Here I'll be blogging the NW2004 conference - feels a bit bizarre to blog an online conference, but as only registered participants can view the site and articles, I'll include some snippets that may be of interest. Also makes for a permanent record for me.
From the site: "NET*Working 2004 is an initiative of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework which is a national strategy to support Australia's vocational education and training system meet the rapidly increasing demand for flexible learning, including e-learning, from industry, enterprise and clients."
Conference presentations are using a range of tools - discussion forums, Elluminate for synchronous presentations, Wimba for voice discussion boards, and many presenters have uploaded bundles of resources and files to start the thinking juices flowing.
Best get into the site and hunt out some presenters - My areas of interest are wide but include: Workplace Learning, Flexible Learning adoption and implementation, cost-effective tools and techniques, learning design and so on. One of the beauties of the online conference is the range of topics covered, so I'll be sure to throw in a few odd ones from left-field.
This tool allows you to include long/lat location information in a blog post, and then generate an interactive map that plots your blog posts. Posts are represented by red dots. When you click on a red dot, the post appears.
Neat. Might try using this as a way of plotting my journey this year, might not, sure a way of using it will come to me eventually ;-)
A group of four Flexible Learning Leaders interested in the trade areas have started off what looks to be an fascinating discussion. Vanessa Marsh, Brian Gepp, Roger Parry and Steve Elsegood have posed questions around
1) Apprentice Training - Gathering Evidence in the Workplace
2) Essential requirements of offering Flexible Delivery in Trades
3) Factors influencing the uptake of flexible learning in the trade areas!
4) Student management and tracking
From the discussion so far it would appear some of the changes promised by Training Packages and on-the-job training are yet to permeate the trade areas. Negotiation seems to be the key in the examples given where progress is being made.
Created by Sean Fitzgerald and Wendy Zammit, this course will introduce you to self-publishing tools such as online journals and blogs and will show you how these tools can be used in the classroom. " Tjis
This looks interesting, but I'm too early - starts tomorrow
Kate Fannon is facilitating a discussion about dissemination strategies called "Off the page into the head - a dissemination challenge". Kate manages the Appplied Research Program and produced a CDrom of the 2003 projects. Rather than the typical pdf reports, this cd includes video of the researchers talking about their projects.
The 2003 Applied Research project produced five research papers on elearning, covering barriers to adoption, learning needs, workplace cultures and accessibility.
The Australian Flexible Learning Framework's Research Program (2000-2002) conducted an integrated three-year research and dissemination program on pedagogical, technical and managerial aspects of flexible learning in Vocational Education and Training (VET) with specific reference to e-learning.
The discussion within Net*Working focusses on the best ways of sharing information like this. In terms of my role, I find that I will email people with links to resources they may find useful, or file for future reference against the day I need to find something quickly. In addition, to improve follow through, local champions are important. More to come from this discussion I suspect.
Charles Jennings argues that "Research is showing that the explosion of knowledge, the increasingly complex world in which we live, and the need for 'just-in-time' capability is exposing the deficiencies in event-driven learning. The 'course' is becoming less appropriate in the modern world as a method for building knowledge and capability. "
In the audio introduction Jennings describes the context within which he works - Reuters which is a 'fast realtime environment'. He challenges us that the online course will die, and be replaced by individualised and personalised approaches to learning. Jennings sees that formal learning is dying already 1) business is changing rapidly, 2) changed workpatterns make a full day courses difficult to schedule, and 3) technology enables us to learn in smarter ways.
Caught the tail end of Curt Bonk's Elluminate presentation. To get people involved he recommends that case studies, mentoring and buddies, and also making use of the social networking that comes as part of workshops etc.
In the Q&A that followed the formal session, he pondered if with the move to online, we are starting to consider more the range of strategies, and if it is easier to provide more options for learning styles, and suggested that it becomes more explicit when we are meeting the range. This requires deliberation on the part of the teacher. How all the various activities meld into a grade is not always clear. Infrastructure becomes an important part of the equation too.
I wonder if slides will become available or any recordings of the Elluminate sessions?
UPDATE: went back and listened to the recorded presentation that was available. Link to website http://mypage.iu.edu/~cjbonk/ including links to presentations (including this one) for download here
On Educational Technology Curt says: "Resistence is futile" - in a lot of cases we don't recognise the tools that we use everyday as ed tech.
There are continuums based on risk, time, cost, student outcomes. Think about where tools sit on the various continuums.
In terms of resistance, in a poll of the audience, limited familiarity and experience, no time to plan for it and limited support from administration were identified as key reasons.