Digital Education team blog
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    Digital Skills Development courses for next term now available

    By Domi C Sinclair, on 3 May 2016

    New dates are now available for ISD Digital Skills Development courses for the summer term.  Courses cover a range of applications including Photoshop, Excel, Stata, Unix, Matlab to name but a few. New this year we have courses in R with RStudio and an Introduction to SQL.  We also now have an Excel 2013 Essential Skills course which is a good foundation for our other Excel courses. Courses are very popular so book early to avoid disappointment.

    Interested in Reproducible Research?  Come along and find out more.  A lunchtime session entitled  ‘First Tools for Reproducible Research’ will be held on 5th May 1 – 2 p.m. in J Z Young Lecture Theatre (G29), Anatomy building.

    For a full list of our courses and link to the booking system visit the staff course catalogue or student course catalogue  If you can’t find what you are looking for, we have a vast range of high-quality video-based courses available at Lynda.com.  Visit the UCL Lynda page to find out more.

    Not sure what you need or need more specific individual help?  Come along to our twice-weekly drop in sessions

    IT courses for UCL staff and students at UCL Institute of Education

    By Domi C Sinclair, on 28 April 2016

    The summer term training schedule is now available and bookings are now open. To view the schedule and making bookings see: IT for IOE Course Bookings

    The programme offers a choice of mini demonstration sessions, mini workshops and full hands-on sessions and includes:

    • sessions looking at iPad apps, Prezi, blogging, mind mapping, Lynda.com, various web tools and Office 2013 applications
    • new hands-on workshops on Evernote, OneNote, WordPress, screencasting tools
    • Mac sessions looking at Keynote (alternative to PowerPoint) and Office 2016 applications
    • hands-on Endnote sessions

    All sessions take place at the UCL IOE campus, 20 Bedford Way

    “Social” self-study

    By Clive Young, on 17 March 2011

    Head forst book pageEarlier this year I came across the Head First WordPress book from O’Reilly and was much taken by the “brain-friendly” highly visual, conversational, sometimes jokey layout (see left).  This made me ponder just how friendly our self-study e-learning support material is. We tend to make our documents and videos quite academic and dry, though our live workshops are fun and interactive.

    e-Learning consultant Clive Shephard raised much the same point in a blog post this month Can self-study be social? .  He suggests “self-study could feel very much like one-to-one learning if the content was prepared with a degree of personality… written using a conversational tone, with the author’s personality shining through“…maybe I suggest a bit more like the Head First design approach.

    Clive puts it bluntly “Web 2.0 content – blog and forum postings, YouTube videos, etc. –  is consumed with gusto because it has personality. Policy manuals, corporate brochures and self-study compliance courses are not, because they don’t.

    He concludes “Time for e-learning to get some personality. If it does, even self-study can feel like a social experience.

    It seems there is a challenge there for all of us involved in the development of print and online support materials, to move from the dry academic tone towards something that is a little more fun and engaging.

    Smarter learning with Social Media? A 10 Step Plan

    By Fiona Strawbridge, on 17 March 2011

    I’ve just enjoyed a webinar led by Jane Hart on how social media (or SoMe as she refers to it) can help orgnaisations to ‘work smarter’.  The basic premise is that conventional training and development fills people’s heads with knowledge in an inefficient and ineffective way, and that online versions of courses – which are often over-engineered, do little better, whilst taking additional resource to develop; this is not sustainable.  Jane argues that much real learning takes place outside the formal work or learning environment, and that social media can help us to learn in new ways, sharing resources, ideas, experiences and expertise.

    The script and slides for the whole presentation are helpfully available at http://c4lpt.co.uk/articles/10steps.html (it would have been even more helpful if I’d known this at the start as I was typing notes frantically as she spoke).

    The 10 steps are:

    1. Raising awareness of the potential of social media for both working and learning – stuff like finding thinks on the social web; keeping up to date; building a trusted network; communicating;  sharing; collaborating; improving productivity – see http://c4lpt.co.uk/workingsmarter
    2. Help people with personal knowledge management – dealing with information overload; filtering info; finding the right resources, and people
    3. Develop team collaboration skills – perhaps by integrating social tools into training activities and helping people to learn and work together)
    4. Help establish communities of practice (or ‘professional practice groups’ as one of the attendees suggested) – apparently this goes down better with managers than “let’s set up a social network”. These groups do need to be nurtured – “seed, feed and watered”
    5. Use social media for ‘performance consulting’ – this rather uncomfortable term means getting to the root of an apparent performance problem and finding a solution rather than automatically sending a colleague on a training course.
    6. Help people design and build their own solutions – help them to own the solution
    7. Help teams build social resources together – a nice example was given of rethinking induction and using social media to connect new staff with existing staff,  ask questions, and access key resources from day one rather than waiting for the next scheduled event.
    8. Build communities of practice into formal approaches – consider incorporating social media into formal training approaches (but take care to make sure that they are seamlessly integrated). Turn your Community of Learners into a Community of Practice!
    9. Integrate learning into the workflow – use the same tools for learning and you do for working.  Yammer was presented as a tool to allow people to share resources, ideas, ask questions, and to work in groups.
    10. Lead by example – use a supported, bottom-up approach. So we should be using social media to help staff develop their e-learning practice, demonstrating its value ourselves.  Watch this space!

    For chapter and verse see http://www.C4LPT.co.uk/10steps.html