eT@lking: Introducing the EpCoP MOOC!

Screen grab from the EpCoP eT@lking session.

Just finished the eT@lking: EpCoP MOOC session. eT@lking is one of the many events that are organised by The Australia Series Learn Central group. The Australia Series are online events held at Australia-friendly times and are largely organised by and for Australian educators/professionals.

Tonight’s eT@lking: EpCoP MOOC session was presented by Carole McCulloch. Carole introduced the upcoming e-portfolios community of practice Massive Open Online Course, or EpCoP MOOC for short! The EpCoP MOOC will run from August 1 – September 30 2011.

Aims and objectives of the EpCop MOOC are to help VET practitioners develop their own professional e-portfolio or a personal cyberinfrastructure to archive lifelong learning experiences, document current course participation, maintain VET practitioner currency and store RPL information. The EpCop MOOC is also an opportunity for participants to learn and network with like-minded participants.

A very brief overview of the EpCop MOOC

The EpCop MOOC is made up of 7 Levels. Each Level has a number of Quests to be completed each week. Each week also has a different discussion topic and Challenge Gallery. As Quests are completed, Achievement Badges can be collected and displayed on your e-portfolio. Complete the Quests and collect the whole set! Obviously, collecting Achievement Badges isn’t the aim of the MOOC, it’s a bit of fun.

The 2011 Trainer and assessor currency program

Today I participated in the Trainer and assessor currency program. I had completed the Certificate IV Training and Assessment in 2010, so taking part in the program will help to make sure my qualification stays current. It’s also a requirement under Standard 1 of the AQTF guidelines for vocational education and training (VET) practitioners who deliver training and assessment.

The 4 steps involved in maintaining VET practitioner currency.

The program covered the 4 steps involved in maintaining VET practitioner currency. To remain current I must:

  • model high standards of performance
  • determine professional development needs
  • participate in professional development activities
  • reflect on and evaluate professional practice.

Model high standards of performance
The Model high standards of performance topic discussed:

  • how I can use organisational support mechanisms to help me model a high standards of practice. For example, I can could contact the marketing, compliance or ICT department for help.
  • how state and federal government policy guides the work I do. For example, the AQTF 2007/10 provides standards to make sure training and assessment is consistent across the country.
  • Contestability in Victoria. More information about contestability can be found at Shaping our future.
  • Professional techniques. For example, I must provide best practice examples of OHS, ethical behaviour/professional conduct
  •  Organisational/legal requirements. For example, documentation I prepare for the delivery of my training must contain VET sector legal requirements such copyright, privacy, duty of care, OHS and AQTF.

Determine professional development needs
The determine professional development needs topic discussed:

  • how currency and minimum VET sector teaching requirements can shape my career in the VET sector. For example, Dr John Mitchell refers to the ‘advanced VET practitioner’ in his article Capabilities of the emerging ‘advanced VET
    practitioner’ (87Kb PDF)
    .
  • how to maintain my CV to meet VRQA requirements. For example, include a detailed work history, education history, professional development activities, projects I’ve undertaken, subscriptions relevant to my work, documents I’ve published and networks I participate in.
  • how to find out about my rights and obligations as a VET sector practitioner. For example, Fair Work Australia, Multi Business Agreement and Australian Education Union, AQTF and VRQA.
  • how assessment must occur in the workplace or a simulated workplace. See guidelines for a simulated workplace described in the AQTF 2010 Users guide to the essential conditions and standards for continuing registration. I think that assessment could occur in the context of a workplace based Alternate Reality Game (ARG).
  • how organisational objectives are aligned with state, federal government policy for the VET sector.
  • how my professional development plan should outline my work and personal objectives, identify areas that require development, identify opportunities for learning, identify relevant work projects and relate to my organisational training needs profile.


Participate in professional development activities

The participate in professional development activities topic discussed:

  • how to choose professional development (PD) activities. For example, PD activities sold take into consideration my learning style, career goals and aspirations and contribute to the maintenance/currency of my professional VET practice.
  • how there are many external sources of support. For example, websites related to my professional practice, my Twitter stream, my personal learning network (PLN).
  • how informal (people working in industry, peers) and formal (industry organisations, communities of practice) professional networks can provide PD.
  • how technology can be used for PD. For example, using my Twitter stream to create my own personal learning network (PLN), participating in online events like MOOCs or webinars and subscribing to edtech related RSS feeds.

Reflect on and evaluate professional practice
The reflect on and evaluate professional practice topic discussed:

  • how to monitor VET sector developments and trends that impact VET sector professionals. For example, follow the research by the National Centre for VET Education Research (NCVER) and Australian VET Research Association (AVETRA)
  • how to manage feedback from colleagues and clients
  • how continuous improvement techniques and processes can be used to maintain professional practice. For example, evaluation and reflection on my own professional practice (my blog), ongoing education and training, team meetings and networking.

eT@lking: Blogging++ (Travelling with Mr ‘Davo’ Devil & Student Blogging Challenge)

eT@lking

Just finished the eT@lking: Blogging++ session. eT@lking is one of the many events that are organised by The Australia Series Learn Central group. The Australia Series are Elluminate events held at Australia-friendly times and are largely organised by and for Australian educators/professionals.

Tonight’s eT@lking: Blogging++ session was presented by Sue Wyatt. Sue spoke about her new blog Travelling with Mr ‘Davo’ Devil. The blog is written from the perspective of the Tasmanian Devil. A Tasmanian Devil that is soon to embark on a 3 month USA/Canada tour with Sue. Davo will blog his adventures. Davo will be used as a narrative device to prompt Sue’s students back in Australia to discover more about USA/Canada throughout the tour. Curious about Davo? You can subscribe to Davo’s feed for news and updates of his adventures! Sue also spoke about the Student Blogging ChallengeTeacher Challenge and the PLN Challenge #8 webinars.

The recording of the Blogging++ session is now available.

Hanging out in a Google+ Hangout

Tim Owens puts out a call for people to Hangout with him!

On July 16th I joined Giulia Forsythe, Ben Rimes, Jason Green, Zach Dowell, Bryan Jackson and Jim Groom in a friendly discussion lead by Tim Owens about Google+ using it’s Hangout feature. The new features of Google+ were discussed and how they could be used in an educational/storytelling context. Interesting stuff.

Unfortunately, I had technical problems (Hangout and the Google Talk browser-plugin with Firefox/Chrome/Safari browsers) so I arrived 1 hour late. I managed to catch the Hangout in limited sound-only fashion via Windows running on VMware Fusion. VMware Fusion had problems accessing my inbuilt iSight web-cam.

Looking forward to further friendly discussions in a Hangout!

This video is derived from the Exploring Google+ Hangouts which appears in a slightly longer unedited form on Timmmmyboy’s YouTube Channel.

I had problems connecting to the Hangout, so I attempted to communicate with my Circle via comments to the Hangout request. I was eventually able to Hangout!

Office drawer archive: Newspaper clipping – MX

After a few years in the workplace you begin to accumulate a lot of stuff in your office drawer. It becomes your personal archive of your workplace existence. A place for newspaper clippings, unlabelled CDs or DVDs containing forgotten data that was burnt long ago. I call it my office drawer archive.

This newspaper clipping is from MX. MX is a free daily newspaper that’s given away throughout Melbourne’s central business district. This 2005/2006 article is about a games convention in Leipzig. The gamer featured in this article looks remarkably like an ex-colleague.

Office drawer archive: Newspaper clipping – Skateistan

After a few years in the workplace you begin to accumulate a lot of stuff in your office drawer. It becomes your personal archive of your workplace existence. A place for newspaper clippings, unlabelled CDs or DVDs containing forgotten data that was burnt long ago. I call it my office drawer archive.

This newspaper clipping is from The Age. It’s a feature article about the Skateistan project.