A MOOC or Massive Open Online Course is a concept for online learning. It has already been taken up by some but is also an idea for the future. As with any model it has flaws, but overall it is about utilising the existing tools available online whilst building a learning community.

This video by Dave Cormier explores and explains the concept of MOOCs.

What is a MOOC?


Very Pinteresting!

Pinterest logoYou may have heard of the new social media tool Pinterest. For those of you wondering how the tool works, users ‘pin’ interesting images/videos to ‘boards’. These boards are broken up into categories, and users can have several boards. The boards can be set up so that others can contribute, thus making collaborative work possible.

Users can find ‘pins’ they like by searching the categories, such as ‘Art’, ‘Education’ & ‘Sports’ as well as many more. The dashboard also displays a variety of pins from other users that you follow. Because Pinterest is essentially an image based social bookmarking tool it can be a great resource for interesting, valuable and useful user shared content. As with any social media tool there is a vast array of content, and it is about filtering out what is useful.

Some of the downsides to the tool is it can be difficult to filter out what is useful, and the dashboard has been criticised as an overwhelming clutter of images (or ‘pins’). It also forces users to connect with either Facebook or Twitter, although these links can be altered in the settings once you have created an account.

There are certainly many possibilities with this tool; it is simply a case of matching it to the requirement of a certain learning need. Whether it is using it for collaborative work, encourage students to create a board of pins related to a topic area (particularly relevant for visual based course), or encouraging students to use the comment option to comment on each other pins in order to build discuss.

20 tips and resources for using learning technology in higher education

Blended learning should transform learning, not just replicate teaching: Companies want graduates who can source, filter and use existing knowledge to create new knowledge, and the university is key to equipping students with these skills. Yet we seldom see technology tools being used in radically new ways in HE. They are usually used to replicate lectures – think of websites or podcasts – rather than enabling students to learn in new ways.

There’s an interesting article in today’s Guardian about Technology Enhanced Learning. Quite a few links to look at for inspiration too!

If you read the front pages of the New York Times, they will tell you that technology’s promise has not yet been realized in terms of student performance. My answer is, of course not. If we simply attached computers to leeches, medicine wouldn’t be any better today than it was in the 19th century either.

You don’t get change by plugging in computers to schools designed for the industrial age. You get it by deploying technology that rewrites the rules of the game.

This article on the Wall Street Journal website mainly refers to the US education system, but bears a lot of general relevance to eLearning anywhere. Well worth a read, if only for inspiration.

The author is Rupert Murdoch, which may come as a surprise until one remembers that he didn’t get where he is by lacking intelligence and insight.

The Steve Jobs Model for Education Reform

LTU Workshops – myCourse, myPortfolio, Turnitin, Grademark, Social Media

For Solent Staff only….The Learning Technology Unit have a whole bundle of training sessions coming up in March covering myCourse, myPortfolio, Turnitin, Grademark and Social Media

Please book your training here

LTU can arrange specific sessions as required for your team and can be found in A122 for drop in support.
Contact for further details.