It's 21 years since I lived in France.
Amongst other things I translated kids TV cartoons from French into English! I'm now trying, once and for all, to get my written French in order courtesy of:
- OpenLearn French
- Google Translate
- A MOOC in French (ABC of business start ups if I have understood what is going on!!)
- And the threat of legal action from the owners of my late Father's timeshare flat in the French alps (he died 11 years ago ... ). Only this week have they finally acknowledge my letters - probably because I chose to write in pigeon French rather than bolshy English.
When I want to write in French I give it a stab, stick it through Google Translate then jig my English around until I get what I would have said in French out of the other end. (I can speak French - like a Belgian I am told).
When I read any tricky French I paste it into Google Translate and adjust until, once again, it has the sense of what I would have understood had I simply heard it spoken to me.
The test is how quickly will I be found out in an all French MOOC.
The only issue is that hopping around computers in our house (My teenage son has a couple of huge screens which I particularly enjoy using while he is at school) - I found one viewing of the MOOC was being automatically translated - which can in itself be quite a laugh. But at what point will such translation be seamless, at least to the non-linguists? At what point will it suffice as an adequate stab at what is being said and meant by what is being said?
Will be have a Bable Fish in our ear along with the Google Glass(es)?
A subtle shift.
Perhaps we'll come one day to consider the word 'student' derogatory - why?
Because it's a put-down that places the educator at a higher level.
We're in it together, learning always and often playing dual roles as learners and the learned.
This is the equalizer with social media learning/education.
We're all in it together, always were ... always are.
So good-bye to the 'B' arc.
Gatekeepers serve no purpose and are easily and immediately ignored.
I'll expand on this in any way you wish:
- Down the pub
I'm an enabler, keen to bring the best out of others, I am after all (or was) a professional coach of elite swimmers.
Does your e-portfolio get in the way or support what you do?
Whoever you are?
Whoever has a stake in it.
Thinking out loud, started on 12th October 2010, picked up again and rolled around my mind on 13th January 2011.
Wherein lies the beauty of a blog, or in this case an ECA that requires reflection on the mind games of the past four months.
There’s a picture in the New Scientist of how ants, in their hunger for a sweet that has been dropped in the gutter have gathered in, or moved away some forty or more leaves which now form a circle around the fallen sweet.
This is what I am doing as I reflect on the activities of H808, each e-tivity, each note, paper, report, forum entry, blog or e-portfolio asset is a leaf that until now has been scattered somewhere, online, offline, some in a heap, some laid out, some yet to blow down from a tree.
My mind, its little and large pathways, the synapses that run between the left and the right hemispheres, are busy with a thousand ants moving these leaves aside, while gathering some of them up to make a pattern.
|From Essay Style Visualised|
And then, for a moment I saw that six petalled flower I have drawn before, the shape of the A’ Level essay, but somehow I see also a podcast and the analogy fails and without even the politeness of animated transformation my flower becomes a Christmas Tree.
|From Essay Style Visualised|
On this tree, the structure of the ECA, I will hand 10 or more ‘things.’ No good my just thinking about it though.
Time to move on.
I recommend the use of eportfolios, whether or not they are packaged as such. Often the affordances are there anyway. I’d like digital building blogs as simple and as versatile as Lego bricks so that I could have a button away, on my homepage, depositories and repositories, that do the jobs of blogs, wikis and eportfolios without any need to feel they are separate entities, rather the words I think, and images I take or draw, or recordings I make are like a rain shower (with the occasional deluge or drought) that is taken care by the system, MySystem.
Is this a homepage? All those toolbars? Mine's a mess. I dream of a computer screen A1 size, two of them preferably and a homepage as busy as a photomosaic coverpop.
Currently it looks like this. Could someone offer some advice on how to get my head around this before my entire home page is a Venetian Blind of unwanted toolbars and browsers?
|From Drop Box|
MySystem would be an assemblage of tools and services to store, collate, elaborate upon, develop, select and share all that can be digitised. Text for the most part, but images too, still and moving. And numbers, as stats or formulae. Assets in polite society, 'stuff’; for a Saxon word and something in Latin for anyone trying to pull rank.
Whatever definition we come up with for ‘e-portfolios’, someone else has another one.
And why not, this is but functional flotsam-and-jetsam on the Digital Ocean?
My first blog in September 1999 covered this. Perhaps I should shift my thinking and take in ideas of both oceans and clouds, the binary code the water molecules the form the water cycle? Now there’s an idea: the Internet as something fluid, changing, responsive ... predictable to a degree ... its shifting patterns advancing relentlessly rather than recycling, the apocryphal butterfly in one part of the system beating its wings and having a profound effect elsewhere, the Twitter-effect. This analogy of oceans and clouds hasn’t changed in a decade, perhaps it is the Geographer in me?
|From Drop Box|
I am still looking at a year 8 geography exercise book featuring the water cycle.
‘Analogies taught man to think.’
Now who said this?
I have it on a sheet of motivational quotes given out at the School of Communication Arts by John Gillard. This sheet and some other papers, a portfolio of ideas, is in a portfolio (the physical kind). There’s a storyboard for a couple of commercials: I could shoot these on my phone. Indeed, given that one takes place up a cliff face the phone might be the best camera for the job. No amount of Googling has located it for me. Proust perhaps? Shakespeare … or a commentator on Shakespeare?
All e-portfolios are squirts of ink into this ocean.
All content is drips, drops and an occasional multi-coloured deluge. Though pre-empting bespoke consultative decision making on behalf of a client, real or imaginary, my simple advice regarding e-portfolios is - do it all.
1) Your own - that does the business and ought to be the final repository for e-materials that are being shared or assessed, that is easy-peasy to link or upload for those who are expert in these things or have a system that they play well and with which they can 'sing.'
2) A smorgasbord of off the shelf e-portfolios that people may get free, or as part of their trade or other association, or be happy to subscribe for (after all, there's a good deal that can be done with them that is personal, off-campus and away from work).
3) Their own. The end result, the content and where and how it is finally presented is all that matters. In any case, there is every chance that your students are more e-literate than you are, speak the code like their Mother Tongue and will do what so many students have done before them and re-invent the digital wheel. The content is its own subject matter expert – it is out there being freely exchanged and wikified to the ‘nth’ degree of finality.
4) With institutional, administrative, management and support from academics and tutors that also encourages peer support and so enables 1, 2 & 3.
Everyone will have their own idea of what an e-portfolio is … if it ‘is’ anything at all in the physical sense, because of course it isn’t until you print it off, or play the asset. It isn’t a trunk, it isn’t a filing system.
Perhaps in truth it would look as bland as the grey matter of your brain?
Why and how does this help anyone?
By visualising something you give it powers.
The problem lies where your visualisation doesn’t match with mine, but as the designer it is my world that you have to live within in. I suppose we each of us require a bespoke website and a team of people working on it to forge this link between what enters and leaves our heads.
So why do I hear the voice of Dr Angela Smallwood?
It was the JISC conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Hall of Parliament Square.
It was a workshop on e-portfolios. ‘I was a baby’ (quoting Neytiri from Avatar talking to Jake).
But I bought into the idea of ‘deeper thinking’ and how it is achieved. Wasn’t the computer in Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy called ‘Deep Thought’ ?
Food for thought?
Bacon, toast and a fried-egg.
Only blog for the day, I promise.
Work to do!
It wasn't Adam and Eve, it was Douglas and Stephen, as in Douglas Adams and Stephen Fry.
Fry's account of his love affair with technology through a BBC micro, then early Macs is a wonder.
The Fry Chronicles is read by the author on BBC Radio 4.http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vjl1f
Did serendipity bring me to ‘Contemporary Perspectives in E-learning Research.’ Conole and Oliver (2007) or did I notice that H808 students were reading and critting it?
Either way I bought it as I’m yet to get my head around e-Reader.
Can you recommend an e-Reader?
A kindle or the Sony Reader perhaps? I can’t see the point in an iPad for reading academic journals and books. I don’t want to be printing off a forest and filing on shelves I don’t have either.
Chapter 11 of ‘Contemporary Perspectives in E-learning Research’ looks at ‘Academic literacy in the 21st century’
E-literacy is an irresistible term of course.
‘Electronic Literacy’ or ‘E-literacy’
‘Involving the capacity to locate, organise, interpret and use digital information.’ Conole (2007:160)
Martin (2003) appears to get the credit for coining the term.
There are many forms of literacy, all have their place:
- information literacy
- digital literacy
- electronic communication
- computer literacy
- information/IT skills
- computer-mediated communications
- knowledge construction
Shetzer and Warshauer (2000), McKenna (2002), ‘Writing as a social practice’ (Ivonic et al, 1999)
These literacies are:
- shaped by disciplinary norms
- institutional power dynamics
- impact of audience
- notions of identity
‘What we choose to read and how we read may lead to fundamental changes in our understanding of authoritative scholarship.’ Conole (2007:160)
It interesting that Google is often the preferred means of locating academic information (Borphy et al, 2004). Does this apply to undergraduates and graduates? At times frustrated with the OU Library Services I ended up in Google Scholastic but no longer had the access privileges so had to back pedal. Too often links given in text, journals and book are out of date. By way of example of the three links I wished to follow up in this chapter I found only one and that was at a different URL I am yet to find the SCONUL or SCORM articles.
SCONUL (1999) ‘information skills in higher education’, SCONUL position paper. Available online at: www.sconul.ac.uk/activities/inf-lit/papers/seven-pillars.html (CAN’T FIND)
SCORM (2004) Shareable content object reference model. http://www.adlnet.org/scorm/history/2004/index.cfm (ERROR PAGE)
Ingraham (2005b) Filmic and even melodramatic narrative ... used purposefully.
Ingraham (2005b) Exploring the Frontiers of E-learning: border, outposts and migration. ALT-j, 2005. 6-8 Sept 2005.
Beyond the ‘essentially medieval apprenticeship system’ (Ingraham and Ingraham, 2006) ‘E-Quality: a dialogue between quality and academia’, E-learning, 31) http://www.wwwords.co.uk/elea/content/pdfs/3/issue3_1.asp
(ACCESSED 16 AUG 2010. But not at this address, but at this one
I have a problem with some PDF files too, but that’s down to an eight year old iBook not being able to upgrade to the latest ADOBE PDF software. A new iBook beckons.
This theme of literacy given a book in its own right. How though do institutions recognise the many different ways students may wish to pursue and assemble content and information in future?
Literacy and multiple literacies (Kress, 1997)
‘It is a normal and fundamental characteristic of language and literacy to be constantly remade in relation to the needs of the moment.’ Conole (2007:169)
Kress, G (1997) Before writing: rethinking the paths to literacy.
‘The are many ways of making and communicating meaning in the world today.’ Conole (2007:169)
The goals of education
The development of ‘concrete-operational skills of technical reason coupled with functional, utilitarian language skill.’ (Jones, 1991)
Two conflicting directions for education
‘The desire to stimulate the growth of autonomous, entrepreneurial, IT-literate, multi-skilled individuals’ or ‘the desire to create a compliant, low-expectation labour force inured to the demands of flexibilisation.’ Conole (2007:171)
Surely this isn’t a case of either or, and surely both ends of the scale can be viewed positively – society needs a community of people working at different jobs to remain viable and coherent. Conole should be quoting Government policy here but prefer to suggest that there is a choice while clearly favouring one over the other.
Prison Officers, we are told, don’t need a university degree; they aren’t the only ones. Unless you want people to endure their necessary jobs like Marvin the Paranoid Android. Adams. (1979)
REF Kress, G (2003) Literacy in the new media age.
Adams, D (1979) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Conole, G and Oliver, M (eds) 2007. Contemporary perspectives in E-Learning Research. Themes, methods and impact on practice.
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