Friday, July 31, 2009

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

Setting up my RSS feed using Google Reader was not as difficult as first expected. At the expense of sounding a little naive I have to admit that I had never heard of RSS feeds or aggregators before commencing this course. I can now happily divulge that an RSS aggregator (or reader) acts as a single website or home that allows the user to keep up with the increasing amount of information that is available on the internet. By adding subscriptions to your reader (these could be blogs or websites) you save valuable time by allowing new information and posts (feeds) to come to you.

I have addressed the benefits of using of blogs within the classroom environment in my previous entry. RSS applications would be a fast, easy and effective way for teachers to engage in, manage and monitor student collaboration using this tool. The use of ICT's as a social network is highlighted by Siemens (2004) theory of Connectivism. He discusses the acquisition of knowledge as something that begins with the individual, who then feeds information into a network, which then feeds into organisations and back again. This 'cycle of knowledge development' (Siemens, 2004) benefits the individual learner as they continue to receive knowledge through the connections they have formed. What a great way for Learning Managers to engage and enhance student learning in the Digital Age.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retreived July 25, 2009, from

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blogs (Web Logs)

Wow, how cool is blogging! This new advancement in communication technologies provides a central place for users to connect and communicate and I am beginning to comprehend the opportunities that are available to us as future learning managers. Within the classroom blogs can be used to post resources (pictures, reading activities), lessons and set homework around a particular theme that the learning manager has developed. Not only does it provide a platform to support and enhance student learning through collaborative tasks, but it can provide parents and other members of the teaching cohort with access to valuable information.

Blogging as a communication tool has grown to become quite popular with 21st Century Learners. Prensky (2001) refers to these people as 'Digital Natives' as computers, email, internet, mobile phones and SMS are an integral part of their lives.
As a result today's learners think and process information differently from previous generations (Prensky, 2001) and in order to effectively engage them in authentic and meaningful tasks learning managers need to be able to speak their language.

As I see it Managing E-Learning is a course that has been designed to introduce us to these new technology-based teaching and learning tools through active engagement and self-directed learning. Constructing new meaning through our experiences and environment is consistent with constructivist theories such as Vygotsky, however we have been introduced to a new conceptual framework known as the 'Engagement Theory' (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) which has a technology-based focus. This theory comprises three components Relate-Create-Donate and aims to facilitate student learning within the classroom by engaging them through the use of ICT's.

Blogs provide students with a creative writing space where they can post journals, share ideas and co-develop thoughts, and would be a valuable tool for any classroom.

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Add an iPod

  1. Go to (you will need to create an account for this website)
  2. Once logged in go to "Create Playlist" (the #1 "Search Music" tab should be highlighted)
  3. Then just go ahead and search for the name of songs
  4. You need to click the "+" icon to add them to your iPod
  5. When you have enough songs click on the #2 "Customise" tab where you can choose a 'skin' (what you want your iPod to look like) and other colours/styles
  6. Then simply click #3 "Save Playlist", give it a name and click on the big green "SAVE (get code)" button
  7. The code you use is under the heading "Post Your Playlist to Blogger"
  8. This code needs to be copied and pasted into your blog
  9. Once in your blog go to "Layout" then click "Add a Gadget" then click "HTML/Javascript"
  10. Then just post the code mixpod gives you
Hope that this might help people wanting to put some tunes on their blog. It might sound a bit confusing but if I can do it anyone can!

In the future..........

Well after feeling quite apprehensive about this course I am finding that by immersing myself more in the content and becoming familiar with the different processes it is all becoming much easier. As someone that is part of Generation X I have always felt a little behind (and jealous of) those technologically savvy individuals that form Generation Y. Learning Management is the way forward for teaching in the future and as such Learning Managers need to possess futures oriented capabilities (Smith, Lynch & Knight, 2007).

In the future the use of pencil and paper, text books and blackboards with the teacher delivering the content will be replaced with ICT's such as internet, email, SMS and multi-modal delivery methods (Smith, Lynch & Knight, 2007). For me, this means updating and continuing to update my knowledge and skills in the rapidly changing world of technology. E-learning.........bring it on!

Smith, R., Lynch, D., & Knight, B. (2007). Learning management: Transitioning teachers for national and international change. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Better late than never!

After a week of wondering what to do I have finally taken the plunge and created my first ever blog. The initial concept was quite daunting, however I am sure that as with most things, practice makes perfect (or close enough). It has been great reading the other blogs people have created and comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels overwhelmed at the prospect of venturing into the unknown.

I am normally a very private person and find the concept of putting myself on view to others as something that is not in my nature, but here goes.......
I have lived and worked in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory and last year had my first overseas trip to Bali. In my last job before commencing this degree I worked for three years on a 22 metre fishing vessel that operated out of Darwin and progressed to the position of 'mate' (second in charge) during this time. I was extremely lucky to see some of the remote parts of Australia that most people will never see, such as the Kimberly and Arnhem Land.

Part of my duties on board the fishing vessel involved familiarity and operation of modern day electronic technology (GPS, VMS, echo sounders, sonar, radar, HF, VHF and UHF radios). I found the use of this equipment quite easy as it was job specific and feel sure that with time and persistence I will be able to manage the concept of e-learning, which is obviously going to be the way of teaching in the future.

I look forward to following my fellow students on their journeys.