I recently attended an eLearning Forum for Colleges in North and East London hosted by Tower Hamlets College.
Interesting developments in other colleges include the trialing of Office 365 and One Note for teaching mathematics, Kaltura Video Streaming with Moodle, exploring augmented reality for ESOL students, the use of messaging apps such as Wamedu for communicating with students, Digital Badges, eAssessment and audio feedback.
One Note for Teaching and Learning
Saqib from Woodhouse College presented on One Note (Office 365). This is available for Android and iPad devices. Saqib reported that it could be used as an alternative to Smartboard as it had many useful features for teaching including the use of different backgrounds and templates, the option to insert screen clippings, spreadsheets and PDF files. It is also possible to take pictures of student work and send these images to One Note to share with other class members. In addition, teachers can export and email Notebook links and students can copy resources from the content library into their own area. Saqib believes that audio and video recording in One Note is the most powerful tool with a lot of potential for assessment and feedback.
Kaltura Video Streaming and Moodle
Andrew from Croydon College presented on his experiences of using Kaltura with Moodle. Kaltura is a free video server which is easy to install. It runs on different platforms and has a flash-based interface.If you have the Moodle plugin, you simply go to add an activity or resource then choose ‘Kaltura Video’> ‘file picker’>’video tab’>’add media’ then upload your video clip. You also have the option to use a Webcam and you can customise players. Using video on Moodle is a simple example of flipped learning so teachers can get the most out of classroom time.
Kay from Harrow College spoke about introducing digital badges. Badges give students visual recognition for their educational progress and achievements and can be used for things like work experience and personal challenges too. The Mozilla Backpack Moodle Plugin allows badges to be created in Moodle and may be displayed on a user’s profile or pushed to their ‘Open Badges Backpack’. You can make and download your own badges on openbadges.me/designer.html. Badges should have a simple interface and users should be able to click on them to get more information. Badges can indicate different levels e.g. novice or expert and can be exported to Linkedin. Students are informed about badges in a promotional video as part of their LRC induction
Kay also reflected on the use of a free texting app called ‘Wamedu’ at Harrow College. This app has a private network and allows staff and students to send messages across the college. There is also a PC version for those who do not wish to download the app. Teaching staff are able to create groups on Wamedu for their classes and can use the tool for flipped learning activities. The app also has a filter and it is possible to message the designated Child Protection Officer directly should a safeguarding issue arise.
Reflections on FELTAG Recommendations
Finally, participants discussed the implications of the FELTAG recommendation that Further Education Colleges should aim to have 10% of their courses online. People questioned what this might mean and how this could be evidenced by teaching staff. The overwhelming feeling was that the use of blended learning should be more organic.