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Design Museum

The Language of E-Learning is Digital Literacy

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It only works when we speak the same language. It only works wells when we speak this language fluently. In this brave new world amongst students and educators there are many who are ignorant of the digital world beyond their TV and phone. It is a switch, messaging service, photo booth and catalogue. Learning online requires a different language and mindset. Most lack this. It is challenging to have students who are fluent where the tutor hides, ignores and stumbles. It is odd where the worst student is not as bad as the worst tutor. The educator has had every opportunity to grasp the tools and language. Do they learn together? Some tutors handle this with aplomb and embrace the new order of things. Some simply don’t sign in for a few months. We are at the transition between the horse and cart and the motor car. Too many educators stick with their cart, or walk ... backwards clutching handouts and a reading list.
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Design Museum

Applying for Research and Development Funding in relation to the use of digital tools in Further Education

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Steps required to prepare a research question

This from FutureLearn @OpenLearn 

Between giving presentations to staff and tutors on the opportunities presented by the educational video platform Planet E-Stream I am also applying for funding to develop the relationship between students and teachers (tutors). This is made easier because of a pool of projects that are bubbling up across the various different faculties and workshops where I act as a 'Learning Technologist'.

This is no academic post that might be reflected by my having an MA in Open & Distance Education, rather it is somewhere between being a Librarian, IT Person and Learning Support. I am confident that this is a role that will either be absorbed by teachers during teacher training or through practice, or it will blossom, depending on the institution into something more akin to a consultant or adviser. I am having to draw on raw technical skills to use new and popular platforms, but also to integrate digital into a course as an Instructional Designer would do.

The timing of putting in our application comes right at the moment when I complete two FutureLearn MOOCs from Open Learn at the Open University: The Online Educator and Blended Learning Essentials. 

With my inability to let go of academic study, research and writing up papers seems a sensible way forward. This may be combined with completing an MEd with the OU if they can be convinced to allow me 60 credits from the two additional modules I took having completed the MA ODE in 2013. This would still require me to take a further 120 units, to two hefty and possibly one substantial and two shorter modules. I feel I am now where I needed to be in 2010 - working in the front line in education, an intermediary between students, teaching and other staff, moving through multiple departments across a number of sites - I even have a toe in mark.

Preferring a busy life, apparently, over the next four weeks I will be assessed to qualify with the Institute of Swimming as a Swimming Coach. I have been teaching for 16 years and coaching for 10, so this is a case of providing evidence of my knowledge rather than having to take part in formal class or poolside learning. Being who I am, I have of course kept a learning journal, or career journal as a swimming teacher and coach which is called simply 'Swim Coach Blog'. 

 

 

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Design Museum

An insatiable appetite for learning catalysed by the OU

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A third MA completed and within a month I am taking two MOOCs with FutureLearn, giving an hour a day to fixing my inadéquate French, once again contemplating a PhD and progressing with an MEd module through Coursera on Insrructional Design. If my day jobs with this stimulating I suppose I’d need none of the above. Asked by my wife if I could be doing any paid job in the world right now what would it be I said directing a musical featuring kids or teeanagers. Would it surprise readers to learn that in 2002 I was diagnosed as ADHD? I don’t resist it, I run with it. Result? A jack of all trades? Though evidentially I am a Master of some!
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Design Museum

Reflections on a decade of e-learning 2008 - 2018

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Expectations in the first decade of the 21st century have barely been realised in the second, despite educational tools and platforms vying for space. Should we be surprised by the consolidation by the likes of Google Classroom, the rise of the educator as celebrity, and the slow transcendence from questionable digital dross to highly effective and smart learning Apps. How we learn must be better understood and applied in e-learning design. Speed, immediacy, volume and complementarity which make up much of what is digital needs to accommodate a human learning process that is slow, cumulative, experimental, experiential and organic. The greatest challenge is not a digital one, but a human one. New roles for teachers and new roles entirely and how these morph and coalesce into a new more collaborative working environment is the challenge. Just as disruptive technologies in retail and music put the client experience first, so too must the student/client experience be put first and systems created and adjusted around their needs, rather than both students and teachers having to accommodate themselves to the systems they are told to adopt.
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Design Museum

Success Learning French with LingVist and Tandem

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 9 Oct 2018, 03:34
« Je tu jure qu’après six semaines avec Tandem et Lingvist, et deux ans avec Rosetta Stone que entre ces Apps on peut bien améliorer son français. 45 minutes chaque jours avec Lingvist j’apprends 20 mots et du grammaire par jours. 735 mots il y a quelque semaine je touche 1200 aujourd’hui. Avec Tandem’ ces des conversations “synchro” ou “asynchronous” avec des autres étudiantes. On peut rapidement trouver quelqu’un français qui envie de parler anglais. C’est un peut Comme Twitter, ou comme Skype, comme on le voudrais. Rosetta Stone est superbe pour la prononciation. Je peut la démo ça ces Mercredis. » I really have tried everything over the years. Taught French at school for the best part of 7 years all I mange-disque was a C Grade O’Level. I tried living there and working there, one to one lessons with a teacher, Rosetta Stone and even a degree with The OU. Finally though I have two complementary platforms that are advanced enough and smart enough to work. Lingvist simply plugs away at my ability to remember words - this includes defining verbs in context. Answers can be written or spoken. There are more formal grammar, sayings and so on set as optional ‘challenges’. Tandem is like a WhatsApp or Skype. I understand it works like a dating App. You set a profile. Look at the profile of other people then make a start. The deal is simple: they want fluency in English, whilst I want fluency in French. Six weeks in I can tell you that it works.
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Design Museum

VR Tours - 360 Tours around various workshops, a theatre and Music Facility

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Plumbing & Electrical

 

Motor Vehicle Workshop

 

Carpentry

 

Machine Tools

 

Hair Salon & Beauty Treatments

 

Aeronautics

 

Motor Vehicle Maintenance

 

Motor Sport

  

Carpentry

 

Catering 

 

Northbrook Theatre

 

Learning Resource Centres

 

Music Facilities

 

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Design Museum

Planet eStream

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2018, 04:43

Planet eStream Logo and title on how to make interactive videos

Having attended a couple of promotional sessions on how to use Planet eStream I see here an opportunity to create the kind of interactive video learning that until recently was only possible at a bespoke level to 'Industry'. I was involved in interactive learning in the 1990s.

Having got on top of VR tours, hotspots and teleporting with ThingLink, the next goal is to create some interactive Telly. 

 

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Design Museum

LingVist for Langauge Learning

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A month of this and LingVist is the App for me.

The challenge is a simple one. To know over 5,000 words in French.

With the set up test I came out at 735. I am already at 1600 as a spend between 40 - 60 mins a day 'filling in the gap' in sentences. This is SpacedEd of 2010 to perfection. Early on a word I do not get is repeated more often until I get it. All words, though to a diminishing amount, are repeated. Over time words are learnt, in the context of a number of different sentences.

I am starting to see patterns too that my own thinking has constructed rather than things I have been told.

It works. Or at least I hope so.

I bias it towards the tougher challenge of writing the word - you can use voice recognition. My relative fluency in spoken French means that I'd get a lot more right. Often I can say the word, but cannot spell it. I want fluency in both spoken and written French.

There is more to it, than simply being forever tested on word knowledge in a compelling game-like user experience. There are challenges, and grammar as well, There are analytics so you can monitor to you progress and the easy pleasure of achieving 20 new words learnt per day.

I have gotten tired of Tandem. Here you are meant to use the power of social to team up with someone who is native in the language you want to learnt. We are supposed to help each other. Though I have had a few pleasant and valuable experiences I have found that no one has lasted. I have also found a number of people whose English is so bad to be unintelligible so there is nothing I can do to correct it.

Busuu is more like Rosetta Stone. There are too many choices around themes to study and it is all far too simplistic - tourist French.,

The pattern used by these platforms would work for all kinds of things though where a new 'language' has to be learnt, from medicine to stage work, carpentry to engineering.

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Design Museum

A new VR Tour of the Music Faculty at GB MET

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 9 Sep 2018, 06:22
It is such a privilege to call this work - creating a comprehensive VR tour of the stunning music facilities at GB MET. Rich media in the form of sound clips, video, text and close-up photos will be added to turn a marketing piece into’ induction and training.
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'How to compose rainbow sentences' is how I am putting it, though the range of colours is not seven, but four: red, blue, green and purple.

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A graphic drawing of a rainbow
 
From the moment I entered the classroom Tony made me feel welcome despite my unease, even embarrassment at how few people there were.
 
I quickly felt that two things were going to happen - I would observe and take part in the perfect classroom experience and I’d go away informed and perhaps even I inspired. Perhaps my intention to gen up on teaching practice was a wise move after all. 
 
I wished from the start that I had been recording every word.
 
Though it was an informal chat before the class Tony was bubbling. When I said that I was a ‘Learning Technologist’ - an intermediary between the tutors and students supporting and introducing the use of digital software and hardware, he took the hook and ran with it while one or two more people took their seats.
 
I did not take adequately clear notes to understand his example of how a class had worked with wikis to work collaboratively on an answer to a task.
 
His tantalizing offer to help me abolish hand in dates was being put to the wrong person - I may appreciate the need to have and to create deadlines, but that’s not my role.
 
It became more clear when I said that I was a ‘Learning Technologist’ - describing myself as an intermediary between the tutors and students supporting and introducing the use of digital platforms and tools, from Google Classroom to Apps, VR and AR, blogs and video.
 
Tony took this information and ran with it for a while as one or two more people took their seats.
 
The introductory phase was subtle and engaging. It had me expectant. It felt to me that had I been the only person to turn up, that given both his personality and professionalism, Tony would have been utterly prepared to deliver the best class possible regardlessly. There were four of us to start with - a fifth appeared a little later. 
 
My colleagues were from Uniformed Services (two of them), early years teaching and fashion & textiles.
 
We were asked about induction: what it entailed, for how long it went on and when we knew it had been done. is it complete in an afternoon or day, a week or two. Should students be up to speed by the second week? He suggested that too much of induction was box ticking.
 
Tony took a sideways step, literally, to introduce the metaphor of ‘crossing the carpet’ - of getting students both physically and mentally into a different place. By way of example he talked of music students who began their new college on day one reasonably diversified and very much their parents’ son or daughter who within two weeks were almost all in the uniform of black jeans and black T-shirts with a developing array of exciting hairstyles’ cuts and colours. They had both physically and mentally changed. It is the phrase ‘changing behaviours’ that was like a new ABBA tune to my ears. I have done, and bought into the theory of education and can equate to it personally in relation to the CBT I have done.
 
Tony concluded this part of the session by praising the Newcastle College which ran an eight week extended induction that expected students to been on board by the first week after half-term.
 
The vital lesson to be understood from this is that preparing students for study pays dividends rather than rushing in to deliver course content.
 
The four teachers amongst the five of us were asked how much time they spent helping students who got behind and marking assessments. From his experience, not countered by the group, 5-7 hours a week could be spent one to one helping those who were getting behind and far much more time spent marking homework. Much to my embarrassment he said that I (the learning technologist) was the answer to this problem and could therefore give them back some of the invaluable contact time with the students. (Have I understood that and expressed it correctly?)
 
Crafting evidence-based opinion
 
We did three exercises and with each one improved our skills and confidence at writing an evidence-based sentence. The technique taught was to use four-colours to identify the required components. The object of the sentence, or ‘vocational term’ was blue. The evaluation of the object, or judgement is red. The detail and opinion is in green. The clincher (as I would put it) or ‘impact’ is purple.
 
To undertake this series of exercises, each carefully crafted and scaffolded, we began by viewing and reviewing an ancient and somewhat laughable video of The Beach Boys singing ‘I Get Around’. We then had to complete a ‘fill in the blanks’ exercise where the kind of word we would use was denoted by a line in one of the above colours whilst selecting from an appropriate word from a list.
 
In first exercise (of three) we had to consider the audio performance.
 
I came up with:
 
The close harmony is excellent, the vocal intonation is perfect and the use of vocal double tracking creates a rich wash of sound that adds an exciting exuberance to the audio performance.
 
In the second exercise, cranking up the opportunity to be more judgemental, we had to consider the visual performance. Once again we had a set of vocational terms, judgement words, opinion and impact words.
 
I came up with:
 
The visual performance is however embarrassingly poor. The blocking and staging of the shots make the individual performances appear self-conscious and embarrassing. Discrepancies in foot tapping and the out of phase bouncing of the individual performers spoils the sense of a United groove. This is made comical by the bouncing of the vehicle on which two of the performers are sitting.
 
For the final exercise we turned the page and we faced with the scary emptiness of a large blank space without only part of the scaffolding we had had before. We had what was described as a resource to use or ignore : a set of words denoted by colour.
 
We were asked how we felt going into this exercise and were prompted with ‘scary’. Perhaps we should have been prompted to speak up and use the very technique being taught. I jotted down. ‘Thrilled - like stepping out onto a football pitch to play a game after ha,f an hour of practice’. Though the actual image that came to mind was more about prepping for some theatrical improvisation and then stepping up onto the stage.
 
We were the asked to review Massbetelnut’s version of ‘i get around’. This very quickly had us all splitting our sides with laughter.
 
I wrote:
 
The band performed like bees caught in a beer glass. The performances were individually and collectively ridiculous - more like a Monty-Python sketch. The re-imagined sound dub was ingeniously crafted to reduce all those watching it to tears of asthmatic laughter.
 
 
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