Monthly Archives: May 2014

WIP Presenation 12th of May 2014

This video captures my Work In Progress Presentation I gave before my course supervisors and classmates. We had some great presentations from over the course of the two weeks and I learned a great deal about what I needed to do. The most important of these is the technology discovery element that I had been neglecting. It has been my experience that there are a great many online tools and resources that can initially seem interesting or novel but soon become just that, a novelty. An example would be Prezi which I find does not do much to improve a poor presentation. Another example is Voki avaters. To me they seem intrusive and tacky. Most web users today would regard the automated speech of the Voki as gimmicky and intrusive.

I think it is easy to develop a preoccupation with searching for the newest or most entertaining online tool when that energy could be better spent on making the elearing tools already at your disposal more effective. This is often the more laborious job and lacks the appeal and fun of discovering a new plug-in but simply being aware of the larger trends in online learning and making sure you can work with most types of online multimedia tools can be just as important.

So I am going to evaluate a range of elearning technologies that I have found to be useful and some that I find less than useful. I am currently working on a project implementing synchronous webinars using Adobe Connect and will evaluate that in the coming weeks.


The Importance of Connectedness for Young People

This report looks into how much time and energy young people are spending online. In 2009 it reports that children and young people spent an average of 2 hours and 17 minutes on a computer daily. With the advent of mobile smartphones and tablets this statistic may have changed since 2009 with more casual and mobile connectivity.

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OECD (2012), "How relevant nnectedness is for young people
in Connected Minds: Technology and Today's Learners, OECD
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Look Up Video

I’m not one usually given to supporting viral videos but this one is particularly well executed and does strike a chord with me personally and professionally. I spend a great deal of time online whether it be on my phone or laptop. Social websites such as twitter, Facebook and Reddit have provided me with so much scattershot and random information that I now find deliberate focus on one thing quite a challenge.
Professionally I am part of a change in the lives in children that requires them to spend time online. We do not ask that our students interact face -to-face with teachers and mentors or fellow students but tell that interacting with them through a instant messages is adequate. This level of socialisation with one’s teachers and peers is very different to the one I would have experienced as a young student. In the case of the students I work with they were not in receipt of any teacher or classmate contact as they had left school and online contact though limited is better than none at all. Social Presence theory espouses that social contact is an important part of any whole and effective learning environment.

My research project investigates the importance of this social aspect to learning and how advances in social networking sites can be employed to provide that social aspect to students undertaking an online learning course.