Gojimo

Gojimo is a free app available on iOS and Android smart phones. Users have access to a large question bank built around a variety of subjects at A Level. Each question is a multiple choice option which gives feedback on correct and incorrect answers.

test_prep_app

 

Students can use the app on their own or in small groups to work through questions together on a tablet.  It could be a useful tool for teachers to use  questions.

You can download the app by searching for Gojimo on the App Store or Google Play store, or follow this link to find out more: http://www.gojimo.com/

Do you use any other apps for learning?  JISC are undertaking a research project and need you help.  Complete this form to be part of the research.

Update

It’s been a busy time so below is a brief update on some of the Innovation team’s work across the college over the last couple of months.

Open Badges

We’ve now issued over 1,000 open badges from our badge academy: https://www.openbadgeacademy.com/sussexdowns. Working with Emily Hanscomb, we’ve awarded badges for 95% and 100% attendance.  We’ve also secured sponsorship from Rotary Club (they’ve offered to fund purchase of 4 Chromebooks), Pelham House and Horseshoe Inn (thanks to Christina Cavallari) to support our work on the Employability Passport.

Building on the Quality Standards work, we’re in the process of developing a series of ‘Expert Learner’ badges to align with Induction process for Sep 2016.  Watch this space.

We’re also starting some exciting work with the Hair & Beauty, and Sports team to badge their level 3 and 4 courses and have submitted a new Erasmus+ bid so we have our fingers crossed to receive (even) more funding.

Finally, we’ve been recognised for the innovative work we’re doing and have been invited to to run a workshop on digital badges at the National Blended Learning Consortium Conference in Birmingham  next month.

Blended Learning Consortium

The Blended Learning Consortium is being recognised as the fastest growing consortium within FE.  As members we get unlimited access to a wealth of high quality eLearning resources.  Sam has secured some externally funded work developing the content for a new eLearning module that is focussed on E&D including mandatory areas of British values and prevent.  

Full courses are already available for the following: Digital Literacy L2, Employability L2 and L3, English L2, Engineering L2 and L3 and Health & Safety in Social Care L2.

Phase 2 will include the following:

  • Health & Social Care L3
  • Business Studies L3
  • Sports L2 & L3
  • E-safety – Anti Bullying
  • Beauty L3
  • Travel & Tourism L2
  • Enterprise L2
  • British Values Prevent

If you’d like further info on using these please get in touch.

Other news

We delivered 2 masterclasses on Google Classroom (over 20 staff attended) over both campuses and we’re currently working with Kevin C’s team to shape development of a new platform to enhance access to their various online databases and resources.  This work is being lead by Sarah Jayne-Smith.  A sneak preview of the new eLibrary site is available here.

Digital Signage – Kings

One of our more fun and experimental projects has been the design and nstallation of a new TV / digital signage in Kings restaurant.  It uses a £80 computer the size of a USB stick (called a ASUS Chromebit) to turn a TV into a digital display board.  Christina can edit the slides from her desk, add announcements, links and videos and then publish live to the restaurant.  

Get in touch

If you’d like any more information on any of the above or would like to run a pilot using technology to support learning, please get in touch at innovation@sussexdowns.ac.uk.

Google Classroom tip: Adding entire folders

Want to make it even easier for students to find your learning resources within Google Classroom?

This brief guide shows you how to add links to Google Drive folders right into Google Classroom.

You can then simply manage all your files through Google  Drive, without having to upload anything.

If students add the folder to their Drive, then any updates you make will seamlessly (magically) be synchronised to their devices.

If you’d like to know more, email innovation@sussexdowns.ac.uk.

Articulate

We’re pleased to announce a new service the Innovation team are now able to create high quality interactive eLearning content.  Using the Articulate package, we can build professional eLearning materials that include video, audio, text and a host of interactive elements.

Why not try out our very first prototype which shows how to use Google Drive.  Click on the ‘Launch’ button below to start.

Launch Presentation

Alternatively, we can embed eLearning materials directly into a blog like this:

Another example we’re working on is for Health and Safety training.

Launch Presentation

If you’d like to discuss the development of eLearning content for your course, please email innovation@sussexdowns.ac.uk and we’ll be in touch.

Check back for more examples as we create them.

 

Through the Periscope

Through the Periscope is a new showcase of programmes, resources and seminars designed to give an overview to a range of technology solutions and ideas that you can then take away and use with your students. A selection of colleges are coming together to present during the running time, which is between January and February this year.

The courses are free to attend online and each of them has a range of static and live content for you to look over in your own time.

How do I sign up?

All you have to do to attend any of the courses is go to the link in the course list we’ve linked below. The short version is a quick list of all the courses being run, the times and the link; the longer version contains more in depth information on each course, what to expect and what you should be able to take away from it. We recommend you start with this list and have a read through to see what seminars are of most interest to you. Remember that for most courses the content will be live for most of January and February, so you have plenty of time to work through whichever ones appeal to you most.

Access the course handbook

There are two versions of the handbook, available via the links below:

Long version 

Short version

Remember if you have any questions about the course, or you see something you find interesting and want help implementing it within your own classroom you can contact the innovation team at innovation@sussexdowns.ac.uk. We hope you go check out some of the courses and come back brimming with ideas for your teaching.

Blended Learning goes even more Massive

You may remember our previous posts about the FutureLearn Blended Learning Essentials MOOC that we encouraged staff to sign up to and expand their knowledge of technology in the classroom.   Well not only is there a sequel, but this time it’s starring SDC.

Blended Learning Essentials MOOC 2 is both a great follow on for anyone who took the first part of the course, and also a perfect time for you to jump in and gain some new skills

We really enjoyed mentoring those of you who took part in our breakfast/twilight session drop ins and hope those of you who took the course felt you got out as much from it as we did.

OK, how do I join?

The course starts on Feb 1st and will be running for three weeks. This time around the focus will be on embedding practice into your digital resources, learning from experience and tackling difficult challenges with the help of blended learning.

Excitingly, some of the content for the second part of this course was filmed on site at SDC Eastbourne campus, and features interviews with various staff and students about their experiences and aspirations.

As with the previous course, once the start date comes around you will have access to all of the resources and be able to keep them for future reference. We know naturally how busy teaching is and how little free time might be available to complete the course, but as before this is a MOOC course, meaning you can work through it piece by piece in your own time and at your own pace.

Do I need to have completed the first course?

No, all you need to do is follow this link and sign up for a FutureLearn account. It’s free and fast, and once you have an account you’re also able to sign up to any other courses that are of interest to you. Make sure to leave a comment on the Blended Learning Essentials 2 page about your background and what you hope to get out of the course.

What if I get stuck?

As before, the Innovation team are happy to help out with any questions or ideas that the course may give you and we will be organising two drop in sessions to coincide with week 3 of the course to raise any questions or ideas with about what you’ve been inspired to do.

 

A new Form of education – Part I

Introduction

This week we want to return to the classroom to explain how you can use Google Forms to set quizzes or surveys, and see student responses in real time.  

What is a Google Form?

A Google Form is a tool that allows you to create an online form comprising questions you’d see on a normal paper based form; e.g. free text, multiple choice, choosing from a list, rating on a scale etc.  Google forms can be shared with anyone and work just as beautifully on smartphones and tablets as they do on laptops or PCs.  Responses are captured in a Google Sheet that can easily be converted into Excel for further analysis on the responses.

Get building

To create your first Google Form, login to Google using your College account (firstname.surname@chrome.sussexdowns.ac.uk) and go to your Google Drive.  Then click ‘New’ > ‘More’ > ‘Forms’. Alternatively, once logged in, just click here.

Give your form a name and then start adding questions using ‘Add item’ and selecting the type of question.    When you’ve finished designing the form, hit send in the top right hand corner of the screen and you’ll see a pop up like this.

Send Form

This step is important and we recommend setting who can respond limited to Sussex Downs College and automatically collecting their username as shown above. This makes it so that your students don’t have to enter their details each time they submit a form, although they will need to be logged in to their College Google account. If you’re using Forms to make a quiz you’ll also probably want to tick the second box too, allowing only one response per person.

Alternatively, you could not tick this box but unless you want the responses to be anonymous, make sure you remember to ask them for their name  or student number.  You can then share the link with learners via Google Classroom, email, social media or iLearn.

Once you’ve shared your form you can hop onto the ‘View responses’ tab and see live incoming data graphed out for you.  This is useful for an at a glance summary of the class, but for a more detailed breakdown hit the “Create spreadsheet” button.

Create Spreadsheet

This creates a Google Sheets document that will store all respondents to your form. This lives in the same place on your drive as the form itself and shares its name (unless you change it), so you should find the two next to each other.

Linking to Classroom

You can also add your quiz to Google Classroom .   Copy the link you get from the ‘Send form’ box – it’s the middle option on the ‘send via’ tabs – and copy to your clipboard.

Classroom Create

Then, go onto your class on Classroom and create an assignment or an announcement and paste the link to your form as a hyperlink – fourth option along the bottom of the window – and add a title and description as normal.

Now your class will be able to access the front end of the survey/questionnaire and submit their responses.  As they do they’ll appear in real time on your Google Sheet.

Responses 1

Uses

There’s many ways you can work this into your classroom and your students learning experience. The most obvious would be a quiz or test, but you could also create a survey, a suggestions box (remember to allow multiple responses) or a poll.

It’s also a great way of supporting flipped learning as within Google Classroom you can add a video, and then use a form underneath to ask some questions.

The interface is really simple too, in fact it’s just been revamped to make it even slicker than it was before, so now’s a really great time to check out forms.

No more marking!

Well maybe not quite, but next week we’ll show you how you can automatically grade your Google Form quizzes  using Flubaroo. It provides you with instant visual feedback on which areas the class as a whole are struggling, and which individual students need extra help.  It all works inside the web browser which means it’ll work on any device.

Do let us know how you have used Google Forms or if you’d like some 1:1 support get in touch as always at innovation@sussexdowns.ac.uk.

We’re always on top form….sorry.

 

Google passwords get sync’d

Background

In December 2014, the Innovation team piloted Google Classroom as a tool to simplify the process of giving feedback to students.

The response from staff and students was so positive that 3 months later we requested that all SDC staff and students should be automatically provided with a Google Apps for Education account.

We now have over 100 teaching staff actively using it to manage assignments and feedback.

If you use it, you’ll know that all students and staff currently have separate passwords to login into the College network and their Google Apps for Education account.

What’s changing

From Wednesday 18th November 2015, we are making a change so that when staff or students change their College network password, this will automatically update their Google password effectively synchronising both passwords.

This means that students and staff will no longer need to request passwords be reset via the helpdesk as they can do it themselves using Ctrl+Alt+Delete.  Staff can also reset a student’s password in the normal way.

FAQ

Q – How can I reset a student’s College (and Google) password? 

A – From http://connect.sussexdowns.ac.uk go to  Tools > Student Info > Change Students Password or click here.

Q – Will all Google passwords be synchronised from Wednesday?

A – No. The synchronisation will happen next time a College network password is changed.

Q – If a student changes their Google password will this change their College password?

A – No. It only works from College password to Google password.

Q – I have more questions about Google account passwords.

A – Email helpdesk@sussexdowns.ac.uk

Q – I’d like some training on using Google Apps for Classroom e.g. Google Classroom.

A – Email professional.development@sussexdowns.ac.uk

Q – I’d like some more ideas on how to use Google Apps in my teaching.

A – Email innovation@sussexdowns.ac.uk

Digital Vocational Badges

Digital Vocational Badges
In this post post we want to introduce a major project officially launched at the Royal Society of Arts last week. It’s a project we’re hoping should lead to a brighter future for students seeking employment, called Digital Vocational Badges.

The problem
We know our learners face an increasingly competitive and global job market and that in order to differentiate themselves, they need to demonstrate the skills employers most value. Look at any job ad and the formal qualification is taking a backseat. The real skills they’re seeking, the so-called ‘21C skills”, are those such as communication, collaboration and problem solving. So how do we recognise these skills in our learners and how can they share these with employers.

It seems incredible that after completing say a two year qualification with us, that when it comes to communicating this to potential employers, the best we can offer is to suggest using phrases like “passionate”, “good team worker” and “hard working” on their CV.

In other words, we invest huge amounts of time in formal qualifications that are of limited interest to employers and then get them to self-certify on the skills that employers actually want. The bottom line is that formal qualifications, no matter how impressive, and a well presented CV no longer equal employment.

But that’s just it: how do teaching staff formally recognise these skills and also in a way that students can share with employers. How can we capture spontaneous moments of genuine real-world problem solving, showing true grit or staying cool under pressure; how do you reward that student in a way that will mean something to prospective employers?

Our solution
Remember how in scouts or girl guides you would earn badges for achievements? We’re bringing these back and applying them to education, but this time they’re digital. A digital badge can be created for just about anything; attendance, perseverance, meeting deadlines. They can be awarded to students by anyone, who can then share them with anyone. The badges themselves can be explored to find out who issued it, what was the criteria and what was the evidence. Employers can drill down and see all the evidence that shows why the student has been recognised for their Commitment, Attendance or Showing Initiative This could include photos of customer feedback cards, attendance reports, or video testimonials from tutors.

Most of the technical infrastructure to deliver the project is already in place and we are building on the work by Mozilla and using their Open Badges platform.

It’s not just us either.   Read how 10million better futures are hoping to use this platform by 2016.

We need employers to build the badges
We’re piloting with sectors; hospitality & catering, complementary therapy and hair & beauty. In order to give our badges the most credibility, we are now beginning our outreach to employers to find out the key skills that they value most when choosing prospective candidates. We will then translate these into digital badges.

To inform this process, we have launched a brief skills survey available here for all local employers.

We’re also inviting employers to our launch event at the Kings Restaurant on 19th November 2015 where we’ll be capturing the criteria and evidence for the skills they need.  You can book free tickets for this event now.

For more information regarding the project please contact kevin.jones@sussexdowns.ac.uk

Blended Learning goes Massive

We’re excited to tell you about a great opportunity to boost your learning technology skills and ideas. Introducing the Blended Learning Essentials MOOC.

Er… the what?

The Blended Learning Essentials MOOC is a 5-week online course starting Nov 2nd, focused on pedagogy and technology.

What’s it about?

In their words, by the end of the course you will be able to:

  • use a range of effective blended learning practices and pedagogies to improve your learners’ experience and attainment
  • understand how the many free and affordable technologies now available can enhance teaching and learning, and
  • approach new technologies with confidence, designing a pedagogical approach to make the best use of these tools

So what’s a MOOC?

A MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, is delivered typically through interactive online video, is open and free to anyone, and sometimes taken by hundreds of thousands of students at the same time all around the world.

The course already has 5,000 teachers in FE signed up, and we’d like as many of Sussex Downs College to take part.

Breakfast anyone?

To answer any queries arising during the course, the LTI team will be hosting breakfast and/or twilight sessions at the Eastbourne and Lewes campuses during the course.  These will provide a chance to discuss what you’ve learned, ask questions about what you’re not so sure about, and share your ideas for how you plan to use blended learning in your practice.

Campus Room Date Time Discussion
Eastbourne LTC, A Level Centre Tue 10/11/15 17.00-17.30 Week 1 content
Lewes 226, Cliffe Building Wed 11/11/15 13.30-14.00 Week 1 content
Lewes 226, Cliffe Building Tue 24/11/15 17.00-17.30 Week 2 & 3 content
Eastbourne LTC, A Level Centre Wed 25/11/15 08.15-08.45 Week 2 & 3 content
Eastbourne LTC, A Level Centre Tue 08/12/15 17.00-18.00 Week 4 & 5 content
Lewes 226, Cliffe Building Wed 09/12/15 17.00-18.00 Week 4 & 5 content

Tell us you’re attending here.

Flat out?

Remember, if you’re stretched for time right now, there’s no harm in signing up and then reviewing the material in your own time, at a later date.

So in case you missed it, here’s the link. And tell us you’ve signed up here.

(not so) Secret Agents

Last week we ended briefly mentioning our new Digital Agents initiative that we’re hoping to launch. But what is a digital agent?

The way we envision this program is as a way to draw students into the innovation and integration part of learning tech. These students, or College Digital Agents – CoDAs as we’ve taken to calling them will come from all across the wider college. We want a broad range of students from all disciplines and interests, not just those already with a strong knowledge of technology.

They will provide student feedback, telling us how we’re doing at integrating technology. They’ll explore how to develop and improve its use, suggest new approaches and give us other students views on them.

Currently the idea is being pitched to this year’s Student Executive and we’re excitedly waiting on their feedback. Watch this space to find out more.