Tag Archives: Network

What makes a good online course?

What makes a good online learning experience?

Is it possible to define the qualities of what makes a good online learning experience, or a good MOOC? Is there a check list we could have pinned to the wall which we could use as we design and build our courses?

Here’s a few items I think the list needs, feel free to add your own ideas in the comments field below:

Presentation: Is the student able to relate to the subject and the presenter / educator? This is not always easy as the platform (Blackboard, Moodle, FutureLearn, Udacity, etc.) often controls how the materials are ‘presented’. Even with these constraints you do have options on designing your materials and laying them out in ways which make them easy to navigate or interact with.  Continue reading

How Twitter can be used for informal personal learning?

How Twitter can be used for informal personal learning?

I joined Twitter in January 2008 and in the last 6 years, 4 months, and 7 days since my first tweet I have made or posted nearly 33,000 tweets! As I highlighted in my post from last year I have found Twitter the single most important source of information, events, research, back-channel, inspiration, and motivation I have ever come across.

Of course it’s not actually Twitter that does this; it’s the individuals I have connected with in those 6 year, from all corners of this wonderful world and from all walks of life and cultures. These people, who I’ve built my Personal Learning Network (PLN) around, have made me laugh, cry, think, reflect, criticise, critique, avoid, seek out, and generally strive to know more about myself.

The great thing is that you/they had no idea they were doing it, or even part of it. That’s because that’s what I use Twitter for. You might use Twitter for something else; running buddies, charity auctions, account complaints, celebrity stalking, coffee-shop cake comparisons. We each have our own version of the same system that offers our own unique answers or destinations.  Continue reading

The NET Model of Social Leadership is built around three Dimensions: ‘Narrative’, ‘Engagement’ and ‘Technology’. The NET model is both an idea and a call to arms.

Book review: The Social Leadership Handbook @julianstodd

“What we know today will get us to tomorrow, but we’ll have to learn more again tomorrow to keep ahead … welcome to the Social Age, where change is constant and we live in constant beta.”

I’ve never thought about learning like this before, other than I know I get bored quickly so find new things to keep me engaged and entertained. But, with the constant bombardment of new technologies, new networks, new applications to old techniques, etc. we are indeed in ‘constant beta’.

And I mean ‘we’ in the context of learning professionals (which I’m exploring with my next book project: follow here for news –#EdTechBook) that we need to not only keep up with developments but somehow keep ahead of them. I know this is near impossible, but we can at least be proactive in how we approach the changes, reflect on our own experiences, and make suggestions and engage with each other (and the students). From this will come better understanding and a clearer picture of what could be used, how, where, why, and (importantly) by whom.  Continue reading

Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference 2014 BbTLC2014

Blackboard T&L Conference, Dublin #BbTLC2014

Next week is the 2014 Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference in Dublin. The programme looks very comprehensive and has 6 streams in motion, which means it’s going to be very difficult to attend and cover all the sessions I want to attend – which means I’m going to have to be very selective about what, and who, I see.

Here’s my first impressions of what I will try and see –

Wednesday, April 30.

  • Keynote / Prof Stephen Heppell. I have met and talked with Prof Heppell on numerous occasions (at Learning Without Frontiers in 2011 and during my time working at Bournemouth University) and know that his unique perspective and style will make this keynote both interesting and hugely profound on the issues affecting education today. This is one session you do not want to miss.  Continue reading

Network Fluency (@jaycross‎)

Thanks to Jay Cross for this short and sweet 2 minute video on ‘Network Fluency’. With the Internet and the connections we make through it we have enabled ourselves and our learning to take a new level.

“Connections begat connections. Soon everything was connected to everything else. A parallel universe sprang up alongside society, the Internet became an integral part of business and leisure: those who weren’t fluent and using the ‘net were marginalised. Not only that but everything happened faster and faster and you were required to proclaim your ‘network identity’ and figure out what you were going to do. And what you’re going to do is become fluent in the way networks work.”

Jay goes on to highlight three main areas where we need to be to become ‘fluent’: making sense of stuff, giving back, collaboration, and connection.

YouTube: Network Fluency / Jay Cross

What is a Learning Technologist? eBook

I’ve been certified! #CMALT

David HopkinsAfter an awfully long time I have written, submitted, re-written, re-submitted, and finally been awarded the status of Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT). When I say it took a long time, it’s not an understatement – here’s how and why.

  • This is the twelfth part in my series of ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ I have collected the series to date in a downloadable eBook – an update will be submitted to the online stores very shortly.

CMALT – The beginning
I joined Bournemouth University (BU) in 2007, fresh into the role of a Learning Technologist (LT) from 10 years as a commercial web designer. In all honesty I didn’t really know much of what I’d be expected to do but I knew my experience with online communities and techniques in developing and fostering them was key to my appointment. It just goes to show the faith and vision my interviewers had to see me for my potential and offer me the job! I joined ALT shortly after starting, which is where I first heard about CMALT.  Continue reading

The Connected Age

Learning Technology at the core of The Connected Age? #LTHE

Enjoy this video from Educause. I hope you can see where I am coming from and why I’ve added this video to the #LTHE project as I see the Learning Technologist as an enabler, facilitator, manager, specialist, and even student in these ‘connected age’ Education settings:

“Higher Education is a connected community, and connections can do transformative things. When education is connected it forms a pathway; formal and informal learning are no longer separated. Learners can connect to an ever-widening circle of mentors, peers, experience, knowledge, games, simulations, collaborations tools, and augmented reality can help learners connect the dots in ways never before possible.”

The Connected Age from Educause on Vimeo.

Twitter David Hopkins

Twitter, updated

Twitter David Hopkins

I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.

In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.

Continue reading

gplus.to - Google+

Google+ shortened

Thanks to Sue Beckingham (again) I now have a natty shortened URL for my Google+ account. Using GPlus.to website you can create a nickname and have a shortened web address for what is, let’s face it, a fairly unfriendly and unmemorable G+ web address.

gplus.to - Google+

Which would you rather use / show on a profile page or business card?

Yeah, thought so, and by signing in to the website using your Google account you can get (basic) statistics on the use of your URL.


What is a Learning Technologist (part 9): Ignorance is bliss?

UnhappyThe more I think, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I question. The more I question, the more I find I don’t know. The more I want to know, the more I question, well, everything, and the unhappier I become.

Why is this? Shouldn’t I be happier with more knowledge, more detail, a better understanding of who I am and the world I live in? Shouldn’t this mean I am better placed to affect and effect change in my life, my family, my work, my finances, my home, my health, etc.?

  • This is part 9 in my series of ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ Read Part 8 here, and follow the links on my About page to the other parts.

I was never ‘encouraged’ to think at school – we had our notes dictated to us and we were told what to learn for the tests. I was ‘average’ in exams (and that’s being generous), and just about scraped in to and through University. Even after 4 years there I never really thought much about what I was doing, I just went with the flow, just happy to pass and move on. It wasn’t until 2007 and working at Bournemouth University that I started to question what I wanted to be, who I wanted to be, and how I wanted to get there. It wasn’t some profound personal journey, it was just the environment I worked in .. Continue reading