Technology Voucher Program

The Victorian State Government has announced funding for technology hardware. The program is described as follows:

“The Technology Voucher Program has been developed by the Victorian Government to drive the use of cutting edge technologies and to support Victorian companies to compete locally and globally. […] It provides responsive and nimble funding for businesses wanting to explore the use of¬† technology to create more competitive products and processes.”

“The Technology Voucher Program helps companies to adopt and develop new technologies by providing a voucher that can be exchanged for access to facilities, goods, services, advice or expertise provided by other companies or publicly funded organisations.”

“The program specifically targets the development, adoption and integration of information and communication technology, industrial biotechnology and small technologies (nano and micro scale technologies) by businesses.”

“The Technology Voucher Program replaces and expands on the highly successful Small Technologies Industry Uptake Program (STIUP).”

Source: Technology Voucher Program, Business Victoria.

Photo: Sainsburys Active Kids vouchers, by HowardLake on flickr.

Moodleman at conVerge12

Julian Ridden, alias Moodleman

Juilan Ridden, alias Moodleman, will be a keynote speaker at our upcoming conVerge12 conference!

His keynote presentation, ‘Migrating Offline Pedagogy into the Online Environment‘ will discuss what we have learnt from generations of face-to-face teaching and training and how to move these pedagogies and methodologies online.

In addition, Julian will be presenting a workshop on what’s coming with Moodle. See the conVerge12 draft program for more information.

Julian has more than 12 year’s experience in education and training, specifically in online learning, with a wide range of corporate clients and educational¬†institutions as well as experience in project management, systems implementation, networking, support and training.

Learning is in the Air!

Bronwyn Lapham, the senior technical officer here at eWorks, recently spoke with Keeli Cambourne of the Sydney Morning Herald for an article called ‘Learning is in the air‘. This article talks about an exciting cloud-computing project using the NBN in New South Wales.

“A classroom in the cloud sounds like the stuff of fantasy but for students and staff at TAFE New England Institute, the concept is only weeks away from becoming a reality,” introduces Keeli.

The project, called Cloud 9, takes “advantage of the opportunities afforded by access to high-speed broadband”, continues Keeli.

Bronwyn adds that “for rural and regional students and employers, […] Cloud 9 will make huge productivity improvements.” She then gives a more detailed explanation of the actual and potential benefits of the project for Australian education.

Updated Teacher E-learning Toolkit

Three compartments of a toolbox labeled Brakes, Headset and Wheels

Trainers wanting to use new and innovative online delivery methods are frequently confronted with issues of access to appropriate functionality to facilitate e-learning. (Commonly a teacher wants to innovate online only to find options blocked by the organisational firewall.)

Since 2008 the Teacher E-learning Toolkit has provided guidance for the type of functionality required by teachers as well as technical specifications for informing training organisations and their IT departments. An updated version of the VET toolkit, together with its companion document ‘Commonly-used E-learning Applications and Tools in VET‘, is now available on the New Generation Technologies for Learning website.

The toolkit specifies the minimum web and desktop-based functionality requirements needed to support e-learning in the national training system. The companion document contains a list of software tools that are commonly used by teachers and trainers in VET.

The document updates, funded by the National VET E-learning Strategy, have been informed by a comprehensive research and consultation process with teachers and technical personnel, including an online survey and in-depth interviews.

The current review interviewed a more diverse range of respondents, including those from non-metropolitan institutions as well as community training providers, covering a broader spectrum of activity. 74% of respondents said they had previously used the toolkit.

A common concern of respondents was how to deal with the complexity caused by the emergence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios. The updated toolkit has therefore endorsed the need for functionality facilitating cloud and social applications to help augment activity on a wide range of mobile devices.

Updates to the documents include:

  • cloud-based storage and sharing
  • using and delivering learning and assessment on mobile devices
  • e-portfolio approaches
  • new case studies (added to the ‘Commonly-used Applications’ document)

Also, a designated forum is now available on the New Generation Technologies for Learning website for practitioners to help keep the information up to date.

The toolkit “is a useful summary of the range of functionality required by VET practitioners and as such has been a reference to developing an eTools kit for all staff across the institute”, said one survey participant.

“The summary of technologies that these documents provide is a good overview and guides me as to where to start looking for other e-learning tools”, said another.

Photo: Bike tools, by rubberdreamfeet on flickr