Get the Programming Itch

From September 2014, all maintained schools in England will be required to teach the new Computing curriculum at key stages 1-4. For the past 18 months I have been working closely with Primary ICT staff in the Faculty of Education to introduce module changes that reflect the new curriculum for key stages 1 and 2.

My first task was to help clarify parts of the computer science terminology for staff. Secondly, I identified what our trainee teachers were currently being taught and how this could be mapped to the proposed changes. This also brought to light what would be needed in terms of additional teaching resources and support.

I created a series of short Scratch Programming tutorials that utilised what trainees had already learned in other programming languages (e.g. Logo). This way, trainees could become familiar with the Scratch environment, which had become one of the preferred development tools due to its inclusion with the Raspberry Pi, whilst performing familiar tasks. The next step was to create a more in-depth tutorial based around a simple chase game which introduced concepts such as variables, events, timers, animation, conditional statements and basic AI.

Scratch

The tutorial was broken down into a series of exercises, each of which built on the skills and knowledge learned in the previous tutorials allowing trainees to develop their level of competency.

This academic year, both undergraduate and postgraduate trainee teachers have been taught using these resources and the ICT Development Team have been providing additional support.

During the summer break, if you’ve got the itch for computer programming why not try Scratch. http://scratch.mit.edu/help/videos/

James Wainwright
ICT Developer
ICT Development Team

Learning Services newsletter – spotlight on technology enhanced learning and media and ICT

And so September and First Week planning begins….The latest edition of the Learning Services newsletter is a special issue dedicated to all those summer planning activities!

Find out about VLE enhancements, opportunities for training & development and the latest upgrade to Blackboard.

Articles include news to update academic colleagues both around the Blackboard upgrade and the latest development within the VLE – Blackboard Community, which some of you may already have heard about and want to introduce for your department.

Blackboard was successfully upgraded on Monday 21st July and there are two webinars to share the enhancements and new features and these take place on the 23rd and 24th of July.  More information about the new features of Blackboard can be found in the newsletter.

Also in the newsletter is an overview of the development of the classroom infrastructure across campus and helpful information about training and support if you are using new technology or rooms or lecture theatres you are unfamiliar with.

We have included some future gazing with a look at augmented reality uses in education and also the Horizon 2014 report.

Changes to technology can be very fast paced and we welcome your feedback about your experiences of using the VLE and technologies and very importantly, areas where you feel we can provide more training and opportunities for development so please get in touch.

email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Phone: 01695 650754 ex 7754

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Rachel_Bury

#EHUGetConnected Taking Your Devices to the Next Level!

The new smartphones to buy in 2013

After the success of all the previous #EHUGetConnected events held in 2013, we are happy to announce more upcoming dates across different venues and locations for the coming weeks ahead:

  • 11am – 2pm Friday, 31st January 2014 (HUB, Ormskirk Campus)
  • 9am – 1pm Tuesday, 4th February 2014 (FOHSC Foyer, Ormskirk Campus)
  • 9am – 1pm Wednesday, 5th February 2014 (FOHSC CPD, Aintree Campus)

If you’ve never come along to one previously then you are in for treat! #EHUGetConnected gives you the chance to speak to our team of knowledgeable staff to help get the best out of your technology and the learning resources at your disposal.  Every year there are new and exciting upgrades to our systems, pushing the boundaries of online learning and communication.  In 2014 we will again be promoting and showcasing our favorite selection of mobile apps, campus WiFi connectivity and our learning resource ‘hall of fame’. This time we will be featuring the new Community Engagement upgrade within Learning Edge and show you how it can enhance your online learning practice.

Here are just a few examples of questions we can help you with:

General ‘How can I…?’

  • connect to WiFi on campus?
  • find a PC to use?
  • book a study room?
  • forward my Edge Hill emails to a personal account?

On my mobile (eReader/laptop/phone/tablet) ‘how can I…?’

  • sync my emails?
  • easily log into Learning Edge?
  • get the course notifications I want?
  • access my lecture notes?
  • search the library catalogue?
  • download journal articles and eBooks?
  • annotate journal articles or lecture notes?
  • save shortcuts to the library and my subject pages?
  • watch videos or listen to podcasts?
  • find useful apps?

In the library ‘how can I…?’

  • search for resources?
  • find online journals and articles?
  • access my reading list?
  • reserve a book?
  • build a reference using the Discover More ‘cite’ tool?
  • save a link to an eResource so I can go straight back to it later?
  • work out which databases are right for my subject?

In Learning Edge ‘how can I…?’

  • change the way my course list is displayed?
  • subscribe to discussion forums/threads so I know when a post has been made?
  • set up my own online blogs/discussion forums/podcasts/social or study groups?
  • find my grades and feedback?

AskUsPic

Events taking place in the Faculty of Health and Social Care are tied in with the Faculty enrollment and induction day for the newest cohorts, but all current students and staff are welcome to come and ask any burning questions you may have about your devices, gadgets or gizmos.  If you’re not at any of the campus locations on the day to speak to us in person, we have got that covered too!  You can contact us during the event (and beyond) via our social media channels using the #EHUGetConnected hash-tag:

FB  https://www.facebook.com/EHULearnService

twitter  https://twitter.com/EHULearnService or https://twitter.com/LTDatEHU

We would be delighted to talk to you about technology; let us demystify some of the things you’ve heard about but don’t know how to use, and let us help you get started using technologies maybe you haven’t even heard of yet!

See you there!

wordpresspenpicMark Wilcock
Learning Technology Development Officer

Developing Digital Excellence in December – come a long for a coffee and a mince pie

As semester 1 draws to close there are a number of opportunities for staff development and maybe reflect on some of the success of the term around using the VLE and share those with us and colleagues or you might be thinking about what you can do differently next year.  The sessions within our Digital Practitioner strand are sessions we have run previously but have been our most popular, especially the students’ ideal VLE

 

The Digital Practitioner  

Your Digital Tattoo – What the web says about you!              4/12/13      1.00pm- 2.00pm
Professional and employable digital identities                                  

Radio Ga Ga, Host Your Own Podcast                                  5/12/13      12noon – 1.00pm

Learning Edge – The Students’ Ideal VLE                               11/12/13    1.00pm – 2.00pm

Bring Your Course to Life With Video and Audio Content       17/12/13   12noon – 1.00pm

Another popular session in the past has been Michelle Maden providing help and guidance around beginning a systematic review so this session is running again on the 10th of December.

The Digital Researcher

Systematic Reviews: Where to Search                               10/12/13    11.00am- 12:30pm

 

Elaine Czotter continues to provide support in terms of staff using our new email system and has two sessions, one looking at the use of the calendar and all the opportunities that can bring and also using and managing your Outlook email.

The Digital Office

Outlook calendar (new session)                                           4/12/13      2.00pm-3.30pm

Outlook email (new session)                                                5/12/13      10.00am-12.00pm

Publisher- Introduction to desk top publishing                      6/12/13      1.00pm-3.00pm

ECDL Induction                                                                     10/12/13    10.00am–11.00am

We will be offering coffee and minces pies at our Christmas sessions so we hope to see you over the next few weeks.

All off the sessions are held in the ICT Staff Development training room S 5 on the second floor of the LINC Building.

Please book online via the HR Staff Development bookings

 If you have any areas of development which you feel you would like more support with please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we can add sessions to our regular programme or we can provide bespoke sessions for you and your team.

Please contact  me via email or telephone ex 7757 or 01695 650757

Rachel Bury

Learning Services

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communications

Technology Roadshow to appear at FoHSC enrollment day

Technology Roadshow April

Tuesday 30th April sees the return of the Technology Roadshow!

After the success of the last event held in the University Library, we are to bring the road show to the Faculty of Health and Social Care to tie in with the Faculty enrollment and induction day for the newest cohorts, but all current students and staff are welcome to come and ask any burning questions you may have about your devices, gadgets or gizmos.

We would be delighted to talk to you about technology; let us demystify some of the things you’ve heard about but don’t know how to use, and let us help you get started using technologies maybe you haven’t heard of yet!

Some of you have said you would like to know how to do such things as:

  • sync my emails?
  • easily log into Learning Edge?
  • get the course notifications I want?
  • download journal articles and eBooks?
  • save shortcuts to the library and my subject pages?
  • watch videos or listen to podcasts?
  • find online journals and articles?
  • build a reference using the Discover More ‘cite’ tool?
  • find useful apps?
  • connect to wi-fi on campus?
  • find a PC to use?
  • forward my Edge Hill emails to a personal account?

Tell us what you want to know about Learning Edge, Campus Pack, Mobile Learn, the PC Availability Finder, Library Anywhere, Ebrary, Collaborate and anything else you want to know about technology to support your learning.

Come along to the Faculty of Health and Social Care; we will be located in the foyer between 11am and 2pm.

If you’re not on campus on the day to speak to us in person, we have got that covered too!  You can contact us during the event (and beyond) via our social media channels: Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be using #EHUmobileclinic so if you have something to say or a question to ask about using technologies for your studies please get in touch.

We look forward to seeing you!

Carol_Chatten2

 

 

Carol Chatten
Learning Technology Development Officer

 

What do you need to do at least once every ninety days…?

I’m sure there  are many answers to this, however the key thing you need to do every ninety days with your university network account is change or update your password. As some of you are coming up to the dissertation deadlines, or a large number of deadlines all at once the last thing you need to happen as you make your final amendments, is to be locked out of your account.

If your password has reached 90 days, you will be promted by a message in the GO portal as you try to logon, that your password has expired. Please make sure you follow the instructions.  You will need a brand new password and you have to enter twice to confirm. 

Or you would like to change it more regularly and keep the password moe secure you can change it within your settings in the GO portal.

Login via the Go Portal.

  1. Once logged in hover your cursor over your own name in the top right hand corner and click on settings.
  2. You will now have the option to change password via the forth option listed, perhaps unsurprisingly the heading is named password.
  3. The password you select willneed to be a minimum of 8 characters in length – it can be letter and numbers, but it must be different from your last 10 passwords.

N.B. When you change your password you will need to log back in with your new password.

Also you can set yourself a safety net from within the settings page, from the second option listed Settings. From here you can provide an alternative email account e.g. yahoo, gmail, or Hotmail account. This means at any time of the day or night you can reset your password should you get locked out.

Your student number and password allow you to access all of the following:
Your University email account
Your Learning Edge account
Your library account to renew books
Wireless networks on campus
eBooks and eJournals
Eduroam wireless network available in over 900 UK locations listed here www.eduroam.org

If you have any issues logging in or navigating around the GO portal,
you can contact us on:

Tel: 01695 584286

Email: lsdesk@edgehill.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

Spring clean your digital skills

Staff Development Programme – Developing Digital Excellence

Calling all staff, dust off your keyboard (sorry maybe taking the spring cleaning pun too far..)

Staff from across Learning Services are delivering sessions this month around a number of themes.  There are three sessions from our Digital Practitioner series – maybe you might want to start with the essentials skills in Learning Edge and then follow up with sessions looking at enhancing the online experience for your students using podcasting and also, how you can further support your students in a very positive way by using the tracking tool within Blackboard.

Digital Practitioner

Radio Ga Ga, Host Your Own Podcast

11/04/2013 12.00 – 1.00pm

Learning Edge Essential Skills

18/04/2013 10.00 – 11.30am

Big Brother Knows: Supportive Online Tracking

26/04/2013 12.00 – 1.00pm

 

Our librarians are here to support your research and information retrieval skills, which includes searching, critical analysis, storing and recording your references and copyright and intellectual property. 

Digital Researcher

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights for Research

09/04/2013 12.30 – 1.00pm

Advanced RefWorks

11/04/2013 10.00am – 12.00pm

Critical Analysis of Information Sources

15/04/2013 1.00 – 2.00pm

A core component of our Developing Digital Excellence programme is ICT skills.  If you or staff you manage are keen to improve their skills, there is a ECDL induction on the 9th April.  You can come along and meet Elaine Czotter, the ICT staff development trainer who can tell you more about the qualification, our ECDL test centre and the programme she delivers.

Digital Office

ECDL Induction

09/04/2013 10.00 – 11.00am

POWERPOINT 1 – Introduction to On-Screen Presentations

16/04/2012 9.30 – 11.30am

Find out more about the whole programme and future sessions in May and June via the Learning Services wiki

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Key IT tips

Avoid extra stress at this time of year by following these hints and tips about safely saving your work.

Two doubles and a single

Double check where you’re saving your work to, don’t just trust in the quick save icon.  You’ve spent a great deal of time and taken great care in creating your work, make sure you’re 100% certain it’s saving where you want it to.

You also need to double save your work. You never know when your old faithful pen drive will give up the ghost so back up your work by saving it to your student drive.

If you always follow the two points above, it should mean you only have to do your piece of work once. Otherwise you could be faced with spending a great deal of time trying to find lost work and still having to re-write an assignment or dissertation.

Email

A good way of making sure you have work available to you wherever you are is to send it to yourself as an attachment via email.  However, before you start working on it you must save it to your pen drive and/or student drive.  If you don’t, your document will go into a temporary file which will most likely be deleted once you log off and power down a university pc.

Three steps to tracking down your files

Try the following ways to find your lost files:

Unexpected power loss or pc shut down? Open up the program you were working in and click ‘File’ then ‘Recent’ (this may automatically open for you).  If your file doesn’t appear then you can click on ‘recover unsaved documents’ from within that screen.

Set the PC to work for you by setting up a search for your file:  Click ‘start’, select ‘computer’ and type some or all of the file name into the search box at the top right hand side of the screen.

Missing work opened from an email?  Check the downloads folder of your pc.

Always here to help

You can find support on using Microsoft Office packages and further general tips here: http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/it-help/guides/

If you are in one of our buildings and cannot locate your document, visit your nearest help desk and our staff will try their best to retrieve and recover your work.

 

Developing Digital Excellence

Developing Digital Excellence – staff development and training in February

We have got a number of sessions for staff this month – many looking at some of the new ideas in the digital world, such as QR codes, data curation, and an interesting look at how you manage your digital identity.

Sessions are developed by various staff in Learning Services, utilising our skills and knowledge from our academic support librarians, learning technologists, our ICT trainer Elaine Czotter and specially trained staff from our media teams.

Digital Classroom

Sessions w/b 14th and 22nd February
Introduction to classroom equipment and lecture theatre technology
Please contact Glenn Allan direct ex 7227  or glenn.allan@edgehill.ac.uk

Digital Practitioner

12th February 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Learn and interact at the touch of a QR code

28th February 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Avoiding digital disaster in your presentations

Digital Researcher

12th February 12.15pm – 12.45pm
Web 2 and research

14th February 10.00am – 11.30am
Research data curation and sharing

19th February 12.00pm – 1.00pm
Your digital identity as a researcher

Digital Office

12th February 10.00am – 11.30am
Word – Managing paragraphs and page

25th February 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Excel – session 2

All of our training sessions are held in the staff training room, 2nd floor, Learning Innovation Centre.  You can find out more details via the Learning Services wiki, and you can book your place on line using the online booking link.

Learning Services wiki
https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/wiki/display/ls/Staff+Development

Student Top Tips: Mobile Learn & Learning Edge customisation!

Over the past month in LTD we have focused our attention to the eLearning survey in relation to the main student queries related to the Learning Edge.  This has given me the opportunity to assemble some information on certain areas of feedback received.  Two of the main areas that caught my attention was the request for a mobile app to gain access to Blackboard and consideration for more options to customise the way you can view your course list within Learning Edge.

One of the main questions that kept reappearing from students was the request for “a tablet/smartphone app to access Learning Edge”?

This is something that has been available since the beginning of this academic year. The app is called Blackboard Mobile Learn and can be downloaded from your device’s (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Blackberry, Android) local app store.

Learning Edge isn’t optimised for mobile use, so using the Mobile Learn app will display Blackboard in a different but more mobile-friendly way; the picture below shows how it looks on different devices:

 

The app will give you access to your Blackboard course dashboard, announcements, assignments, grades, discussions and handouts. You’ll also be able to contribute to and comment on discussion and blog posts, and create new discussion threads. You can even set your notifications within Blackboard to be sent to your mobile app. This means anytime there is activity within your course (for example a new announcement or grade released) you’ll be notified, meaning you’ll always be up to date with what’s happening in your course.

You can find installation guides and helpful FAQs about Mobile Learn here –

Apple users click here
Android users click here
Blackberry users click here
Setting your Mobile Learn course notifications

 

Learning Edge Customisation?

Another question that you’ve asked is “can I manage the display of courses listed on the ‘My Institution’ tab?” 

Yes, you can edit the display of courses and other information to make your view a lot clearer.

Just select the small ‘cog’ icon in the top right hand corner of the ‘My Courses’ module and select or deselect the options you wish to see/not see.

If you don’t want to edit the way your course list are displayed but you want to find your course a lot quicker you could even just try searching for the course. Hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and press ‘F’ on your keyboard and you will get a ‘Find’ box pop up within your browser. Type the module code or part of the course ID and select ‘Next’ to find that text on the current page.
For further information on customisation, please refer to this guide LTD quick guide.

 

Mark Wilcock

Learning Technologist