OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

The best of both worlds

Visible to anyone in the world

Back then I become a snob about digital over analogue. I went all Kindle. Books were dead ... so were libraries. My library was Amazon. It saved me time but was expensive. 

A decade on I buy second hand hard back books if I want to read; I still don't go into a library (even if once again I have a student library ticket). The physical artefact matters. If I am reading a the physical thing I am better able to concentrate. On an iPad (long ago replaced the Kindle) I am always a click away from the news, emails and social media. 

If I really care about the author and what they have to say I may get an electronic version of the book too; different things are revealed on the screen compared to the page. Either way a collection of handwritten notes or Post Its are used to build up my impression of what I am being told. No longer do I trust 'highlighting' or note taking electronically as a way of engaging with the text; you don't. You just copy and paste, risk being caught by plagiarism software and more importantly learn little as what you produce hasn't been through the composting process of your mind. 

QQ: What does it mean to be reflective in education?

  • The ability to reflect on an action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. 

  • Deliberate reflection is essential. 

Is that what I am doing here? Am I supposed to spend as long reflecting on a thing as I originally spent doing it? Is two and a half hours reflection on a class that lasted two and a half hours over the top? 

One 'active learning' exercise followed another. A pattern was established. We were going to have to think, to engaged our brains. There'd be no concentrated note taking while she talked, no lengthy quotes to grab from multiple authors. Though I have them here. 

QQ: Analyse why the process can be helpful (what happens if you don’t reflect)

ACT: Compare and contrast how mere reflection is different from critical reflection.

We were introduced to Kerouac: fixed mindset or growth mindset? 

I googled him to get the right spelling of his name and the link.

"There should be a culture where mistakes are not frowned upon." 

And I stumbledupon Carol Dweck

I'm trying to get to an understanding of what the world of education will look like by 2025. How do we get the best of both worlds? And what about the third world? The hybrid, deconstructed, individualised, non institutionalised approach to education that might come out of this?



Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Reflections on Teaching

Visible to anyone in the world

In a tour de force example of the value of face to face teaching in a class over learning online our PGCE tutor took us through the power of reflection. Look at the title of this blog 'Reflection on e-learning'. 10 years and eight months ago I was keenly filling these pages (on an ever so slightly different platform) as I took the first module in the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE). Search 'Reflection'.

Ten years on, while being invited to dig around in my head for an understand of the what it means to 'reflect', and while listening to my fellow students express their views and share their insights, we collectively construct and shape a meaning.

The beauty of this blog and its value ten years on and 5,000 entries later, is that I can search 'reflection' or seek out the tag 'reflection' and immediately be shown what I was reading, what I was being invited to read and what I was writing about it all. The beauty of this blog and it simplicity is that I can post and keep private, or post and share; it is as much as a private, even intimate scrapbook, mind dump and learning journal, as it is a potential resource for others. 

Reflecting on 'reflecting on teaching' and the profound differences between learning online (as it has so far been able to manifest itself) I see that one cannot replace the other, that certain elements are different to the point of being incompatible, that trying to recreate the class experience online is foolish and bringing the online way of doing things into the class just as wrong.

We have a long way to go yet to distinguish these differences and play to their strengths, rather than thinking one is superior to the other; neither is going away. The class I attended last night in which seven of us where there in person with the tutor and four were online is one I will return to again, and again for two reasons: first of all, to pick through what I was exposed to, what I was taught, the learning journey I experienced and the voices and words of others - everyone, in equal measure, was given the time and chance and encouragement to talk. And second of all, to contemplate the difference between the classroom and the online experience. What worked and what did not? What needs fixing to make it work better? 



Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Active Learning

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 6 Mar 2018, 06:59

I wanted to write something about Active Learning.

I gave it 20 minutes of thought, writing it here. But the platform repeatedly failed to save it once I added tags and I lost it.

I've rather lost the will to have another go.

Another time.

Active learning is important.

Engage with you work.

Take notes through the filter of your own mind when reading or sitting through a lecture. Do not cut and paste or write down what is said verbatim. 

It is never too late to get this right. In my case I am completing my second MA and working on a dissertation. I have a habit of indulging unnecessarily a tortuous process of reading, note taking and refining when I could get to the point sooner simply by committing my ideas to paper right away. 

It is these moments that I will lace together into an essay, not a serious of highlighted chunks from the book. 

There is an abundance of material online regarding 'how to take notes'. 

What is the best. most effective way to take notes? 

The OU used to produce an excellent book on how to be a student or some such. 

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

The purpose of education ...

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 4 Jan 2013, 20:09

"The purpose of education is not to make information accessible, but rather to teach learners how to transform accessible information into useable knowledge.Decades of cognitive science research have demonstrated that the capability to transform accessible information into useable knowledge is not a passive process but an active one". CAST (2011)

Constructing useable knowledge, knowledge that is accessible for future decision-making, depends not upon merely perceiving information, but upon active “information processing skills” like selective attending, integrating new information with prior knowledge, strategic categorization, and active memorization.Individuals differ greatly in their skills in information processing and in their access to prior knowledge through which they can assimilate new information. CAST (2011)

Proper design and presentation of information – the responsibility of any curriculum or instructional methodology - can provide the scaffolds necessary to ensure that all learners have access to knowledge. CAST (2011)

I recommend the last link in its entirety above most that I have reviewed. It is a resource, It is succinct. It is practical. It respects the fact that all students come to this kind of learning with a set of experiences and skills - and tactics and tools that work for them. Why make someone play the tuba when they play the harp perfectly well? A metaphor worth developing I wonder in relation learning to play an instrument, read music, pass theory tests, perform solo or in an ensemble, to sight read etc:

Do you recall the paraorchestra performing with Coldplay at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics who represented the widest range and degree of disability? http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/sep/01/orchestra-disabled-people-play-paralympics

Guidelines

  • Provide options for perception
  • Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols
  • Provide options for comprehension

Checkpoints

  • Offer ways of customizing the display of information
  • Offer alternatives for auditory information
  • Offer alternatives for visual information
  • Support decoding text, mathematical notation, and symbols
  • Clarify vocabulary and symbols
  • Clarify syntax and structure
  • Promote understanding across languages
  • Illustrate through multiple media

REFERENCE

CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author.

http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g3

National Center On Universal Design for Learning

Guideline 3: Provide options for comprehension

http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g3

NATIONAL CENTER ON UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING, AT CAST
40 HARVARD MILLS SQUARE, SUITE 3, WAKEFIELD, MA 01880-3233
TEL (781) 245-2212, EMAIL UDLCENTER@UDLCENTER.ORG

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Hospitalised

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 6 Sep 2011, 03:58

Being offline for seven hours was the least of the unpleasantness.

Being put straight into one of those back-to-front gowns wasn't encouraging, though it has its compensations, I was seen with two minutes of arriving. The experience of the A & E was fine, it was the need to endure in considerable pain for six hours until the matter could be resolved.

I had the iPad but had no desire to do anything (not permitted in any case).

Behind the curtain I listen in as a distraction, it was the first day for at least two members of staff. (I could name them and run through the symptoms of several of the morning's intake too).

As another distraction I thought about efforts to introduce hand held devices to hospitals in 2000, various case studies from PDAs in 2005 (total failure) as well as Yrjo Engestrom's 'activity systems' studies of hospitals in Helsinki.

Engestroms%252520Triangle%252520Fig%2525202%252520%252520GRAB.JPG

I was politely asked by the Consultant if I could be discussed with his student doctor once she had seen me and come to a diagnosis, so they talked about me, not as if a I wasn't there but the way we parents can talk about our children even when they're sitting in the back of the car. I was humoured politely when I said what fascinated me was the expert/learner relationship and the nature of the conversation (I heard both what they discussed within earshot AND what was said around the hub - everyone was eager to learn and share today).

I desired taking a picture of the poster that shows how to identify staff; I got the all, from the staff assistant, through nurse, matron, doctor and consultant.

In due course I'll reflect on where I came within the activity system, surely as I was mostly the 'subject' or a mediating artefact? NHS Direct website, then a phone call first to them and my GP confirmed my self-diagnosis. Plenty of checks in case of other possibilities were confirmed at hospital. Between being seen by the staff matron and a doctor there was a three hour delay that almost reduced me to tears. Once diagnosed there was another hour.

The procedure itself took half an hour, the hideousness of it endured by concentrating on something else - I relived a gap year of 30 years ago during which I came to know every piste and off-piste ski run at Val d'Isere / Tignes.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 7201460