Loddon Mallee 2008

E-mentor for the region: Sarah Phillips

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sarah Phillips and I am the e-Mentor for the Loddon Mallee region. I am currently employed at Continuing Education Bendigo as the eLearning Coordinator. I have been in this role since early 2006 and have since been involved in a number of projects including Learnscope, Reframing the Future and more recently an elearning project that is partnered with Consumer Affairs Victoria. My background was originally in Graphic Design and Visual Arts, but have now been working in the ACE sector for about 3 years.
Our group consists of providers that vary in size and demographic, but they all seem very keen to understand ways that they can best utilise elearning in their organisation.

Participating Ace Providers for Loddon Mallee

Murray Adult Community Education - Swan Hill
Kerang Learning Centre - Kerang
Goldfields Employment and Learning Centre - Maryborough
McIvor Neighbourhood House - Heathcote
Kyabram Community & Learning Centre - Kyabram
Castlemaine & District Continuing Education Inc - Castlemaine

Our Wiki - August 27

I have had an oportunity now to speak to all participants, and they have all registered on our ementor wiki. A number of our group have contributed to the brainstorming page, shared compliments with me, and checked out some resources, so I think the wiki is doing what it can. I am hoping that the first session, which is at 9.30 tomorrow morning, will create some extra enthusiasm and we will see an increase in activity on the site. I intend to archive the online sessions in Wimba, if all goes to plan, and post them on the wiki also to allow late entry participants to catch up on information. Eg trainers and tutors.
On the wiki, I encouraged them to create a Skype account, a Del.icio.us account, and a Google account.

Online Session 1 - Managers Focus - August 28

The first session worked out a little unexpected. I only had about half the participants I was hoping to get. There were a couple of issues with people getting into the live classroom. Neil from Kerang had to use the toll free number to get into the system. The session went well though once it was up and running. The participants were a little intimidated by the whole live classroom thing. We covered the basics, A welcome to the program, who everyone was and what they wanted from the program, what is elearning? What can that mean for ACE? Managing the knowledge, and what will be the out comes of the project. You can see the archives on the link below.

Face to Face Session 1 - September 5

This was originally planned to be the second online, but a regional ACE forum was scheduled at the time and no one could attend. Instead, we took advantage of everyone being in town, and gathered them at CEB after the forum and got them into our computer rooms. We looked at dates for future workshops, showed them all how to log into live classroom, (for those who didn't attend the first session), and looked around the wiki to assist them to feel comfortable. This session only went for an hour and a half. All but Swan Hill attended this session.

Online Session 2 - Trainer/Tutor Focus - September 11

This sesson was suprisingly well attended. We had representatives from almost every provider, both trainers and managers.
Again we talked about what elearning is, it's benefits, it's styles, it's elements. We then moved onto what web 1.0 and web 2.0 is and how it works.
We then looked at the tools that are available for web 2.0 that they can use. Firstly, a description of the different types of tools, then the names of some tools they can try out. Asking them what tools they may be interested in workshoping, they circled everything from iSpring to Bloglines. They were very enthusiastic. The intereaction in the classroom was very minimal.
We then had a look at knowledge management, and the reasons why we cant know everything, therefor we shouldn't really try, we should just keep order of it. We then just looked at upcoming dates, and what to do from here.

Face to Face Session 2 - September 18

This was a very successful session, we had representatives from all but one provider. We had a pretty intense session, which included the creation of a google and gmail account, a podcast using Audacity, starting a podomatic account, creating a blogger account, posting the podcast on a blog, creating a feed from the blog, subscribing to each others blogs using google reader, looking around a wiki, and they were given resources to create digital stories. It was great to hear them ask lots of questions about what you would use these tools for. They were a great group that offered advice to each other.

Online Session 3 - Manager Focus - September 30

This online session went rather well. We had issues with trying to get people into the classroom, Clare from McIvor had issues and had to use the toll free number to get in. She did get in eventually. We looked at the opportunity analysis, and the reality check of implementing elearning into the organisation. We then looked at organisational capacity and what that means to the strategic plan of the organisation. We looked at funding, where it is available from and what the funding bodies are looking for in a good application. This included the Estandards for training, Toolboxes, Elearning for Industry and Innovation grants.
We then looked at creating a business case, and looked at what we will be looking at when I visit in October for the Site Visits. The last this we looked at was evaluation.

Online Session 4 - Trainier/Tutor Focus - October 7

This session only had 1 participant, but luckily I archived it so that participants were able to back and have a look at it later. Another clash with an ACE forum. We looked at social networking and the impact it will have on our future students. We looked at the difference between blogs, wiki's and Learning Management Systems, and how you can use widgets to enhance these spaces. We looked at some of the widgets that are available and we decided it would be worth while providing another face to face session on Wikis and Widgets. I am finding that my group are a little confused still at some organisations. Others are flying, eg Clare from McIvor Community House who is already planning for 2009 and forming partnerships and has created a site of her own. www.mchouse.org.au .

Coming Up

Site Visits to all our providers to work on business cases.