I read a lot of blogs and I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I thought I’d use this blog to tell you about some of my favourites. Here’s the first of an occasional series of recommendations: It’s e-Learning Stuff and the associated e-Learning Stuff podcast from James Clay, ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College, and 2009 winner of the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year.
I am an early adopter and self-confessed geek. I love new technologies and often try to find ways to incorporate them into my teaching (and personal learning). But as an *educator* rather than a *learning technologist*, the bottom line for me is that I want my students to gain value from my experiments with e-learning technology. The technology should not be an end in itself. As such, I’m only on the periphery of the e-learning technology community. A guest, rather than a fully paid up member, if you like.
I have a digital identity and a personal learning environment that extends across this blog and my Facebook, Twitter, Posterous and FriendFeed accounts. I aggregate my Google shared items, Buzz, delicious account, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare and Prezi to my FriendFeed. But despite all this, I still spend a frighteningly large amount of time in the institutional Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard in our case). I tend to bring resources *into* the VLE on the basis that that’s were I assume students will be coming to find them, rather than trying to work outside it.
To the e-learning community, the VLE is like bronze-age technology that should have been made redundant by the dawn of the machine-gun age. But if most HE institutions are anything like mine, bronze-age weaponry is well in advance of the stone-age (should that be *chalk*-age) technologies that most of my colleagues are wedded to. It’s therefore refreshing to find learning technologists who are as pragmatic as James is. Sure, he likes his toys, but he also knows where the real world is at. His blog, especially his posts on [100 ways to use a VLE](http://elearningstuff.wordpress.com/category/100-ways/
), is inspiring, and his podcast, usually consisting of a discussion with colleagues from the FE community mixed with the occasional recorded conference keynote, is genuinely interesting.
Recent highlights from the podcast include: