e-Learning Guide: Become An ICT Expert


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If you find yourself wondering how a virtual classroom works, why you’d need a VLE, or who on earth is Moodle, fear not. We’ve rounded up the most commonly-used names, abbreviations and phrases in ICT - and described them all in a simple guide, A Novice's Guide To e-Learning.

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e-Learning Guide: Become An ICT Expert

  1. 1. Sponsored by Webanywhere Ltd. Telephone: 01535 604026 | Email: free-guides@webanywhere.co.uk | Web: www.webanywhere.co.uk The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning
  2. 2. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 2 Technology can transform school life. It can improve a child’s learning and better prepare them for the future. It can bring teachers, pupils and parents closer together. And it can make a teacher’s life easier by, in the long-term, reducing their workload. However, the barrier many teachers and schools face, before they can even begin to understand how they can benefit from this technology, is actually understanding the language that’s used in the educational technology industry. Being bamboozled by jargon is not only confusing - it can also be off-putting. So, if you find yourself wondering how a virtual classroom works, why you’d need a VLE, or who on earth is Moodle, fear not. At Webanywhere we’ve rounded up the most commonly-used names, abbreviations and phrases - and described them all in a simple guide. Asynchronous learning Learning activities which don’t require “real time” interaction. Examples include learning/teaching using social media, email or Internet forums. Authoring tools Software for creating e-learning content. Sometimes described as “rapid authoring tools” - meaning there are predefined templates to reduce the time needed to create items of content. Bespoke learning content Learning content which is tailor-made for a particular group or individual.
  3. 3. Blended Learning A combination of e-learning and other learning methods such as classroom based, homework based, group work etc. Blog From “web log”. An online journal made up of separate posts, usually a few hundred words each. Cloud computing The “cloud” refers to large remote computer networks where data and software can be hosted. For example, a Facebook or Twitter account exists in the cloud. Collaborative learning Used to describe the process of learning via group interaction and discussion. In the context of e-learning, groups may communicate using social media, email or video chat. e-book An electronic version of a book which can be downloaded and read on an e-reader, tablet or smartphone. E-learning Using the web, and web related technologies for learning. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 3
  4. 4. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 4 e-portfolio Electronic portfolio. A location on the web where learners can store and display their work and achievements, either privately or publicly. e-Reader A device for reading e-books. Well-known examples are the Kindle or the Nook. e-Safety Electronic safety, also known as internet safety or online safety, is the security of individuals using the internet. This is now a key area for Ofsted; schools have to show that e-safety is a priority, that staff are adequately trained in technology and that they are using it safely with children. Firewall Either hardware or software based tool for protecting a network of computers from malicious attacks (hacking). Flipped Classroom This is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course or class are reversed. Before the class session, short introductory videos or presentations can be viewed by students at home, or anywhere with an internet connection, via their school’s VLE. During the physical lesson an exercise, project or discussion will take place, based upon what they have learnt from the video. This makes contact time with educators more valuable, as the job of a teacher is not to introduce a topic, but to discuss the topic, and provide any clarifications or corrections required by individual students.
  5. 5. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 5 Gamification The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to areas of education, typically as an online technique to encourage a child's engagement with a topic or subject. Just-in-time learning Availability of learning resources so that learners can access them on demand. Learning Management System (LMS) See Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Objects Learning objects are self-contained learning components (for example, a video clip, a presentation or a test) with associated learning objectives that are stored and accessed independently. Within a learning platform, these can be assembled together to create courses or homework. MIS Integration The integration between your school’s MIS (e.g SIMS) and your VLE. It provides one access point via which attendance records, pupils marks, assignments and pupils’ behaviour can all be accessed, uploaded and edited. M-Learning A shortened term for Mobile Learning, enabled by wireless technologies, including handheld computers.
  6. 6. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 6 Personalisation In an e-learning context, tailoring content to suit individual needs and preferences. SCORM (Sharable Course Object Reference Model) SCORM is a standard for e-learning content. It ensures providers can create content in a format that is compatible with most modern VLE’s, and that users can import content packages without issues. Social media Software tools or websites that allow people to generate their own content (which can be anything from pictures to a status - a comment direct from their own thoughts at the time) and engage in conversations. Smartphone A mobile phone with the ability to download and support applications (or apps). In addition to making calls and sending SMS (text) messages, modern smartphones provide e-mail, web browsing, still/video camera, MP3 player and video playback and calling. Synchronous learning A learning ‘event’ that requires all participants to be ‘present’ at the same time. Similar to a classroom environment, but online-based, synchronous learning usually takes place in online chatrooms, via the use of webcams, or in a virtual classroom session.
  7. 7. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 7 Tablet A tablet is a mobile computer, usually touchscreen, with many of the characteristics of both a laptop and a smartphone. The most commonly-known, and widest-used, tablet is the iPad, with over 100 million now sold. Virtual Classroom Software that allows learners to ‘attend’ an online classroom. THe computer screen, as well as allowing viewers to see the teacher, can also act as a blackboard or white- board. Virtual classrooms, with the use of a microphone, also allow learners to ask questions and even write on the ‘virtual’ blackboard or whiteboard. VLE Virtual Learning Environment. A program that can be used by teachers to set home- work and assignments for pupils, as well as provide them with resources and links to websites that might help them with their work. Assignments, videos, presentations and even quizzes can all be added too. A VLE is usually web-based, so pupils can access work set, and submit work done, from anywhere with an internet connection. Web-based training Delivery of education and training using a Web browser over the public Internet, private intranet or extranet. Webinar Web-based seminar, where a presentation, lecture or workshop is transmitted over the Internet in real time.
  8. 8. Free Guide: The Novice’s Guide to e-Learning Page 8 About Webanywhere Since 2003, we’ve provided website services and e-learning solutions to help schools communicate, collaborate and promote themselves online. As a provider of websites, learning platforms, design services and e-learning content, we’re also recognised by leading organisations. We’re an approved supplier to the UK Government Procurement Service, a Moodle partner, a Mahara partner and a Google Apps Authorised Reseller. For more information on Webanywhere or to get the latest education news, advice and tips via email, please get in touch. Contact details Telephone: 01535 604026 Email: free-guides@webanywhere.co.uk Web: www.webanywhere.co.uk