EdVET 2017 Recap

The EdVET 2017 conference was held on Friday 29 April 2017 in Docklands, Melbourne. A month on and the eWorks team are still thrilled by the success of the day. Here is a short summary of the conference.

In April, eWorks held the inaugural EdVET conference together with the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS) and Chisholm’s Professional Educator College in Melbourne. After many years hosting the Converge conference the eWorks team was excited to be back in the conference space with some great speakers lined up.

International guest speaker Trina Hoefling kicked off the day with an enlightening keynote panel discussion alongside Phillip Murphy and Geoff Young. Trina engaged the audience with a highly informative panel style presentation discussing how a student focused approach and simple effectiveness strategies will guarantee positive outcomes.

The agenda for the day then saw a range of topics covered, from using social media to attract and support learners, and using technology to meet student expectations through to developing training to suit industry needs and quality assurance. There was truly something for everyone.

Andrew Douch closed the day on a high with his keynote on technology that amplifies learning in the classroom. Andrew, as usual, delivered his highly polished showmanship combined with a sound understanding of issues facing contemporary educators and innovative solutions, leaving the audience with much food for thought.

What did the attendees think?

We have received a lot of positive and helpful feedback following the event, including:

  • “Words cannot describe the excellence and generosity represented by these two exceptional speakers / facilitators!”
  • “Andrew has inspired me to make my students become self-directed learners.”
  • “An inspiring, light bulb moment filled day of learning and sharing knowledge.”
  • “Enjoyed the day on a whole host of levels and went away inspired.”

What’s next?

eWorks are excited to be working with ISS Institute and Professional Educator College again later this year to host blog and RSS pioneer Alan Levine. Watch this space!

Do you know who Andrew Douch is? Six reasons why you should

Andrew_Douch_croppedAndrew Douch is an independent education technology expert with 22 years’ classroom experience. He has won numerous awards for his work with emerging technologies in education, including the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Teacher of the Year. His mantra is ‘You don’t need to be very good with technology to do very good things with technology’.

Here he offers six tools to bring excitement to the classroom, and gives us a sneak peak at his EdVET 2017 presentation.

Gone are the days when teachers needed to be tech-savvy to harness the power of technology to make learning more engaging, exciting, and participatory. Today, even non-technical teachers can do novel things at little expense, that just a few years ago were either inconceivable or costly.

At EdVET 2017 Andrew’s workshop will cover a range of emergent tools which bring excitement to the classroom, improve learning outcomes and capture the interest of students. Andrew has found that each of these tools has made a real difference in the classroom because they meet (at least most) of the following criteria.

E – Easy.  They are easy enough for non-technical teachers to use.
N – New.  They allow teachers to do something not possible without the tool.
G – Gainful. They are focused on pedagogy and improving student learning outcomes.
A – Available, They are Affordable and available, and therefore easy to adopt and share with colleagues.
G – Gives Back Time.  Once learned, they save more time than they took to learn.
E – Exciting. Students want to use them, without needing to be reminded, nagged or bribed.

EdVET 2017

At EdVET 2017 in April Andrew Douch will join a team of bright minds in online and technology-enhanced education including international speaker Trina Hoefling, a virtual management pioneer, author and co-founder of The Smart Workplace. Presentations will include:

  • Teaching tomorrow’s workforce today
  • The many faces of social media: Attracting, supporting and retaining learners
  • Using tech to meet rapidly changing ESOL student expectations
  • Towards a Moodle quality assurance framework.

For more information and to register for this inspiring event please visit the EdVET 2017 website.

Surgeons amp up e-learning

Bill MezzettiBill Mezzetti is the Manager of eLearning at The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). The College is recognised for the high standards it maintains through its educational, training and professional development and support activities. This commitment to educational excellence includes working with eWorks to embrace the latest developments in online education. Here Bill shares his experience at a workshop with internationally renowned e-learning expert Nancy White, together with take home tips and strategies from this event.

Amping up engagement at RACS

Towards the end of last year, the kind people at eWorks invited us to a workshop Amping up engagement for learner success with Nancy White. We have been working with eWorks for several years now, and since we are always looking for ways to improve our online learning take-up , I thought it was a good opportunity to see what new ideas I could consider (aka pinch) and apply in our context.

The invitation came at a good time for us, as we are currently reviewing our learner engagement and ways to make our offerings more appealing to our time-poor, core audience. As I arrived, I was greeted by a friendly woman with a familiar manner who immediately made all of us participants feel welcome.

See one e-learning workshop and you’ve seen them all?

In the back of my mind, however, I considered the imminent roleplay that usually accompanies these workshops, as it’s not a place where my acting talent usually shines. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the exercises (not role plays) were carefully designed to familiarise participants with each other and we quickly started making connections and discussing our similar challenges. As we discussed the predefined topic our discussions inevitably led to more meaningful common ground that we all shared around e-learning, our barriers came down and paved the way for easy and receptive conversations.

So how do we apply this to our work at the College?

Apart from the many benefits of online education, one of the biggest barriers to engagement is the feeling of isolation that can accompany learning online. The simple act of posting to a forum leaves the learner without the benefit of body language or tone. It can leave the learner asking ‘What happens if people who I have never met don’t know me and misinterpret what I‘ve posted?’

In a lot of cases, learning both online and offline is often designed around the content. Nancy reiterated that we have many tools at our disposal to increase and improve learner engagement.. It all starts with entering the learning environment (as I did) to a warm welcome and making connections, facilitator with the learners and the learners with each other. We have online facilitators that use this technique with their blended learning courses that really make the most of the face to face time by breaking the ice as much as practical in the online environment.

Nancy emphasised the importance of these connections in an online environment and walked the group through facilitation strategies which effectively use online technologies such as ‘Impromptu Networking’. By asking a smaller group of the whole to focus on problems they want to solve it allows for connections to be made before presenting to the wider group. I was able to trial one of the many techniques Nancy shared during the workshop later that same day – ‘Troika consulting’, an exercise in active listening. After defining your challenge you sit turned away from the group of three other participants discussing your issue generating ideas for solutions. The person who presented the issue remains silent and listens to the group discuss possibilities it helped refine listening skills, build trust among the team and ultimately, help provide a solution to an ongoing roadblock in a project.

Thanks to eWorks for the opportunity to expand our way of thinking around online learning.

Struggling to engage your learners?

Or keen to improve on what you are already doing well? eWorks can help. Contact us to find out more.

Easy video streaming through your LMS: Why reinvent the wheel?

john-collins-headshotJohn Collins is passionate about cloud-based e-learning solutions which enable the delivery of online training anywhere and anytime. Today, John explains how to easily stream video through an LMS using inexpensive and user-friendly tools on the market – a highly effective alternative to buying and setting up a custom streaming media server with your LMS.

Moodle and video content

Moodle is rapidly emerging as the most popular LMS in the world of global education. eWorks’ customisation of Moodle – TVC – offers a wide range of additional features specific to managing vocational education and training (VET). eWorks’ TVC clients frequently ask how to best deliver video content to their learners using Moodle. There are a number of reasons why we continue to recommend the two major players in web-based video streaming – YouTube and Vimeo.

YouTube and Vimeo – how it works

Both YouTube and Vimeo offer a wealth of opportunities for learning, sharing and collaborating via learning management systems. Displaying and streaming videos in a Moodle course page is easy to do, by simply copying the YouTube or Vimeo share address on the page of the video you wish to add as course content and then hyperlinking the share address, to text or an image in a Moodle label resource. The selected video will then be displayed within the Moodle Course page.

Where you are producing your own video, you first upload this to your own Vimeo or YouTube Account. Once your file has finished uploading to either platform it is re-encoded into different versions of varying quality in order to optimise playback performance over different internet connection speeds. You then follow the simple steps above to display your video in your course page. This is where the value in using these systems comes into play and provides a superior experience for your learners, in comparison to locally hosted content.

Video and privacy

Where your organisation requires a degree of restriction to content, this is achieved through the combination of the password protected Moodle course with either:

  • Hide this video from Vimeo.com (Plus + PRO only) – This video can be embedded on other sites (such as an LMS) but can’t be viewed on vimeo.com.
  • YouTube’s option to either ‘unlist’ your video (i.e. it is not included in searches) or make it private (only those you nominate can view the video).

Free guide to using YouTube and Vimeo

For further information, JISC digital media have written an excellent guide to using YouTube and Vimeo for education.

Need a hand setting up your Moodle?

Contact eWorks for some friendly advice.