elearningWatch Oct 2010

It’s been a very busy month. I realised the other day that ALT-C 2010 was the tenth time I have attended this prestigious conference. Much has changed over the years. It’s got bigger and the range of presentations and the associated subject matter has highlighted the transformation and ever changing nature of the student learning experience and the role of the teacher/tutor.The conference is still in need of some more innovative ways to encourage interaction between participants both during presentations and around the venue.. Needs more open forums or maybe some academics just don’t want to talk to each other 🙂
The advent of Crowdvine has made some inroads into communication between academic species and has been configured very well by the ALT-C team. I must mention the affable and efficient John Slater,the ‘behind the scenes’ coordinator and the very focused and astute Seb Schmoller, on who’s shoulders rest a lot of responsibility for ALT. Hayley Maisey is a workhorse and a valuable asset for ALT-C. She and her team strive very hard to make sure everything works as it should. They do a fine job . Effectively and efficiently managing and organising a conference the size of ALT -C is no mean feat,
My own experience has always been positive and this year was no exception. It’s always great to catch up with people and share ideas and opinions. Meeting new people has always resulted in mutually beneficial outcomes. Also good to know that in NZ we are very much up with the play in the effective use of existing, new and emerging technologies for student learning.
I attended a number of high quality presentation and chaired a symposium and a short paper session. Six of the keynote sessions are available on ALT’s YouTube channel


There’s some exciting developments in the world of mobile learning and If you get a chance, register for ascilite 20011 and more importantly get in quick for the workshop run by Thom Cochrane and James Oldfield. Thom is a leader in the world of mobile learning and the use of handheld technologies. The hands on workshop presents some very interesting ways of using the iPad as a learning tool.
Last month I was involved with the organisation of regional symposia over a two week period in the North Island of NZ on ‘elearning in practice’ with Peter Looms from Denmark as the keynote. Peter also joined
Steve Wheeler
as keynotes for a Learning and Teaching Enabled by Technology seminar at AUT University in Auckland. It was great to see a really good turnout and active participation and enthusiasm from delegates at each of the six venues. Hopefully, at least some of the outcomes will prove to be useful for planning, encouraging and sustaining the effective use of elearning technologies in teaching and in the student learning environment , wherever it may be.
The keynotes set the scene at each symposium and posed challenges and suggestions on promoting and using elearning effectively. The major symposium was the Share-e-Fest in Hamilton and this was a real success. A ‘feet on the ground’, practical and friendly event where sharing pervaded every aspect of the two day presentations. John Clayton and his team have created an excellent model for future events. You can access some of the presentations and read the comments from:


Now it’s feet up time for me for short period!
The posting this month includes:
Advice on tools for mobile sites, competence standards, effective assessment, podcast recorder and similar apps,using audio, a recommend book, choosing mobile devices for learning, ipad and learning, ebooks and librarians, conferences and the odd one out.
Might be something useful for you and your students..
1. The Blog of Robin Good. There is always a huge raft of useful information on Robin’s site and you could spend a lot of time perusing. Having attended ALT-C 2010 I was particularly interested in his article on
‘How To Mobilize My Website: Best Tools To Convert Your Blog Into A Mobile Site’
As you scroll down, there’s a lot of other ‘ How to’s’ on the left hand side of the screen , so you might be diverted before you get to the mobile item.


2. JISC CETIS: Concepts and Standardization in Areas Relating to Competence
A white paper
By Simon Grant and Rowin Young.
This is an excellent piece of work and well worth reading and adopting some of the guidelines.


3. JISC publication:Effective Assessment in a Digital Age.
Timely and well constructed with some excellent examples of evidence based practice.
‘ is aimed at those in higher and further education who design assessment and feedback for their learners. The guide draws on recent JISC reports and case studies from different contexts and modes of learning to explore the relationship between technology-enhanced assessment and feedback practices and meaningful, well-supported learning experiences’.


4. Profcast: For a straight forward way of recording presentations with audio and slides. Peter Looms i an expert practitioner with this one. It certainly performed well for the NZ Symposia. Cost a little fr a good return.
Extract from the site:
‘ProfCast is a versatile, powerful, yet very simple to use tool for recording lectures including PowerPoint and/or Keynote slides for creating enhanced podcasts. ProfCast provides a low cost solution for recording and distributing lectures, special events, and presentations as podcasts’.


5. Bottom line performance: Lessons on Learning: a blog about how we learn and the technologies that support learning.
There’s a lot of useful comments and advice embedded in this blog. I particularly liked the comments on the use or not of Audio, which to my mind is seldom exploited to its full potential in the learning environment. Well worth perusing and wombling around the site.


6. Some ‘free’ screen capture and presentation applications to peruse and maybe use. Might be right for your project.





7. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind by James Boyle
This book was recommended by a friend at ALT-C in Nottingham. It’s definitely a fascinating and easy to read book, summed up very nicely by:
Edward J. Valauskas, Book review First Monday, Volume 14, Number 1 to 5 January 2009
Remarkable in many ways. As someone teaching a course annually on information policy, I welcome this clarity and the sheer enthusiasm and humor of this simply delightful book. Anyone with even the slightest interest in intellectual property, government policy, and the Internet should read this book. Highly, highly recommended!’


8. From IGNATIA WEBS, Elearning Techtales with Social Media in low resource and mobile settings:
What to take into account when choosing a mobile device for learning?
An informative and possibly useful article which poses some questions, answers a few and provides some advice and guidance on choosing a mobile device for use in learning.


9. The elearningcoach: Making Sense Of The iPad For Online Learning
One person’s overview of the possible future of iPads in online learning. Read the comments section for some interesting views, ideas and links to related material. You might like to click on the link to the first iPad University course for some reasons for using the iPad in educational courses.


10.Libraries at the Tipping Point Online Conference.
You will need to take some time to read the precis of each contribution to the conference. There’s some very interesting and thought provoking stuff here and lots for Librarians to ponder upon.


Whilst I am on about e-books . Here is another site with lots of free ebooks.


11. Conferences
11.1 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.
Workshops have now been posted on the site
Full Details from.


11.2 mLearn2010
Pre-Conference Workshops: 19th October 2010
Conference: 20th-22nd October 2010
Full details:


11.3 JISC Online Conference Innovating e-Learning 2010
Bringing Innovation to Life: from adversity comes opportunity
The fifth JISC international online conference
23-26 November 2010
Full details from:


12. The Odd one out: The Great War Archive
Extract from the site:
‘The Great War Archive contains over 6,500 items contributed by the general public between March and June 2008. Every item originates from, or relates to, someone’s experience of the First World War, either abroad or at home’.


or if you prefer something different: Ten simple ways to get generations hanging out together.


That’s it until November. Have fun learning and doing
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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