Keep Calm and Submit this Christmas

LS0391-Submissions-Blog1

Christmas comes around quick doesn’t it!? One minute you’re moving in to halls for the term, the next you’re back off for a fortnight!

It’s hard work being a student but before you pack your Christmas hat, Playstation and elf onesie don’t forget your end of term submissions!

During November our team of Student Advisors ran a series of 10 drop in sessions to answer all your queries about online submission. If you missed these, don’t worry! Our Student Advisors are based at the Ask Desk and are available 11-4pm during weekdays and we’ve also drawn together some good practice in this blog post to ensure that your submissions over the next week (or so) go as smoothly as you could possibly wish for. There are always chances of uncertainty, but with a little thought and preparation (like a good Christmas present) you’ll be riding as high as Father Christmas himself as opposed to slipping up on black ice.

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…advice on where to submit your work

Your first port of call for help with submission should always be your tutor.   They know where the submission dropbox is in Learning Edge and will be able to point you in the right direction.  Please ensure you follow any guidelines you have been provided with. If you need further help submitting your work online, you can also speak to a member of staff at the Ask Desk (9am-7pm weekdays) or you can Ask Us online.

Keep your tutor informed of any problems you may have, especially in the days leading up to a deadline – it helps them to keep track of your progress and ensures they can help you quickly if need arises.  If you can’t get hold of your tutor, give your departmental administrators a visit.

 

2. On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…two places to get help (Twitter and Ask Us!)

Have you ever encountered a Learning Edge or Turnitin issue during submission? If you think this could be system related, we do have preferred Twitter feeds for you to follow that will highlight any known issues:

@EdgeHillVLE provides scheduled Learning Edge maintenance alerts and up to date system notices around different technologies used within the VLE such as Turnitin.

@Turnitinstatus is the official feed for Turnitin system status, you may find that Learning Edge is fine but Turnitin is unavailable.  Checking this feed will help you diagnose an issue with Turnitin submissions.

Let’s say everything is OK technically and you have an issue around the online submission process and Learning Edge? A good starting point would be to head over to the Ask Us service and see if your question can be answered here. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can simply type your question and we will discuss it with you in real time using our live chat facility.

 

3. On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…three web browsers

Why is it you get a technical problem right at a critical moment?  If you have given yourself time, you should be able to try another PC if you run into problems. We know that anything could happen at any moment; internet dropping out, PC crashing, wireless not connecting the list goes on, so give yourself a break and some time to try out another computer – in university, in work or even your mate’s PC. If it’s just not happening for you, see the first point (keeping in touch with your tutor).

One quick solution could be to try a different browser.  The common ones are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome (although you may wish to try Safari on a Mac).

Often, tutors will allow multiple submissions to an online drop-box, so you may be able to use this to your advantage. Check with your tutor and if this is the case, try submitting your work, even if not quite finished yet, to the drop-box a few days before the deadline just so you’re up to speed with the process before your final submission.
Waiting until 1 minute before the deadline isn’t the time to start figuring out how everything works!

 

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… (twenty) four hours

It may come to the time of doing your ‘final’ submission but if in Turnitin you have submitted an earlier version you will find that when you submit again everything looks the same…at least for 24 hours. You will have to wait until the next day to see your new originality report and the preview of your updated document – another good reason to be organised and get your work in handy! tiiRemember at the second stage of submitting to Turnitin you can check what you are about to submit just to be certain you’ve attached the right file.

 

5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… 5 UniSkills Packages!

The Uniskills online submission page is something definitely worth bookmarking to your browser favorites. Here you can gain access to all online submission guides and the online Turnitin toolkit (see below).

TiiPackage

In addition on ‘Your FoE Resources‘ or ‘Your FoHSC Resources‘ or ‘Your FAS Resources‘ tab from the Learning Edge Homepage you get access to ‘UniSkills Online Toolkits‘:

  • Referencing
  • Planning Your Assignment
  • Finding Academic Information
  • Dissertations

 

We know that when that deadline is approaching it’ll be stressful enough without unexpected niggles, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. This echoes all points above but if done correctly will ensure the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as stress-less as possible.

Once all done, sit back, put your feet up with a nice cuppa and enjoy your Christmas holiday. Remember, if you have any problems Keep Calm and Ask Us!

 



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Carol Chatten & Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officers

 

 

Audacity: Create Professional Audio Narrations for all your Learning Resources

It’s usually around this time of the year when most of us free up some time to create or even review our learning resources for the new academic year. I know a lot of staff at Edge Hill are really starting to move away from standard PowerPoint based materials and producing some really engaging resources by embedding multimedia into materials developed on the following:

 

  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • iSpring
  • Microsoft Office Mix
  • Campus Pack (Podcasts)

Maybe some of you are considering trying one of these technologies (though I hope everyone uses PowerPoint as standard). Let’s face it, all we need to do is take a look around our amazing campus and witness the wide adoption of mobile devices over the recent years. With the use of mobile learning in mind, we need to understand that today’s learners will not solely consume content through the PC/Mac desktop environment. At some point, we all have to break out of our usual practices and look for an effective alternative to create rich engaging and mobile friendly materials for our modules and programmes.

So for those who are looking to take that first small step maybe consider introducing audio narration tracks to your current PowerPoint files. Audio narration can be used across all of the technologies I mentioned previously. It’ll offer you the opportunity to embed audio narration tracks to your resources by recording directly into whatever platform you wish (PowerPoint, iSpring, Podcasts etc.). For this post, I’m focussing on a video (see below) which details a specific process developed by Josh Holnagel (Instructional Designer, Techsmith). This process demonstrates how you can edit and polish a pre-recorded audio file within Audacity (an open-source audio editor). Audacity can be found on all PCs on campus and is freely available to download here. http://audacityteam.org/download/

You may want to record your audio narration first with an USB microphone, your smartphone or even your tablet. Take the recorded file and load it straight into Audacity and give this tutorial a go. The workflow shown is a series of small techniques, tips that Josh has developed from his own experience.

PlayerFor those experienced users of Audacity, a detailed table of contents follows below so you can see what‘s covered in this video.

Table of Contents

0:00 Intro
0:50 How to change the Audacity project rate
1:15 How to split a stereo track to mono
1:30 How to find and copy white noise
2:15 How to make a new track
2:25 How to paste white noise end-to-end
3:30 How to use white noise throughout a track
5:22 How to paste white noise over existing audio
6:40 How to eliminate breaths and mouth clicks
8:53 How to quiet noises in between words
10:24 How to use the Amplify effect in Audacity
10:46 How to repeat an effect
11:27 How to adjust the volume of words or phrases
13:13 How to reduce or remove white noise
14:47 How to export audio from Audacity
15:10 Outro

Below are some great guides and links on some of the technologies you can insert audio narrations into. Why not have a glance at any that appeal to you, feel free to contact your faculty LTDO if you need to know more!

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

iSpring: Video Case Study 3 of 3

iSpring Early Adopters Project: Video Case Study 3

In the Learning Technology Development team we’ve recently completed the early adopters’ project in the use of iSpring. Following on from Sertip and Maggies previous videos, we would now like to introduce Carl Simmons from the Faculty of Education.

Carl shares his experience and advice from the iSpring Early Adopters project. He tells us how his department uses iSpring to transform their existing traditional external facing resources into a format that supports accessibility for students out on placement. Carl also describes how support from Learning Technologists can help you overcome any obstacles and enhance the students’ learning experience. Take a few moments to view our third and final video case study.

Carl Simmons Case Study 3click_to_open

 

 

 

 

 

iSpring Early Adopters Project: Video Case Studies 1 & 2

Sertip_Case_Studyclick_to_open

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study 2

click_to_open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BestofTEL_SMALL

The video case studies powerfully illustrate the positive effect that technology can have.  Their words describe how the use of iSpring can offer huge benefits to the student learning experience. 

At Edge Hill we have built up a critical mass of good practice that can be accessed by staff who are thinking of incorporating these technologies into their courses. If you have been inspired and would like to learn more your Learning Technologist can help.

…and you have access to a wide range of user guides on eShare and beyond:

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

iSpring: Video Case Study 2 of 3

iSpring Early Adopters Project: Video Case Study 2

In the Learning Technology Development team we’ve recently completed the early adopters’ project in the use of iSpring. Following on from Sertip in last month’s case study, we would now like to introduce Maggie Webster from the Faculty of Education.

Maggie shares her experience in the iSpring Early Adopters project and tells us how she uses iSpring to transform her traditional resources into a format that supports formative assessment for online and blended delivery. Maggie also describes how support from Learning Technologists can help you overcome any obstacles and enhance the students’ learning experience.

Take a few moments to view our second video case study. Look out for the third and final video coming later this month.

Case Study 2

click_to_open

 

 

 

 

 

BestofTEL_SMALL

Maggie’s video illustrates powerfully the positive effect that technology can have.  Her words describe how the use of iSpring can offer huge benefits to the student learning experience. 

At Edge Hill we have built up a critical mass of good practice that can be accessed by staff who are thinking of incorporating these technologies into their courses. If you have been inspired and would like to learn more your Learning Technologist can help.

…and you have access to a wide range of user guides on eShare and beyond:

wordpresspenpic

Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

iSpring: Video Case Study 1 of 3

iSpring Early Adopters Project: Video Case Study 1

In the Learning Technology Development team we’ve recently completed the early adopters project in the use of iSpring. Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing the knowledge and experience of three selected participants who have successfully embedded iSpring into their eLearning toolkit and produced some impressive learning materials for students.

This week we’re introducing our first video – featuring Sertip Zangana from the Faculty of Health & Social Care.  Sertip is a Senior Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice. He talks about his involvement in the project and his general practice, including the benefits his students’ experienced in the online environment, and the challenges involved.

Why not take a few moments to view the first of three video case studies. Look out for the next two videos coming in April.

Sertip_Case_Study click_to_open

 

 

 

 

 

BestofTEL_SMALL

Sertips’s video powerfully illustrates the positive effect that technology can have.  His words describe how the use of iSpring can offer huge benefits to the student learning experience. 

At Edge Hill we have built up a critical mass of good practice that can be accessed by staff who are thinking of incorporating these technologies into their courses. If you have been inspired and would like to learn more your Learning Technologist can help.

…and you have access to a wide range of user guides on eShare and beyond:

wordpresspenpic

Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Keep Calm and Submit this Christmas

KeepCalmBanner

Christmas comes around quick doesn’t it!? One minute you’re moving in to halls for the term, the next you’re back off for a fortnight!

It’s hard work being a student but before you pack your Christmas hat, XBox and onesie don’t forget your end of term submissions!

We’ve drawn together some good practice to ensure that your submissions over the next week (or so) go as smoothly as you could possibly wish for. There are always chances of uncertainty, but with a little thought and preparation (like a good Christmas present) you’ll be riding as high as Father Christmas himself as opposed to slipping up on black ice.

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…advice on where to submit your work

Your first port of call for help with submission should always be your tutor.  They know where the submission dropbox is in Learning Edge and will be able to point you in the right direction.  Please ensure you follow any guidelines you have been provided with.

Keep your tutor informed of any problems you may have, especially in the days leading up to a deadline – it helps them to keep track of your progress and ensures they can help you quickly if need arises.  If you can’t get hold of your tutor, give your departmental administrators a visit.

 

2. On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…two places to get help (Twitter and Ask Us!)

Have you ever encountered a Learning Edge or Turnitin issue during submission? If you think this could be system related, we do have preferred Twitter feeds for you to follow that will highlight any known issues:

@EdgeHillVLE provides scheduled Learning Edge maintenance alerts and up to date system notices around different technologies used within the VLE such as Turnitin.

@Turnitinstatus is the official feed for Turnitin system status, you may find that Learning Edge is fine but Turnitin is unavailable.  Checking this feed will help you diagnose an issue with Turnitin submissions.

Let’s say everything is OK technically and you have an issue around the online submission process and Learning Edge? A good starting point would be to head over to the Ask Us service and see if your question can be answered here. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can simply type your question and we will discuss it with you in real time using our live chat facility.

 

3. On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

…three web browsers

Why is it you get a technical problem right at a critical moment?  If you have given yourself time, you should be able to try another PC if you run into problems. We know that anything could happen at any moment; internet dropping out, PC crashing, wireless not connecting the list goes on, so give yourself a break and some time to try out another computer – in university, in work or even your mate’s PC. If it’s just not happening for you, see the first point (keeping in touch with your tutor).

One quick solution could be to try a different browser.  The common ones are Internet Explorer (10+), Firefox and Chrome (although you may wish to try Safari on a Mac).

Often, tutors will allow multiple submissions to an online drop-box, so you may be able to use this to your advantage. Check with your tutor and if this is the case, try submitting your work, even if not quite finished yet, to the drop-box a few days before the deadline just so you’re up to speed with the process before your final submission.
Waiting until 1 minute before the deadline isn’t the time to start figuring out how everything works!

 

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… (twenty) four hours

It may come to the time of doing your ‘final’ submission but if in Turnitin you have submitted an earlier version you will find that when you submit again everything looks the same…at least for 24 hours. You will have to wait until the next day to see your new originality report and the preview of your updated document – another good reason to be organised and get your work in handy! tiiRemember at the second stage of submitting to Turnitin you can check what you are about to submit just to be certain you’ve attached the right file.

 

5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

… FIVE VIDEOS!

 How do I submit  HOW DO I SUBMIT?
 How do I save my digital receipt  HOW DO I SAVE MY DIGITAL RECIEPT?
 Viewing your Turnitin Report (in Turnitin)  HOW DO I SAVE MY REPORT?
 How do I save my report  VIEWING YOUR REPORT
 Viewing your mark and feedback VIEWING YOUR MARK AND FEEDBACK (if your tutor marks online)

 

We know that when that deadline is approaching it’ll be stressful enough without unexpected niggles, so try not to leave your submission till the last minute. This echoes all points above but if done correctly will ensure the final moments before you click ‘Submit’ will be as stress-less as possible.

mini_fist_pump

Once all done, sit back, put your feet up with a nice cuppa and enjoy your Christmas holiday. Remember, if you have any problems Keep Calm and Ask Us!

 

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

 

Carol_Chatten

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

Blackboard Catalyst Award: How Learning Edge helped the win!

The Learning Technology Development (LTD) Team has had a very successful 2014.  We’ve implemented and seen some great things happening with technology enhanced learning throughout the University.  More noticeably the faculty specific tabs and resources generated on Learning Edge and of course the continuing success of all the iSpring resources for staff and students. With this in mind I can’t help but think ‘where we would all be without the training and development to understand and support its use on a daily basis?’.

 

Cast your minds back to early May this year when you might recall that Edge Hill University received a Blackboard Catalyst Award for the Developing Digital Excellence (DDE) series under the University’s Staff Development programme.  Blackboard commended the DDE programme for its dynamic approach and good practice based on its blended provision of staff development with its use of TEL related tools.

 

As part of the award, Blackboard invited myself and Carol Chatten to present a live webinar to an international audience on 16th October 2014.  Here we had the opportunity to share our experiences on creating and managing the Developing Digital Excellence series and of course highlight the areas that enhanced the sessions delivered. The webinar itself was recorded and so you can now have th opportunity to watch it for yourself if you didn’t manage to make it on the day.

 

Access the recording here.

 

If you’ve haven’t attended one of the DDE sessions yet, what are you waiting for? Why not try one of the award winning sessions now by exploring the ‘Staff Development’ area on the staff GO portal today! We have a number of events coming up in the Digital Office and Practitioner strands.

 

Enjoy the recording and hope to see you very soon…

 

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Mark Wilcock & Carol Chatten 

Learning Technology Development Officers

 

 

Let’s use PowerPoint to move away from PowerPoint with iSpring!

Love it or hate it, Microsoft PowerPoint has been the go-to tool for learning content for many years now and it will more than likely continue to be a staple in the Learning Edge tool box for years to come.  As we all know PowerPoint does have its limitations when incorporating multimedia + instructional tools if you’re trying to accommodate diverse learning styles and more equally trying to enable content accessibility via mobile devices (Edge Hill Central and Learning Edge Apps). Everywhere we look these days, we can see the impact that mobile technology continues to have on our society. According to Cisco Visual Networking Index, by the end of 2014 the number of mobile devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2018 predicts there will nearly 1.4 mobile devices for every person. Mobile Learners with iSpringSince January 2014 here in the Learning Technology Development Team we’ve been exploring the capabilities of the iSpring application as an additional plugin to PowerPoint to meet the needs of academic staff and to also enhance the online/mobile learning experience of our students. For those new to iSpring, it’s fundamentally an e-learning authoring tool that integrates with PowerPoint, so no special skills are needed to start using it. iSpring gives PowerPoint the ability to add multimedia easily and include instructional functionality to slides.  This also ensures accessibility for both traditional desktop and mobile users by transforming your PowerPoint file into HTML5! (This means that it will play on pretty much any device without the need for additional software or apps!)

iSpring RibbonOn Thursday 3rd July 2014 I presented an introductory iSpring webinar via Blackboard Collaborate to 26 Edge Hill University Staff, which demonstrated the concepts of multimedia usage and instructional design within PowerPoint.  (I really wanted to title the session “The Jerry iSpringer Show’ though I wasn’t too sure how that would go down!) The webinar enlightened staff to the main differences between an ordinary PowerPoint presentation and a presentation energised with the features of iSpring. During the webinar I explained and demonstrated a variety of methods on how multimedia resources can be incorporated into your current or new PowerPoint presentations by just a few clicks using iSpring. All the tools I covered in the webinar have been approved as ‘mobile & desktop friendly’ solutions, which enables users to utilise resources online or in class.

Feel free to watch the webinar on YouTube by clicking on the link below:

I really value the quick feedback we receive from staff. I’d like to share some of those comments I’ve received from staff within the Faculty of Health and Social Care:

“The software is user friendly; you can make the most of this resource by embedding exercises, discussion, video, web links, reading, references etc.   It is possible to have a student centered, interactive resource recorded and available online in a short period of time.  Students have given very positive feedback and they value the ‘discussional’ approach we use, which makes online learning personal.  One student said that it was like having a one to one tutorial.”  Trish Prescott, Senior Lecturer CPD

“I find it much easier to use .ppt and dropping in audio from Audacity.  Being able to drop in other items really enhances the presentation”  Elaine Hughes, Senior Lecturer Adult Nursing

“The thing I like most about iSpring is that my PowerPoint presentations can be combined with sound files in three strokes of the mouse, and hey presto! My Learning Edge presentations can be viewed by students on their iPhones and iPads.”  Chris Jones, Senior Lecturer CPD

“iSpring is enabling me to teach  in all the ways that I was imagining – all in one package!”  Sertip Zangana Senior lecturer CPD

“iSpring allows me to build and edit material very easily in the way I want it to look on the page for the student.” Jeremy Brown, Reader in Health Service Research

“The beauty of iSpring for me, is in its potential to create a learning experience that addresses the needs of both the campus based and distance student.  With the increased functionality over other methods that I would have relied on previously, I can see opportunities to develop more engaging materials!”  Irene Dudley-Swarbrick, Senior Lecturer Applied Health & Social Care

Since the webinar took place Edge Hill University now has 43 iSpringers who originated from the early adopters project – who are taking e-learning to a whole new level. These users are located as followed:

15 x Faculty of Health and Social Care

12 x Faculty of Arts & Sciences

10 x Faculty of Education

5 x Learning Services

1 x Directorate

LTD have extended the outline of the original webinar in the form of a ‘digital hand-out’ for all current and new users…. just to make things even smoother over this academic year and beyond. Feel free view the resource by clicking on the below image and then bookmarking it in your browser or within your eShare account.

iSpring 1 So maybe you’re thinking “I’d like to give this a try”.  Have no fear, you are all more than welcome to join this technological revolution in teaching and learning in the form our LTD ‘Hot Desk’ options.  Within the LTD office (LINC 2nd Floor Room S2) we have a laptop which is bookable by all staff as well as 2 hot desks fully loaded with iSpring and many other exclusive software packages.

To book yourself onto any of the ‘Hot Desk’ options simply email LTDSupport@edgehill.ac.uk or phone us on Ext 7754 and we’d be more than happy to help you with one of the available options at a time that suits you best! Post a comment below if you have any questions. You can also get in touch with us if you would simply like to know more!

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Mark Wilcock Learning Technology Development Officer

 

Award Winning Staff Development!

Blackboard Catalyst Award

Learning Services have been named a winner of the 2014 Blackboard Catalyst Award programme for Staff Development, which honours all those involved who have leveraged Blackboard technologies to internally support the ‘Developing Digital Excellence’ program and those who delivered an array of professional and innovative training sessions to Edge Hill University staff.

Award2

The Staff Development Award is part of the annual and global Blackboard Catalyst Awards programme in which Edge Hill University was one of only four winners from the UK. The award was received during the 2014 Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference – held at University College Dublin.  The conference is the largest of its kind outside of North America, which brings together heads of teaching & learning, educators, course designers, system administrators, and eLearning managers engaged in managing the provision of technology enhanced learning for institutions from over 20 countries.

Award1

This exciting achievement recognises the impressive growth of online session delivery and the blended provision of resources, content and specifically, Learning Services’ strategic approach to promote the educational affordances of Blackboard Collaborate to staff at Edge Hill University.

Why not try the award winning ‘Developing Digital Excellence’ programme this month? We have a number of events in May within the Digital Practitioner and Digital Office strands, including sessions which we are delivering during Learning at Work Week 19th – 25th May.

The Digital Practitioner:

Your Digital Tattoo – What the web says about you! Professional and employable digital identities : 13th May, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Future Gazing: Exploring Tomorrow’s Technologies today : 20th May, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Learn and Interact at the Touch Of A QR Code : 22nd May, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Learn About Campus Pack: ePortfolios : 23rd May, 1.00pm – 2.00pm

The Digital Office:

Excel 1 – Getting Started with Formulas using Excel 2010 : 13th May, 9:30am – 11:00am

Excel 2 – Functions and Workbook Management : 29th May, 9:30am – 11:30am

Please book online via the HR Staff Development booking system. You can see the full list of the sessions within the Developing Digital Excellence programme and book those you would like to attend. Feel free to post a comment on here if you have any questions. You can also get in touch with us at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk or call 01695 650754 if you would simply like to know more!

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

Students, would you like to represent #Prezi at Edge Hill University?

Prezi

Prezi are currently taking applications from students who wish to become the Edge Hill University Prezi ambassador for 2014-1015.  The role of Prezi ambassador will involve you evangelizing Prezi on our campus by promoting various showcases and campaigns.

The Perks:

  • Free EDU Pro License of Prezi
  • Start Up Experience
  • Access to a network of student Ambassadors around the world
  • Prezi Swag
  • Letter of recommendation at the completion of your term
  • Prizes to top performers may include gift certificates, an iPad, a visit to the San Francisco office, and a trip to Budapest to interact with Prezi’s founders
  • Potential visits to Edge Hill University from Prezi team members

For information on how to apply follow the link below:

http://prezi.com/ambassadors/

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Mark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer