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Sustainability, Society and You: MOOC – Current Understanding

My first thoughts of sustainability were living a life that is sustainable; with the focus on the planet and how much of the resources we use. When I used to teach one of the modules I taught was about the environment and we did a quiz to see ‘how many Earths’ you need to sustain your current lifestyle. Most students it was more than 1 Earth, some needed up to 4 which is obviously not sustainable for future generations. As a former teacher and learning technologist, I look at ways in which we can be sustainable, such as using a Virtual Online Learning Environment to share resources instead of printing them out, online marking and switching off computers when not in use. We are currently looking at a possible replacement for interactive whiteboards with interactive screens which use less power. Additionally sharing resources and collaborating with staff is a way to be sustainable and reduce replication. After reading the introduction of Learning for Sustainability I can see a much broader picture emerging where a carbon brainprint (Speight, 2013, p.24) includes developing my own values as well as supporting others. In my volunteering, demonstrating sustainable values can influence young people and help them to look at being sustainable as a natural way of living, rather than something that you have to consciously do.


Speight, S. (2013) Learning for Sustainability. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2013).


MOOCs – Feeling Inspired

I’m currently have way through a 3 day online conference run by Jisc RSC North Yorkshire on Moocs which looks at everything from OER, accessibility, open badges to designing and creating a successful mooc. It’s been really interesting and inspiring.

This has linked well as I’ve been asked to join a steering group at the college looking at frameworks for teaching from the way we do it now to completely online. This has been great opportunity to use my knowledge as a learning technologist and collaborate with staff.

As I really should ‘practice what I preach’, I’ve signed up for 2 Moocs, the first being January and run by The University of Nottingham called Sustainability, society and you with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development. It is an interesting topic, but I’m also interested in how it runs and I how I find being a student on a Mooc course.

The focus is on research and critical thinking, and resources have been made available before hand to encourage deeper learning once the course starts. There are free e-books available and can be downloaded to e-readers, so I’ve downloaded them all to my iPad and started reading one.  It’s fired up my interest and given me a knowledge of what I will be learning. I am a keen, proactive learning, so whether other students on the course will do the same I will have to wait and see. I’m also hoping that I continue to look through the resources before the course.

My aim to do this particular course is to see if I can re-think sustainability and I am hoping it will inspire change as a result of more knowledge.

I will blog about my journey and lessons learned. I’m feeling a real passion for education and e-learning particularly and hope this becomes a real way of making education accessible to those who seek it. I am looking forward to honing my skills and using them to support staff and help to create e-learning content and courses.

E-Safety Course – Creating the Theme

Well I’ve had lots of fun in Photoshop and Captivate looking at different looks.  I have a colour scheme which I’m using based on the college logo and have so far created 2 different themes.

The Square Theme is quiet formal:


The bubbles theme is less so:


I quiet like the bubbles theme, however when I added some content to the first screen, I think the squares theme looks better.

ImageThese are just some first thoughts, and I may end up doing something entirely different.  It’s been good to try out the Master Slides in Captivate, they are are so versatile and easy to update.

E-Safety Course – Mapping the Mind

I’ve been thinking about the type of content I will want on my course, and have created the following mind map:


The important part of this course it is must appeal to 16-19 year olds.  Having read an article I found on Twitter I added in poll/survey branch. The University of Sussex looked at ways of making their Moodle more engaging by looking at the way in which Facebook displays information ( I need to make the content appealing and recognisable so it is easy to use through directed study. Making my course look familiar and modern will help towards this goal.

Using a Poll/Survey activity is something which is used on Facebook, and could be a good way of engaging with students. Embedding videos and interactive content using Adobe Captivate is another tool which can create interactive material.

Another tool which I want to use is the Moodle Lesson. I love the Moodle Lesson activity, having seen a video using this activity to create a role playing assessment (@moodlefairy it lends itself to some great scenarios for e-safety which the student can decide which route to go down.

Overall, I have the tools to create an engaging course, but all this depends on the content.

I’m next going to look at potential themes as I continue to learn Adobe Captivate. I watched a great training video by @poojajaisingh ( which gave some useful tips I didn’t know.

E-Safety Course – Learning the Tools

When I first started to think about the e-safety course, I was concerned with the skills I needed to create it.  A colleague had created a blended learning course in Moodle using information and quizzes created in this Adobe Captivate, so I set about learning this software.

I found some great tutorial videos by VHOT (Virtual Hands On Training Inc). The videos demonstrate step by step how to create an e-learning course called Safari Sam, and as I’ve used Adobe products in the past, (Photoshop, Fireworks, Flash and Illustrator) I was familiar enough with Adobe to following the videos easily.

I’ve really enjoyed using Captivate, and the project I’ve created works well.  I’ve added this as a SCORM package into Moodle and it works and adds the quiz scores to the grade book so this is looking good.

I then started to think about my e-safety course and how I could use Captivate. I’ve created a couple of templates with ideas of content, but it’s becoming apparent that I need to look at the content before I do anything more. I also want to look at the screen capture features of Captivate as this will be useful for demonstration.

So far so good, but the more I think about the content, the more I need to research about this. I will pick up the tools easily, but it’s important that the course content is spot on, otherwise there is no point to the course.  Will blog more on this later. For now it’s time to mind map and then think of the next step.

New Job!

I’ve currently taken on a new role as a learning technologist.  My background is IT as I was a computer programmer for 6 years working with Investment Banks, the past 5 years I’ve been in education teaching IT to 16-19 year olds, and more recently as a Higher Education Learning Mentor supporting HE students.

As a learning technologist all the different types experience I have has been really helpful. I’ve used Moodle throughout my career as a teacher and was always proactive in trying new technology with students, such as iPads, Wallwisher (now Padlet), Smartboards etc. My experience of using and teaching Adobe Photoshop and Flash has been invaluable as I am currently learning how to use Adobe Captivate in order to create e-learning course content.

This is particular important as I’m looking at producing an online course on e-safety. I’m reluctant to call it a mooc, as it is not going to be that big. I am going to blog about the process, ideas etc on this course in the hope that I can collaborate with others who have done something similar, or am thinking of doing something similar.

I’ll keep you posted with updates on how it is going, and I hope that I can share ideas as well learn and find out more information!