April 02, 2012

elearningWatch April 2012


well here we are in April and hopefully the students are beginning to enjoy the first semester, either new or back.

I've always been interested in the thinking behind the use of the terms instruction, instructional strategies , instructor. For me, the very words seem to support an approach to teaching and learning which is based on I tell, you listen, maybe you will learn. Very instructivist. I'm not sure it's meant to be that way , however if learning and teaching strategies was the terminology,the interpretation is very different, a whole new field opens up and changes the way one thinks.The new and emerging digital technologies provide powerful tools for contributing to learning environments that involve the learner and teacher in a collaborative endeavour rather than one which subscribes to the baby bird syndrome. Brainstorm over

I think the release of Diana Laurillard's new book: 'Teaching as a Design Science:Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology, is very timely. I wait a copy to review. The content certainly looks very interesting and bound to create some controversy.

This months posting includes links to eportfolios, Diana Laurillard's new book,designing and teaching a course, Google resources,authentic assessment toolbox, best iPad apps for education,apps and tools for collaborative learning, information literacy, moodle tutorials, Thom Reeves new website, conferences and the odd one out.

The next posting May be full of more goodies

1.JISC have just release two new resources providing guidance on large scale e-portfolio implementation


2. Diana Laurillard new book, 'Teaching as a Design Science:Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology.' has been released.

Diana says "The basic argument is that a 21st century education system needs teachers who work collaboratively to design effective and innovative teaching, and digital technologies are the key to making that work.
Teaching is now a design science. Like other design professionals - architects, engineers, town planners, programmers teachers have to work out creative and evidence-based ways of improving what they do. But teaching is not treated as a design profession. Teaching and learning is an immensely complex enterprise but we have a very incomplete understanding of it. The book proposes that we find ways to harness teachers' own practical expertise to build the improved understanding we need".
Diana argues that a twenty-first century education system needs teachers who work collaboratively to design effective and innovative teaching.


3. Design and teach a course: From Carnegie Mellon University.
Here is a nice set of guides on how to design and teach a course. Lots of good ideas and useful information which can be applied to lots of different situations


4. Google resources and features. When I initially looked at this site , I thought it was ll about cameos. It's far more than that.
This is the first time I have seen such a comprehensive list of what Google does and is doing. It's part of a site called ' Google Games' (which is not affiliated in anyway with Google itself). I think its a useful list if you aren't aware of many of the Google activities. The Google games side of the Website needs some exploration and thinking as to how you might use it. Lots of links and resources you could find useful.


5. Authentic Assessment Toolbox: A how-to text on creating authentic tasks, rubrics, and standards for measuring and improving student learning.
Some useful material here for assisting with the creation of authentic learning assessments. Nice section on portfolios


6.3 Top Apps & Tools For Collaborative Learning
These tools could be useful for your students. They have been nicely evaluated with some extra links to other comments on each tool


7.iPad Lessons Lisa Johnson has a reputation for producing some very good educational material using the iPad. She shares some of her innovations on this site. There are also hundreds of other submitted examples from educators to troll through



You might like to have a look at a few more if you haven't had enough:

My Ten Most Used Apps to Become Fluent on the iPad


8.The Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: the core model
This was written a year ago and is a valuable resource for those looking at improving information literacy in the their students. You may not agree with their definition of informational literacy but it does seem to cover all the bases. Worth perusing


9. Moodle Tutorial movies from HRDNZ. This is a comprehensive collection of short videos on how to do various things in Moodle; Mahara also features throughout They have been well put together and worth watching if you are wanting to perform a particular task in Moodle


10. Thom Reeves new Website'EVALUATE IT NOW' is worth a look, Tom has been around for a while and is a recognized international authority on authentic learning, especially in the elearning arena. We already know what an entertaining and challenging speaker he is.
He's got some useful resources on the Website which can be downloaded


11. Conferences

11.1 ALTC 2012
Registration for ALT-C 2012 - a confrontation with reality is now open.

'Early Bird' discounts are available until 17.00 BST on 3 July 2012.

You can register via


11.2 ascilite 2012: Preliminary information

Dates are 25th to 28th November, Wellington New Zealand


12. Other New Zealand events

NZ Sharefest 2012 and regional elearning in practice symposia will take place from 1 - 12 October 2012. The actual NZ Sharefest event will be in Hamilton on 1 and 2nd October.
We are delighted that Professor Diana Laurillard has accepted an invitation to give a presentation and discussion session on here latest book, ''Teaching as a Design Science:Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology' This will be via a live videolink.

Details will be posted on the Sharefest site


13. The odd one out: Elements and principles of Art.
A nice online interactive learning resource. Waiting for some things to load needs a bit of patience but the resulting information is quite interesting and absorbing. Useful maybe in the classroom? If you are into Art you might want to explore the rest of MIDEA, some excellent resources and activities.


That's it until May dawns

Richard Elliott
The Eternal Macademic
Auckland' New Zealand

Posted by richard at April 2, 2012 08:48 AM