What has been happening in e-learning innovations in NSW in 2011?

Yesterday I had a time to reflect on what has been happening in e-learning innovations in NSW in 2011 and the results are interesting to say the least. The Framework is coming to the end of the current strategy which focused on embedding e-learning into our everyday practices, and not surprisingly my focus was maturity.

Continuing the trends from past years there is substantial evidence to suggest some RTOs are well on their way to embedding e-learning into their everyday business practices. As I look at the 2011 teams I see a common thread; the focus is on developing models of best practice that are sustainable and appropriate to meet the needs of learners, teachers and other key stakeholders. I don’t necessarily see teams of practitioners who know how to use every e-tool or LMS (there is still plenty of need to develop our capability in these areas) but what I see is a more grounded approach to the e-learning strategies we develop and implement.

Many of the the 2011 innovation teams have set up working parties to provide advice and support on the use of new and emerging technologies in training and delivery. In particular these technologies are being evaluated on their ability to meet the clients needs (consider the Sterilisation in the Body Art project http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/content/bp038-sterilization-body-art-industry) with a focus on workforce capability building, cultural sensitivity and appropriateness.

Emerging technologies such as livestreaming in the Farrier industry is another excellent case study http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/content/el053. There are so many products out there but this particular project team see the potential of the technology for use with students who are learning outdoors on the job. Let me give an example of how this technology may assist…. sometimes in an industry rare events happen – consider the difficult birth of an animal out on a remote property. Students studying in this particular area are unable to attend every birth however as part of their course they may need to observe certain procedures. It may not be possible to bring your students altogether in one location either. With livestreaming you can record the procedure, play it over the internet and students students can watch it from their current location where ever they are while this event is happening. The event can also be permanently captured and stored for later viewing.

The third innovation project I want to introduce you to is the ‘Make that call’ project. Consider students whose first language is not English and who will need to practice their language skills, hear the language being studies and respond in this language. The challenge might be how this group of students will be able to complete oral assignments when they are located all around the country and not able to make it into your classroom. A possible solution to overcome this situation is to team a mobile phone with a piece of software (this team is using learnocity) and the internet and record assignment questions verbally. Your students can then listen to the questions at a time to suit them and answer questions verbally (this is recorded and saved in the cloud) also at a time to suit them. When it comes time for the assignments to be marked the teacher can access the recorded work and of course make their comments…. verbally :-).

As you can see there is so much happening in NSW in 2011. The teams are currently working on their case studies and they will soon be complete. Please bookmark the links above if they are of interest to you and visit them again soon…. the journey is happening in real time therefore their case studies will continue to evolve overtime (http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/content/2011-e-learning-innovation-project-teams).

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