Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Getting to Grips with Interactive Whiteboards

The Interactive whiteboard is a wonderful tool to use with learners — great for group activities and for capturing the attention of learners. But while many learning providers own them, not all staff have been able to successfully integrate them into their teaching.

To address this, the RSC West Midlands are now offering another of our popular Interactive Whiteboard training sessions, free to staff from West Midlands based work based learning and adult and community providers.

In this repeat of a previous session, Alison Nock will again show what can be achieved using interactive whiteboards and show how they can be used effectively to enhance teaching and learning.

This beginners two hour workshop will take place in Wolverhampton on Friday 3rd October from 1.30pm - 3.30pm. There are a limited number of spaces available and they do tend to go fast - the last event was full within 48 hours of being advertised! Bookings are limited to two people per organisation.

For more information email our events coordinator or book online.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

FREE Resources for Quality Improvement

Over the last seven years, the Nationwide Consultancy for Adult Learning (NCAL) Ltd has been developing a library of tools that it has used to support its client base of learning providers preparing for inspections. NCAL has now made much of this library of resources available to learning providers to use for free!

On their site, NCAL note you are now able to “…. browse through up to 60 well tried and tested items including forms, checklists, staff development presentations, diagnostic tools, sample policies and many more”.

They also note: “…The materials have been developed and refined over the years to be used as templates which our clients can adapt and customise to their own house-style. Many of them have played a part in the achievement of grade 1s!”

There is a wide range of tools and templates in this library, mostly in Microsoft Office formats so you can download the resources and refine them to your own organisations needs. They could also sit very nicely within a Quality Improvement area of your staff intranet or Virtual Learning Environment. There are several categories spanning Equality and Diversity, Leadership and Management, Learner Journey and Quality Improvement.

You can access the free resources on NCAL’s website.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Evaluation of CELs Leadership Toolkit

The Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) is currently evaluating one of its successful online resources, the Work Based Learning Leadership toolkit. I’ve mentioned the toolkit on here previously, it’s an online resource that supports work based learning leaders with interactive resources that cover nine core business areas. Constantly reviewed and updated, this evaluation is designed to review the toolkit and ensure it remains focussed on your needs.

As part of this evaluation CEL are welcoming input from users of the toolkit who can undertake a short survey online. CEL are also looking for organisations who would be willing to have a case study written about their experiences and use of the toolkit. (Organisations that take part and have a case study written about them will be given a yearly subscription for an additional member within their organisation.)

If you are a current user of the toolkit you can learn more about ways you can offer your own feedback on the survey website or by emailing the Toolkit team.

If you are not a current user but keen to know more, details of the toolkit are available on the main CEL website or you can view an animated demo of the toolkit and some of its contents at this link.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Molesharing Mobile Learning Resources

Are you looking for e-learning resources to use on mobile devices? If so, the new Moleshare site might prove useful.

This new site offers a number of mobile friendly learning materials that can be freely downloaded, for use on your intranet or your Virtual Learning Environment. The materials have been designed with mobile devices in mind (so they resize to smaller screens etc) but they can be displayed and used on PCs too.

The site has various sections - the resources area is useful if you are looking for specific learning material to download and use while the examples and tools area shares some of the outcomes of the Molenet work that has taken place this year.

There are already a variety of resources there ranging from videos to Photostorys, to PowerPoint Presentations to images and audio files. Each listed resource shows what mobile devices they are suitable for too.

More information..

This is another useful site to add to the list of growing sites that support the fast growing area of mobile learning. I’ve mentioned several others in a previous post here. I’ll now also be adding Moleshare to the new look Work Based Learning delicious site where there is already a growing list of resources that are available for use in the sector. If you haven't already seen those might be worth a look.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Free video-conferencing for learning providers

I’ve mentioned Dim Dim on here previously, its a free video conferencing tool. My colleagues and I have recently been showing how much potential this tool has for learning providers.

For example videoconferencing could be used to...

* support groups of remote learners who can access a tutor led session from their own PCs (no downloads required).

* many training providers have several centres and staff are required to travel to attend meetings. Using videoconferencing reduces the need for that, saving travel costs and travel time for the company. (Reducing carbon footprints too!)

* to host short staff training sessions online - these might also be recorded for later playback.

There are several options for free videoconferencing software, Dim Dim is not the only choice, but it is a favourite of ours at the moment because of its ease of use and the fact that it is an excellent free option. I’ve mentioned more in a previous post which has links to a BBC review too. A new version has also just been released with additional features making it an even stronger contender to many of the videoconferencing tools you pay large fees for.

If you haven’t yet seen Dim Dim or experienced videoconferencing, possibly because you were put off by the technical requirements, know how or cost, the good news is Dim Dim now addresses much of that. If you would like to know more here's a one minute video that highlights Dim Dim in more detail, this previous post has additional reviews or feel free to get in touch with any questions or comments.