Educational Development

Derek's charts are very helpful


Derek Wenmoth has posted another useful chart depicting the changing nature of education, and I find this one particularly useful for my work at Tekotago. With this chart I can clearly lay out the changes that are proposed by socially networked software and hopefully help teachers understand the significance more clearly. One thing I have suggested to Derek, is to add in Constructionist Learning theory between Connectivism and Social Constructivism.

I gave a 1 hour talk through Elluminate to the KnowTips Conference on Open Networked Learning today. I think it went pretty well, although we did experience a small problem with everyone not realising they they were meant to control the slides their end. To be honest, I thought I had control too. But eventually that was clarified and everyone was on the same visual page with regards to the presentation slides.

I was able to get through the presentation in 30 minutes and open the mic up for questions and discussion for the remaining 30 minutes which was good, we had some very good questions and discussion - thanks Bronwyn for being there and for the questions and comments, having you there calmed my nerves a bit.

So, you can listen and watch the recorded Elluminate session if you like. If you have trouble with getting Elluminate recording, download the MP3 audio recording (7mb) and follow along with the presentation slides.

The supporting Moodle space is also avaliable where you can find the introductory text for the talk, preliminary reading, and discussion forums currently running.

Hope you have the time to have a look and listen.

Ken from Nursing is considering podcasting


I'm here with Ken talking about Podcasting out audio recordings of his lectures, to compliment presentations that are available for download. Here's some audio I recorded, talking to Ken about Podcasting, and demonstrating the podcasting process.

  1. I showed Ken the audio/usb drive recorder I use
  2. Loaded the WAV file to the desktop
  3. Opened the free and easy audio recorder Audacity and exported the WAV file to MP3
  4. Uploaded that MP3 to
  5. Took the link and posted here in my work blog.

The next steps are to go to Feedburner and obtain a Podcast feed so that whenever I load an MP3 to this blog, those who are subscribed to the Podcast feed will be able to just plug their player into a network computer and the audio files will automatically download for them thanks to the Feedburner Podcast feed we set up. Those who are not subscribed to the Podcast feed can still subscribe to the Blog's Feed instead, or simply manually come to this blog and download what they need.

I pointed out to Ken that there are regular workshops being offered by the EDC on how to do all this. Ken will look into the scheduled workshops and nominate which workshops he'd initially like to attend.

Ken and I also talked about Open Courseware and Creative Commons licensing. I showed Ken the Open Courseware finder, Wikiversity, and Wikipedia for tasters on how much free and reusable, quality content is out there. I showed Ken how some of the larger universities in the USA are using Creative Commons licenses to enable their Open Courseware initiatives, and how easy it is to use the license. I encouraged Ken to attend the finding and reusing digital resources workshop. I explained that at the moment our organisation doesn't have a policy that addresses Creative Commons or Open Courseware opportunities. We discussed the difference between the Intellectual Property of the Lecturer, and the Copyrights of the Organisation...

Here is an example of a Creative Commons license being applied to this blog post:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Enhancing Hospitality resources


Met with Thanasi Balaphas from Hospitality for lunch at Brie Cafe today. What a keen customer he is! He has gone out and set him self up for digital media, and is raring to go for improving the digital resources that Tennyson St use. He straight out explained to me that he has had informal feedback from both students and industry that the resources need improving. He is keen to start up Black Board shells for a number of the courses, and populate them with short demo videos of things such as making coffee, and supporting those videos with quizes in Black Board.

Thanasi has started recording short videos of these skill demonstrations, and wanted to meet with me to discuss where to next. Unfortunately we soon discovered that the videos Thanasi's camera records are in a unique format, and therefore need to be processed into a more commonly used format, as well as compressed to a size that is reasonable for use online.

We managed to get one of the videos into a Real Media format, which is a start but still not ideal. The best format to go for is Quicktime or .mov extension. I gave a quick demo in using Premier to export into mov, but premier won't import the Real Media format. Thanasi will need to research his camera's software and find a way to get the videos he is recording into AVI or MPEG. Either of these formats can be imported into Premier for compression export.

There is a chance that his camera may have setting inside it for this already. Only the manual could say.

Once Thanasi has the correct format, then its a matter of uploading the videos to a web server. I demonstrated and pointed out that while it is heavily used by people from al around the world, and therefore the content there can get a bit challenging at times, as a whole it is good and clean. I explained that even though the video might be hosted with YouTube, they provide code for it to be displayed and played streaming on any other web site including a Black Board course. I also explained that while YouTube and other services like Google Video offer free streaming video hosting, its always a good idea to store another copy of the video to a static media server such as OurMedia so that if students don't have the bandwidth for streaming video, or if YouTube where to suspend service temporarily, then the manual download from OurMedia is the alternative.

So, Thanasi will now find out how to get his videos into AVI, MPEG or more generally a Quicktime or Premier supported format. Experiment uploading movies to YouTube (You tube support Real Media files), and look into setting up an OurMedia account.

Thanasi will also initiate Black Board shells for each of the courses, and develop quizes to support the videos.

I will keep in touch with Thanasi, and support him with help in this whenever he needs it. I have encouraged Thanasi to attend Networked Learning workshops, and he will try to make it when he can.

John Clayton from the Open Source Learning Object Repository (OSLOR) came down to Dunedin today to talk about the OSLOR project and hosting services.

I was quite impressed by the work John's team is doing, they are certainly innovative leaders in New Zealand working with LMS and learning object models for online learning and providing high quality internet services to small to medium learning organisations around New Zealand. The development work they are doing with Moodle, especially with the sharable learning object technologies, and the enhanced glossary index system, are significant developments, and the wider developments and add ons around Moodle going on around the world help to position as a superior local provider of online learning system hosting in New Zealand.

While they are still in what I would call older web 1 and elearning 1 modes of thinking about their services, this is not an issue unique to John's team. Web 1 and web 2, as the names imply present operational tensions, similar to that of open source v's proprietary, and will eventually be faced by all areas of education. John appeared to be aware of this at least and is exploring emerging trends in socially networked software and how they might be brought into their models of eLearning. I agreed with John when he went to great lengths to articulate the importance of a healthy and active community around the services they are developing, but I'm not sure that I agree with the way in which they are considering it. A healthy and active community around internet services is extremely important to the success of the product and service it supports, but what remains to be seen is whether or not New Zealand can sustain the type of online educational community that is needed. I tend to think that New Zealands online participation may be too small and educational culture too disfunctional at this point in time, and that tapping into existing and more global online communities would be best. As for the need to develop a local dialogue around educational development issues and resources in New Zealand, I don't think engagement with international learning communities necessarily excludes that - clearly many such online learning communities at the moment are North American or Australian centric, but they are open communities and could be reshaped or balanced with facilitated NZ involvement. The main objective is to develop and sustain an online learning community in New Zealand, and I have my doubts that a locally focused and seemingly closed one at that will achieve what it sets out to do, or what it might gain from being internationally engaged. But this is part of the tension between web 1 or elearning 1 and elearning 2 models.

But that is really a big picture issue that is not immediately important for John at the moment. What John's team has achieved to date, and looks to achieve in the mid term is of importance in my view, and presents a middle road model that works now. John's use of Open Source technologies to develop and provide opportunity for commercial services is a success story. When I questioned John about OSLOR and's progressive economic model around open source services, seemingly reinforcing older industrial economic models for education - John agreed with the observation and explained that they are attempting to be a middle range player for transitioning organisations into more open source models. If this is the goal of John's team then I think they should succeed. The challenge of integrating new modes loosely terms web 2 is still to come in New Zealand, and if their is a team in New Zealand that is positioning itself to handle those challenges, looks to be it.

Learning Centre


Met with Helen Lindsay from The Learning Centre this morning, to talk about ways to support her work with an online presence. Helen explained briefly what the Learning Centre aims to do, quoting from their website:

The Learning Centre offers a free learning support service to all students enrolled at Otago Polytechnic. One-to-one appointments, workshops and facilitated study groups are available in the following areas:
  • General study skills for your course
  • Test and exam preparation
  • Essays and assignments
  • Maths and Science
  • English grammar and literacy development

Helen explained her initial ideas in using Black Board to deliver supporting materials for these services. And then explained her objectives in doing this:
  1. Making support resources for students available for finding and reusing across subject areas.
  2. Building collaborative relations amongst staff to provide and co develop resources to support introductory levels in their fields
In consideration of these objectives I proposed that Helen consider developing up the Learning Centre website more, and look for digital resources where she has rights for copy, and make them available on that website. To compliment this, the Black Board communication features could be used to offer private communication and assessment to support learning with those resource if need be, as well as for the distribution of further resources where copyrights are unclear or restrictive.

I hope that by expanding the function and resources on the Learning Centre's website, we may improve access to their resources and chances for collaboration with both internal and external projects.

Helen stated that she understood some but by no means all of what I was talking about. I cannot be certain if my suggestions are what Helen was originally looking for. I left the meeting with the impression that she would:

  1. Consider what I proposed and investigate the possibilities of expanding the Learning Centre's website.
  2. Gather up resources from within the Polytech and clarify copy rights
  3. Arrange her Black Board shell to more closely reflect the LC's services (menu bar listing subject support areas, and improving the welcome announcement).
  4. Attend Networked Learning workshops for eGroups, Finding and Reusing Digital Resources, Tagging and Open Office.

We will meet again in 3 weeks time to check up on the progress of this, and revisit the proposal. In the meantime I have advised Helen that I am available to contact should she have any questions or need help in any way, as well as through the workshops.

International Tourism


Met with Hillary Jenkins from Tourism today and we had a good talk about a City and Guilds course she runs in International Tourism at a Diploma and Advanced Diploma level.

Hillary wants to offer the course more flexibly so as to engage more students especially those who are already in the workplace. We discussed ideas of Recognition of Prior Learning processing people already in the workplace and then offering gap training at a discounted rate. We discussed Open Courseware business models as a way to market the course and capture potential students both locally and internationally. We discussed learner generated content as a model for updating and sustaining resources in the course.

Hillary seemed quite inspired by the ideas and will take them to a management meeting for pre approval. Upon approval we will commence reviewing current content in the course and work towards updating and opening up relevant content. Hillary will get her colleagues along to a Networked Learning workshop, and enquire about the RPL process as it may be used in this Open Courseware, learner generated, recognition of prior learning model for the International tourism course.

RSS Calendar


Am trialing out the RSS Calendar as a free web based calendar that offers an RSS feed so I can display events in other websites and accept comments and RSVPs on each event.

To join an event choose one from the calendar list below, open the link and click RSVP, fill out your details and it will be stored for me to check later.

See the workshop schedule for more information on these events and workshops

Links feeding in


Am using to bookmark links and resources that are relavent to each Department. provides script for displaying these links as here, while I bookmark them in my account. I have set the links here to display everyone's bookmarks that are tagged tekotago[insert department name here without square bracketts].

Also, if you'd like to see where I'm coming from in my thinking, what I'm reading and where I am finding all this stuff - see my references.


Networked learning workshops


Dates, times and room numbers have been confirmed for networked learning workshops. Ways to promote these remain unresolved. I did attempt to draw ALL EDC programmes into one list to use on the website and in other places. I have proposed a wiki is the better place and method to compile such a list for version control and to collaborate and maintain currency, but this proposal requires further consideration.

In the meantime the networked learning workshops begin in April, to coincide with the due date for staff individual development plans. I had hoped to get an EDC list out to staff to assist in the preparation of their IDPs, but now I am doing the best I can to get the networked learning list out.

Workshops in Networked Learning, as part of the EDC programme 2006 (starting April)

Leigh Blackall – Programme Developer for Educational Development at Otago Polytechnic


Hi, my name's Leigh Blackall and I'm a new guy around here. I've done my fire warden training, and have orientated myself around the Dunedin Campuses. I've had initial meetings with Departments who are interested in developing flexible options for their programmes and now I'm ready for a bit of teaching work to compliment that. so I've hit the ground running by offering this informal programme in networked learning.

Here are a range of workshops to help staff and students develop fluency in new information and communications technologies that are proving quite useful in the education sector generally. I have been using these technologies in my own teaching back home in Australia for the past 2 years.

We'll be starting the first day in April, with one running every day of the first 2 weeks of each month. If you were keen you could book yourself in for every lunch time slot in the first 2 weeks, or you could take it slow and come when you can throughout the year, either to the before lunch slot or during lunch or both, whatever suites you.

Hope to see as many faces as we can get there, and I look forward to meeting you.

One of the oldest group communication devices on the Internet, email groups can still be the simplest and most effective tool for enhancing programmes with online participation. In this workshop you will learn how to find and join established eGroup learning communities, and create and manage your own.
Date: 1st Monday of every month, 11am - 12noon
Time: 11am – 12noon then 12noon – 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523 (H201 - April 3 only)
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through


From travel diaries to teaching and learning journals, there are over 60 million blogs in the world today, a number that continues to rise every day. In this workshop, learn what they’re all about and discuss how they are already being used in training and education.
Date: 1st Tuesday of every month
Time: 11am - 12 noon and 12noon – 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523 (H201 - April 4 only)
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through


Online collaborative authoring through a wiki can be a remarkable way to develop research and community engagement around subjects. From (the free encyclopaedia) to small project specific wikis, this workshop will consider ways wikis can be used in training and education.
Date: 1st Wednesday of every month
Time: 11am - 12 noon and 12noon – 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523 (H201 - April 5 only)
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through

Web feeds

From simple web feeds to podcasting and videocasting, RSS is a powerful way to obtain and distribute digital media online. In this workshop we will look at how easy it is to use RSS in programmes, and how beneficial it can be to teaching and learning.
Participants who have attended the Blogs and Tagging workshops will be at an advantage in this workshop.
Date: 1st Thursday of every month
Time: 11am - 12 noon and 12noon – 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523 (H201 - April 6 only)
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer.
Contact: Leigh through


You've seen all those students wondering around with iPods, mobile phones and other MP3 type players right? This workshop will help you get your audio recordings onto those devices in a remarkably easy way.
Participants who have attended Blogs, Digital Audio Recording and Editing and Web Feeds workshops will be at an advantage here.
Date: 1st Friday of every month
Time: 11am - 12 noon and 12noon - 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523 (H201 - April 7 only)
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through

Finding and reusing digital resources

The Internet is a deep space with plenty of fertile planets of free and open teaching and learning resources to find (and even more dead rock and sordid crud to dodge along the way). In this workshop we will look at ways of finding free and open resources, and the legalities and practicalities of reusing them.
Participants who have attended the Tagging and Web Feeds workshop will be at an advantage here.
Date: 2nd Monday of every month
Time: 11am - 12noon and 12noon - 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer.
Contact: Leigh through


With so much available online, how on Earth do we find and manage what is useful? Tagging and folksonomies is one way. Folks what? Come along to this fun session take control of the Internet and make it work for you. Librarians especially encouraged to come.
Date: 2nd Tuesday of every month
Time: 11am - 12 noon and 12noon - 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through

Networked Learning

Bringing it all together into a model for flexible learning. Participants who have attended Blogs, Wikis, Web Feeds, and Tagging workshops will be at an advantage here. Please note, this session is majority conversational. Participants are invited to bring their own WiFi laptop for these sessions.
Date: 2nd Tuesday of every month
Time: 12 - 1 pm
Room: H206A/H206B (H311 on April 11 and June 13)
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through

Digital video recording and editing

There's no doubt that video can be an excellent way to communicate more complicated things to learners. In this workshop we'll use a range of recording devices and free and simple software to record and edit our own videos. You'll be surprised at how easy it can be. Participants are urged to bring along any digital image recording devise they may already own, as well as the cables it came with to plug into a computer.
Those who have attended Dale Parson's Camtasia workshop will be at an advantage here.
Date: 2nd Wednesday of every month
Time: 11am - 12noon and 12noon - 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through


V what!? Take your digital video, add it into your blog and podcast it!
Participants who have attended Blogs, Podcasting and Digital Video Recording and Editing workshops will be at an advantage here.
Date: 2nd Thursday of every month
Time: 11 - 12noon and 12noon - 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer.
Contact: Leigh through

Open Office

A free alternative to Microsoft Office, Open Office can not only be a great way for students to obtain affordable (free!) office software, but also a remarkably easy way for you to create PDFs and Flash movies!
Date: 2nd Friday of every month
Time: 11 - 12 noon and 12noon - 1pm (come when you can)
Room: H523
Presenter: Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer
Contact: Leigh through

TBA or apon request for 5 or more people

– Voice Over Internet Protocol, on online telephone calls for the rest of us. VOIP is a good way to make free long distant telephone calls, and even tele/video conferencing! In this workshop we’ll look at some of the VOIP options (Skype, Gizmo and Gtalk). Leigh through

Digital images online
– Upload and distribute photos for free, use various features to create web resources. Find free and easy to use image based resources. Participants who have attended Brian Treanor’s Digital Images workshop will be at an advantage here. 2 hours. Leigh through

Digital image editing
- So you've taken a photo and have successfully transfered it to your computer. Now you need to edit it such as cropping, black and white and compress it for use online. In this workshop we'll use Google's Picasa and the free and open source alternative to Photoshop - GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program). Participants who have attended Brian Treanor's Digital Images workshop will be at an advantage here. 2 hours. Leigh through

– Basic uses of Flash animation to create digital learning resources. Participants who have attended Leigh Blackall's Digital Video Recording and Editing, Dale Bennett's Camtasia, and Brian Treanor's Digital Images workshop will be at an advantage here. 2 x 3 hours. Leigh through

Creative Commons, copyright and open courseware
- With the vast numbers of high quality teaching and learning resources being made freely available by so many people and other educational institutions, what does content ownership and intellectual property mean now? Is there any advantage to restrictinig access to our content? Is open content and open courseware a better business and educational model? 1 hour presentation and discussion. Leigh through

We've been having the odd talk, and our first meeting about an open space conference inviting influencial thinkers on the topic of the future of learning in a networked world. I have made initial contact with a list of people to check their availability from September 18 - 28. Below is a list of people who could be available. Added to this are a number of people coming to Dunedin for the annual TALO swap meet, and when this list is made known to members of that group, we should expect more key people from Australia will attend.

So from our first meeting we resolved that I would draft up a blurb for the concept (see below) and from that (if we are agreeable to that blurb) we would start chasing funding...

Here's the blurb as is being developed at the tekotago wiki. To obtain a password for that wiki, please contact me on leighblackallATgmailDOTcom

An open space conference on the future of learning in a networked world

Hey! let me drop some names on you...

Stephen Downes - Canada
Will Richardson - USA
Brian Lamb - USA
David Wiley - USA
Konrad Glokowski - Canada
Teemu Leinonen - Finland
Barbara Dieu - Brazil
Josephine Fraser - UK
JD Lasica - USA
Leigh Blackall Australia/New Zealand
Derek Wenmoth - New Zealand

We are working on bringing these people to New Zealand on September 18 to discuss the future of learning in a networked world. They have already helped to sustain a significant online discourse on the subject, now by bringing some of them face to face for the first time, we hope to give a boost to that exchange and record and capture the discussion for distribution to audiences in New Zealand and everywhere.

As a group these significant thinkers and developers will tour participating educational organisations in the South Island of New Zealand from September 18 - 28, making their way North to Wellington for eFest - September 27. The tour will be thoroughly documented online so as to demonstrate ideas and theories and to ensure online participants can remain as engaged as possible during and beyond the tour.

If you are familiar with some of the names on our list, we are confident you know how significant this tour will be. Join your organisation to the tour by sponsoring one of the following:

Flights, travel, accomodation and per diems ~ $4000 per person.
Need NZ$20 000 minimum, currently have NZ$4000...

Working on a Grad Cert in Tertiary Teaching and Learning


So we're having a meeting this afternoon about the pretty impressive programme being developed here called graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning and Teaching or GCTLT for short, or "tender loving teaching" for fun.

I have presented notes on a student generated content model. After talking broadly about what form that model might take, we then started talking about the course as it might look in the learning management system. Unfortunately we found it very difficult to get to any tangible to do list, or concrete concepts as far as the online support for the course goes. We did talk about ideas and issues generally though, attempting to grasp what the menu in the course might look like, and how we might use the common features like forums. I think we resolved that it would be useful to take hold of a few shells in the LMS and build the courses as we each see them, then discuss what we are attempting to achieve as a group. Having this very hands on approach will help us conceptualise the course as it is presented in the LMS more clearly.

Some quick notes on initial thoughts and ideas:

  • There will be an over all learning guide. Then smaller learning guides for each of the courses.
  • There will also be an over all general announcements forum, then separate forums for each subject.
  • Each subject will be self contained as a course on the LMS, in as much as links and resources, contact information, and forums will be listed in the main menu of each subject and not be contained in a space separate from the subject.
  • We will trial the use of collaborative social bookmarking for recent and current resource management.
  • We will plug in EDC workshops to support extra curricular learning (such as development of digital literacies) for this course.
  • Teachers will be called facilitators.
  • We will attempt team facilitation. Each facilitator will plan, monitor and evaluate their work with this course, (such as the individual development of LMS contained subjects) and feed back into the GCTLT team over all for group discussion and feedback. We are considering the benefits of facilitators journaling their efforts, thereby enhancing their team facilitation with online communications. A kind of peer review process using tools such as blogging for formative reporting, and then extracting exerts from those blogs for a summative report.

We have a tight time frame to find an agreed approach to the online components to the GCTLT, but it may appear that we have until May at a stretch. However dates for any face to face introductions between learners and facilitators will need to be arranged by the end of this week. In my opinion we should ask each facilitator to take ownership of their subject and develop an LMS interface as soon as possible, so that we can come together around that initial work and assist each other with further ideas and development.

Fire warden training


Finished my fire warden training.

Here's a flickr slide show.
Click view as slide show, and then click an image when it appears to reveal the text explaining the pictures.

Here's the video loaded to YouTube in short individual chunks. Below them is another service I've used to edit them web based!

Here is the web based edited version.

Mechanical Engineering


I just had a meeting with John Findlay over at Engineering. He is wanting to turn his night classes for Mechanical Engineering trades apprentices into a workplace flexible learning options. At the moment students come into the night classes and use the time to ask questions of the lecturer and talk as a group about the different theoretical components of what they do. The night classes are a mixed group of 1st through to 3rd year students.

John sees value in this "ad-hoc" approach to learning in the night classes, and backs those classes up with text books as a guide to making sure a minimum number of topics are covered. He finds that with the ad-hoc approach, sometimes learning goes beyond these texts. John therefore values the flexibility of topics covered in class, and would like to see this carried over if possible into the flexible learning option.

John is hoping to offer a flexible learning option by the beginning of second semester this year, so I asked him what he had considered doing to get started. He showed me one of the text books used to support the night classes as is, and thought he'd like to develop demonstration videos and other electronic resources for CD to compliment the books. He also mentioned the modern apprentice service offered by his Department, where a staff member goes out to the student's workplace and supports learning in the workplace. He said he'd like to expand this role for other staff members to take on, and offer it to more of the students in the flexible learning option.

I made the following suggestions:
  1. Survey the student's use and value of digital media devices, such as computers, Internet, mobile phones and other devices, to gauge digital literacies, access at home and in the workplace, and general perceptions to technology in a learning context. From that we may detect things we that we might be assuming with this students group, and get an idea of what approach to take with regard to technology and digital resources used for self directed learning.
  2. Invite a guest speaker from another institute who has, or is attempting similar things. Preferably someone who has succeeded with innovative uses of tachnology in a similar trade based training setting. Having a guest speaker will help to inspire teaching staff, and generate discussion where everyone is informed and "on the same page" rather than John visiting somewhere and bringing info back. The value of this was recently demonstrated in Design this week, with the visit of RMIT lecturer Dr Vaughan.
  3. Rather than going straight into developing digital resources to compliment the text book - which can be a costly and frustrating exercise, I suggested that we do an in depth and sustained survey of available open courseware, sighting MIT's Open Courseware resources, and mentioning that there are quite a few others. I have started generating web feeds of new links and resources as they are made available for each of the Polytech Departments to subscribe to. EDC workshops offered from April aim to pass the skills and knowledge for the maintenance of these web feeds over to interested Departments.
  4. Learner generate content models for sustainable resource development and sharing were also discussed, with John seeing quite a bit of value in the approach for his flexible learning classes. Students would be assigned learning activities, given a small number of varied resources to assist them in starting the learning activity, then asked to produce a learning resource for the activity to support someone else's learning in the activity. This resource would be used for assessment of learning for the activity. Students would be encouraged to develop resources in variety of media, such as an MP3 recording interviewing professionals in the sector, or a Pxt message capturing a sequence of tasks towards the fabrication of a product, or a journal entry of a workplace situation, etc. Digital literacy support for the creation of such media would need to be offered.
  5. Terry Marler and myself have quite a bit of experience in generating, facilitating, and maintaining strong online learning communities. I suggested to John that he consider developing an online practitioners network for his teachers to engage globally with other teachers exploring similar innovations in teaching and learning. Simile, that the teachers generate and maintain online networks for the students, offering them an opportunity to communicate online and support each other's learning now and beyond their engagement in the topics. Basically, enhancing the face to face opportunities to learn in a social setting, by offering the opportunity to continue that social aspect of learning online - through eGroups, forums and/or mobile phone networks.

What to do in the next 2 weeks.
  • I will ask Emma Bennett for her services to develop a survey of the students.
  • I will focus on building an open courseware links and resources web feed specifically for Mechanical Engineering subject areas - with a view that John's staff will attend EDC workshops to learn how to maintain such a feed for themselves in the future.
  • I will investigate other potential resource areas (such as Toolboxes) and see what restrictions exist on their reuse.
  • I will contact my networks and find an innovative teacher in Mechanical Engineering (or similar trade based training) to visit the Poly Tech and speak with the Mech Eng Department. John will explore options for his Department funding such a visit - I will explore PolyTech funding.

EDC Swap Meet 0001


We had our first swap meet today. A small turn out on account of leave and others being too busy, but it was a good opportunity to touch base with each other and for Leigh to introduce some of his work.
We talked about:
  • Issues with using open wikis to develop documents in EDC and teaching resources generally.
  • An extended but altogether brief look at Open Networked Learning and the nature of Leigh's past work.
  • This spilled over to a conversation about the need to have a focused discussion about issues that affect policy and direction of the Polytech. Maxine suggested a retreat. Leigh mentioned the September conference on Open Networked Learning being planned.
  • The need to get the EDC programmes published as soon as possible to compliment the Individual Development Plans due end of March.
The next swap meet is on 2 May at 12 noon at the Brie Cafe in Tennyson St.

Dr Laurene Vaughan speaks about her online design courses at RMIT


Dr Laurene Vaughan gave a talk in the design building tonight about her work at RMIT developing online post grad courses in fashion design (no direct link available).

Laurene spent some time describing the types of students that enroll in her post grad courses, mostly people employed in the design industry or running their own design business. She therefore explained that there is a need for workplace education to offer such students a maximum amount of flexibility in their study.

Laurene spent about an hour talking about the various structures of the course, showing us examples and flagging issues along the way. But it wasn't until the end, when she started mentioning blogging, wikis, and other social network software that the attendees started to respond.

I was pleased to see quite a deal of interest in the design staff towards blogging and other forms of collaborative communication devices, and the potential for the reflective/process journal learning method, enhanced by Internet communications technologies.

After a short tea break we returned to discuss these things a little more, and I took the opportunity to pass around a print out of up and coming EDC workshops offering training in a wide range of social networking software like blogs.

Planning local course withing GCTLT - Designing for Flexible Practice


Bronwyn and I had a pretty good meeting today about the approach we might take for the designing for flexible practice component of the new Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Learning and Teaching programme being developed by the EDC at the moment.

Basically our thoughts are around a learner generated content model, supported by an online learning community of practitioners, as well as regular workshops offered by EDC.

1. To learn through the production of content = constructionism
2. To learn through engagement with real and existing communities of practice = social constructivism

So a teacher today, or should I say facilitator is someone who focuses on building and maintaining a strong learning network around their topic, and assigning learners to create content based on what their learning, to feed back into that network.
The picture is one of a few grabed from the white board notes we brainstormed around. I've expanded on these pictures a bit with notes in the comments of each picture in the Flickr presentation.

Merrolee Penman on Flexible Learning


Bronwyn Hegarty on flexible learning


Leigh Blackall on flexible learning


Random photos loading in from flickr


Here's a bunch of photos I've taken around the place. I load pictures to my flickr account, and flickr gives me some code to display random pictures here in my blog.

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from leighblackall tagged with tekotago. Make your own badge here.

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