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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].

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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.

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.

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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How to Choose Between On-Demand and Instructor-Led Training

Not sure whether to offer on-demand or instructor-led training, or both? Each has its pros and cons and your decision will depend on your organization’s needs and goals. Download this eBook to learn which option is better at scale, as well as the resources needed to implement each training type.

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 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.

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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Skill based learning – How it drives an organization’s performance

Training and learning organizations today play an active role in contributing to the bottom line of any organization by aligning their objectives to the immediate business objectives. This provides a solid ground for cost justification and encourages businesses to place training groups right where they should be, at the heart of a growing, thriving, learning culture.

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.

Bitcoin and Blockchains explained

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A slightly off-camber post here, but someone I trust mentioned that we ought to understand the bitcoin and blockchain development as it could be about to hit the mainstream. Here’s some explanation and videos to help. think? It’s about the trust the chain has based on the underlying technology. ” Watch this, see if it makes sense? This new paradigm is the blockchain.

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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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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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!”

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.

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.

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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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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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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Leaving performance reviews behind: Where to start [Guide]

Is your company ready to move beyond the annual performance review? Where do you start? What are the keys to success? In this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of: the forces driving change, three foundations of success and take a deep dive into the skills gap many managers have that will sink your efforts before they start and how to address them.

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 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.

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?).

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.

Attract, Engage, and Develop Talent using Open Badges: An IBM case study

Companies have an incredible opportunity to use badges to help attract, engage, recognize and develop talent. There have been significant developments around digital credentials and particularly the fast rise of badges and micro-credentials. Learning Professionals need to be aware of what's happening and innovators should be taking a leading role. In this session, David will go through the well-known IBM Open Badge Program to help explain badge programs.

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!)

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.

Interview with Sue Beckingham, #EdTechBook chapter author

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As part of a new series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this first post I talk to Sue Beckingham, Educational Developer at Sheffield Hallam University. DH – Hi Sue. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life? Why keep it to myself?!

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.

Best Practices for Launching an LMS

When launching a new platform to deliver customer and partner training, there are a few key items to keep in mind. The best and simplest way to stay organized during this process – and be able to measure success – is to follow the tried-and-true practices outlined in this eBook. Click to download.

What is the student experience?

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It’s that time of year again when we hear more about things like the NSS survey (and results), teaching and learning showcase, graduates & graduation, league tables, and of course the student experience. But what is this ‘student experience’? Is it the application process, the hall of residence, the equipment, the availability of books in the library, the quality of teaching, access to support, timely assessment feedback, employability, skills, digital literacy? Is it this? Is it more? Is the university spread across multiple campuses, across different continents as well?