Category Archives: eLearning

SIgnpost

Know when to keep it simple

When it comes to developing materials and learning resources for your course, I think it’s important to know when to keep it simple.

We have all seen examples, or know of some, where every possible bell-and-whistle has been applied, in good intention, but the final result has made the course complicated and heavy.

Here are a few tips on how, and why, to keep it simple, which apply as much to online distance learning courses as well as campus courses:

  • Signpost: provide little ‘signposts’ to learning resources, assignment details, marking criteria, timetables, etc. to help the student. The larger the course or course materials then the more complicated the course structure could be, and the more lost a students will find themselves in your course.  Continue reading

How your brain works / learns (video)

“The size of a small cauliflower, the human brain is the most complex organ in your body. It squeezes out 70,000 thoughts a day. But where does it store information? And how does it generate flights of fancy? Explore the inner workings of your personal ideas factory.”

This video posted to The Guardian ‘extreme learning’ section is a great introduction to “how your brain works” (and therefore learns).

How your brain works – videoSorry, the video isn’t embedded but if you click it it will take you to The Guardian website where you watch the short video.

 

Royalty Free Getty Images

35 Million Getty Image – Can you use them?

By now you may have heard that Getty Images are making 35 million images available, for free, for you to use, without fear of being sued.

So, how is that going to work then? As with all images (or text) you will obviously have to provide correct attribution to the owner / source / copyright holder, and this is done for you by Getty Images as part of the ‘embedded viewer’. When you find the image you want through the royalty free image search you can use the ‘embed’ option.

The key here, from the Getty Images terms of use (embedded viewer), is the the availability of the images and that Getty reserve the right to remove the image without notice. You will also have to then retrospectively check your uses and make sure you remove them … but if you’ve used the embedded viewer, surely this would just show a blank or empty placeholder on your blog?

“Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice.”

Here’s an example of an embedded image:

Continue reading

Planning Your Online Course

Planning an Online Course

Whilst searching for some resources on planning and designing online courses I came across this excellent brainstorming ‘sketchnote’ (I’ll write more about these another time) from Giulia Forsythe called ‘planning your online course’.

Planning Your Online Course

Take some time to look at this in detail, there’s a lot here for you (click to enlarge it).

Image source: Planning your online course (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Scholarly, digital, open: an impossible triangle?

Reading: “Scholarly, digital, open: an impossible triangle?”

Abstract:

“Contemporary approaches to the digital transformation of practice in university research and teaching sometimes assume a convergence between the digital and openness. This assumption has led to the idea of ‘digital open scholarship,’ which aims to open up scholarship to participants from outside academic scholarly communities. But scholarship, digitality and openness exist in tension with each other – we can see the individual features of each, but we cannot make sense of the whole picture. It resembles an ‘impossible triangle’. Particularly confounding is the tension between digital scholarship and open knowledge, where the former is focused on the creation by specialist communities of knowledge of a stable and enduring kind, whilst the latter is characterised by encyclopaedic knowledge and participation that is unbounded by affiliation or location. However, we need not be permanently thwarted by the apparent impossibility of this triangle. It is a stimulus to look critically at the contexts of practice in which a relationship between scholarship, digitality and openness is sought. Constructive examples of such critique can be found in the emerging research field of literacy and knowledge practice in the digital university.”

Reference:
Goodfellow, R. 2014. Scholarly, digital, open: an impossible triangle?. Research in Learning Technology, 21. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21.21366

Image source: Slippery slope (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Who are the Learning Technologists?

‘Who Are The Learning Technologist?’ by @HeyWayne

Regular readers will know I have written my thoughts and experiences about ‘what is a Learning Technologist’ for a number of years. Indeed the series of posts is into double figures now and consist of my own  reflections, posts I read, research, and conversations I have with others in my ‘profession’.

In these discussions and collaborations I have also been attributed as a spark for others who have also started to question the role, and their role, in ‘learning technology’in others. This is by no small feat, but an honour in that the conversations are widening and engaging many more individuals and helping to focus and drive a deeper understanding of the roles, the individuals in the roles, and the expectations placed on the role (from ourselves, our colleagues and peers, our networks and associated organisations – like ALT or SEDA – and our employers).

One such, ongoing, conversation is with Wayne Barry (@HeyWayne) who is himself writing a series of posts on ‘Who are the Learning Technologists?’ on his blog. Now on his fifth post I thought I’d add a little to the conversation here to highlight, broaden, and engage the question(s) further.

Continue reading

The survival of higher education by Steve Wheeler

‘The Survival of Higher Education’ by @timbuckteeth

I’ve been following and talking with Professor Steve Wheeler for several years now, and have had the honour of presenting at his Pelecon conference and sharing the billing at the eAssessment Scotland conference.

Steve often writes individual posts or, like recently, he writes a series of post with common themes to expand or challenge a certain approach or concept of education – his 2010 series on ‘Distance Learning / Distance Education’ initiated some interesting discussions. Steve has, this time, been looking at the survival of Higher Education – please read all of Steve’s posts, you know you’ll be the  better for it.

I’ve linked to Steve’s original work here, as well as my response I posted to his website – I concentrate on  specific aspect of his posts/series, but please be sure to read the full posts so my comments (and the quotes) are not taken out of context:  Continue reading

The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition

The Horizon Report 2014 – Your reviews

The annual feast of what is hot (or not) for the next 1, 2, or 5 years in educational technology has been released. You can access and download the full NMC Horizon Report for Higher Education, 2014, here.

From the contents page you  can get enough of an idea of what is in it, namely:

  • Social Media & Social Learning
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Learning Analytics
  • Games & Gamification
  • Evolution of e- or online-learning

“A key criterion for the inclusion of a topic in this edition is its potential relevance to teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education.”

YouTube: The NMC Horizon Report :: 2014 Higher Education Edition

Continue reading

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD AppVideoScribe HD (iPad): I’ve enjoyed watching videos from RSA Animate, as have others, that take an audio track (usually a presentation or speech) and animates the drawing of concepts and take-away quotes. The best of these is the speech of Sir Ken Robinson ‘Changing Education Paridigms’.

“Award winning software, Sparkol VideoScribe is a completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that’s so popular on commercials at a fraction of the cost.”
VideoScribe HD (£3.99)
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/videoscribe-hd/id505464331

Advertised features of the App include (and are also available on the PC/Mac 7 day free trial):  Continue reading