31 August 2007

Interesting Bits and Pieces

My 'bloggers of interest' have been busy this week. Here are a few bits and pieces of interest to share:

They do talk! This week the Framework brought together some IT specialists and educationalists to talk to each other. Finally!!! See what Robyn Jay had to say on the NSW LearnScope blog.

Another posting by Robyn Jay on Personal Knowledge Management. Robyn refers us to an article by Dave Pollard who seems to make it all sound easy - so why does it seem so hard!

We knew that the Framework's next 4-year strategy 2008-2011 was being finalised was released a few weeks ago. Well, it's happened which is great but personally I am a tad concerned with the move from capability development to client engagement. It has to happen of course, but LearnScope has been a valuable professional development (PD)program since its inception (1997) and we're only now just tapping into the critical mass. Oh well, hopefully organisations will continue to support PD and it will be integrated into Client Engagement.

Steven Parker introduced his People Learning Management System. I like it and love the idea of the learning object being the people - puts us at the centre don't you think?

Nancy White pointed me to Graham Wegner's slideshare on Blogging as Professional Learning. Graham has clearly presented a guide as to how we can learn from and contribute to blogs for our own personal learning.

Another terrific slideshare noted by several bloggers this week is Alex Hayes' on m-Learning. I won't spend too much time on this one though as Alex is presenting to us in a few weeks. (By the way, Alex became a Dad this week to Ethan William Hayes -congratulations Alex and Jane. And he was answering emails at 3 am in the morning too - phew!)

George Siemens refers to an article on education as an 'Industry in Crisis'. I fully concur with George's statements. Certainly we in VET are caught betwixt/between, ie we have to meet industry needs but as educationalists we want our students to learn.

Last but not least, is Stephen Downes' reference to Wikipedia's Imminent Demise. We've heard this week about staff in Govt departments changing entries as quickly as someone makes a political statement etc. but it usually sorts itself out. I tend to agree with Stephen - the need to control the entries will lead to disagreements and perhaps its demise. Let's hope not though.

Session 2: e-Learning: Emerging Trends and Issues

It's always interesting when you have two separate groups covering similar topics as is the case with my QLD and NSW Managers in e-Learning LearnScope teams. This week Michael Coghlan from SA presented to our NSW team on e-Learning: Emerging Trends and Issues. He did a similar presentation to our QLD team two weeks ago but this time there seemed to be more interest around the types of e-Learning and the use of open source software.

When Michael presented to the QLD team what resonated most with me was how messy the whole situation was - see my reflections. This time I became more interested in whose responsibility it is to teach or take responsibility and related to Michael's reference to Philip Adams who said:

I'm interested to hear your thoughts. What resonates with you most? Are the AQTF requirements and e-Learning moving closer together or are they mutually exclusive? And whose responsibility is it??

28 August 2007

What am I learning?

Hi all

I was just thinking about what I'm learning as part of this process. Well heaps actually is the answer. I began with a bunch of strange words- moodle, flickr, del.icio.us, frappr, blogs, wikis and on it it goes. But at least now I know what they mean and pretty much what each one does. Nothing is automatic yet, I come into the wiki and/or the blog and have to think about where to click to see what I want to see or add a new post but I'm sure that in time it will become like checking my email.

So, small steps, but some progress!


22 August 2007

E-learning implementation strategies

Hi all

yes, it was a most frustrating experience in Connect last week. I was comparing it with Discovere which seems to be a much more simple piece of software and I wondered if it was the sophistication of Connect with all its bells and whistles which makes it more difficult to use and perhaps more prone to technical problems. I have not experienced anything quite like this before (!!!) and it must be quite off-putting for people who have not been in an online room before.

However, what I did take away was the wonderful Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Designing e-Learning resource. It explains so many of the different tools we can use and puts them into a context. I have found it very useful.

See you online!


17 August 2007

Our Communication Suite

Just reinforcing the different options for communicating as members of our Managers in e-Learning NSW LearnScope 07 team:

This Blog: Use it for posting your reflections, your thoughts, your ideas, making a statement. Comment on posts but don't try to enter into dialogue. That's not the best use of a blog.

Our Wiki: For collaborative building of a collection of resources and links, etc that you can refer to as Managers of e-Learning. By being a member of our wiki you can add resources and links that you know about, sharing them with us all.

Our Wiki Discussion Forum: By clicking on the Discussion tab at the top of the wiki, you can engage in dialogue with your peers, exploring topics of interest further outside of our virtual meeting room.

Our Virtual Meeting Room: For our meetings and key presentations where we meet synchronously (2:00 - 3:30 pm on Thursdays fortnightly, except for 13 September which is 11:30 am - 12.30 pm in Elluminate and then 2:00 - 3:00 pm in Adobe).

e-Learning Implementation Strategies

While we experienced some frustrations with a very large ppt file when the software fell over, Clint was able to draw our attention to six different types of e-Learning currently being implemented:

    Distance education
    Web in classroom
    Blended facilitated learning
    Virtual classroom
    Digital campus

From our team's responses, blended facilitated learning seems to be the most widely used although it was interesting to see a few of the other types being tried as well.

Of course, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Designing e-Learning project is a real winner - congrats to Clint and his team. If designing programs and strategies it is the perfect resource. Check it out at http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/. Here's a glimpse at the front page -

Sadly the presentation fell over just as we were getting to the strategic stuff - analysing the context and preparing business cases (don't we all love doing that). Despite the jest, it is the most critical aspect of implementing e-learning - too often technologies are introduced without thinking about relevance to the context and the client. Hopefully Clint will come back to share the rest of his valuable experience with us.

Frustrations of Technology

No doubt about it, technology can wear you down when it doesn't work. Having put in lots of practice and joined most of our team in our virtual meeting room prior to our scheduled meeting and presentation, I thought I had it covered but alas, we were all being tested again.

So, more key learnings (they keep coming which isn't a bad thing I guess):

    Headsets - Absolutely critical to have audio equipment tested and working on the PC you will be using prior to the meeting. Don't change PCs once you know it works. If all those tips on checking mics have been done and you still can't hear or be heard, well what can I say, other than buy a new headset.
    Dial-up presents problems - much better using broadband if you can.
    Bandwidth presents problems - this will cause the intermittent drop out of audio and presentations. Have to be patient on this one - we can't change this.
    Echos - best to not lock audio on unless you are actually talking. With everyone locking in audio you can pick up sounds in each other's background, even breathing. Also draws on more bandwidth.
    Sharing files - powerpoint presentations need to be fairly simplistic and certainly not too big otherwise they create a life of their own (gosh, is that an understatement!).

Perseverance will win the day, and our experience is certainly allowing us to experience what might happen with students at the frontline so that in itself makes it worthwhile. What always bothers me though is losing confidence in e-learning per se because of some initial technology woes. We can do it team - hang in there!

16 August 2007


Refecting on today's presentation from Clint, it absolutely amazes me that a person of Clints experience still believes that the best way to deliver a presentation is by way of a 60 slide power point presentation. Most slides were far to cluttered, with too much information. You wouldn't do it in any learning situation, not the least when trying to talk about e-learning implementation strategies.

14 August 2007

Adobe Connect

Hi all
I had a play today in Adobe Connect - lots of fun - thanks Val! In the past I've used Discovere. Connect seems to be much more sophisticated and a much busier environment so it will be interesting to try to present in that environment.

13 August 2007

Back to the Starting Point

Some photos taken at the Induction Workshop on 3 August:

Some Topics of Interest:

The Team: (minus Marguerite, Chris and Rhonda)

Deb, Georgie and Ann deep in thought:

09 August 2007

Blog Visit No1

Merely recording my presence. It is now some days since our workshop and having remembered where I had recorded my login details and negotiated the login process, I didn't want to leave without recording my foot print in the sand.



08 August 2007

Tome Peters

Hi all, I am currently listening to an audio book on my Ipod call "Re-imagine" by the American Management Guru Tom Peters. In one of the chapters he talks about IBM and he said that in the 90's IBM internationally spent about half a billion $'s on training. Most of the training was delivered in house in a traditional classrom environment. By 2004 all training at IBM is delivered using e-learning technology to each workers individual computer with a nett saving of billions of $'s.



Hi everyone, I really enjoyed the workshop last Friday. This my first attempt at blogging and I'm looking forward to more e learning experiences


On-line Induction Program

Hi Ann

Believe Rodney Wangman from ?? Community College has a on-line induction program set up on their website. Deb/Georgie HELP!! Which college is he from?

Marguerite :)

07 August 2007

The proposition

8.00 am, decision time - what was I to do? The weather was cool and drizzling rain fell through winter's city smog. I could catch a bus, call a taxi or walk. I had the time and a jacket to keep me dry, It's only a short journey - so I walked.

The hustle and bustle of a city gearing up for the last day of the working week was in my face as soon as I left the Mercure in George Street. I joined the flow of people and machines whose activities were being largely uncontrolled by the maze of traffic lights. Stress to the max!

The sights, sounds and sickly sweet smell of LPG powered buses mixed with a cocktail of exhaust fumes took hold of my senses. How long could my lungs survive this toxic mix?

I began my small journey towards Barrack Street and Saxons training center.

I became instantly absorbed into the throng of people making their way determinedly on their own city journeys. I became one of the crowd, subconciously wrapping myself in that invisible cloak that people use to protect their personal space when confronted by crowds. However I was not so practiced as the locals.

It wasn't until later when I told of my experience that I understood why I was so visible.

I ran the gauntlet of traffic criss crossing the intersection and as I strode purposefully along the footpath I noticed a woman walking on my left. As I strode past her she quickened her pace to match mine, I slowed my stride as I sensed a purpose in her actions, our eyes met. With practiced ease she removed my invisibility cloak.

"Would you like to spend some time with me ?" she asked.

I was instantly jolted into the real world of city life. I was also curious at the same time. Why me? I faltered for a split as worked out what she wanted. "I'm sorry I don't have the time, I am on my way to a meeting" was my reply. I turned away and continued on my journey with fresh eyes.

First Foray

Hi all

Great to meet everyone on Friday and like Marguerite I'm having my first play in a blog. So far so good!

One of the things I hope to do over the next three months is to set up an online induction program for new tutors at the college (all casuals) using a combination of technologies. It would be great if I could bounce ideas of this group during the process and also really useful to know if anyone already has something like this in place which I could look at. I'm not sure if this is appropriate in this forum - Val please say so if it's not.

Also, I wonder if you could clarify something for me. I know that a blog is an online journal or record of our learning and I know that a wiki is a place to produce a collaborative resource. But, I'm not sure what I should be posting to the wiki. Is it stuff like good links to resources, things to share?


First Blog

Hi Everyone
Just having a little play as I've never 'blogged' before.
Marguerite :)

06 August 2007

This is Craig. I am just checking out the site. It's all very new to me and I have yet to sort out my blog - both what and how, and the rest...
Georgie I am very impresed with your blog and your wonderful art on display. You are obviously very talented. i would do more of that and less of managing AMEP programmes if I were you....Not that there's anything wrong with managing AMEP programmes, nor with your management of them I am sure, but really there's no choice.
As an aside I am having problems with my typing - an overwriting function seems to be on, so how do I get rid of it?? This same problem sometimes happens with my emails and drives me crazy. Any suggestions?
I will endeavour to set up a blog that is worth looking at and I can be proud of, quite an achievement to do this I think.
All for now from me.

Some Great Resources

By subscribing to feeds from various blogs some great resurces have turned up today:


Christopher D Sessums shows a couple of excellent videos and offers links to more resources on this topic.

Sue Waters (Challenger TAFE, WA) is participating in a 31 Day Project promoted by Darren Rowse to make your blogs better. By going to Darren's weblog you can find lots of info on blogging for beginners as well.

Intellectual Property:
I've posted the subject in our Wiki Discussion area with links to resources - now it's your turn!

By the way, I refer to the Networks Community Forum in the IP resources - this is a great forum on topical areas of interest. Check it out at http://www.groups.edna.edu.au/course/view.php?id=40 and register - it is well worth it.

The Starting Point

The Managers in e-Learning NSW LearnScope team is being funded by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework through NSW LearnScope. We have a diverse team of 12 including Managers of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)from regional Community Colleges, an Industry Training Centre in the Northern Territory, and the Satyananda Yoga Academy as well as senior Managers from TAFE NSW. They have diverse needs as well from hands-on tools to the strategic management of e-learning. Some challenging but exciting weeks ahead! (I'm hoping Jeremy might introduce some online meditation at the end of each session.)
Robyn Jay, the NSW LearnScope Manager, started off the Induction Day which included introductions to the Framework, LearnScope and an online presentation on Flexible Learning Toolboxes by Shane Dowd, the NSW Toolbox Champion. There was also some interesting discussion on Intellectual Property (IP) in relation to e-learning. We might carry that discussion across to our wiki.

After lunch we experienced a touch of chaos as we accessed our virtual meeting software, Adobe Connect, for the first time. Not an easy task when you are physically and virtually present with the same group of participants! Now, they say being 'on the edge' is where the interesting things happen and we learn and I don't think this experience was any different. What I learnt was that it is actually easier to have a virtual conferencing software orientation online, and to be more prepared (should have known that one but ...). We did see what was possible though thanks to Alex Hayes sorting us out virtually and I'm sure our online meetings will be more constructive!

We were in time slip mode unfortunately and really didn't have the time needed to consolidate what blogs and wikis can do. Check out Pages 31-34 of the Networks, Connections and Community: Learning with Social Software report. There are also some excellent examples of social software being used in teaching and learning and for knowledge sharing and staff learning and development on the Report's research wiki. Other exemplars are available on the NSW LearnScope wiki.

Other tools we want to check out further are Personal Learning Environments (PLEs), Flickr and del.icio.us.

We will be using this blog to map our learning journey over the next 10 weeks and to share any interesting tidbits we find. Our wiki will be a collaborative resource which we will build together to support us and other Managers of e-Learning.

And so our journey begins!