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.