There are so many digital resources available on the Internet or on our computers already that is there actually any need to produce any more?
Yes, if we are to:
- keep things relevant and up-to-date.
- Keep developing as practitioners – learning more about our subject area, new pedagogies, technologies and tools
- Involve learners in the development of resources as part of their learning process
But do we constantly need to create resources from scratch? Unless you’re at the forefront, a pioneer in a new subject, the answer is probably no. There is so much material available already – it doesn’t need to be created again. Now what we need to learn is how to mashup – how to create resources out of materials that are gathered together from the Internet or our own computers. Combining elements to make resources that cover the material in the context and format your learners need.
Let’s take a look at: Cooking Explained Toad in the Hole , a resource to provide maths support to learners on a cookery course or numeracy learners with cookery. The resource pulls together:
- A recipe from the BBC website
- 6 maths ‘how to’ videos on YouTube
- Two video demonstrations on the BBC website
- A page on the WikiHow website that explains oven settings
- The Which guide to oven symbols
- An online visual dictionary to help understand spoon sizes
- An online timer
- A web site that explains about seasoning
- An online thermometer
The only additional input from me was to explain to the learner why they needed to go to each of the online elements within the resource.
Having found the individual elements for my new resource I needed to gather them together in a structured way and so I used a tool called XtLearn, a social bookmarking site designed specifically for education. At a basic level it allows you to make collections of resources that you find on the Internet and present them in visually appealing ways to learners. However, by using features to add into the mix your own text and documents you can deliver resources and even online courses whether through a direct Internet link or embedded in a VLE.
Content creation tools such as Xerte, CourseLab, Articulate Storyline, as well as tools within VLEs (Book and Lesson within Moodle), continue to develop their functionality making it easier to include Internet based resources such as images, video and even embedded webpages.
In our new world of mashups there are still challenges! We still need to be able to find the nuggets in the first place and we need to know which nuggets we should use and why!
Written for HOLEX by Ideas4Learning Limited