February has gone in a flash. Maybe because my main focus was on SOTEL 2018; it went off with a real bang.The ‘Trendsetters’ were both challenging and provocative and generated lots of discussion. The erudite and hard working committee had excellent feedback and a clear desire for a repeat next year. The presentations I went to were of quality and highly relevant to the ever evolving technology enhanced student learning environment. Delegates had lots of takeaways from each session. The food was very good too! It was great to meet the representatives of the sponsors who made a positive contribution to the collegial networking and of course to the success of the event.
Now there’s a bit of normality for a while so I can get into the garden. The hedges look like an excerpt from ‘Day of the Triffids’.
In the posting this month there are links to online learning survey, artificial intelligence, learning analytics, soft skills, lesson planner, correcting summative questions, digital literacy charter, digital literacy framework, blended learning, immersive reading experience , conferences and the odd one out.
April will not fool any of us ; it’s just around the corner.
Until then.
1.If you are interested in how another country is using online learning, have a look at this report, you might find it very useful.(Thanks to Tony Bates for the information about the report).
Tracking online learning in Canadian universities and colleges
A survey of online learning and distance education in Canadian public post secondary education.
This study provides a snapshot of online learning and distance education in Canadian post-secondary education, based on a survey of 72 universities and 131 colleges and CEGEPs across Canada in 2017. The aim is to repeat the survey in future years.


If you would like further analysis and informed comment on online learning in Canada have a look at the following posts from Tony Bates; very interesting, perceptive and enlightening.
Comparing online learning in k12 and post secondary education in Canada


What inter provincial differences tell us about government (Canadian) policy on online learning.


Why does Canada have so much online learning


2.Design your class[RMIT lesson planner]. Here is a neat, simple and effective tool for creating your lesson plan. Drag and drop from the list on the right hand side of the page and design your learning experience for your students. Each ‘element’ that you drag and drop has some useful notes and resources and provides an indication of time. You can print or export your lesson. Good stuff.


3.Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining for Learning Impact: Student intervention guide.
There is an increasing amount of literature and reports on the use of learning analytics; some useful guides are also available. I liked this particular resource because of its straight forward approach and clear guidelines .


You can get even more useful information from the parent site:


4.A Guide to Soft Skills. There’s has been a lot of talk lately around the need for facilitating the development of soft skills whilst students are in higher education (or even before).Employers say that even with a worthwhile degree under their belt, potential employees don’t appear to have honed their people (soft) skills . This guide is free and worth having in your resource bank.


if you want some more in depth analysis in the education domain:
The role of Education in Building Soft Skills.


5. Teaching in Blended Learning Environments:Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry. (This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License, Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada).
First published in 2013, this ‘book’ is available as a free download from the Aupress site in Canada. It is a useful addition to resources on the subject of Blended learning. Well written and informative.


6. Digital Charter developments in the UK. This document may be of interest to you as it has implications for ongoing use of digital technologies in education.


When you have read the Charter , read the opinion piece:
A quiet revolution: the Digital Charter is an opportunity to strike a new deal with online platforms.
Some thought provoking comments and analysis.


7. Digital Literacy Framework from the Open University in the UK. A valuable and useful resource . Worth reviewing and digesting. Produced in 2012. Does it still stand up to scrutiny and is it keeping pace with technological change?


8. KIWI: Creating an immersive reading experience. I suppose I picked on this one because of its title, must have something to do with New Zealand? Actually, no, but it’s the project that’s of real interest. Another useful approach to implementing Augmented and Virtual reality into the learning experience for students. ‘Interaction designer’ is a new title for me.


9. How AI will destroy Education. An interesting opinion piece as AI begins to gather momentum all over the place (or so it seems). Some of the other articles on this site are also worth perusing.


10. Quantext: Designed by teachers for teachers, Quantext has been designed for educators to quickly and simply identify and fix ambiguous or confusing questions, address common misconceptions before summative assessments and track how well students are learning the language of a specific discipline. Quantext has been released under an open source software license and the developers are keen to hear from teachers who would like to pilot Quantext. A free demonstration system is available at:


A companion website, to share how people are using Quantext as well as to explore text analytics for teachers more generally, is at


11. Conferences
11.1 ALT ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018,11-13 September 2018, Manchester, UK
ALT’s 25th Annual Conference we will bring together different critical perspectives in Learning Technology from across our community that will examine the challenges ahead and question the shape of things to come. Find out more from:


11.2 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances
June 20 to 22, 2018. Valencia, Spain


twitter: @headconf
11.3 Open Oceans: Learning without borders ASCILITE
35th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education.
Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. 25th to 28th November 2018


11.4 14th International Conference Mobile Learning 2018,14 to 16 April 2018, Lisbon, Portugal.


11.5 The Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference ANZ 2018, Brisbane, Australia, AUGUST 28 to 31st 2018, For more information:


12. New Zealand Events.
13. Odd one out: Poor Richard’s Almanac by Benjamin Franklin. Haven’t read this before but found it fascinating (especially as the title reflected my fiscal position:-)). There’s a wealth of wisdom and loads of quotes (some well known ) to use at appropriate times and to ponder on. Good for a quiet hour or two to relax and pass the time and enjoy some wisdom and wit.


Tis the time to ponder.
Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

Back to top