e-Learning Websites We Like

Here are intros to some of the best e-learning websites, currently listed in alphabetical order. Click on the title to read our review and visit the site. If you would like to recommend an e-learning or learning technologies website, please get in touch with us. We may well be tempted to review and list it!

Review of School Jotter

Our review of SchoolJotter from Webanywhere – a great school website builder with useful e-learning and communication features. School Jotter is an innovative tool from Webanywhere which enables schools to create personal, functional, user-friendly websites and much more including an app store for schools.   Making it simple, that’s why School Jotter works for 3000 schools The main message of the School Jotter suite is ease of use. It enables both staff and pupils (with access control) to easily create and contribute to a website which not only represents their school’s ethos, but also facilitates learning. School Jotter is not only about ease of use when it comes to creating a website, however, it is also easy for staff to constantly update and modify their website to reflect the evolving needs of their school and its students. School Jotter was created in 2008 and was one of the first school-specific Content Management Systems. Now School Jotter websites are mobile and tablet friendly, and are optimised to maximise search engine presence. School Jotter websites are entirely web-based, which allows changes to the websites to be made from any location, and the package is part of a website-hosting service. It currently has over 3,000 customers, most of which are Primary schools. So what makes School Jotter unique, and why should a school choose School Jotter if they want to build a website? Bringing Learning Apps to schools The strength of School Jotter lies in its apps. Apps, in this context, are pre-made add-ons which can be easily plugged into any School Jotter website via the included App Store. These apps enable schools to...

DSE (Display Screen Equipment)

Course Overview This training course covers various important topics regarding display screen equipment (DSE) and how to adjust your workstation to suit you. At the end of the course, trainees will be able to: » Recognise the hazards and risks of poorly used DSE » Understand the importance of assessing and adjusting your workstation » Be aware of additional equipment that can help avoid injury » Develop an insight into portable DSE » Recognise the Health & Safety hazards and what you can do to avoid these hazards » Understand the importance of performing stretches whilst at your workstation. Our view…. This is an interactive course which lasts 35-40 minutes.This course teaches you how to set up your workstation in order to avoid the harms of using Display Screen Equipment. Essential for anybody who uses a laptop or desktop computer! Buy the Display Screen Equipment Course This training course is approved by ROSPA – The Royal Society for the Prevention of...

Raptivity

Product review: New version of Raptivity Harbinger Group’s Raptivity is among the most well-known of the wizard-led interactivity building software tools for the professional learning designer/ developer. It comes with a library of pre-built templates, including over 190 interactions such as games, simulations, brainteasers, interactive diagrams and virtual worlds – and can be used to create a stand-alone piece of learning content or import that file into another tool, such as Captivate, Articulate or Lectora. The latest version of this tool boasts a number of major advances in online learning development, via a ‘re-energised user interface (UI)’ which, according to Harbinger Group, is the result of its continual commitment to collaborate with customers and take their feedback and wish lists into account. As a result, Raptivity’s latest manifestation includes a redesigned screen layout which – in-keeping with every new version of every piece of software – is intended to be more intuitive for users and enables them to reduce the number of mouse clicks needed to get to where they want to go. Raptivity now keeps track of how users have used the tool – enabling users to return quickly to where they left off working, via the ‘Frequently Used Interactions’ button. In addition, the ‘Select Interaction Model’ screen opens from the stage where the user closed it. Furthermore, the tool’s new, dynamic ‘move and resize feature’ in the customization panel gives users more control over how they see and use the program and interactions. The tool’s ‘welcome’ screen now provides access to all Raptivity updates – including help videos, community discussions, blogs and Evolve updates – and users...

What does the UK Governments new Industrial Strategy for education mean for the e-learning and the edtech sector.

The 29th July 2013 saw the launch of the UK’s Industrial Strategy for Education, aimed at bringing Industry and Government together in partnership to address the massive global growth opportunity that is the education market and thereby support growth and prosperity in the UK. This is a wide ranging Industrial Strategy looking at the importance of the education market as a whole and focuses very heavily on Higher Education and much less so on the corporate/workplace learning market. The report begins with the words of David Willets: “There are few sectors of the UK economy with the capacity to grow and generate export earnings as impressive as education,” and it is the overwhelming focus on education to the almost total exclusion of the corporate and workplace learning and training market that is slightly disappointing. There is little doubt in our minds that the UK also excels in training and e-learning for the corporate workplace. Non- the- less this policy position is a significant development for the education sector, and the recognition and profile given to the edtech sector is most welcome. However, it is not until the section titled “Trans National Education” TNE do we see the paper really addressing the role for educational technologies in making this strategy happen! Why is this: well much of the strategy is devoted to HE and the importance of students studying in the UK: Quite simply because 75% of the education income generated by the UK education sector comes from students studying in the UK. Interestingly figures in the supporting document indicate just over 500,000 students are registered overseas to study with...

The Rise and Rise of Video, and why it works……

I was taken by a recent newsletter from Elliot Masie discussing the phenomenal rise in the use of video for learning in many organisations. Masie reported rises of over 1000% in some organisations. Video for learning really has blindsided many of the industries thought leadership, who have been more focused on social media and social learning and of course mobile learning….of which we will come back to in a moment. Video has grown because it works and learners like it, and in our view it will be video that will really support the adoption of mobile learning. I should at this stage express some surprise and absolute delight in the rise and rise of video, as Learning Light who operates this site has been actively sourcing and licencing video content for learning, and can offer a wide range of e-learning videos. Sadly we cannot report 1000% increases in the uptake of video here in the UK yet, however we are increasingly confident that video will come to play a really significant role in the market. We can share some of our beliefs and findings as to why video works and what you need to consider when choosing video for your organisation, so here is our guide to why video works and consequently why it is growing at such a fast rate: Why video works: Video is embedded into the everyday lives of learners and is now probably the second most used way of consuming media after the Television. Video can be easily used on Tablets and Smartphones, again the consumption of media – (music and video and surfing the...

How Can You Use Game Based Learning?

A guest blog piece from Scott Hewitt of Real Projects, a true exponent of Game Based learning. Are you using Game Based Learning in your elearning projects? Have you thought about how you could use it in your organisation? Are you an instructional designer who is looking for something new for your next course design? I regularly met people who think that you can only use game based learning in game based learning projects! There are many ways that you can use game design and game theory in elearning projects. You can use elements of game design in your projects without it becoming a Game Based Learning project. I’m going to share with you some of ways that I use Game Based Learning and Game Theory in my elearning projects and how you could use it. Get Some Inspiration! Play some computer games! If you have a smart phone or mobile device like an iPad it is easier then ever to download games from an App store, you can download many games for free. Download a range of games – not just games that you think that you would like! Pick from a range of genres and spend some time playing the games trying to pick out what you like and don’t like. After a while start thinking about things like interface design, music, colours, screen layout, content layout, game progression and in game feedback. After you have you played the games for a while to start to think about the game in more detail. Here are some questions that I ask: How did the game provide user feedback?...

e-learning: India, Europe and the USA

This post on e-learning in India, Europe and the USA was prompted by the publication of interesting research by WizIQ. It was titled e-learning trends in India, Facts, Figures and the Future **, which is well worth reading. India is a powerful player in the global e-learning market, and it is interesting to see the growth projections for the domestic Indian market, mainly driven by the demand for domestic education. WizIQ quoting research by India Digital review  report a market forecast worth of $280m in 2012, up from $27m in 2008. This research also values the Indian online tutoring services provided to the global online tutoring market as only $15m, from a global market of $2 billion. Indeed this research was initially published by The Financial Express and is well worth reading in detail, as it evidences the huge potential of the domestic Indian e-learning market. We would argue that India should now be a market of great interest to e-learning provider’s world- wide. It will be interesting to see how this market will be served, will the undoubtedly well developed Indian e-learning businesses’ be able (or willing) to meet this market? Or will it be an opportunity for UK, European  and US edtech and e-learning providers to offer innovation to gain a foothold in what will become a huge market. Many US MOOC offerings and global edtech providers must covet this market and its potential for rapid growth. However, as of today a $280m domestic e-learning market certainly does not support the capacity that exists in e-learning development in India. As noted above India is a successful global player in...

UNESCO Policy guidelines for mobile learning…..what they may mean for the development industry.

The UNESCO paper, entitled Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning has been recently published, and provides some enthralling examples and ideas as to how Mobile Learning can be used globally for education. With a series of short vignette’s giving examples of innovative use of Mobile Learning, and other ideas of how and when Mobile Learning should be used. Ideas and examples put forward range from the very obvious such as providing immediate feedback, to minimizing educational disruption in conflict or disaster areas. These ideas are both enthralling and often up-lifting. The policy paper highlights the growing availability of mobile devices due, principally to the rapid decline in prices for mobile phone packages. Indeed it is becoming very clear that much of the developing world is bypassing costly fixed infrastructure internet connectivity, and is exhibiting a much lower dependency upon the PC, as mobile becomes the defacto device for digital living and learning. While few would argue with the trends highlighted, what is most interesting in this paper is the policies being advocated by UNESCO for educators globally, and the impact they will have on education service and content providers. UNESCO recommended policies are hugely in favour of the utilisation of Mobile Learning. The paper produces a series of policy recommendations, beginning with three very simple recommendations to policy makers and educationalists: Examine the unique educational potentials and challenges offered by mobile technology and, when appropriate, incorporate these understandings into broader ICT in education policies. Avoid blanket prohibitions of mobile devices. Universal bans, unless implemented for well-considered reasons, are blunt instruments that usually obstruct educational opportunities and inhibit innovation in teaching...