I’ve just got back from a brilliant day at Ashton 6th Form College in Greater Manchester. The entire college was having an e-Learning day and I’d been asked to deliver an introductory overview to ‘free’ bits of software and Web 2.0. I then delivered three workshops where participants could practice what I’d preached during my introduction! Kevin Hickey and Lisa Valentine from the Regional Support Centre (RSC-NW) were also there to deliver workshops which were very well received, despite them being cunningly disguised accessibility sessions.
I delivered 50 minutes where we looked at and compared screen capture tools [Cam Studio v Screencast-o-matic], mind mapping software [FreeMind v Mindomo and Mind42] – then looked at free image editing software such as www.picnik.com and Microsoft’s Picture Manager. This is an oft-missed simple editing tool on most versions of Windows. Just right-click on an image and choose open-with >> MS Picture Manager. Both Picnik and MS PM offer facilities to crop, rotate, brighten, colour, sharpen etc – the usual basic editing tools. We also looked at sound file creation (we tried very hard to avoid the semantics behind the word Podcast) via MyPodcast.com‘s recorder software – which is dead simple to use and iPadio. iPadio is a fabulous site which I’ve blogged about earlier and elsewhere. Free MP3 recording via telephone is back. I finished the presentation by introducing and discussing the perils of Tagging. I’d also shown etherpad and its use as a collaboration tool.
All of this was delivered with the idea that learners would use the tools to become ‘creators’: but the understanding of that point came slowly to some.
The hands on sessions were well received and I think (know) that most attendees took something away with them. See this – click here – for an example of “how do I?” being put to immediate good use with the help of MoLeNET kit (a Flip Camera), a willing colleague, will and motivation.
Sandra and the college provided us with an excellent lunch at the local Italian Restaurant (I had a delicious 4 cheese pizza) and the Principal (without me knowing) stayed though my entire opening presentation. Good day – good job.
I was reported to the ‘boss’ during yesterday’s work at another 6th form college. I don’t know what the complaint was but as far as I know it was the only one in an overwhelming positive day – coaching teaching teams in Blackboard use and delivery. I know WHO complained and suspect -(I only suspect as she may have thought I was crap) – that it was because I had to give her the ‘talk to the hand’ hand (well: “I think your idea is really really good and I know that you don’t want to take the ideas I am presenting to your colleagues on board, but with the greatest respect – I am going to disagree with you and I will continue to show your colleagues these techniques”). That’s the first time in 40 years I’ve been in trouble with the headmaster!! Tee hee.