Posts tagged vle
The excellent English360 online learning platform are holding a community webinar next week, with the guest speaker Mike Hogan. (Disclosure: English 360 is one of the companies I do consultancy work for.) The webinar is on the topic of Virtual Meeting Tools and even though it’s geared towards those using, or thinking of using the English 360 platform, it will definitely be of interest to any language teachers who are using online meeting tools, or who want to, with their students.
Valentina Dodge, on the English360 blog has the following to say:
Are you using English360 in conjunction with real-time tools?
How can these virtual meeting environments be used with learners?
Come along to our English360 Open Community Webinar to find out more on delivering lessons in real-time when learners are geographically dispersed or unable to attend face-to-face classroom lessons.
Register now to enjoy Mike Hogan ‘s expertise and experience of using virtual meeting rooms.
Send us an email to Register for the Community Webinar 28th Feb 13.00-14.00 CET
I’ve personally spoken to Mike about e-learning quite a bit over the last few months and he certainly seems to have a good deal of practical experience of what “synchronous” e-learning requires. As it’s being organised by Valentina Dodge, too – I’m pretty sure that it will be well worth attending.
To round up my series of interviews from BETT 2012, I have a post today about what I believe is going to be one of the most influential developments in educational technology in the year or so. Whether or not that’s true, it certainly was the most interesting new thing I saw at BETT 2012. It is of course, Google Education.
I saw two or three of the presentations Google gave at their stand, in particular one given by Dana Nguyen on the Google Apps for Education and the Google Certified Teacher programme really stood out. Both of these programs are worth a much closer look. I’m thinking of blogging about these in the future, so I’ll save the space here and talk about them in depth later. Apart from the fact that I’m quite a fan of Google anyway, I really was impressed by what the company is doing to try and make technology more accessible for students and teachers. In many respects, while the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching is still a “new” innovation, the free services that companies like Google offer can often act as a gateway for teachers to start using technology. This is even more true when the technology being used is the same as, or similar to that which teachers are used to in their everyday lives.
I guess it still remains to be seen whether Google apps for education will end up being as much of a game changer as YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail and the other successful Google services have been. Without a doubt though, the other VLEs like Blackboard, Frog, Moodle and Fronter will be keeping a careful eye on what Google is up to. What’s more, now that Apple have announced their entry into the educational market with their iBooks 2 launch last week, I’m sure that Google are going to continue to press ahead with innovations, making Google Apps for education a very interesting suite of tools to keep an eye on.
On the final day of the BETT show, I was lucky enough to score a bit of a scoop, and I got an interview with William Florance, Google’s Head of Education, for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Apart from the fact that he rushed back from his lunch early so that I could do the interview and catch a train, he seemed like a really nice guy, and as might be expected, a really strong believer in the potential of Google Apps for Education.
So before I pass over to William, I think it’s right to just say in this final BETT post, that the show was incredibly helpful for me as an educator interested in technology. I really highly recommend it to anyone interested in this field. Although the selection of hardware, software and services dedicated to language teaching wasn’t as big as I’d hoped, there is just so much to see, that it really will be a valuable experience to anyone who chooses to go there. There will be something for everyone, I’m quite sure. I’m definitely going again in 2013, if you fancy a coffee and a bit of advice about what to see, I’ll meet you at Excel, London next year!
I don’t mind admitting to having a really pleasant surprise with this company. I had never heard of Frog before, which seems quite strange considering how big they seem to be in the UK. Frog had a huge stand at BETT, with loads of people working for them, and looking at their product you can see why.
Frog is a virtual learning environment (VLE) that has something of the social network about it, something of Google IG, something of English360, and generally speaking looks really nice. It’s not really possible in just a short four or five-minute demonstration to get a good in depth idea of the strengths and weaknesses of something as complicated as a VLE, but the first impressions of frog were very good. What’s more, the guy that I got to do an interview for Digitalang was none other than the CEO Gareth Davies.
I asked Gareth the same three questions I asked everyone else: “Why do you come to BETT”, “What have you been talking to people about most?” and ” What are you doing to make teachers’ lives easier?” I thought Gareth gave some good answers.