Tag: Australia

E-Learning events in the Asia-Pacific region 2012

With 2012 gathering steam, it’s time to plan the next round of professional development events to attend.

If you’ll be in my corner of the globe over the next 12 months, may I draw your attention to the following…

Man working on computer at the beach

Australian eLearning Congress
• Where: Sydney
• When: 7-9 February 2012
• Theme: eLearning business case studies
• More info: Ark Group

Learning Cafe Unconference
• Where: Sydney
• When: 16 February 2012
• Theme: Near future of learning in Australia
• More info: Learning Cafe

Australian Instructional Design Conference
• Where: Sydney
• When: 21 March 2012
• Theme: Designing instructionally sound and engaging learning
• More info: LearnX Foundation

Blended Learning Conference
• Where: Sydney
• When: 21-23 March 2012
• Theme: Engaging learners with innovative solutions
• More info: Liquid Learning

International Conference on Teaching with Technology
• Where: Singapore
• When: 27-30 March 2012
• Theme: Do IT! Transform learning, shape the future
• More info: ISTE

AITD National Conference
• Where: Sydney
• When: 18-19 April 2012
• Theme: Learning strategy, training techniques and technology
• More info: AITD

CeBIT Australia
• Where: Sydney
• When: 22-24 May 2012
• Theme: Stay ahead of the game
• More info: CeBIT

International Conference on Human Computer Interaction
• Where: Tokyo
• When: 29-30 May 2012
• Theme: HCI experiences, research, challenges and solutions
• More info: WASET

eLearning Forum Asia
• Where: Beijing
• When: 12-14 June 2012
• Theme: Engaging technology-driven learners
• More info: Peking University

International Conference on E-Learning
• Where: Hong Kong
• When: 21-22 June 2012
• Theme: Open educational resources
• More info: Academic Conferences International

PLE Conference
• Where: Melbourne
• When: 11-13 July 2012
• More info: PLE2012

KM Australia Congress
• Where: Sydney
• When: 24-26 July 2012
• Theme: Putting the pieces together
• More info: KM Australia

LearnX Asia Pacific
• Where: Melbourne
• When: 29-30 August 2012
• Theme: Learning today for tomorrow’s success
• More info: LearnX

World Human Resources Congress
• Where: Melbourne
• When: 25-28 September 2012
• Theme: What does the future hold? How will business evolve?
• More info: HRIZON

• Where: Auckland
• When: 10-12 October 2012
• Theme: Collaborate, innovate, educate
• More info: CORE Education

Ascilite Annual Conference
• Where: Wellington
• When: 25-28 November 2012
• Theme: Future challenges and sustainable futures
• More info: Ascilite

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you are aware of other events in the Asia-Pacific region, please add a comment below…

On the Money

I had so much fun creating Australia’s Nobel Laureates, I decided to create another simple interactive learning object.

This one’s called On the Money and it pays homage to the great people who feature on Australia’s currency:

Australia's Nobel Laureates

On the Money

Launch the learning object

Download the files

This time I used Adobe Captivate 5.5. I’m still getting used to it, but I see the residual rollover effects have been fixed.

I also used audio this time to increase media richness.

If I were to create this learning object again, I would probably make better use of Captivate’s master slide functionality.

Australia’s Nobel Laureates

The Nobel Prizes will be announced next week in Norway and Sweden.

Despite a few controversial decisions over the years, the awards have retained their international prestige for well over a century.

In honour of the event, I have created a simple learning object that showcases the Nobel Laureates from my own country:

Australia's Nobel Laureates

Australia’s Nobel LaureatesDownload the files

This object was relatively easy to produce, and it surprises me that there isn’t more of this kind of thing in the education space.

To remedy the situation, I would like to share with you the 3 steps I took to create my learning object, and in doing so demonstrate the fact that just about anyone can do it.

My caveat is that I am neither a multimedia developer nor a graphic designer – though my role often involves wearing those hats. There are probably better of ways of doing this, but the following worked for me…

Step 1: Create a bunch of image files

My learning object accommodates 10 Nobel Laureates, so I created 10 images in PaintShop Pro, plus a landing image.

On each one I placed the title and subtitle, the mugshots, plus the content that was unique to each laureate (year, name, prize and motivation).

I’m a big fan of layers. You may have noticed I put a background image on the base layer, then overlayed that with a semi-transparent blue floodfill, over which I laid an image of the Nobel medal, over which I laid another a semi-transparent blue floodfill.

Of course you don’t need to go to all that trouble; you can use a plain background. However I think the layering effect adds an aesthetic richness.

Once I got the first image right, I copied it and edited the unique content for the next image. That way I didn’t have to re-do the titling and background.

Step 2: Import into Captivate

After I got all my images in order, I inserted each one onto its own slide in Adobe Captivate 3, ensuring the canvas size was exactly the same as the image dimensions (in this case, 1024 x 768).

Then I added a transparent button to each slide to execute a pause, inserted a click box over each mugshot, then pointed the click boxes to their respective target slides.

Note: I tried incorporating rollovers, but residual effects were screwing it up. My friend and Captivate guru, Marnie Bristow, tells me this glitch has been fixed in the latest version of the software.

Step 3: Publish it

I could have done Step 2 in PowerPoint. If you prefer it and it works for your audience, go for it. However, there are some good reasons to shell out the extra cash and go with Captivate:

• You can publish in swf format, which is really small to download;
• You can add SCORM, if you are that way inclined; and
• You can also record system simulations, which is what it’s designed for!

When I published my learning object in Captivate, the software produced a swf file, an accompanying skin, an html host, and a javascript source. All four need to travel together, so I uploaded them to a folder in Dropbox, then linked to the html file.

My learning object files on Dropbox

You should be able to do something similar on your own web server, intranet, LMS or VLE.

By the way, I realised I stuffed up by making the learning object so big. While most monitors have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater, I forgot about toolbars and the like that compete for real estate. Luckily I had a couple of “get out jail free” cards up my sleeve:

1. Resize the project in Captivate; or
2. Edit the dimensions of the object in the coding of the html file.

I decided to go with the latter because, if someone wants to use the bigger object, I might as well let them.


So there you have it: How to create an interactive learning object in 3 steps.

Hopefully you are brimming with ideas about your own learning objects that you will make.

And if an Australian wins a Nobel Prize next week, I won’t mind updating mine. In fact, I have my fingers crossed!

Honest football

As Australia bows out of the World Cup, please forgive my first‑ever off‑topic post…

Australia v Serbia

As usual, the Socceroo journey was characterised by adversity.

The ball was the first bone of contention: neither the A‑League nor the EPL (where many Aussies play) had used the physics-defying Jabulani, while the Bundesliga had been using it since January.

Our first opponent? Germany.

Following our 4-0 drubbing by the Mannschaft, out came the predictable rumours of discontent in the camp. Given Australia’s squabbling during the 2007 Asian Cup, it was believable.

However, my constant source of consternation is the inconsistent and, in my view, biased behaviour of the referees.

For example, what’s the difference between the following incidents?

Incident A: The defending player clumsily falls into the opposing player, knocking his calf and catching his foot with his shin.

Incident B: The defending player launches into the opposing player, feet first, studs up.

Tim Cahill receives a red card

Answer: Incident A was committed by an Australian and attracted a red card, while Incident B was committed by a Spaniard and – according to the referee – did not even warrant a free kick.


Not convinced?

OK, what’s the difference between these incidents?

Incident C: The defending player is standing on his goal line when an opposing player rockets it towards him from outside the six-yard box. In an instant the ball crashes into his shoulder and rolls down his arm.

Incident D: The attacking player chips the ball over a defender, raises his arm to tap the ball to his feet, then scores.

Luis Fabian handles the ball before scoring

Answer: Incident C was committed by an Australian and attracted a red card. In contrast, Incident D was committed by a Brazilian, the goal stands, and the FIFA-appointed referee had a little chuckle about it with the player.

Bocó de mola.

Onwards and upwards

But this article isn’t about sour grapes. I concede we got out-played.

Nor is the article about FIFA-sponsored incompetence and injustice.

It’s about overcoming all of that.

A new approach

In the 1970s, the Dutch perfected the art of “Total Football”, whereby any player can step into any position on the field and maintain the structural potency of the team. Ajax used it to take out their national league and several European cups, while the Oranje rode it into the 1974 World Cup final – and nearly won it.

Johan Cruyff

Now I certainly don’t suggest that the Socceroos adopt total football as a panacea, although we inevitably need to incorporate elements of it into our blueprint.

No – with a population barely cracking 20 million, a football market cannibalised by four competing codes (not to mention cricket), and the tyranny of distance denying us frequent quality competition, our technical prowess isn’t going to escalate overnight.

Combine that with our general lack of clout among the Europeans and South Americans who control FIFA. The Socceroos will be considered minnows of the game for the foreseeable future, and we will be treated with commensurate disdain.

We need to do something different

I suggest we take a leaf out of Holland’s book and develop our own style of football. Something that will complement Australia’s natural strengths of spirit, determination, and a dash of British sportsmanship.

I call it “Honest Football”…

• No diving.
• No faking mortal injury.
• No contesting throw-ins you know aren’t yours.
• No calling off-sides you know don’t exist.
• No claiming goal kicks you know are corners.
• No rough play.

In other words, forget all the gamesmanship and focus on playing pure football.

Revolutionary, eh?

This idea may seem counterproductive, especially when every other team will be whinging and whining and cheating their way through tournaments.

But there’s no point in competing on that level. We can’t do it as well as they can, we don’t even want to do it, and referees don’t take much notice of us anyway.

Let’s turn our problems on their heads

We all know football is about perception, so let’s build our own reputation for clean play.

If we are genuine about it, we might be able to generate goodwill, and in a more practical sense, persuade referees to treat us more fairly.

We might as well give it a go. The way I see it, we have nothing to lose.

Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill