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Where is this QR Code taking me?

This post from the always interesting Elon University Instructional and Campus Technologies team gives me all manner of wicked ideas about misusing QR codes. (Not for nasty things, just for gentle mischief) Best tip by far is to only use QR code readers that display the URL before accessing it. (Of course, that begs the question, what if it is simply a url?) On a similar note, the evolution of augmented reality technology – particularly the ability to use images instead of qr codes to link to websites – has me wondering what might happen if people start attaching their own resources/videos/etc to corporate logos?

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San Jose State’s MOOC Missteps Easy to See РHigher Education

Some useful lessons about running MOOCs gained by looking at a poorly run one. The fact that these courses were still being built as they were being delivered – something perhaps not uncommon in face-to-face land but rarely an inspiring sign – should have been the first give away. It’s hard not to think that this was the result of a top-down “OMG, everyone else has a MOOC, we have to have one too, now, now now” mentality that even I have been bumping up against lately

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Taking a test is better than studying, even if you just guess: We need to flip the flipped classroom | Computing Education Blog

This article looks at some interesting research that suggests that getting your learners to take a short test on the content in your course before they’ve learned about it will actually help them to retain it later. At the very least I guess it gives them an overview of what they will be learning and what they do and don’t already know about it.

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3 powerful ideas you should steal from marketing for your training design

Cathy Moore is one of the smartest writers about training and education design going around.

She simply gets that we need to focus on what we want learners to be able to do and that we need to tailor everything that we do to support that.

This post touches on an idea that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently – the fact that we should be taking lessons from marketing and advertising (yes, evil marketing and advertising) about designing messages that appeal to our audience. After all, this is what they exist to do and these people spend obscene amounts of money and time finding ways to reach people who long ago learned to ignore or resist their messages. (It’s also a pretty funny and well made ad)

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Great e-Learning designs for Moodle – Karyn Milne CIT Creative Industries

screenshot of moodle course

The following short video (5:03) showcases some of the fantastic design work that one of our Creative Industries teachers – Karyn Milne – has done in her Moodle course. (We call our Moodle system eLearn, in case you find references to eLearn in the video confusing).

The main tips that I have taken from this are:

  1. Use advance organisers to give learners a context and a framework for the activities and resources that are coming. In this instance it is as simple as expanding on the topic heading – Printing (Technology, literacy and cultural change) or The Bauhaus (Form follows function – and the new hopes)
  2. Visual representations of the content help add extra meaning. Now Karyn is a skilled graphic designer so maybe your topic banners might not be quite as artistic but it is still relatively easy to add simple images that also help to break up the dreaded Moodle wall of text
  3. Provide simple and direct instructions with the actions emphasised
  4. Provide a range of different resources and activities – in these two topics we have documents, videos, a quiz and a discussion forum.
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Blog about All the Teaching and Technology!

blog all the ed-tech

Having run the Gamerlearner blog for a couple of years – albeit intermittently – I found more and more often that I wanted to discuss aspects of the use of technology in education that didn’t relate to the use of games. Now maybe people don’t worry about the name of the blog as much as the titles of the posts but somehow it felt that I have reduced my opportunities with the Gamerlearner name.

So here we are – screenface to me represents the place where we work as e-Learning designers or educational technologists or whatever the name of the week is now. Miners used to work at the coalface, teachers taught at the chalkface and now we have moved on to the screenface.

I sat with a teacher this morning and explained some – what I considered – fairly basic steps in the process of adding content to our eLearning repository and she seemed genuinely blown away by how much I knew. She even referred to me as the Yoda of eLearn (the name we have given our eLearning platform built on Moodle, Equella and Adobe Connect). This was nice but it didn’t sit well with me – I would much rather teachers saw our systems as just another tool that they use every day than some slightly mystical entity that only a select few really understand.

This I guess is my goal – for ed tech to be just another (albeit useful) tool that makes teachers’ lives easier and provides more opportunities for learners.