Category Archives: e-learning

10 useful study apps recommended by students at Brighton

At our training sessions for PASS leaders we ask student to recommend apps/ websites/ software they use to assist them in their studies.

Here are 10 of them: These are not reviews just a list with links. I’ve not used all of these apps or checked their terms and conditions.

1. Tinyscan

Available for Apple/ Android

Turns your mobile phone into a scanner making pdf documents from multiple pictures.

http://www.appxy.com/tinyscan/

2. What’s app

Available for Android, Apple, Blackberry, Windows

Supports group chat. Some the students have set up ‘What’s app’ groups with PASS groups or friends from their course. Using mobile phones they can exchange questions, comments and provide mutual support.

https://www.whatsapp.com/

3. Colornote

Available for Android.

Basically coloured post-it notes for your phone.

http://www.colornote.com/index.html

Possible alternative for other platforms: http://alternativeto.net/software/colornote-notepad-notes/?platform=iphone

4. Onenote

Apps available for Android, Apple, Windows

Brings together notes, webpages, pictures etc. in any form. Ships as a standalone application in Microsoft Office; mobile apps can be used to view/ amend notes online.

https://www.onenote.com/

Alternatives include Evernote which is free for the basic level service with subscriptions for improved functionality. https://evernote.com/

5. TED Talks

Apps available for Android, Apple, Blackberry, Windows

TED talks are basically online lectures. Students see TED talks as a mark of quality and interest— hopefully they don’t see them as infallible!

https://www.ted.com/talks  

I have an app on my NowTV box for TED talks.

6. Googledocs

Apps available for Andoid, Apple

Collaborate on group projects with documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

https://www.google.co.uk/docs/about/

7. Refme

Apps available for Apple and Android.

Free online servce that puts references into different formats e.g. Harvard based on a doi, ISBN etc. Can also be used to scan journal/ book barcodes and generate references.

https://www.refme.com/

8. Easybib

Available for Apple and Android

Similar to Refme. Generates whole bibliography. Some free and some pro services.

http://www.easybib.com/

9. Photomath

Available for Apple, Android and Windows. Solve mathematical problems by taking a mobile phone photograph of the problem. Apparently being developed to solve increasing more complex problems.

https://photomath.net/en/

10. Quizlet

Apps for Android and Apple.

Create your own flashcards and quizzes.

https://quizlet.com/

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Hybrid Pedagogy: a different sort of journal

hybrisped

Developer, Financier, Designer: Building Hybrid Projects outside the University documents and reflects on my experiences of building the open access website YazikOpen. The article focuses more on the processes and issues about conducting a project outside the ‘official’ university than the technicalities of building the website, on modern languages or on the open access debate.

I wish to encourage others (in and out of academia) to take a look at the Hybrid Pedagogy online journal. I wanted to write this piece for some time, but was unsure where I could find an outlet to publish it. In my experience traditional journals don’t tend to be good outlet for reflective pieces, so I took to google and found out about Hybrid Pedagogy. Knowing nothing about the journal beyond what I saw on the website I took the plunge and submitted a short piece for consideration.

Hybrid Pedagogy is not only different in the sorts of article it publishes. Its peer review process is different from other journals I’ve published in. Rather than getting comments from anonymous reviewers, two editors from the journal, Sean Morris and Chris Friend, worked with me to bring the piece up to a publishable standard. They made suggestions, asked questions, asked me to expand certain sections and said what they thought was interesting about the piece and what they thought its shortcomings to be.

Hybrid Pedagogy is not only an open access online journal, but a different method of publication altogether. I would urge those with an interest in pedagogy or pedagogic research to take a serious look at the articles and consider contributing. There is even a section called 'Page Two' for non-peer reviewed contributions.

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List of stuff I give the world for free

I attended an interesting discussion about open learning led by Jon Dron from Athabasca University in Canada. We discussed open access, open learning in various forms, open educational resources and open source software.  We also discussed why we do, or do not give away our knowledge, time and resources for free. (I’ll leave the ‘why’ for another post).

I am a big user of free software and, of the most part, a recipient of rather than a contributor to the various websites, blogs and forums providing knowledge about its use. However I provide a lot of my stuff for free. This is not to make any comments about its quality.

  1. This blog: Not that one would expect blogs to be anything but free to access, but I like to think some for my posts cause others to reflect on their practice or solve a particular problem. 
  2.  A database on open access articles about the teaching and learning of languages (YazikOpen). This directory is kind of “out there”. Most people see to be led to it through Google as far as I can see. I’ve had thoughts at various times about whether it is worth the effort to maintain it, but a handful of people have said nice things about it.
  3. An online introduction to statistics book aimed at students in humanities. A project with which I’m still fiddling. Wondered whether or not to have a forum.
  4. Teaching and Learning resources out together over the years mostly linked to my account in the humbox.
  5. Various open access publications, plus short articles on other websites.  
  6. The outcomes of projects I have contributed to, never intended to be anything other than openly available, notably Getting More Out of the Feedback and Sharing Practice in Enhancing and Assuring Quality.
  7. I post anonymously on a couple of forums.
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Making your own e-book from websites using Grabmybooks

Added: 30th October 2013: The failure of the LaTeX rendering mentioned below is because I have been using the mark-up  Latex code instead of using the tags <math> Latex code </math> .

Yesterday I came across Grabmybooks, a free Firefox plugin that enables the webuser to create ebooks from webpages.

The resulting output is a .epub file which should be useable on most e-readers (This can be converted to .mobi to use on a kindle).

As an experiment I attempted to covert the statistics for humanities website into an ebook. I was very impressed with the plugins rendering of text and tables. The images have not come out that well, but its main drawback from my point of view is that is doesn’t seem to cope with the more complex math code very well, which limits its use ‘out of the box’ for my purposes. However for purely text conversion it is excellent.

It is possible to edit the hard code whilst putting the e-book together. I haven’t tried this out yet.

Conversion to text and tables works well
Conversion to text and tables works well

 

 

Varying success with images, but these have undergone numerous conversions and reformatting over the past few months.
Varying success with images, but these have undergone numerous conversions and reformatting over the past few months.
The conversion from the LaTex plugin in Mediawiki has not worked out.
The conversion from the LaTex plugin in Mediawiki has not worked out.

 

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CFP: LLAS 9th e-learning symposium, 23-24 January 2014

The Future is Now! So come and tell us about it…

Do you make innovative use of technology in language teaching and learning? Have you been experimenting with MOOCs and wish to share your experiences? Do you use social networking sites, virtual worlds or mobile technology with your language students? Are you engaging students in the creation or use of open educational resources? If so, then the LLAS community would like to hear from you!

LLAS, Centre for Languages, Linguistics, and Area Studies welcomes proposals for presentations, workshops and posters at the 9th annual e-learning symposium, on 23/24 January, 2014. Abstracts for proposed presentations or workshops should be no more than 400 words.

Topics may include but are not limited to, the use in language teaching or research of:

  • social networking sites
  • mobile technology
  • MOOCs and open learning
  • blogs or wikis
  • open educational resources
  • virtual worlds, such as Second Life
  • virtual learning environments
  • online tools or courses
  • innovative online learning designs or environments
  • autonomous learning
  • blended learning
  • social media, e.g. micro-blogging (e.g. Twitter)
  • student-generated digital content

 

Submissions deadline: Friday, 4th October, 2013

Submissions to: llas@soton.ac.uk , using the downloadable submission form

More information on the event on the LLAS website 

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Come to 2013 LLAS e-learning symposium (+hear about YazikOpen)

Don't forget to register for the 2013 LLAS e-learning symposium at the University of Southampton.

Keynote speakers

Prof Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Lincoln
Prof Allison Littlejohn, Chair of Learning Technology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Director of the Caledonian Academy
Prof Gráinne Conole, Professor of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester
Nik Peachey, Associate Trainer, Bell Educational Services

Also

Hear more about open access and yazikopen.

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LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, 8th annual e-learning symposium 24/25th January 2013

I will be presenting about my open access language teaching research directory YazikOpen.

The LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies will hold its 8th annual e-learning symposium on 24/25th January 2013. The aim of the symposium is to seek to bridge the gap between the ‘techie’ and the teacher, giving educators ideas to help them integrate e-learning into their practice but also to inspire them to see where the online future could lead. The symposium is always well-attended by practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and institutions.

Main themes for the 2013 symposium are:

  • Innovative tools for teaching
  • Digital literacy for staff and students
  • QR codes in teaching
  • iTunesU
  • Augmented reality
  • Innovative grammar teaching
  • MOOCS and language study

Keynote speakers:

Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Lincoln
Professor Allison Littlejohn, Chair of Learning Technology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Director of the Caledonian Academy
Professor Grainne Conole, Professor of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester
Nik Peachey, Associate Trainer Bell Educational Services

REGISTER NOW TO GET THE EARLY BIRD RATE: £150 for both days (standard rate £200)

This applies to registrations and payments made by 23.59hrs on 20 December 2012.

 

To register or get more information on the event, go to www.llas.ac.uk/events/6636

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

LLAS e-learning symposium

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No open learning without open access: a portal for open access research into teaching modern languages.

LLAS logo

My abstract for the LLAS 8thannual elearning symposium next January has been accepted, so all begin well I will be speaking about YazikOpen and broader issues surrounding open access there. The symposium will take place in Southampton on 24-25 January 2013.

Abstract

The effectiveness of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can be seriously undermined by lack of open access to original academic research. Copyright restrictions and subscription fees mean that most research is completely unavailable to those who are not staff or students at a university, or who work in institutions or countries where financial resources are very limited. At best, those with limited access to original research are forced to rely on the summaries and interpretations of others.

This presentation showcases YazikOpen.org.uk a portal for open access research into the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages. The portal catalogues language teaching research published in open access journals or on open websites. This research is available to anybody, anywhere in the world with access to the internet without viewing or subscription fees.open access logo

Those teaching on courses relating to language teaching (e.g. TEFL, Applied Linguistics, Teaching Training etc.), whether face-to-face or online, can search YazikOpen to identify course readings which will be available to all students, irrespective of institution, geographical location or access to financial resources. Open access also means that original research is accessible to practitioners such as schoolteachers, Teachers of English as a Second/ Foreign Language, teachers at language clubs and teachers of languages in the community. Bringing down access barriers also means that practitioners and other interested parties can engage in debates and publish their own research with fewer disadvantages.

The presentation will also explore the wider discussions currently taking place about open access from the ethical as well as the financial and organisational perspectives. Open access to research is also crucial in ensuring that MOOCs are genuinely open and inclusive and do not perpetrate the current privileges of students and staff in well-resourced institutions.

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