and a Happy New Year to one and all. As always the first month seems to go past very quickly. The students in this neck of the woods will be gearing up for the first semester of exciting learning events.

Tony Bates

often raises the difficult questions, which he always backs up with reasoned arguments which in turn generates often useful feedback and informed discussion; he is currently debating the meaning of

‘Blended Learning’

.It’s well worth a read and it’s all related to a new project he is undertaking which involves the development of a survey of online learning in Canada.
The more I read the more interested I became especially when specific use of words rang some bells for me. For instance, ‘delivery mode’,’instructional’. These are words just like ‘Blended’ that have different meanings and interpretations depending where you are in the world.
I have always been interested in the world of semantics and firmly believe that the words that are used by academics to describe how they maintain an interactive interface with their students, governs their whole approach and thinking about learning and education in general.
How about moving away from ‘changing the way we teach’ to ‘changing the way we enable students to learn’ ? Thinking makes a shift.
In the context of education, If I put ‘instructor’ and ‘delivery’ together, it conjures up an image of a brown paper bag containing a training manual as opposed to ‘facilitator’ and ‘presentation’, which for me means inclusivity and contribution by all involved in the learning event. Instructor led = I am going to tell you.Facilitator led = We are going to work together. [Andrew Gogy is the leader of the Gogy family!]
Just some meandering thoughts.
In this edition of the eWatch there are links to blended learning, picture periodic table, digital parenting, molecular workbench, rubrics, learning style inventory, beyond instructional design,learning analytics, interaction design,Learning Experience Design, conferences and the odd one out.
Enjoy the new semester
1.Parenting in the digital age. An infographic on the use, spread and risk of technology by our offspring. (There are some other useful Infographics on the site worth exploring)


2.Some interesting reading around blended learning:
The Definitive Guide to Building a Great Blended Learning Program. A useful guide? Matter of opinion?


Models of Distance Learning: Some useful tables and comment


Blended Learning: A range of information bites on blended learning. Worth exploring.


Call it what you wll.An interesting opinion piece on blended learning and other definitions.


3. Some examples of Rubrics. I’m always interested in the way Rubrics are both designed and used as an authentic form of assessment. One can always learn from others and improve practice. The weighted Rubric is one that I haven’t seen very often. Worth a peruse.


This series on Rubrics is also worth exploring:


4.Pictorial Periodic table plus some extras. An excellent resource for students of all ages.


5.Molecular Workbench. Free and Open Source. A wide range of Visual, Interactive Simulations for Teaching and Learning Science. Consists of hundreds of Simulations enabling you and your students to explore physics, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. In addition you can create and customise your own simulation, Great resource.


6.Complete Beginner’s Guide to Interaction Design.This article serves as a good jumping off point for people interested in learning more about Interaction Design, another dimension to the learning environment.


7.Learning Experience Design from Stanford University. Self paced course which provides some excellent resources and guidelines for creating quality online courses for your students.


8.Paragon Learning Style Inventory. This is perhaps the most comprehensive learning style inventory I have tried. I am more inclined towards learning preferences rather than a ‘boxed’ learning style. However, this inventory does provide some useful information on how you or your students might like to learn.


9.BEYOND INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN: MAKING LEARNING DESIGN A REALITY .Sims, R. (2006). Beyond instructional design: Making learning design a reality. Journal of Learning Design, 1(2), 1-7.
I like to refer to this paper from time to time as it makes good sense and is still highly relevant in learning environments of today.


10 Peter Guiney from the New Zealand Ministry of Education, released his final report in December last year. It’s an annotated bibliography on learning analytics. Very topical and a good reference.


11. 2017 NMC Technology report for Nordic Schools. Always interesting to see what’s happening or about to happen in other parts of the world. Useful as a comparison and to perhaps get the mind thinking about change in your own neck of the woods.


12. Conferences
12.1. ALT 2017: Beyond islands of innovation, how Learning Technology became the new norm(al)
The 24th Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology will bring together practitioners, researchers and policy makers from across sectors. Together we will chart the development of Learning Technology from isolated islands of ‘innovation’ to becoming the new norm, and the challenges this entails for staff and learners alike. We will explore how we move from individual innovation to institutional integration at scale.


12.2 ASCILITE 2017: 34rd International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education.
The ASCILITE 2017 conference will be held at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba from 4 to 6 December 2017.


13. The odd one out: Trump Syllabus 2.0. Something completely different and in some ways intriguing that time has been spent, seriously, on perhaps reflecting on or predicting, what people actually think Mr Trump will be doing.
Each module based on a statement made by Mr Trump before he became President; Bizarre.


That’s it until we hear more from the March hare trumpeting its way into our lives.
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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