|Employer:||The Southport School|
Richard is learning to use eXe and to format wiki pages. More than that, he wants to be able to show non-computing teachers how to use those tools to create rich and accessible content.
A number of ideas have recently occurred to him. For example, if the most interesting feature of hypertext is hyperlinks, why does eXe force the user to work through a unit in a linear, hierarchical manner? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to have internal links between one unit and the next. Maybe you can and I just haven't figured it out yet.
I like tools like MediaWiki, Moodle and Elgg. However, I can't get my colleagues to produce rich pages of content in any of these very easily. We need a tool that gives greater page control and allows us, for example, to paste images in instead of linking them, to create tables as easily as we create and manipulate them in Word.
How about a tool that combines the ease of use of eXe with the flexibility and collaborative potential of a Wiki or a CMS. Now, there's a tool that would make a difference.
Front Page was a much decried tool and was used to produce some pretty horrific looking offerings, I'll grant you. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, nobody can argue that it was hard to use. It's downside was really proprietary, non-standard additions to html that made it difficult to maintain and view on non MS browsers. Now, what is MediaWiki doing? Inventing its own version of html for newbies to learn? There is still an entrance barrier for many teachers in my organisation.
Now back in NZ and still struggling with the same issues. Standards are still needed so that all the clever techies can write stuff that we can all use easily. I can't see mediaWiki, Moodle, eXe, Drupal, Elgg, Mahara, etc, etc catching on widely until they have standards for re-usable, transferable content. A government body probably needs to step in and mandate this to schools and colleges that get taxpayer funding.
Every OS project builds a community of practitioners, users and then, when enough people are on board, a financially viable support/development/training market. Now you have embedded interests, people have invested time and/or money and don't want to let go their own expertise (investment) for the general good.
I have only questions still, at this stage.
I don't want to give a negative impression though - I firmly believe that we must use the force for good!
Update of the Update
Now in Australia and working as Director of eLearning at The Southport School (TSS). We have installed Moodle/Mahara and the uptake has been excellent.
A pedagogical framework has been developed and multiple modes of Professional Learning trialled to see which make the best fit for us.
After three years it is possible to say that significant pedagogical change has been achieved and a lot has been learned.
Started life as a geologist and geophysicist and from there, during a bust in the oil industry moved into mathematical modelling of fluidized bed combustion and other research for a few years. Eventually became a teacher in an international school and have worked in Portugal, Singapore, New Zealand and China.
I have worked for many years as an examiner for the International Baccaluareate Organisation.
More recently I have been an eLearning Manager and have developed Moodle courses for Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Dulwich College Beijing and Moodle workshops for the IBO. I have also developed online workshops as a complement to traditional f2f events (blended learning).
Have worked as a consultant in New Zealand and developed Moodle and other Open Source resources at http://moodlenz.net/.
About to complete a 3-year contract with the Southport School, Queensland, Australia as elearning Coordinator developing more Moodle resources and other initiatives.
See this page for further details.
- B Sc Geology, London, 1974
- M Sc Marine Earth Science, London, 1978
- MA Education (Educational Management), Bath, UK, 1996
- Post-grad certificate Online Education, USQ, Australia, 2002
In all fairness I have to advise against taking any course of study with USQ. Having completed the above certificate, and looking for credit for a Master's Degree from the same institute I was told (in 2010) "Your certificate is too old to be worth any credit with us" - nice one.
Very interested in the potential of online communities of practice from a professional perspective. Also enjoy the social aspects of the web - staying in touch with my many friends and acquaintances around the world.
For exercise I enjoy tennis and volleyball.
I love to travel - extensively in New Zealand but also been around the world a few times too.
I still read books :-) (and collect old ones about early NZ History too)
Please see my Twitter page for more information and, if you like, follow me.
I am a trustee of the local branch of Tabitha Cambodia, an organisation helping the poorest of the poor there with microloans, well digging, house building and craft sales. Tens of thousands of Cambodians have graduated the programme to self sufficiency.
More details at our New Zealand website.
Photo of the instant (changed infrequently).
Current: Working on a book entitled Moodle, Schools and Change with Dr Jill Margerison. To be published inexpensively by Smashwords.
Wiki Educator (contract assignment): A Java Programming unit for Middle/High School students using the Open Source IDE BlueJ.
Having completed the above project I intend to work on an OER for teaching OOP using Java and the open source IDE BlueJ. Work has begun at Java home.
My experiences with WikiEducator have been very encouraging and positive. It's really great to see so many educators from so many different countries and backgrounds collaborating here - it gives me great hope for the future. Isn't the future what all educators think about most of the time? After all it is right there in front of us every day of school or college.
It has been a privilege to participate in the latest workshop as a facilitator.
Feedback & Notes from my WikiNeighbours
(: Wow!!! You have done so much Richard. When did you have the time for all this? Go the kiwis. --MaryRobinson) (: Great work so far, Richard. Warm wishes--Patricia 00:46, 26 August 2009 (UTC)) (: Hi Richard great start keep going and if you need any help just ask me Rima 12:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC))
(: It looks like mastering WE came to you easily! Great job, Richard!--Dr. Ludmila Smirnova 03:45, 2 September 2009 (UTC)) (: Hi Richard I am awed by your page. I feel i have met someone i can learn from. I have just registered on moodlenz. I'll be going through the courses and see where i can fit in. Its a real pleasure meeting u. Ibrahim 21:35, 25 July 2010 (GMT))
- Click on the link EL4C29.
- The page that will open is the workshop page with all the links you will be using during the workshop.
- See your name in the list of participants.
- Whenever you have time click on each of the boxes.
- You may even start with Day 1 activities.
- Enjoy the workshop.