Sunday, September 11, 2005

Townsville workshop - 5 September

12 participants attended the Townsville workshop.

One of the outcomes is seen in the form of Richard Heard's earlier posting on ® Microsoft Producer. Richard is an IT Development Teacher from the School of Distance Education, Charters Towers. He indicated that Distance Education delivers second year IT via online learning.

Glenys Molloy and Heidi Cianciullo (from Ingham SHS) will spend a day with Richard and Teresa Riley at the School of Distance Education to learn about the use of ®Blackboard and the Learning Space in Distance Ed.

Helga Hillier (Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE, Ingham) is working with local schools on the development of an online hairdressing course. She is keen to link up with people who have developed courses in this area.

Wally Mark (Deputy Principal , Townsville SHS) spoke of their use of EQ Virtual Schooling that employs ® Blackboard, online teachers and study coaches. The school delivers accountancy and Certificate 11 in hospitality via online learning. Townsville SHS is working towards the implementation in 2007 of online courses in Maths C and Aboriginal Studies (Board subject). Wally indicated that the Townsville region has a school-based, Flexible Learning Reference Group.

Julie Woodlock (Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE, Townsville) discussed her extensive, local and national experience, in working with TAFE Institutes, schools and private providers in the area of indigenous education. Julie indicated that the Barrier Reeef Institute is looking to develop partnerships in this area with schools, private providers and community organisations. She highlighted the need to introduce cultural elements into hospitality courses and to design a learning blend that would suit the student group.

Lisa Butson (Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE, Townsville) indicated that she was looking for an e-learning mode to enhance the 12 months full time study in the Certificate 4 in Adult Tertiary Preparation. The Institute's in-house iLearn platform for online learning is being used to some extent on this course.

Glenys Moore (Ingham SHS) mentioned the increasing demand from clients that is creating pressure on the school to build its capacity in the area of flexible learning.

Debra Kosturin (ICT Teacher, Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE) coordinates online students and uses email and phone and is looking to complement these approaches with more online communications. She mentioned that the hospitality course at the Institute draws on the ®Didasko multimedia production that utilises software that works naturally with the content area and employs a range of scenarios reference:

Debra also raised issue of the management of online students, particularly when dealing with "rolling starts". This issue had been discussed at the Gold Coast workshop where the suggestion was raised that the teacher could create separate groups reflecting the speed of learning, each group having their own distinctive, fun name. Julie Woolock mentioned her use of a wheel as a way of communicating the completion of course tasks when working with indigenous students. The course tasks are represented as sectors of a wheel, that students colour in when they complete the relevant task.

The issue of disengaged youth was also discussed extensively and will form the subject of a separate posting.


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