Showing posts from April, 2012

A Fresh Look at eLearning

This was the eLearning Network's first event of the year (23rd March, and I've only just got round to writing it up - might be better doing it there and then, in truth...) - focus on what makes eLearning effective. Here are a few of the highlights for me.

Laura Overton, Towards Maturity: The 6 characteristics of top performing learning organisations. What's worked and what hasn't. A very good presentation, underpinned by Toward's Maturity's own excellent research base. Laura spoke of:
the hunger for technology and learning to deliver business agility, how to align elearning with company strategy (more mature organisations set measurable targets)whether what companies do with technology supports skills and development, the need for a personalised learning experience that is relevant to people the need to support staff career aspirations with learning technologies and to support talent managementthe importance of aligning to need and delivering impactBen Betts, HT…

PowerPoint Masterclass: Visualisation

Brightcarbon have been delivering some rather impressive webinars on approaches to PowerPoint presentations. The first one was on 'Visualisation' and this is a quick summary of the main points.

Slides which are packed with information cause audiences to disengage - thus making the presentation a complete waste of time for both presenter and audience as no information is communicated and retained. Recent research* reveals that slide design is critical.

People recall more information from somebody talking without visual aids than from somebody with a packed slide. Also, the presenter is tuned out in favour of the information on the slide itself, which is seen as more important. If that slide is then made simpler, an audience will remember more because the presenter can then add more value to the presentation.

It's impossible to listen and read at the same time, so audiences have to simply switch their attention between the slides and the presenter, which is both tiring and…

Open Clip Art Library

I was searching around for an image to use on a quick draft website and found this:
They say: "The Open Clipart Library (OCAL) is the Largest Collaboration Community that creates, shares and remixes clipart. All clipart is released to the public domain and may be used in any project for free and with no restrictions."

I say: wow! thank you so much for providing such an amazing resource and it's a fantastic example of generosity and collaboration on our open worldwide web. Go there, use stuff - and also consider making stuff for the site.

And you can follow on Twitter:

Open Access Educational Technology journals

Thanks so much to George Veletsianos (at his blog at for compiling and then generously sharing a truly immense listing of open access journals ranging across technology and education. Perhaps with a playful nod to less altruistic practitioners and academics, George says it would "obviously" be plain silly to develop such a resource and not share it openly - so, come on you slowcoach teachers, hurry up and share your good stuff, you foot-dragging institutions...

Ahem. Anyway, you'll find the resource as a web page and as a spreadsheet (if you have a google account - and note, that this is editable too, so you can add your own journal by using this form).

A fantastic and generous spirited idea, thanks George!

Being a real person with learners

A few months ago, I delivered a presentation about freedom and control in the classroom and was asked the question "what does it mean to be real in a teaching and learning context" (or something very close to that) - and I think I gave quite an unsatisfactory and surface answer, so that the question has been at the back of my mind ever since. So, I was really pleased to find this from Carl Rogers (and recognising the unintentional sexism of the late 1950s using 'he' and 'his' when talking in general about people) about the conditions for significant learning, which can be encouraged to the extent that the teacher/facilitator:
 "...becomes a real person in the relationship with his students. He can be enthusiastic about subjects he likes, and bored by topics he does not like. He can be angry, but he can also be sensitive or sympathetic. Because he accepts his feelings as his feelings, he has no need to impose them on his students, or to insist they feel t…

The New Learning Architect

I'm just waiting for Amazon to deliver this book by Clive Shepherd, mainly because I am wondering if it might provide a genuine update on some of Carl Rogers' ideas about creating the most effective environment for learning, as well as providing the language for talking to instutions about how to make learning happen in their organisation beyond formally-provided courses (especially as some research shows that this is only about 10% of how we learn). I'm very interested to discover what Clive says about how the facilitator should BE in his model, something that Carl Rogers showed was key to significant learning taking place. Come on, postie!