21 November 2006

the map for the future

This can be accessed at www.mayomi.com by searching maps for "ripples" or map no 5302. If logged in, you can then use and adjust this to your heart's content.

16 November 2006

The End is just the Beginning!

The NSW LearnScope Managers in eLearning project was very short - just 12 weeks in all! Was this long enough to really conceive the eLearning map (to keep our journey metaphor alive!)?

Well, if we take Tanya's and Georgie's postings below it seems their journey is just beginning - see what they've been up to in their individual posts. While our other team members haven't posted to the blog we know that Beryl investigated Toolboxes further and intends to use this in her work at NSW Uni; Simon established an eLearning Committee in his section at NSW Uni and they will continue to investigate elearning as a viable delivery strategy; Rhonnie looked at Digital Stories for use at Batemans Bay ACE.

There were definitely some bumps on our road over the 12 weeks - probably the main obstacle for one of our participants was firewalls - such an annoying word - ughhhhh! I guess they have their purpose but in an ever-increasing world of sharing and connecting, they seem to restrict learning rather than enhance learning - another argument for another day! Attending virtual meetings became a nightmare for Beryl unfortunately.

Time did present itself as an issue, particularly time to participate in scheduled virtual meetings. Time to learn continues to be a major issue for all VTE practitioners, not just the managers. Particularly disappointing was the last minute unavailability of team members to attend scheduled virtual presentations with guest speakers (who were also hindered by firewalls and had to access the virtual conferencing room from home!).

Over the 12 weeks the team was exposed to
  • a face-to-face induction in Sydney introducing participants to each other, and NSW Framework support, viz Robyn Jay and Alex Hayes (NSW LearnScope) and Robby Weatherley (Capability Building Program Leader). Viv Evans also virtually (from Coonabarabran) introduced them to DiscoverE, the virtual conferencing tool to be used for meetings
  • How the Framework can support them through its projects and resources presented by Jeff Saul, NSW Framework Coordinator
  • Toolboxes presented by Shane Dowd, NSW Toolbox Champion
  • Digital Stories presented by Robyn Jay, NSW LearnScope Manager
  • LifebasedLearning and a Capability Development Model presented by Robby Weatherley, Framework Capability Building Program Leader
  • Social Software, viz blogs and wikis - check out our wiki at http://nswlscopemanagers.wikispaces.com/ and
  • Using forum tools through EdNA Groups.

We were also virtually visited by Elke Unger from Mt Gambier in South Australia who was undertaking an individual LearnScope project through SA LearnScope - check out Elke's blog at http://lakeschank.blogspot.com/.

So generally I believe we achieved what we set out to do, ie gain an understanding of the different resources and support available through the Framework and engage with some elearning technologies.

For next time, perhaps it is more about managers being part of a LearnScope team within their own organisation, rather than having a separate team. Now that they have a taste for elearning and a little understanding, they will be able to contribute a manager/leader's perspective to the team learning experience.

Thanks everyone for participating and good luck with the rest of your journey!

16 October 2006

The Journey

This picture describes my work life perfectly… a messy desk with a million things to do and me constantly attached to my earphones. Generally I use SKYPE to communicate with my non-local colleagues however since I have been a member of this Learnscope project I have been using the Discovere online discussion room to facilitate group discussions between 4 ACE providers. Discovere has been such a big hit that our Cluster is looking to purchase a user licence for 2007. VTE moderation sessions and discussion times are already being planned.

Over the past two months a lot of the issues facing Managers in E-Learning have been raised by the group that has answered some of my questions, encouraged me to ponder and of course, raised some more questions. I realise now that the journey to the successful use of e-learning involves the following:-
  • Planning and knowing what you want to achieve from the outset
  • Know your clientele
  • Know your product
  • Don't be scared to try new things

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this project, Val you did a wonderful job of keeping us motivated and engaged. I wish all my fellow members the best of luck with their own e-learning journeys.

05 October 2006

Social Software Research

Are you interested in Social Software/Web 2 Technologies and their use in teaching and learning environments and for capability development across organisations? If so, visit the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Social Software Research Wiki to find out more. Contributions, insights and general musings related to this very contemporary subject are welcomed.

In broad terms, the research aims to investigate how social software/Web 2 technologies can best support -
1. teaching and learning in Vocational and Technical Education (VTE), and
2. capability development of VTE practitioners.

We are particularly keen to track down ‘success stories’ of the use of social software for capability development within organisations, and in teaching and learning in the VTE sector.

This research project is being funded by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Knowledge Sharing Services and Research and Policy Advice Projects.

04 October 2006

My Learnscope Journey

It is hard to believe that more than two months have passed since we started this Learnscope Project. After we met in Sydney, I had a number of ideas about what I would like to achieve through the project - some unrealistic considering the limited time that I have. However, what I did learn in such a short period of time was fantastic and invaluable - and I think - will change the way I work, and where I lead our organisation in a substantial way.

As an Artist, I have one-thousand-and-one potential other uses for blogs, fliker & photostory - in both practical and creative ways.

I created a blogspots for Coffs Coast Community College and one Mid North Coast Community Colleges Cluster - and learnt how to create these hyperlinks.

I created two "photostories" and intend to use that new-found skill to acquit an arts grant that Coffs Coast Community College has just finished.

I was mentored by other members of my organisation who have been part of learnscope for some time, and learnt how to use Flicker, upload photos, and create sidebar links to other websites on the blog.

Through Shane, I learnt a lot more about Toolboxes - and will definitely put what we learnt in that session into practice in our VET Program.

Since starting this project, I have used "DiscoverE" with another College for instruction in how to Tender in the DET Training Market.

Through Val and the Learnscope project, I have extended networks and knowledge in a very positive way.

Thanks very much to Val for your patience, leading us through blogs, compued, wikkis and eluminate - and for giving us the opportunity take part in such important and creative professional development. I hope to take part in more, in the years to come.

It has been great to meet and work with Beryl, Ronnie, Tanya, Simon, Elke and Val.

Georgie Faircloth
Coffs Coast Community College

03 October 2006

Check out the e-dayz website

I have not been standoffish - just disconnected from the web. On wed sep 20 the server my isp was using in queensland just shut down and closed the doors. It was late wed 27 before I was connected again. Since all my email was tied to the website I could not even access webmail.

I was sorry to miss the last session but had no way of accessing or even letting you know, Val. (didn't think of the old phone, sorry). Trying to keep a business/RTO running with end of month reports due (electronically of course) and student needs on the learning site has been some experience - with no internet.

Then on the 28&29 I was immersed in E-Dayz in Adelaide - two days of more information, technology and networking face to face with people I only normally communicate with electronically because of distance. Most of the presentations will be up on the conference website in the near future - some of the new resources and new ways of using slightly older ones would be worth checking out. http://www.edayz.org/ The program is there to give you some idea of the topics covered - all elearning stuff. I will be recording the highlights for me in my blog (if anyone is interested), over the next few days.

Goodluck with your projects and putting what you have learned into practice over the coming months.

I did learn one thing - I am addicted/dependent on the internet to an extent never thought possible. It was a good reminder.

15 September 2006

Effective Uses for Blogs, Wikis and Forums in VTE

Over the past few weeks our team of RTO Managers have been becoming conversant with different technologies available to support e-Learning, but help us out a bit! We have used this blog, our wiki, and forums at different times to discuss and share ideas. At times there seems to have been an overlap in the technologies used, ie we are using them to do the same thing it seems. So how could we have used them more effectively?

What we now want to do is build a resource that indicates how we might use these different technologies to gain maximum benefit for staff and clients. Leave us a comment, or go to our wiki to add your ideas.