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JISC RSC Northwest eLearning Focus All the fun of the technology fair Roll up, roll up to JISC RSC Northwest’s flagship annual event on Wednesday, June 27 2012, at Southport Theatre Convention Centre.

All the Fun of the Technology Fair will run from 10am-4pm and be based in three areas which showcase different aspects of technology use.

This engaging day out promises something for all supported learning providers. Themes will cover:  Using technology to predict and guide learners (fortune telling)  Setting enthusiasm on fire for higher level vocational learning (fire walking)  Accessibility and Inclusion issues, breaking the chains (escapology)

 

Uploading and capturing evidence (riding and roping) Understanding eReputation and Social Media (bed of nails) Information, Advice and Guidance (juggling) Equipping learners with digital literacy (knife throwing) and New Emerging Technologies which are free and sustainable (clowns).

RSC Northwest Interim Manager Paul Deane says; “Our Annual Event will be a great opportunity to learn from other learning providers and to showcase emerging technology and best practice in the North West. If you want to exploit technology to become more effective and efficient book a place now.” Winners of the RSC’s Recognition of Innovation Awards will also be awarded on the day. Click here to submit a project by April 27, 2012. To book on our Annual Event, please click here.


Spring 2012 RSCs - stimulating and supporting innovation in learning

In this issue… 

JISC Funding Bids P2

Facebook is a hit at Ashton Sixth Form P3

Oldham Sixth Form stay active online P4

Supporting Inclusion recordings P6

Our Resource Recommend P7

Introducing the new RSC Manager P8

JISC Mail Lists JISCMail is used by RSC Northwest to email funding news, eLearning updates and regional events information. Anyone is welcome to request a membership for these lists. If you would like to receive regular updates from us or have a colleague who you think may benefit from one of our services please visit our website to join: http:// northwest/talklisten-tous!/jiscmailgroups.aspx You will find seven different groups separated into areas such as Work Based Learning, our technical list, those signed up to our eMagazine etc.

Preston College celebrates its Beacon Award for Innovation RSC NW eLearning Adviser Anita Holt was presented with flowers during Preston College’s celebration event on March 23 to mark it winning a Beacon Award. The College was chosen nationally to receive the AOC Beacon Award for ‘Efficiency through effective use of technology in further Anita receives her flowers from the Chair of AOC and education and skills.’ AOC Charitable Trust, John Anita was given flowers Bingham (middle) and Preston College’s Innovation and as a thank-you for her Excellence Manager Damien work in supporting the Kilkenny. college with eLearning.

JISC Funding Bids Bids are now being received by RSC Northwest for the £1.35 million JISC Advance has made available for the FE and Skills sector. Interested Learning Providers have until May 31 2012 to get bids in and are encouraged to run these past the RSC first to ensure they meet the programme requirements. An online bid writing series was well attended last

month and representatives from 36 different learning providers attended a North West event to learn about the funding opportunity. During this event JISC Programme Manager Nigel Ecclesfield said; “The real emphasis is to improve the learner experience and improve the efficiency of the sector.” Up- to- date information on the funding is available at:

Facebook for course work is a hit at Ashton Sixth Form Facebook has fast become the most popular method for Creative Digital Arts students at Ashton Sixth Form College to source course work and share ideas. 290 students in the department are using the site and eLearning Manager Sandra Taylor says there has been an increase in submissions for assignments since its introduction.

Facebook more than their email anyway. You can interact with other students and if you are stuck on something you can ask questions and can also pick up tips from other students’ videos.” Classmate James Haggerty used their Facebook page during a college trip to Uganda to upload images for the class to see and also spoke to them via webcam. He’s now working with another student on a short video of their experience which will also be posted on the site.

He says; “It makes things easier for us and it’s free so you Creative Digital Arts Students Karl don’t need to use a Chevalier and Aaron Turner. text to ask your teacher something. The Facebook platform It’s a way of getting the was first trialled last year stuff you create out there by three departments. After too.” a successful pilot the Creative Digital Arts Creative Digital Arts department are now Department teacher Dan utilising both the page and Atkinson says; “It really group functions to share engages with students’ class work and resources, right from the beginning. make announcements, Facebook is good for post videos and to discuss consolidating ideas, such coursework. as putting up videos and explaining the detail so a Student, Louise Schofield, student who struggled with says; “It’s faster and easier something in class can go and everyone checks on and review it later.”

Student Bryony Wilshaw likes that she can check her class Facebook on her mobile.

Head of Subject, Brian Copper, adds; “We encourage it as we know that students use it. I can honestly say this is our primary source of communication as it’s so accessible and students get alerts when something goes up so you know they will see it.” During a recent Ofsted inspection Brian was observed uploading student mindmaps to Facebook as they were being created and the inspector gave praise for the use of technology in the lesson. The College social network sites are created with a staff email and administered by teachers and Sandra, who is also the eSafety Officer, to ensure content is safe.

And the winner is…. JISC RSC East Midlands, Northern and Northwest would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete its joint communication survey. There were 371 respondents from a range of learning providers and a good mix of roles. The winners of the £50 Amazon Voucher were: 

Jo Crumbleholme from Burnley College in the North West.

Julie Donnelly from Vision West Notts in East Midlands and;

Oldham Sixth Form Stay Active in Body and Online Oldham Sixth Form College has been utilising technology to promote and support its Healthy College Week which ran from March 5 to 9. The popular event was first held in 2010 and has now become an annual fixture with sessions ranging from Ready Steady Cook competitions to drug and alcohol advice and Wii Zumba workouts. All the activities are uploaded on to the Health Zone website which remains a permanent resource for students and

Technology also played a part with the SMART Response system that was used for the Mental Health and Healthy Eating sessions so students could use a voting system to show what they had learnt in an interactive way. Lead organiser, Shirley Rainey, says; “The whole aim is to promote healthy living and we have been using technology since the beginning to promote what we are doing. It increases participation by doing it online.”

Joyce Young from Mobile Care Qualifications in the Northern region.

Survey results are being analysed and will be used to ensure that the RSC communication channels are fit for purpose and meeting your needs.

Oldham Athletic Football Club offered Wii games and encouraged students to participate to get the high score in a 'boxing' style game and will present the winners with certificates. This encouraged lots of male students to join in who wouldn’t normally have been involved.

Daniela Soldner-Rembold interviews students about health. staff to use. Vox Pops on student lifestyle choices were filmed by fellow students and the video is available on the website at http://

The Healthy College Week is also publicised through Facebook, Twitter and student email. Twitter is particular popular with students with the majority of the 2,400 students on campus signed up.

Making a business case for ePortfolios JISC RSC Northwest is running a free one day programme of presentations and activities to identify and discuss the benefits and challenges of successfully introducing e (assessment) Portfolios. This event will take place on April 19 from 9:30am—4pm at Westleigh Conference Centre at UCLAN, Lea Road, Preston, Lancashire, PR4 0RB. It will offer invaluable contributions from Learning Providers, plus demonstrations by suppliers that recognise how emerging technology can take mobile assessment to a whole new level. Places are limited and are really aimed at the following practitioners: 

Those engaged in work based learning

(but not exclusively). 

Organisations considering changing from traditional assessment which are hesitant for a variety of reasons. Those that have tried ePortfolio already but found it didn’t meet expectations. Key management or personnel that would like to understand the potential business advantages and overcome usual barriers.

Take a look at the programme to make up your own mind and to book: northwest/events/2012/ april/making-a-businesscase-for-eportfolios.aspx

Our Resource Recommendation eLearning Adviser Mark Ayton explains why he likes Google docs.

Google docs is like MS Office but web-based. It produces documents, spreadsheets, forms and drawings. It has familiar menus but is less extensive so it’s easier to come to grips with. Why use it? It allows real time collaboration: Version control and email “ping-pong” for change approval is eliminated as there is only one shared document. Learners and teachers can collect survey data through forms for quality assurance or research. It allows sharing: Documents can be private, shared with specific people or groups, or made available to the world. You can make a presentation immediately available to an audience. It is platform independent, if you’ve got a web-browser you’re in: Personal computers: Windows, Apple OS Mobile: iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows.

Try it out for yourself by creating an account at

Supporting Inclusion with Technology

Technology Is At The Heart of Furness New Build

Throughout March there was an online series on ‘Supporting Inclusion with Technology.’ The recordings of these sessions are now available:

Furness College in Barrow has made a significant investment in technology and innovation as part of its State of the Art £41 million refurbishment.

Series Introduction: How

The College’s impressive new building, with views of the sea, town and Lake District, has only been open three months and is the first step in a larger project which will see another brand new building and sports pitches open in December this year.

the four stage framework, used in this series, can be used to develop inclusive practice and meet accessibility needs. Accessible e-texts. Ways of ensuring you have accessible learning objects and platforms, tools and e-books so the maximum learners access your service. Accessibility Essentials How mainstream software, such as Microsoft office and Adobe PDF Reader, can be used to ensure documents/resources are accessible to everyone. Encouraging learner independence. Free software MyStudyBar which is available to anyone and can gives people control of how they use technology. Self-Assessment: How learning providers can reflect on their inclusive practice. Focusing on the OASES tool for benchmarking assistive practice. Click here to hear these

Quality Improvement Manager, Mark Preston says; “It was a conscious effort to have learner focussed technology as a part of the new development. Students expect when they come into a building like ours that it’s kitted out with the latest things and they appreciate it.”

ITT students Matthew Widnell and Ryan Gosney using one of the many new study areas to check the VLE.

“Using the new technology raises their game as students know you’ve invested the money in them and it’s just a great place to study. I’m excited and everyone who works here is excited.” The spacious new building boasts large touch screen TV technology for classrooms, modern study areas, individualised Learning Resource areas by subject, high tech labs and the very latest equipment for hair and beauty, construction and engineering workshops.

Digital Literacies for New FE and Skill Sector Teachers

Free online session 9 May 2012 10am –11am

Wednesday April 25, 9:30am—4pm Westleigh Conference Centre at UCLAN, Lea Road, Preston, Lancashire, PR4 0RB.

What’s it about? This one day event will provide free digital literacy guidance and showcase good eLearning practice under four themes; developing a personal learning environment, integrating engagement and inclusivity in learning, evaluating digital resources and building in formative and summative assessment. Who is it for? FE and skills sector teachers who are recently qualified, close to qualification or current practitioners in the process of gaining a teaching qualification and those delivering teacher training to this group. In the event of over subscription, priority will be given to people that meet these criteria. The programme includes: 

How to become a self starter and maintain current digital literacy knowledge,

Learning Resource Centre Induction

presented by RSC Northwest eLearning Advisor Anthony Beal 

Four case studies from recently qualified teachers who have overcome barriers to implement

A lunch break and chance to network

Participants will be divided into four groups and will move around workshops exploring the use of technology under the four themes.

The day will also provide an excellent opportunity to network and meet contacts from your sector with a view to supporting each other in integrating technology for both on-line classroom learning support. Please click here to book.

Brief Details This Webinar is the third in a series offered in collaboration with RSCs North-West, East and West Midlands and is an opportunity to hear from and "meet" colleagues from outside our region. The session will use the Blackboard Collaborate Web conferencing tool. For those unfamiliar with the tool, a brief introduction will take place from 9:15am, prior to the start of the Webinar. Target Audience: Library and LRC Managers, Library Assistants, Other staff interested in using new technologies Closing date: 8 May 2012 Click here to book

RSC Northwest team... Interim Manager Paul Deane Administrator Christine Hulme eLearning Advisers John Dalziel (ACL, PCDL & OLASS) Colin Gallacher (Work Based Learning) Kevin Hickey (Inclusion) Anita Holt (Further Education) Judy Bloxham (Further Education) Hilary Thomas (Higher Education) Anthony Beal Mark Ayton Keith Wilson (Technology & MIS) Events Co-ordinator Sandra Harris Information Officer Michelle Hyland

Introducing Paul Deane, RSC Manager Paul Deane is the latest member of the RSC Northwest team, joining as Interim Manager last month. He has a long interest in helping the sector adopt new technology where it can give strategic advantage having previously been the Chair of East Midlands RSC Steering Group as well as a JISC Board Member. Originally an Economics graduate from Manchester University Paul has worked in the private sector and Local Government as well as Further Education (FE). Paul developed his interest in technology through an MSc in Software Development at Huddersfield University and he has held a number

of senior posts in General FE Colleges including Registrar and Deputy Chief Executive at Derby College, Vice Principal Planning and Funding at Lincoln College and College Information Services Manager at Joseph Priestley College. Picking up an MBA along the way, Paul has been responsible in FE posts for strategic leadership of Business Development, ILT Strategy Development and Implementation and Information Systems and Information Technology.

All JISC RSC Northwest staff contribute to the online newsletter.

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Please send any feedback about the newsletter to Editor, Michelle Hyland at:

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Phone: 01524 510067 Twitter: @jiscrscnw

eLearning Focus  
eLearning Focus  

The Spring edition of RSC Northwest's newsletter includes JISC Funding Bids, Preston College celebrates its Beacon Award for Innovation, Mak...