Is this Second Life?

June 29, 2007

Is this what Second Life is coming too?


Reuse and Repurposing – what’s the difference?

June 29, 2007

Reuse

Reuse is using the learning object virtually as it is with a different group of learners and/or for a different qualification. In some cases additional materials will be presented alongside the original learning object.

For example using an object on customer service for Hospitality and using it with Business students

Repurposing

Repurposing can mean a variety of processes. From using a substantial part of the learning object with additional learning content to disaggregating the learning object and using components within a completely new learning object.

For example using a video clip from an object on health and safety for Hairdressing and using it within a new learning object for Business students.


Gordon Brown shakes up education

June 28, 2007

No more Dfes.

Gordon Brown has placed his former adviser Ed Balls in charge of a newly reformed department focusing on children, families and schools.

There will be another new department responsible for innovations, universities and skills, led by former Home Office minister John Denham.

Read more


100 ways to use a VLE – #34 Virtual Lessons

June 28, 2007

You can use a VLE as a starting point for a classroom session, allowing you to quickly access web sites, NLN materials and presentations, etc..  with the advantage that you can also allow your learners to access the “lesson” again on the VLE at a time and place to suit them…

You may already be familiar with using PowerPoint on a laptop and a data projector in a classroom situation.

If you have internet access you can use the VLE as a lesson planning tool with the ability to quickly access notes, NLN materials, PowerPoint presentations, web links, images and so on…

Of course once the lesson is there (whether it be a set of links, a package or a chapter) the learners can access the “lesson” again at a time and place to suit them.

Learners who were absent from the lesson can also access the “lesson” therefore avoiding the need to find out what they missed and thus saving you and them time.

Evidence shows that using a VLE in this way actually improves attendance at sessions rather than as you might think result in a drop in attendance.

The lesson  can be extended on the VLE through adding additional resources and web links; and the use of discussions groups to continue and further any discussion in the classroom. These virtual discussions can certainly benefit reflective learners and those that lack confidence to speak in class but are happy to write down their views and opinions.

This lesson will also be available for the rest of the year, supporting revision for example.

The lesson will also be available next year, saving time on preparation and planning.

The VLE will never replace classroom teaching, but it can be used to supplement and enhance a classroom session that was never possible before.


JISC Experts Group Meeting

June 28, 2007



JISC Experts Group Meeting

Originally uploaded by James F Clay

Photograph taker at yesterday’s JlSC Experts Group meeting.


JISC Pedagogy Experts Meeting

June 27, 2007

I am in Bristol for the JISC Pedagogy Experts Meeting.

The aim of the meeting is to inform the group of the current issues and investigations into many of the JISC e-learning Learners’ Experience projects, also to consult the experts own expertise in relation to learners’ experiences.

The meeting will also explore implications of these issues for teaching practice, organisational strategies and for technical development.

The group will also be consulted on the direction and priorities for learner centered development in the future.

This is very much a meeting and a discussion and not a series of presentations with a few questions.

Personally I will be on a panel this afternoon looking at how can we help to meet learners’ changing needs and expectations?

I will be adding more stuff over the day (fingers crossed).


Hairdressing Training gets a free makeover

June 26, 2007

Online learning package for hairdressing students and practitioners to be made available free to UK colleges.

Funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) makes Hairdressing Training free of charge to all UK further education institutions from August 2007. This funding has enabled JISC Collections to purchase Hairdressing Training on behalf of UK further education institutions for the next three years.

Read more


100 ways to use a VLE – #86 Filing Cabinet

June 26, 2007

You may already have a filing cabinet (or a cupboard) which you store copies of your assignments, handouts, briefings and other paper based resources.

You may have a folder on your desk which students can access copies of missing resources.

You may already give your learners access to this file storage and allow them to pick and choose which paper based resources they need.

You do though need to ask the questions:

  • how do learners access the resources, do they need a key or authorisation?
  • what happens when a copy runs out, who prints out and copies the resource?
  • who identified that a resource has run out?

The advantages of placing electronic copies of resources on a VLE are:

  • the resources are available all the time from anywhere, whether that be home, work or college;
  • as they are electronic copies, they never run out, you don’t need to print or copy them again;
  • students can have multiple copies, one at home and one for college;
  • you can specify if resources are available all the time or for a set time;
  • you will be able to find copies for yourself so allowing you to access them from home or work if they need updating.

The VLE is a powerful asset and tool for teaching and learning, but even using it as a simple file storage area can prove to be an advantage to yourself and your learners.

The VLE is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from any internet connected computer.


Using technology does “improve learning”

June 26, 2007

Becta have just published their report on the £34m test bed project.

The key message from the report is:

Having a high level of technology for learning equipment in a school or college will dramatically improve performance, so long as there is the right support and enthusiasm to embrace it.

In terms of FE, there was recognition of the value of VLEs (or learning platforms) in enhancing and supporting learning.

In the further education colleges it was found that learning platforms extended students’ learning into the home, and the management information systems provided greater efficiency and effectiveness for managers and teachers.

The BBC is reporting on the story and they pick up on the fact that though there was greater success in the primary and secondary schools, the impact on FE was marginal, there was little change.

It can be difficult to measure the impact of technology on retention and achivement, but there is now much more evidence that it can and does make a difference.


QIA Conference in London

June 26, 2007



One Street in London

Originally uploaded by James F Clay

Yesterday I presented at the QIA Conference in London on the use of technology to support 14-19 education.

It was a good session, though not a large number of people. Having said that there were some really good questions and debate.

The photo is the view from the conference window!

Travelling to conferences sounds like fun, the reality is that you spend most of your time either on the train or in a car and then the rest of the time is spent in a conference hall or a workshop room.

Conferences though (for me) are a good opportunity to see what other people are doing and I found it really interesting to see what an e-enabled college like Crosslands is doing to further retention and achievement. They have an intergrated system which allows staff to get hold of information about learners really quickly and more importantly easily.

Overall it was an interesting conference.