Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Key Learning so far.

  • We need one presence in sharepoint. All modules under our influence should have pages used predominantly as file stores linking from it.
  • Maximise our footfall by advertising learing opportunities to the students via bulk e-mail.
  • By the time the students are in their third year, it is too late, they have preferred ways of working - we need to get in in the 1st year, like the BEng group this am.
  • Wouldn't it be great if our 'home' could become a nationally known centre of online excellence, visited by students across the world?
  • Can we define sucess by posting? How valuable is lurking? Myers Briggs -Introvert and Extrovert. Do students always want lecturers 'looking over their shoulders?
  • Use RSS to increase footfall on the site. can we creat RSS of discussions on sites across the faculty?
  • Page look size and feel is vital and should be consistent. Removes a block to learning and access.
  • We should use Sharepoint as a team to keep all policies, documentation, development planning in one place.

Sharepoint - Blended Learning

Blended Learning on the BEd Programme - quick overview

Overview of the experience of 3rd year students. - breakdown of the contribution of e-learning to the module.

Mindshift for lecturers - what are we aiming for?

Example of really cool RSS,


Talk2Learn - let's not reinvent the wheel!

Key Learning points from the BEd Primary ICT team so far.


Sharepoint - Who is wagging what?

Tomorrow I am speaking at a conference discussing best practice in the use of our 'VLE'.

So this post is to help me gather my thoughts.

  • Online learning is an acquired taste - not for everyone - to use the really flawed VARK model for learning perhaps we need to add another learning style - E for e-learning. Would that make it VARKE, VEARK, who knows - I am sure some pedants attach importance to the positioning of the letters! Anyways - the issue is that we have many colleagues who have no e-learning skills and we are asking them to teach using it. Hmmmm.
  • Students like socialising online - they are not used to learning online, they are also suffer from years of anti collaboration brainwashing courtesy of our education system. The knowledge is theirs, sharing is cheating or plagiarism......isn't it?
  • The journey of NCSL with talk2learn is worth reflecting upon, they have moved from each section of a course having its own learning space, to having one large community of learners. Why? They need a critical mass of punters to make the discussions happen. Look and feel is very important - if students can't find things quickly then they will give up - operate a 3 click rule. If you want to 'encourage' reluctant lecturers, then giving them an empty space wont work - it is too intimidating. Provide a discussion, ask them to lead it. Do we need to pay lecturer rates to construct these things?
  • Little communities cause repetition of work, facilitation of discussion online is time consuming, it should be planned for within a module, should be evenly distributed between lecturers and make a difference tot he learning of the students - other wise it's the tail wagging the dog.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Mindshift for the lecturers.


Pure facilitation can be frustrating - at time course leaders need to lead.

If we are to teach in HE using a blended approach and do it well, then the enterprise requires time.

Should this time come at the cost of face to face teaching?

Do we need to consider the added value of the online learning and value it by paying extra lecturers to facilitate it?

Experiences on BEd programme

  • The requirement for students to contribute each week and support each other does work.

  • Whole cohort discussions became more dynamic when daily e-mail bulletins were employed.

  • Take away the stick and the level of participation decreases. Or did I ask them to work with too difficult an interface...or was it the sharing itself?
  • Sharepoint only really works with Internet Explorer - so firefox/safari users are doomed.
  • This can only be achieved with explicit time allocated - change the way we teach?

Things to explore next time around -
  • Can we incorporate text messages of key discussions to students' phones?
  • Aim to have hot seats lasting one week - showcase them in the lectures more overtly.
  • Produce a 5 minute vodcast of the key messages of the lecture.
  • Explicitly teach students how to use online tools to learn.
As an organisation:
  • Use hubs more effectively especially the programme page.
  • Ensure all communities have the same key elements in the same places.
  • Examine the notion of 'e-facilitation' specialists within subject teams.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Mindshift for the students

When faced with the possiblity of working outside of 9-3-30 - technophobic responses
Podcasting - when will we have the time to create them?
'I think it could be another step back in social communication within our society, could it possibly decrease children's converstaional skills if unable to discuss face to face regularly with their teacher.'
When faced with learning using a podcast:
'i found this much more comfortable and easy to access than in a lecture because i knew i was ready to listen and focus as i had chosen when to listen to it rather than a dictated time.'
'Guaranteed attention. Independent learning! Own pace. Repeat when needed. i function better later in the evenings and this allowed me to learn at my optimum time.'
Battling technophobia:
I thought that the podcast was a very good idea though i'm not sure i'd feel secure doing this myself. Something i should overcome i feel as it could benefit my class.

Learning from Talk2Learn

This is a facilitated model - respond to questions with other questions to lead the participant to their chosen learning goal.

Every facilitator has the power to create learning communities - reality is few do...

Every course is a blended one - but there is no requirement to participate.

Now there is one 'hub' for all members....less communities, less fragmentation more chance of critical mass and momentum.

Nottingham with implied requirement

Nottingham without requirement

Look and feel are very important....

Blended approach on the BEd Programme

  • 1 hr lecture with 150 students
  • 1.5 hr seminar in groups of 20-30
  • Think.com
  • Sharepoint
  • blog
  • collaborative mindmaps
  • podcast
  • Contextual problem solving

A blended approach to learning - References

Key influences:

Brosnan (1998), Technophobia - - Irrational response acknowledged by the technophobe.

Gladwell,M (2000) Tipping Point - Connectors and Mavens - We need both in the online learning environment.

NCSL (2007), 10000 heads are better than one, - Users need to understand the philosophy, value and purpose of participating in an online community

Surowiecki (2005),The wisdom of the crowds - - judgement of the experts vs judgement of the group.

Tapscott & Williams (2007), Wikinomics - - sharing is more powerful.

University of Plymouth (2007), FDTA away day, - Fight or flight response

Wallace (2001), Psychology of the the Internet - - Online Relationships need online equivalent of 'Next doorness'.

Diffusion of Innovation - Rogers (1962) - laggards?

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Sound files and Podcasting in the Curriculum

Options for using sound files or podcasting in the curriculum

  • Edu Radio - brings in PHSE, Citizenship.
  • MFL lessons - enlist foreign language speakers to record sentences etc - vodcasts of common scenarios.talking books
  • History - oral histories, re-enactments of historical events.
  • Geography - guided pod-tours of localities, talking postcards
  • Art - record pod-tours of displays of art in school, talking postcards, chatter box
  • SEN - talktime pens

Unit 6C: A sense of place - needs two weeks all day every day. Literacy, Geography, Art, ICT

Digital photography, sound recording for stimulus and installation, poetry writing,


to use a variety of methods and approaches to communicate observations, ideas and feelings in an installation (http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/art/art6c/?view=get, no date)


1c) collect visual and other information [for example, images, materials] to help them develop their ideas, including using a sketchbook.
2c) use a variety of methods and approaches to communicate observations, ideas and feelings, and to design and make images and artefacts.
5c) using a range of materials and processes, including ICT [for example, painting, collage, print making, digital media, textiles, sculpture] DfEE (1999a p 121)

NC Art Level descriptors

Level 4:
They use their knowledge and understanding of materials and processes to communicate ideas and meanings, and make images and artefacts, combining and organising visual and tactile qualities to suit their intentions.

Level 5: They manipulate materials and processes to communicate ideas and meanings and make images and artefacts, matching visual and tactile qualities to their intentions. (DfEE (1999b p33)

NC ICT Level Descriptors
Level 4: Use ICT to present information in different forms and show they are aware of the intended audience and the need for quality.
Level 5: They assess the use of ICT in their work and are able to reflect critically in order to make improvements in subsequent work. DfEE (1999b p 27)

Introductory Lesson Resources:
? Virtual Tour
? Use element of Google Earth
? Webcams
? Examples of work already created
? Geocaching - Earth caches
? Film an environment...

Friday, 22 February 2008

Software Available

Audacity sound recorder - http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Audacity MP3 converter - http://lame.buanzo.com.ar/

Podcasting with advertisements - http://www.mypodcast.com/

Podium - http://www.podiumpodcasting.com/

Acoustica Audio Mixer - Radio play maker http://www.acoustica.com/mp3-audio-mixer/

Acoustica Mix Craft - Radio plays + music making in one - http://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/

Blabberize - a bit of fun sound and pictures http://www.blabberize.com/

How to guides:

Doug Dickinson - Podcasting Guru

Here is Doug talking about how Podcasting can impact on Children's learning. He is using Podium, the tool he helped design, you could use any of the tools explained in the lecture to achieve the same impact.

Thursday, 21 February 2008


De Kerckhove, D. (1997) The Skin of Culture. London, Kogan Page

DfEE (1999a) The National Curriculum, London, DfEE

DfEE (1999b) The National Curriculum Attainment Targets, DfEE

Goldberg,A. (2004) The People's Radio The Indpendent 8 December [Online]. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-peoples-radio-679858.html (Accessed 21 February 2008)

http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/StoryTools (no date) (Accessed 23rd February 2008)

http://www.epnweb.org/index.php (no date) (Accessed 22nd February 2008)

http://www.thegoonshow.net/history.asp (no date) (Accessed 21st February 2008)

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/art/art6c/?view=get (no date) (Accessed 25th February 2008)

Richardson,W.(2006) Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts. California, Corwin Press.

History of radio

The Goon Show

1951 - A pilot episode was made in early February and the first series started on the BBC in May. The first series was titled "Crazy People" as the BBC did not like the name "The Goon Show". (http://www.thegoonshow.net/history.asp, no date)

Spoken Word on Radio

  • A Brief Timeline
    • 1927 Radio Licence Fee & BBC

    • 1933 Radio Luxembourg

    1964 Radio Caroline (http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/history1.asp, no date)

    2004 - First mention of Podcasting in The Independent

    'A new kind of radio format is blazing a trail across the internet. Called "podcasting" (because it's a bit like broadcasting and it's aimed at machines like the iPod), it uses open source software, MP3 players and the rambling efforts of audio webloggers ("audiobloggers") to redefine the role of radio in the mobile digital world, and offers hope to the millions who pray for the demise of inane DJs and obnoxious radio advertisements.' (Goldberg, 2004)


    What is it?

    'Creation and distribution of amateur radio, plain and simple.' Richardson (2006)

    Listen to some - how? where? Sandaig Primary - BBC - itunes -

    Audio blogging, Vodcasting, video blogging. Screencasting

    'Thats what the read write web is all about: being able to share what you create with others' Richardson (2006)

    Sharing doesnt have to be broadcasting to the whole web via itunes.

    RSS - understand it or pay for something to do it for you........

    For our purposes:

    Creating, manipulating & publishing sound.

    The publishing may not be in the conventional podcasting sense.

    Wednesday, 20 February 2008

    First Time for Everything

    Well here comes my first post - I thought I would begin with Pete the Pensioner - a youtube icon - he has posted over 100 films documenting his thoughts and views on life and the universe - check him out at