Following on from my post on the Excellence Gateway I forgot to highlight the materials from the on-going STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) programme. Some of the maths stuff in particular is brilliant for those of you who might be working to embed functional skills into your subject area. Go and have a look at the STEM Page and scroll down to the link to the 2009 and 2010 resources.
Sometimes we forget the useful things in life, so just a reminder that there is a massive amount of material on the Excellence Gateway website. Sadly it is not always easy to find it, so here are some of my favourite links.
The Subject Learning Coach resources are more difficult to find but the materials are still available here.The link will take you to the original "Blue box" content nd for more recent material try clicking on Recent Releases. Incidentally the website for the SLC programme has moved and is now hosted by the Excellence Gateway.
Talking Teaching, Training and Learning is a useful activity based on 10 pedagogical approaches. Again, difficult to find, but the trick here is to use the Quickfind service and scroll through the complete list of links. You will find many other activities and resources that are useful for your CPD sessions.
I've been doing some work over the summer on the use of Augmented Reality in teaching and learning. Part of that has been looking at the possibilities associated with the growing number of social networking sites devoted to location tagging using smart phones. Here are some examples of what I mean.
Layar lets me choose layers created by sponsors to find information related to my geographic location. Like most of the tagging applications the results are overlaid on to a camera image and as I move the camera so the results change to reflect my new position. This is good, but the exciting part for me is being able to create my own layar and share my own tagged locations with others. Using Layar's Message Central I can select a 3D object, attach it to a location and include a message. When another user is within range they will be able to see my messages. Something for organisations to think about - perhaps a simple way of publicising an event at their campus, or giving short information to visitors.
Another application, Junaio, does something very similar. But this time I can attach a photograph, weblink and message to the selected object and location. This makes the message more useful in making links to appropriate websites, Junaio say that the application now works on Nokia Symbian devices, Android devices and iPhones.
But the application that is really exciting for me is Toozla. Rather than attach a written message to an object, this application lets me record a short audio message and tag it directly to my current location. Now I can reflect on what I see around me. Geographers, historians and enviromental studies people take note. This is really cool! Toozla is available for an even larger range of smart phones than Junaio - see the full supported list here.
I realise that it has been a long time since this blog was updated. I am experimenting with different methods of updating so it might become more active. This post come direct from my iPhone via Mail2Blogger.
Spent a happy day in Nottingham at the E-Guides national conference. Talked about iGoogle among other things. A question was raised about using twitter search with learners to weed out all their personal stuff and just see course related posts.
I guess that what I would do is use my favourite twitter gadget (I use BeTwittered) on an i-Google tab. Then think up a unique tag (first four letters of college name followed by a couple of random numbers would do the trick; so #Coll56 might be my tag.). Then when when you 0r your learners post make sure you/they put this code in the text (don't forget the # key to turn it into a Tag).
Now when you go to your gadget or Twitter account you can just click on the tag to see all the tagged posts and nothing else. With Betwittered I can click on the pull down menu above the posts to choose Search and type in the tag without the #. The only advantage is that it keeps the results in my BeTwittered gadget. I'm not sure it's worth the extra effort!
Don't forget www.ping.fm to set up multi posting to all your microblogs. And the use the Ping.fm gadget on i-Google.
I have been on the lookout for a magnifying glass that I can use for presentations and if you follow my notebook link for e-learning you will find three examples listed. One, however, stands out over the others. Transinsight Labs offer the Lupe magnifier free. Not only that but it offers some nice shapes in the form of old fashioned magnifying glasses with handles. These are ideal for highlighting on-screen points. But the oval shape offers a great choice for personal viewing - and has transformed my Asus eeepc screen! Above all else you can click through so no more annoying switching on and off. I recommend this very highly. Don't go out without one on your laptop!
I have remembered that I have not reported here that I converted the Asus eeepc 701 to Windows so that I could use PhotoStory3 for training. I miss Linux, and I have severely restricted the on-board memory, but that is more to do with using MS Office than Windows.
So the configuration is now 4gb on-board with another 8gb SDHC which handles My Documents, all temp files (including internet) and all program files with the exception of Windows and Office. Currently running a 500 mb page file and have about 550 mb reported free space on the ob-board memory. I do not run Outlook - all mail is fed into Google while I am travelling.
I reckon the next step would be to get a dual boot going and use Linux most of the time. Open Office will sit happily on the SDHC unlike Microsoft Office which insists on sitting on-board. Any advice welcome.
Freelance facilitator and mentor working with national organisations such as the Learning and Skills Network Limited, Nord Anglia and the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education as well as providing bespoke support directly to organisations. Specialising in e-learning, curriculum improvement and coaching.