February 6, 2013

It’s been an extremely busy start to the New Year..

Development Award

February 2013

It’s been an extremely busy start to the year for me. I have been focusing on bringing together the equipment needed to carry the project forward.

Thanks to the personal BPEC award I received, I’ve been able to purchase a MacBook Pro laptop that has incredible processing power, and is ideal for the intense 3-D graphic modelling, photo shop editing, video editing, and e-learning production, I am so keen to explore and develop.

I have purchased Adobe software which is specially designed to enable the production of interactive e-learning applications in both flash, and HTML 5 formats.

This is fantastic; it gives me an opportunity to develop e-learning across platforms. Not only will I produce interactive Apps that will sit inside the Multi-User Virtual Environments of Second Life and Open Sim, but, I have started to explore the opportunities of integrating these interactive activities by publishing to the colleges Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

One of the most compelling reasons for doing this is the opportunity to publish on the colleges VLE, widening participation. The SCORM (shareable content object reference model) compliant with LMS (Learning Management System) used in colleges gives the teacher or trainer the opportunity to keep track of how the learner is progressing with their e-learning resources.

The other amazing option is that I can now publish e-learning products across different platforms. This effectively means that a learner has a choice; they could use their PC, tablet or mobile device in order to access the learning material they require.

As we progress in 2013 I am accepting, as an educator, the pressures placed upon them to continue delivering successful learner outcomes whilst reducing financial overheads. In these austere times, it’s all about doing more for less. We live in an age where the pressures to reinvent the education system as well as support for learners have never been greater. A key driver for this change is the extensive range of technologies that now inhabit our world. Technologies are changing the education landscape at a relentless pace, because the world as we know it has become a modern digital economy.

For me personally this is a fantastic opportunity to develop e-learning resources. The main obstacle I need to overcome is the time required to develop these resources. However, it’s reassuring to understand that e-learning products offer long term use. The ease at which one can modify or update information electronically is an overarching reason why electronic solutions offer so much potential and opportunity to teachers.

Over the coming months I will be focusing on the development of what I have termed ‘Revisionarium’ – a place within a Multi-User Virtual Environment that will provide flexible support to learners. As time passes and technologies continue to develop I am confident that ‘virtual learning’ will remain an important learning experience for both teachers and learners.

The focus for me over the coming months will be to develop content to support learners undertaking plumbing and gas qualifications at level NVQ two and three. I believe much of the development should be focused on being captivating both visually and from a sound perspective in its design, since my perception and much academic literature supports the view that vocational training is supported well by learners seeing and hearing about the subject.

I have created a Flash App that runs across multiple platforms. As well as offering interactive animation and audio, it enables the tutor to track learner progress via the VLE.

First image is the App running from within Second Life, the second image shows the same app running on a smartphone, the third image is a screen shot grabbed from the app running in a web browser on a PC.

I do believe this will be the future in meeting our learning needs.

To view all images from this project please click here