Archive for the ‘e-learning’ Category

Interfaces

Although this blog has more or less gone on hold, it remains a record of my self-funding of an e-learning course, without any specific aim to end up as an e-learning tutor.

It complemented what I already found myself doing at work, and that remains somewhere between the techie who gets things to work, and the silver surfer  tutor who shows people how to surf (say) or email.

I still find interfaces interesting – the human-computer interface in particular, and the design aspects of both websites and e-learning courses seemed relevant to that area of study.

That doesn’t mean I adopt everything straight away. I still don’t have a lot of love for touch screens, for instance, still happy with the mouse and keyboard options.  the keyboard goes all the way back to typewriters (even the QWERTY layout) but the mouse remains one of the great innovations.

Having said that, I did some study with blind and partially-sighted people, and for the blind (at least) a mouse proved worse that useless, so I got a crash-course in keyboard shortcuts, and audio clues.

Nowadays I meander through the various options, depending on the context.  The touch typing I learned on typewriters (though never really up to speed) comes in handy, but I still find myself slowing down at times, to a funny kind of hunt and peck (when handling passwords, for instance, when I become slow and meticulous, pedantic, even.

Sometimes I’ll right-click to copy and paste, sometimes use Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, etc.

I quite like having a range of options, like speaking more than one language.

Anyway, and ahem – I was reading .Net magazine, and came across Liz Danzico, and her blog Bobulate.com, so in she goes as a resource to explore.

This blog remains my own little set of Favourites, and notes.  I hope you may find some of the links interesting.

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Net Training

Although I have spent over a decade supporting computer use for both staff and public in the Cardiff Library service, I have never become part of the ICT team.

I found myself a niche role as a go-between. This also allowed me to work very flexibly, both in terms of working hours, and prioritising my own work, with relatively little line management.

Now that I have turned 65, and council services are looking to save money, it only seems a matter of time before I will be retired on a meagre pension, so I suspect I will have to revive my self-employed approach (I was self-employed until the age of 51) and perhaps supplement that income with some teaching or other outreach work.

I set up this blog to store notes when taking the Net Trainers course, but it became fairly dormant since then. So, as part of the reactivation of that project, here’s a link to an interesting Wiki site:

ICTmagic

More fun to come!

My place of work has found me a place on an Open University course called Beyond Google:working with information online, which I am looking forward to. As I understand it, we will learn more precise search methods, how to assess information found, etc.

You can follow that link for more detail, if it sounds interesting…

Even more collaborative software

The hot news seems to involve Google’s latest wonder – a totally integrated format of real-time communication called Wave. The implications for education (let alone entertainment) haven’t really sunk in yet, but it seems ideally suited for remote learning.

A beta gets released to guinea-pigs later this month (a lottery) but later in the year it should emerge.

Check out the preview

Social Networking for businesses

After the training I did last year I fell into a slight hole about actually using these skills in the real world.

My employers have set up an e-learning zone (but it hasn’t been much promoted) and I have gained access as Admin to the Moodle-based system, to experiment, and offer examples to fellow workers, etc.

Now it appears we really are looking at the implications of Web 2.0 in relation to libraries.

As this blog really only appeared as a test, and a resource collection, I refer you to Anon the Librarian’s blog for current stories directly related to our work.

Relevant to ‘resources’ the one we have been asked to consider seems really excellent – Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies – click on Social Media and Learning.

Now to fill in the gaps! I still don’t really use RSS, for instance…

Spring forwards

Time flies by, and I have received my certificate from the Net-Trainers course.

It’s official! I am qualified! 🙂

Anyway – I had been dabbling in using Google’s Page Creator (I like their new approach to things, like Gmail, for instance, so was willing to be a beta tester again). They caused a bit of a stir, by letting people establish themselves using Page Creator (although it was always a beta project) and caused an uproar when announcing Google Sites – and the necessary migration, etc.

Anyway. I have created a Google Site from scratch, for a holiday cottage my partner has poured time, money and energy into, and which can now be rented for holidays in the mountains of Wales.

I am still learning about Google Sites. I find it a bit tricky (it’s a bit like a Wiki, you don’t ‘Hide’ pages you are working on, but ‘Delete’ them (even though you can recover them, revert to earlier versions, etc).

It takes a bit of getting used to. Here is the Ty Cariad site

Slightly more relevant to the training – I have gained access to the Cardiff Council remote learning site, organised through Learning Pool (the public sector e-learning exchange), and based on Moodle, where I have put up a beta version of possible library training and communication channels. The experimental library section can be found under Miscellaneous.

Back to more regular posting

NaNo Winner 08 with Infinite Monkeys

NaNo Winner 08 with Infinite Monkeys

This may have looked like a dead site, but it was merely dormant!

Since July I have

  • learned Moodle
  • devised a whole pilot scheme using a Moodle-based DLE for the library service
  • added Learning Pool modules to it
  • completed my Net Trainers course with Sheffield College (just)
  • started a Wiki area for the Libraries on the Council Knowledge Bank
  • received the hard copies of our (previously) online magazine, Maybe Quarterly (you can still get a copy from me!)
  • completed a 50,000 word novel with NaNoWriMo (called Infinite Monkeys). 

So I have been busy.

Phew!

I will be back to adding good links and stuff to this page, and will also be in touch with Anon the Librarian, as he is putting a lot of good Library 2.0 stuff up on his blog.     Library 2.0 and all that.

Meanwhile, Learning 2.0 looks fun (and the 23 things to try). And now there’s Learning 2.1

Net Trainers and Learning Pool

I am just back from two weeks of holiday, so forgive me if this all went quiet.

I am enjoying the Net Trainers course a lot, but am well aware that I do not know what kind of content I would offer as an e-trainer. I don’t have a degree (to tutor A-Levels) or A-Levels (to tutor O-Levels, etc).

My first idea was that I would be offering familiarisation modules for using Word, Internet, etc – but there are so many excellent resources already online it feels like re-inventing the wheel.  I started to focus on particular training for the library where I work – both for staff induction and for assisting the public who use our People’s Network PCs to access the Internet from the library.

This led me to noting that Cardiff Council have begun to offer brief modules for staff training using Learning Pool – and I managed to get a place on a two day course for designing new modules, or customising existing ones. I now have access to a Moodle Learning Environment, and the motivation to create some specialised, library focused modules to supplement the general ones available.

Perhaps this career shift may drift towards creating and supporting learning modules, rather than directly tutoring people.

I don’t really know yet, as I am groping forwards to a way of working from home, so that we could move to the country with the dog!

Learning Pool have started WordPress blogs, which you can find here (permanent link in sidebar).

http://wordpress.com/tag/learning-pool-concept/

 

http://wordpress.com/tag/learning-pool/

 

I think these are still in development, but I wanted to make the link now, as this blog of mine is still fairly sparse (although I have plans).

 

Thanks to them for the support so far, and the easy access they have offered me. Excellent stuff, great idea.