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Learning at the speed of desire

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 All to change in education

Total mayhem all around at this end. 

The PGCE I am doing, onto Module 3, was a must have to balance against the Masters in Education I did 7 years ago. I need the front line practice and experience I do not feel I get as a learning technologist. It makes the academic theory more relevant. I see myself as a Learning Designer in future and will teach both online and in the class.

Due to a Covid-19 scare I have 'volunteered' to run five 90 minute online workshops on Screencastify using Google Meet. I've done one session which was a scary experience. It  can only get easier ... or not. Some will have poor online access, or try to listen in from their phone sitting in their Dad's car - the only place they can work undisturbed. Others for lack of device or internet will have to come into college ... or not. Some want to learn and race ahead. Some have little desire to learn and do little or less. As long as they are not disruptive what can I do?

I have just completed 'Take Your Teaching Online' a free course with the Open University > https://bit.ly/39LI4Vw

If you want to understand the design and delivery of online learning this is the best that there is for now. It could be shorter. Some of the content is a bit dated or no longer relevant. The multiple choice formative quizzes are flawed. The formal assessments are a worthy challenge. 

I see education going the way of retail. 

The 'disruption' brought on by Amazon has been 20 years in the making. Exactly 20 years ago, or perhaps 19, I recall being overly generous with my credit card and buying books from Amazon for every family member I expected to see that Christmas at two annual gatherings split between my family (4 children, mother and stepfather, stepbrother and between 6 and 8 children) and my wife’s smaller family (3 children, mum and dad and 3 children). The disruption on the high street was a slow burn; Covid-19 kicked everything online. 

In 10 years, or sooner, the education landscape will look as different and will have experienced as much disruption. Far more people will learn at a pace suited to their desire to learn and abilities. Or their parents’ desire for their children to learn and the depths of their pockets. All private education costs. And you get what you pay for. Why not home educate as the aristocracy and landed gentry of 120+ years ago did? Being a virtual tutor could be a new job description where teaching online as an educator you tutor enough students privately one to one (rarely face to face) to make a good living. 

The brightest will start university courses at 14 or 15; that is already happening.  

Everyone needs to become a 'lifelong learner' just to stay abreast of the changes.

It’s a phrase I used a decade ago ‘learning at the speed of desire’. Just Google it, then get on with it. What’s the fuss? Tell me what you cannot learn online if you set your mind to the task??  

EdTech 2020 said the other week to expect educational institutions, FE and HE, rather than primary and secondary (I think) moving to a model of 25 to 100 online. Some colleges will close and operate like the Open University. They will deliver it all online … albeit with a twice monthly tutorial day and possibly the acclaimed Open University residential courses. 

Meanwhile if Climate Change causes major 'weather events' every ten years rather than every 50 or 60, I am equally worried, for the same reasons - population pressure, that pandemics like Covid-19 will also come every 20 years or so rather than every 100. We will see.

All doom and gloom? Not for me, I thrive on change.

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Design Museum

Further Class Observations II

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020, 17:37

Diagrams and Maps: Peninsula and Isthmus 

I loved to visualise things, to make charts, and maps. For much of my professional career I have defined myself as a ‘visualiser’. I take the complex and make it appear simple through visualisation: photography, illustration, video … 

Peninsula

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Pain. Not recommended. Or was it? In the junior school, age 5 or 6 at the very most, we had a morning in the ‘senior’ school at Ascham House Prep School, Gosforth. We had a class, with maps, and Miss Short taught the words ‘Peninsula’ and ‘Isthmus’. I can see those huge maps held on a long wooden pool that were hung on the wall and opened to reveal the ‘Peninsula’. 

At the end of the class, and on the way out before returning down the road to the ‘junior school’ my older brother (age 7 or 8) entered and I gave him a hug. I got a thick ear from Miss Short for stepping out of line. I wonder if I only recall the meaning of Peninsula and that map because of the thick ear I received … or was it because of my boyish wonder at the map? I think it must have been the map - being shown something I had never seen before, and have it explained. Maybe because it gave a description to the ‘Point’ at Beadnell where we spent our holidays. Beadnell Point is a peninsula. At least on the scale of my world, which was the short walk from our cottage to either the rock or sandy beaches. When the tide went out, some of the rock promentories from my bedroom window created an isthmus I could cross. My adventures could now be mapped and shared. 

Give me some skin ! A Lesson in Cool 

I use ‘they’ to avoid identifying the gender of the teacher or students. 

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The teacher was as cool as they come. They could not be flustered. Old school I would have pulled a tray out for mobile phones (or the paper bin) and sent at least one person out of the class. That is not the thing to do. Some of the students I learn later are SEND or EHC. 

The purpose of the class was to run through some definitions, like those above, on a template where the words have been left out. Each student had a paper copy to complete. It transpires that one student had done a different course and covered this the year before and could rattle through everything like an undergraduate in medical school. There was one student who very clumsily kept their phone on, just under the desk, as they read and replied to text messages. Intermittently they would interrupt the class with a complaint, or fasile remark. Somehow, I still can’t fathom how, by the end of the class this student had jotted down a least a few of the answers - albeit once someone had given the answer.

As they were a close knit social group having them work in twos or threes worked well to get everyone working together. One group may have had to be a four, as one person didn’t want to be left out, or with someone they didn’t get on with. Understanding and going with the social dynamic was crucial. 

I liken the atmosphere eventually to being more like a Scout Leader around a campfire than a teacher at the end of the desk. 

Far from seeing how digital could contribute here > we had a 3D human body with 3D goggles in mind I rather thought a real 3D model made in Props by the Theatre Students would have the most impact. A giant finger like a large log in the middle of this virtual fire in the centre of the class.  Of course, medical students do get the real thing. That must be impactful. The very thought of it makes my brain prickle. The multi-sensory and emotional experience of cutting into a cadavre to look at the layers of the skin.

NOTE TO SELF: There is a template for more formal evaluations. I will use this, but any posts will be PRIVATE. 

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