JISC RSC Northwest e-Learning Focus

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News, views and events from RSC Northwest. This issue includes; A Vision of the Future at Kendal College, Accesibility Forum Show and Tell, 1.4m Funding for FE + Skills Sector and Winstanley College's iPad experiment


  • JISC RSC Northwest e-Learning Focus


    February/ March 2012

    RSCs - stimulating and supporting innovation in learning

    Become one of a select few to receive a prestigious JISC RSC Northwest Recognition of Innovation (ROI) Award 2012. For the second year running these awards will celebrate the work of learning providers that have used technology in an innovative way.

    Winning entries will be awarded at the RSC Northwests Annual event this summer and will be publicised in all communications. Nominations are sought within teaching and learning or on the business systems side of a providers activity. Projects must be submitted by April 27 2012 by those leading on it, someone who has

    benefited from the innovation or a witness of the ventures success. JISC RSC Northwest Manager, Rachel Fligelstone says; The RSC is committed to recognising and promoting the innovative use of technology to support and improve learning and management throughout the North West. Whether your developments are relatively modest, or have a wider impact, across your organisation, we would like to hear about as many engaging projects as possible. These awards are all about recognising the hard work of those involved. Last years award winners included; a green project by Warrington College that saved 221 tons of CO2 by reducing electricity consumption, the dynamic use of Moodle for Blackburn Colleges catering course and Myerscough Colleges creation of USB sticks with apps to support all students, including those with learning difficulties. To submit an award please click here.

    In this issue

    A Vision of the Future at Kendal College P3

    Accessibility Forum Show + Tell P4 +5

    1.4m Funding for FE + Skills Sector


    Winstanley Colleges iPad experiment P6

    Free upcoming Events P6

    More eLearning resources P7

    Recognising Your Innovation

  • The Outstanding Technologies for Teaching and Learning event proved popular with delegates -93% of feedback given rated it as excellent or good (69% said it was excellent).

    The event held last month at Lancaster University was jointly planned by The Cumbria PRD Group with JISC RSC Northwest and LSIS. It brought together over 60 delegates from across the region to demonstrate outstanding technologies, improve teachers/trainers knowledge with innovative ideas; and improve teaching and learning experiences. JISC RSC Northwest eLearning Advisor Colin Gallacher, who led the RSC NW team running the event said; Our aim was to demonstrate the simplicity for non techie staff to transform existing learning materials into dynamic

    resources and how everyday technology might enhance their teaching practice. We are very pleased that the feedback and uptake for the follow up on-line event clearly shows that aim has been

    achieved. The programme revolved around short sessions on How Can I; make animated movies with XtraNormal, use Prezi instead of PowerPoint, learn to love i-Apps, use Google Docs and ProProfs quizzes and

    reach distance learners with Skype. A large show of hands at the end of the workshops indicated that most people were going to try out the new technology. Blackburn Colleges e-Learning coordinator, Xiaoxia Wang said; I found the tools really useful and I plan to use them. Proprofs is a better one than Moodle quiz and I want to build it into our staff development. Staffordshire University Academic Skills Tutor Librarian, Shaun Coates added; "What we liked was that it was easy to learn, free and you don't have to be technical.

    Each issue we will be suggesting helpful web-links or apps for teaching and learning. eLearning advisor Anthony Beal explains what he likes about itunes u.

    Do you want reliable, free information that engages your learners?

    Itunes U is:


    Media rich

    A guaranteed academic source that can be referenced

    Curriculum and level relevant vocational and academic material thats not all from universities

    Inspirational many top entrepreneurs tell their story

    Already in many learners pockets. You just need to

    unlock the potential - http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ For more information you can email Anthony on ab@rsc-northwest.ac.uk. For a host of other online resources/ eLearning tools click here

    Learning providers enthused about new technology

    Our Resource Recommend

    A group session on Xtranormal

  • It was something they had never seen before, and when an image suddenly started to tell them what it was like to study at Kendal Col-lege, it resulted in the most incredulous looks. Dan delighted in telling them this is the real future, next year it will be everywhere, and youll be able to say you saw it here first! The Kendal College app is available to download free from both iTunes and the android market-place.

    A Vision Of the Future with Kendal College - by Judy Bloxham

    Students looking at Kendal Colleges 2012 prospectus are in for a ground-breaking treat as photos literally come to life and start talking about what its like to study there when scanned with a smart phone. These Augmented Reality images are the brainchild of Dan Hodge, a lecturer in graphic design at the college. He began by exploring QR codes after visiting the London degree showcases but soon found that augmented reality could capture much more. Inspired by how it was being used to bring movie posters to life at the Cannes Film Festival, Dan was hooked. At the time he was running a one week summer school and his enthusiasm spread to his learners, resulting in an augmented

    reality project. With his guidance the learners built an interactive tourist guide to Kendal in just three days. While researching this project, Dan was shown the work of a company called Aurasma. It was exactly what he wanted, a way to bring images to life. Dan contacted the company and by the weekend he had virtual statues standing in his Kendal garden. He took his demo to Kendal Colleges Director of Curriculum, Maggie Cawthorn, who said to marketing weve got to have this. This began six frantic weeks of development that resulted in the production of the worlds first augmented reality prospectus for a college. News of it spread worldwide and the

    development was reported in blogs and tweets from Australia to Japan. At the Big Bang in a Box event highlighting work by Cumbrian colleges, apprentices and STEM businesses last year, the reaction from the visiting pupils was wonderful to watch.

    Point you camera at this image

    and watch it come to life by

    downloading the Aurasma app

    to an iPhone, iPad or android

    phone. You also need to search

    and subscribe to

    RSCNorthwest in channels.

    To watch a video on the Kendal College prospectus click here

  • From braille converters to a video site for dyslexic students, ten colleges had a chance to share the technology they use to make teaching more accessible and inclusive when they met last month. The AccessNW Accessibility Forum show and tell session at Lancaster and Morecombe College was the third time the new group had got together to discuss ideas and best practice. The forum was set up by JISC RSC Northwest for any representatives from specialist colleges and anyone with an interest in Accessibility, Inclusion and Additional Learner Support in post 16 Education, based in the North West. Lisa Featherstone from JISC Tech DISC started off the meeting by giving the

    25 attendees an overview of the latest developments from TechDis. She spoke about available resources including; SimDis which simulates conditions such as dyslexia, autism and visual impairments, the OASES resources for benchmarking accessibility practices within an organisation and a high quality Synthetic Voice soon to be available for staff and students of post 16 education to use with any text to speech application such as Dspeech, Balabolka and Orato. During the show and tell session Claire Jacob from Preston College showed the group a tactile image enhancer which converts text and images on a document into raised areas. This makes it ideal for producing documents in a braile format along with tactile diagrams and maps. She said, Weve been using this since September and it really works for students. They like it and we have a lot of use for it. Other equipment included a live scribe pen which records audio alongside handwritten notes, an e-pen used to

    We are interested in finding out how our learning providers communicate so we can ensure our various communication channels are organised in a way that meets your requirements. We value your feedback so please take a few minutes (5-10) to fill in this survey. To thank you for spending the time doing it, all completed entries will be put into a prize draw to win one of three 50 Amazon vouchers. Entries will close on Friday 9th March at 5pm. Winners will be informed shortly afterwards and details will be made available on the RSC website.

    Access NW Show and Tell How do you Communicate?

    Preston Colleges Claire Jacob shows documents made by the tactile image enhancer (above and top)

  • convert written notes on paper into digital text on a computer, a portable scanner which is used to quickly and conveniently save printed documents and books as digital text, and accessibility and communication apps for iPad and android tablets. RSC Northwest e-Learning adviser, Kevin Hickey who hosts the forum said; With a lot of these things people often buy the technology first and then figure out how to use it afterwards. My advice is to try it out first and get students to play with it and find new wa