Have you heard of the infamous Wu Zetian, the only woman to rule China as Empress regnant (from 690–705) in more than four millennia? The woman whom legend tells strangled her own daughter for her shot at power, accusing her predecessors of witchcraft?
"Folklore has it that Zetian wore a yellow robe, usually reserved for monarchs", says Dr. O’Halloran. "She is one of only two women in Chinese history to wear it, so she was a trailblazer in many respects. I work in the field of Gender Studies, so these sort of details fascinate me".
Dr. O'Halloran did not learn about Zetian from her studies, however. She learned about Zetian from playing Sid Meier's turn-based strategy epic, Civilization V.
While nothing says 'welcome' more than a friendly smile and a cup of tea, an effective induction can greatly reduce the anxiety of new staff members starting at your workplace.
After recruiting new staff we recommend you create a short and engaging online induction program and allow the staff member to view and work through the program before they come on board.
Rather than having staff take time off work to sit through training sessions they may or may not remember, many organisations and companies are using technology-driven learning tools to present chunks of information to staff as they need it.
People's motivation to learn increases exponentially when they need to know something. The best way to foster this motivation is to provide an effective learning tool for people to use at that exact moment.
There are proven intersections between storytelling and neuroscience. Brain activity is known to be different when engaged in a story compared to when receiving other information such as straight facts and data.
A PowerPoint presentation, for example, will activate a certain part of the brain - the part where words get processed into meaning. If we add storytelling into the mix, the activity of the brain increases dramatically, heightening engagement and retention.
Here's an article to explore for our friends from the health and medical community.
It is a case study in how 3D printing and now 4D printing technologies are being used to help patients for whom implants and reconstructive surgery are vital.
4D printing is the use of 3D printers to create implants and internal reconstructive devices that can change and conform, even dissolve, over time.
The case study is that of a baby was born with bronchomalacia, weak cartilage in the walls of the bronchial tubes and who was confined to a respirator in order to be able to breathe.
The University of Michigan Hospital biomedical engineers created a 3D splint that meant he could come off the respirator and go home for the first time.
Well worth a read for anyone.
With ANZAC Day on Monday it's a good opportunity to explore the many, many online and elearning resources available to Australians who are either studying Australian History in its many forms or simply have a lifelong learning interest in Social or Family History and Genealogy.
The 2016 NMC Horizon Report - Higher Education Edition was released on 4th February.
This is the 13th Edition of the report and contains the findings from the Horizon Project.
This project is an ongoing research program that is designed to identify and describe emerging technologies that are likely to have an impact on teaching and learning and educational research.
It places, without bias or subjectivity, in the context of their likely impact on education, 6 significant challenges, 6 key trends, and 6 important technological developments.
The report contains a guide for planning in teaching, learning and administration.
The work that has produced the report, a joint effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and Educause, can be viewed on the project wiki at http://horizon.wiki.nmc.org.
The report itself can be found at: http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2016-higher-education-edition/
Whether participation is via a mobile device or a personal computer at home or office, the potential for virtual classrooms to bring people together for engaging and successful training is enormous. However, the potential for them to create group boredom is just as huge.
The virtual classroom is more than a stand-alone tool. It is NOT a lecture delivery mechanism. If you want to deliver lectures, make a YouTube video.
To be used to their full potential, the virtual classroom needs to be part of a blended approach of associated online and offline learning activities and it needs to be based on active learning strategies.
Facilitators new to the use of this technology are often tempted to treat it as a traditional classroom. They forget that there are elements in the physical classroom that are not present in the virtual room.
As part of the 2015 awards, Silvia Bretta (NTGPE) and Sarah Bock (eLearn Australia) recently attended the eLearning showcase in Melbourne to demonstrate CommDoc.
CommDoc is a language tool developed for GP Registrars and other health professionals working in communities across the Northern Territory, to culturally enhance interactions with Aboriginal patients.
The app was initiated and funded by Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) and developed by eLearn Australia in collaboration with Aboriginal clinics, communities, doctors, cultural educators and interpretive services.
Staff from the Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT), Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) and eLearn Australia presented research findings and the Working Well online learning resources at the recent LIME Connection VI conference in Townsville.
The LIME Network is dedicated to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning of Indigenous health in medical education, as well as best practice in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous medical students.
eLearn Australia recently conducted training for nursing staff at the University of Notre Dame in Broome.
The University delivers the Diploma of Nursing through a blended delivery method, which comprises the use of Blackboard Collaborate, the Maryanne Martin Virtual Hospital and face-to-face block weeks for clinical placement skills.
Lecturing staff integrate the Virtual Hospital case studies into their teaching strategies and can now update the hospital as they need to, using tools in Blackboard.
eLearn Australia continues to be inspired by the University's innovative approach to teaching and learning; in particular how elearning tools are used to increase participation and access for remote students in the Kimberley.
One in five Indigenous Australians die early as a result of smoking. No Smokes is about changing that.
No Smokes is an innovative anti-smoking initiative that uses videos, animations, music, games and other fun stuff to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders quit smoking.
Follow the new guest blogger Theresa Paterson on her quitting journey as she shares her thoughts and experiences on the No Smokes blog.
Sarah Bock from eLearn Australia recently delivered a talk around the topic of narcissism and how it relates to the use of the internet.
In my work as an elearning developer I have been doing research around student centred learning and in this process have been looking at the relationship between narcissism and the web.
Narcissism refers to an 'inflated view of the self' and a 'relative indifference to others'. There is an inverse relationship between narcissism and empathy. The more self-focussed a person is, the less empathy they have for others. And this is what I think is a bit of a concern.
A lot of research shows that narcissism is increasing, particularly in young people between 18-19.
This rise has often been associated with the increasing use of social media and the internet.