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Why nobody told me e-learning could have been done this way?!

Why nobody told me e-learning could have been done this way?!

January 1, 2018, by barry ng

It was a dark evening and yet another gloomy day for me. It was a lost sense of purpose in what I was doing in life(or was it). Then came the idea of, why is nobody embracing ePortfolio the way it should be!? So because of that, I decided to start something about it (aka barristar learns). It is not something that is complex and requires lots of computational thinking and processing, but the essense was redefined by Professor Punya Mishra when I was viewing this particular video! It was about how I should be repurposing technology specifically for educational purposes and there are times where I’ll have to use whatever tools I have available and make the best out of it.

Barristar learn builds on many fundamentals that I have come across. One of them would be Universal Design of Learning. It’s a belief that all learning should take place using different medium/channels, and all of them providing avenues to support student learning. It was created in 2015 and continual development is still in progress. There’s a lot of thought put into the development as I wanted to address a lack of ePortfolio in Singapore (I might be very wrong about it).

In this section, I would be introducing the tools that are critical towards the development of barristar learns, all of which I will be sharing with you. These are mostly free tools that are available for your personal viewing pleasure and creation.

WordPress

WordPress serves as the primary platform for learners to access barristar learn whenever they need to. The site is designed to be mobile friendly and concentrating on areas that are relevant to learners. I could say i would prefer to have some elements of LearnPress in it where enrolment is possible. The rationale for WordPress was familiarity, plugins and mobile responsiveness. These are important factors in my push for a platform independent solution for learners to develop ePortfolios.

Checklist

To make up for some missing elements within the site, I really had to include a checklist. This was more for learners to take ownership of their learning, it was for them to select the learning points that they felt they covered. The limitations residing among this was more of how learners can track their overall progress and not be too modular about the checklist.

Thinglink

Thinglink is an image resource that allows you to place links at any point of the image. You can choose to place youtube videos, additional descriptions and external articles. I used it at almost every page of barristar learns, following the universal design of learning principles.

Thinglink was a mystery add-on that I felt was beneficial to the learning environment. Although I had to thank thinglink for providing me a free month of premium services, the basics were sufficient to let me reap the maximum learning benefits.

Padlet

Made with PadletPadlet is a free resource that allows your learners to put their sticker notes on a wall that is embedded to the WordPress site.

Generally, I used them for reflection purposes, gathering learners to come and think of 3 words that they understood, apply the knowledge and be able to reiterate. It comes to good use during classrooms sessions to share across everyone or simply just a class of barristar learns as a whole. I used it generally to option snippets of knowledge that are digestible. Taking from a learner context, it was important to obtain peer perspectives to garner an understanding of the same concept.

Flip cards

Flip cards were memorisation tools in my opinion. Similar to quizzes, they were instant checks to see if the learners wanted to assess their skills, knowledge and competencies in ePortfolio. It was a good knowledge check tool, to evaluate the progress of learners when required and not requiring them to stream through edpuzzle all the time.

Canva

Canva was a pretty useful resource, coming from someone who does a lot of design work. It’s freemium with lots of additional images at $1 each. It helped me design my infographics, thinglink images that I used and other projects I had too. It was a very fundamental tool that I needed to design barristar learns and doing it quickly too!

Summary

In short, there are many lessons to learn from during a simple development such as this project, and how much intrinsic motivation plays to make this a ‘small’ success. There are tons of solutions that are definitely better than mine, but I shouldn’t despair over the hurdles that came about during the development.

I am looking forward to making this a lot better than it is right now, just searching for the right formula. There are tons of waste to be disposed of and one is required to shed the excess away from this project.

Until then, happy 2018!

barry ng

It's easy to teach, but difficult to enforce. My objectives are to ensure learning occurs and is infused into the mind of the learner.

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