Ten years ago I started a student blog at the behest of the OU as part of the Masters in Open & Distance Education (MAODE). This was my second go at this having started nine years previously with the MAODL (Distance Learning).
I came from corporate training. Coming from teaching might have been more appropriate, and teaching in Higher Education in particular. I thought the outcome would be back into industry, whereas it has instead been a route into Education. It might have lead to research. I did prepare a PhD thesis and took this to Southampton.
Events closer to home have me reflecting on the power of story, no matter how or where it is expressed. We are highly tuned in to pay attention to a well told drama.
Our drama lately has been a broken arm (not me) and the unexpected knock on effects and lessons learnt in relation to the medical systems and approach in France and the UK, to being freelance or working fulltime, and a wake up call to what it takes to care for someone.
The story of this break and its consequences is shared with friends and over a few days it finds its own shape. You learn how to retain attention as one event and its consequences and all the subsequent decissions that are taken, and their consequences too. Let alone the other brickbats that get thrown your way to complicate it all further.
And the conclusion is?
Count your blessings
Smile and get on with it
Remember your friends and family as they remember you
Be prepared for this and worse happening
And in relation to learning?
Holding a students attention
Providing engagement which has a purposeful direction
Letting people draw their own conclusions
Listen to feedback and add this to the lessons being learnt
The vitality that comes from a story with emotional appeal, crisis, pain and laughter, consequences and outcomes.