Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bad Management


Government wants workgroups to save money and cut excess staff.

Workgroup sees it as a good opportunity to cut under performing staff and submit model of a process to be followed

Human Resources (HR) reject the workgroup process and implement one of their own.

Result: several better performing staff are culled from the workgroup leaving an inferior workgroup. Under performing staff are still employed!

Equals BAD management :(

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wouldn't it be nice....

Wouldn't it be nice if you worked for an organisation that:

  • Crowd-sourced ideas on how to implement change and find solutions to externally imposed imperatives
  • Used flat organisation wide communication tools like Yammer
  • Flattened the hierarchical nature of bureaucratic structures
  • Trusted the wisdom of colleagues and peers
  • Operated within a culture of trust
  • Openly shared content between and within the various arms of the organisation
  • Offered staff opportunities to expand business rather than just constantly asking them to cut costs
  • Had managers that showed educational leadership and modelled the use of elearning and social media tools
  • Respected and supported individuals who choose to use their own preferred technologies to conduct their business
  • Acknowledged that it is no longer a world where one size fits all
  • Encouraged shared decision making at all levels of the organisation
  • Had employees that spoke up honestly and respectfully about ideas imposed from the top which they know will not work
  • Had teachers who stood up for what they know to be sound teaching practice, and refused to do things that interfere with their ability to be good teachers
  • Encouraged teaching rather than training and focused on producing good citizens of society rather than workers in an economy.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Unedited Notes from !DEA11 Conference (Melbourne)

KEYNOTE PANEL (30/11/11) – Challenges and Ops in ICT in Ed

Tony Cook (DEEWR)

Matt Farmer (DEECD – Vic)

Challenges – there are none ;) technolgies can do everything

reaching the end of the age of predicatability
by the time we implement our plan it won't be needed anymore (we take too long!)
language: we need to be in conversations, not lectures; a test for tech: how will this X tech to have a better conversation?

Greg Whitby

look after the present and the future will take care of itself
only one skill matters: learning and re-learning
to change a culture you have to stand in it (the tech culture)

mobility (bring down the walls); integrate
“teachers teach”
we need professional learning networks
desperate need for good OL teachers; “teachers as pedagogical designers”
even the poor have mobiles; personalised learning will kill the dig divide

Learning Futures

3 anchors:

1)diversity – there is no one size fits all
2)learning/teaching (student/teacher/content - Elmore)

“mutate or get out of the way”

copyright, ownership etc is playing catch up in a world that has moved on
write up strategic plans at the end of the year!!!!!!; 5 yr plans are gone forever

Learning Futures – Seizing the Moment

Anne Mirtschin (Hawkesdale P12 College, Vic)

great Net activities with kids in rural school; links kids worldwide, brings in experts eg NY author on story writing

Mike Seyfang

seize the day has become seize the moment; be agile;
#qantasluxury – what to learn?
What do we do from an institutional perspective?

Howard Errey

smart phones, ipads > cloud (circumvents IT/helpdesk)
provide structured support for those moving into the 'new world'

“mutate”! (Whitby)

Why are we so obsessed about changing people who aren't interested????
libraries shd be into collecting info not just 'giving it out'.......

Larry Johnson (NMC)
check key trends section of H/Report eg perceived value of innovation and creativity is increasing ***
Challenges: personalised learning not supported by current practice; inertia of the status quo ('the system')

“the network will change us” “change us” “is us” (aka Wesch); the network has come to represent freedom; is everywhere

3G is replacing the Internet; 71% of world phones have HTML compliant browsers.
Biggest users of mobile are in Asia
for grandchildren (eg Luc and Marcus) the Internet is air.
Make kids' jaws drop ;) ie magic! - “that's all that matters”; (what about Mike Wesch's view about the environment

Susi Steigler – Peters (Gen Manager), Telstra

'change wedges' – seems like a clumsy phrase – 'fries with that wedge'? (or salad?)
learners love to personalise, collaborate, innovate (based on Telstra 'research')
suggests personalised learning pathways – sure, but can you do this for everyone???
Telstra can help broker a “New Education Architecture”

Cost!=s Larry J $100/day just to do his work!!!!!!

!DEA! - allocate a problem for each table!!!!; a la 35 Things - this would work better...(too much one way talk)


Rob Abel – IMS (interoperability made simple)

“If you don't make IT happen IT will happen to you.”

Yes Rob but - the tools outside the school are often better than the tools the school offers

ebooks are their own special category

Larry Fruth – School Interoperability Framework (SIF)

technology is always ahead of policy

Sean Casey – NBN: Broadband Driven Education

will take 9.5 yrs to roll out over the whole country
move from Physical > Digital
post > email
DVD > download
music > iTunes

Science 360 (app)
Google Art Project

school used to be centre of a child's social scene; often no more the case
NBN could enable 3D walk-through of a heart
online ed is a business
NBN obviously has great relevance for flexible learning – anytime/anywhere becomes more possible and better quality


Darrall Thompson (UTS)

Anne Murchison does agreat job of 'front end' teaching, but got nervous about how she assessess...

Q: What do our assessment processes say about what we value?

Assessment has moved from content > capacity building; addresses a broader range of graduate attributes; ie away from marks > 'interpersonal operability'
ideally shd cross subject boundaries
UTS has developed assessment tool that teacher and student can use and compare; when students can see % (grade) they don't read comments!!
make criteria explicit

Owen O'Neill

many barriers are not technical
how to move people to 'high-stakes' assessment

Melanie Worrall

add 'intentionality' to your assessment processes (a la Nancy White)

Delia Browne

p2pu – peer to peer university
social, personal, dynamic, creative – domains of assessment
trying use of badges to verify/validate assessment/achievement
wd be interesting to design a course here WITH participants
are using funding from Hewlitt foundation

[put CC badge on bottom of every slide ***]
people are getting jobs after doing p2pu courses
they are happy for orgs to be involved


Martin Dean (Pearson)

students expect to be able to remix/repurpose – so what are Pearson to enable this treatment of content???

Delia Browne – Open Education Resources

30% of the planet are under 15; student uni numbers will peak in 2025; (we will need 4 new unis/wk for the next 15 years to cater for these numbers!!!!!)

[Creative Commons for Educators – guide[check];

Helen Lynch – User Generated Content

ugc = homework/assignments !!
Open resources sometimes get used in a manner that was not originally instended



site has diff points of entry depending on type of student, subject, type of school, etc; parents for example could check what their child is doing in yr 1



Phil Long (UQ)

learing is regulated by biology and ecology; learning = development
Amazon now sell more ebooks than print

“active learing spaces”
non-formal learning spaces are critical
redesign to make group work in large spaces
there's a need for theory building – we are not sure yet what works
how do shapes reflect what teacher believes? - some of which are outside!

Many design firms include anthropologists on design teams (cf Mike Wesch)
#learningspacedesign on Flickr (4000 images)

Lee Sansom (Blair Athol Birth to Yr 7 School)

“campfires in cyberspace” (Book by David Thornburg)
calling classrooms 'studios'/learning commons/piazza/watering hole/cave/mountain top
they are using the Khan Academy!!; call teachers 'learning advisers' (?)
contemplating smart tables; using Xbox ad Kinect for Phys Ed and Music
encouraging literacy with multiple devices
Studywiz is their LMS
think about the Qantas Lounge model.....
[check Apples iweb] [maybe see if she would like to do an interview for SIT?]
what about exploiting outdoor learningspaces via landscaping etc?

Pauline Farrell (Box Hill)

StudentWeb (designed by students) – includes Moodle (customised), epfs (Mahara), t/tables, results, how to connect with each other – integration and simplification were critical – nothing too fancy; worked from student wishlist

228 training sessions in 3 months – to give teachers 'love' while you stole their stuff and put it into a repository (Equella?)

StudentWeb allows tracking of learning analytics for each student!!
GPS Learing Pathways ????
refers to Learning Styles :( for each teaching area; shd be learning preferences
have 7000 students using epfs
test each student's digital literacy!!

Jo Dane (Woods Bagot Architects)

lecture theatres are 1600 yrs old!; at that time only the teacher had the knowledge!! so lecture theatres were approriate
'flipped classrooms' – lecture at home; activity in classrooms
other spaces could be capsules, booths, kiosk (scanning, uploading, recharging)

Justine Isard – MyLearning

before we start knocking down the walls....
21c learning spaces favour boys because 1) tend to preference active learning 2) include greater use of technology
if you don't consult about changes people feel disconnected from the changes and will resist it (as is happening with the intro of the Skills for All in TAFE SA at the moment!!; though people in charge of the implementation will argue that there has been consultation.)
advocates keeping the LRCs!!! - they are quiet communal spaces, and is where the info experts are

[check YT video on 'The Twitter Experiment']


it's hard to learn to see again
if you consider the mobile as the primary device there is no dig divide
students are cognitively diff to adults (??) rewired?
Can you make technologies do what you want, or are you a victim of it?
OECD countrries have tripled expenditure on ed but outcomes stagnant; reason – focus on 'book learning'?
Edu trends driven by crisis – do more with less, dig content revolution, employability readiness
schools are adjusting to needs of students (rather than the opposite)
creators to curators
personalised learning

next generation will need to leverage the cloud – ie share not hide

you learn best at the point/moment of failure!


Learning Futures: where to from here?

Each new ed tech makes similar claim – self paced, student centred, ete etc; but in essence it hasn't really changed
NBN – will that make the difference??
predicts that 5 yrs on funding will be outcome based
current students are time poor (eg working); they grab moments of learning eg 10 mins on mobile device; degrees taking much longer to be completed
student attendance at lectures decreases over the course of semester!

Stanford's MOOC model a little diff from MIT ie students can do exam [check further]

refers to data analytics [ compare with learning analytics]


Monday, November 07, 2011

Distance Students - Options for Self-Assessment


Phone blogging tools can be a useful way for students to post regular audio reflections. The one below uses Hipcast (a paid service).

Other free options for audio are ipadio, and Audioboo, which is used via a smartphone app.


Options for using video include:

iPhone or other smart phone as the camera:

POV Technology

Other Portable Video Recorders such as Flipcam:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Wonderful World of Flickr

Because I have suggested that an online facilitation group have a look at my blog I thought I'd better post something! So - just a couple of resources:

1) a video I created recently about how to find Creative Commons images using Flickr, and
2) an older more general resource about Teaching with Flickr.

Friday, July 22, 2011

ED-MEDIA (Lisbon); Moodle Moot (Sydney)

I’ve been a-wandering quite a bit later, and along the way there have been 2 conferences – the ED-MEDIA Conference in Lisbon, and the annual Australian Moodle Moot in Sydney. Having been in the elearning game for 14 years now it gets harder and harder to learn much from the average conference presentation. I go mostly for the keynotes. Two of the keynotes at ED-MEDIA were excellent.

George Siemens was there heading the research stream, and as ever, George presents new perspectives. It is the fourth time I have heard him speak now and he always has something new to say, unlike some keynote speakers who can present basically the same thing years apart.

George's presentation was aimed at researchers and how they might use the open web and social networking tools. He asked how do you get greater impact: publishing on YouTube a la Mike Wesch, or via the traditional means and publish in journals? He acknowledged that for younger academics still establishing their reputation and tenure, it might be unwise to go down the Mike Wesch route, but older established academics could follow the lead of people like Terry Anderson from Athabasca who will only publish in open journals.

He added that if you want to increase your profile then the information that shows up about a researcher on a general Google search is more important than the 'academic you' that is uncovered by a search on Google Scholar. He added that the profile that he himself now enjoys began by blogging

Another really engaging session was from Alan Law from the Open University UK. He replaced Denise Kirkpatrick who had double booked, but it actually wouldn’t have mattered who had done the presentation – it was more about the wonderful work the Open U does and it left me thinking how much I’d like to work for them. Such simple and engaging ideas. Eg entertaining animated cartoons on YouTube about lying that outlines the various philosophical standpoints one can take in relation to telling lies with a strategically placed ‘would you like to know more “ link close by that whizzes you off to the further info and enrolment pages for their philosophy courses. Smart.

There are no entry requirements for OU courses and still they manage to be among the top 5 unis in the UK for successful outcomes, and for research. Quite a remarkable success story.

Another initiative that really appealed to me was their iSpot program. Designed to get people interested and form communities of practice around local flora and fauna by photographing relevant subjects and posting to the iSpot site, it coincides with my new obsession for taking photographs and sharing them on Flickr. They are looking to expand the program beyond the UK, and perhaps beyond just flora and fauna, so I will be keeping an eye out for this in my neighbourhood.

Alec Couros was also on the keynote bill. I had heard Alec talk online before so I knew he’d be good, and he was. But I did find myself thinking that I knew several people who could do the job just as well but who don’t have the profile. And they’d be much cheaper. [Please see comments below for more on this.] I don’t think he made a convincing case to support his keynote title either – Why Networked Learning Matters. His summary slide seemed to consist mainly of loaded statements that are easily contested. Eg networked learning promotes ‘open access’ and have ‘high impact’. Whether I agree or not is not the point – offering open access as a reason for networked learning just describes it; it doesn’t explain why it is a ‘good thing’ or why it matters. Someone could just easily read that open access is connected to networked learning and conclude that it is not what they or their students want. “High impact”? On whom? Or what?

Another example – courses become ‘shared, non-local, learning events.” Again, this is a description, not an argument for why it matters.

Another person I saw present was Bert Kimura. I worked with Bert a few times in the early days of the TCC online conferences out of Hawaii, of which Bert is the pioneer, so it was good to share the same physical space with him.

Bert and team were reporting on a project that looked at Cross-Cultural Collaboration using video and social networking. Interesting to hear about, but like so many presentations from Higher Ed folks that report on research it was based on a very small number of participants that doesn’t allow anyone to make any valid conclusions about its usefulness for bigger numbers of students.


In contrast the keynote speakers at this year’s Moodle Moot were disappointing for me. For Mary Cooch (the keynote on day 1) however, the Twitter stream apparently was in general very appreciative. Somewhere between 70 and 90% of delegates were attending their first Moodle Moot (this was the third) and it could be that a great majority of those first time attenders are reasonably new to elearning. For them Mary’s address may well have been right on the mark.

It’s interesting after a conference to simply see what you remember what was of value without referring to any written notes. In this case just 2 things stand out:

1) Mark Drechsler from NetSpot’s excellent session on the new approach to files in Moodle 2.0 (No longer any central file manager; files will need to be stored in a Content Management System [CMS] like Equella, or Alfresco [OS], or elsewhere in the cloud.

2) The fact that several organisations have installed Big Blue Button on local servers and are supporting it to become the Open Source alternative to dear departed Elluminate which has been sadly bought by Blackboard. (I thought the moment that Elluminate went t o the dark side that one of the positive outcomes from this would be that an OS product would grab the chance and seize the mass market deserting Elluminate. It would be nice to see a mature OS virtual classroom product integrate with Moodle. It will happen. It’s just a matter of time. And it could well be Big Blue Button.)

There was much more but that's all I have time for right now :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Final Week of Facilitation Course

Well here we are at the final week already! It’s been a valuable experience for me so far, and I get the impression that it’s also been valuable for many of you. You’ll get the chance later in the week to share your opinions about the course via an evaluation.

Hopefully this week’s activity will round the course off neatly.


The main focus for this week will be the 5 hosted events:

  • Tuesday, 14/6 at 12.30 in Centra (Trisha D) The Garnaut Report
  • Tuesday, 14/6 at 8.00 pm in Centra (Rob Beckett) Reading and Interpreting Plans
  • Wednesday, 15/6 at 8.00 pm in Moodle Text Chat (Tania M) Fleas!
  • Thursday, 16/6 at 4.00 in Centra. (Shirley E) How to start a Conversation
  • Thursday, 16/6 at 8.00 pm in Centra (Peter D) Using the Break Out Tool in Centra

As I wrote before, please do your very best to attend as many of these events as you can. The more participants there are in an event, the more authentic the facilitation experience for event ‘hosts’.


Ideally two tasks from last week need to be summarised:

  1. The wiki discussion on the Critical Factors that influence your blended learning model needs to be condensed into an annotated list of dot points that we can take away as a resource.
  2. The excellent Facebook discussion needs to be summarised.

Any takers? No one is obliged to do this of course, but you might also like to consider this strategy with students to offer extra credit or bonus marks or some other incentive to take on leadership roles. It may be appropriate for some kinds of courses.


In the promo for this course it mentioned that you would get some awareness of the issues involved around facilitating blogs. So:

The Moodle Blogging Tool – universal opinion is that it’s a pretty dreadful excuse for a blog. It has two big problems:

  • Whatever you write in it can be seen by everyone on this Moodle (ie everyone across TAFE SA)
  • It has no comments feature – an essential component of a ‘proper’ blog.

Apparently the blogging tool in Moodle 2.0 will be infinitely better.

In the meantime if you’d like to try it just begin by selecting Add New Entry from the Blog Menu on the right hand site of our Moodle site.

Other Blogs

To get an idea of other blogs you might like to check my average effort at

There are thousands of educational blogs. Some I look at occasionally are:

The easiest place to set up a blog is Blogger ( , though many educational bloggers use

Why not have a go at setting one up? If you do be sure to let us know where we can find it.


Any spare time you have this week can be spent working on your portfolios. (Note: those who host events are not required to submit a portfolio, but are very welcome to if you’d like some feedback on what you’ve learned from the course.)

I won’t repeat everything I wrote in the Announcements forum last week – go there to read information about content and the format of your portfolio. (


As mentioned above, an evaluation tool will be available towards the end of the week.

Good luck to everyone hosting events this week. See you all in there!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blogging from Phone Using Blogger

Let's see. Text here and will try to attach image.

Leaving Penang Behind

Leaving Penang Behind by mikecogh
Leaving Penang Behind, a photo by mikecogh on Flickr.

Leaving Penang on Air Asia last week. Penang was wonderful - has the opportunity of presenting itself as an example of 'old Asia' that other cities have lost. Parts of it could be World Heritage listed.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Global Learn Conference (Melbourne, March 2011) - Notes


Keynote: Rick Bennett (College of Fine Arts, Uni of NSW; Omnium

College of Fine Arts have 30 online courses, incl complete Masters degree
Collaboration not always the solution: “Group work can hinder the creative process.” (Paul Rand)
Cautionary tale: spent a fortune developing software but couldn’t sell it due to the rise of the FOSS (free and open source) movement

Outreach Program:

brainstormed with students and via liaison overseas how to design materials for people in developing world to be more aware of diseases like malaria – children’s games, flash cards, stickers, football jumpers


• worked with students and women in Philippines to create an installation of embroidery panels for a wall at Manila Uni
• worked with student s and women who collect paper rubbish in Manila to create a paper flower display; display is now in Sydney Botanical garden.

(photos of these projects)

These projects came to fruition by using collaborative tools between students and people in other courses, and key people in developing countries

Note: all of this was achieved by creating an outside of organisation body (Onmium) and without asking permission of the university.
[Can you work with your class to do projects that benefit the local community?]


Shift from manual skills > critical thinking and collaborative practices in workplaces
Project examined the topics with the following broad headings:
Specific skills noted (and these sound very much like the Employability Skills); all linked to production, consumption, and distribution of information ie not physical products
Collaboration, problem solving, creative thinking, communication, networking (social) – learning through digital community (there was a reluctance to use the phrase social networking; critical thinking, adaptability, self-management, self-development, ‘systems thinking’

There has been an increase of abstract tasks in workplaces, and corresponding decrease of routine/manual tasks as much of that (eg manufacturing) has gone off shore

Project is working on metrics to measure these 21c skills eg Collaborative problem solving involves social and cognitive skills – and these can be broken down even further

Also working on how games can assist in developing and assessing collaborative skills


Told 4 interesting stories that had obvious conclusion: technology alone will not alleviate poverty; it is more a consequence of ritual hierarchy – this is what has to be addressed; not just technological access

Interesting case study (story) of how beauticians and Tiffin carriers in India were increasing work and income with the use of mobiles; AND how the lead boy in the famous ‘hole in the wall computer’ story is still living in poverty

YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE NET (Luciano Pangrazio, University of Melbourne)

Habitus: how an individual interlocks with elements of society, OR ‘learning the rules of the game’

Merspi - “ a social learning hubfor the VCE community to ask questions, answer them and learn – regardless of VCE subjects or schools” (Victoria)

Neopets 180 million users; aimed at kids and encourages them to spend real money

Identifies 3 kinds of young Net user:
1. The overawed consumer
2. Bricoleur (remixer; person who creates from multiple sources)
3. Deconstructionist – this is what we need to assist people to do: deconstruct the medium, know what and how operates on us, and reconstruct it. √√√

LIFE AT THE INTERFACE (Cathy Adams, Uni of Alberta)

Based on phenomenology
[Ref: Natural Born Cyborgs, Andy Clark

Metaxu: in between-ness (ie media); both divides and allows connection)
Diaphanous: see throughed-ness (transparent)

When one writes on a chalkboard the hand disappears


Very early stages of this research; someone should do equivalent research for VET


The approach taken here – moving people from anonymous feedback to real and f2f could be used to combat the f2f fear of expressing opinions identified by Turkle.


Stressed the acquisition of 21st c skills via social networking, but argued that books and other tools need to be used
A large part of what will make web 3.0 different will be 3D (with emphasis on co-creation)

Issue: should teachers be friends with students on Facebook? Can you assess a ‘friend’ on FB? IMO – yes. I used to have students write journals in pre-Ne days, and they were often v personal. Besides, FB ‘friends’ are not really friends – they are something else.


future's institute is about creating a preferred future based on openness, mobility, digital communities
based on the Tree of Life metaphor <=> Tree of Learning (includes technoshine over it all)

check the OTTER Project

rise of informal learning will threaten existing structures
some European unis have been in the same place doing the same thing for 1000 yrs (Cambridge, Oxford, Bologna)

"The aims of wide access, high quality and low cost are not achievable... with traditional models”

“the educated end up beautifully equipped for a world that does not exist” (Hoffer)

"When it comes to change there are those who make it happen, watch what is happening, and wonder what happened"

Gilly's Predictions for the next year or so (or actually her avatar, Genevieve):

• learner voice, partnerships
• 3d + real world
• renaissance for voice – v/boards, podcasts
• greening of learning


used open source software called Pulse to code communications within the Community to track who was talking to whom
examined interaction in what they called 'public' and 'group' spaces

majority of conversations were on
• professional learning, and
• resources
• teaching and learning

'average members' happier and communicated more in private spaces
categories of conversations – sharing opinions, mentoring, guided advice, negotiation of meaning
interesting thing to do but I wonder whether the results are worth the effort???


9 elements of authentic elearning (also book with Ron Oliver)

includes multiple roles/perspectives, reflection, articulation, coaching/scaffoldng

differences were more the result of the subjects studied rather than the country or culture

Western methods of processing knowledge are more text based than Eastern methods which rely more on knowledge visualisation


Central q: how did use of ipads enhance t and l?
Ipad apps being developed at a greater rate than iphone

Ed Apps

• Mental Note
• Audio Note: like Livescribe
• Kindle
• Penultimate: notes and email
• Pages: word processing + doc syncing

reaction of teaching staff is mixed

there are privacy and security issues – as it's w/less; cost and bandwidth



learning on the run, increase of individual agency <=> decrease of role of institution; it will be the future that we create


SN is driving creativity; young people have no patience – have to download/have it now; “video is the new text” (Prensky); Bonk: but we are reading more than ever (blogs, Twitter, Google Docs, etc); students have always used paralled systems (Gilly)


• New ways of mentoring/coaching? BUT...there are forces ranged against the new regime!!!! Students will opt for the alternative more flexible models, but this assumes that there will be alternatives!!! So...we need a Global Learn 'rebels conference' (Curt)

• do we 'work as a worm from the inside' to bring on change? Or do it as an 'other' or alternative operation?

• LMSs need to become more like Ning ie social networking tools

• (need to remember that much of the world has slow or unreliable Internet eg Indonesia)


Impact of increasing use of mobiles??

ipad is cheaper than the iphone!! Ipad is the cheapest tech Apple has produced – they are aware of the coming future cheap versions that will inevitably come from China

mobile (smart) phone is the tool that cuts across generations and cultures (Salmon)


70-80% of what we learn is informal (Jay Cross); therefore only 20% of learning takes place inside institutions

technology raises issues that have been around for 40 years!


USQ offer lectures as just one of the delivery options for students
technology is an added layer; it offers another choice – it doesn't replace anything
students are driving the change, so do we give them what they want?

Gilly; when students were asked/surveyed via trad means about what they wanted their needs matched up with what policy was saying; when conducted using technology then answers were quite different!

Addressing E-Assessment Practices (Vanessa Chang – Curtin)

(mostly a lit review)

mod learning setting – stds feel empowered when they can collaborate and do self-directed activities . assessment tasks need to be redesigned accordingly (need to foster reflective learning, experiential and socio-cognitive learning – includes games and story telling

ALICE is still alive!!

Assessment Models

• evidence centred
• domain analysis
• domain modelling
• Conceptual Assessment Framework (ALICE uses this) – inncludes another 6 models
• CSCL: computer supported collaborative learning
• wiki based CSCL

Intercultural Learning and SN (really just Facebook) (Jason Lee – Nanyang Uni, Singapore)

Digital Ethnography – examines status updates of 20 Malaysian students studying in the US
sycnh/asynch and private/public access – where does social media sit? (in the middle)
just examining status updates reveals a great deal of one students experience of the US
issue – privacy concerns about researching personal data


Models of Change Management that don’t work:
1. (e)tug trying to nudge the giant organisation in a new direction
2. Performance Improvement
3. BECTA Matrix (tool to get a snapshot of the use of technology within organisation
4. Strategic Gap Analysis (SWOT) – generate great data but too slow, bureaucratic and expensive
5. Teach the Teachers: “throw some tools at staff and hope that some will stick” ; can be called Immersion Therapy

What does work?

The No-Fuss Model
(8-12 weeks to get up and running)
1) Get your bearings – what is elearning? What type of elearning do need? What are we trying to achieve? What are the specific benefits?
2) Pick winners (a la GippsTAFE) ie courses that are more likely to work
3) Setting Up – what are the delivery options? What tools will we need? How long till we’re ready?

Note: Blanded Learning: putting notes online!
m-learning: as yet no discernible distinct pedagogy
Ref: Towards Maturity “to help you improve the impact of learning technologies at work”

What are the e-Advantages from a corporate point of view?
• Delivery to dispersed locations
• Reduction of costs
• Train more people in a shorter time
• Provides trail of evidence

Note: there is no reference to advantages for the learner!

What are the Knock Out Punches that will ensure success?
• Is there leadership and management support
• Do you have available materials?
• Are you able to get staff sufficiently skilled?

If the answer to any of these is NO then YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY

Factors that ensure that training staff in elearning skills works:
• Management support (scored 67% in survey)
• Motivation (45%)
• Break things down into projects – focus on courses, NOT people processes


Based on 39 teachers over 2 years in schools
Teachers were using web 2.0 to
• Create a Learning community
• For meaningful communication betw teachers and students

Successful activities had:
1. Had a class blog (not individual blogs – students lacked motivation to maintain or read; also v concerned about who reads their work –happy for teacher to read individual blog but that’s all)
Daily practice
2. The Community is the audience and the audience matters
Students DID NOT want class work joined on Facebook. Reason: FB is about pretence and image; class work on the other hand was real!
3. Clear behavioural guidelines; f2f etiquette > online space



• Photosynth -
• Hallmark Greeting Cards -

• Larngear -
• Kinect:

Monday, April 04, 2011

The WOW Factor

I was recently asked for my thoughts on the WOW factor in the field of educational technology and thought I'd record them here.... personal relationship with the WOW factor stems from a time several years ago when I came to believe that the WOW factor was very much underrated when attempting to engage people in educational technology. I was always hearing ' you can't let the technology' lead, and yet all my most exciting moments, and those I observed in others, where when that it is exactly what we did - we followed the technology FOR ITS OWN SAKE and discovered wonderful things! New avenues and new approaches to teaching would appear before us. The politically correct mantra of 'the pedagogy must determine what tools you use' does not take into account the magic of technology. Arthur Clarke once said, "Good technology is indistinguishable from magic, " and that's why its pull can be so powerful. Its WOW factor a source of wonder, joy and insight.

So for some years I have been urging people to ditch the politically correct mantra and let the technology, and its WOW factor lead. I have since learnt that my position can be described as technological determinism, and I have been enjoying descriptions of this and other philosophical positions on the role of technology in Personal Connections in the Digital Age by Nancy Baym. I am not sure of his exact position on this, but Philip Towndrow, an educational researcher in Singapore and a recent speaker at the Webheads Sunday sessions proclaimed "technology IS the context" within which educators in the developed world now work.

Now, for a more comprehensive treatment of related ideas go see Vance Steven's blog post from March 10th.

Friday, March 04, 2011

On the Way to Tom Ward


Talk about bringing classical guitar to life. From the opening seconds Tom Ward launches himself on his beautiful battered guitar with energy, flourish, and gusto. A young man with a cheeky smile transforms into a deeply musical soul that skips effortlessly across centuries and cultures to bring us music from Spain, Italy, Russia and Japan, with some original interpretations thrown into an entertaining and eclectic mix. At times this is achingly beautiful music, and Tom plays it with his whole body – his head jerking back to add emphasis, sometimes almost resting on the curve of the guitar in slower parts, his graceful left hand stretching across frets and caressing the neck. And yet, amongst all of this artistry, he conveys a sense of fun and daring. “Pure gold” indeed. And were they holes in his guitar where a scratch plate would normally be??
Final Word: Superb

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mother, Wife and Complicated Life

Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life is a wonderful production playing at the Star Theatre as part of the Adelaide Fringe. My review:

Two highlights of many in this wonderful show stand out – writer/composer Amity Dry shows a wisdom way beyond her years, and how natural it felt as a musical. No awkward moments in this production. The way the four women cast sing, relate and interact with each other in word and song just seems totally appropriate. The songs are great, there are lots of laughs, and the balance between poignant moments of love and despair, joy and frustration strikes just the right tone that mirrors ‘complicated life’. The connection between the cast and live musicians is palpable. There is so much to like about this show. Sentimental yes, but it doesn’t hide the fact that reality often bites. It is a female perspective on love, birth, kids and relationships but men – listen and learn! Highly recommended.


A song of mine on YouTube that attempts to cover the same territory about the duality of life.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Audreys at the Adelaide Fringe (13/2/11)

The Audreys – Sometimes the Stars @ Garden of Unearthly Delights - Spiegeltent

Sometimes the Stars is the title of their most recent CD, and features the two original Audreys, Taasha Coates and Tristan Goodall. Tristan spent most of the set on guitars playing delicious catchy licks while Taasha embellished the songs with a golden, pure voice. She also occasionally added a continental feel with the melodica (related to the accordion). They’ve won ARIA awards in the blues and roots categories, but for me (and I know what these labels mean can change over time) their lovely songs range freely over folk, pop, country, rock and jazz, with a strong emphasis on melody. About 45 minutes in I started to let the powerful emotional content of these songs wash over me and it felt good. Taasha sings from the soul, the songs are mostly gems, and there is a delightful chemistry between the two. Just wonderful.

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Impact of Context

I write here with gay abandon. I do correct spelling and try and make sure it reads clearly but as to the tone and the opinions being expressed I really don’t care. I shoot from the hip.

I just tried to compose a blog post for a new blog we’re starting at work and within seconds found myself struggling with questions like what the correct tone should be, what kind of impression will this create, will I be harming the reputation of my work team or the wider organisation? Is it OK if I express my own opinions, do these opinions represent those of the work team.....and a whole host of other concerns.

I had been quite keen on this idea of starting an elearning blog for our organisation but I’m now not so sure. Having to worry about these kinds of questions is a real downer. It gets in the way of almost every phrase – it this too informal? Is it creating an impression that is too casual? Etc etc. One could get quite neurotic about it. I guess it’s a separate skill – being able to understand the wider context and write in accordance with that brief. But right at this minute it feels quite limiting and I’d rather just write this instead!

(Creative Commons image courtesy of dibytes)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Recent Changes Camp, Canberra

Hosted by the University of Canberra January 28th – 30th

Facilitator: Mark Dilley

Who else was there?

Why I wanted to be there? (video)

Wikis can be seen as a manifestation of the unconference or open space approach – people gather, craft an agenda together, and engage in the process of collective dialogue. Experts may be present, but they do not deliver sessions. Their contributions become part of the collective input in an organic process of knowledge creation.

WIKICULTURE - elements

  • 90% of edits done by 10% of the people
  • wikis are the province of volunteers – people come and go; no reward or recognition
  • assumes good faith: people will add content of value and respect individual edits/editors
  • people need permission to act – this creates a participative culture
  • wikipedia started in 2001; the first known wiki was created in 1985
  • the content people v culture people: the content people don't care about the development of community; if there is meaningful community there'll be better content surely?

Should wikis be neutral? Ie descriptive only?

Wikis are more about process, not product; yet product is what we mostly concentrate on.

I hadn’t realised just how many large scale wikis there are. To name a few:
WIKIA (topic specific), WIKIPEDIA, WIKIBOOK, WIKIEDUCATOR, WIKIVERSITY, WIKIHOW, WIKISOURCE, WIKITRAVEL, APPROPEDIA (sustainability and international development) just to name a few.

Though this session was about facilitating wikis, these strategies are applicable to most online facilitation contexts.

  • awareness of emotional content
  • read between the lines of online text
  • don't just trust your own judgement - check or test your assumptions
  • assume good faith
  • identify when people get labelled and are therefore excluded from the system (this just escalates conflict)
  • acknowledge people who want to belong to the system
  • respect everyone
  • be comfortable with conflict
  • listen to all sides of the question
  • own your own reactions
  • develop trust
A really enjoyable and enlightening few days. As essentially an end user of large scale wikis, principally Wikipedia, I had not stopped to consider the huge and complex issues that need to be addressed by mostly volunteers working for nothing behind the scenes on wikis because they simply care about them. In this light it is extraordinary that large scale wikis like Wikipedia ever happened, let alone continue to work and grow. I tip my hat to them.


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