19 December, 2007

ALT-C 2008: Call for Papers

The Association of Learning Technologists Conference (ALT-C) is in Leeds in 2008, and they are now welcoming submissions of either research papers for publication in the peer-reviewed proceedings or abstracts for demonstrations, posters, short papers, symposia and workshops. The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2008.

ALT-C covers pretty much everything that you might call Learning Technology, and if you are using new technologies in teaching and learning there is a good chance you'll meet other people there who are doing something similar. I found it a good place to talk with people and consolidate ideas I'd been thinking about - but to do that you need to avoid spending all 3 days in sessions, or you'll just arrive back at work with a head full of ideas and no time to sort out what they mean to your future work!

To read of people's experiences at ALT-C visit Technorati, or read my posts from 2007 in Nottingham (day 1, day 2, day 3, after), and have a think if you've got anything to present there.

14 December, 2007

The Ecology of Games

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have released their series of books about Digital Media and Learning. Not only that but they've made them available to download free for those of us with little disposable income :)

The one I was interested in was "The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning", which contains a variety of articles which together are "pointing toward a more sophisticated understanding of the myriad ways in which gaming could and should matter to those considering the future of learning."

If you are seriously interested in using games, especially digital games in teaching and learning, this is a very valuable collection of writings by experts in their field.

I'd also recommend James Paul Gee's book "What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy" as an introduction to get you thinking about the topic. There are some copies in Edge Hill's Library and a revised edition out in April.


06 December, 2007

Screencasting: Install Camtasia 3 for Free


If any of you are wanting to have a go at Screencasting, you can download a free version of Camtasia Studio 3 at the moment.

Earlier in the year I created a series of screencasts that goes through how to use the Camtasia software technically, why you might want to use it in the first place, and details of good practice. These are available below on the streaming server and YouTube. They might be useful to get you started.

01. Introduction - Streamed wmv / YouTube (2:14)
02. Installing the 30-Day Trial Copy - Streamed wmv / YouTube (2:15)
03. Choosing a Microphone - Streamed wmv / YouTube (1:00)
04. Starting a Recording - Streamed wmv / YouTube (2:13)
05. After Recording - Streamed wmv / YouTube (1:00)
06. Producing a Sharable File - Streamed wmv / YouTube (3:11)
07. Hints and Tips - Streamed wmv / YouTube (2:37)
08. Accessibility - Streamed wmv / YouTube (1:16)

If you're at Edge Hill and you decide you want to use screencasts in your modules, get in contact with us here at Learning Technology Development. We're based in the SOLSTICE centre and you can arrange to come in and use the decent quality equipment and microphone that we have here for creating screencasts. Trust me, it's worth making sure the sound is of a high quality. Otherwise the experience of using the screencasts can be a painful one for the students.