rsc east midlands newsletter "intouch" - autumn 2009

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The JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) for the East Midlands produces a termly newsletter "intouch" that highlights current practice in e-learning/ILT in the region. This edition focuses on video in education.

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  • Video in educationIn this edition of intouch we considerthe use of video in education. We have coverage about capturingvideo from TV, bringing in resourcesor making your own, and how to usethese in learning materials.

    We hope that this sets you on theroad towards becoming confident in integrating this increasinglycommonly used technology into your learning and teaching.

    intouchthe termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands Autumn 2009 Volume 8: Issue 1

    Stimulating and supportinginnovation in learning

    Contents1 Video in education2 Regional News2 RSC kit loans2 e-Portfolio Review3 Funding update3 Organising a VLE

    competition4 Biggest e-fair yet4 E-learning success in

    the region5 Best practice around

    the UK5 Resource Corner6 Hints & Tips6 Capturing video content7 Focus On: Curriculum

    Review7 JISC news8 Forthcoming Events8 e-learning & CPD8 Your feedback

    There are numerous tools available tocapture, edit and produce video and theprocess is well within the reach of mosttutors. The rapid uptake of broadbandmeans that many learners can now easilyaccess these resources.

    What does video bring to the party?Firstly its brilliant for illustrating apractical process or sequence of events,whether that involves laying bricks,watercolour painting or measuringblood pressure.

    Secondly its very forgiving learners canplay and re-play the clips in a way that isimpossible with live demonstrations.

    Thirdly its portable the learner can viewit on the web, their iPod, their phone ordistributed on DVD, in fact just about anyway thats convenient for them.

    In the classroom it has obvious impact,as long as its kept short and snappy, butwhen distributed for personal learninge.g. on an iPod, or used on a learningplatform for distance learning it can havea key role in enhancing the learnersunderstanding and engagement.

    The video newcomer on the block is thehand-held, instant recorder made byBusbi, Flip, Vado and others.

    Cheap and cheerful, it provides goodquality images for instant replay oruploading onto the web.

    Tutors can employ these easily andwith very little training and as well asproducing video for learning they arefabulous at recording progress forassessment.

    Creating and editing video may be easy free software to do this is on everyWindows or MAC PC, but not everyonehas the time.

    No matter, there is a huge range ofvideo clips available on the web YouTube is the obvious site to mentionhere, but theres also excellent stuff onTeachers TV.

    Mainstream broadcast TV should not beforgotten either. Systems are nowavailable to capture and stream onto acomputer network.

    Turn to pages 5-7 for more on usingvideo in education.

    You can also experience this first-handat our event on the 8th Decemberwhich explores the sources of video foreducation and how video can be bestemployed in the classroom and beyond.

    Video in EducationVideo is now easier to produce and distribute than ever beforeand, as a result, the use of video in education and training hasgrown significantly.

  • 2Regional News

    Notebooks for ACLNottingham City Councils FamilyLearning Team have recently purchaseda bank of Samsung notebooks that theyhope will prove hugely beneficial forboth tutors and learners.

    Paul Huskisson commented that, wewill be encouraging tutors to use theequipment at every appropriateopportunity, from 12 hour to 60 hourprogrammes and will incorporating theeffective use through quality monitorvisits and tutor observations.

    New opportunities formobile learningA survey at RNIB College Loughboroughshowed that visually impaired learnerswere less confident at using features onSmartphones than fully sighted learners.

    With the support of funding from Becta,the College offered learners workshops onconfiguring the Talks speech on the phones,using GPS to aid mobility, text scanning into speech and reading DAISY books.

    Loan of networkmonitoring toolWe have recently purchased a FlukeNetworks Etherscope which we canuse, on-site, to carry out a NetworkHealth Check on a Learning Providersnetwork infrastructure when they callus in for assistance.

    It is extremely useful for diagnosingproblems and fine-tuning wired andwireless networks, as it can analyse theconnected devices and the differenttypes of traffic flow across the network.

    We are now makingthis tool available foryou on free short-term loan. To bookthe Etherscope kitcontact GordonMillner on 01509618120 orgordon.millner@rsc-em.ac.uk.

    Participating learning providers weregiven 1-year licenses for two different e-portfolio products, NuventivesiWebfolio and PebblePad from PebbleLearning, and asked to try them with arange of learners, including thosestudying in the workplace.

    Chesterfield College chose to comparethe two e-portfolio systems with a groupof FDSc students studying AppliedComputing. The learners were asked fortheir views on the design of each systemand on the concept of e-portfolios. Thefinal data is still to be gathered, butinitial indications are that learners findthe systems easy to use and liked theidea of electronic personal portfolios,especially if the feedback they receivethrough them from their tutors isprompt. The college is also currentlyinvestigating Mahara as part of aseparate development.

    South Nottingham College piloted theuse of PebblePad across a range ofsubject areas, including: Hairdressing,Media, IT and Sport. They wereparticularly interested in how anexternally hosted, learner owned e-portfolio can be integrated into theirexisting learning and teaching practicesand ILT infrastructure. See the casestudy at www.excellencegateway.org.

    New College Nottingham evaluated thebenefits and issues in implementing anassessment e-portfolio for work-basedlearners. Instead of using either of theavailable e-portfolio tools they usedOneFile to explore the benefits forteaching and learning and to look atwhat is required to successfullyimplement an e-portfolio.

    This project is now in its final phase, but theCIePD have published a number of earlyfindings and recommendations, including:

    One-size does not fit all. A flexible e-portfolio tool used across

    subject areas can help learnersdevelop the skills needed for higher-level study.

    Decide whether an institutional or aninstitution-free e-portfolio is mostappropriate as your starting point.

    Consider existing tools and alternativemethods to using purpose built e-portfolio tools.

    For the successful roll-out of an e-portfolio approach the CIePD outlinethe following steps:

    Practitioners should be consulted andengaged in developments at an earlystage.

    It is important to maintain early adoptionmomentum through ensuring adequateteacher time and core support/training,including on the pedagogies relevant to e-portfolio use.

    e-portfolio activities should be embeddedin lesson plans and the curriculum.

    Learners preferred ways of workingshould be considered (e.g. usingmobile technology and web 2.0) andreflected in the approach you take.

    To find out more about this project, youcan contact the CIePD at eportfolio-admin@nottingham.ac.uk.

    RSC East Midlands provides a range ofservices relating to the development anduse of e-portfolios, if you would like tofind out more go to www.rsc-em.ac.uk.

    To expand on our support with e-portfolios, the RSC will have a seriesof events over the upcoming year in amixture of face-to-face and onlinesessions. The first one of these will beheld on November 11th in Derby thatfocuses on how e-portfolios arecurrently being used across theMidlands and providing advice ondeveloping and embedding e-portfoliouse in your organisation.

    East Midlands Collegestrial e-portfoliosThree regional colleges have been involved in piloting e-portfolios aspart of a project being run by the University of Nottinghams Centrefor International e-Portfolio Development (CIePD).

    A sample menu of an e-portfolio

    Borrow kit from theRSC to analyse yournetwork

    What is an e-portfolio? CIePD

  • Funding OpportunitiesDespite the current economic gloom, funding is still being providedto promote innovation in education. The most notable and relevantrecent funding announcements are listed below, but your RSCprovides ongoing announcements of any funding relevant to thesectors we cover, via our various JISCmail mailing lists and website.

    Promoting yourVLE internallyGrantham College recently held a VLEBest Practice Competition toshowcase effective practice by Collegestaff in the use of their VLE (VirtualLearning Environment).

    Facing a judging panel includingAmanda Mosek (Deputy Principal),Kate Marshall (Learning ResourcesManager), and Gordon Millner (JISCRSC East Midlands), competitionentrants gave a short presentation ontheir use of the VLE.

    Colin Kistruck (Engineering)demonstrated how wikis andglossaries can promote collaborativeworking, whilst Ann Starks and ChrisLewis (both from Humanities, Maths,Science & Computing) highlighted,respectively, how e-learning can beembedded in the curriculum andhow customised software canpersonalise Moodle.

    The competition was designed toraise staff interest in the ILT agendausing Moodle, explains JamesMeenaghan, Computing &Communications Support ServicesManager, who organised the contest.Even before the event numerousstaff commented that they will nowstart to use Moodle and others havevowed to sharpen up their sitesbefore next years competition! Thisinterest may have been influenced bythe prizes on offer, which included aNetbook computer, an Apple iPod anda SatNav system.

    The judges awarded overall victory(and the Netbook) to Colin Kistruck,whose innovative use of wikis capturedthe imagination of those attending. An additional prize of 200 forCurriculum area engag