Welcome to the April e-newsletter from the NSW National VET E-Learning Strategy team.

What’s news?

E-learning Community of Practice update
Save the date:Official Launch Date announced 20 June 2014 10:30 AM
The official launch date for eCoP is June 2014. Details of the venue, time and guest speakers are currently being finalised. eCoP will be launched by Vicki Marchant, NSW FLAG member. Attendees will also get the opportunity to hear from some passionate guest speakers on the day. This event is open to all eCoP members. Although the launch will be held in Sydney there will also be a range of regional locations coming in via Adobe Connect. Please visit our website on a regular basis as information about his event will be made available once details are confirmed.

eCoP Membership is free and growing daily; we currently have 170 registered members nationally.

If you have a desire to learn, share and build the e-capability of eCoP members then this community might just be for you. Registrations are open now.
Once your registration is received, you will receive a confirmation email with more information about how you can be involved in our future activities.

Save the date:Meet up in Hyde Park, Sydney 7 May 2014 12:30 PM
An informal meet up has been scheduled for 7 May 2014. eCoP members in the Sydney region will be invited to meet in Hyde Park (BYO picnic and picnic rug). Our topic for discussion is E-Assessment. eCoP members should register for this event via the trybooking website.

Recent Media Releases

Accessible modern video for all

An accessible modern video player, with alternatives for older browsers is now available, thanks to the expansion of a National VET E-learning Strategy (Strategy) emerging technology trial.
Over two years, Victoria’s Kangan Institute undertook a two-stage trial that resulted in the creation of an HTML5 video player that warranted further development towards WCAG 2 AA (accessibility) compliance.

The first stage of the trial produced a manual aimed at web developers, with instructions for attaching closed captions (subtitles that provide a text version of audible information) to web-based video, for improved accessibility.

The second stage investigated how to insert audio description (voiced narration for the visually impaired) into videos, to provide a more accurate and complete rendition of the video content. This stage resulted in the development of a video player using standard HTML 5 with all JavaScript hidden in the background.
Late last year Kangan Institute and the Strategy’s E-standards Experts Group collaborated to further develop the video player to be keyboard and screen reader accessible, and enabling the viewer to change colour contrast and typeface for closed captions.
“I'm really excited about this”, says E-standards Expert Group member, Bronwyn Lapham. “Not only is the video player accessible, it is relatively easy for teachers and trainers to implement and looks great”, says Bronwyn.
“It is either the most accessible player I have used or very close to it”, says Andrew Downie, from the NSW Department of Education and Communities, who previewed the player recently.

For more information about the player and trials undertaken in previous years please visit the website and follow us on Twitter.

E-standards for training published

An updated set of technical standards for creating accessible and reusable e-learning content has been published for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

The 2014 VET E-standards for Training have been released, following ratification by the E-standards Expert Group, which comprises representatives from all states and territories, the Department of Industry, and other key cross-sectoral stakeholders.

Data was gathered from national and state-based VET specific sites, and more than 1.3 million visits were analysed so that the E-standards truly reflect technology in use in the sector. Key updates for 2014 include the partial support of HTML5, addition of the SVG image format and – optionally - WAI-ARIA to support enhanced accessibility. Linux was removed, as was Internet Explorer 7.

“E-standards are essential for planning, developing and managing e-learning resources for vocational education and training”, says E-standards Senior Technical Consultant, Bronwyn Lapham.

“E-standards make creation and delivery of e-learning easier by helping to ensure that resources operate consistently and are accessible to the widest possible audience”, says Bronwyn.

The annual e-standards review was undertaken by the New Generation Technologies business activity on behalf of the National VET E-learning Strategy.

This business activity researches potential technologies, standards and specifications in order to recommend and support implementation of those applicable to the VET sector.

For more information please visit the website and follow us on Twitter.

NSW Update

Vacancies still exist in some of our May programs. Upcoming programs include:
  • Using Social Media in my teaching 7 week program
    • Orientation 1 May 10:00 AM AEST
    • Developing online material 8 May 2014 10:30 AM AEST
    • How can you make you content suitable for Augmented Reality 12 May 2014 12:00 PM AEST
    • What’s all the fuss about e-learning strategy 26 May 2014 2:00 PM AEST
Visit the NSW Calendar for more information. Please note: all NSW sessions require registration.

National Events
  • There are a large number of webinars offered nationally. Please check out our National Calendar regularly for more information about what is on offer and how you can register.

Upcoming National Events and Conferences

ElNet Workplace Sydney Congress 2014

Friday, 16 May 2014
Cliftons Level 13, 60 Margaret Street Sydney NSW 2000
For more information please visit the ElNet website

2014 National VET Conference
Presented by: Velg Training, 11-12 September 2014
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
For more information please visit the Velg Training Website

Position Vacant
Can you help?The NSW CSH ITAB needs help with their Moodle update!
NSW CSH ITAB is seeking to hire someone for immediate one-off work to help with general maintenance of our Moodle atwww.workplaceskills.com.au . The work entails updating Moodle from version 1.9.11 to current version. Additionally we would like a CAPTCHA generator installed for account creation. If interested, please contact Kathy, office hours Mon-Wed, 02 98162869 or itab@csh-itab.com.au.
In the spotlight
Everyone seems to be talking about flipped classrooms lately. Of course, flipped classrooms are not a new thing they have been around for a while. In fact, you might already be flipping your classroom without even realising it.
If you want to find out more about flipped learning, you might find it helpful to watch the following YouTube videos:

Why I flipped my classroom
Teaching for Tomorrow: Flipped Learning
I Flip, You Flip, We all Flip: Setting up a flipped classroom

There is a really useful website called Flipped Learning Network with lots of information and downloadable resources
In a recent webinar, I talked about using social media as a tool to enrich learning, motivate learners and enhance your learning content so you are not just relying on video lectures and text readings. I hope you find it useful.

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Flex e news provides you with the latest information about Strategy events, funding opportunities and advances in e-learning.If you missed the latest version of Flex e news you can still view it online.

Contact us
Visit our website to see who the E-learning Advisors and Contact Services Advisor are for your state.