ALTC2014 day2~ evidences & case studies

It’s the second enjoyable day at ALTC 2014.

The first session I attended was the Augmented Reality from Allen Crawford-Thomas and Judy Bloxham (JISC RSC). It’s fun to try the apps and discuss about the potential uses. It brought new experience immediately. Blippar and Layar worked well on my mobile, but Zapper didn’t, similar to other people next to me. Heard the SAMR Model again in the session. Also to know an interesting term “calm technology” means interaction between digital technology and reality is designed for users without realising the technology. Their paper ‘Immersive Learning Experiences through Augmented Reality‘ is worthwhile of reading. I like the idea that makes the interaction between human and online resources more real, more like learning in the reality.

From Catherine Cronin’s talk, I got some useful resources: the book Networked, ds106 open courses posted by Jim Groom and his view “openness is ethos not a license.”, #iCollab – the international community of practice of students and lecturers, and Gardner Campbell‘s work on learning technology and education.

I had interesting conversations with people from different institutions and realised many universites/collages do have a bigger VLE support team, like 7-9 people plus people from pedagogical side of supporting.

The UCISA TEL Survey of technology enhanced learning 2014 is another timely resource. The findings will be very useful for us to review the services we provide to some extent.

Learn from the Learning Technologist of the Year Awards winners, Congratulations!


In addition, some new ideas for me:

  • Students may feel confused with online learning, and they need to have the sense of ‘belonging’ to the institution. (from Helen Anne Beetham‘s talk)
  • We need to bring in the minimum standards for the online learning (from Martin Lynch and Catherine Naamanis talk)
  • Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) is importantly increasing(from Simon Kear‘s talk)

Understanding people in design

I enjoyed reading the book <<100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People>> written by Dr Susan M. Weinschenk (2011). Indeed, I will recommend it.  I thought it’s a technology book, actually it more likes an interesting humanistic book with real science and research examples.

I made notes of some tips that are particularly call my attention:

  • Use patterns as much as possible, since people will automatically be looking for them. Use grouping and white space to create patterns (p.8).
  • People recognize and react to faces on Web pages faster than anything else on the page (at least by those who are not autistic) (p.10).
  • The “Chromostereopsis” effect is strongest with red and blue. (p.22)
  • If you could limit the information you give people to four items, that would actually be a great idea, but you don’t have to be that drastic. You can use more pieces of information as long as you group and chunk (p.50).
  • You can store concrete words (table, chair) in long-term memory more easily than abstract words (justice, democracy) (p.54).
  • People reconstruct memories each time they remember them (p.57).
  • Mind wandering is similar to but not the same as daydreaming… During everyday activities your minds wander up to 30 percent of the time, and in some cases, such as driving on an uncrowded highway, it might be as high as 70 percent (p.68).
  • People can’t actually multitask (p.105).
  • Danger, food, sex, movement, faces, and stories get the most attention (p.108).
  • The dopamine loop may helps us understand why people are addicted to the Internet (p.124). This article provides more details.
  • People will satisfy, that is, look for the good-enough solution rather than the optimal solution (p.135).
  • People lie most on the phone, and least with pen and paper (p.155).
  • You don’t necessarily need humor or jokes to get people to laugh. Normal conversation and interactions will produce more laughter than intentional use of human or jokes (p.160).
  • If you want people to laugh, then laugh yourself. Laughter is contagious (p.160).
  • People who are busy are happier (p.174).
  • The unconscious acts more quickly than the conscious mind. This means that people often take actions or have preferences, but cannot explain why the prefer what they do (p.205).

In this book, some web sources will be helpful later:

In addition, some recommended videos are worth viewing:

Resources of free e-books

Seven useful free e-books resources:

  • publishes thousands of free online classics of reference, literature and fiction.
  • BC Open Textbooks is a project that contributes to the development of an open future for teaching practices and educational resources. I noticed this resource through Professor Tony Bates’ ebook Teaching in a Digital Age.
  • Bean Free Library allows people to read some books online and download in one of several formats.
  • FREE BOOKS TO READ SPONSORS The website creator has listed 6000 free online books alphabetically and it supports “Text to Speech” audio technology.
  • FreeBooks4Doctors is a AMEDEO service for promoting free access to medical books.
  • Open Library is a open project that gathered over 20 million records and has over 1,000,000 free ebook titles available.
  • The Online Books Page edited by John Mark Ockerbloom, a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • TUMBLEBOOKCLOUD is an online collection of ebooks and read-along chapter books, graphic novels, educational videos, and audio books. Access free. (not all books with a “read online” link work on my PC.)

You can find more from the resources below:

Living Books About Life

Just found a series of curated, open access books about life, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and published by Open Humanities Press (OHP)Living Books About Life.

The books were produced by a globally-distributed network of writers and editors, and were repacked existing open access science research by clustering it around selected topics with theme about life: e.g., air, agriculture, bioethics, cosmetic surgery, electronic waste, energy, neurology and pharmacology. The Series editors are Clare Birchall (University of Kent), Gary Hall (Coventry University), Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths, University of London).

Open textbooks

Funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, College Open Textbooks is a collection of colleges, governmental agencies, education non-profits, and other education-related organizations that are focused on the mission of driving the awareness and advocacy for open textbooks.

Flat World Knowledge is the world’s largest publisher of free and open college textbooks. is a free and open, not-for-profit, art history textbook. Part of the Khan Academy. It uses multimedia to deliver unscripted conversations between art historians about the history of art.

The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) is a joint effort by the OER Center for California, Foothill-De Anza Community College District, the League for Innovation in the Community College, OCW Consortium and many other community colleges and university partners to develop and use open educational resources (OER) and especially open textbooks in community college courses.


Podcasts resources

Free podcasts resources:

  • Audio Books Corner provides a small collection of free audio books.
  • Audio Literature Odyssey is a collection of literature podcast produced by Nikolle Doolin.
  • Books Should Be Free produces free audio books from the public domain.
  • Classic Poetry Aloud is a collection of Podcasts of classic poems and English literature.
  • provides various of free resources, including MP3 books, teaching materials.
  • Free Christian Audio Books provides free Christian-themed audio books.
  • Free Classic AudioBooks provides downloads in mp3 and in m4b audio book format for iTunes and the iPod.
  • Kids Audio Books offers free kid’s stories in mp3 format.
  • Kiddie Records offers a wide collection of children’s classics from Kiddie Records Weekly.
  • LearnOutLoud podcast directory helps you to find both entertaining and educational materials, save your time and turning your ‘dead time’ (time spent commuting, exercising, doing chores, etc.) into ‘learning time’.
  • LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. It makes all public domain books available as free audio books.
  • Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format.
  • NOVA Podcasts provides many audio and video podcasts from NOVA, which is the highest rated science series on television and the most watched documentary series on public television.
  • podiobook is free serialised audiobooks which are distributed via RSS, much like a podcast. Listeners can choose to receive the episodes of their books via an RSS feed or by listening to episodes by directly downloading episodes from this site.
  • Podcast Alley is a collection of education podcasts from various sources.
  • Poetry Archive allows you to listen to the world’s premier collection of poetry recordings for free.
  • Project Gutenberg provides human-read and computer-generated audio books.
  • Storynory has more than 100 free audio books for kids.
  • The Spoken Alexandria Project is creating a free Creative Commons library of spoken word recordings, consisting of classics in the public domain and modern works (with permission). AAC, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3 audiobooks available for free download and redistribution.
  • The Internet Poets’ Cooperative allows you access to hundreds of free poetry recordings in mp3 format.
  • Thought Audio provides some free audio books.
  • produces original audiobooks free to the public.