25 September 2009

IRRODL Book Reviews

Online Communication in Language Learning and Teaching and Telecollaborative Language Learning

This review, from Vol 10, Issue 4 (2009) of IRRODL is of two books which may be of great interest to language teachers: Marie-Noƫlle Lamy and Regine Hampel (2007). Online Communication in Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230-00127-5 and Melinda Dooly (2008). Telecollaborative Language Learning. Bern: Peter Lang Publishing Group. ISBN 978-3-03911-523-5

"Both books focus on the communication aspects of language learning/teaching from two complementary perspectives and relate the development of communication skills to the fostering of intercultural competence. Lamy and Hampel are interested in computer-mediated communication (CMC) and have chosen to discuss it in the context of language learning (CMCL). Dooly et al. produced their work as a “guidebook moderating intercultural collaboration online” based on an innovative project they conducted."

24 September 2009

Spaces for learning

Architects of Group Genius

"We don’t design buildings, we design processes, environments and events that accelerate innovation and change, foster learning and collaboration and help organizations and communities find new solutions and inspiration to Change The(ir) World.

Innovation, Change, Learning and Collaboration, and the blurred boundaries between them, underlie all the work we do, our practice, our research, and our thinking.
We believe that new solutions and renewed inspiration are best found through a unique process of co-design.

For every mission, for every organization we work with, we design a whole new process that enables participants to learn about the problem at hand, explore possibilities, understand the thinking of others, and engage in a non-linear process of designing a new powerful solution together."

24 June 2009

James Atherton's learning and teaching site

Learning and teaching
Three linked sites exploring learning and teaching in college, adult and professional education
authored by James Atherton, a somewhat self-effacing but extremely experienced (and award-winning) UK educator. The site includes:
  1. An introduction to theories of learning for teachers and others, with references and links to further reading
  2. A practice-focussed introduction to teaching
  3. Atherton's own take on some issues in teaching and learning, and what he's found to be useful background ideas

23 June 2009

Educating the Net Generation

Educating the net generation

The 'Net Generation' or 'Digital Natives', born roughly 1980-94, have been characterised by their familiarity with and reliance on information and communication technologies. Many argue that the digital culture in which the Net Generation has grown up has influenced their preferences and skills in a number of key areas related to education. How well are Universities and their staff equipped to meet the needs of these students?

This project has:
  • investigated how commencing first year students and their teachers use traditional and emerging technology-based tools in their everyday lives and to support student learning
  • drawn on the expertise of teachers and the results of this investigation to develop and implement pedagogically sound, technology-based tools to enhance student learning in local learning environments

The outcomes are:

The Handbook: practice and policy guidelines developed from the project findings.

Educating the Net Generation: Tools and resources including research instruments that can be adapted and reused to investigate student and staff use of new technologies, and for planning and evaluating implementations of new technology-based activities in higher education.

15 June 2009

Beyond current horizons

Beyond Current Horizons

This is a sociological rather than a techological vision of the future, which "explores the future for education, beyond 2025. The aim is to help our education system prepare for and develop an ongoing and sustainable response to the challenges it faces as society and technology rapidly evolve.

04 June 2009

JISC Infonet

Infokit on social software for education

In 1989 one of the main objectives of the WWW was to be a space in which anyone could be creative, to which anyone could contribute.
(Tim Berners Lee, 2005)

Unfortunately, although the web became an excellent repository of information, it became a place where only technically adept users and organisations would author content. The arrival of new services (often referred to as 'Web 2.0') has helped to remove many of the barriers preventing users from participating. Thanks to this wave of new services we have seen a massive rise in the uptake of web authoring and collaboration. The term this new wave of social activity has been given varies i.e. Social Software, Social Media and Social Computing. The key word is 'Social'! ...

This infokit explains about social software, illustrated with real-life examples, and outlining potential uses for learning and teaching, research and business and community engagement. It also aims to highlight the key issues which those working across the sector may need to consider when implementing such technologies, and to provide pointers for successful use."

11 May 2009

Mark Nichols' e-Ako blog


"Teaching and learning information of specific interest to adult education and the application of technology to adult education."

Also "This blog provides updates and further reflection in support of the E-primer series, scholarly monographs authored to provide an orientation to e-learning."

Mark Nichols' e-primer

This E-Primer series places e-learning in a context of learning theory, institutional development, and instructional design. It examines the role of faculty, good practice in hybrid course design, and the dynamics of online discussion -- and places all of these in a coherent context, drawing from refereed sources and 7 years of dedicated experience.

The series of E-Primers to date includes:

#1 - E-learning in context - An introduction to e-learning and the international experience; definitions of terms; a theory for e-learning; technologies; benefits

#2 - E-education and faculty - Education theory and e-learning; the changing role of faculty; workload issues; quality

#3 - Designing for e-learning - Instructional design; learning objects; constructing a hybrid course

Just completed is ePrimer #4 - Online discourse; Synchronous and asynchronous communications; designing online discourse; online facilitation.

Currently being written is - #5 - E-xtending possibilities Web 2.0; ePortfolios; virtual worlds; lifelong learning."

01 May 2009


The encyclopaedia of informal education.
"Exploring informal education, lifelong learning and social action"

Use the search engine to find concise, clearly-written articles on a wide range of educational and teacher training topics.

24 April 2009

Map of ignorance

Knowing our ignorance

A resource for thinking about what we know.

Test your new website in a variety of browsers

This is a very handy website for those who develop web pages. It allows you to test your new site in a wide range of different browsers - with one click!

Evaluating web sources

Evaluating web pages: Techniques to apply and questions to ask

From UC Berkeley. Very useful if your students use web sources for their academic writing.

Beth Kanter's interview with a digital native about blogging

Academic literacy resource

University of New England academic literacy resource

For BEd students but potentially useful for others. Topics include paragraphs, essay writing, critical reflection, referencing, writing conventions, editing and proofreading, oral presentations, effective notemaking and active reading.


iReflect at Leeds University

For those interested in the use of digital approaches and new technologies to support reflective learning in Higher Education. The site includes links to practical resources for students, tutor resources on how digital media can support reflection, current projects and a community forum. Featured project is JISC's Reflect 2.0 on digital storytelling.

IT Literacy Learning Resources

University of Auckland CAD IT Literacy Learning Resources

On-line tutorials and help for MS Office 2003 and 2007, Open Office, Macs, touch typing, scanning and more

23 April 2009

Teaching portfolios

University of Auckland Centre for Academic Development

This site provides a rationale for advocating the use of teaching portfolios, and advice on writing a teaching philosophy, providing evidence of effective university teaching, preparing a teaching portfolio for a teaching excellence award, creating and naintaining an eportfolio and current practice in their use with students.