Thursday, 11 November 2010

RSC TV Guide, What’s Online?

RSCtv is a series of 30 minute lunchtime online video presentations on recent developments and future trends. Each broadcast is scheduled around lunchtime; all you need to watch each video presentation is a network enabled PC or Mac running an up-to-date browser.

These broadcasts are a great way to not only to learn about e-learning issues but also to participate in live sessions that allow you to chat with the presenter and other attendees using web conferencing software. They are also a great way to see what can be achieved by web conferencing, it might inspire you to try some, after all some tools are still free.

Showing soon on RSCtv are the following two sessions which may be of interest to providers:

How to Google better - 30th November 2010 (12.30 – 1.00pm)
Venue: Online
Join this online session to find out how to search for resources more efficiently by refining your search criteria, using advanced tools and taking full advantage of Google functionality. In addition you'll find out how to find materials that you can copy and use without risk of breaching copyright law.

An Update from JISC TechDis - 7th December 2010 (12.30-1.00pm)
Venue: Online
JISC TechDis are an educational advisory service, working in the fields of accessibility and inclusion. They provide free guidance on creating accessible learning material, accessing information in alternative formats, and creating barrier free learning environments. Join this lunchtime session to meet one of the Senior Advisors and learn more about the JISC TechDis developments and initiatives.

You can access a full RSCtv schedule here, where you can register for future broadcasts, or view an archive of previous broadcasts.

In a similar vein, RSC South West delivers its own series of webinars, which can be accessed from wherever you are, provided you have access to an internet connected PC.

Coming up:

Using Mobile Learning to engage, challenge and reinforce learning, 6th December 2010 (11.00am - 12am)
Venue: Online
This session will look at practical ways of using mobile technology, how Bloom’s taxonomy reinforces the upper echelons via mobile reinforcement; and the reality of mobile technology.

To register for this session book via RSC South West online booking facility.

To read more of Wobble click here.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

E-Learning Technology - Try Before you Buy

For several months now we have been loaning e-learning technology to learning providers. We have been doing this to help providers to be able to evaluate the usefulness of devices which can be used for implementing e-learning and supporting learners with additional learning needs. More information about the project aims can be found in this previous post.

There has been quite a bit of positive feedback from this initiative so far and it has clearly helped providers to meet these aims. Here’s a snapshot of some of what has been reported so far:

Who has used the kit and in what context?

· ... used in a teacher training session on ILT to prompt discussion on the use of technology to improve access to education.
· Learners were encouraged to use the equipment, under staff supervision, in whatever way they saw fit.
· A range of contexts, in classroom lessons, in workshops, in one-to-one sessions with learning support tutors and within the access areas of the learning centre.

What kind of things has this kit been used for:

· To enhance recording of assessment, encourage learners to develop elearning skills, to support learning
· ...use in lessons to collect evidence of their work
· I scanned a piece of work the learner had produced using the Zpen (a detailed picture) and inserted into their PowerPoint Presentation

Do providers now have a particular preference for device that they would recommend to other practitioners?

· The Asus Eee PC was of particular use due to its portability, ease and speed of use, and extended battery life. I would recommend this piece of equipment to any learning provider experiencing IT access challenges due to lack of availability or spatial restrictions.
· ... the Zpen as it easy to use, has many uses, and is age appropriate.
· ...Flip video for assessment. Digital voice recorder for those not wishing to be filmed.

What actions have resulted from you trialling the hardware?

· Trialling the hardware has increased our awareness of what is out there and has lead to discussions with line managers about budget provision for accessibility equipment
· Have already purchased some of the kit after using the kit bag.

These bags of kit are still available for regional learning providers to borrow, at no charge, for a period of 2-4 weeks. A list of the hardware available can be found in this previous post which also outlines the project more fully.

To register your interest, please contact me by email (


Related Wobble links:

Learning Technology Loan Initiative
Borrow a fully functioning network
Accessibility Overview
Portable Video Magnifier for Learners with Visual Impairments
AccessApps - Free Portable Software on a Stick

To read more of Wobble click here.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Getting One Minute!

Following the recent re-launch of WebWise, the site now has a series of 16 one-minute films to support the website's resources. The video clips cover everything from search engines to social networking, which as well as being embedded in articles across the site, are also accessible from a single page.

Here are a couple of the videos that grabbed my attention and which might be useful for providers to share:

How do I make free phone calls and video calls online?
What is social networking?
What are podcasting and vodcasting?
How do I download files?
How do I stop getting spam?
How do I use a digital camera?
Preventing ID fraud

If you want to see all of the videos available, here is a link to the programmes page.

It’s worth noting that for slightly longer videos on aspects of using technology (three minutes or so each) these Commoncraft videos also offer some great no nonsense introductions that make complex subjects easy to understand.


Related Wobble links:

Getting WebWise and Staying Safe Online
Blogs in Plain English
A Quick Introduction to Wikis

To read more of Wobble click here

Monday, 8 November 2010

An Introduction to Virtual Worlds for Teaching and Training

I’ve written previously about the potential of using virtual worlds in Work Based Learning as these can be a great way to simulate learning environments.

For example, e-Learning staff at Barnfield College created a revolutionary learning environment in Second Life as part of a collaborative project with Museums Luton. They jointly created a virtual museum, which has helped drive a culture of innovative and engaging learning in the College and helped to raise the profile of local museums in Luton. Read the full Excellence Gateway case study online.

There are some other examples of the use of virtual worlds noted in this previous post.

In a free morning session next week (Wednesday 17th November), my colleague, Jane Edwards (aka LadyJane Plympton ) will be outling the potential of using virtual worlds for education and training. The workshop will cover the basics, including; what is Second Life, how to access it and how to get around ‘in-world’. There will be a demonstration of some of the areas that show how the environment can be used for teaching and learning and this will be taken further in discussion.

To find out more or book your place online on our website.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Related Wobble links:

Trying out Training in a Virtual World

To read more of Wobble click here.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Funding Opportunity - The Learning Journey Made Mobile

It’s quite exciting today as we have just launched a brand new initiative which offers regional work based learning providers the opportunity to bid for capital funding to purchase mobile devices. This new project – “The Learning Journey made Mobile” is being led by myself and Jason Curtis whom I’ve introduced on Wobble previously.

The purpose of the initiative is to capture and explore ten innovative examples of where mobile technology has been used to support and enhance the learner on their learning journey.

Each successful bid will receive £500 to purchase a number of mobile devices to use in their proposed project. All we ask for in return is a short report at the end of the project which may feed into a regional case study.

You can find out more about this project and access all the supporting documentation on a dedicated project wiki page at:

We look forward to receiving your enquiries – but be quick, the deadline for submissions is 12pm on Mon 29th Nov 2010.

I’ll keep you posted on how this develops.


Related wobble links:

Mobile Learning in the Work Based Learning Sector
Information Sheets on Technology for E-Learning
Molesharing Mobile Learning Resources
Kineo's mobile learning guide (pdf)
Go Mobile - free publication

To read more of Wobble click here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Need a network set up? Borrow ours.

Thanks to the initiative of our Technical Adviser - Colleen Romero, the RSC West Midlands is now able to offer learning providers the loan of network kit, where a network is needed. This new Network-in-a-Box service is targeted at learning providers who conduct training in locations that do not have an existing network infrastructure. As such it may be particularly useful to Work Based Learning Providers and Adult and Community Learning Providers, many of whom often struggle with connectivity.

Interested participants can loan the following network equipment at no charge, for one month. This will allow them to utilise their existing mains power circuitry to access an IT network or the internet (additional dongle required for this).

· 8-port (wired) network switch
· 85 Mbps Powerline Ethernet switches
· Category 5 Ethernet patch cables
Using this equipment removes the need for complex systems or yards of cabling and makes it quicker, cleaner and easier to get online. The service will also include a demonstration of how providers can :

· Configure a shared wireless or mobile broadband connection
· Connect a Powerline Ethernet network

As part of the service, Colleen is also on hand to advise on issues relating to this specific hardware and its installation and use. In return she may just be interested to know how it went at the end of the loan period. (which seems a fair trade to me!)

If you’re interested in borrowing this kit to set up a network of your own, contact Colleen by email

(PS Those more technically minded amongst you can also follow Colleen’s tecchie tips on her blog).

To read more of Wobble click here.

Assistive Technology and Access Apps

Do you know what Assistive Technology is and how it can be used with learners? If not you can either click here for a web definition, or better still, sign up for this free regional event which will explore assistive technologies in practice. The event will also show you how assistive technologies can be used to empower your learners (as part of your new Equality Duties).

This popular session is a repeat of previous ones run by Alison Wootton, our regional Adviser for Accessibility and Inclusion. This one will be held on the afternoon of 2nd December, here at Wolverhampton Science Park. Set informally in our training room it will offer you a chance to look at a range of software and hardware, including:

* A variety of software (Read and Write Gold, Word Bar, Clicker)
* Digital Cameras, MP3 Players
* Trackerballs, Giro Mice
* Alternative Keyboards
* Pen Partners
* Low Tech accessibility options (coloured overlays, organisation tools)

All delegates will also receive a copy of the popular Access Apps suite of software, a USB stick chock full of software that can freely be used and run directly from the USB itself.

More about that here.

Related Wobble links:

Create and Convert for Accessible Learning Resources
Accessibility Overview
Learning Technology Loan Initiative
Portable Video Magnifier for Learners with Visual Impairments
AccessApps - Free Portable Software on a Stick

To read more of Wobble click here.