Wednesday, 30 June 2010

8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning

Tell a story. Make a plan. Think and do. Draw it. Take it outside. Try a new way. Watch first, then do. Share it with others

Humans have a fantastic lack of perspective. We keep trying to solve our own problems, ourselves, without stepping back and looking for help from further afield. Sometimes this comes out as a “not invented here” syndrome. Other-times in niche specialisms that lose sight of the broader cross-discipline knowledge.

This morning I got (yet another) reminder of the huge value of stepping back, and looking further afield. The diagram, below, is part of a pedagogical framework that attempts to model Aboriginal learning processes in Australia. Have a look at the 8ways wiki – it is ripe with ideas that can help enliven teaching even in the most western / urban classroom!


If you DO end up using these ideas, please respect their ethos and give something back to the 8ways wiki … or post a response to my blog and I will collate them!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Making sense of corporate e-learning with Action Mapping

How much information it TOO much when you are creating corporate e-learning?

In the past few months I have ended up in the same conversation often enough with prospective clients, that I felt it may be worth a blog post!

Typical scenario: We meet an enthusiastic member of a large company (often in the HR team) who would like to use digital learning as a tool to help share corporate learning. This is clearly a good idea. But as soon as we start looking at the details, it becomes clear that there is an awfully large amount of information to put across.

This is where the unsuspecting learning designer may foolishly start to design a MEGA course. Or the more experienced veteran may suggest a smaller, more focussed course with supplementary reference material (possibly in a wiki-style for easy updates).

My preference at this point is to use what Cathy Moore calls “Action Mapping”, focussing rather on particular behaviours you wish to change in staff, rather than all the information that needs to be imparted.

As always, her pictures are worth a thousand words – see what you think?

Is this something that may have resonance with your organisation? Talk to us!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Heard of the Learning Score? You will soon!

One of our pet projects going on in the labs is “Learning Score” – a lateral (and we hope creative) way to plan lessons.
We were in the middle of a fairly low key user-trial, but it got “leaked” last week, and all of a sudden we are popping up on tweets and blogs all over. It is great fun, because already we have been sent some amazing feedback, and ideas for future directions.
Stephen Heppell ( took time out to help us spread the word:

Jon Davitt mentioned us during his keynote at the Apple Education Leadership event.
Doug Belshaw and a couple of other bloggers picked up on the trial version, and started sending us some great feedback, as well as posting this lovely intro:

Thanks, all, for the amazing feedback. As well as all the related tweets:

If you want to try it out for yourself, grab a trial version today.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

e-learning scenarios made simple

We are loving this presentation from Cathy Moore. She explains perfectly why “scenario based e-learning” is spectacularly more successful than more traditional methods …

Monday, 18 January 2010

Inspiration from India

“i can”

We are loving this TED talk from Kiran Bir Sethi, talking about her work at the Riverside School in India … inspiring her kids, and the entire nation to say “I can”

A healthy reminder us what education is REALLY all about

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Accessibility Passport

No matter how well you plan your digital learning, you can’t possibly know what every user might want to do with it. Or in fact what kinds of devices they may be using to access it.

This is especially true with accessibility, where tutors and learners often need to find alternative routes through their online resources to help students learn from them

Old-school e-learning made this more complicated than it needed to be by not publicising the thinking that went on during development, believing that learners and tutors did not need to know. But accessibility champions have been changing this, arguing that if tutors can understand a bit more of the technical thinking that went on, they can use the materials in new ways.

The Accessibility Passport from JISC TechDis (due to be launched shortly) will offer exactly this - encouraging e-learning development teams to publicise their thinking, outline in-built accessibility features in a resource, and highlight any specific areas which may be problematic for some users. The online passport will also provide an opportunity for learners to give feedback - so that the current e-learning assets can be used more creatively and future resources be developed more inclusively.

To quote the techdis team directly:image

“The Accessibility Passport has been developed to enable a dialogue
between the specifier, developer, tester (including teacher/tutor) and user (student) of software or learning objects in development. By stating the original brief, the specifier can express what accessibility requirements were, or were not, expected to be included. The developer can outline any accessibility features
built in and any user testing undertaken. Crucially users of the software or learning object (teachers and learners) can communicate their experiences back into the development process for future modifications or adaptations.”

The Tribal team are very proud to be part of the early trials, and look forward to its imminent release

Top tips for teachers …

I am enjoying #movemeon. Both the book (available for free here), and the idea.

Doug Belshaw asked teachers all over the world to tweet their hints, tips and ideas for improving their lessons, and has pulled them all together into this delightful guide.

The power of “lots of” small ideas!