Resistance to innovation

June 30, 2010

There has always been resistance innovation and I suspect it will continue…

Martin Bean last year gave an excellent keynote at ALT-C 2009 and in the first few minutes (from 3m 50s) described some historical views on innovation.

View the section of the keynote that deals with resistance to innovation from here.

Mobile Learning Boot Camp

June 29, 2010

Gloucestershire College Open Day Tuesday 6th July 2010

Mobile Learning Boot Camp

With the wealth of learning technologies mobile technologies and web 2.0 tools and services available to Further Education, this open day, will provide an opportunity to see how Gloucestershire College are using learning technologies to enhance and enrich learning.

The open day will also give you an opportunity to plan, develop and build learning resources for mobile learning in Further Education. This is a change to the original advertised programme.

Gloucestershire College is running the open day as part of the Becta Technology Exemplar Network (TEN),

This event is free to all FE Colleges and learning providers in the learning and skills sector; you do not need to be part of the TEN to visit.

We are running the Open Day on Tuesday 6th July at our Gloucester Campus. The day will focus on the creation of mobile learning resources and how they can be used to enhance teaching and learning. The day will also give you an opportunity to tour the college to see how we use ILT and how we have embedded learning technologies across the curriculum.

The day will consist of a formal introduction followed by semi-structured unconference format in which delegates will be able to build and create resources that can be used on mobile devices such as the PSP, the iPhone and mobile phones.

Delegates will be expected to bring some content for repurposing or ideas for content.

The day starts at 10.00am and will finish at 4.00pm, lunch will be provided.


Gloucester is well served by rail networks from across the UK and the college is a 15 minute walk from the railway station.

Gloucester is on the M5 and can be accessed from Junction 12 from the South and 11 from the North. Please note that there is no parking available at the college, though pay car parks are close by.


Please book online by Friday 2nd July here.

0870 – iPhone App of the Week

June 29, 2010

0870 – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone and iPad Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will work on the iPod touch or the iPad, some will be iPad only apps.

This week’s App is 0870.

Many companies use 0870, 0845, 0800 numbers for customer service, which usually cost around 35p per minute to call.

0870 will turn these expensive numbers into 01, 02 (which come out of your contracted minutes) or cheaper 08 numbers.

Save money on phone calls!


This is quite a simple App, which does one thing really well.

Enter in one of those BT local numbers and it will provide you with the “real” number. Simple, but can save you money.

Photo source.

Kindle gets sounds and vision…

June 28, 2010

Amazon have announced that certain Kindle titles will now have embedded video and audio.

However to enjoy these new “multimedia ebooks” you will need to view them on the iPhone, iPod touch or the iPad using the Kindle iOS4 App. today announced a new update to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch, which allows readers to enjoy the benefits of embedded video and audio clips in Kindle books. The first books to take advantage of this new technology, including Rick Steves’ London by Rick Steves and Together We Cannot Fail by Terry Golway, are available in the Kindle Store at

Though Together We Cannot Fail is not actually available to buy for customers from the UK!

Probably not obvious to most, these titles with embedded audio and video, though can be read on the Kindle device, will not play the audio and video.

This does beg the question, does Amazon believe that the future of Kindle titles is on the iOS4 platform, on the iPad and the iPhone? Or will we see a more enhanced Kindle in the future that can play the embedded audio and video in these new titles?

Amazon have recently reduced the price of the Kindle, this may be an indication of either of those two points of view.

We will have to wait and see.

“VLEs are crap”

June 28, 2010

If you work with a VLE and with staff and managers, you may have come across a comment similar to the title of this blog entry, “VLEs are crap”. This comment was quoted on a mailing list I belong to. Going to events I often hear these comments (and even occasionally back at college); they may go onto to talk about very negatively about the VLE. They talk about how learners like wizzy Web 2.0 tools and services like Facebook and YouTube. How they are all digital natives (I know), are part of the Google generation; so the VLE is old, clunky and not for today’s learners…

This view is not that unusual.

The thing is don’t compare the VLE with what you would like it to be, compare it to not having a VLE. The VLE isn’t trying to be perfect, it’s about providing an online or virtual environment that can be used for learning. Yes it can be better, and VLEs have improved over the years, but it isn’t perfection and in life nothing is perfect.

So how do I respond to negativity?

I sometimes use the following…

Educational text books are “rubbish”, students are accustomed to high quality Dorling Kindersley books full of colour pictures.

Educational journals are “a waste of time”, students are accustomed to high quality magazine like FHM, Maxim, Bliss, Closer and Heat; they’re full of colour photographs and bright text.

Educational spaces (ie colleges) are “horrible”, students are accustomed to smelly dark dank rooms that are never tidy… oh wait…

Improved VLE resources at Weston College

June 28, 2010

Last week I reflected on the JISC RSC SW Annual Conference and discussed Vicky Weavers’ session on VLE standards. As part of her presentation she showed a video clip showing interviews with staff and learners on the impact the improved use of the VLE was having.

Here is the whole video which has interviews with the A’Level History lecturer and learners on the impact of the improved VLE resources.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #052: Universal Design for Learning

June 27, 2010

What is universal design for learning? Designing your learning so that it is accessible for everyone. In a nutshell, good teaching.

We also talk (at the end during the credits) about my Skype problems…

James Clay, Lisa Valentine, Lilian Soon and Ron Mitchell.

This is the fifty second e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Universal Design for Learning

Download the podcast in mp3 format: Universal Design for Learning

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes


Photo source.