February News Splash

daffodilsFebruary is one of my favourite months of the year with the promise of Spring just round the corner and the welcome stretch in the evenings. 

It’s also a time when everyone’s focused on the end of the financial year and there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done! 

In this issue:
Rapid e-learning for Government Connect
Quick Builds updated for 2009
Procurement e-learning for local government
Need an extra pair of hands to create your courses for you?

govconnect-logoRapid e-learning for Government Connect GCSx
From 1st April internet and postal based solutions for transferring data that currently exist will be phased out in favour of the Government Connect network so the time available for training staff in the changes is now quite tight. 

Did you know that, once your authority is up and running with the Government Connect programme, complying with the Code of Conduct is a statutory requirement?

Find out more about this, and how your Learning Pool subscription can save you time and money with your Government Connect training needs by coming along to our Government Connect event on Tuesday 10th March in Bristol. 

Speakers include three Learning Pool customers showcasing how they’re using their Learning Pool subscription to help meet their Government Connect training needs plus a speaker from Government Connect itself.

Read more

tools-back-pocket-boughtcmprsdQuick Builds updated for 2009
 We’ve been quietly working away on a refresh programme for our popular Quick Build courses to bring them bang up to date for 2009.

All of the Quick Builds are being given a make-over with fresh new graphics and revised content where appropriate.  The branding throughout the courses has also been radically improved and a print facility has been included so that each screen can be individually printed, as desired.

Read more

shopping-bags-boughtProcurement e-learning for local government
 Bill Root’s local government procurement review published this month urges RIEP’s to play a greater role in helping councils create efficiency savings from good procurement practices.  
 
North East Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership together with Norfolk County Council and Learning Pool, understands the importance of staff training in this area and has created a procurement e-learning course to build capacity.

Read more

hands_pair1Need an extra pair of hands to create your courses for you?
As many of you know, in addition to providing you with the tools to create your own e-learning we also have a range of bespoke content development services for those who need an extra pair of hands. 

If you’re short on time our industry leading instructional designers and subject matter experts can help you in a number of ways. 
 
We can source and create the right graphics, images and animations, right through to undertaking instructional design, writing assessments, creating podcasts and video-based content.
 
We’ll happily polish up a course you’ve already created or even take the job off your hands completely.

Read more

Welcome on board to …

Bath and NE Somerset Council
Bristol City Council
Cambridgeshire County Council
Rochford District Council
Shropshire County Council
Staffordshire County Council

Thank you for joining Learning Pool this month!

In Brief

rnd09Red Nose Day
We’re donning our red noses this year to raise money for this year’s Red Nose Day on Friday 13th March.  

The jury’s still out on some of the fundraising ideas (thanks Chris) but we’re definitely going to paint a couple of classrooms in a local special needs school near where we work, which we’re all really looking forward to.

Cakes and buns are high on the agenda too – baking, eating and selling!  And we might come to work in our jim jams.

Apart from that, what do you think we should do?  Challenge us (be gentle).  All things considered, at least for a minute.  Just join our group to write your challenge on our wall or, alternatively, email Clare@learningpool.com .

And, most importantly, would you like to sponsor us?  Any donations gratefully received. 

twitter-birdOur Twitter experiment
The jury’s no longer out, it’s official.  We’re converts.  For a time there was a little scepticism but now we love it and are, truth be told, a little addicted.  I’m talking about Twitter – Stephen Fry’s favourite way of finding out how to get rid of a bat from his house.

It’s not just for humorous celebs (although you can take your pick); there are councillors, MP’s, e-learning gurus, colleagues and other Learning Pool customers who are also converts. 

We have a growing band of followers who are sharing all sorts of e-learning stuff with us plus some stuff very left of field (someone burnt their ear baking bread at 1am – you know who you are).

If you’re not yet following us you don’t know what you’re missing!  Find out now and come tweet with us.

Latest Steering Group
Our next quarterly Steering Group will be held in central London on Wednesday 11th March from 1pm to 4pm. 

Thanks to those of you who have confirmed your attendance at the Steering Group or have sent your apologies.
As well as the networking opportunity with your fellow Learning Pool subscribers, highlights on the agenda include –

• What promises to be a lively debate on increasingly popular Social Networking Sites and how these largely free communication tools can be used within Public Sector Authorities.

• A more traditional form of communication is also on the agenda as Christine Shakespeare, Basildon DC and Steve Day, Rotherham MBC have kindly offered to present on the innovative and cost efficient ways they are using e-learning as a training device within their individual authorities.

• Following each presentation there will be an open discussion on the information presented and as always feel free to ask as many questions as you like, not only directed at Christine and Steve (we’re not that cruel!) but to the us and, most importantly, each other!

• Also on the agenda will be Government Connect. The 1 April deadline to ensure your Authority complies to the legislative aspects of this programme is fast approaching and we will be giving some last minute tips on meeting the associated training needs.

If you want to attend but haven’t yet confirmed your attendance please email Breda@learningpool.com.

Free e-learning available now

Did you know that we have a range of free e-learning courses that you can roll out to your learners immediately?

Housing Benefits Error
Fraud awareness is particularly important for staff working in the Benefits Department, the most common target for would be fraudsters.  The DWP estimates that £110 Million was overpaid to those of working age by councils between April 2007 and March 2008, as a result of Non-Residence.

We have free e-learning on Housing Benefit Error, commissioned by DWP, for all UK councils. See www.learningpool.com/housingbenefiterror

Passport to Procurement
Visit www.passport2procurement.com for free procurement e-learning for anyone with a .gov.uk email address.  See feature for more.

From the Trainer’s mouth
Andy Houghton is Learning Pools’ own very experienced resident trainer.  We put him on the spot recently and filmed him talking about our workshops. 

View these podcasts to hear what Andy says about the two day Authoring Tool workshops and one day DLE workshops and what you can expect to learn.

Latest courses added
Asbestos and You by Vale of Glamorgan
Government Connect by Plymouth CC
Protecting Children, Protecting Staff by Stroud DC
Coaching Quick Build by Learning Pool

Dates for your diary
March
Tue 3rd & Wed 4th               Poole, AT Workshop
Tues 10th                                 Government Connect Meeting
Tues 10th                                 Milton Keynes, DLE Workshop
Tues 17th & Wed 18th         Manchester, AT Workshop
Thurs 19th                               Manchester, DLE Workshop

April
Mon 1st & Tues 2nd             London, AT Workshop
Mon 20th                                 Worcester, DLE Workshop
Wed 22nd                                 London, DLE Workshop

May
Wed 6th & Thur 7th             London, AT Workshop
Wed 20th                                 London, Annual Conference

Latest blog entries
With a little help from my new friends
The Woolly Hat of the law
Sharing is Caring
I always knew Learning Pool was …
Dry hands at last

And the winner is …
Congratulations to Camarthenshire CC for winning the prize for the best new e-learning module shared in the catalogue in our Sharing competition with their Dignity at Work module.

Well done Lowri and congratulations to everyone else for all the e-learning shared.  It was a tough decision!  Check out all the courses shared and see what you can repurpose.

And finally
Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
George Iles

Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.
W. Edwards Deming

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