June here already and the shortest day not far away on this side of the globe; time for a mid-winter Christmas dinner. The local Turkeys will be looking forward to it.
I’ve been doing a bit of reading and’research’ into the use of technology in education and its actual impact on the learning environment over time. My approach has always been one of ‘Learning in the driver’s seat, Technology turning the wheels’. Always endeavouring to listen to the student voice on how as an educator, one can contribute to creating an environment that promotes, encourages and facilitates learning and empowers the individual. One particular article ‘What Teachers Should Know’, I found of interest, quite thought provoking and is probably worth a few minutes of your time


Might give you a few things to contemplate and reflect on.
In the posting this month there are links to e assessment, Google guide, educational blogging, flipped learning, skills survey, Blackboard in the making, digital capability, OER commons, making a paper longer, conferences and the odd one out.
1.OER Commons and Open Education: The Future of Education, Co-Created With You.
Don’t think I have highlighted this site before. If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth bookmarking and perusing for resources for different education levels and from a wide range of useful material in seven subject areas. All free to access.


2.Developing organisational approaches to digital capability. Another excellent project from the JISC stable. As one has come to expect, a very useful resource.


3.A list of links to useful resources for using various tools created by Google, All in one place.


Plus a worthwhile very comprehensive project to help others use Google effectively: Google Guide: Making searching even easier.


4.Teacher’s Handbook on eAssessment:Geoffrey Crisp
Geoffrey Crisp is well known amongst ascilite circles as an academic with a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. He has as an excellent reputation in the area of effective and authentic assessment. This handbook was written a few years ago but still stands the test of time. A very useful resource.


5.Introduction to Team-Based Learning by the University of British Columbia faculty of Applied Science.Nicely constructed guide to a tried and tested alternative to classic group work.Could provide a new, positive and productive dimension to your student learning, if you haven’t tried it.


6.How to Make a Paper Longer the Smart Way. An interesting article providing some tips on how to achieve the ‘right’ length for that essay or assignment. Useful student resource?
The rest of the site is worth perusing for information on citing articles from various sources. How to Cite an Instagram Post?


7.THE CURRENT STATE OF EDUCATIONAL BLOGGING 2016. Worth reading if you are interested in how educational blogs are used, the changing face, what their impact is and why you should blog even if no one but you reads it. Noted that Steve Wheeler was promoting blogs in 2013.


8.History’s Most Successful Theory of Teaching is Reborn for Flipped Learning. Quite an extensive article with some interesting viewpoints on the nature of Mastery learning and Flipped Learning (don’t like the term myself)


9.Developing and running an establishment skills survey. Applicable to most countries. Although mainly focussed on Europe this guide provides some useful information on creating and using a skills survey; an indication of education needs from such a survey always has some benefit.


10. Building Blackboard, Part 1: Six Lessons I Learned Creating a Tech Company in the Higher Education Market. An interesting piece by Matthew Pittinsky on 20th Anniversary of Blackboard.Having been involved in the adoption on of Blackboard (Metamorphosed from Course Notes to Course Info then Blackboard) at the institute I worked for in 1998, I remember talking to Matt around 2002 (sent me a signed copy of his book ‘The Wired Tower’ in 2003) when Blackboard was very much a fledging company and from my experience was finding it a challenge to scale the LMS to meet rapidly increasing demand and use on campus. How things change. An interesting and informative read especially for those using Blackboard. Part 2 should be just as interesting, I hope.


11. Conferences
11.1. 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.


11.2 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. The full call for participation is now available.
Less than ONE week to go before call for participation closes!


11.3 MCCSIS 2017: 11th International Conference on e-Learning 2017 Lisbon, Portugal, 20 to 22 July 2017.


Keynote Speaker: Professor Thomas C. Reeves, Professor Emeritus of Learning, Design and Technology,College of Education, The University of Georgia, USA.
Part of the Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (MCCSIS 2017)
Lisbon, Portugal 20 to 23 July 2017


12. The odd one out: New Zealand Yesteryears. A work in progress with the potential to record a vast amount of fascinating information on the life and times of early New Zealand(ers). The diaries are good for whiling away a few hours in front of the fire.
I Liked Edward Ward’s diary and the ‘THE MEDITATION OF A COCKROACH'[Edward Ward, [Ship]:Charlotte Jane, Plymouth to Lyttelton, 1850]. So true.
Also of interesting reading are some very early comments on the life of the New Zealand inhabitants in a section in the diary of:
J.L. Nicholas,[Ship]: Active, Sydney to Bay of Islands 1814. (Apparently,this was one of the first ships to visit New Zealand following the Boyd massacre in 1809.


‘The New Zealanders, as far as we could discover from Duaterra [chief of the Ngapuhi tribe] , have some confused ideas of a Supreme Being; but their superstitions are in general most absurd and extravagant. Besides a Supreme Power, of which, as I said, they have some notion, they likewise believe in a great number of inferior gods, to each of whom they have given distinct powers and peculiar functions’
A number of songs are included.
Rev Samuel Marsden was also on board.
Some of the other diaries also provide a fascinating insight into life on the waves on the way to New Zealand.


That’s it for now
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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