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EIT Edublogger Shortlisted for Award

December 21, 2010

EIT eLearning advisor Joyce Seitzinger is feeling ‘tickled pink’ to be in the running for a prestigious Edublog Award.

The international awards, widely known as the ‘Eddies’, acknowledge blogging and social media in education. http://edublogawards.com/

Two bloggers nominated Joyce for the best individual blog post category for developing and sharing her Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers with the online education community. Her post was shortlisted and now voting is underway online with winners to be announced later this month.

Joyce originally designed her poster-sized guide to help EIT teachers select the most appropriate Moodle tool for the learning task at hand. A web-based system to support online learning for educational and training organisations, Moodle is widely used in New Zealand and overseas.

At EIT, Joyce says it is ‘base camp’ for staff to explore and develop online innovations and incorporate these into their teaching practice.

Moodle powers the Eastern Institute of Technology’s online and blended learning programmes, including the Bachelor’s degree in viticulture and wine science, the New Zealand Diploma in Business, the Master of Nursing degree and the Bachelor of Applied Social Science.

Joyce, who completed a Master in Education Technology after moving to New Zealand from the Netherlands, spends a lot of time exploring educational technology and social media, particularly looking at how they can be used for teaching and learning.

Her Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers employs a grid system of cross-referenced steps that works users through what tools they might want to use and measures these against what it is that they want to achieve with their students.

Traffic light colours reinforce the guide’s usefulness for picking the right tool for the job and pinpointing strengths and weaknesses of the tools. While green tells the user that a tool will be a great fit for a particular purpose, red flags that the tool being considered is not the best for the job. Amber means a tool can work with some learning design.

While the guide was designed with EIT in mind, Joyce felt it would also be useful for other teachers using Moodle.

She posted it on her blog in May and it immediately went ‘ballistic’ as her colleagues in the Moodle community on Twitter shared the link again and again. Currently the poster has been downloaded 7300 times, and the blog post itself has 17,300 views.

Joyce explains that the new ‘creative commons’ licence for the online guide allows users to download and adapt the guide, so long as they credit EIT and share their modifications online.

The guide is now available in French, Hebrew, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian and Slovene and is currently being translated into even more languages. One institution has adapted it to suit people who are colour-blind.

While Joyce is delighted that the huge number of posts on her blog validates the usefulness of her guide, she believes its success is really ‘a tale of the power of the network’—as people share it, build on it and recreate it for their own purposes.

‘It’s not about me,’ she insists. ‘It’s been an idea waiting to happen, and the community is making it even better.’

Sharing on online educational resource is a new way for a teacher to gain peer recognition, says Joyce, who has already presented her guide at two Australian conferences.