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Why learn?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 19 Jan 2015, 07:41

Fig.1 After another twenty years? With age comes wisdom.

  • To get a job: a better job, to pass through a gate towards a graduate job, as a springboard to a job.
  • To gain a qualification: as above, though sometimes it is primarily a badge of honour and achievement
  • To feed your curiosity: a compulsion or desire to better understand a think for the pure sake of learning.
  • To renew a long held interest that may have started at school or with a first degree.
  • Because it is expected of you: your family and peers expect it.
  • To develop fluency in the subject for whatever reason - which includes some of those above.
  • To apply your learning directly to a problem : can be related to a job, research or intellectual curiosity.
  • To kill time: like reading a book, doing Sudoko puzzles or watching Soaps. A pricey way to fill part of your day though?
  • To meet like-minded people.
  • As a catalyst to who knows what.

 

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All great things come to an end

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 15 Jan 2015, 06:34

As I am not currently a student having abandoned L120 Ouverture: Intermediate French I no longer have access to the library. There was a time I'd have been heart broken- I cherish the intellectual indulgence of getting te exact paper I want, when I need it. I'm over at FutureLearn studying Climate Change of all things - and now editing not one, but two novels, which on word count alone come to over 160,000 words. That's a lot of editing to get on with. This side of me has been revived, thanks to the Open University and its creative writing taster on FutureLearn 'Start Writing Fiction.' I didn't so much start as pick up where I left off six years ago. If I can make or find the money I'll be back here legitimately on the 'Creative Writing' course. We'll see. Paying off some debts, fixing a leaky roof and clearing the mortgage are all pressing concerns too.

In three weeks time I'll have been blogging here for FIVE years. It has almost come full circle. Far from moving on I am in many ways back where I started: the archetypal missfit 'frustrated creative.' I'm not an academic, not even a journalist - may writing is forever too wayward. I got grades up from 43 to 92, but never got an average to a distinction - though I recognised in others something they had that I lacked.

A million views became an idiotic goal and driver - they're not even genuine views so much as 'ping backs;' on that score I feel like the autistic kid whose been duped. I'm a sucker for many things.

Has the OU MA been a huge distraction and unaffordable expense? I'm possibly even more unemployable than when I started having fairly abandoned what I was doing in 2008/2009 only now picking up those pieces part time further back than when I started.

On verra.

Adieu.

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Free Speech is the religion of the West

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 12 Jan 2015, 12:42

Fig.1. The three million in Paris on Sunday 11th January 2014 to show unity in the face of extremists and violence. 

It has been 250 years in the making, but free speech has, int the West, has surpassed both monarchy and religion. It is a product of and made possible the secular ascendancy. I write this less than half a mile from where Joh Paine espoused his ideas in the meeting houses and pubs of Lewes, in Sussex, England. He had a personal loathing for the aristocracy and land owners. He took his ideas to North America where his words were enshrined in the American Constitution.

A single faith is the religion of many people around the world; it means more to them than consumerism, more than education, more than the state, more than democracy or even life itself. It invariably denies freedom of speech.
 
A little over 300 years ago a teenage boy blasphemed in Edinburgh: he was hanged for his offence, sin and crime. Does it take this long for society to change? Will the world be dealing with the clash between beliefs, opportunity and cultures for many centuries? I suspect so.
 
Those living in the West, by birth or by choice, need to understand and respect our faith - this belief in freedom of expression. Just as we need to accept that in other countries other rules are the norm. 
 
We watched the events unfold in real time hope we could spot our daughter and friends in the crowd. 
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How to start writing fiction

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Succinct characterisation by Richard Flanagan in his Man Booker Prize winning novel "The Narrow Road to the Deep North"

"After his sentencing, his Australian defence council, a flabby man with wet, glistening eyes that reminded the condemned Korean of scalpel blades, pleaded with him to lodge a petition for clemency." p.320

"Named after the noted Melbourne gangster, because of both his surname and a dark charm – emphasised by damp marsupial eyes, at once alert and vulnerable, and underlined by a pencil moustache–the once sleek Squizzy Taylor was now very thin, a form that lent him a villainous look he had never before had, further adding to the aptness of his nickname." p.270

'He turned away and looked back at the bookshelves. He was in any case thinking of Ella, whom he had met in Melbourne while completing his surgical training, Ella's father was a prominent Melbourne solicitor, their mother from a well–known grazing family;her grandfather was an author of the federal constitution. She herself was a teacher. If she was sometimes dull, her world and her looks still burnt brightly for Dorrigo. If her talk was full of commonplaces learnt as if by rote and repeated so determinedly that he really was 't sure what she thought, he nevtheless found her kind and devoted. And with her came a world that seemed to Dorrigo secure, timelss, confident, unchanging, a world of darkwood living rooms and clubs, crystal decanters of sherry and single malt, the cloying, slightly intoxicating, slightly claustrophobic smell of polished must.' p.64

 

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What's a MOOC from FutureLearn life? It's as easy as turning the pages of a book

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015, 11:12

My interest is e-learning. A decade ago it was web-based learning and before that it was online learning ... as compared to 'offline' learning on an intranet or in a computer learning centre. Across this period, whether on Laser disc, CD-rom, DVD, or online the key words to describe a successful piece of learning might include: easy to use, intuitive, effective, measurable results, gamified and impressive. 'Impressive' for a corporate client has always been important - they want to see how their money is spent. It matters to jazz a thing up, to find a way to deliver exception creative qualities in both the ideas and the execution of these ideas. In H.E. this 'impressiveness' has been thin on the ground the experience and view of H.E. that someone talking to camera with a slide show or whiteboard will do the job; it doesn't, not any more.

At the risk of writing a list I want to think about the 'enhanced learning' experiences that have impressed over the last 15 years:

Audi Shop DVD - Gold Award Winner at the IVCA awards. Stunning animated 3D animations of the engine. Like a 3D animated Dorling Kindersley

What are you like? - Gold Award Winner at the IVCA awards. An interactive life and career guide for teenagers done in the style of 'In Betweeners' and 'Some Girls' - nailed the audience with creative tone and visual effects. This won BAFTAs, the IVCA Grand Prix and NMA Effectiveness Awards. 

Ideafisher - first on floppy discs, then a CD. It did in the 1990s what various websites do today by linking vast collections of aggregated ideas and concepts that it filters out and offers up. The closest I've felt to AI for creativity.

MMC - online marketing courses. These were, for me, in 2010, an early example of stringing the face to camera lecture together with course notes to create a course. Still more like a self-directed traditional lecture series but the volume of content was admirable and some of the tools to control the viewing and reading experience were innovative.

TED Lectures. Are they learning? Or are they TV? Are they modelled on the BBC's Annual Reith Lecture series? Top of the Pops for the lecture circuit so tasters and Open Education Resources for grander things. 

Rosetta Stone - iPad App

Pure simplicity. I love these. I gave a year to an intermediate course in French, learnt some grammar and fixed several problems with my pronunciation. Like that game 'Pairs' you play as a child: a pack of cards with pairs of images on one side that you pair up. With considered, only sometimes over art-directed photography. Repetitive, always in the language you are learning. The next best thing to being dropped in amongst native speakers as an infant. It just works.

iTunesU - The History of English in One Minute.

Not so much a course as a series of stunning and memorable cartoon pieces that galvanise your interest. The next step is to follow through with a free trial course through OpenLearn and perhaps a nudge then towards a formal course with the Open University proper. 

FutureLearn - the entire platform.

As easy as reading a book. I've done eight of these and have another three on the go (two for review rather than as a participant). Across the myriad of subjects and offerings there are differences, all gems, but some are more outstanding than others. It is no surprise that those MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) produced by the Open University are some of the very best; it's what you'd expect with their experience. Other university's shine through for their confidence with the the platform too, for example, 'How to read a mind' from the University of Nottingham. 

MOOCs I love enough to repeat:

Start Writing Fiction: From the Open University

I may have been through this a couple of times in full and now dip back into it as I get my head into gear. I'll do this as often as it takes to get the thinking to stick. It's working. I read as a writer. I will interrupt a story to pick out how a succinct character description works.  I'm also chasing up a myriad of links into further Open University courses and support on creative writing. For example: next steps, creative writing tasters, and audio tasters on iTunes. 

MOOCs I may repeat next year ... or follow similar topics from these providers:

Word War 1: Trauma and Memory: From the Open University with the BBC

World War 1: Paris 1919 - A New World: From the University of Glasgow with the BBC

MOOCs I admire that target their academic audiences with precision:

How to Read a Mind: The University of Nottingham

Shakespeare's Hamlet: From the University of Birmingham

Web Science: How the Web is changing: From the University of Southampton

 

 

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How are different MOOC platforms shaping up?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015, 13:55

The competitors for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are fragmenting, some into commercial learning and development where payment is easier to take, for specific skills training such as graduate induction and by profession, say law, accountancy, banking and pharmaceuticals. These are MOOCs that are neither massive nor open anymore. All see the value in improving their learning approaches, and to attract and identify the very best potential candidates, but open education should be for everyone, not a replay of an elitist model of the last millenium. Peter Stockwell puts the qualities and potential of FutureLearn very well at the end of the first week of the ‘How to Read a Human Mind’ in which he commends the contributions made by participants, how the most scholarly step in to explain and assist the novice, and the ‘wiki nature’ of the course allowing educators to rejig their module as it is represented. 

By comparison, efforts to use alternative platforms such as EdX, Coursera and Udacity I have found to be such direct reflections of formal, campus based training that they prefer an approach that fails to exploit our burgeoning digital literacy. The learning environments are dated and labyrinthine. The only successes I have had here has been where educators have taken a closer interest in the activity of the students, but this could only be achieved by their committing additional time: taking part in discussions and adding additional content on the fly, which cannot be the long term modus operandi of a ‘massive’ course with thousands, even tens of thousands of participants. If universities expect MOOCs to deliver plausible candidates for formal courses this doesn’t need to impact on the quality or nature of the experience, it does however require a mindshift in the way universities expose and reveal their educators and teaching methods.

 

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Reading the human mind: reflecting on a FutureLearn MOOC

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 Jan 2015, 17:24

Fig. 1. How the six-eight year old me thought a farmhouse in the Ypres Salient looked like during the First World War in October 1917

For 45 years I have dwelt on how the images in my head associated with stories my grandfather told me about the First World War changed from those of a six year old, to an eleven year old, through my thirties and forties ... my childhood conception of the imained world depended on the little I had personally seen and experienced. When my grandfather spoke of keeping his machine gun in a pillbox pointing at a farmhouse held by 'Jerry' For three days I at first pictured an intact farm building, the kind I often saw in a rolling and lush Northumbrian landscape, with the heavy stone walls and full deciduous trees I knew from being driven down bouncy country lanes north east of Alnwick heading for Chathill and our fisherman's holiday cottage in Beadnell. The pillbox in my imagination would have had to been like those left from the Second World War on the beach that my brother and I played in - and used as a urinal. Age eleven a few ghastly black and white pictures from the First War and the title sequence from the BBC Series 'The Great War' coloured my imagination: it added a soundtrack, skulls and broken trees, but not the scale, nor the mud, not the rain, the cold, thirst and hunger. Although he could mimmick every shell the sound effects my grandfather made could never get close to the terrifying sound os something large and dangerous approaching and then the almighty bang that followed.

In my twenties I got to the Ypres Salient in summer: it was dry, a new autoroute split and the noise of traffic created a barrier. Several TV efforts at recreating the war failed, not least as my thoughts expended to take in the thoughts of a what it meant to be a young man in those conditions, that you were in and out for a bout of two or three days. The rest of the time if not on fatigues or carrying parties you were looking for things to do.

Only now, thoroughly immersed in hundreds of currated photographs and having looked on destroyed, wet massively scarred landscapes from open mining, having smelt rotting flesh - not human, but a dead sheep several days gone, am I starting to develop a true image. With teenage children of my own it is too easy to imagine the horror of sending them to war. Images of what happens to a body when hit by shrapnel or bullets, or blown apart by shells are readily available. There is little left for my imagination to do, other than to see another drama reconstruction and feel that nothing has done it better than 'All Quiet on the Western Front.' It looks dated, somehow caught in the early 1970s when it was finally made, but 'Johnny Got His Gun' leaves you with the desired sense of hopelessness, horrror and despair that one ought to have.

Fig 2. As it was. The dead behind a stone wall. The very same image my grandfather had while he sat it out in the remains of a recently captured 'Jerry' strongpoint.

75 years after leaving that pillbox with two friends burried my 96 year old grandfather broke down: telling his stories as stories had been his escape from it, but back on the same soil, at the very spot with the light and low landscape just as it had been it once again had become horribly real. He withered away after that as if the reality of the war brought home to him made him whither from the inside out.

For all this 'Jerry' to me is still a black cartoon cat and the 'Hun' something barbaric from the fall of the Romans as a drawing in a Ladybird book. We are our own film directors when it comes to reading; an author is a catalyst to our thoughts that can conjure up anything - which, in part, is the fun of it. We inhabit a world of our own in the orchestra of our minds, the author the composer, as readers we conduct, as listeners or viewers the director injects a piece of their own mind.

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Review, Reflect, Repeat ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 Jan 2015, 09:05

Fig.1. My mash-up from the Start Writing Fiction, OU and FutureLearn MOOC. 

Many weeks after the Open University MOOC on Future Learn closed 'Start Writing Fiction' I find I am returning to the many activities across the eight weeks to refresh, reflect, and build on my knowledge. As well as doing my bit for that 'community' by doing a few reviews (all assignments are peer reviewed). I completed the course in early December.

I return to reflect, to develop ideas, to be reminded of the excellent lessons I have learnt there, and in particular on how we use fact and fiction, whether consciously or not. In pure fantasy writing I find, inevitably, that I ground events in places I know from my youth, or have since researched. I use the hook of reality and my experiences on which to build the fiction. While currently I am embedded in what started as 90/10 fiction to fact I find it is increasingly looking like 95/5 in favour of fact as my imagination is close to the truth about a particular character and his experience of the First World War. All this from a simple exercise in week one called 'Fact or Fiction?' where we are asked first of all two write something that contains three factual elements and one fiction, and then to write something that contains three fictional elements and one factual. There are thousands of these now, many very funny, original or captivating. In week one, I'm guessing that around 10,000 got through the week. How many posted? There are 967 comments. This happens. It is an open course. The same applies for most web content: 95:5 is the ratio of readers to writers. Many people prefer not to do what they feel is 'exposing themselves' online. Why should they.

Anyway, this gives me reason to argue that it is an excellent idea to keep a blog of your OU studies. All of this can remain private, but at least, as I know have in this blog, when the doors close behind a module you can, months, even years later, return to key activities and assignments and build on the lessons you learnt. More importantly, as we all forget with such ease, we can keep the memory of the lessons fresh.

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What will you look and sound like twenty years from now?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Jan 2015, 14:08

Fig.1 JV 2013-2033 - from one niece's wedding.

We'll see. My father died young age 71 so I'm less sure I'll make it to 73. Then again my grandfather made it to 96 ... the other to 61 or something. 

I stumbled upon this link courtesy of a fellow OU Student on my very first MAODE module way back in 2010. We're still in touch. It's a fun App from Orange. Take a current grab using a webcam or use an old photo. It generates an Avatar that will then respond to your talking to texting it. Weird.

I've found that if it 'grabs' the image first time it works. What does not work is massively adjusting the settings with an image that gave a bad fit in the first place.

 

 Fig.2. JFV 2014 - 2013 from another niece's wedding. 

And yes, I've already tried old photos of me in my twenties to see how accurate it is and put in friends to see what it does to them. I've had me speaking fluent French too - easier than continuing with L120.

In 20 years time

http://oran.ge/1I4Vjs0 

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A writer's idyll. Beadnell Bay, Northumberland

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Jan 2015, 09:30

Fig.1 The old fishermen's harbour, the 18th century lime kilns and a late December sunrise over the North Sea.

The sun coming up over Beadnell harbour, the lime kilns on the left, Dunstanburgh Castle in the far distance, sand dunes at my back a two mile beach walk to the river 'the long nanny' to my right. 

Fig.2. The iconic 'Beach Court' B nB - owned by a member of Showaddywaddy by the way ... 

A light frost on the seaweed and sand, our dog wondering why I've stopped in the middle distance. Several days with the waves, the views, the fresh air ... and bonkers relations who like to take a quick dip in the sea at this time of year! Not even the dog is that daft. The two mile walk to 'The Long Nanny' and the footbridge over the river is glorious as the tide goes out. 

What's this got to do with learning? Everything.

Time to reflect. Time to look back to my years running around here as a child the parents and grandparents, the uncles and great uncles and aunts all long gone. And from time to time there's a little bit of history to take in:

Fig.3. Ebb's Nook, looking out across the point over the North Sea many hundreds of years ago. 

We're looking for a spot to scatter my late grandfather's ashes. He came up here and stayed in a house behind Beach Court in the 40s and 50s until his daughter bought a cottage here and we spent our childhood here in the 60s.  

Fig.4 The Point, Beadnell at dawn. Volcanic rock poking into the North Sea. 

I can sit here for hours happily writing, drawing and taking pictures. I have my 'writer's notebook' as the OU Start Writing Fiction MOOC course recommended. I make notes about a talking lump sucker fish I once scooped out of a deep pool at low tide and took home in a large red bucket.

On the horizon there are now the occasional massive cargo carriers, just as I see back at home looking across the English Channel at Seaford Head. To the south the silhouette of Dunstanburgh Castle is a coastal landmark. To the north the Farne Islands are easy to pick out as the Longstone lighthouse flashes.

Happy New Year!

Does the Open University do a module on oceanography? 

REFERENCE

Historic Environment Survey for the National Trust Properties on the Northumberland Coast. Beadnell Limekilns and the Links. 

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Sunrise on the Point, Beadnell, Northumberland

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Jan 2015, 12:13

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

Why is the way the sun starts and ends the day such a special moment? This last week, wherever I have been up and down and across England the sunrise and sunsets have been fabulous. From the point on Beadnell Bay on the northern edge of the Northumberland coast, to the Cotswolds and home on the south Sussex coast.

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The waves off Beadnell Point, Northumberland,

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 Jan 2015, 16:25

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN 

 ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN 

SIXTEEN 

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Obscure First World War Memorials: Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 Jan 2015, 16:55

The War Memorial below the cliffs of Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

ONE

TWO 

 

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Lindisfarne, Northumberland from the beach at Bamburgh

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 Jan 2015, 16:53

ONE: Lindisfarne from Bamburgh Beach, late December 2014

TWO

 

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Recollections and connections with Chinese Management Students

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014, 10:26

Fig.1 A lumpsucker fish

My fellow student Sian Lovegrove on the MAODE is an educator at a Chinese Management School.

Last year we did on a module on networking and connectivity related to e-learning - how collaboration and ‘connectedness’ is such a good thing. Some 30 of her students have since started blog. It was with trepidation that I have started to read these and what I find is a wonderfully eclectic mix of Chinese voices, always quirky in their use of English and as varied in what they write about as you’d expect from any group: food, western ways, movies and musicians, immigration, recently local ways, on being a student … often familiar, always insightful.

Air Pollution in Shanghai

I have often  thought how much I'd like to live and work in China for a few years, unfortunately my breathing is very sensitive to poor air. I have asthma. I am fit. I sail, I swim, but I also take medication all the time so that I don't have an asthma attack which can easily be set off by car fumes, smoke from fires, even cigarette smoke, some perfumes ... and very odd, the smell and chemicals that comes from autumn leaves. This is why I like to live by the sea facing the wind. I am fascinated to read about life in different country, especially one as fascinating as China. Reading this blog I am reminded also how much we have in common - people who love life and love our planet too. 

There were several posts on:

Christmas seen for Chinese eyes, on Chinese compared to Western Food and on student life.

I was inspired to settled down to an hour of writing thanks to a delightful post on 'Maternal Love' where a student's Mom sends a 'nanny' - aunt or family friend, to live with her student daughter and cook meals and clean for her. 

I found myself reflecting on our own few days in Northumberland and remembering how I once pulled a lumpsucker fish out of a tidal pool: I was seven or eight and didn't know better to leave these things where they were. I pulled out a large eating crab another time, even a lobster. 

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Beadnell remembered ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Dec 2014, 11:53

Fig.1 Dunstanburgh Castle from Beadnell Bay at dusk this morning

Fig.2 The tide coming in across The Point, Beadnell at sun up.

Fig.3 Something I never knew about The Point where I played as a child. 

Fig.4 The sea pushing in through fissures between the rocks and pools

Fig.5. The low cliffs, fingers of rock and pools where I scrambled.

Fig.6 A drain that intrigued me age 5, or 6 or 7. In a storm the waves came up through it. 

This was my playground until the age of 11 or 12. Easter, Summer and even half-term and weekends were spent here. Just two walks forty years later and the smell of wet sand in the dunes takes me back to being a boy - easy to scrambled around the dunes when you are seven. The rocks, the different textures under foot, the mesmerising waves that approached closer along the rocks as the tide came in, the birds and occasional seal, the Longstone Lighthouse always flashing its presence in the distance.

The foghorn lulled me to sleep. The noise of waves constantly crashing on the rocks changes from the loud chatting of people before the curtain goes up, to a jet coming into land ... it rumbles gently, or angrily according to its mood (and yours).

Yesterday I had the briefest of conversations with someone who had a deep Northumbrian accent that sounds like Norweigian spoken with an English accent. 

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Memory is an amazing thing ...

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From E-Learning VI

Fig.1. The gate across the fields from Beadnell Beach to the Village

Age six or seven I passed through these gates and someone told me it was a 'kissing gate' and we had to kiss. She was 18 maybe a little older. I would have been with other children, a brother or a friend the same age. These have been, ever since, a 'kissing gate'. I've never taken this path in over forty years, but it came to me as I approached. 

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Manage your money: OU MOOC 5Jan2015

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From E-Learning VI

Manage your money

There are ten tips on how to manage your money over Christmas - Christmas 2015? This would have been handy a week ago. I race around shops as they close on Christmas Eve.

This looks very useful all the same: life skills rather than academic lesrning or accountancy. See you there. I need to save up for 'Creative Writing' from October 2015.

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Trauma and Memory: another brilliwnt MOOC from the OU

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From E-Learning VI

Chaired by the OU's Prof. Annika Mombauer this MOOC complements anything you may read on WW1.

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Happy Christmas my OU blogging lovelies.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 25 Dec 2014, 20:56
From E-Learning VI

Start Writing Fiction

#FLfiction14

@OUFreeLearning

Happy Christmas my OU blogging lovelies. I have chains in the car boot as we head for Northumberland: unnecessary I hope. Looking forward to a year punctuated by further learning with FutureLearn while saving for a creative writing course with the OU late in 2015,

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This is not all! A lot of its is on A 363 Website *

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From E-Learning V

Fig.1 Second hand 'used' book on creative writing

After eight weeks I recently slid from the end of the OU and FutureLearn MOOC 'Start Writing Fiction' and felt bereft. There is a Facebook group, a Linkedin group and a blog ... all set up by us students. The links sadly to the OU are the kind where you a dropped into the centre of a labyrinth with no idea of where to turn, and no one to talk to. 

Anyway. I was particularly delighted that the previous owner of this book has added the note onto the cover 'This is not all! A lot of it is on A 363 website*' which is where I will potentially pick up my OU studies in ten months time. '

Meanwhile I have three more MOOCs with FutureLearn. 

*A363 Advance Creative Writing

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Imagine if these had caught on

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From E-Learning V
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Why I'm selling my books

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 22 Dec 2014, 13:11
From E-Learning V

Fig.1 Learn How to Study .... I did!

Buying books can be an obsession. Unnecessary too where I have access to a university library up the road, but I do anyway. Books that are long out of print 100, 75 years old. I like chasing down the obscure reference. When I finally read the passage an author, usually an academic has written, I do that thing politicians say about 'quoting out of context'. It is surprising how one's own interpretation of what someone has said can be very different. 

I understand that having read a book we keep them as an aide memoire, not even to thumb through, but to see them on the shelf and so be reminded of the joy we got from them. Do I ever get from that an academic text? Not often. I take copious notes as I read them. I now have a photo of the cover and that is in my Google+ gallery.

From E-Learning V

 

What more do I need?

Courtesy of a specialist local books shop, AbeBooks, Amazon and eBay I'm selling everything. A box of 30 books went to someone studying the MA in History I've been doing. This morning I dropped off four books at the Post Office. Having never used any online service to sell anything I am delighted at how easy it has been to turn the dining room table into a bookshop! Much to my wife's despair there are ten large 'really useful boxes' stacked around the place. ISBN number, get what its selling for, add a handful of photos, post an honest appraisal of the books condition - mostly pristine, one or two I took ownership of with a highlighter pen - not that that has prevented a sale. The content is sound. I'm honest about the things condition.

From E-Learning V

Fig. 2. Learn How to Study - with books!

The oddest thing is to find that sometimes a ten or twenty year old academic paperback sells for more than it cost all those years ago. For example, which says something for the OU, Derek Rowntree's 'Learn How to Study' from 1990. This may not mention online learning, and adds a very short chapter at the end on wordprocessing, but the lessons and tips he passes on are as relevant and as sound to a student planning distance learning as ever it was.

No value in an eBook on a Kindle then?

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Design Museum

Things I love online

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From E-Learning V

Fig.1 Thesaurus.com 

Need to find the right word? This is the place to look.

 

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Design Museum

What's your favourite remote HD webcam view?

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From Alps

Fig.1 Late yesterday afternoon looking north.

Looking north towards the Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere 3380m from ten miles south at Tovierer, 2700m above Tignes Le Lac, French Alps. 16h40 Friday 19th December 2014

I'm at home in Lewes. I've not been up here for nearly 25 years, though I have watched over the alps for nearly a year courtesy of a set of HD Webcams. Is it like being there to follow the seasons? To witness the first snow. To see the grass turn green? To follow the weather?

Do you have a favourite webcam you watch? Birds nesting for Spring Watch? A beach? Your garden?!

 

 

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