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Design Museum

Answering Multiple Choice Questions

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 15 Feb 2019, 15:27

It is generally the case that when answering multiple questions the following occurs:

The flippant answer is the wrong one:

For example: 

 

It is generally the case that when answering multiple questions the following occurs:

The longest answer is the correct answer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Design Museum

Forming a point of view

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It’s taken nine years or more. It helps to have foregone the staff college MA ODE in favour of action in the front line. Getting to grips with Google Educator, Planet EStream, Thinglink and Pebblepad. These are the mortar shells, machine guns and howitzers of eLearing. But are they useless in the hands of amateurs. Do students just dig deeper to avoid them?
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9 years on I started an OU Student Blog

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019, 11:46
Each decade of my life has followed a similar chaotic pattern in which enthusiasms come and go. Not only have I gone on to gain my MAODE from the OU but I also have an MA in history. Since 2011 I ought to have gained a Senior Swim Coaching qualification too. This is something I am working on to complete right now using Recognition of Prior Learning. In turn I have three modest jobs out of this: learning technologist in an FE/ HE college, digital editor for a WW1 Educational Charity and a Swim teacher Andrew coach. I do wonder if the qualifications, certain,y at MA level have any value to these roles. By dividing myself into bits I am holding myself back. But having ADHD this is meant to be: thriving on variety. I can spend too long reflecting and nit enough time doing and challenging myself. I am a diarist at heart and a blogger by default. I started a Learwning Technilogist blog for my new role from end of March 2018 and post most days. I blog less often in eLearning in Mindbursts and on,y occasionally add to blogs on the First World War and on Swim Coaching & Teaching. The explosion of content available is astounding. It generally is a cas of Google it and someone, some many will have an answer. I am making progress at llast learning French courtesy of Lingvist and Tandem. I have failed to progress with my guitar or life drawing as both require a lot of time doing and frankly the digital learning I have tried has failed to engage me in any way. I will play the guitar again when I commit to a gig ! And my life drawing will pick up again when I start regularly appearing at classes again smile And there are reasons to have sports like sailing - because you do ditch a lot of the digital. Dinghy sailing you are it being controlled by GPS and an autopilot either. I fancied myself as a Digital Scholar 7 years back. Martin Weller suggested these would take a decade to emerge. Surely the likes of the Oxford Internet Institue attract and produce these. I went along thinking of adding to my MAs but as ever considered also the kngoing need to be earning at the same time.
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Design Museum

Blinkered to Learning Opportunities

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 2 Feb 2019, 14:06

 

I'm worried that eLearning is too prescriptive. This will depend of course at what level a student is being taught. Primary is different from Tertiary. At primary there is stuff you need to know, at tertiary you can be expected to explore around the subject. However, believing that a student can pick up everything in the most suitable way simply from what is put before them is surel a mistake.

The online learning I have experienced is rather of this type. You are blinkered to anything other than the content presented to you. This might work for some people, or even most people, unfortunately for me, I know this approach does not stimulate me at all.

I am trying to become a certified Google Educator Level 1. This is fairly basic communications stuff, though with some parts of the Google Suite I never touch. The 'learning' is repetitively of the same type and format: read a bit, watch or listen to a few examples, typically a teacher reading a portaprompt off camera (always from the US) in tones that lean towards sales pitch rather than candid revelation. My Teflon brain smells a rat and won't buy it. There are interludes to complete a multiple choice quiz. When you have done this for 12 hours and studies as many units you sit down to a formal 3 hour online test. I don't respond well to having been expected to wear blinkers all the way through the training, and remain blinkered during the test There is no room for manoeuvre: there is their way or the wrong way.

How many MOOCS are of a similar ilk? The learning is a kind of conveyor belt where through reading, answering questions and watching videos you are supposed to become conversant and more importantly a competent practitioner.

I need to be set tasks, I need to fail at these tasks and been corrected, I need to be recognised and rewarded when I get something right. Over time, a lot of time, what I am doing, why I am doing it and how I do it makes sense. This is what I call practical learning. I do best when such learning is on the job. I do best when two years in I am faced with an exam. The narrative of my learning follows the Hollywood Arch which builds towards a climax. I cannot abide coursework because my first efforts are invariably terrible. Here at the OU I was known to get grade in the 40s or 50s. It took a couple of years to reach the stratospheric heights of grades in the 80s (and one 92).

Take the blinkers off. Don't put your students in blinkers, Expect them to venture far and wide. Encourage them to look around, and therefore click around the many resources they can find and be informed by. 

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Design Museum

eLearning in Practice

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it is one thing to have a go with PepplePad as an MA student 7 years ago, it is quite another to be using it in the Front Line, first as a student, and then as an educator.

Getting up to speed with something takes time, thought and practice. In this instance I am pulling together evidence of my knowledge of swimming and swim coaching. PebblePad is my ePortfolio, my noticeboard and interface with my supervisor and examiner. There are pitfalls, it is rarely seamless, it can be off putting to some. 

Having easy access to this via a phone looks like is should help. PepbblePocket is an App that lets me take a note, add an entry, or reflection, take photos, video or record a conversation and upload it. As ever, getting it to upload to the right place, in the right way can become an additional struggle, Once you have it all working and are confident with it I am sure I is great. And the time to get through this is the year before, certainly months before - You do not become a competent rally driver by getting into a rally car on first day of a series of race. First you learnt to drive, then you nudge up towards the requirements of driving at speed safely.

Nonetheless, I have uploaded some 21% of what is so far needed to pass by Level II Swim England Swim Certificate (something I ought to have completed in 2011). 

Where I see PebblePad and PebblePocket being used is with students on vocational courses such as carpentry, construction, publimg and electricals, perhaps catering and theatre where demonstration of multiple states learnt and put into practice is regularly required. I'd like to imagine students not only permitted to have their phones in the workshop, but be shown their use in a learning content to gather evidence and build knowledge. 

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Design Museum

Google Classroom Workflow

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The MAODE taken 2010-2013 has been rendered largelly theoretical given the onslaught of the likes of G Suite for Education. Why don't all institutions, schools and universities, move to Google Education tools and platforms. They are free. They have had vast sums of investment put into them. They do everything anyone was wishing and trying to achieve from 2000 onwards.

I started what was the MAODL in 2000! Things have changed radicaly ... and imperceptably? Dare you be away from it for long Dare you be freelance and not realise how fast, slick and connected we have become (and can be).

Just doing the learning to get my very modest Google Educator Level 1 I have been going through my own use of Google and am staggered at how willing I am to let Google do everything and assume everything - over 10 years at a swimming club I have assembled a vast amount of contacts for club officials, coaches and teachers, as well as the parents of swimmers - all of whom I must have contacted at some stage and have been listed, or grouped somewhere ever since.

So just now I knock together a Test class, as if I want parents of a group of swimmers to encourage their kids to view a carefully chosen video on a swimming technique. It is as quick as playing Chop Sticks on the piano ... one refrain.

Of course, the expectation is that teachers, tutors and associate lecturers are all a whizz at this. Some, circumstantially, if freelance, may not be aware of just how much things have moved on, nor will they be paid, necessarily, to take the time, to get on top of things. 

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Design Museum

Learning Google Educator in Spanish: Not

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 8 Jan 2019, 17:36

 

How the heck does Google decide that as I press on through each of 12 Units to understand what is required for Google Educator Certificate Level 1 does it give me it in Spanish? And when I try to test a Google Hangout that is in Spanish too. Where in my Google settings is there anything about Spanish? English is my principal language, and I had French as a secondary language - I deleted that.

I am not enjoying being a Jack of All Trades. Not being able to do anything very well is not fun. I would prefer to be excellent at one thing. Imagine trying to play all the parts in a Shakespeare play. I miss working in a team of specialists which you get in corporate training - where I was the producer or production manager, with a team of creatives and technical people to write scripts, code and make the platform sing. 

I am reminded of the story of the foundation of Rome. Romulus and Remus set out from two distant points to circle the land they will turn into their city. On meeting Remus laughs at the low wall that covers a lot of miles built by Romulus compares to the tall wall he has built which covers a far shorter distance but is finished to the top. In a mocking gesture Remus jumps the low wall. Romulus picks up a shovel in anger and whacks his brother across the head killing him. Or so the story was told to me some 47 years ago by my Latin teacher Mr Buyers.

There's the power of story telling for you. 

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Design Museum

PROFESSEUR – NIVEAU 1 Formation de base

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As if it isn't tricky enough to pass my Google Educator Certificate Level 1 this week, now in Google's wisdom I am getting it all in French. Now, I have to admit, I did think doing all the practice in French would be a good challenge for my French Comprehension. Now I wonder if I mentioned this in conversation lately, Alexa picked it up, and told Google. Do you get this? When Google is one step ahead of you? I use the Gmail function whereby all my emails give me three optional responses that Google gleans from the content. I now use these are a starting point - they're always more polite that I would be, sometimes a bit chummy and American though.

The learning is dull. And entirely composed for a North American audience. Are we in Britain meant to be so closely associated with our US cousins now that we tolerate US English and in this instance US learning too? Tough if you are trying to qualify abroad, as whilst text is translated, it looks like the videos and case histories and in English. A case of American Imperialism?

Meanwhile, of note, are the number of platforms and Apps I am having to use and master:

Thinglink

Planet E-Stream

Screencastify

While some have become second nature:

Umbraco

WordPress

Adobe Lightroom

What are you going to learn this year?

I am supposed to master French in 2019. I continue with Lingvist and Tandem and want to keep a daily diary, old school, in book - but in French. 

I have to pass my Level I & II Swim England Swim Coaching certificate - this is due by 10 Feb.

Then I can relax. Or not?

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Design Museum

Books for Christmas

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We buy books for each other for Christmas. Often they are hardback and second hand. The rest of the year I almost always only buy books for Kindle. Lately three books related to Google Classroom. I find the singular voice and linear nature of a good read a better way to set then establish the scene when it come to learning something new. Google Educator is a typical online coures orherwise not dissimilar to something from Coursera or FutureLearn: a bit of reading, a bit of video, a quiz and repeat. There’s a lot to get through.
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Google Educator Certificate Level 1

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So much for an MA in Open & Distance Education - getting my Certifcate as a Google Educator is more important. Meanwhile I have Planet E-Stream and ThingLink to master and share with teachers.
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Design Museum

The Life of the Learning Technologist

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 23 Nov 2018, 05:28

 Roy Castle playing the trumpet

Some decades ago on Blue Peter the inveterate multi-talented Roy Castle set a Guinness Book of Records by playing the same tune on 43 different instruments in four minutes.

Sometimes I feel that being a Learning Technologist is like this. We an not IT support, nor are we Teachers or Tutors, but we can 'play' a multitude of platforms with aplomb - and fix an IT, psychological or learning problem to boot.

Introduced to a fledgling PebblePad while completing my MA ODE with the OU 2010-2013 I have now had it sprung on me, in all places, as a Swim England Swimming Coach. It is this e-portfolio, evidence gathering, assessment supporting platform that will be used to assess whether I merit certification as a coach.

Interestingly, it was mentioned to me the other day, that a tutor was using PebblePad at our college for a similar purpose: I shall have to investigate further. So far I have found it more common for tutors to use a blog, typically WordPress though some using Blogger.

My own ensemble of tools that I use, and some that I have mastered include:

Google Classroom

OpenAthens

Turnitin

Planet E-Stream

ThingLink

WordPress

I have also mastered the use of a 360 Ricoh Theta SC camera - at least for taking stills.

Adobe Lightroom