Dear reader, welcome once again to the pedagogic newsletter about e-learning from Expect Learning. Summer has arrived, so now is the time to snap some lovely summer photos with the camera in your Smartphone, that you can use in your teaching material. An important part of online teaching is that the teacher shows a bit of his or her personality, and one way to do that is through words and pictures. Your pictures can help you tell a little about yourself, and what interests you. That will give participants a sense of being part of something real, and that there is a real teacher online.
Here you see my summer flowers
New research: we learn much more through informal learning than we do from formal courses
Two research projects in the UK has provided us with key-insight into the role of informal learning in the workplace. Researchers concluded that their participants learned much more through their work than through formally organized learning events.
Both research projects showed that, informal workplace activities provided between 70-90 percent of the learning; but informal learning was treated as only an occasional by-product of formal courses. The challenge in workplace learning is that work activities are largely tacit and difficult to explain to a colleague.
But working alongside a colleague for a while enables someone to learn by asking questions and receiving feedback about shared activities and events as they happen. It also allows the learner to see how a colleague reads situations, how he monitors them and takes decisions.
Among other things, the researchers concluded that:
- Formal courses or events were often supported by informal learning.
Sharing with colleagues made a considerable difference.
- Short courses and events need to be “just-in-time”* to be effective
- Only a minority of participants preferred learning by manuals while the rest avoided them
- Participants learned from the challenge of work itself and learned from other people
(Reference: “Informal Learning in the workplace: evidence on the real value of work-based learning (WBL)” by Professor Emeritus Michael Eraut (2011). IN: Development and Learning in Organizations, vol. 25, Iss 5 page 8-12).
*”just-in-time” is a concept where, instead of having to recall information, employees have easy access to it, and can choose to use it and the relevant learning materials, on an “as needed” basis in problem-solving in the workplace.
To me, this research shows that we need to expand e-learning, so we should develop new models for e-learning with dialogue, reflection and the sharing of knowledge. This is what Expect Learning can help you with!
We humans learn through experience, practice, conversations and reflection – and not just by trying to remember facts and content. Therefore, e-learning and online courses should be designed in a way that it supports informal learning with dialogue and networking in the organization. It is not enough that we acquire new technology – we also have to use it in new ways. With the technology today, we have information right at our fingertips. Let’s use it.
These research findings seem consistent with Charles Jennings 70:20:10 model – see for yourself in this video
Make books with your iPad and upload them to Ibooks
An app I really love is JotNot Pro, which acts as a scanner app for 12 Danish kroner (1,5 €).
It can often help me in the situations where I need something scanned quickly, to send in an email or save for later reading. Thing is, it can convert your scans to pdf.
The clever thing about JotNot Pro, however, is that you can scan multiple pages and collect them in a single document. This way, you can make small books for your teaching, or create material you can show directly from your iPad via projector, in class. Read how to do this below under “apps for teaching”. You can save the books and send them via e-mail or upload them to “Ibooks”, which is the bookshelf on your Iphone or Ipad. Here you can divide books into categories, and save your books accordingly.
Here is how it is done:
Press the “Take a picture” to snap next photo
From JotNot Pro, upload the finished pdf to Ibooks. You can see mine here in Ibooks.
Apps for teaching: chemistry
Atoms in motion
With this app, you can make simulations of atoms. You can set atoms in motion, and then change the variables. It is Jan H: Jensen, professor at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, who tells about his app on his blog. He also gives good advice on how to utilize the app in teaching, and how you can connect your Ipad to a projector, and then show what happens to the students. The cable needed to connect you Ipad to the VGA port can be bought from your mac store, and connects to the VGA cable normally meant to be plugged into a computer.
This is Jan’s blog and description
Here is the cable you need
Photo: Anita Monty
From my Tweets
Emotions are important to support and work with in online learning and online environments, I think.http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/17/facebook-why-emotions-are-big-business/ via @techcrunch
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Expect Learning is a consulting company and we offer you complete solutions in e-learning. We have a solid knowledge about e-learning pedagogy and a long experience in online teaching. We can help you with the design and in supporting your consultants with online teaching. If you need help for development of technical solutions we have highly qualified partners to help you. You will get help for e-learning strategy and implementation, e-learning pedagogy and technical solutions, if you choose us to help you with your e-learning.