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Design Museum

Flying

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 16 Jun 2018, 19:50

It has taken 8 years. Maybe it has taken 18. I have in one vast loop gone from linear to interactive.

Only in the last week have I felt that I have arrived.

Academic training (MA ODE)

Two decades in corporate training.

And now, technology both permitting and expecting me to do everything, I find myself creating some 12 VR tours.

  • Catering
  • Aeronautics
  • Motor Vehicle Workshop
  • Theatre
  • Swimming
  • Sailing
  • Prop Making for Theatre & Film
  • Carpentry
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Electrics
  • Plumbing
  • Hair Salon &  Beauty

These are immersive, self-directed, celebratory, click through experiences of an learning environment augmented by clickable hotspots that show video, or images with audio or text. 

Come out of this and you get hit with a quiz of extreme close up photos, mid-shots and questions. 

Your have to be told that this is coming up.

It can cover:

Induction

Health & safety

Basic & advance learning and training

It can be as great as the tutor who takes up the challenge and the skills and insight of the 'enabling' person or team that creates the VR. 

 

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Design Museum

Taking offs with 360 Virtual Tours

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From a test tour of a carpentry workshop I am now well underway to complete similar tours on:

 

Car Mechanics Workshop and Motor Sport

Aeronautical Engineering

Catering

The End of Year Creative Industries Shows

Construction

Hair Salon & Beauty

While also producing what I call ‘Making an Entrance’ : VR tours into buildings to support autistic children who become anxious when going to new places.

These VR tours are shot on a Ricoh Theta SC. Hotspots, after various trials with available kit are being shot on my own Sony Alpha 7. This gives me mid, close up and extreme close up shots and video.

Along with these tours I am developing a quiz for viewers to undertake to identify certain parts and tools.

 

 

 

 

 

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Design Museum

I am the Ghost in the Machine

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Working with a Richoh Thetga SC 360 camera I am finding that I keep ending up in the picture. Inadvertently I may have set the self-timer. I take the picture then re-emerge from my hiding place and end up in the picture. Nor have I got the electronic settings right. AUTO clearly has too low a shutter speed in order to allow the maximum light into the 'frame'.

On the one hand I am enjoying the novelty and the experimentation. On the other hand I am constantly questioning their use and value in education. A 360 image is just one of many kinds of image, and framing that could be used. The question should not be 'how do we use this technology' and shoe-horn it into a piece of learning, but rather what is the desired learning outcome and what tools would be best suited to achieve this.

Colleges are only just beginning to have the resources to have a Learning Technologist on board, however we also need Learning Design.

My aim will be to import both Learning Design and Communications skills to the tasks at hand. As a 'communicator" i will start to introduce the 'Creative Brief' in order to help establish the context in which a piece of work will be delivered. I will also start to think about the learning design, Of course all of this should be done with the 'subject matter expert' - the tutor. 

On a scale of tutor involvement we can go from a classroom or tutorial where the students are expected to hang on the educator's every word. At the other end of the scale the tutor, and subject team, involvement is hidden in the design and content as a piece of self-directed learning. In between we have blended learning where a class are monitored and guided by a human presence - ostensibly they have work to get on with, but someone is there to get them started, to direct them and keep them focused.

So much to do! So much to learn! So much to achieve!

Any of the coures content I am working on could of course be used with many thousands of students, and be repeated each year (so long as the syllabus remains the same). With scale there ought to be a better budget too.

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Design Museum

In at the Deep End

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Developing the use of 360 images and tours with 'tags' for teaching and training

Everything I learnt completing the MA ODE from 2010-2013 indicated that creating e-learning elements, or as Jilly Salmon quaintly called them 'e-tivities' required time.

My experience is that educators lack this time

The time they have to teach is precious and taken. Therefore there is a role for the Learning Technologist as the enabler, who floats between the tutor or teacher, the course content and its objectives and the students. Compared to such roles in the commercial world, the Learning Designer comes to mind, the Learning Technologist is by and large a solo operator.

The role is evolving, as are the teams and our responses. Whilst invigorated by the chance to turn things around quickly and give them a go, my hope is that as learning technologists become more closely involved in longer term curriculum planning and preparation. Over time these 'e-tivities' will get greater investment in their creation. 

In the above the use of 360 cameras have been used in a number of sports to provide classroom insight to second year BTEC Sports students. By exploring the environment they can both assess the quality and nature of teaching and coaching provision, and also do a risk assessment. 

 

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Design Museum

Why blog?

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Design Museum

G Suite for Education

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 14 Apr 2018, 06:56

 

 

Delight at finding the OU has activated G Suite for education. I am well through training to be a Google Educator Level 1 (Certified).  Its impact and benefits are huge, not least replacing most the of current platforms used by the OU. 

This is my account - activated 9 days. I have been Google since the start, transferring to Docs, Slides and Sheets to rid my life of hideous Word, PowerPoint and Excel. It has grown gently from a basic and easy to use set of Apps, to a suite of simple to use, intuitive and connected tools that create the most versatile of learning set-ups.

'Sites' the blog platform could see off this environment I am working in now. This would be a mistake. I rave to colleagues about the affordances of this space because as well as being a blog, it is really a threaded conversation too. 

You can always find someone to talk to smile 

 

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Design Museum

Working Towards Google Educator Level 1

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 12 Apr 2018, 05:56

 ’Getting stuck is part of the learning process. Take risks and don’t worry about getting it right the first time. There are lots of learning opportunities that can come from failure’.

This quote caught my eye first time round as I completed the 17 hours that make up the 13 units. It isn’t a slog, more a case of making the time, taking your time and taking breaks. The learning pattern is a familiar one: a short encouraging introduction and explanation, one or a few very short talking head interview - always with transcripts, a formative quiz rounding off with a tougher one to indicate how much you have picked up.

I find my short term memory excellent so scores are high most of the time. I only need to redo the test a couple of days later to discover how much I have forgotten.

I am now heading back through the entire process. Once again I am taking to and doing to my notes. Once again I am taking the tests.

Soon I will join a few short classes with an Educator and even ’buddy up’ with someone. The goal is to take and pass the certificate while beginning to run such classes myself.

The progression continues, to Educstir Level 2, say in 6 months to a year the onwards to becoming an ‘Innovator’.

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Design Museum

Are Texting, keyboards and touch screens to blame for terrible handwriting?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Apr 2018, 18:36

Various kinds of handwriting

It's generational, but those of us brought up with handwriting competitions at school and handwritten essays and the written examination are judgmental of a generation who apparently have terrible handwriting and can't spell.

Do they need to? They can touch type - can you? Faced with a sheet of paper and a pen to write an essay they may struggle to be legible and make spelling mistakes - but how often do they do that, or will they need to that. 

Isn't it like complaining in the 8th century that scribes would be rubbish with a chisel putting their words in stone.

The goal is everything - clear communication. Doesn't technology deliver this?

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Design Museum

Facilitators of learning rather than a teachers

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Apr 2018, 18:18

Teachers will tell you never to take away teaching time, that they are hard pressed to deliver all the required course work as it is. If you want to involved 'Technology Enhanced Learning' (TEL) that it needs to during added hours.

The OU has taken up with Google's philosophy of more 'facilitator-led learning' with those teachers who create the courses elevated in status, while everyone else takes on what they may see as a diminished role. Or an apprenticeship role before they too become writers of content.

I am putting it too crudely. Teachers do hours of planning to carry the hours of 'taught hours' that they deliver. If they are able to teach may more by including the indirect experience of learning online then this may, in some measure, begin to cater for the millions around the world who want a secondary or tertiary education but don't have access to one.

 

IMAGE: Working in small groups to correct copyrights and Non-NPOV violations. Photo by Shani Evenstein (שני אבנשטיין), freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

IMAGE: Medical English student (Group 2) uploading photograph related to their field into Wikimedia Commons

IMAGE:  Children with iPads by  Wesley Fryer 

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Design Museum

Turnitin

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An assignment managent tool from inception, through feedback, assessment and grading. 

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Design Museum

Do these programmes tell you anything about British history?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Apr 2018, 17:57

 

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How to save the OU

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 4 Apr 2018, 21:38

Rather than retreat, the OU should become a residential, campus based university. Instead of making huge numbers of tutors redundant they should be kept on to work directly with students in blended platforms, directly and at a distance. The OU has the library, has lecture halls and seminar rooms, and the real estate and land. 

Most importantly it has the courage to reinvent itself.

What else can it do when every university and college has attached to it a distance and blended learning component?

This step must be taken before it is too late. 

The first students should be on campus from September 2018.

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Design Museum

Talk about what you are learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Apr 2018, 17:59

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking needed to talk in order to understand and express what he was thinking. All learners need to talk about their studies more than merely reading and writing about it. All learning should include opportunities to discuss, debate and present,

 

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Design Museum

Positivity and the future of The OU

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 23 Mar 2018, 09:46

This is both a reminder to me, and a suggestion to others. I find that far more is achieved by being positive and 'can do' without being overly enthusiastic to the point of being unreasonable. I am prone to say 'yes' to any request I get from people to do a thing. I was brought up where all request were met with a firm 'no' before I had even finished my sentence ... It's taken a few decades to get over that one.

Meanwhile, as I emerge from a temporary 'blank' where I went off radar with viral bronchitis that turned into bacterial bronchitis I am starting to feel refreshed and even re-invigorated.

The world of e-Learning is my future and at last I have a stake in it as a 'Learning Technologist'.

Many years ago I opted to get into TV from the bottom, not as a trainee producer. I got to make coffee, type up scripts, prepare budgets, organise presenters and actors ... and in time to liase with agents, to edit, to write scripts and direct.

I would have loved an apprenticeship, even an old fashioned 'Technical College' to my academic training at Oxford, even, to some degree to the mixed academic/hands on experience of the Open University MA in Open and Distance Education. 'Getting Your Hands' dirty as soon as possible matters. 

Think of working online as more like learning to cook or garden. You will never learn to garden or cook simply by reading books, attending lectures and seminars, researching and writing essays: you must do.

I would also hope and encourage people who study part-time to be 'in the business' they are studying - I was too tangential to it and so lacked the insight of a practising teacher (in primary, tertiary, or secondary).

Meanwhile, good luck Open University in a world where every univers