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ILT breakfast club


Tasty Pastries

Originally uploaded by lu_lu

One of my most successful ventures in the area of ILT (e-learning) was the idea of an ILT breakfast club. The college I was working at (like many others) had limited parking so many staff were choosing to arrive early each day to get a parking space, so I used this feature to my advantage.

The model was quite simple. 1 morning a week I ran an ILT training session between 8.00am and 8.55am. I provided coffee and croissants which people consumed whilst I did a quick demo, we then got onto the computers to practice the skills. The sessions were punchy and to the point, and all teaching and learning focussed. I would repeat each session 5 times (over 5 weeks) each time on a different day of the week so as to not disadvantage part timers, and it then fitted nicely to run a set of sessions each half term.

The sessions were very popular, people liked the punchyness of them, some said it was a good start to the day a bit like a pre-work gym session but for the brain not body and some just came for the coffee, croissants and company. I covered many topics over the 2 years I ran the sessions, I trained lots of people (and got to meet people I had never heard off) and it made a huge difference to the skill set of the college. the food and drink provided was a key part of the process (and relatively cheap) and the pace of the sessions also important. This is a model that I think other organisations could replicate (if you have a trainer who can do early starts), for relatively little cost.

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What does Whole Organisation Approach to eCPD look like?

Last week I was involved with the LSIS eCPD programme event in Birmingham, and one of the activities was asking the delegates about Whole Organisation Approaches, and what would it look like if they were successful in creating a whole organisation approach to eCPD.

We put the answers on post-it notes and then stuck them onto a flipchart, a photo of which I have uploaded to Flickr, and then used the ‘notes’ feature within Flickr to label the notes. (You will need to click on the image to see this effect).

As much as anything I want to show here how I have made use of simple technologies to create a learning object. I have used post-it notes, pens and a flipchart (which won’t scare any anti-technology teachers) – I have then photographed the output using a basic compact camera (again a anti-technology teacher could get a learner to do this if necessary), and finally I have uploaded it to Flickr and added the notes – which is quite easy and free to do.

The output can then embedded into a blog (like here) or a VLE area, it can start a discussion, be used for reflection etc.

eCPD programme gaining momentum

I am very lucky to be working on the new eCPD programme an initiative commissioned by LSIS, and being run by BDP Media. The first cohort of ‘Proffessional Development Advisors” (PDAs)  is being trained at the moment, equipping them with the skills and tools to help an organisation move forwards with the strategic approach to eCPD, something that all providers should be doing, and hopefully this programme is a timely intervention that will help organisation tackle embrace this issue.

Last week the official launch event (organised by ALT) took place in London, and was an amazing event, as last Thursday there was chaos with travel due to the snow, yet over 170 people (out of 190 expected) still made it to the event, and loads more accessed it online. The event had an excited buzz about it, and I have only heard positive comments from people that attended.

On Tuesday I attended the launch of the showcase projects, which showed an interesting array of  work – with 8 such projects being funded £2000 each. There will be a second round of funding for more such projects,and the programme is looking for projects from a wide range of providers in particular 6th form colleges, work based learning, adult ommunity learning and Offender learning, if anyone is interested, then details can be found at http://ecpd.bdplearning.com/ecpd/news_details.php?id=68

But from my perspective the best part is the interactions between myself and the PDAs that I am supporting, as there is a real excitement out there from them, and that is what it is all about.

Frank Coffield – on embedding e-learning

The short video below, is of Professor Frank Coffield, a well respected and out spoken professor of education, whose beliefs very much mirror mine, and in particular he mentions the fact that for embedding to take place, tutors need access to the tools but more importantly time for this to happen. This video follows on from an LSN funded report that he has written, called ‘Just suppose teaching and learning became the first priority‘ which is a brilliant report in that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and point out how ludicrous some governmental decisions appear to be, and how simple some solutions could be made if only an educational minister had the balls to do so.

Both the report and his video are being used as part of the new eCPD programme that is rapidly filling up with applications.

The eCPD programme

I am just starting a new project of work, which I am quite excited about. BDP Media have won a contract to roll out a National (well English) initiative regarding the use of e-learning,  and in particular connecting this to CPD activity. The programme is aimed at providers of Further Education and details are available at http://www.bdplearning.com/ecpd/index.html

There will be 21 facilitators working on this (of which I am one) and I am also lucky enough to be the lead facilitator for the Midlands (which covers East Midlands, West Midlands and Eastern). For me this is a great opportunity to be involved at a high level on a National Project and to manage a team, which will be good experience for myself. The project will focus on peoples coaching and mentoring skills, in relation to learning technoloiges, and the way that the attendees bring on other people in their organisations.

There are still places for this programme, so if you are working in FE (or know someone who is) then have a look at the details, and complete the application form.