A summary of tasks

I will now just summarise the tasks during the course:

Task 1: “How about yourself?” was the first task and was aimed to be a way for the course to get to know each other.

Task #2 “What is e-learning?” involved a look into the subject of electronic learning, and what thoughts we had about this.

We were then asked to carry out Task #3 “Select a picture” where we were put into groups – chosen at random – and then requested to carry out  Task #4 which was based on the choice for the third task. It involved us preparing our presentations of subjects including WBT and CBT etc. The fact that we worked together for this task – and we did throughout much of the seminar – meant that we incorporated a constructivist learning method – i.e. to work together to reach a learning objective. This was one of the topics that was covered in the final task Task #8 “Learning theories”.

Task #5 “Skype session” was first mentioned, and we were asked to prepare an online session for a time later during the course.

The Task #6 “Learning Environment” involved the group describing where and how we learned. See here: My preferred learning environment

There was a constructivist element in this activity, as students in this environment are supported in their learning preocess, by themselves appreciating how they learn. It was also very interesting to have an insight into the learning environments of others, to see if one’s own environment could not be improved a little.

Task #7 “Online Session and learning Environments”

described the Skype session, where all of the members of the course had the oportunity to be present at their own computers or at the university; Ralf was also present, together with an expert on internet communication platforms. We had the opportunity to discover or further explore Skype, an audio-visual messaging system, allowing users to make telephone calls over the internet. It was an opportunity to see both the positive and negative aspects of the system, communicating with the whole course. More information is available by following this link 17th June Session and here too: Virtual Session.

Since this time, this system of communication has become an important way for me to communicate with an incresing number of friends, family, not to mention lecturers! It is a useful tool to contact those who don’t live just around the corner, and the “real-time” nature of this messaging system allows the users to communicate and send data quickly.

The final, or penultimate task (depending on whether or not the said student carried out the optional task Task #9 “A Day with the Learningtheories”), was Task #8 “learning theories” , where we were asked to research into the historical beginnings of learning theories.

This activity involved us working together for a common goal, although not automatically simultaneously. Certain areas were well known and therefore the first to appear on the wiki; the wiki gave us the opportunity to once again build upon our own  – and each other’s knowledge – and work for a common goal to improve our knowlege in a constructivist way. Piaget would be very happy! The results we achieved were displayed on the seminar’s wiki. These were also presented at the seminar by my colleagues, which was also captured for eternity in the form of photos.

I hope that adds a little more clarity to things. For more infomation just click on a link for the other members of the seminar. Have fun!

The Millenium Bridge London

The header above shows the Millenium Bridge in London, which was built to commemorate the new Millenium and one of many architectural highlights constructed at the beginning of the decade. It is a pedestrian-only steel suspension bridge crossing the River Thames, linking Bankside with the City.

The blog feels a little more like home now…

17th June Session

The session began with a discussion of the online session the previous week. This was done using an interactive whiteboard (activestudio 3 proofessional).

Here we listed the positive and negative aspects of the session at home. Some positve aspects included: the fun of the platform, the new experience and an active learning environment. However, there were some negative aspects including: the overkill concerning platforms to keep an eye on; being thrown in the deep end, and not really knowing how everything worked (which some saw as a positive aspect); a lack of structure (also not seen as a negative by all in the discussion); log-in problems; disrutions and discrations from other sources.

Other aspects which did not work out optimally included: a need for moderation; a lack of content; difficulty to concentrate on the video.

From this we established certain guidelines: the need for a moderator (or even 2); established communication rules; the use of icons; organisation and structure; backchannel or handshake and always having a plan B.

We also mentioned “Adobe connect”, which enables the session to be viewed again and again. We used the fllowing software:

http://breezesrv.rrz.uni-hamburg.de

This includes: camera, screenshot and a text-chat. The are little windows called Pods. Other aspects of this programme include: filesharing, camera-sharing and making notes like Skype. The system isn’t free, but airtime can be bought (although it isn’t expensive).

For examples, go to: http://e-teaching.org

Our example came from: www.connect.lwm-kmrc.de/p35287287/

Folowing this elena, selma and I (simon) did our presentation of computer-based training (CBT) and web-based training (WBT)

The presentation is available: here (slides)

www.bellenglish.com is a good example of WBT. Our next task, Task #8 Learning Theories will involve us in working collaboratively on the wiki. I unfortunately won’t be able to be at the next session.

PS If anybody is interested to know why, then go to this link:

http://www.portmeirion-village.com/content.php?nID=16;catID=57;lID=1

otherwise see you all in a couple of weeks

Virtual Session

I really enjoyed the session, except for a couple of technical aspects, which made it difficult to present the question regarding the way to change an aspect of my blog page. I had a few communication problems, which seemed to be with the platform, my microphone and the webcam.

All in all it showed that one requires a voordinator and perhaps a few tips in writing sype messages. Sometimes one didn`t know if they were being written to or not. By adding the @ symbol, this was clearer – although not really correct English. ;o)) But seriously, the skype session waorks well with few people. Otherwise it can be overwhelming, learning online together. There is always the danger of losing concentration…

However, I unfortunately had to go before the new platform was explained.

I am sure we will learn more next time.

My preferred learning environment

Here (above) you can see my preferred working environment task 6. The simple reason for this choice of workplace is down to the position of my PC in the living room! I used to have an ibook, and was actually infinitely more flexible in terms of my learning environment. At the moment, I this lack of flexibilty does help me concentrate on the task at hand. I also have a good-quality computer chair, which is more comfortable when working for longer periods of time.

When skyping, this is my view (which by the way shows Steve Mc Queen in the background, from his classsic film, “Bullit” – very cool guy, with a very nice car in a film probably even older than me, but retro is the new in, now isn’t it?

Below, is my second working environment. This sofa is really comfortable and even morphs into a bed if the studying becomes too stressful…!

There is also a view out of the really large window to, … well … ahem … more houses – I live in the middle of the city, so there isn’t much getting away from this situation. However, as I have already studied a degree in an architectually-based degree, I have no problem with this situation. Trees are also around.

The only difficulty in this environment lies in the fact that other televisual and audio media are close at hand. Which student – or anybody in fact – doesn’t have the problem of dealing with distractions. Behind me is a poster of Audrey Hepburn. So one can see a bit of a film theme there I suppose.

Well I think that that will do for today…there’s a football match on later. Just check the third task on this blog… I’m for Austria. ;o))

See you on Tuesday. Let’s Skype…

Sly

LMS (Learning Management Systems) and PLE (Personal Learning Environments)

In the last session, we discovered the difference between LMS (Learning Management Systems) and PLE (Personal Learning Environments). The terms LMS and PLE were actually already known to us, without perhaps all knowing the modern terminology. We were shown that many Universities Germany, and also globally, use one of three platform structures, as follows: Blackboard, Commsy and Moogle. Stine, our “much-loved” University studying platform is similar to blackboard. Some of my course use (Edu)Commsy. We were also able to try out one such platform in small groups.

The second presentation was shorter, due to time limitations, and described PLEs. It contained two interesting videos, that the students had produced themselves.

Bye for now

situation so far…

Seb and I have already worked upon the text for our presentation …

Elena and Selma are us 2 are going to use this and create something very good indeed – we hope . You’ll have to wait and see!

Seb and myself are adding the finishing touches to the presentation.

I am sure that it will be very interesting….

Don`t want to give too much away now

Sly

Micro-learning and Mobile Learning

Following an interesting presentation on the topic of micro-learning and mobile learning, we had a lively discussion on the subject.

The first group showed us their research into the subject, in a varied and interesting manner. The film of the baby was especially cute, and presented an indirect, passive form of microlearning, which showed us certain aspects of learning in an informal way.

We spent a great deal of time on the differences between the three forms of learning (formal, informal and non-formal); in the end the definitions were clearer for everybody, as they can sometimes melt together. It is often hard to define the form of learning, whether it is one form or the other.

I would like to congratulate the group again on a presentation, which was both relaxed and informative. I am also a little jealous of those who had the chance to go to Barca.

Our group would have been next, although we have been moved to either the on-line lesson, or perhaps next week. So, no time like the present…

See you soon,

Si