Dublin eLearning Summer School 2013 Gets Interactive at DIT

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27 June 2013: The Dublin eLearning Summer School, taking place all this week at DIT Aungier Street, is hosting interactive and dynamic sessions.

This year marks the eleventh year of the summer school. Participants are drawn from institutions in the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) and from other organisations including Enable Ireland.

The week-long event was formally opened on Monday by the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, and Dr Yvonne Crotty of DCU gave the opening keynote presentation, “It’s about time to see the bigger picture – a multi-modal approach”.

This year’s summer school includes sessions looking at social networking, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), free tools for use in education, learning analytics, reflective audio journaling and more.

Broader topics which have come up in discussion include accessibility, assessment, privacy and time.

Dr Kevin C O’Rourke, Head of eLearning, Support & Development at DIT, welcomed everyone to the summer school on Monday.

He said that the theme chosen this year – ‘It’s about time’- is meant both as a description and a cry of exasperation.

“Demands on our time are growing and if technology can help us to make better use of our working hours, then that should be a good thing,” he said. “In that context, it’s great that you decided to give over a week of your time to catch up on what’s happening in the world of education and technology, and to reflect on where it might be taking us.”

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Dr O’Rourke pointed to a recent report from the Sloan Consortium in the US that concludes that while the numbers of students enrolled in online classes continues to increase, acceptance of online education by academic staff is actually decreasing.

“There is clearly a disconnect somewhere here,” he said. “As educators, we must always hone our critical faculties and in the course of this week, we hope to lay open the current landscape of educational technology for scrutiny: from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through podcasting to the oft-cited demise of the Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and more, we hope to give you much to take away and not all of it uncritical.”

Not surprisingly for an eLearning event, there are plenty of ways for people to get interactive. The sessions are being streamed live (access details below) and one participant from last year was watching the opening sessions online and was inspired to check if a final place was available and to come along.

There is also a healthy discussion by participants on Twitter, using the tag #elss13.

Previous academic participants say the summer school has shaped their teaching and learning practice in a very positive manner. The environment is informal and participants are encouraged to raise questions and offer solutions in a friendly and collegiate atmosphere.

All sessions in the main conference room are being streamed live and can be accessed at: 

Computer:http://flashhost.heanet.ie/ditss/live.html

Mobile Device:http://flashhost.heanet.ie/ditss/live_iphone.html

Please join online for the remainder of this week! And many sessions are (or will shortly be) available online at https://www.facebook.com/elss13

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