Embedding Blended Learning in FE

Check out my vodcast on embedding blended learning in FE, completed as part of an assignment for a lv7 PGCERT in Blended Learning.


Mobile Phone Usage in FE Classrooms – Magic or Monster?

Many colleges have a blanket ban policy, some colleges allow it and some just go with the flow letting the individual lecturer make the decision. What do you do in your classroom and how do you deal with issues such as disruption, or hiding phones under desks?

Personally, I allow mobile technology in the classroom. Students keep them in their bags or openly above the desk. They are not to use them when people are speaking, and are encouraged to use them to research topics they do not know or understand. I particularly like it when students ask a question that I am not entirely sure of, and are subsequently able to teach me something new based on the research they have been able to do.

Logistically, using mobile phones for research purposes seems to work better as I can keep all the students together in the classroom and we do not have to split up or move to the library. If there is a student without an internet enabled phone, then the whole class pairs up so no one is singled out as “poorer”. It also gives me the oppotunity to discuss research methods and appropriate use of material, copyright and plagarism.

What is your policy on mobile phone usage?

TechDis Tuesdays – HIghlights since January

Best of TechDis Tuesdays – here’s a compilation of the highlights since January – everything from free software to e-safety; accessible text to accessible libraries. Please join us for our regular TechDis Tuesday slot at 1300 Tuesday 12th June at http://www.instantpresenter.com/techdisonline100 for a chance to
1) hear the roundup,
2) learn about the FREE high quality text to speech voices for English post 16 learners
3) suggest new topics for 2012 and
4) hear about the two final TechDis Tuesday treats for the summer term, a guest slot on supporting Dyslexic learners and a sneak preview of the messages emerging from our Online Accessibility Self Evaluation service.

How to solve a problem like … Interactive Whiteboards on a ‘practical’ course

For some bricklayers, it’s the regular maintanance that goes-awry. For some carpenters it’s the size that’s not quite right. For some engineers, the fine detail just isn’t clear enough. So how do you solve the problems experienced by many teachers, assessors and lecturers of practical type subjects?

There are many possible solutions, all worth considering. But keep in mind that the one that suits you may not be presented here, or it may be a combination of many of the ideas!

  1. For extra detail or size, try a high output projector such as 2000 lumens or more.
  2. Project onto any white painted wall, giving extra flexibility in the workroom.
  3. Try Dulux Light & Space Absolute White Rich Matt with Lumitec; See HERE for full discussion forum
  4. Use wireless gyromouse/keyboard to allow you to walk around the learning space, and also to give students some of the interactivity.
  5. Try the “Podium” available from ‘Smart’ – a touch screen with extra buttons, with this the projection size can be anything.
  6. Consider a digitising tablets, again Smart (other brands are available!) offer the Bamboo Touch which connects via Bluetooth, but the ‘wireless’ connectivity allows you to pass it around the room for student input.

Have you used a great peice of equipment for a ‘practical’ type course such as engineering, science, carpentry or bricklaying? Please share your experiences and ideas!

Technology-supported Curriculum Redesign – Conference

ALT and AOC have organised a joint one-day Conference on 21 May 2012 at Aston Business School. The aim of the conference is to provide delegates with ideas and strategies for technology-supported curriculum redesign which will have an impact on large numbers of learners. Utterly current topic where technology has a huge and important role to play.

Bookings are now open and the full programme is available at: http://www.alt.ac.uk/events/large-scale-curriculum-redesign

I think they are still open to sponsorship opportunities. Enquiries to Caroline Greves (caroline.greves@alt.ac.uk) for more information.

My Experience of Embedding Blended/E-learning into the Curriculum (FE/6th)

This is the assessed podcast I completed as part of the Blended Learning PGCert at Southampton Solent University. It outlines my experience of embedding blended learning into an induction qualification.

ALT and AOC to host “Large Scale Curriculum Design” event

This one day event organised by ALT and AoC will be of interest to ILT Champions and is cheapish to attend:


This event takex place in Birmingham 10.30-16.00 on Monday 21 May. The aim of the event is to provide participants with practical ideas and strategies for technology-supported curriculum redesign which will have an impact on large numbers of learners