Writings on literacy and e-learning

Via this part of the site: michalk.id.au/txt

  • Writings Reclaimed
    by Michael Chalk on March 23, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I decided to bring posts to this blog from other projects, such as: Digital Learning at PRACE Digital Learning at Lalor Living and Learning ACFE Learn Local Communities of Practice the North-West e-mentor projects from ACFE Learn Local iPad for Seniors at PRACE the 23 Things project from ACFE, CAE and PRACE.   Having written nearly all the text in those places, i wanted gather it all together. It was relatively easy to export from Blogger, and then import into WordPress here. Unfortunately, now i’ve discovered several roadblocks, namely: the embedded multimedia doesn’t always import very well (actually not at all) several of the posts from the NW e-mentor projects were actually written by my very wonderful colleagues Jill Koppel and Ann Hardingham categories and tags get quite messy. Essentially this means i’ve given myself a lot more work to tidy up all that now. Ah well, this will make me focus and upgrade in the next little while. If you notice any weird things, please add a comment or tweet at me. […]

  • Mark Hopkins’ story translated into many languages
    by Michael Chalk on February 7, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    You remember Mark Hopkins, the adult learner from PRACE who told his story so well, not only in our publication, but also on the SBS Insight tv program last year? Well, some of the stories from this Resilience collection have been translated into other languages for the EPALE* site, and the first story to be translated was Mark’s. *EPALE: Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. https://goo.gl/XqROOX […]

  • Adult Learners in Conversation – “A Fuller Sense of Self”
    by Michael Chalk on September 6, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Last night Tricia Bowen spoke about her experience of reconnecting with the adult learners who have shared their stories in this volume. I talked about how great it was to join with Tricia and Lynne in the whole creative and collaborative process of editing. Then Lynne Matheson invited us to launch the video into the world, so we all made rocket-launching sounds, and the champagne flowed. * It was such a good experience filming and editing these stories with Tricia. I would love to hear any feedback, especially related to the video or the editing. Watch and enjoy. The back story: Lynne Matheson at VALBEC asked Tricia if she would be interested to follow up the conversations from her 2011 publication, “A Fuller Sense of Self“. Tricia managed to track down some of the students, and then i was invited to document the conversation. Videos here: goo.gl/CKDOMz More information on the VALBEC site: valbec.org.au/afsos #AFullerSenseOfSelf #5YearsOn #adultLiteracy * at the VALBEC Forum for Adult Learners Week. The official blurb: “A Fuller Sense of Self – a collection of stories told by adult literacy students” was published by VALBEC in 2011. These students shared their thoughts about returning to study to develop their literacy skills. They described why they made that move and how that decision shaped and changed their lives for the better. “Five years on we decided to revisit these students and their stories, to find out where they are now and to discover if and how learning continues to influence their life journey. We tracked down three of our original storytellers. Linda, a student from the Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre, and David and Sue, both students from Southern Grampians Adult Education based in Hamilton in Western Victoria. This time our storytellers kindly and courageously shared their thoughts on camera. VALBEC launched the video stories on 06 September for ALW. More information at valbec.org.au/afsos Music credits, thank you for “Running Waters” by Jason Shaw at FreeMusicArchive.org, Licensed Creative Commons CC-BY. ALW: Adult Learners’ Week. VALBEC: The Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council. […]

  • Reading between the Lines – SBS Insight focus on Adult Literacy
    by Michael Chalk on August 31, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    If you think Australia is a highly literate nation, watch this recent episode of Insight from SBS. This powerful and moving episode features Mark Hopkins one of the students from PRACE. I spoke with Mark as part of the “Stories of Resilience” project, and it’s really heartening to hear his voice in this national forum. All these adult learners show real courage and vulnerability, as they describe their experience for people who have no idea of the extent of this hidden problem. Over 40% of Australians experience some level of difficulty with everyday literacy tasks – find out what that’s like. #adultLiteracy #insightSBS […]

  • Dark Side of the Comment Section
    by Michael Chalk on April 13, 2016 at 7:36 am

    If you’re involved with any kind of online facilitation, you may appreciate this article from The Guardian. They’ve done some research into the comment section, finding that much more abuse is directed at female writers than male. (Also, for web designers, some really good layout effects, especially the way they’ve integrated the graphs and the “how would you moderate this comment” bits.) There’s a whole series around this research, articles interviewing people who have experienced the maelstrom of massive online shaming and bullying.. and articles on ideas for making things better: “The Web We Want” via the Guardian. […]

  • Help Files for the iPad
    by Michael Chalk on December 16, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Here’s a copy of the printed materials we handed out during the course. It’s a pdf file that should hopefully open on your iPad. Link here:   This post was originally on the site “iPad for Seniors” at PRACE. […]

  • PageTurners has a new online shop
    by Michael Chalk on December 14, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Just sent out the latest PageTurners newsletter, letting people know that the new shopping-cart style website is up and running!! It’s taken me much time this year to get the site all updated and e-commercey, so i’m very happy that we’ve finally launched. Woot. You can read the newsletter here. Take a look at the site, tell us what you think. Oh, we need a feedback form don’t we. If you’re not subscribed to the PageTurners email list, you can join via the website. […]

  • iPad apps especially for Seniors??
    by Michael Chalk on November 18, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I wondered if there are any iPad apps that would be especially useful for people over 55, so i searched the web for  “best apps for ipad for seniors“. Sure enough, there are many many lists: “16 helpful apps for seniors”, “27 bet iPad and iPhone apps for senior citizens”. But are any of them useful.. and how many of these apps are FREE..? Well, some of them are designed to help people by improving things like: Visual accessibility: Silver Surf is a web browser with “large navigation buttons, dynamic text zoom, high contrast viewing”. Your brain fitness: Lumosity is an app for keeping your brain fit and healthy.  Save you typing: Dragon Dictate takes your spoken words and turns them into written text. Might not be much help if English isn’t your native language however.  Other apps: Visual access: Eye Reader lets you use your iPad as a magnifying glass for reading magazines & newspapers. Seems a bit over the top to me.. just get an actual magnifying glass! Oh, plus it’s not free, although the review i read said it was free. Reading: one collection recommended iBooks, perhaps because the app lets you zoom in close on text, and increase font size. This app comes on your iPad when it’s new (?) Other lists: There are so many of these lists around. Assisted living has a fairly typical list to look at.  photo: iPad Reader Flickr – Jens Schott Knudsen – cc-by-nc. […]

  • Some help files for blogger
    by Michael Chalk on November 17, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Here’s a basic intro that Michael made – for low level students really (link: pdf stored in google drive). GCF LearnFree don’t have an intro to blogger, but they do have a great section talking about blogs in general, and an intro to Tumblr instead. Tumblr is much more visual than blogger, which can be text-heavy. Google themselves have a fairly decent help section. Grovo has a few videos showing the basics, including this overview. But they’re a commercial mob, and they’ll want you to pay for more. What good resources have you found so far? […]

  • Skills you may need (blogging)
    by Michael Chalk on November 17, 2015 at 3:54 am

    What are the the basics of blogging? make new blog, with title & web address (URL) hopefully at a time when google is not policing your IP address make new post  add & format text add images make links save draft / publish get people interested in reading your blog post knowledge you may need Ideas for engaging learners with online activities.  Ideas for adapting your already brilliant teaching and learning knowledge into online spaces.  On writing for the web  keep it as visual as possible  make your text very “scannable”  eg use bullets  (maybe a bit less than i do in this post) package the info into manageable chunks.  intermediate embed video & other web app things, eg forms & surveys tinker with your layout add “gadgets”, eg rss feed & other blogs get people to comment on your blog post Photo by Gary Hayes, Descending Clouds – cc-by-nc-nd (creative commons at flickr). […]

Projects Michael has worked on:

Recent projects include

  • A Fuller Sense of Self, 5 Years On” video project with Tricia Bowen and VALBEC.
  • Stories of Resilience“, the ACAL / RaPaL Adult Literacy Learner Writing Project.
  • “Language and Literacy Preparation for a Heavy Licence”, with PRACE for Armstrongs Driver Education – working with Catherine Davison.
  • Educator Communities of Practice, including Foundation Skills and Digital Learning, working with Meg Cotter at Wyndham Community & Education Centre (ACFE).
  • “Integrating Digital Learning Locally”, a Digital Learning Project at Lalor Living & Learning Centre.
  • Supporting teacher research into using iPads in language and literacy classrooms (PRACE), with Catherine Davison.
  • Facilitating live web conferencing sessions with Adult Learning Australia (ALA).
  • B.A.R.E. – the Body Appliance Revival Experience (Castlemaine State and Natimuk Festivals) – a dance project from Sam Downing.

(Brief Update, August 2016.)

Projects and collaborations from the past include:

Can you hear us? Audio + voice technologies (An e-learning innovations project at PRACE, where teachers explored the use of audio technologies in their classrooms.)

image of Delia and Glenda at July Melbourne Sessions
Community Engagement
 (3 year project from the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework) – link goes to the knowledge base / wiki)

prace logoPreston Reservoir ACE (a leading provider of Adult Community Education (ACE) in the Northern region of Melbourne.) Digital Learning Coordinator for over 10 years.

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