elearningWatch November 2014

travelling around the North Island with Alan Levine, the international guest speaker for the 7th NZ Sharefest and regional symposia, has been an interesting and rewarding experience. Alan put a huge amount of effort into his presentations and workshops and wherever we went , the feedback was nothing but positive and appreciative. Have a look at his blog (linked from 4 in the list) for some rich reading and resources. Alan would like to come back to NZ again and next time see some of the South Island. Maybe some of the Institutions down south can get together and fund a visit; you wouldn’t be disappointed and he would certainly rattle a few dags! Now it’s down to preparing for ascilite 2014. The programme looks great. If you are not going, you are going to miss out on a memorable event.
One slight diversion for amusement sake. I’m sure many can relate to the scenario. I overheard (well actually it was in my face) a couple of university types berating everyone for daring to leave dirty cups in the staff room sink; the rest of the story you will know. Anyway, it reminded me of a notice I stuck on the wall in my old staff room many years ago. Feel free to copy and use at will. Not sure who the original author was, probably A. Non, however..
This is a story about four people named: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it
Everybody was sure Somebody would do it
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did
Somebody got angry about this because it was Everybody’s job
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
Wash yer cups up!
In this edition of the Watch I have revisited a few ‘older’sites and there are links to Intelligent Framework for Tutoring, Alan Levine’s blog,Worksheets, innovations in tertiary education (NZ),elearning centre resources,free study guide,design for Science, Ethos consultancy, Wikiversity, Autology search engine, a MOOC success story, free student guide to iPads, conferences and the odd one out
That’s it, until Santas little sub clauses write the next edition.
1.The elearning Centre is always worth visiting as it is constantly updating its resources and information. I like the fact they have included an archive of material from the now defunct BECTA. There was (is) some excellent material which would otherwise have been lost, like what happens to many resources when euphemistic restructuring takes place.


2. Wikiversity: You may have been here before. It’s always worth revisiting from time to time for the wide range of resources available. Have a look at the related sites shown at the bottom of the main page. I hadn’t realised there were so many in the Wikimedia family. Just shows you that you might just see 10% of the Web in your lifetime. All Worth exploring


3. Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GIFT)
GIFT is Open Source and freely available. The GIFT Project Team now believes that they have reached a stage where they can go public and are looking for volunteers to test and use GIFT, and to provide feedback so that it can be taken to the next level.
This looks like a very interesting and useful project.Lots of functionality. Put up your hand to participate
‘GIFT is an empirically based, service oriented framework of tools, methods and standards to make it easier to author computer-based tutoring systems (CBTS), manage instruction and assess the effect of CBTS components, tools and methodologies. GIFT is being developed under the Adaptive Training Research Science and Technology project at the Learning in Intelligent Tutoring Environments (LITE) Laboratory, part of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Human Research and Engineering Directorate (ARL HRED).’


4.Alan Levine’s blog on his trip to NZ, plus a whole lot of other useful stuff


and his presentations for the 7th Annual NZ Shar-E-Fest


5.Donald Clark Plan B: MOOC physics students outperform campus students. A very interesting post by Donald. Maybe the results will be repeated elsewhere and build some faith in Mooc’s ?


6. The Student Guide to iPads & iOS 6 by Jac de Haan
A free download from iTunes. Useful as a beginners guide.


7. Autology, the search engine for smarter learning: This site provides a ‘search engine’ for you to explore the world of science through a wide range of resources (over 500,000 it says), most of them under open education resource licensing or GNU Free Documentation License. A good addition to your resource bank?


8. Cummings Study Guides: For the Great Works of World Literature
Including Guides for All the Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare
Tutorials With Plot Summaries, Themes, Imagery, Analysis, and Background Information.
If you are happy to navigate around the occasional pop up and advert, this site provides a very wide range of resources and information in quite a lot of detail. Your favourite author and book maybe here, analysed in great detail. All free. Wonderful resource.


9. Designs for Science Literacy (online version) Guiding K12 curriculum reform. From the 20161 project in America: A long-term research and development initiative focused on improving science education so that all Americans can become literate in science, mathematics, and technology.
Who Is Designs for Science Literacy For?
Designs has been written for five main audiences. Its purpose is to help:
Administrators and teachers to organize curriculum change in a way consistent with a new national vision of science literacy.
Developers and publishers of instructional materials to adopt a conceptual
framework for the invention and revision of their products, concentrating
seriously on the specific learning goals to be achieved.
Designers of K12 curricula to consider the science, mathematics, and technology components of the curriculum as a coherent whole.
Education reform leaders to introduce near term improvements that will contribute to significant long term curriculum change.
College faculty to teach the principles of curriculum analysis and design to new and experienced teachers.
I have skimmed the content of the book. It offers some insights into curriculum design challenges and a variety of ideas on instructional strategies and content. Although the focus is on science knowledge for an American audience, it’s applicable to anyone involved in teaching science Worth perusing. Have a look at other material on the site.


10.Worksheet works: We visited here a while ago. It’s worth a revisit as there are a lot more worksheets to challenge your students and they are all free.Very slick and easy to use.


11. NZ event: Innovations in Tertiary Education Delivery Summit 2014: Summary of Proceedings. Worth perusing to get some insights into what people are doing and thinking about in New Zealand (thanks to Peter Guiney from the Ministry of Education for the link)


12. NZ site: Hazel Owen runs the Ethos Consultancy site. It’s another one of those special sites where the contribution by members is both useful and interesting and covers a wide range of disciplines and resources. Worth bookmarking and joining!


13. Conferences
13.1 The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
(ascilite) warmly invites everyone with an interest in educational
technologies in tertiary education to join us at the 31st ascilite
conference (23-26 Nov 2014, Dunedin, New Zealand).


THE PLACE to be in November
13.2 ALT Annual Conference 2015: Shaping the future of learning together
The 22nd annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology, 8 to10 September 2015, University of Manchester, UK
Download the Flyer:


14. The odd one out. Some commercials are just there to tug at the heart strings, never mind the product. Have a look at this one which is displayed in two versions. Read the information relating to the ‘story’ behind the advert.
Play the first video then the second [full screen with sound up is best] and spot the difference. Bet you play it more than once and tears are allowed (thanks to Alan Levine http://cogdogblog.com for the link)


Until December
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
Auckland, New Zealand

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