Why you should go to the PLE Conference – a flashback to 2010 #pleconf

PLE Conference #pleconfI’m really looking forward to the PLE Conference 11-13 July 2012. The conference continues to innovate in many ways. Organisationally we’ve expanded the conference to two locations, Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia and Universidade de Aveiro in Portugal, spreading the opportunity for sharing scholarship around the PLN and PLE topics and effectively making this a blended conference. How neat! (Of course, one of the venue organisers for Melbourne is yours truly  so I’m a little bias…;-))

The two locations have a joint Call for Papers out with the closing date for abstracts on 16 March 2012, and the deadline for final papers on 13 May 2012. I’m hoping to encourage you all to write an abstract, submit it and join us!

So why should you go to the PLE Conference?

I was very lucky to attend the first PLE Conference in Barcelona and some firsts are simply things which cannot be guaranteed for subsequent events. This first iteration was a veritable who’s who of networked learning with Alec Couros, Steve Wheeler, Graham Atwell, Ilona Buchem and many others in the field attending. Besides the excitement of this, it being the first conference, it also meant that much of the PLE work presented, was completely new to the other attendees. So it was like finding a treasure trove of PLE/PLN research. Also Ricardo Torres Kompen was just the best venue organiser/host, his attention to detail and calmness without peer.

So what are elements of the PLE Conference that continue to make it THE event for any networked scholar/educator to attend? Continue reading

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Are you the education technology curator for your organisation? #curation

@hansdezwart and @catspyjamasnzIn December I had the pleasure of visiting the The Hague headquarters of Shell, courtesy of @hansdezwart, their Innovation Manager for Global Learning Technologies. After a long Twitter “courtship”, we finally met IRL at Online Educa in Berlin (#oeb11) and found we indeed had lots of shared interests. One of the things I wanted to know more about was his use of Yammer to improve team connections and collaborations. I was lucky enough to have a personal demonstration and discussion, but you can read all about his Narrating Your Work project on Hans’ blog.

Sharing
As we were talking, we hit upon an activity we both do, that is not strictly part of our job but seems to have evolved naturally. We both work in roles that connect us to many different colleagues, within our teams, across our organisation, and in similar positions in other organisations. We also both have a widespread personal learning network (PLN), that is,  we are connected to many education technology experts and information sources, outside our organisation through various social media tools. The Conversation Prism diagram below created by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas demonstrates how some of those social media tools are used to ‘listen and share’.
The Conversation Prism - 1900px

In our discussion, Hans described how he used to send people links he had found through his PLN via email. He had now started sharing those links via Yammer, tagging all of them with a #share tag. And that triggered something for me. Continue reading

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Moodle Tool Guide and open resources: when the crowd goes “Oi!”

Hand Stop Sign_1724Many of you will be familiar with the Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers which has been doing the rounds in the Moodle community since 2010. It’s been tremendously exciting for me to see the guide I released under a Creative Commons license, being used, re-used and re-developed by so many people for so many different purposes.

Why should you share an Open Educational Resource?

Besides being a staff development tool for me, the Moodle Tool Guide  has  taught me so much about what it means to be an open resource contributor. Until the MTG went viral(ish), as an ed tech I would often encourage teachers to share their resources openly. It was always a logical, practical argument around the benefit for the community. I don’t think I articulated the personal rationale for providing an open educational resource with passion.  Now I can speak from experience, when I say that sharing your teaching resources openly can: Continue reading

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Digital Curation: What kind of digital curator are you? #converge11

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited by the #ConVerge11 organisers to do a digital curation workshop. First of all let me say that I’m so impressed by how well organised this conference is and how responsive to feedback. Last year they introduced Twitterwalls and this year made some minor tweaks, to further improve the very active conference backchannel. Well done eWorks and particularly the ever smiling Sarah Phillips!

This was a little nervewracking for me, as it was my first time speaking about my new topic of interest, and PhD topic: digital curation for teachers. Over the last few years I’ve presented, workshopped, taught, written and spoken a lot about the Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers, Course Design and PLNs. All of these are familiar territory for me. Speaking on a new topic was both scary and exhilarating. Scary as I don’t have that much “go to” material yet, and went into the workshop more with questions and observations, than answers. Exhilarating because I met others who either are curators or are interested in curation and this led to some very stimulating conversations (thank you @jurgen @tanmac73 and @stickylearning).

I believe that digital curation will be a new activity that academics in higher education will need to adopt. What do you think? Some questions in my mind: Continue reading

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The magic of #pencilchat (a pointed conversation)

pencil ends - slightly cropped Jetlag is wreaking havoc on my sleep patterns. So on the phone to people downunder at 5.30am, I got a tweet from my mate Steve to check out #pencilchat.

And promptly lost the next hour of my life to a highly entertaining conversation that can only happen when you mix experienced education technologists, the risk-averse environment they work in and Twitter. At one point I had tears running down my cheeks. Here are a few gems, but please, do go check the stream for yourself. Continue reading

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#eLearnconf in Hawaii – covering it live

Well this is the first day at the eLearn 2011 conference in Hawaii. It’s a large conference with a very full program. So I thought I’d set up a CoverItLive event to try to capture as much as I can. It’s capturing tweets with the hashtag #elearnconf and #elearn11.

 

Moodle Course Design: a high-wire act #mootnz11

Zippos Circus UK, 2008I was very pleased to be one of  a number of presenters talking about learning design at this year’s New Zealand Moodle Moot. Stephen Lowe talked about learning theories and Julian Ridden did an epic session on Game Theory which unfortunately I missed but he’s uploading an open course about it to MOOCH soon. But what was even better is that all of us were almost accosted by #mootnz11 attendees wanting to talk about this topic more. Learning design is back, baby! And it’s hot!

Below you will find the slides for my MoodleMoot New Zealand presentation with tips for the course design process, as well as our templates. Continue reading

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Twitterwalls: the writing’s on the wall

Last Friday the Hawke’s Bay Tweetup (#hbtweetup) was kindly hosted by The Crossing restaurant. The lovely drinks and positively gorgeous food were enjoyed by all the Hawke’s Bay tweeps. But The Crossing offered us another benefit, a data projector, discovered a week before during my reccie. The wonderfully hospitable Richard gave us a code for the wireless and after hooking up a laptop, we had our first #hbtweetup twitterwall.

It was a little distracting at times. In fact at the start of the evening conversation was a little slower than usual as we were mesmerized by the stream, like budgies by a mirror. However, as people became used to it, it became a natural part of the evening’s interactions. Jokes were made via the wall, apologies received, contact with the outside world established with tweets coming from the rest of the Bay, other tweetups in Rotorua and Hamilton, and even from Canada and Australia (we love you too @courosa and @marksmithers).

Why have a Twitterwall at your tweetup?

Most people who attend tweetups bring their own Smartphone which will let them access Twitter via their Twitter apps. Continue reading

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The ID Litany

Sand Patterns - background #2Working as an eLearning Advisor in higher education, a large part of my role is instructional design. In course design meetings with academic staff, I find myself asking the same questions over and over again. For each element of the course, I have the same questions. I thought I’d share it with you here, in an instructional design litany. (Yes I’m a geek. Used to love the Dune novels…)

The ID Litany

  • What will your students do?
  • How will your students know what to do?
  • How will you know what they’re doing?
  • How will your students learn?
  • How will you know what they’re learning?
  • How will your students get support?
  • How will you support them?
  • How will they support each other?
  • How will you & your students communicate with each other?
  • How will your students communicate with each other?
  • How will your students learn from each other?
  • Why are you using this activity?
  • Why are you using this resource?
  • Why are you using this technology?
  • How does this activity/technology/resource relate to their current or future work, learning and life?

If you work in an educational institution where the course design phase is often skimmed or skipped entirely, you may begin the Litany against Fear now.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer…

 

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A week of #edtech links