Learning Technology

Five minutes with … Helen Whitehead

February 19th, 2013 at 10:02

Helen WhiteheadAn update to my previous “Five minutes with…” post You can find me on Twitter at @helenwhd and in many social networks around the Web. Or Google me.

What three words describe you?

Creative, helpful, enquiring

What’s your job role?

I am a Learning Support Development Officer here in the Learning Technology Section, in the Engagement Team, Delivery Group.  What it chiefly means is that I’m here to support users in their day-to-day use of Moodle and other technologies such as Rogo, Xerte Online Toolkits, Echo 360, Adobe Connect etc.

You can find me on the Learning Team HelpDesk, giving training courses, writing documentation in print and on the Web, and listening to academics and learning technologists all over the University to see what we can do to help. Also, I’m the lead blogger and Tweeter for Learning Technology, and I support online courses.

Tell us something ‘unusual’ about yourself

I’ve always been interested in the creative potential of the Web and have been for many years a digital writer (see HelenWhitehead.com) – though I don’t get so much time to write these days!   In 2000-2001 I was one of those involved in the Year of the Artist during which I created a digital project, Web, Warp & Weft,  exploring the resonances between the making of textiles and the making of the Web (Caveat: 12 years is a lot in digital time and some of the features of the website don’t work with newer browsers!).

What excites you most about learning technology?

I’ve been involved in running courses online in several previous jobs and am delighted that the buzz around MOOCs allows us to look again at ways of providing learning online, including for free to all types of learners. I also love exploring the potential of Moodle to enhance learning in all settings, to support blended as well as online modules.

Your top tip(s)?

Use other people to help you learn new ways to do things, Be open to new technologies and explore them while still being pragmatic about how they might help you in your daily practice.

What do you think will be the most important thing in learning technology at the University of  Nottingham in 2013?

I’m really excited about Nottingham having become involved in the Futurelearn initiative so that we can provide open online courses using the excellent resources we have available at this University.

What have you learned recently?

I am currently studying on two MOOCS, E-learning and Digital Cultures from the University of Edinburgh on the Coursera platform and the  Open Learning Design Studio’s MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) “Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum”.  I’ve learned lots about digital cultures, about learning design, and about MOOCs themselves.

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