What tools will your strategy consider?

Of course this is the fun part. If you are like me you love the challenge that technology brings to the table.

This is the really cool part of designing a course that includes e-learning…. but don’t get too carried away.

My main message is making sure that your strategy will aid, improve and assist learners to learn, but having said that they should also have some fun.

This post could go on and on, but I won’t I will leave room for you.

As we are talking about considering a strategy for a project application we must consider the following points:

Start by identifying the e-learning tools you will evaluate and make a short list of those you will trial and implement (if applicable) during the project lifecycle.

If you are unsure you should first start by considering:

* What technologies do your learners have access to?
* What technologies do your staff feel confident to use in the learning environment
* Was your past strategy successful or do you need to introduce other technologies to better meet the need of your clients?

Someone asked me a question the other day that I think should be included in this blog. The question was ‘My learners come from disadvantaged backgrounds, they do not have computers at home and even if they did the internet connection (assuming they have one) is very unreliable. How can I use e-learning in my programs?’.

This is an excellent question and my answer is ‘consider the technology your learners have access to’. As the discussion progressed I discovered this group of learners all had access to mobile phones and many had iphones and mp3 players. My suggestion is to consider the activities that are useful to their learning program and where appropriate develop audio and video files that could be downloaded or bluetoothed to their phones and mp3 players for later viewing. You could even get them to listen or watch these applications and then contribute to discussions or discussion forums when they next attend class. Applications such as the ones mentioned above are also useful if you are demonstrating skill and the learner would benefit from watching this demonstration as many times as they need.

SMS is a standard feature that many learners would be very familiar with. How could you use this feature in your learning environment? Just to start this discussion you could use it to post course announcements, you could use to prompt discussions and promote collaboration. There are so many ways it could be used, we just need a little imagination. If you have some ideas you would like to share, make a comment and let’s get this discussion happening.

A 2009 project team developed an application for timber grading that could be either downloaded from a website or blue toothed to a phone to assist learners as they worked and graded timer. Checkout http://nswinnovations.wikispaces.com/09-44 for more information on this 2009 Framework project and for a link to their website.


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