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How Twitter can be used for informal personal learning?

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I joined Twitter in January 2008 and in the last 6 years, 4 months, and 7 days since my first tweet I have made or posted nearly 33,000 tweets! As I highlighted in my post from last year I have found Twitter the single most important source of information, events, research, back-channel, inspiration, and motivation I have even come across. That’s because that’s what I use Twitter for.

Open Badges in HE

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An unfortunate clash in my calendar meant I wasn’t able to attend this wonderful event today, but it hasn’t stopped me joining in and being a Twitter-pest with my comments. You’ll be needing Doug Belshaw’s excellent slide deck for this: Open Badges in Higher Education from Doug Belshaw. know some are against badges, I know some are in favour. Go read it. and many more.

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Mapping Digital Skills in HE

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A few weeks ago this image/infographic was doing the rounds and being tweeted in my network (thank you Catherine Cronin!) – mapping digital skills in Irish Higher Education. Examples include the humble (?) VLE … crossing ‘tools and technology’, ‘teach and learn’, and ‘communicate and collaborate’  . click to enlarge].

What happened to the MOOCs?

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MOOC = Massive Open Online Course. You knew that already, yes? Here are my thoughts for a Friday afternoon. Massive – Yes, these courses are usually large. But anything that isn’t constrained by the number of chairs in a room has this potential. A wonder if the larger numbers are reflected in the percentages of these ‘completors’ and whether they’re better/worse than those with (much) lower numbers (e.g. 5-15k sign-ups) or figures from other providers? If you didn’t know what to look for you’d be forgiven for thinking these MOOCs are not free. hope not.

New Brandon Hall Group report forecasts major shift in 2016 online learning trends

Companies are increasingly dissatisfied with online learning tools, prompting many to reinvest in technology that supports a modern training approach. Download the report from Brandon Hall Group to see how new investments are bringing real business results.

How ‘long’ is too ‘long’?

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For a few years now I’ve been spouting the same lines when it comes to planning a video for an distance learning course or MOOC: “preferably no more than 4 minutes, definitely no more than 6.” As with everything, there is enough evidence to be found to support and to disprove it. But there are other approaches to video content where I don’t see this working. Lecture capture.

What makes a good online learning experience?

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Is it possible to define the qualities of what makes a good online learning experience, or a good MOOC? Is there a check list we could have pinned to the wall which we could use as we design and build our courses? This is not always easy as the platform (Blackboard, Moodle, FutureLearn, Udacity, etc.) Online, things are different. of days or even weeks. and what you can use, where, and why.

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How do you measure the ‘success’ of a MOOC?

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Here’s a question I’ve been battling for some time. how do you measure the ‘success’ of a MOOC? The problem is that I haven’t been able to define what the ‘success’ is supposed to be, so to try and measure it seems, well, a pointless exercise. Do you look for the number at the number of learners who did something, that engaged on the course in some way.

Learning the Netflix way

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I’ve just read the post by Donald Clark called ‘What does ‘learning’ have to learn from Netflix?’ ’  which has resonated with much of my own thinking from recent work and discussions I’ve been having on Twitter. signed up for one of the free 1 month trials of Netflix when it was first available in the UK. enjoyed it, then cancelled it. I’d got what I wanted.

Teachers are like gardeners …

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Another wonderful sound-bite from Sir Ken Robinson: ” A great gardener, a great farmer, depends upon plants growing under their care, otherwise they’re out of business. But the irony is that every farmer and gardener knows you cannot make a plant grow. You cannot do that – you don’t stick the roots on, paint the petals, attach the leaves, you know. The plant grows itself.

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One year on: The Really Useful #EdTechBook

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It’s been an eventful year in the life of The Really Useful #EdTechBook. wanted to just look back and collect my thoughts, and give you an insight into what it means to me, and to others. The idea. My original idea was to write about my thoughts on the use of learning / educational technology. Plus, you’ve probably read enough from me these days! Neil WIthnell. So, what next then?

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How to focus in the age of distraction

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So many of us are connected and/or using our connected devices regularly. Some might say we / you are addicted to them and suffer withdrawal symptoms when we forget them or leave home home without them. So then, how do we stay focused in this “age of distraction”? Genovese highlights her analysis of the book and the changes she’s making to sharpen her focus, including: .

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Whitepaper: When The LMS Isn’t Enough

In this whitepaper, you will discover the main reasons why the LMS alone is no longer meeting the needs of the modern learner. More importantly, you will learn what you can do to enhance its value.

It’s just ‘learning’ now. OK?

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So, we’ve had eLearning, e-learning, elearning, and ‘e learning’ We’ve had mobile learning, mLearning, mlearning. But not ‘m learning’ (We’ve also got the VLE, LMS, CMS, and many more besides, but that’s for another post). Access to learning resources should be across the board, easy, and not determined by the device. Pretty much everything the students need is now online – books, resources, notes, assignments – so the moniker of ‘e’Learning (for ‘electronic’) is void. So, where are you taking your LEARNING now?

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What I’ve learned from my kids: Lego

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I used to have a lot of Lego as a child. I don’t remember Lego as being about themes and sets or kits, as it is these days, but there was always a brick or two lying on the floor, just ready to ruin your day when you trod on it. Read the rest of the series of ‘what I’ve learned from my kids’ series, as I write them. And my, how it’s changed! Respect what others create.

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10 ways to keep eLearning interesting

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From the  Sh!ft eLearning website – 10 Ways to Keep ELearning Interesting. Creating Creating the learning resources and delivering the content is one thing, but creating and delivering content that is both engaging and thought provoking (and ‘sticky’) is something else. ” Related posts: Envisioning the Future of Education Technology #edtech #eLearning.

Classrooms in 2050

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What will classrooms look like in 2050? Of course it’s easy to picture (!), haven’t you figured it out yet? Yes, I know that I know nothing of this, which is why five leaders in their field were asked what they thought about it: what is the future of education?  by Ariel Bogle. This is what they think. ” Is this a warning? ” No more classrooms then? Time will tell.

Books vs eBooks: it’s about WHY as well as WHERE?

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So, I buy books and eBooks. It’s not a massive revelation, but if all you read is websites like Mashable or The Verge it might seem unusual to do both. What I see discussed about the difference between physical books and eBooks is about where we choose to read them. tend to buy  fiction books to read on either my Kindle or using the Kindle App on my iPad. In fact, eBooks that are only £1.00

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Storyboarding for eLearning

Storyboarding is a very important step for creating eLearning courses. But don’t you feel it’s a waste of time to start creating the courses from scratch and copy-paste text and other objects from the storyboard to the eLearning tool for course development.

5 Tips for engaging your students #eLearning

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A handy ’5 tips for engaging your students in eLearning’ infographic – something to print out and stick on the wall as a handy reminder of what you/we can do to make it easier for students to get the best out of their (e)learning: Keep it interesting & relevant. Keep it organised and uncluttered. Keep it interesting. Keep up to date. Make it engaging & interactive.

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Ideas for Sketchnotes

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I’ve not had many opportunities to sketchnote in the past few months, but I keep the practice up by trying different style, different fonts, different ‘thinking’ and concepts. But what i love is seeing what other people do and seeing if I can adapt and include in my own ‘repertoire’  So, where can you find ideas … try Google Image search ! Searching Twitter.

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The Future of Higher Education in a Digital Age

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If the student voice has so much power, as I keep reading that it does (when it comes to module feedback, learning resource development, pricing, etc.) then it stands to reason that the voice of students yet to reach Higher Education also have a voice that should be heard? “I see technology as the accelerator, the expander, the multiplier.” The Future of Education.

70:20:10 – informal learning

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This post is a slight detour from my usual educational technology based around use and uses in higher education, but this video from Charles Jennings of the Internet Time Alliance does have impact and relevance to those of us working and supporting higher education. ” So, what do think happens to students who sit through an hour lecture? Charles ” YouTube: 70:20:10 by Charles Jennings.

Evaluating Training - Capturing the Benefits Aspects of ROI

Training evaluation is necessary and, in many ways, critical to the success of a business. But because short term priorities always seem to take precedence, it is typically something we plan to do better in the next course, or maybe next month, or even next year. After all, we’ve managed pretty well up to now, so surely another year can’t hurt!

Why I tweet #edchat

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Inspired by the many talented people who draw and sketch their thoughts (and hoping I can emulate even just a smidgen of their abilities) here is my first (public) drawing from the iPad App Paper by 53 – why I tweet. Please feel free to share or remix , comment or criticise  (although I’d rather you didn’t), and try for yourself. edtech.

12 ways teachers are using social media in the classroom

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This resource from Vicki Davis – “A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom” on Edutopia is a good starting point for planning the inclusion of social media in learning spaces. Vicki closes by saying something very similar to what I submitted to the Mobile Learning – “Improving Learning with Mobile Technology” eBook: “Social media is here.

Project: The Really Useful #EdTechBook

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You know how it is … you have an idea that just won’t go away. About a year ago (January 2014) I had an idea for a third book: a follow-up to my ‘ what is a Learning Technologist? ‘ eBook. wanted to continue my exploration of my role and the community of learning professionals I find myself interacting with online and in person. Openness. Dropbox. among other things. Do it!”

Don’t give it to me unless I can customise it

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My first car was a 1993 Rover Mini Cooper 1.3i, in British Racing Green (obviously). bought it second hand in ’97 from John Cooper Garages (JCG) in West Sussex, and the legendary John Cooper himself handed my the keys (and made my mum a cup of tea while I did the paperwork). Like so many people who own a Mini it didn’t stay ‘standard’ for very long, as I read through the Mini magazines on the kinds of things I could do to personalise the car. bought the whole set of JCG brushed aluminium door furniture (window winders, door pulls, etc.) Months? Years?).

Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success

Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.

The Internet (in real-time) Infographic

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We all love infographics (well, I do. Well, decent ones anyway) which is why this one is really interesting. Instead of being a static “this is what happens in an Internet-minute” like this one and this one ) you can see the number of posts, likes, tweets, pins, emails, views, downloads, clicks, saves, etc. build over the time it takes you to view the details of the infographic.

Infographic – The education of tomorrow

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Infographics are great, when they have something worthwhile to say, and show the data in a worthwhile way. This is one of the better ones -  The Education of Tomorrow. Here are some of the headline details from the infographic: 90% of college students and high school seniors (yes, another US centric dataset) see tablets as valuable educational tools. But you know what. Infographic.

Creative Commons Infographic: Licenses Explained

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Do you use images or photos? Do you check with the owner before saving or copying or using? Are you using Creative Commons (CC) images and think that it’s all OK because the image labelled as CC therefore you’ve done all your supposed to? Do you in fact understand what Creative Commons is? If in doubt, before you go any further, watch this video: Creative Commons Explained.

The Future of Education. from Isaac Asimov, 1988 #edcmooc

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This video, a conversation between Bill Moyers and Isaac Asimov in 1988, just goes to show how some people can have the ability to think outside the box of current convention and get it so right. In the 25 years since Asimov’s words here so much has changed, and how his imagination has been so right. Thanks for  @Stephen_Hurley  for the original tweet of this and bringing it to me attention.

Move Beyond Learning to Applying: A Modern Management Development Program

A better way to develop front-line managers !It’s well documented that people leave managers – not companies. Download this guide to learn how to shift the perspective from event to journey and how to take learners through Proficiency Journeys to get results.

The intrinsic and extrinsic value of academic blogging #LTHEchat

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I’m not new to running or paricipating in tweet chats, in fact I’ve done a fair few over the last few years. And loved each for their own individual characteristics – here is a write up on two particular ways of running one. This time I took part / facilitating in the 31st LTHEchat with my good friend Sue Beckingham. The invitation was broad and open to interpretation (scary!)

Wearable Technology

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I’ve been meaning to write about wearable technology for a while now, but have resisted because (a) everyone and his dog has written about it, (b) I wasn’t sure on why I was feeling so negative about it, and (c) I couldn’t actually be bothered. So, what changed? Well, it was a reply tweet I got from Jason Bradbury last week. have a watch, it tells the time.

MOOCs – 9 points on what I like, and what I don’t

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Over two years ago I wrote about a few experiences I’d had with some online courses / MOOCs, and why I ‘failed’ (according to the general headline figures of engagement, attendance, etc. that are used in mainstream press). want to revisit this, in light of more experience in both designing MOOCs and being a student on them. This is both deliberate and accidental.

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Harness the power of video and increase student engagement

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Earlier this year I was invited to contribute to a guide for teachers on the flipped classroom, concentrating on the inclusion, or rather availability, of video to increase student engagement (flipped classroom or not). This is what I wrote: “Believe it or not YouTube has only just turned 10 years old. Yes, that’s right. So much has changed in that time that it’s often easy to forget just what the rate of change has been. Therefore, in my experience, my teachers often gave up and tried something else instead. Now fast forward to today and look at what you have.

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5 Unknown Ways You're Wasting Your Training Budget

In the US alone, companies spend over $70 billion on corporate training and about $1000 on individual employees according to Bersin by Deloitte. When it comes to training budgets, leaders struggle to pinpoint what impact (if any) their training programs are having. So what's the result? Companies end up wasting millions of dollars each year on ineffective training practices.

MOOCs – question on purpose, quality, student retention, feedback, etc.

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Ahh, questions around the purpose, quality, value, etc. in and around MOOCs have started again, and justly so. Disclaimer: Like many I have opinions, but not answers. The recently raised questions, started by Fred Riley on the ALT mailing list, have produced a good set of resources for those of us who are starting to ask these questions, needing a more comprehensive or value-added answer. student surveys and qualitative feedback. University of Edinburgh. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Report 2013. University of London. MOOCs and Quality: A Review of the Recent Literature. QAA MOOC Network.

Gearing up for #ALTC 2015

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So, with only two weeks to go before this years ALT conference (ALTC) it’s time to start making sense of the programme and sessions, see what’s happening and when, and then trying to work out how to be in several places at once. So, after a first pass at the ALTC programme  here are my plans, subject to change once I spend more time reading more of the abstracts and changing my mind.

Maybe digital isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

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So much of what I do these days, and what I produce, is digital. Tweets, status updates, audio & video files, documents, reports, etc. Less Less than 1% gets to where it needs to get to in any other way than by electronic transfer – money to friends (bank transfer), documents to colleagues (emails, networks, Dropbox), sharing (tweets, blog posts, status updates, etc.). Hell, even a message home to say I’ll be late will be a Facebook message instead of a phone call! Last week, for the first time in 20 years, I bought a vinyl LP. But what does this mean? Here’s a good idea.

Developing your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) #edtech

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One of the best examples I’ve come across, when looking at how you can utilise social media to form and develop a personal learning network is from my friends Sue Beckingham ( @suebecks ) and David Walker ( @drdjwalker ). Time to put that right – here it is: Using social media to develop your own personal learning network from Sue Beckingham. References. Suter, V., Alexander, B., link].

Workbook: Gamification and Your Enterprise Learning Strategy

This workbook is a response to your need to understand how to strategically incorporate gamification into your learning strategy, in order to drive real business results. It’s designed to be printed, written in and used as a guide.

Talk less, listen more

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Meetings. Does anyone ‘like’ them? Well, I do. have had some amazingly productive and informative ones over the years. Sometimes their held in offices, sometimes in dedicated meeting rooms, sometimes over a cuppa in the campus cafe, and occasionally over lunch off-site. But what makes a ‘good’ meeting? For together to further the meeting. If they do, then massive high-five.

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Peer Instruction and Clickers

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A trip up the motorway this week and I was in Manchester for the Turning Technologies User Conference. I had high hopes for the day but was also prepared to be disappointed (sorry) as these events are often really only people talking about what they, and others, already do … and I’ve heard a great deal about TurningPoint and the uses of clickers in classrooms before. Amazing!

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