Free handouts: Education technology trends in 2015

Jo NorburyJoanne is the content services manager at eWorks and a self-confessed e-learning geek. Specialising in learning solutions using digital technology, it is her job to stay up to date with the latest trends and innovations in this area. And that’s great – because then the rest of us can simply ask Jo. Here Jo shares key messages from her ACPET 2015 presentation on the latest emerging trends in digital learning, and – as promised – tells you where to access:
  1. An educational technology glossary of terms.
  2. An overview of commonly used software tools and applications used by vocational education and training (VET) teachers and trainers to deliver e-learning.
  3. A Totara 2.7 component overview.

How do you transform your learning delivery…

and get creative using educational technology? By staying up to date with emerging trends in digital learning. That means anything and everything from learning management to social learning, to mobility and accessibility, and voice, touch and gesture technology. But chances are you don’t have time to keep an eye on it all – there seems to be something new just about every day. How do we know which technologies are transient toys? Are they respected by educators and will any of them be around for the long-haul? What is everybody else doing? Most importantly, when is it safe to invest? These are just some of the questions that we considered at ACPET 2015.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

What a great turnout at the ACPET conference 2015. I was thrilled (and slightly terrified) to see that it was standing room only at my presentation on the latest emerging trends in digital learning. We started off by looking at the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things is made up of billions of smart devices using wireless technology to talk to each other. It is expected to grow from two billion objects in 2006 to 200 billion by 2020  – that’s around 26 smart objects for every human on the planet! So why all of these smart objects all of a sudden? Well, they give major industries the vital data they need to track inventory, manage machines, increase efficiency and save costs.

Flying cameras (aka drones)

Then we moved on to cameras more specifically, considering how technology has come such a long way, and that at the rate things are going we will soon be able to access cameras that have face recognition capabilities. And what about flying cameras – affordable, simple to fly drones? At around 800 dollars they are becoming far more affordable – there is even one in the latest Aldi (supermarket chain) catalogue. $99 gets you a drone with a camera that flies at a 50-meter distance. It only flies for seven minutes before you need to recharge, but even then – wow!

Point of view glasses

We also talked about point of view glasses, which allow you to film video and capture still images. These glasses are great for showcasing skills, creating point of view tutorial videos, recording assessment and more. Part of what makes them so great is that they are smart too (think IoT), so they record and Bluetooth the video to your device where you can use a smart video app (on an IOS devices I use YouTube’s Capture) to quickly edit and produce the video.

3D printers and holograms

What about 3D printers? Like flying cameras they are becoming more affordable. Imagine for a moment that instead of inkjet your printer prints with plastic dots that join together to form a 3D object. This isn’t sci-fi, it is actually coming to life – apparently Bunnings (hardware chain) will soon be selling them! This lead to holograms. One day, instead of sitting down to contact your students via phone or Skype or online forum, you could hologram into their lounge room. Yes, this could become reality. If Elvis, 37 years after his death, can perform a concert in Los Angeles (I’m not joking), it won’t be long before we can join in.

The 2015 Horizon Report

Assistive technology and student/user experience, including big data and what to do with it, are currently big trends according to the Horizon report of 2015, which states that Education is embarking on a … pursuit into data science with the aim of learner profiling, a process of gathering and analyzing large amounts of detail about individual student interactions in online learning activities. The report also suggests that a lack of comfort with digital strategies and how to use them to improve instruction is one of our greatest challenges. If you are a trainer or teacher it is important to remember that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking. If you make yourself just a little aware of what is out there, so that you can ask questions, things will become more affordable and easier to access, manage and use.

ACPET 2015 – been there, done that, here are the handouts

As promised we created a huge glossary of educational technology terms for 2015 for you, E-Standards for Training released the 2015 commonly used tools in VET, and we have also included an LMS component overview for Totara 2.7. Enjoy!

  1. An educational technology glossary of terms.
  2. An overview of commonly used software tools and applications used by vocational education and training (VET) teachers and trainers to deliver e-learning.
  3. A Totara 2.7 component overview.

Do you know of any similar documents that might be of interest to our readers? Do let us know

Who gives a Moodle about learner engagement? Auditors!

Jo Norbury

Jo manages a range of e-learning content services including Flexible Learning Toolboxes and the VET Commons online community. An enthusiastic and passionate e-learning advocate, Jo specialises in design and delivery that focuses on take-up, usability and engagement – so helping learners to learn. But how do we measure this learning and provide evidence to auditors quickly and easily?

Once upon a time…

in a pen and paper land far, far away, no-one had heard of Moodle and teaching meant face-to-face in a classroom. Nowadays not only are trainers expected to put their courses online and offer a blended delivery approach, they also need to demonstrate:

  • learner access
  • attendance, usage, and
  • engagement.

But how do you find engaging content, use it to engage your learners and then prove you did it?

A modern learning strategy

The demands and expectations on training and delivery are higher than ever before. But that’s okay – we have digital learning! Predictions, forecasts and trends discussed in multiple reports suggest that in 2015 98% of organisations will use e-learning courses as part of their learning strategy, and that by 2016 98% of organisations will use video. In the new IoT (Internet of Things) smart devices capture everything. Smarty-pants Moodle can track everything too, but if the data isn’t there our poor friend Moodle has nothing to capture!

How to engage and prove it

Keeping your auditors happy without spending all of your time doing it is about making sure you have a delivery system with trackability functionality and then getting it set up properly from the start. Here are just a few factors you might like to consider:

  • What are the main engagement metrics?
  • Which activities can be used to demonstrate engagement (and which can’t)?
  • How to source and use engaging content (including videos).
  • How to use the SAMR Model (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) to transform tasks into engaging activities.
  • How to track and ‘prove’ engagement in general.

Are you going to Moodlemoot 2015?

Don’t miss Jo’s presentation about all of this on the final day of the event, Wednesday 8 July. Now is your chance to:

  • find out whether you’re doing what you need to be doing
  • how to do it if you’re not, and
  • share ideas with peers.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry! Subscribe to eLink for a follow-up summary, including easy tips and tricks.

How to avoid social media faux pas at work

Jo manages a range of e-learning content services including Flexible Learning Toolboxes and the VET Commons online community. Today Jo announces the launch of an exciting new Moodle course to get everyone at your organisation on the same page with regard to social media.

The biggest social media faux pas to date?

It’s a tough call really. Celebrity ridiculousnesses aside, the prize probably has to go to the top Twitter executive who tweeted sensitive information to 9,000 followers instead of sending it as a direct message to a colleague. Oops. Many other boo boos I can’t even write about because they’re a bit…um…naughty – but I’ve had fun doing the research.

My worst?

Tweeting about my mother’s elaborately planned surprise 70th when she had secretly joined Twitter under an alias and started following me! I guess that’s fairly tame in the grand scheme of things, when you think that politicians and PR executives have been sacked as a result of their social media activity. My point? Social media is fabulous, but it has serious risks and consequences.

Joking aside…

It’s more important than ever to make sure that your staff are on the same page when it comes to social media. That is online services and tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest; used for publishing, sharing and discussing information. This is especially important if your organisation is being represented by multiple staff members. Of course it’s also important to make sure that the ‘page’ has no profanity, messages that contradict your company’s values and policy, or glaring errors.

That’s where social media policies come into play

Social media policies are developed to inform staff about the use of social media so they feel empowered to participate, while being mindful of their responsibilities and obligations with regard to representation of their organisation. If you don’t have a social media policy now is the time to get one. Why? Because they help your staff to understand:

  • what is confidential and therefore should not be shared via social media
  • what is appropriate and inappropriate for sharing via social media
  • the consequences of inappropriate social media activity
  • how to represent the culture and brand of your organisation.

I could go on, but if you still don’t believe that your company needs a social media policy, and training so that your staff understand it, try plugging ‘social media faux pas’ or similar into a search engine. (I should probably add a profanity warning here).

Avoiding social media faux pas

The Social Media at Work Moodle Course provides users with an understanding of their organisation’s social media policy, and how to apply it to both their professional and personal lives. Learners will be provided with this understanding of their organisation’s policy through:

  • guidelines and considerations with respect to the use of social media
  • examples of security and privacy breaches
  • supporting documents and videos
  • a forum, survey, assignment and quiz.

The course contains several resources and activities to be completed by the user in order to receive the certificate of completion.

Preview the course

If you think this course might help your staff and organisation but you need to convince others up the management chain, let the course sell itself with this free preview. Or to download the course, together with a range of other digital learning resources, check out VET Commons.

Money management help for apprentices and trainees

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart is an online training resource developed to help VET students gain money management skills which support their future careers in small business or as contractors. eWorks has been chatting with clients about ASIC’s Be MoneySmart and they are super excited – as are we! In fact we’re thrilled to be working with ASIC to help VET students develop these essential life skills.

Online money management training

Apprentices, trainees and other VET students keen to improve their money management skills now have access to an online training resource developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource covers five topics:

  • Saving, budgeting and spending
  • Personal tax
  • Superannuation
  • Debt management
  • Insurance.

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart was developed with assistance from the Australian Tax Office, Group Training Australia, Fair Work Building and Construction, Kangan Institute and Innovation and Business Skills Australia.

How does it work?

Students can complete any or all of the modules. To support learning, each of the five modules is accompanied by a student workbook with activities, an assessor/trainer guide and assessment tools. ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource can also be used to support the accredited training and delivery of the Certificate III competency Be MoneySmart (FNSFLT301A) as either an imported unit of competency, as part of the Certificate III in Financial Services (FNS30111) or for general money management skills programs. Assessors and trainers don’t need to be topic experts as the resource is self-contained and has an online mentor.

The new resource is also available as a package for training organisations to include on their learning management system (LMS) with simple reporting requirements. Read on…

How did this come about?

In 2012, ASIC spoke to Australian apprentices and trainees to gauge their need and level of support for financial literacy training. Feedback confirmed most VET students and their trainers and mentors wanted simple, clear and engaging online learning in key financial areas such as tax, saving and budgeting and superannuation.

What is financial literacy?

Financial decision-making is an essential part of life. If you think about it, we make financial decisions every day – whether it’s how much to put aside for essentials, spend on a holiday, or invest in staff and equipment if we’re in business. It’s also important to be able to manage risk and avoid financial pitfalls. Regardless of our age, life-stage or circumstances, managing money and making financial decisions is intrinsic to every aspect of our lives and the lives of the people around us. Financial literacy is about having the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to make informed financial decisions in support of financial well being. With almost every Australian owning one or more financial products and taking on greater responsibility for financial decision-making, financial literacy awareness and education is more important than ever.

Who is ASIC?

ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, is the Australian Government agency responsible for financial literacy. ASIC’s strategic priority is to promote confidence and trust in the financial system – key to this is helping Australians of all ages and at all life stages better manage their money and make informed financial decisions.

How do I get started?

ASIC’s Be MoneySmart is available free of charge in TrainingVC or Moodle with the free VET Commons plugin. Via VET Commons, educators will be able to install a full e-learning course into TrainingVC or Moodle including a student workbook, assessor guide and assessment tools. VET Commons also allows for easy access to the National Repository and other large VET content publishers. Combined with the existing ASIC MoneySmart teacher resources, this is an easy way to deliver valuable life skills to your learners, especially those entering the workforce.

‘ASIC’s Be MoneySmart resource is the next step in helping Australians of all ages and at different stages of life make confident and informed financial decisions’, said ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft.

Contact eWorks to learn more about accessing the VET Commons plugin.