Coach Carole Ramblings

Celtic, Mythical and More …


Benefits of blogging?

Today I am reflecting on my own use of blogging over the last few years! You are invited to comment below about your own reflections.

Baranduda Blog: this one goes back several years and I realised that I would not have time to maintain in 2012. In January I began to populate posts in here from my ScoopIt! research. I set up one ScoopIt called ‘Learn Local about eLearning‘ to automatically post any new Scoops back here into the Baranduda Blog. This had the desired effect – keeping active posts happening – but they were not my own content. this is my new business site and is also a WordPress blog and I’ve been aiming to keep that one active in different ways. The most recent of which is to use a Post to Launch a Live Blog or two. I use CoverItLive software to do that and embed it straight into the page.

Celtic Family History blog: this is my blog for family history writing and it gets updated from time to time, when I have time for my Genealogy. This one keeps all my stories together in chronological order of writing.

Oh Life! this is my daily reflection reminder blog that is the easiest one of them all to maintain. I have set this one to remind me each evening at 7 pm to reflect and I do that by simply replying to the reminder in my email with as much or as little as I want to record. This one is for my personal reflections and not for sharing with the world.

What’s your blogging style?

Commissioner CC: joining the EpCoP Case

Participants in the EpCoP MOOC are getting involved in the Epcop Case – created by Detective Ryan Peterovski and followed by many ‘agents’.

This week I’ve been exploring a few tools to help store the ‘clues’ from the EpCoP Case. I have had some fun and new learning with:

  • Scoop It
  • NetVibes
  • LiveBinders

and have added those as artefacts in my EpCoP MOOC eportfolio page.

Now I’m leaving clues for other places to find my resources for the EpCoP Case – being investigated by Detective Ryan Peterovski – and my most recent clue is showing on the EpCoP Evidence Map. At first I found this task to be complex and confusing, I had used Google Maps before but I had not been able to upload my photo of the evidence to the map. Today I was fortunate to read the instructions from @CaptPoirot in the Novice help Line group in the Ning community and made some headway in this challenge.

Here’s clue number one:

In the old days (pre 2010) I stored most of my artefacts on a USB – yes quaint and old fashioned I know – but it was useful when moving from one computer to the other. Portability and storage was what I was after.

I could create artefacts at work, at home, at a workshop or at a conference then I could save them to my USB. Then I could add them to my eportfolios whenever I liked.

The problem with USBs is they can easily be lost and they fill up really quickly. The other issue I had was what version of the artefact was stored on the USB? I ended up with several versions of the same thing – confusing.

Reflections: ementoring 2008

Ementoring for the Hume group

Some reflections from another space, another time about experiences with the coordinators and managers of community centres in the NE Victoria. The text below reflects on my learning that took place during the project.

Date: May 24, 2008

This page will display some of my reflections over the duration of the ‘step into an elearning journey’ project with the ACFE Hume group.

This page can be viewed as an exemplar for personal reflective styles.

Date: May 26, 2008

‘Taking your first step
‘ discussion forum created to invite participants in to share their visions of where they want to be at the end of their elearning journey.

Workshop outline document created to provide a framework for the tasks, events, learning, reflection and mentoring that will take place for the duration of the program.

Planning for the first ‘live blog’ event to incorporate collaboration, instruction, discussion, facilitation, imagery, required reading and viewing in preparation for the suite of workshops to follow.

Date: May 29, 2008
Great excitement this evening as I welcomed our first new member to the site, Josie Rose. As each new member arrives I plan to send them a Request to become a friend and a Message of welcome.

I have also prepared a draft outline of the content for each of the activities listed in our Workshop Schedule and will send that out to participants in the ACFE Hume program for their approval, then attach it as a Word Document here in the wiki.

Date: June 04, 2008
The last week has seen great progress in getting the ementoring projects underway. There are nominated ementors for each ACFE region in Victoria and they are to be announced soon. I am proud to be one them.
The ementors will meet f2f in Melbourne on the 1st of August and we are each asked to prepare a 10 minute presentation about our progress with our teams.

The workshop scheduled dates have been approved by the Hume office and I’ll present those at tomorrow’s live blog with participants. Invitations for this event have been sent out and so far two people have responded. I expect that some will just drop in. Now we can get down to the planning aspect for this program.

Date: June 05, 2008
A group of six participants met online in a Live Blog this afternoon and we were able to collaborate on the structuring of our journey together. For some it was a ‘first time’ experience of synchronous communication and others said that they preferred a virtual classroom like Elluminate. The Live Blog intro enabled a simple first step as there was no download requirement or the need for special equipment. Participants could choose to contribute in text or watch. For me I found that it provided a gentle start to our building of trust as a group and I was able to gauge to some degree how to plan for their elearning experiences.

One important action for me came out of the Live Blog, I need to provide a Glossary of elearning terms in this wiki.

Date: June 11, 2008
This week I plan to make further communication with the group and to send out a simple survey for them to complete. The survey will ask them about their elearning capabilities and their workshop attendance, along with some questions about their innovative practices at their organisations. The purpose of the survey will be to determine how best to structure the ‘step into’ program for them and to enable their collaboration on the components they wish to explore.

Date: June 14, 2008
Today I have made some preparations for the first workshop to suit both the f2f and online participants. This is intended to demonstrate how a ‘blended’ approach might be applied. So far there have been 3 responses to the survey and 8 participants have agreed to join the program. 4 of the group have now joined this wiki and 2 have created their own pages.

I think it would be sensible to follow the tours and tasks available in the newly renovated ‘Designing and Implementing Elearning’ website at: .

Date: June 26, 2008

It has been one month since I began this ‘blog’ page and so many things have happened – as you can see from the above comments – we’re off to a fine start. Today I made contact by phone with as many of the group as I could and was able to provide some personal assistance, advice and tutorials. The telephone is still a good strategy. ūüôā

Follow up emails will advise the group about our planned online meeting in Skype on July 7th and to choose a suitable time to suit everyone. This is scheduled during Term Two break when time is a little freer for us.

We now have 11 participants ready to go, 4 members have created their own ‘blog’ page, and 6 participants have completed the online survey.

Date: July 1, 2008

Rescheduled my trip to Mt Beauty today to see Yvonne, as the wet weather and windy conditions put me off that drive. Planning to stay indoors today instead and catch up with my e-learning. If anyone is reading this today I’ll be online in Skype. My identity there is coach.carole
If you are just setting up Skype please add me as a contact and let me know your Skype identity.

Date: July 14, 2008

We have successfully scheduled two Skype chats – one in text on July 5 and one with voice on July 14. Once again I was reminded to check if all pieces of technology are working for everyone – e.g. check that audio is not muted on PC or on headset!

I member has dropped out due to workload and time issues and I have not heard from one or two others recently – must give them a call this week.

Several personal ‘blog’ pages have now been created in our wiki and the group is feeling more comfortable in the navigation and purpose of our wiki. Planning for workshop 2 at Benalla is now complete and we look forward to meeting the group members for this f2f meeting.

Date: July 17, 2008

Yesterday’s workshop no. 2 was a real buzz for me as I watched the group enthusiastically using their new tools in this wiki with confidence and ease. I was apprehensive about which of our ‘virtual classroom’ tools was going to work. Repeated attempts with Elluminate Live failed; as did our access to DiscoverE – unfortunately this meant that we were unable to link up with our guest presenter Dot Waterhouse as planned. We then opted to try the Wimba Live Classroom and we had more success with that one. We stumbled through the various ‘blockers’ in the network we were controlled by and eventually gained access to ACE Room 1. No audio unfortunately – needed an IT technician to sort that one out – another learning curve. We were able to practice using all other functions and tools and it was a useful experience for our group – virtual classroom were seen with great enthusiasm as methods of enhancing learning for their students in remote locations.

We have planned to step the group through the process of creating their own Elluminate Live V room during our next Skype chat on July 21.

Date: July 27, 2008

Our Skype activity on July 21 brought together a number of the group members successfully to meet virtually with the ‘core group’. Once everyone was online in a Skype conference, I walked them through the steps of creating their free Elluminate V room then how to access and enter a shared Elluminate room. For many this was there first look at Elluminate and they were impressed. They decided that the Monday morning meetings should take place in there. (Some of the group wish to explore the use of Live Classrooms as part of their elearning plan – especially knowing that opportunity is offered by ACFE free of charge.)

Note: it was important to step into the virtual classroom slowly and to make sure that everyone could see its potential as a component in their ‘blended’ learning model.

The next focus for the group will be on ‘blended learning models’.

Date: August 15, 2008

Today we met at the beautiful facility at Mooroopna and Leeane was our hostess. We met Michael and Jill in the flesh for the first time and our group drew them into the community as friends on the same journey. Some initial round table discussions really enabled the group to air their concerns and to enthusiastically talk about their plans. A brainstorming session enabled us all to identify the critical benefits in using a collection of e-learning tools and strategies – these we put on the whiteboard. See below for the digital image of this.

We followed up by updating our pages in the wiki and then learning about some really cool social bookmarking tools: we all now have a Delicious account and we’ve shared these with everyone in our own pages. Click on anyone in the Hume Gallery to find their page and their shared bookmarks.

VITTA conference


Twitter notes I took today consisted of these:

cmcculloch who will take us thru the next 5000 days – we need more ICT warriors/champions
cmcculloch consolidation & closing down – flavour of learning institutes
cmcculloch think about the last 5000 days – things we use now, not thought of them, then
cmcculloch microsoft evangellist

and these:

cmcculloch i think i really like joomla for community centres
cmcculloch use Skype interviews for finalists in japanese speech contest – 25 call now availavailable
cmcculloch joomla CMS provides multiple permission levels
cmcculloch JSA Australia – using joomla site to upload voice sample to CMS, online submission, judging online
cmcculloch now Joomla for a Japanese contest
cmcculloch wow uwe have a lot to learn about canteen issues from Japanese schools
cmcculloch global exchange eg lunch – a cultural difference japan & aust
cmcculloch now moving into Moodle for a VLE
cmcculloch upload an mp3 file to aaa wikispace – you get the player controls atomatically – i didn’t know that
cmcculloch use of wikispaces for japanese students – great use of discussions and history functions
cmcculloch levels of trust, profanity filterrd out
cmcculloch good background monitoring tool, eg. approval of msgs by teacher
cmcculloch a responsible way to use emails for yr 7 kids

and these ….

cmcculloch http://www.epals com – find a mirror of your class globally
cmcculloch thanks to clown prince malcolm jolly, lion tamer caryl oliver, juggler kate jeffrey
cmcculloch well my ringmaster tasks in a three ring circus was successful – elluminate behaved perfectly

A most unusual setting for a conference with lots of movement between Hotel rooms for the breakouts at Rydges Bell City in Preston. Little time between workshops – always challenging – but some fabulous presentations.

There really are some fantastic elearning things happening in Victorian primary and secondary schools.

I was however, once again reminded, that when presenting at a conference one needs to be:

  • punctual to start on time
  • efficient in use of time
  • effective in getting your message across
  • engaging in showcasing, collaborating and/or informing
  • prompt to finish on time

Another really effective strategy is to be a really good storyteller Рthe final keynote speaker was like that today. He told us a story with pictures about Ulrick who wanted to become a warrior and how he eventually became chief. This was a metaphor for how we could view ourselves as teachers using ICT effectively Рnow I have this wonderful visual in my head about e-learning warriors.

It was also wonderful to see that the kids at Mt Waverley Primary School had won the Innovation award for Primary schools and were ably assisted in doing this by Lee King -their ICT leading teacher. This is one school who have used Digital Storytelling strategies to perfection.

I met up with a fellow Wodonga teacher and was able to make connections with her re the Ultranet Coaches Program and hopefully will be able to now start talking with Wodonga Secondary College about eportfolios.

Some serendipity happens and certainly, as their conference title says, SHIFT HAPPENS!

Ringmaster in a Three Ring Circus

My Elluminate mentor Jonathon Finkelstein coined this phrase recently and I’ve adopted it when describing what a moderator does in an Elluminate live session.

I will be presenting a hands on workshop for teachers in Victorian schools at the upcoming VITTA conference in Melbourne next week and I will demonstrate and share the tips and tricks of skilled moderators. There will be some juggling, some lion taming, some clowning around and maybe even a couple of magic tricks – all to be managed by the ringmaster – perhaps I should wear a top hat and tails and carry a big whip. Hmm, that appeals!



Now what would you include in the tips and tricks of a Ringmaster in a Three Ring Circus?

Two down and two to go!

The CSTP course has exceeeded my expectations and I am having a great deal of fun in the mix. Jonathan has set us some ‘fun work’ to do between each live session. Focussing these tasks on something that we need to prepare for our projects and to ‘Elluminate’ it has been a really great idea. So far I’ve produced a set of Elluminate Live Calistenics activites (useful for giving participants a physical break in a long session online) and two web research activities for groups who are focussed on eportfolios.

I really like the way that Jonathan enables each participant to take part fully online and to blend their ideas into the content of the lesson. There is obviously a great deal of care and attention to the work we’ve submitted in the Ideas Drop Box before each session and this has encouraged others to think that their contributions might be highlighted at the next one.

The complete Ideas Drop Box is now full of fantastic ideas, with instructions for using them yourself, in our own Elluminate teaching or presenting events. What a terrific way to build a repository of ‘Elluminated learning objects’ that can be shared.

I wonder what Jonathan has in store for us in the next two live sessions in Elluminate! I know I’ll be surprised, amazed and engaged.

Let’s see if my animated exercise cartoons work in here?



I plan to come back to report on the final sessions in my next blog post.

Ingredients in the blend!

Today we took another step forward in our elearning journey by gathering in Elluminate. This environment enabled us to explore how we may blend the use of a virtual classroom with our courseware delivery. The demand for more flexibility in learning in regional communities is really growing now as our client base becomes even more ‘time poor’ and far more conscious of travel costs, not the least of which is the high cost of petrol. Such costs are putting pressure on learner ability to attend traditional f2f classes in the Community Centres and Neighbourhood Houses and coordinators are now preparing to meet that demand.

Centres are now considering how¬†the benefits of blending some ‘Virtual classes’ will add value for their community courses. Blended approaches are a definite ‘site seeing destinatio’ in their journeys. Today we travelled to the Tasmanian Community Access Centres blended approach – cleverly showcased in the Designing E-learning website at:¬†During this stopover we were able to ‘unpack’ this valuable ‘blended learning model’ presented as a diagram. (see below)

a blended approach for Cert II in Business

a blended approach for Cert II in Business

What I am really looking for now is a range of ‘models’ that we can look at that would be relevant and suitable for the centres in the NE of Victoria.

Here are some of the ingredients for their blending:

  • blogs such as WordPress
  • wikis such as Wetpaint
  • learning management systems such as Moodle or TAFE VC Vista
  • traditional classroom lessons and supplementary materials uploaded to LMS
  • online virtual classroom tutorials/webinars such as Live Classroom or Elluminate Live
  • eportfolios and reflective practice using online journalling
  • voice communication tools such as Skype

My next item on the wish list is an easy to use tool that will enable practitioners to display their chosen blends¬†in engaging ways. For instance here’s a couple that I have been experimenting with:

  • SmartShapes using PowerPoint 2007
  • Learning objects using ARED v2
  • Learning sequences using Raptivity

Now I just need to put my ‘quest’ for blending tools out there to gather the ‘wisdom of the crowd’! I am going to try diigo for that. I hope you’re in the diigo loop!

Wordle – my new best friend!

What a clever little tool this is. I can use it to create nice, crisp images made up from a bunch of words describing something specific. The tool does the random display and jumbling of these words to create a great little image that I can then use to illustrate pages in my wiki or blog.

Here’s an example produced recently to illustrate some Elluminate training I’m scheduling:

Elluminate Live practice

Elluminate Live practice


Blogging for reflection!

The Bamboo Project certainly inspired me to make more regular postings in my blog here in WordPress – to do that I need to gather up my thoughts from various web spaces and present them here as reminders of what I’ve done this month and what I’ve had to say!


After some discussion with community members in the EdNA group I am delighted that a couple of eportfolio enthusiasts have agreed to come over to my personal-eportfolio wikispace and add their own page of information: this gives us the UK experience and the AU experience. I will draw on my network and invite a few others there too.

A new group of ep enthusiasts are now building their knowledge of the ep environment and will soon be launching into the planning and production of their own ep artefacts at Wodonga TAFE in the NE of Victoria. They are currently researching eps and sharing information with the group in a wiki I developed for them as their ementor.

Elearning journeys!

Everyone needs to find their own path when starting on an elearning journey – what’s important for them will guide them in which tools to research and which models to follow. I am rediscovering the usefulness of the Designing and Implementing Elearning resource and encouraging a small group of travellers to explore it with me.

A small group of community centre staff are following my lead in their first steps into elearning and getting comfortable in sharing their itineraries with the group in the wiki space I developed for them as their ementor.

Innovate, Integrate or just RENOVATE!

I will be preparing some new material for sharing the strategies and models of embedding innovative practices as part of my role as facilitator in the Innovate and Integrate program for 2008. Currently I am exploring some free developer tools for representing the key findings of the Jasinki Report and doing some renovating of my own.

Using the Applications for Rapid E-learning Development (ARED) tool I can create some visual and interactive resources as part of my kit of workshop materials for ’embedding innovative practices’.

Knowledge Bank Online Events

The KBOE¬†project has opened up new opportunities for liaison with teachers in primary and secondary schools in their journeys into the use of virtual classrooms. We have successfully scheduled six live online seminars so far this year – and the recent one delivered by Dr John Long from Museum Victoria had the children engaged and in the palm of his hand.¬†We also scheduled a¬†full day set of virtual webinars for the Maroondah Youth Conference. It was during this event that I learned some new skills on how to ‘moderate’ a group of rebel youngsters in the Elluminate environment.

The next big scheduled conference is: Learning in a changing world – Web 2.0 and beyond: 2008 (July 22-23). This will draw together a number of excellent examples of the use of Web 2.0 tools in the school system. Stay tuned for some reflections on that later in July.

Digital Storytelling

Had a go at Voice Thread this weekend to see what could be done with this tool for creating quick and simple digital stories. On reflection I think I’d need to purchase the full suite to explore its potential in full – I’ve seen some great examples of how this approach to ‘narrative’ learning objects can be used to advantage, so will continue to explore.

Recently I discovered how simple it is to starte creating a digital story by selecting that option whilst viewing my lastest uploaded images. My new laptop and operating system came with the latest Vista Movie Maker program installed and it prompted me to explore MM once more with this built in option. If I hadn’t seen that I would not have realised that I had the newest MM in my hands.

Experimenting with this I build a short movie (an ep for the younger child) from some voice clips and digital images of my granddaughter’s school work. So once again I am rediscovering and renovating some innovative practices in creating ep artefacts.

Back to the drawing board!……

One minute manager!

In response to the first challenge in the ‘Web 2.0 Wednesdays’ here’s my contribution to the one minute instruction on starting out with a new team on an elearning journey:

Add these items to your To-Do List:

  1. create a wiki as a shared space
  2. create a Surveyshare survey and email to group
  3. create a Wufoo form and email link to group
  4. get an SMS Desktop Messaging system and SMS your team
  5. setup a Tumblr account for sending images by mobile phone then email details to your team
  6. create a Trumba account for registering for events online and attach to a wiki page
  7. setup a WordPress Blog for your own reflections and email a link to your team
  8. share relevant documents with your team using Google Docs
  9. share your schedule/planner with your team using Google Calendar
  10. setup a free 24/7 office with Elluminate Live V room

Now print your list and keep it beside you as you take a little more time to follow each task.