“Go away and inspire people” – My notes from #LearnPod13

Another year and another big unconference for post-16 learning. Today I attended LearnPod13 organised by Jisc RSC YH and Doncaster College.

Session 1: Informal social media use in education, led by @_Daniel_Scott

  • social media used as communication tools, e.g. Facebook page, library Twitter
  • Students see Facebook mainly for family and friends – why not try and use LinkedIn for education then?
  • Example: closed LinkedIn group
  • institutions might block social media sites, organisational policies can stop effective usage of social media with students – make a case for the social media you want to use and why and challenge your IT department/senior management. Make them understand that usage won’t automatically lead to abuse. Show them the impact it could (will) have (“do and ask for forgiveness later”).
  • LinkedIn can be used to build student’s CV and profile throughout the year, and they can use it for job hunting afterwards
  • “lurking” on social media is okay – it’s good to be skeptical (especially in relation to social media)
  • you can never look at social media as replacement for organisational tools, e.g. VLE, but they can enhance the learning/teaching experience
  • students need to know about social media and other tools to help them in work later/after college
  • important to agree guidelines and objectives before using social media in class
  • tools people use with learners: Facebook, Prezi, Sokrative, Wordle, Padlet (ex-Wallwisher), SyncIn, LinoIt, Evernote

Session 2: MOOCs – like them or not? Led by @makoto_inoue


  • discussion about what MOOCs are and options of accreditation
  • why do people drop out? -> missed assignments, not interesting/relevant, lack of knowledge/skills to follow course, completion not everyone’s aim anyway
  • at the moment main aim for providers: retention
  • Can MOOCs make an organisation any money, realistically? Is it ethical to charge?
  • Coursera feels very much like HE, “filtering out”
  • Udacity more focused on everyone completing
  • who are MOOCs aimed at, higher educated people? -> are they really open to everyone? It seems that you have to know how to learn to succeed.
  • MOOCs do not equal Open Education
  • only top universities invited to contribute to e.g. FutureLearn
  • could FE work in similar way to promote FE colleges?
  • xMOOC vs. cMOOC: have a look at this link
  • is it necessary to produce your own? see what’s available first before wasting time and effort

Session 3: sharing useful tools for learning and teaching, led by @GrahamRichards

Notes on PiratePad.

Most useful to me: Pearltrees

Session 4: Learning through play, led by @johnpopham

  • blurring boundaries (work/life) are okay, and even good, if you like your job
  • “work should be enjoyable”
  • engage people
  • teach people through what they are interested in/passionate about
  • games need to challenge the mind to engage and for learners not to feel patronised
  • storytelling is important
  • http://bettakultcha.com/
  • http://vine.co/: share videos
  • http://www.ourdigitalplanet.co.uk/
  • “Go away and inspire people” (John Popham)


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