Posted on December 17, 2009 by davefoord
earlier this week I ran some training sessions for Abingdon and Witney college on using turnitin software to help reduce plagiarism. this is a topic that I love working with and have a lot of experience in. Today I recieved an email of thanks from one of the attendees which read
“Please would you pass on my thanks to Dave for his brilliant training session that he gave earlier this week for Turnitin. I really enjoyed what he was teaching us and appreciated hearing his own experiences of using this software. I can’t think of anything more challenging than teaching a group of lecturers, but he was absolutely fantastic!”
so quite a nice bit of feedback there but I particularly like the big about how challenging it is to teach lecturers(or teachers). This again is how I make a living. i have over the last 10 years delivered well over 1100 training sessions to teaching staff and although they often turn up late and then do all the things they tell their learners off for doing, I couldn’t think of a better way to earn a crust.
Filed under: CPD and reflective practice, e-learning | Tagged: turnitin training teacher lecturer abingdon witney college plagiarism | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 7, 2009 by davefoord
I have recently decorated a bedroom at my house, and as part of the process we visited the local DIY store to choose and buy paint. something that I noticed whilst doing this was most of the tins of paint were in traditional round tins but about 20% are available in rectangular containers. This made me think, and I realised that a rectangular container is far more sensible than a round one – they stack more efficiently on a shelf so easier for the shop to store and display; they will occupy less room on a lorry so better for the environment; for the user like me if I am using a roller I can dip this straight into the can if I want so all in all a far more sensible vessel than a round tin. so why is it 80% of the paint on offer still comes in round tins? well it is probably the old situation of human beings not liking change ‘it has always been in a round tin so should stay in a round tin’.
So what is the point of this tale. Well when we look at e-learning, there are a small percentage of people that are prepared to challenge the norms and this is essential for progress to be made especially whilst the technology is changing so rapidly, but there are still a lot of people who are not keen on change and whilst these are in the majority then their behaviour will remain the norm (like the 80% of round paint tins) and although not deliberate they are in effect stifling progress. so what is the solution? as we enter more difficult financial times most senior managers will tighten their financial belts and restrict anything that isn’t proven but a few (possibly through financial necessity) may create a culture in their organisations where risk is not just allowed but rewarded, and in these places the norm may be to ‘challenge the norm’ and then real progress can be made.
So although recession is a bad thing for everyone I do genuinely believe that some educational good may come out of it.
Filed under: CPD and reflective practice, e-learning | Tagged: change, e-learning, paint, progress, round, technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 4, 2009 by davefoord
one of the most useful of web tools in the last few months has been etherpad, but alas it’s success means that if has been acquired by google and the service will end in march 2010. this is a real shame as I used it loads. the full story can be found http://etherpad.com/ep/blog/posts/google-acquires-appjet
Filed under: CPD and reflective practice, e-learning, google, m-learning, Resources | Tagged: etherpad, etherpad google, google | Leave a comment »