Archive for the ‘Virtual Learning Environments’ 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.

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…

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.


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).


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.