Archive for September, 2014
I’ve had a mad dash of a week, working to get my final project for the excellent UCI E-Learning Certificate Program. I’ve been working my way through the course for about 18 months now. I must say, I’ve met some really inspiring educators, I’ve worked really hard, including juggling the birth of our third child, and have learned A LOT. I think I’ll have to do a separate post about my learning journey.
- So first of all this week, I handed in my mega (slightly over-ambitious) e-learning course on Presentation Design. I wanted to do something that would really engage learners, so I went for something which was ambitious both technically and pedagogically. Our task was to design an e-learning lesson lesson, and I guess I ended up designing about 4-6 lessons, with about another 16 to go if I want to complete the course! My lesson is based on Thiagi’s Four Doors approach, so it includes library, café, play and assessment elements. Check out the first of 4 lessons here:http://blendedlanguagelearning.com/portfolio/Four-doors-e-learning/Thiagi-four-doors.htm
- While I was doing some voiceover recording for the piece, I discovered an amazing plugin for the (free) recording software, Audacity. Often in the past when I have recorded myself, I’ve been annoyed by the hiss and hum you hear in the background between when one spoken sentence and the next. A noise gate helps you to record much better-sounding speech, by cutting this out. It’s great for podcasts and school projects as well as better e-learning, of course, being part of the audacity project, it’s also free: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Noise_Removal#Nyquist_Noise_Gate_Plug-in
- Here’s a recording of the Noise Gate filter in action if you’re curious. Bear in mind, that most normal people wouldn’t record a podcast with a fan blowing right behind them, so the effects are a bit exaggerated in this recording.
- I’ve been tweeting about education since…. 2007 I think My Twitter tag is @sethdickens if you’re interested. In the beginning I tweeted a LOT, but then lost interest a bit, as Twitter became a bit, well, too full of noise. However, in the past 4 weeks, I’ve started getting interested again, especially after my conversations with Microsoft. It was so strange to be chatting to a software behemoth. They must have an amazing social media team.
@sethdickens That’s music to our ears, Seth! What are a few of your favourite features you use the most?
— Office (@Office) September 3, 2014
- The Office folk then told me about Office Mix. It’s a free plugin for PowerPoint’13, which seems to do a similar job to Articulate. It looks brilliant. I’m definitely going to give it a try.
- I was also invited to become a Beta Tester for Articulate Presenter 13 v4. I love the Articulate software and would love to know how a Beta testing program works, so I’ll definitely be getting involved there, too.
- I spent the last part oif the weekend fighting with Moodle’s SCORM Settings. Horrible! No matter how I changed the settings, it really spoiled the look and feel of my beautifully, lovingly crafted Courseware. Hrrmpph. Okay, well I did find a super guide which helped me figure out the best of the awful settings to use: http://www.moodlerooms.com/resources/blog/best-practices-10-tips-and-tricks-adding-scorm-moodle-and-joule-2
the daily pressure of a capital B Blog, or the content pressure of a the capital E Essay. Start a new draft post on Monday, dump things in it over the week, rewrite and cull along the way, what’s left gets published on Friday.
I also have been following a blog by an Instructional Designer Zak Mensah, who does a good weekly blog about the sorts of things he’s been up to each week. He says it helps him keep his thoughts organised.
That sounds like a pretty good idea to me. So I’m going to give it a try. I’ll draft things throughout the week and post every Monday morning.
- I managed to add 3 new elements to my online portfolio. The first is a review of Open Source E-learning Tools
- I’ve also added some examples of e-learning documentation to my portfolio, including a project charter and instructional design documentation.
- I’ve been lurking on Reddit for a while now, but I discovered the great Instructional Design community. There are lots of people looking to get into ID there, so I started off a discussion about ID Portfolios, to help new people get into the ID / e-learning industry.
- I decided this week that I’m going to make a start with Articulate’s E-Learning challenges. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages, but now I’m so close to the end of my University of California course, it’s time I got my skates on for some more CPD.