd negative. May will be the time we will get our hands on at least one in this corner of the globe (we hope). If it adds to the smorgasbord of technology that makes a difference to and improves student learning, it’s got to be worth having.
Shame about Ning removing free offerings. Fortunately there are a number of other free places to host your group and its activities.
This month’s posting has links to a Web 2.0 projects book, a range of links and sites to animation in biological and science subjects, free technology for teachers, two new publications from BECTA in the UK, teaching goals inventory, ipads in education, basic skills resource centre, blooms taxonomy resources, an education repository for maths and science, books online, conferences and the odd one out.
Almost half way through the year already. Until june is busting out. That’s it
1. The amazing Web 2.0 Projects book edited by Terry Freedman.
A lot of effort has gone into to this down to earth, no nonsense ebooklet on the use of Web 2.0. Perils, promises and exciting projects. Essentially for all ages but with an emphasis on the younger ages . It has some very useful tips, guides and advice on the use of Web 2.0 applications. It’s well worth downloading and its Free.


2. I’m always interested in the visual dimension for teaching and learning and especially where quality animation is used to describe or explain difficult concepts, principles and actions.
This site has a wealth of information and inks to some of the best animations for those of you who like and/ or teach biological subjects


and if you still haven’t had enough have a look at some( or all) of the links from this site


3. Free Technology for Teachers. I’ve put this one in due to the recent announcement by NING that it is discontinuing free offerings. This site provides some useful evaluation of various sites that could be used as alternatives to Ning. It also has some other interesting resources if you have time to have a womble around. Comments by contributors also identify other useful resources


4. Two publications recently released by BECTA:
Learning platforms: Steps to adoption.
Extract from the site
‘This guidance is to help schools use the learning platform as part of everyday practice. It allows teachers and schools to identify successes, plot progress and plan to transform their school by using the learning platform and other technology. The model is based on Hooper and Reibers’s theories about adopting technology in the classroom.
The framework defines five levels of development: aware; develop; adopt; integrate; transform.’
Whilst it recommends the use of the guide for Schools , there is plenty of useful information in the document that could easily be transferrable to higher education
This is a free pdf download


Using technology for assessment
Extract from site :
‘Assessment for learning and formative assessment are becoming an increasingly important feature of learning and teaching. Regular assessments help teachers to support individual needs and enable young people and those that support them to monitor their own progress. Technology has an important role to play in facilitating assessment for learning’.
Again this is a useful document with some good ideas and guides as to how you might use technology to assist with the assessment of students skills and competences.
This is a free pdf download


5. A teaching Goal;s Inventory: A little exercise for you. This has been around for a while but it can be useful to answer the questions and see how you rate against others and where your focus really is. Might get you to think.


6. IPad Learning Lab by the Masie Center.
If you are interested in informed comment, ideas, suggestions and opinion on the use of the ipad in education, it’s worth bookmarking this site . There’s some interesting developments highlighted over the first three weeks of use. Most are pretty positive.


7. Adult Basic Skills Resource Centre for students and tutors
1200 free Functional Skills resources (Functional Maths, Functional English) and Skills for Life resources available on this privately owned site


8.Bloom’s Taxonomy. A range of links to examples, ideas and practical resources related to the use of Bloom’s taxonomy


Have a go at creating learning objectives with the differentiator. Needs a bit of patience.


9. AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository. A site from the USA funded by the National Science Foundation and develop in conjunction with a team of project partners led by the Internet Scout.
Lots of interesting stuff here and bound to be something of interest to you and your colleagues
Extract from the site:
‘AMSER is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use’.
I followed the path ‘educational technology/technology/ and located
50 Tips and Tricks to Create a Learning Space in Second Life
If you need a new life, find out how!


10. The Online Books Page. This site has over 35,000 free books and is updated daily with new additions. There’s lots of historical stuff and books on almost every subject. Easy to access and download.
I have a particular interest in the life and times of John Hunter (1728-1793) and found an excellent copy of Masters of Medicine: John Hunter, after a very short search. The site also provides links to a vast array of archives and indexes of other online book sources. You could spend forever.


11. Conferences
11.1 ALT-C 2010: “Into something rich and strange” – making sense of the sea-change. 7-9 September 2010, University of Nottingham.
Conference Co-chairs
* Vanessa Pittard, Director of e-Strategy, Becta, UK;
* Professor Richard Noss, Co-director of the London Knowledge Lab and Director of the Technology Enhanced Learning research programme.
Keynote speakers
* Barbara Wasson, Professor of Pedagogical Information Science at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway;
* Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University;
* Donald Clark, Board Member of Ufi, and former CEO of Epic Group plc.
Bookings will open early May.


[taken from the] ALT Digest, a fortnightly publication from the Association for Learning Technology (ALT)


11.2 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


11.3 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


11.4 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. The odd one out: XWord Interactive Crossword Puzzles.
This site provides you with a range of ready made crossword puzzles you can either do online or print out. There is also an option to create your own crossword puzzles. A great tool for learning and fun at the same time. If you use a Windows machine (ouch) you can download the application.


Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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