Blended Learning Course week 2

This week Neil Morris encouraged us to reflect on what we have learned and check #FLBLE1 on Twitter. Comparing to last week, I spent more time on reading comments,  responding some, exploring the resources shared in the sessions, and digesting the topic.

The focus in this week is to help us to get ready for blended learning: (1) understanding pedagogy (2) understanding a wide range of technologies (3) gaining digital literacy skills, and (4) knowing context/environment.

Firstly, the key learning for me is the pedagogy for using technology for learning and the impact of technology on pedagogy. Among the highlighted pedagogical approaches: ConstructivismSocial constructivism and Problem-based learning, social constructivism approach definitely is used in my practice, though I do not often talk about pedagogy when support users. It makes a lot of sense when I think why we support tools such as Yammer, discussion forum, Xerte Online Toolkits, Mahara, Panopto, blogs, and so on.

The problem-based learning is an approach that challenges students to learn through engagement in a real problem. I thought it is to help students understand a topic through developing students self-directed learning. However, I forgot it is most commonly group-based. The quiz exercise helped me to reinforce my learning of pedagogy. I also found an introduction of problem-based learning from HEA.

Secondly, being able to understand technologies and know what they are designed for is my area. I’ve learned more new applications this week, which I may be review or introduce to my colleagues later:

  • iObserve is a video and audio recording app that allows allows you to record observations, time stamp criteria, give instant feedback and create a signed declaration.
  • DREAMS LMS is a remote e-learning and marking system. I wonder if it is like the FutureLearn platform, but provides more interactive content creation functionalities.
  • NearPod is an interactive classroom tool to create, engage and assess. I wonder what are the differences between this tool and the VLE platform like Blackboard. A video introduction about this tool can be seen in the HCUK resources below.
  • The TAGSExplorer (developed by Martin Hawksey) is a very useful tool for visualising a tweet hashtag and its activities. It’s a good way to see what’s going on with the Blended Learning course tweets through a dynamic map. (below is a screenshot)

Thirdly, the discussion about digital literacy skills is not new for me. Although it is still at an early stage of development in our institution, I have been learning it for a few years now. I have shared our University materials in the discussion. As I think they are so useful, I’d like to share them again:

Fourthly, the big environment of my work context is not easy to change. In the case study when Borders College said that it took them 5 years to implement blended learning, I accepted that. Changing is slow in big universities. It took us two-three years to adopt a new technology university-wide. Still I am struggling how to help people get ready for adopting technologies in their practice. I may not be able to change the environment much, but I can make myself up-to-date of the new approaches and skills. Reading the comments in 2.8, I agree that the common barriers for people to embed blended learning within their environment include: unrobust infrastructure for adopting technology; limited finance, and a lack of visionary leaders to lead the transformation.

In addition, like most time I learned new resources:



Resources of exhibitions

If you are interested in exhibitions and shows, you may be interested in the following resources. is a portal that helps you to find information on museums and exhibitions in Europe.

List of world expositions on Wikipedia

Top 100 USA Shows from Absolute Exhibits

The m+a ExpoDataBase is a portal for the exhibition industry (exhibitors, visitors, organisers and service providers).

Literacies: Computer, Digital, Information, Media and more (2)

To some extent, information literacy emphasises learning skills more on how, where, and what methods (e.g., technologies) to use to search valuable information for your purpose. Digital literacy states skills more than information literacy covers; it emphasises skills of using digital technologies to search valuable information, create information, and add value into resources.

A recent NMC Horizon Report stated the most notable emerging technology topics, trends, and challenges for tertiary education in the United Kingdom over the next five years. “Digital media literacy” is one of the topics. They didn’t give a definition of the term, but emphasised:

… As lecturers and professors begin to realize that they are limiting their students by not helping them to develop and use digital media literacy skills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training is being offset through professional development or informal learning, but we are far from seeing digital media literacy as a norm. This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that digital literacy is less about tools and more about thinking, and thus skills and standards based on tools and platforms have proven to be somewhat ephemeral.  (p.18)


Literacies: Computer, Digital, Information, Media and more (1)

“Information literacy”, “digital literacy”, “computer literacy”, “media literacy”, “e-literacy” are concepts we often see nowadays. I wonder what the differences and links are.


Computer literacy refers to the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology efficiently, with a range of skills covering levels from elementary use to programming and advanced problem solving. It also refer to the comfort level someone has with using computer programs and other applications that are associated with computers. (eNotes)

Digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, and create information using digital technology. (Cornell University)

Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner. (CILIP)

Media literacy is the ability to sift through and analyze the messages that inform, entertain and sell to us every day. (Jane Tallim)


Books about infomration literacy

The research of Information Literacy has been recongised since 2003. I heard this term from Shelia Webber and Bill Johnston’s website: The Information Literacy Place. This is their new blog about Informaton Literacy.

I come across some books about Information Literacy: