23 November 2012

What's happening around the region?

Here in the North-West, we've met with some inspiring educators from 8 different organisations.

It always intrigues me when i meet people who say, "We're real beginners with e-learning, we don't really know what we're doing," and then you find out they're already experimenting with all kinds of engaging practices in their classrooms. So often, people in adult education don't recognise what's already happening in their teachers' practice.

Here's a very brief overview of what people are working towards on these e-learning mentor projects. So far, people are looking to:

  • find a way to enable the trainer to support many people at different levels of information and communicative technologies (ICT) awareness in the one "drop-in" session (RCLC),
  • build up resources to share across English as a second language (ESL) classes using online storage & discussion space (wikispaces) (Yarraville, Laverton),
  • employ presentation software to engage low-level language and literacy students, and expand techniques of using data projector in the classroom (JSS), 
  • set up networks of students between different organisations, using "keypal" strategies (students email between classes) (Glenroy),
  • engage staff via virtual staffroom to explore and share strategies for engaging learners (Lalor LLC), 
  • build or adapt a model for blended learning across the organisation (Glenroy, AMCS), 
  • explore ways to overcome student fears of technology (JSS), 
  • find a learning management system (LMS) that suits learners at very low levels of technology confidence (AMCS). 

Credits for photos in the presentation: Urban DonPixel Addict

08 November 2012

Workshops coming up very soon (face-to-face)

In November, we have 2 half-day workshops for anybody in the region. The sessions are face-to-face, held at the CAE (Flinders Lane, Melbourne) and free to attend. Both sessions will have opportunities for networking activities & discussion, as well as Q&A problem-solving. Bookings are needed however. (Please use the form below.)

Day One:
Thursday 15 November 1:00 - 4:00pm
Working with images and photos -
  • examples: flickr, instagram
  • ideas for using photos in class
  • books & zines with Publisher
  • optimising images

Day Two: 
Tuesday 27 November 9:30am - 12:30pm
Exploring powerpoint and other slide-based presentation tools,
  • for in-class face-to-face interaction
  • teaching ideas
  • hands-on practice
  • audio in powerpoint

21 September 2012

First meetings underway

What a great turnout we had last week for our "induction sessions" in at the CAE. Educators from nearly all organisations came along, and we talked about many things:
  • what e-learning is, 
  • what the issues are, 
  • what you would like to learn about, 
  • what you are doing already, and 
  • various ways to stay in touch during the project. 
Here's the presentation from the day, including input from everyone in the room as we went along. You should be able to make this full-screen, and move through the slides. If you'd like to add or remove anything, please let us know via the comments or direct contact.

11 September 2012

Which model of e-learning suits you?

Clint Smith is one amazing e-learning strategist. You may have seen him at the recent Victorian LearnLocal e-learning showcase. According to Clint, these 8 models are the most commonly understood representations of how people engage with e-learning in business and education.

We asked our participants which of the models were most likely to interest them. Blended Learning and Live Online Learning (aka web conferencing) were the most interesting.

We held a live poll in person at the North-West induction sessions, via sms and also the web. People could vote here on the page, but now voting is closed, and here are the results, showing a clear winner for "blended learning 2.0".

You need the Flash Player to view this page.

Didn't get to vote? Don't like the results? Maybe you agree, and would like to add something. Please leave us a comment below (look for the bit that says "(number) comments". I made this poll at smspoll.net, after seeing Michael Gwyther use it at a forum.

06 September 2012

Session on voice tools with Coach Carole (Friday 07 Sept, midday)

Carole McCulloch is terrific. She used to work at the very amazing TAFE Frontiers, which was a kind of professional development peak body for e-learning in Victoria. They were hugely supportive of Adult Community Education (ACE) organisations at the time.

Coach Carole has been involved in the LearnLocal / ACE e-learning mentor project since the beginning, and when Carole runs a session .. you want to be there.

So today, at midday Friday 07 September, make sure you catch her session on "Inspiring and engaging learners with voice tools ..

Full details over in the ACE network Ning place.. via the events page. Direct link here.

The session is over, but the wonderful thing about web conferencing sessions in our "Blackboard Collaborate" space is that you can view the recordings later on. Here's the link to the session recording. (Thanks Carole, /via comments.)

23 August 2012

Let's start at the very beginning - new projects!

Great news everyone. There's a new round of e-learning projects about to be underway in the North-West LearnLocal region. Some organisations are returning, while others have been participating at the edges, and a few are complete newcomers to our network.

Welcome one and all. Here's the list of starters:
  • Australian Multicultural Community Services
  • Community West Inc
  • Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre
  • Jesuit Social Services trading as Jesuit Community College
  • Lalor Living and Learning Centre
  • Laverton Community Integrated Services Inc.
  • Richmond Community Learning Centre
  • South Kingsville Community Center
  • Yarraville Community Centre
It's always a good feeling at the beginning... the hope that you'll make new mistakes instead of the same old ones. Mistakes are necessary for learning, right? The enthusiasm that comes when people meet for the first time.

We're inviting all the participants to come join us for a face-to-face get-together, an "induction" to use the bureaucratic language. 

Either Tuesday 11 Sept, 9:30-12:20 or Thursday 13 Sept, 1:00-3:50pm. Both sessions at the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) at 278 Flinders Lane: Mezzanine Room CM12. Yes i left the location off the invitation email. Whoops. 

At the face-to-face get-together, we'll open up discussion on topics like these:

  • Overview of e-learning - what do people do already?
  • Goals of the project: trial something with learners.
  • What activities can work with your learners?
  • What do you want to learn, and how?
We'll tackle some technical skills, explore some communication tools, and talk logistics of how to connect, coming to visit you and so forth. 

Photo credit: (creative commons at flickr) Thanks: Pixel Addict.

12 August 2012

Jane Hart's top100 technologies for teachers

Jane Hart has been researching teachers' favourite technologies for teaching and learning for the past 5 years (UK). Here's a slideshow of the world's top 100 tools for learning (2011).

What are your top 5 tools for learning? You have around 15 days to vote in the 2012 poll, via this link here.

What do you think of the list? Please add your comment below.

03 August 2012

Brad Beach on Online Facilitation (15Aug)

Here's one that's too good to miss: via the TDC (Tafe Devt Corp), Brad Beach from GippsTafe talks about Online Facilitation.

Brad has been one of the truly significant leaders in this field for some time, and GippsTafe have run great workshops in online facilitation.

Online facilitation is one of the major skillsets that i think people often overlook as they get into setting up online communities and networks. Whether it's real time web-conferencing (synchronous) or round-the-clock discussion forums (asynchronous), there are many strategies you can collect and develop to help you draw people in and engage your community.

Yes it costs $60 and it's only an hour, but it would be worth signing up i'd say.

Register here (link).

26 July 2012

e-learning conference in Bendigo (join virtually)

You may not be able to attend the Bendigo e-learning LearnLocal conference in person, but you can attend virtually.

Happening Tomorrow!!
Friday 27 July

Via the ACE e-learning network, register for sessions.

Whether or not you've experienced web conferencing via the connection of "Blackboard Collaborate", you can always jump in and have a go. Attend a conference from your desk.

  1. The main event page here [Link]. (login required, it's via the ACE e-learning network)
  2. Sessions via the network event page.

Some great sessions on offer, more information via these links:

08 July 2012

WIKIs: setting your Notifications and posting a Discussion

Following on from that exciting 'Advanced' WIKI webinar in which nothing seemed to go right, I decided to produce a screencast on the topic of setting your Notifications to receive emails when someone posts a Discussion.

Notifications are a powerful feature that makes your wiki interactive: everyone can follow the latest addition of content and discuss these collaboratively.

At CNLC when a new member joins the Staffroom I advocate that the Notifications are set so that the new person can join in to group activities effectively. However, we've fallen behind with such aspirations lately as competing priorities invariably push wiki PD to the side so now there's a screencast which hopefully anyone can follow to change their Notifications independently.

It's been almost two years since I've produced a screencast using Screencastomatic so I was pleased to see that I remembered most of the key features (although I could've set up the title screen - forgot to do that) and I like the Add Notes feature, allowing the viewer to head straight to a later section of the screencast if they wish.

I'd be interested to know if you've used the screencast successfully to manage your Notifications. You can reply here or send us an email.

24 June 2012

Photos from the E-showcase12

Here are a few images from the very successful and superbly organised day at William Angliss Conference centre on 22 June 2012.
I'm quite impressed with the features of the photo uploader and photoshow tool at the Learn Local NING,  I'll grab the Embed code and see if I can share the Photoshow here.

Find more photos like this on Learn Local e-learning network
Well, it's worked: though as with all trials, there are a few hiccups. I'm not sure why the images autoplay in reverse order, and the captions have disappeared. Oh well, you can drop by the Learn Local e-learning network (AKA ACE NING) at: http://acenetwork.ning.com/ to view them properly.

22 June 2012

e-showcase: follow from your desk

If you didn't make it to the e-learning showcase today, you can follow the twitter feed using the "hashtag" #eshow12
Ie: via this link

(I think)

Or, failing that, try this one: http://visibletweets.com/#query=%23eshow12&animation=2
A very novel tool for displaying all the tweets with a particular hashtag!
Thanks Michael and Leo

Here's a sample: 
I know how you feel, Dale. If there was a second ipad to win, you'd deserve to win it as much as me.... JK

14 June 2012

More follow-up from face-to-face session

More follow-up from the May face-to-face session. Here's the presentation we started with. Of course, the discussion actually went in all kinds of other directions on the day.
And some notes from the discussion (after the break):

12 June 2012

"Advanced wikispaces skills" session challenges presenters!

Jill and michael ran a session on the advanced aspects of wikispaces. Clearly nobody feels "advanced", because we were alone in the session.

However, we thought that some skills were worth demonstrating anyway. So we went ahead, intending to record the presentation for possible future value, and also to share some tips & strategies with each other.

Here's the menu we started with:

The large menu was designed to give people a choice (too much for one session) ..so we decided to focus on only 3 of the skills.

Okay the hilarious thing for us was that whatever we tried to demonstrated (for the recording), had changed since we last worked it out.

27 May 2012

For Blended Learning, just add ingredients and press 'Blend'

This month we had the opportunity to spend some time with some North West Region e-leaders to explore a number of simple techniques to use Powerpoint in the classroom as an interactive teaching tool.
from Wikipedia

We were inspired by Rob Lewis from the British Council (previously blogged here) to have a go, and to work out what techniques he was using to speed up the production process so that we (humble educators) can, with little effort, become producers of e-learning resources.

Ha! Is it really that simple?

Let's review some of those techniques here so that you can mentally tick off what is practical and worth trying out - remembering that each time you make a Powerpoint presie, you'll get quicker and acquire new skills, be they keyboard shortcuts to speed the production process or clever ways to incorporate the presie into your teaching practice and/ or enabling students' access to that presie independently beyond the classroom.

08 May 2012

Face-to-face networking

In spite of our need to keep in touch via various communication technologies (telephone, web conferencing etc), it's always great to get together in the same room at the same time. Face to face.

And there are so many people in ACE e-learning doing great work across the North-West region of Melbourne.

On the first of May, we were joined by some wonderful educators and managers from:
  • Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre, 
  • North Melbourne language and literacy,
  • Meadow Heights Learning Shop,
  • Djerriwarrh Employment and Education Services,
  • Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC), 
  • Community West,
  • Yarraville community centre

We talked about a whole range of things: 
  • What people have been up to lately, 
  • Issues that come up, time and again, 
  • Resources that people wanted to share, 
  • Things to follow up.

22 April 2012

Using Powerpoint in the classroom

What's so special about using Powerpoint in the classroom?

Occasionally I read something that really resonates strongly with my current thoughts about teaching practice: what I do in the classroom, and what I'd like to do better.

Rob Lewis, writing for the British Council, has encapsulated what all of us could use with very little additional training and equipment. His reasoning: you don't need fancy interactive white boards nor many more typing skills beyond what you might have with Microsoft Word already, to sit down with your learners (and a handy cordless keyboard and laptop) and bring their (and your) ideas and language to life with a projector.

Rob says: '... it's easy to prepare before lessons. In class it can also give an extra dynamic, especially with the 'clickability' it gives you - the chance to quickly click through slides....'

16 April 2012

Evernote Webinar rescheduled to the 8th May

Here is the link to the recording of the webinar held 8th May.
Competing priorities have pushed out this webinar (scheduled for tomorrow) to the later date of Tuesday, 8th May at 3pm, in our ACFE E-mentor Blackboard Collaborate room.

Recently I blogged here about my discovery of this brilliant personal and professional management tool: Evernote. I was also very impressed with Trent Bourne's webinar for the Australia e-series: here is a link to the recording.

13 April 2012

"e-learning - why?" Come to a showcase in June

"e-learning - why?" A showcase for LearnLocal people and organisations.
Hold the date: 22 June 2012 for your diaries. Come and meet your colleagues face-to-face, share ideas, build your networks, ask questions and learn more about the worlds of e-learning. 

More information as soon as we can.

04 April 2012

Let's get together, and re-focus your mini-projects

juggler jack by crateva at flickr (creative commons)
Hello Amazing North-West e-learning People. Who can believe we're looking at the final term for these e-mentor projects!

(1) Remember your "e-learning plan"? What about this for an idea: depending where you're at, let's re-work this into a "mini-project" so that you can present with pride to your peers, and feel you've made some progress. It's possible you've done some remarkable things you just don't recognise.

(2) We would very much like to offer you a face-to-face session in term 2 so you can all get together, ask questions, share ideas and network**.

Here are the dates we're looking at (what's your preference?):
  • 26 April, 1.30pm – 4.30pm (CAE 278 Flinders Lane) 
  • 1 May, 1.30 - 4.30pm (CAE 253 Flinders Lane) 
The menu could include:
=> How to "find the amazing" in what you've done already,
=> Assist each other with your mini-project work,
=> Hands-on workshopping,
=> Tech focus: Powerpoint in the classroom and/or optimising your photos for publishing in online resources.

Please tell us your thoughts As Soon As You Can (asayc):
1) Will you join us in a face-to-face networking workshop day 
    (a) Yes (b) No (c) Please visit me instead.
2) What else does this menu need? (It needs your input).

Please respond via email, a comment reply here, or via the iPadio.

25 March 2012

Evernote everywhere

It's awhile since I promoted a web tool in this blog - but I've become a convert to Evernote, not just because the folks at Evernote proudly promote it with a video showing Jack and Jill (Jill's the smart one with Evernote, Jack's got sticky notes all over the place and is totally disorganised!).

Evernote is widely used for grouping your Notes (free text) in Notebooks (folders of related notes) across platforms on a PC or Mac and synchronised to your Netbook/ laptop, iphone (apparently - I don't have one of those yet) and tablet/ ipad (ditto).

It's really useful in the planning stages for a project or learning task because you can collect links and files together with your Note, and tag your notes (to search by subject tag later, when your collection of Notes and Notebooks has grown). You can also record some audio - that's right - just click the little microphone icon to record your thoughts/ comments and the recording is then attached to the Note.

22 March 2012

North West region "community of practice"

Victoria Market
I've just met with some wonderful teachers and managers of the North-West region and Sue O'Brien of the NW ACFE regional office, in at the AMES "Multicultural Hub" opposite the Victoria Market.

From the agenda, i was expecting to give a presentation with an overview of blended learning, and some examples of who's doing it around the regions. Because it was about 10 of us around a table, the session quickly turned into a conversation where i hope most people had some input. We tackled the really fundamental questions too, for example

  • "What is blended learning?" 
  • "Just give us the easiest thing to start with, not too many options", 
  • What are our main issues and concerns, as well as 
  • explain the jargon!  

Here's the presentation, with notes that came up during the session.

16 March 2012

Collaborative authoring.. a live session

Thanks to all who attended this session.

We attempted a "live document editing activity" during the session, which went pretty well i thought (michael). 

Jill was nervous about it, because she was running that activity, and it can be nerve-wracking. From my perspective, she was amazing. It takes a lot of skill to do application-sharing and web touring all at once. 

Here's the presentation from the session.

Please post any follow-up questions in the comments here, or over on the network "Ning". Recording link to follow.

05 March 2012

Strategies for engaging with staff and workers in a virtual staffroom

Many of the e-learning leaders in the North-West region are searching for ways to engage their staff in some kind of online communication space, or virtual staffroom. 
Last year we brainstormed a list of ideas for overcoming barriers and connecting with staff (link to document here).
Huge thanks to all who came along to join the discussion, share their ideas and find out how their thinking meshes with others in the wider network. 
We had participants from NW and Barwon regions, as well as further up North (thanks Carole, great to see you). 

Here's the recording of the session from Wednesday, 07 March at 7:30pm.

20 February 2012

Progress at Lalor LLC phlogged to the world

In response to our plea to try out the very simple phone blogging tool, ipadio, Assunta has produced a wonderful progress report on her and Carmela's e-project.

We've embedded it here to inspire you to have a go:

Thanks very much for participating with enthusiasm and dedication so far, Assunta and Carmela. We look forward to hearing and seeing your presie online or in our June showcase (more on that later...)

You can find a previous post about Progress at Lalor here or Search using the new Search Feature (top of the right sidebar).

16 February 2012

How to phone blog with iPadio - Listen to the recording of the webinar

#1) Live session / workshop - a North West Cafe webinar.

One of the simplest ways to get people talking on the web: we're running a session introducing newcomers to iPadio (phone blogging). Because people have such complicated lives, we're running it twice. And we're offering this out to the other regions, so we need to have your RSVP.

A hands-on tutorial in making a phone blog using ipadio. For people with absolutely no experience in this wonderfully easy podcasting tool. For e-leaders in the current e-mentors program plus anyone else with curiosity and a sense of adventure. People with experience are welcome to attend too. We hope to have some time to discuss your thoughts on the applications of this tool for teaching and learning.

This was held on Tuesday 21 February. If you would like to hear the recording, click the following link to view a list of our webinars, then select the webinar dated 21 February 2012:

There might be an opportunity in a few months for a Phone blogging How-to webinar Part 2 - on customising the podcast details, embedding the podcast and registering for your own account/ channel.

[If you're still having trouble getting in to Blackboard Collaborate, pleeeease contact Jill, Ann or myself for some problem-solving assistance.]

Shortcut link to attend a live session in the Blackboard Collaborate room:


More details in the ACE network Ning (events page). (login req'd)

Stay tuned, because this is the first of a whole series of online professional development for e-learning practitioners across the regions. This means sessions delivered not only by Jill, Ann & Michael in the North-West, but also many more amazing e-learning people right around Victoria.

06 February 2012

E-learning at Carlton in focus

Here's our latest guest blogger: Sarah Deasey from Carlton NLC. Thanks so much Sarah, and welcome (michael). 

Hello this is Sarah. I am the Further Education coordinator at CNLC.
There have been many opportunities for development of basic computer and online skills in the last 10 years or more. Past projects include:
  • Skillsnet funding in the Nineties for broad community training;
  • a telematics trust  grant for disability students; and
  • various grants through the flexible learning framework.

27 January 2012

Phone blog your Progress, Part 2: E-skills at Carlton NLC

Further to the post, Phone blog your Progress, here are some interesting phone blogs kindly shared with us by staff from Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC). They were asked to describe how the teaching and learning in their ESL classes changed in 2011 with the introduction of internet and the projector into the classrooms.

The CNLC ipadio player:

The following phone blogs or 'phlogs' can be heard by clicking the little red + icon in the bottom right corner of the player (found as you move your mouse over the little spanner). You'll be taken to CNLC's ipadio channel where you can listen to each of them.

Or you can visit CNLC's ipadio channel to hear them.