Tuesday, 26 June 2012

My e-Learning Toolkit...

Image from Nomadic Lass, available under
a CC BY-SA 2.0 license
I was thinking about this the other day - what sites or resources would I recommend to someone who was after some advice or tips to help them develop their practice in e-Learning?  After a bit of thought, I came up with the following list...

JISCJust tons of stuff about education and the use of technology.  It's a massive site, so take a look at their Publications section first.  You can order hard copies of some of their materials and a good starting point is Supporting Academic Staff from them which gather together a lot of handy stuff.  Make sure you also check out JISC infoNet while you're at it - 

JISC Digital Media - Has loads of advice and updates about all things connected with digital media - from production to presentation, technical to legal.  It's a great resource and definitely worth looking through their advice section.  They also have some free tutorials which you might want to look at but primarily, the advice is the main resource you'd want to use.

JISC Legal - Another JISC service, this time covering legal aspects affecting technology in education.  They have a free helpdesk (as do JISC Digital Media) and if you're wanting to understand the wider implications of the use of a particular piece of technology, then this is a very valuable resource to know about.  The Copyright Law Essentials is also worth bookmarking too.

JISC TechDIS - More from JISC, this time about accessibility and assistive technologies.  Lots and lots to draw on here, but their Accessibility Essentials is very handy as are their free resources too.  They also run 'Web2Access' which if you're wondering about using web 2.0 tools in education, then that's a useful service to know about as it helps to understand the accessibility implications of those tools.

WebAIM - Web Accessibility in Mind is an excellent resource if you want to know more about accessibility within e-learning.  Their screen reader simulation (on the resources section) is definitely worth having a go with and the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool is another resource you might want to bookmark.

HEA - For pedagogical resources, the HEA is a good place to start, particularly looking at their EvidenceNet repository too.  Again, a massive site, but set yourself up an account there and subscribe to their newsletter as a start.

OpenLearn - Lots of openly available courses from the Open University, but of particular interest is 'Accessibility of eLearning' which is a module from their Masters in Online and Distance Education and is worth working through (takes about 15 hours).   Also 'Repurposing open educational content' is handy too.

ALT - The Association for Learning Technology's website which gives a pretty good idea of what a learning technologist is - or at least what they should be able to do if you take a look at what's involved in their CMALT certification - as well as their Research in Learning Technology (used to be ALT-J) journal to sink your teeth into.

University Learning Design Initiative (OULDI) - this and Cloudworks is an absolutely fabulous resource for all things curriculum design - and ideas / sharing practices in general.  It's a site you could get lost in for hours and the links to design tools on the OULDI site is well worth spending a fair bit of time on.

Futurelab - if you're interested in innovation in teaching and learning then the work of Futurelab will be right up your street.  From current projects to resources to download and think about, this is an excellent place for tapping into trends and emerging practices.

For more general technical / technology news then...

Read Write Web - http://www.readwriteweb.com/
Mashable - http://mashable.com/
Guardian Technology - http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology

... are all good starting points.

Obviously there's a fair bit of JISC-flavoured stuff on there and it's all from a pretty UK-ish perspective.  But if I wanted to try to bridge the gap between tech and teaching which is the real skill of working in e-Learning... these are the places I think I'd start looking.

What would you add?


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