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Perhaps I'll return each year to repeat this module. World War 1: Trauma and Memory

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Nov 2014, 10:42

The pleasures of the FutureLearn MOOC: World War 1 Trauma and Memory

Should I return, each time I'll be happier to stand back and let others find their way. I will have read more, seen more, thought more and written more. If I can help nudge others towards finding their own 'truth' I will have done something useful.

Inevitably over the next five years many of us will become imbued with a unique sensibility on the subject. I think my perceptions shift on walks, or in the middle of the night.

TV is a mixed bag, and I'm reluctant to recommend much of it, however I am currently watching ad watching again the brilliantly smart, moving, visualised, engaging 'War of Word' Soldier Poets of the Somme which is far broader than the title may suggest - this goes well beyond the obvious to paint a vivid sense of how impressions of violent conflict alter and sicken.

Several of these poets are now forgotten, but celebrated here, as we come to understand how they transitioned from glorification and patriotism on joining up to the ghastly reality. War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme must have been shown on BBC2 in the last week or so - available for a month I think. Very worth while. Expertly done. A variety of approaches. Never dull. Often surprising and some stunning sequences of animations to support readings of short extracts from the poems. And it even tells the story of British Military advances during the period running up to, through and after the Battle of the Somme. 

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R is for Rich Media

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 3 Jun 2014, 12:10

 

The richness of Rosetta Stone

  • Reflection
  • Rich Media
  • Repetition
  • Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran
  • E Rogers
  • Sir Ken Robinson
  • Randomised Controlled Trial
  • Reciprocate
  • Repetition

Something of a mixed bag here; I wondered if any at all were to do wit he-learning. All I have therefore is 'rich media'. The award winning 'Gallipoli Day One 3D'  is a great example of this. Interactive, 3D, gamified, with videos and text. From a learning point of view this is aimed at the public, not the historian, nor the student studying history - not beyond GCSE at least. I increasingly see the value of reading ... books or eBooks: well researched and written content, read at speed, at your own pace. Take notes. Write an essay. Assessment. Richness, from video to 3D slows it down, dumbs it down, and may have less to contribute than may be apparent.

Reflection is a learning thing, not unique to e-learning. This is what I am doing here; a means to reflect on four yeas of postgraduate study. Done with a sense of direction it can move your learning on, without it is to fly without a rudder.

Descriptive reflection:  There is basically a description of events, but the account shows some evidence of deeper consideration in relatively descriptive language.  There is no real evidence of the notion of alternative viewpoints in use.

Dialogic reflection: This writing suggests that there is a ‘stepping back’ from the events and actions which leads to a different level of discourse.  There is a sense of ‘mulling about’, discourse with self and an exploration of the role of self in events and actions.  There is consideration of the qualities of judgements and of possible alternatives for explaining and hypothesising.  The reflection is analytical or integrative, linking factors and perspectives.

Critical reflection:  This form of reflection, in addition to dialogic reflection, shows evidence that the learner is aware that the same actions and events may be seen in different contexts with different explanations associated with the contexts.  They are influenced by ‘multiple historical and socio-political contexts’, for example.

(developed from Hatton and Smith, 1995)

Repetition is learning. E-learning can support the necessary repetition, with platforms such as QStream. A quiz played until you can get all the questions right does this. It's how the brain works; you forget unless you repeat and apply. See more on the 'forgetting curve' researched by Ebbinghaus. 

Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran is a neurogolist. Worth following him.

Rogers spent five decade studying the nature of innovation. 

Ken Robinson does some powerful TED lectures where he talks about the right to celebrate the human side of the child, that:

  1. human beings are naturally different and diverse

  2. that 'lighting the light of curiosity' is key and that

  3. human life is inherently creative.

A 'randomised controlled trial' is what you need if your research is going to stand up to close scientific scrutiny. Does the e-learning app do what it says it can do? Few can. 

To reciprocate' is to collaborate. Comment on the blog would be one. Take part in a forum, synchronous or not. Generate content, but also aggregate or 'curate' the work of others ... and return the honour where someone comments on what you have to say.

REFERENCE

Dr Vilayanur S Ramachandran - Thomson, H (2010) V. S. Ramachandran: Mind, metaphor and mirror neurons 10 January 2011 by Helen Thomson Magazine issue 2794.

Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (5th edn), New York, Simon and Schuster.

Schon, A.A. (1983) The Reflective Practioner: How Professionals think in Action, London: Temple Smith

Kolb, D.A. 1984 Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Moon, J. (2005) ‘Guide for busy academics no. 4: learning through reflection’ (online), The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id69_guide_for_busy_academics_no4.doc (accessed 28 Sept 2010).

Smith, M. (1996) ‘Reflection: what constitutes reflection – and what significance does it have for educators? The contributions of Dewey, Schön, and Boud et al. assessed’ (online), The Encyclopaedia of Informal Education. Available from: http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-reflect.htm (accessed 21 Sept 2010).

Phylis Creme (2005) The compulsory nature of core activities might support the underlying approach that reflective activity “should be recognised part of the assessment process; otherwise students would not take them seriously”

 

 



 

 

 

 

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Zoe Cairns and her social media message

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014, 06:14

Three years ago I attended a day long course on social media advertising in higher education run by Zoe Cairns. She is a former PR/marketing person from Warwick Business School - I was representing the OU Business School. Those attending included LSE,  Bath, Imperial College ... LBS? And several others (blog post someone in here I should think). Zoe has just launched an self-managed e-learning version of the same. Having gone from 120 delegates or so a month she may now globally reach 1,200 a month? All this for the cost of investing in a web design and platform and approach that looks reassuringly familiar. I did a bit of something like this with Manchester Metropolitian a couple of years ago. 

Three things strike me:

1) Her plausible transition from facilitator to online brand hoping to reap the rewards of having more participants. This is the hardback book of the past. The 'how to ...' of e-learning in an inviting an saleable package.

2) The prospect, as I see it, of the subject champion, not the institution becoming the educator we seek out in a 'who's who' of learning. You feel, whether it is the case or not, that a big name of the subject is 'teaching you' - Niall Ferguson on history, Martin Weller on e-learning, Richard Dawkins on ... what is his thing? Atheasism? Biology? Zoology?

3) The value of repeating, refreshing or repeating a topic until you feel like you are starting to master it - practice for want of a word: continual professional development for the technical term. I take the view that a qualification is no more, nor better than a motorway sign - do you pull over at the first service station on passing it, or press on? And imagine this motorway on a hill: if you stop you can only roll backwards.

P.S. Over the last 24 hours this blog has received over 2,000 views. I have no way at all of knowing why, or who is reading this stuff! Do say 'hi!'

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Learning tools and ASDA

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 23 Sep 2013, 14:43

 

Fig.1. Index Card Holder

An odd one this, but with my shift away from trying and expecting to do everything on an Internet connected device - nothing printed out, nothing written down, I have swung round to complimenting this 'screen work' with pads of paper, note books, a whiteboard and even index cards.

I'm currently sifting through all the possible causes of the First World War

I am collating notes from various books and having reduced these to eight themes in Google Docs I am now picking through these and putting them on index cards ... which in turn I want to develop as a series of carefully composed multiple-choice questions to put onto an online delivery platform such as Qstream and a mind-map.

I came across these in ASDA.

On special offer for £2, down from £4.50 I think. I may go and get some more as I like the idea of having a topic per Filofax-like binder. You might not have 60 key events/ideas or issues, but once in this wee binder they are, at low cost, portable and accessible - for me as I think through and prioritise a set of arguments, but for anyone with an exam, something to flick through repeatedly until the information sticks.

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Story telling - repetition

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:06

IMG_3379.JPG

I have a number of stories where I have used this ploy - I now need to go back and fix, fix, fix.

According to Mirrielees (1947) saying the same thing over and over and yet saying it in a way that the reader accepts it as new is an important component of story telling. 'Tapping on the same spot, yet varying the sound of every tap', is how she puts it. Mirrielees (1947:31)

NOTE TO SELF:

By numbers ... The trap

And read the Pit and the Pendulum.

As movies of TV drama - set things up - the unexpected is rarely effective.

 

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'Hurt' is an 'ear-worm' or 'ohrwurm'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 2 Nov 2014, 17:31

This has nothing to do with a personal desire to self-harm, being a reformed alcoholic or druggie, nor even being maudlin, but I heard Johnny Cash performing 'Hurt' a few days ago (Johnny Vegas on Desert Island Discs) and now have the tune lodged in my head. I think, from the German, this is an 'ear-worm.'

(Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm,[1] is a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one's mind, put colloquially as "music being stuck in one's head." ) Wikipedia.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2341604/johnny_cash_hurt/

A few moving YouTube clips, then I'm off to MusicNotes to download the sheet music. This tool is magic, it plays the tune karoake style and allows you to transpose the song at a click of a button. As a result after six months not touching the thing my guitar is having an outing and the pads of my fingers on my left hand are burning. (Metal stringed acoustic guitar). Finger-nails on my right hand suitably long and ready for action. Its a three-chord song. To get it exactly right another website runs through the precise order to pluck the strings. It'll take a little while to crack, as I'm rusty, but I'll do it. I love to relax this way.

Are the pads of my finger-tips getting fatter? I've never had such a problem keeping them on one string before. I may have to turn to a cat-gut strung classical guitar with a wider bridge.

Ho hum. Hum.

Alternatively I can ditch the guitar and get a friend who used to be a professional musician to play his. Team work. Theme of the week.

 

 

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