Archive for the ‘Online tutor’ Category

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:



Creating work places

And talking of online activities of the pro-active kind, some of my friends have set up a Ning environment, as a social networking space we actually have some control over…including privacy settings, layout and look, and other tools.

Better than Facebook!

NoFit State blue tent in the 90s

NoFit State blue tent in the 90s

And I have been using Wikispaces to do some of my own online work, which I would like people to at least look at (as work-in-progress) and contribute to (although most people remain passive lurkers in Wiki environments, it seems). Here’s the History of NoFit State Circus workbook, archive, etc.

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! ūüôā

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.

Where do we start?

Hi Hartmut!    I like the idea of us combining these software programs we find.

Perhaps we should put up a Wiki, add to it a mindmap with links to our various projects (blogs, etc) and also links to any online ‘chat’ groups (like the Yahoo group).

One real problem remains getting lost out here!¬†¬†¬† If we have too many channels going at once, then people don’t know where to start, or how to join in.

So many choices.


Anyway – I took your suggestion of Mind42 – and started a node for us to work from. (maybe)


More and more new software!

Contact with fellow students has led to a flood of links to pursue, software to sample, etc.

I find it easy to resist any that cost money…I sometimes go for 30 day free trials, but often not (I’ll either hate it and have to uninstall again, or love it and be tempted to spend money I don’t have).

I don’t want to link to anything I haven’t tried…but may stick them into these posts, and only ‘graduate’ them to my permanent links after sampling.

[and no, I have no idea why my links appear in both columns at the moment, a consequence of the bug that made me go back to blog format, when the recent update messed with the static Home Page, etc – oh you really don’t want to hear about it!]

One of Hartmut’s that looks really interesting, however, is the Circle of Excellence. Even if you don’t feel sure about NLP, you will find a lot more and different tools there.


So far, so good


I have enjoyed the stimulus of working on this e-learning course. It has already steered me to several collaborative tools, as well as some free web resources I can use for my own projects.

Although I figure several of the students work either in the corporate world, or education, we seem to have a mixture of strengths and weaknesses that could typify a student group we might have to confront – complete with the limitations of access for some (or not enough free time), and different degrees of ability with computers, or with educational models, etc.

Hartmut and I study on different courses, but Net-Trainers has a forum for cross-over between the national study groups, and he and I agree that we don’t learn enough ‘just doing enough to pass’ – because we want to get into these tools in a bit more depth. As the course is not equipped to provide such detailed technical support and training, we intend to co-operate and play¬†(and perhaps draw a few more people in).

This is partly ‘learning by doing’, as well as networking.¬† I consider it really important to face and deal with all the difficulties that could turn up later, if this turned into a job. I also prefer to try everything on offer, even if I do choose favourites later.


I personally think that Hartmut’s suggestion of a Wiki, containing a mind-map which lays out some elements of the course with hyperlinks to useful resources would be excellent. As we don’t own the course material we might want to keep it low profile, but it seems important to create something more substantial than simply drifting through the projects, ticking them off a list…

And a course index or map designed this way might prove easier to navigate…

Lots of new toys and tools

Online Learning 

 As part of the Net Trainers course we have to do various collaborative projects, so have just completed a set of synchronous (chat) and asynchronous projects. We also used new search engines to search for useful online software for e-learning Рand the ones I consider the best examples will migrate to my permanent links on the right.

¬†e.g. TONIC – The Online Netskills Interactive Course¬† – a slightly ‘dry’ (text-based)¬† set of resources, but very thorough.


 The next batch of learning involves co-operation in the use of online software Рso initially I have to use some mind-mapping software, and later we will do some shared document editing.

I have tried

  • ¬†– I found this fun and flexible (can’t access from library public PCs)
  • Mindomo¬†– A little more ‘formal’ in presentation

 but I have also tried the flashier


We have had recommended

Very quick to make (no registration) but rather simplistic, and needs simple coding for formats.¬† This is a test one I set up for us to try out…

Share documents with something like Word formatting options. As an early-uptaker on Gmail, I use a few of their products, but don’t use iGoogle as a desktop, for instance…

It may grow on me.

I did look at¬†this from home, but can’t access it in the library. More later. Odd that the pop-up should link to Horus Falcon Cult as Astronomy, however (?)


While meandering, I came across WizIQ – some kind of virtual classroom

As part of my work I have started using the Learning Pool software to create an induction package for the libraries.

I have started scouring the library for resources – currently looking in Dewey under 371.334 – with books such as “e-moderating”¬† “effective teaching with internet technologies” and “e-tivities”

Of course, not all of that relates to what I find interesting. For a start, I have so few qualifications that I can’t really take up teaching kids to pass exams (for instance).

I assume that if I find any work this way it would be in the realm of getting people into internet and computing (an extension of my current work), or helping design learning tools.  (or something!) 

Why do students like online learning?

Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks

 Global Virtual Classroom

Net Trainers

I have started a course on tutoring online, etc РNet Trainers from the Online College Рstudying with a small group for the next few months.

As well as my fellow students (scattered around the UK, Ireland, Portugal and Thailand!) this gives me access to parallel courses going on across Europe, so I have the opportunity to communicate with a wide range of people with the same interests. Many with far more high-powered jobs than myself.

As it happens, with my work for Cardiff Libraries, I do a fair amount of training material for staff, and have just started looking at¬†Learning Pool (I took a two day training in developing modules, but the whole thing represents a pool of training modules that people can share, modify, and re-use).¬† We are also developing the Library’s online presence, digitalising the Local Studies material and¬†making e-reference resources available to members remotely, as well as access to their own accounts, etc.