Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Information Resource about e-Learning

The e-Learning Centre is an information resource
for learning and development professionals and
academics and staff developers.

This UK site has a Google ranking of 6/10 so
it is content rich - a great resource for
research, case studies and products.

Resources are grouped under 5 broad categories
with sub-groupings:

products and services

Here's a sense of the magnitude of this site.
The sample entry below is one of 100 entries on
"blogging and RSS"
. Blogging and RSS is one of
20 subcategories of "Technologies and Trends".
"Technologies and Trends" is one of 10 categories
in the library.

RSS Ideas for educators (pdf)
By Quentin D'Souza From
Added: 8 February 2006
Reviewer's Note: A great document on what RSS
is and how to use it

The Showcase section provides e-learning case
studies in four main areas:

General interest e-Learning Showcase
College and University e-Learning Showcase
School e-Learning Showcase
Workplace and Professional Development
e-Learning Showcase

Here is one of over 130 entries in the schools
e-learning showcase:

Maths is fun
"Keep your students entertained while they
learn mathematics."
Added: 26 June 2006
Reviewer's Note: There is material here for
every year of school.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Teleconferencing resources - paid and free telebridges

A number of participants in the PfP Network
have asked me about the teleconferencing
service that I have used for facilitating
group discussions with people who are
geographically dispersed.

Basically, I have used telebridges
in a number of locations, including those in
some TAFE Institutes around Australia.

Telebridges are easy to set up and can be
a low cost option. Access to a telephone is
all that is required in terms of equipment.
All callers dial into the same telephone number
(the bridge) and are automatically connected
to each other.

Bridges do not require an operator but may
require a PIN number. They usually require
booking in advance.

I have been using a telebridge in the US which
I have access to through Browyn Buck at a cost
of AU$30 for an hour. Bronwyn is willing to
provide access for the same rate to PfP Network
members. Please email me if you want Bronwyn's
contact details.

Since this telebridge is in the US, all
participants will need a phonecard with low phone
rates to access the bridge. I have been using
Daybreak lately and have also used
RateSaver. Most cards can be purchased
at the local "corner" store. With Daybreak, which
has low connect costs and a low rate per minute,
I can participate in a one hour teleconference in
the US for under AU$2.

FREE Teleconference Facility

I recently came across a FREE teleconference option
through the search engine, BigDaddy. If you join
BigDaddy, you get access to a free teleconference
facility for up to 25 people at a time. There is
no need to pre-book. You receive an access code and
PIN which you can give to your course/class
participants to access the facility. You can access
the facility at any time for any for any length of time.

You and your participants will still need a phonecard
to gain cheap access to the facility in the US.

Click here for the free teleconference facility.

Note: This page will take you to an advertising
page asking you to sign up for a free account.
With the SearchBigDaddy free account you get
access to your own teleconference room, plus $50
in pay per click advertising, a search portal,
and top keyword position to advertise your program(s).

Once you have joined BigDaddy, the teleconference
facility is accessible through the affiliate menu
on the left of the page.

Teleconference Protocols

Telebridge Teleconferencing, which also provides
paid teleconferencing services in the US, has
drawn up a set of protocols for teleconferences/

These are useful guidelines (including the ones
about what to do with your dog and heavy breathers):
to access these guidelines.

(Note: the frequently asked questions page, accessible
via the menu at the bottom of the website, is very

Presenting and Speaking via Video Conferencing

This resource, Presenting and Speaking via
, developed by Julie Waldman,
was written to support teachers to develop good
teaching and presentation practice in their use of
videoconferencing technology. It is also relevant
to web conferencing.

The guidelines incorporated in the report were
developed through a literature review and then
trialled within an international videoconferencing
seminar series. They are are well grounded in
both theory and practice.

You can access the 4 page pdf Guide by

Networked Education for the 21st Century

Networked for Learning: Enabling 21st Century
Student Success

Produced by ENA (Education Networks of America
and InfoTech Strategies (2006)

This 52 page pdf report sets out to address
some fundamental questions:
* Are schools focused on the right outcomes?
* Will today's students be prepared for the types
of jobs they will encounter in the 21st Century?
* Or will schools prepare them for a world that
no longer Exists?

The Networked for Learning report
addresses these questions in the light of how
life has changed for today's students. The
report concludes that " The 21st century requires
a new model for education that relies on increased
collaboration and a new approach to managing
technology infrastructure."

Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:
" A new model - networked education - is one
of the most effective ways to support 21st
century outcomes.

The world has changed dramatically in the last
decade, but education has not kept pace. However,
a new model for 21st century learning is emerging:
networked education.

In this model, networked communities, networked
tools and the Education-Managed Internet Service
Provider (Ed-MISP)converge to transform the way
all students learn and teachers teach.

Students participate in more personalized,
equitable learning opportunities. Teachers rely
on a vast array of resources that help make
education more relevant to their students.

Parents are much more connected to their
children's educations than ever before.

Dynamic education opportunities are being
created that are also cost-effective to

And the results are truly groundbreaking."

For the full text of this report,

The “Four R’s” of Mobile Learning by Leonard Low

Leonard Low in a number of posts on the EdNA
mobile learning forum proposed his "Four R's"

He explains that The "Four R's" model is
focussed on the immediate learner activities
that can be deployed by a teacher using mobile
platforms. It can be used to classify the
capabilities of various mobile devices (see


# Record: The learner may use a
portable device to capture, preserve, memorise,
note, or create information. The information
recorded may be in response to a prompt from
the portable device itself; or in response
to a stimulus from their situated learning
environment or their teacher. The information
may be recorded to the portable device itself;
or the portable device could serve as a conduit
for storing the information remotely.

# Recall: The learner may use a
portable device to recall information, events,
experiences or stories, stored on the portable
device (e.g. iPod recording), or by using the
device as a conduit to access information or
fellow learners and teachers remotely (e.g. on
the internet).

# Relate: The learner may use
a portable device to communicate with other
systems, information or people; for example, with
other learners, or with a teacher (i.e. in a
learning relationship). The learner can use the
device to communicate directly and synchronously
(e.g. mobile phone conversation), or access
asynchronous communication services (e.g. web
discussion board or weblog).

# Reinterpret: The learner may
use the portable device to process existing data
so that it is transformed into new information,
or restructured, reformed, or “remixed” to
demonstrate new learning (e.g. data searches or
data mining, data processing or trasformation,
information aggregation such as RSS)

Here's Leonard's explanation of how the
"Four R's" can be used to classify
the capabilities of various mobile devices


* Recall: primary function: audio, text
from local device, (possibly video and images in
some models)
* Record: cannot perform mobile record
(content is changed by PC docking)
* Relate: cannot be used to relate
* Reinterpret: limited - ability to
search files based on ID3 tags

Mobile phone:

* Recall: model-dependant, may include
both local and distributed content including
documents, audio, video, images, RSS...
* Record: model-dependant, may include
both local and distributed storage including
moblogs, audio, video, images...
* Relate: primary function, may include
SMS, MMS, email, voice calling, and IM/chat/forums...
* Reinterpret: limited

...and also to classify various
learning activities and experiences on
the various platforms, e.g.

Mobile phone:

* Recall: learners can use mobile phone
as a means of storing data locally, or accessing
it via mobile web (WAP). Examples include
accessing a snippet of information saved as text
on their mobile phone, or performing a Google
mobile search from their phone over WAP...
* Record: learners can save photos,
video, and audio to a remote, web-based service
using built-in mobile email or MMS available on
many phones. The same content can also be saved
to a blog with textual annotation (moblogging),
or could simply be stored locally for later
* Relate: learners can message or dial
in to remote information services, call or
message teachers or other learners...

More information, examples, etc. on each of
the "Four R's" is available on Leonard's
(...there is a category on each.)

M-learning Skills Audit Checklist for developers and/or students

One of the EdNA discussion groups is currently
focusing on the essential elements of Mobile
Learning and checklist for M-Learning Skills

Some useful links and comments are given below:

The start of a checklist for mobile device
literacy has just been posted by the very
excellent Stephanie Rieger at the Keitai Blog.
(Leonard Low)

...a great general e-learning list that Leigh
Blackall posted up in the
(Kerry Trabinger)

Flashmobs : SMS Applications To Mobilise Youth Learning

Flash mobbing is emerging as a new trend in mobile
technology applications.

In this post from the EdNA discussion forums,
Alex Hayes describes an application of this
approach to mobile learning:

"A couple of years ago I was working with a bunch of
young people in an off campus location youth center
in Western Australia delivering three certificates
in General Education ( CGVE ). The pace and diversity
of learning experience which these students brought
to this environment was nothing short of inspirational
for me, who, after years of working within the Justice
sector had seen a great deal of the negative effects
of incarceration on young people.

Having read some of Howard Rheingold's musings on
the potential for SMS messaging to mobilise people
(flashmobs )to attend / participate in public events
I decided to give it a go myself. Part of the semesters
budget was assigned to a trial Telstra SMS portal which
distributed ( and received ) messaging and had an
inbuilt calendarised function which allowed for preset

You can now do such things through a number of other
platforms such as RedOxygen, Optus Redcoal and any
number of telco personal login environments. Some
have a capped daily limit to avoid spamming and so on.

What struck me at the time and still inspires me, is
the ability to network people easily and with
immediacy. I setup a range of scenarios which brought
my students together at various locations at
differing times all of course with a pre-empted
permissions granted type arrangement. We 'visited'
an art gallery, attended a political function,
mapped graffiti in a localised area to mention
just a few.

The students all had phones ( half of them hardly
had confirmation of where they were living at any
time yet had a phone) and the concept went from an
idea to immediate and sustainable success. The
results of these networked activities lead on to
a number of fantastic student generated activities
which included a networked art event, creative
workshops and any number of great occasions such
as planned BBQ's, birthday celebrations and the

What really got me going was the fact that,
despite the students hectic and often tragic
lifestyle or life based experiences, the use
of simple text messaging brought them into a
networked occasion and after a number of events
the students started to get the idea that they
could generate these activities themselves,
as they already were in 'reality' for minimum cost.

I've heard from Robyn Jay at NSW Learnscope that
we are due to meet at Byron Bay youth facility
this coming Friday to explore this flashmob
concept further working with students and course
facilitators . I can see great potential for
mapping the m-learning journey using such means
to realise learning outcomes which are heavily
imbedded with numeracy, literacy and other
related foundational competencies.

I'll be posting some feedback and links to
some occasions through the
NSW Learnscope wiki, blog and podcasting
, and invite you to
interact with the discussion. If you have any
similar experiences then I'd be keen to hear
from you."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Flickr: The Promise of Social Networks

The Promise of Social Networks

By Derek E Baird

[Flickr and e-learning applications]


"... While not originally developed as an education tool,
Flickr, and other social networking technologies have
the ability to play an important part in student motivation,
retention and learning—especially in distributed learning
environments. Social networking technologies and media
are important tools because of their ability to foster
interaction and communication between students.
This is especially important in online learning communities,
where students may have limited face-to-face time to build
a support network with their peers."

Note: Useful article with examples of the use of Flickr in online

You can access the article by clicking HERE.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Manual for Movie Maker 2 and Digital movies for PDA's

Manuals for Movie Maker 2 for Digital Storytelling

Carole McCulloch recently pointed out these manuals that
were developed by Robyn Jay during the TAFE
Frontiers funded project DST for VET and ACE in 2004.

The manuals in PDF format can be accessed here.

Carole in her post raises a number of questions:

"...As you know I have been working on various
strategies for implementing the digital storytelling
methodology into VTE practice for some years now.
The latest iteration of this is the use of Movie Maker 2
for compressing movies for playback on Pocket PCs.

This is done quite simply by choosing the Pocket PC
option (and choosing the screen size required) in the
final movie saving segments.

If you need any materials for doing this you'll find
them in the Digital Storytelling Network.

...My question for the group is; how far have we explored
this particular method of resource development for
PDAs? Do others have some examples or Pocket
PC movies for sharing?

Another related question is; how far have we explored
the use of digital movies as assessment tools for our
classes? Do others have some examples of digital
story or movie assignments?"


M-Learning: Overcoming indifference and lack of support

Caryl Oliver recently made this posting to the M-Learning
discussion group (EdNA groups)
. So if you are feeling
discouraged, take a look at this and Marie Jasinski's
comments that follow.

"How do you eat an elephant?

One mouthfull at a time.......

It was really disheartening to read about the reality that
happens to so many innovators who are 'encouraged' to pursue
their interests - provided they still do all the other things they
are burdened with and provided they require no resources
from the organisation!

...Which brings me back to my question at the top. My
was the overwhelming indifference to
my enthusiasm for mobile
learning and even more
underwhelming response everytime I proposed
incorporating new and emerging technology into
teaching practice.

By small steps, however, I did break through:

- I worked with our coffee academy exclusively to produce a
series of digi-lessons and games for PDAs.
- I lent units to anyone who wanted to play with them for a
while - it didn't produce much except an awareness and
- Everytime a teacher did something with a group of students
I insisted on getting a digital story format report. At the end
of the year I showed a compilation to the whole Institute.
- When I wrote our vision for the day in the life of William
Angliss student in 2010 I produced it in digital story format
, with the CEO as the voice.
- To the horror of most teachers I gave 12 XDA IIs units
to VCAL students and they have rewarded me a thousand
- On Open Day our Event Management students ran the
surveys on PDAs - and had to give a special demo session
to groups of parents who were so impressed!

Each little bite, seemingly so insignificant in the
scheme of things has created two
important things
- A growing whisper of curiousty and more calls asking me
to get groups started on some of the new technologies and
- A decrease of the fear of trying new technology for fear
of the learning curve involved.

And with the process started this way I can afford to sit
back and look at the bigger picture which, in our case, is
the infrastructure required to accommodate over 400
students who will, this semester, be submitting at least
one assignment by means of digital story telling.

To see the really positive response from students and
teachers, to see VCAL students becoming re-engaged
and to see people walking towards me when I talk about
these new technologies is what makes it worthwhile.
And now, to actually have our IT department right behind
me and supporting the introduction of infrastructure to
facilitate the technology means I am really getting into
the meat of the elephant now!

If it seems too hard to keep battling those who resist
making changes then try my favourite quote from
Janet Holmes a Court:

Resisting change is like holding your breath
- if you succeed you die! "

(Emphasis added - click here for full text and context.)

Marie Jasinski , another powerhouse innovator in flexible
and online learning had this to say in response:

Hi Caryl,

What a woman! Great post - thanks for the insights! The word that
comes to mind when I think of your great achievements - and
those of Marcus, Leonard, Leigh, Vicki, Alex, Terry - and the
host of other innovators exploring the value of different
technologies for learning, is CONATION! I love that word!

"Conation is derived from the Latin verb conari,
meaning to strive! It refers to the act of striving,
intentionality, of focusing attention and energy
and acting with a purpose to achieve a goal. In other
words, conation is about stickability, staying power,
strength, stamina and survival".

(More about Connation HERE)

It's having the will, grit and determination to keep plugging away
- taking it on and seeing it through. To see it through is the
challenging bit I reckon. Sometimes it's about ducking and
weaving and staying under the radar hoping you won't be
found. Sometimes it's being in the full spotlight speaking
in a loud voice. And having the wisdom to know when
to do what!!

The people I particularly admire are the movers as well
as the shakers - those who choose to move on and upwards
when their current context no longer enables growth and
adventure - and watch them fly!

So THANKYOU for providing the opportunities, sharing
your expertise so generously and blazing the trails.
It is much appreciated! "


M-Learning Discussion Group: Models of Mobile Learning

Leonard Low is facilitating a discussion group on:

Models of Mobile Learning: Learner Centric vs Techno-centric

Here's Leonard's explanation of the focus of the discussion group:

"A number of models of "mobile learning", or m-learning identify it
as a subset of e-learning, including:
the main Wikipedia entry on the topic.

These models focus on how digital convergence and miniaturisation
now allows us to access electronic resources using small, portable
devices such as mobile phones, iPods, and PDAs.

The risk to my mind, however, is that educators may view
m-learning through the mindset of the devices with which it is now
so strongly associated - what I term a "techno-centric" approach
to m-learning. The focus becomes providing learners with PDAs
or mobile phones, without an understanding of the learning
methodologies and activities these devices enable.

In my opinion, the focus should be on the learning process, rather
than the learning platform. This position is supported by the
"it is the learner who is mobile - not the technology"

(a reflective outcome of the European 2004 MobiLearn project,
Sharples, M. et al (2005) Towards a theory of mobile learning )

One way to understand this paradigm is to realise that mobile learning
precedes e-learning by over a decade. E-learning became popular
following an increase in the affordability of personal computers in the
mid-to-late nineties.

A decade earlier (in the mid-eighties), we were
- listening to audiobooks and lecture recordings on our cassette
walkmans and car tape players,
- calling up classmates on the phone to ask for help with homework
outside of the classroom,
- taking photos of relevant learning experiences, and
- writing in portable reflective and visual journals -
albeit on paper.

I posit that these mobile, learning activities (and many others) were
no less valid than the "mobile learning" activities enabled by digital
devices today.

What the new generation of mobile devices facilitate is more
convenient, portable, and immediate access to very similar tools.
Given this link between "new" mobile learning and "old" teaching
practices, we can use our understanding of best-practice teaching
and learning to stimulate and derive powerful ideas for education.

In this thread, I'd like to explore the idea that practical mobile
learning activities can be informed by, and derived from, our
understanding of teaching and learning theory, mobile learning
activities that have not previously been digitally based, and
e-learning standards and practices.

Your thoughts are welcome at any time."

Podcasting, Wikis and Blogs: Learning at the BBC

Video Presentation by Nigel Paine, Head of BBC Learning and Development

"We’re hearing the buzz around Podcasting, Wikis and Blogs for education but what about real applications? An informal interview with Nigel Paine provides fascinating insight into how these technologies have revolutionized knowledge sharing at the BBC and showcases how datpresenter™ easily captures informal conversations, presenting them as clear, accessible content for rapid sharing."

(P.S. Be patient with the "Ask Ninja" segment - it does move onto wikis and blogs)