Posts Tagged "eLN"

Designing interactions? Perhaps you shouldn’t bother…

The speakers at a recent eLearning Network event spoke in great detail about what interactions was, wasn’t and how to ensure that we used ‘science’ to craft our interactions.

I facilitated a session that essentially said “don’t bother” – well at least for some things….

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I got it wrong….. Or did I?

I recent attended the eLearning Network event ’10 things every learning designer should know’ and whilst the event gave me a few ideas to mull over, what really had an impact on me was a chance conversation that I had during the mid-morning break, which if I’m being honest, shocked me a little and distracted me for the rest of the day. Allow me to explain… During the first session of the day Bryan Hopkins from UNHCR made a general reference to the fact that “people can’t possibly be learning effectively if they are tapping away on mobile devices“(paraphrased). This led to a few giggles on my table, as at that very moment I was tapping away on my iPad. During the mid-morning break I made reference back to that incident and drew a parallel to a meeting I was in during the early Summer where everybody was taking notes, however I was the only one taking them on an iPad, whereas everybody else was taking them with pen and paper. The meeting organiser actually stopped after 10 mins and asked what I was doing; when I told (and showed) them what I was doing, they still admitted that the fact I was on a mobile device made them feel uncomfortable. Now I had expected the people I was regaling this tale to over a cuppa to be sympathetic to my situation however I was wrong! Instead 3 of the 4 people indicated that it would also put them off and make them question whether or not I was truly paying attention during the meeting and whether I was genuinely taking notes. We threw this around for a couple of minutes with me even pulling the old “who’s to say I’m paying attention/taking genuine notes, just because I’m using a pen and paper” but even this didn’t sway them. I quickly popped smoke and withdrew back to the safety of the main area and discussed this back at my groups table, where, you may be surprised (or maybe not) to discover that the majority of those people also expressed doubt/concern/worry/frustration etc over people using mobile devices to take notes during learning events, meetings etc. Had I been in any other environment than the one I was in yesterday I probably wouldn’t have been overly surprised…. … But this was an eLearning Network event!!!! Surely eLN members would ‘get’ the advantages of using technology to aid productivity even if it wasn’t in an overtly ‘learning’ context, wouldn’t they? And that’s what led me to this particular blog title, because it appears I was wrong. Or was I? Is it reasonable to expect us and our learners to use technology to aid our/their productivity in areas and in situations that have traditionally used pen and paper? Should we maintain traditional practices for meetings but attempt to push forward with new practices when the output has an overt ‘learning’ tag attached to it? Do you use technology to aid your personal productivity or not? Are you encouraging/discouraging of others to do so? Oh and for those of you who are wondering exactly what I was tapping away on my iPad for, I was producing this mindmap of the days sessions, which I am now sharing with others. For those of you I was annoying, why not share your handwritten notes with us all? Image sources: Click one each image to be taken to the individuals Flickr profile...

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A word of warning, be careful…

… as to what media you use if you are ever asked to produce a festive tip for the eLearning networks 24 tips advent calendar Why a warning? Well, because you might just be asked to facilitate a session on it at a future eLN event!! Joking aside, I was privileged to be asked by Rob Hubbbard to co-facilitate the recent eLN event How to produce rich media learning materials. This was something of a departure for an eLN event as it was planned to be very ‘hands on’, so it was great to be asked to be a part of it. Each of the speakers had been asked to promote their individual topic areas for 20 minutes. Not to delve into the technicalities and intricacies of each method, but to prick the interest of the attendees so that would be sufficiently enthused prior to the practical session in the afternoon. (that was the plan!) Here’s what the guys had to offer… Exploring the elements of online communication – Clive Shepherd Clive got us off to a great start by asking each table of delegates to consider a different media element; text, images, audio, animation, video and to suggest the pro’s and con’s of each. This was a fairly simple exercise, however he then asked us to consider which of the ‘other’ types of media would/wouldn’t work it and why. This stimulated a great deal of debate around the ‘mixing’ of media types. Why not give this simple exercise a go yourself? Writing for audio  – so that it works – Tony Frascina Tony conducted a great interactive exercise which involved each us all reviewing a small number of simple slides containing text and an image. As each of these slides were playing there was an accompanying audio track. The content within that audio track varied slightly for each slide ranging from being very similar to incredibly in-depth. Tony then asked us all to answer some paper based questions relating to the content that we had seen/read. I would like to say that I had taken a keener interest in this exercise as it would have been interesting to focus 100% on it, however as I was due to speak next I’m afraid that I was a little ‘distracted’! UPDATE – Fortunately Stephanie Dedhar has done a great job of reviewing this session. If a picture paints a 1000 words, how many does a moving, talking picture paint? – Craig Taylor I was quite pleased that I was asked to speak on this subject as the very nature of screencasting meant that I could use screencasts themselves to deliver the content. Simples! I chose to use Prezi as the vehicle to deliver the material. I had used Prezi in the (distant) past and hadn’t been too enthralled by its functionality, but I was pleased to discover that they appear to have made several welcome updates to the service. I’m still hoping that they will figure out a way to have accompanying audio, in the same ilk of PowerPoint and Slideshare and that they can come up with a way to use a remote presenter, so that I am not tied to my laptop whilst presenting. It is that lack of audio track which persuaded me to record my session and release it in  a future blog post podcast. If a picture paints a 1000 words, how many does a moving, talking picture paint? on Prezi Video editing - James Stoneley and Solomon Rogers James and Solomon rounded the morning off with an overview of recording video and editing. The feeling from some people on my table...

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Have you ever struggled…

…… with a function in an IT application? Have you ever struggled to provide assistance to somebody else who was struggling with an IT application? If the answer to either is “Yes”, then could I be cheeky enough to ask you to take part in this survey? http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/eLNscreencastsession There are only 2 questions and I’m not looking for any lengthy responses, a couple or words or a sentence will be sufficient. The results will be used as part of a workshop I am facilitating for the eLearning Network on the 08th April 2011 on the subject of screencasting. All results will be shown in a future blog...

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My first taste of Pecha Kucha..

…was provided to me by Clive Shepherd at the 2010 eLN showcase. Clive’s effort when combined with fantastic Pecha Kuchas (PKs) from Barry Sampson and Phil Green was enough to inspire me that PK was something I needed to have an attempt at….. now it was just a case of waiting for the right opportunity… That opportunity arose at a recent eLearning Network event, where myself, @KimSGeorge and @fionaleteney each delivered a Pecha Kucha session. I chose to talk about how my organisation had utilised technology to enhance it’s assessment processes. Did I enjoy it? – Yep Would I reccomend it to others? – Yep Would I do it again – You bet’cha So what about you? Have you ever done a PK? Would you consider doing one? If you would and are a member of the eLearning Network then why not get in contact with Lucy Cartlidge to find out...

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