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Keep a reflective journal to record your thoughts and feelings and use it to develop your understanding of how students learn and thus inform your practice.

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This is the easy bit. I'll reflect on a thing while people board the bus and the bus leaves. I'll still be there at the bus stop reflecting on things when the bus comes back the other way an hour later. If I look up around then I'll fret that I am on the wrong side of the road and am about to miss my bus.

Does that make any sense?

FutureLearn are running a course on moitvation. I ought to do it. The introductory blurb says it all:

Motivation involved value, expectancy and delay.

Value > how important your goal to me?

Expectancy > how likely am I to achieve this? Tick stuff off in small steps. 

Delay > The longer it takes to achieve one of these small goals the harder it is to remain motivated.

So there we have it.

Looking at the detail there are other core reasons for there being problems: 

I have come to the course late.

I want to be on the Postgrad Course on Learning Design with Illinois University.

The 'mentor' role has been thrown out of the window due to Covid-19 closures and lockdowns: my mentor was off ill with susptect Covid, the department went into a two week lockdown and then all schools and colleges closed anyway.

Meanwhile my brain is all a flutter over an idea that came to me in a dream:

What if my brain were tapped by a group studying with me - that my brain patterns could be transposed to them instanteously as a means to enhance the communication of my ideas. I reason that this would be worse, not better - that it would be lost in translation, that if the neural connections in my brain can be imagined as a shildting handprint in which each finger touches a different part of the brain, this same pattern will be a misfit even meaningless to another's brain that is wired and has changed in exceedingly different ways. We are not androids. Whatever impressions we may give on the surface (gender, age, ethnicity) we are not born and raised the same and the raw materials each person is given differs in any case. 

I tried to explain this concept as a proposal for doctoral study. 

Meanwhile I reflect on the dangers of being curious in the 21st century

An over indulged brain is also an easily distracted one. Any thought I have I can follow up with a search. Anything and everything thrown at me can be a stimulus to something different. I collect screenshots and record meetings as if I will some time have reason to go back over this stuff. I rarely will. I won't even label it.

I am now genuinely fearful that I cannot even keep tabs on what I do; that my actions and thoughts are so transitory to the point of being transparent - the only trace I have that I did a thing is online NOT in my brain where it never has a chance to lodge. 

That or early onset Alzhiemers. Or ADHD at play.

Time to get back to ticking boxes.


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Where to begin ?

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Darwin Day on Humanism

A week during a Pandemic Lockdown feels like a month - at least it does to me. Every day I am faced with a new challenge. Most of the time I am OK with this, sometimes it gets me down. I am online too often and for too long - probably.

Every day starts with an hour or two or more refreshing pages of The Western Front Association (First World War History) and getting content onto social media for the day. I am played by and follow the analytics closely. 

I in the listening post of EdTech: I am looking for and looking out for anything that can make a difference. I am rainding across No Man's land a few times a week too. I will try everything once or twice and if nudged by the right person I may try it more often than this. I have taken to the UCL Knowledge Lab platform 'Learning Designer' as one of the tools I use to plan lessons or a series of lessons. I've just used it for a set of four 1 hour classes on Personal Hygiene, Infectious Disease and Stress for our FE Uniformed Services Department. Inspired by a CPD talk from Scott Hayden I am going to push to use a Mind Map app. We will start with pen and paper, but migrate to the students' mind map app of choice ... I used Simple Minds, the college, via Google Webstore has a collection of others. I've used Simple Minds for a decade and can make it sing with embedded images, links to websites, Drop Downs and Pop-Ups, embedded video and all kinds of other fancy stuff.

Other news awaits. 

To end the week I'm sitting through the Darwin Lecture from the Humanist Society. I have decided to become a Humanist - in this Census Year of 2021 it sounds more responsible and matches my Green and Vegan credentials - and is less flippant than declaring ourselves as Jedi Knights as we did a decade ago. 


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Feeling wanted ...

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Thunderbird 5 the Space Station featuring John Tracy

Early days but a few teaching fails online talking to a blank wall of distracted teens is slowly emerging into something that will engage them - even if they want to be off camera and mostly silent. My eclectic mix is a challenge. I don't get to know a group of students, even a particular cohort or subject specialism. 

Four simple lessons learnt:

> it matters to be a 'subject matter expert' as you can talk, discuss and provide an inventive and relevant response to meet the needs or interests of the students or group at the time.

> channelled enthusiasm goes a long way, not gushing, nor over-confident, but the person at the helm with a sense of the direction to take.

> a video conference (as only the BBC will call it) i.e. Zoom (even if you're on Google Meet) can be as EdTech as it needs to be. The camera, microphone and Chat are enough to take a class and enough for most people if it is there first time. There is no need to throw in extras like slow 'death by PowerPoint', or faster 'death by PowerPoint' by making it interactive with the likes of PearDeck or Nearpod. A Google Form Quiz will do.

> where analogue meets digital. Hold something up to the camera. Prof Sir Hew Strachan couldn't be doing with 'present now' screens so during his gripping talk on the First World War he simply held up the covers of two or three books. I've taken to using a mini whiteboard while I am asking students to draw a Venn Diagram or Mind Map on whatever comes to hand. When they are done they hold it up to the screen - it works! Some go digital and use their phone or tablet, others get artistic with coloured pencils while others just doodle a thing on the back of an envelope. I can screenshot what they show me (I should have a recording of the class anyway) and for better resolution they can upload, share or email me their efforts. 


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A year in the life of ... in less than a minute

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My world for the best part of a year ... just get me through February.


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Digital Literacy - Making sense of a complex world online

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Though hollowed out by 'stage fright' for most of the day I last night deliverd a formal, observed 90 minute online class to a group of students. To get my head in order I successfully used the UCL Learning Designer; I have been learning how to use this on the UCL FutureLearn Massive Open Online Course which has been running for the last two weeks and end this week.

Summary and Pie Chart Introducing a 90 minute online class on Digital Literacy

This is one the Learning Designs I created > Digital Literacy  

The session was recorded. Though I'll need some breathing space before I revisit it. I will also have formal feedback from the person who observed.

I have to wonder why I put myself through this kind of thing! I guess I wanted to wake up my sleepy soul and have succceeded in doing so. 15 minute before I would have (I had the line in my head) "Eat Shit". This is somewhat exaggerated - I would have made excuses. I would have preferred to have been going on stage to deliver Hamlet in a thong.

But I settled in quickly. I am not delivering a TED lecture.

The pacing was about right. Introduce this, show about of that, seeking their point of view. And I purposively kept the Tec low key (despite the subject). This is not the place for me to show off my skills - it is all about them.

My insight into teaching and learning could not be greater. As I realised a decade ago, even 20 years ago when I first did an OU Module on Open and Distance Learning - the theory has to complement practice, not be something that is done in isolation. Who does? How could I think I can study education without doing it myself? You can't learnt to dance only by reading books - you can only acquire an appreciation. But you can be an art critic without being able to paint? 

I've attached my rationale and a 'running order' with timings for the lesson I delivered. The timings were spot on - more or less. We took a 10 minute break an hour in which I readily accommodate and just added 10 minutes to the plan and continued accordingly. 

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Too busy to blog

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Age 13 I started a Five Year Diary. Very quickly you feel you have to write something each day. I did. A few cryptic notes. Decades later I blog. For a while it was a blog a day. These days I scramble notes together across the day. Thinking about it I could readily blog three or more times a day: I don't. 

Too busy to blog does not mean I am not at least regularly noting things down. It just takes a click to Recent Documents or search in my notes to find out. I do this to keep a record of things I may forget. 

This morning I went into my 'study' (tiny broom cupboard of a space) and saw a page of notes I had put down in the middle of the night. I forget the thoughts or that I'd written them down - but am glad that I did as it forms the spine for a talk I have to deliver on employability in 10 days time.

Meanwhile my focus is on three things: observating online sessions delivered by others and writing up a report, preparing and delivering my own online sessions and getting my head around the Learning Designer from UCL's Knowledge Lab featured in their Blended Online Learning FutureLearn MOOC. 

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Keen

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Eager to get some time in doing this 'teaching online' thing I took a group of 'Adult Learners' this afternoon on use of Social Media. I used the Learning Design tool from UCL Knowledgelab - just an electronic planner which automates some of the processes, things I have done here with sets of cards or shared in online in 'swimming lanes' or what not.

Learning Design layout

The laugh is that we did the above for nearly two hours. It took a good 15 to 20 minutes just to get my 'students' in the same place and after that I wanted to give each person a thorough chance to reveal their interest and experience for everyone's benefit. I skipped one or two things as a result, but nonetheless gave time to the links I put up. These breaks to check a few links were always limited to just 3 minutes. The discussion afterwards could easily last 15 to 20 minutes as I gave feedback to each response and there were 7 in the 'Class'. Not a regular college class. 

I find the above of value nonetheless and if I use it for an observed class next week at least I will have practiced it.

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It all starts here >

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Habits are hard to change. 

11 years on I still feel that by putting content here I will be able to find it next week, next year and my AI doppleganger will be able to feed off it to and give the impression that I am still posting content at the age of 105 when in fact I will be totally occupied with my role as the 'Bastard Duke Norm of Williamdy' down the road at Battle to recall the conquest of these islands by the quas-civilised third generation Vikings from France. 

I'm engrossed in the UCL FutureLearn Diana Laurillard Blended Learnning MOOC. I need this stuff because I've eleted to work on the front line. I'd like to feel like i'm the urologic surgeon at Guys hospital who is working in A&E support because of Covid - I am the 'bookman' wannabe academic who has taken his head out of his books to teach. 

Anyway, believe me. I at least will run around like a Medusa eyeing down anything that might help. This does:

  • Learning through acquisition > listening to the teacher, watching a video, demo, reading a book, a website.
  • Learning through inquiry > going to the teacher, library or internet to find something out. 

And the more active learning processes.

  • Learning through discussion > asking questions or answering questions, exchanging ideas. Listening, responding, articulating, arguing …
  • Learning through practice > teachers set up task goals, to  generate an action, interpret feedback.
  • Learning through collaboration > working together on a project to produce a shared output.
  • Learning through production > creating something for the teacher to evaluate.

However, what I do in an observed or demonstration class will surely differ to what I may deliver over a week or term? And differ again when it is done online? I have seen and taken part in excellent online asynchronous provision - I have also suffered awful classes too - maybe even delivered some myself.

Going anywhere? Not yet, never entirely.

I come here to get down a first draft which rarely gets reworked elswere - so at least I've captured it. I do keep a weekly review though, a single doc where I chuck in everything that week, which for me is usally just four days, but with evenings (and nights) thrown in can equate to a heck of a lot of input.

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This week

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Views around the South Downs during a January 2021 hoar frost

This week could run to 73 pages of A4 with screenshots. It is a Google Doc I keep. Actually, that's just for the four days Tuesday to Friday. 

Teachers will be 'live' with students teaching online next week. All are on a quick learning curve both technically and culturally. The cultural shift is nudging towards greater communication, networking and collaboration. Teachers need to stop being soloists and work as an ensemble - or as they do at the OU in an orchestra with the conductor the Chair who lead the unit craetion, not the tutor 'delivery' any part of the unit syncrhonously and being the 'face' of a course for a particular intake. 

We are exposed and challenged as teachers and students and so learning a lot. More than ever before it matters to take notes! I feel at times like the last person on the planet to take notes with ink on paper, as well as digitally in mindmaps, or like this, supported with audio and video recordings. I don't go back through it all, but I do go back through much of it. I will even have some of it transcribed electronically so that I can verify what was said, by whom and get the wording right. 

It leaves a lot undone. A hoar frost the other day and I took loads of photos on an extensive walk around the edges of Lewes onto the South Downs. I've not posted a single one, though I have at lost gone through them. 

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Just Notes

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My day notes from WC 4 Jan with screenshots run to 117 pages. This is six days work as I included Saturday. Sunday I am offline and devices reading. I go through 'Torchbearers of Democracy' by Chad Williams.

In the past I might cut and paste my notes here, tag them and leave them 'private'. It is this that has made this singular space such a valuable resource as I have added e-learning related content hear consistently for over 10 years. 

Maybe I have. A synthesis of my favourite bits does make it onto Reflections on E-Learning on Wordpress.




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Getting any sleep?

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With Trump eager to create turmoil I'm up early to bare witness to the demoacry fighting back. I think of Donald Trump and I'm reminded of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Both men had a ludicrous sense of their brilliance and leadership abilities. The former nudged Europe into world war. Where is Trump taking it?

The night before I'd watched David Attenborough on iPlayer, saw the Greta Thunberg documentary then fell asleep only to wake as the yacht I was taking across the Atlantic hit one large wave too many and capsized.

I need to find a way to turn my brain off at 10:00pm and not permit it to splutter back into consciousness before 4:00am the next day - or preferably 6:00am (at least).

I am trying yoga and light exercise. For the second time, it happens with each lockdown, I have jiggered my left leg. First time round it was the knees, now it is the achilles heel. What did I do? I went on a walk sad 

So, promising not to post here excessively anymore I might direct you to a proper blog post in my other place > Reflections On E-Learning where I used a series of interviewes on The World at One (BBC Radio 4 on 5 January) where, as they do morning day and night, at some point, bring up education and what a fudging mess that has been made of it. 'Students wanting to study ...' 

Could The OU, overnight, do for Secondary Education what it is has done for HE over the last 50 years + ? Not a big ask. But what is needed now are courses that can be completed remoteley (at a distance as we used to say) and are gain accredited assessment and certification at the end. Roll on home schooling. 

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Too Black, Too White

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Ely Green's 1970 autobiography 'Too Black, Too Green' is a unique and astonshing read. I have read it through twice, all 637 pages and I am about to start again. It is so densely packed with episodes, insights and human stories - in particular, survival in situations of extreme danger when as a young African-American of mixed origins (German and African) he so closely avoids death through mobbing, lynching, police or AEF Marine brutality and court martial. 

I won't pain you with my 3,000 words here, but my full review can be found on my external blog 'Reflections on E-learning' > http://bit.ly/TooBlackTooWhite 

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Back at College (remotely)

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Day one we get a breifing from the head and vice-principal via Meet in which our position within current Government guidelines are shared. We look forward to the New Year and the multitple challenges our insitution will face.

Meanwhile I am looking at materials that could be used by tutors to help them progress with their teaching online. I'm unimpressed which what is offered. Each college/institution is unique - some more unique than others, so trying to provide training that is aimed at a different cohort, with different needs and using a different platform for teaching will help no one and irritate everyone.

Meanwhile I have today to decide whether to sign away £1,700 and take a Masters level module in Instructional Design with the University of Illinois. I'd be more tempted if I could spare the money.]

Meanwhile, I tentatively press on with migratting content by various categories to me external e-learning dedicated blog 'Reflections on E-Learning'.


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Feeling fragmented ...

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Uncertainty has me clutching at something I can control - I work from home more often than not, whatever happens. Whatever happens this might mean some union support to apply to work from home in order to make what has become common place over these last nine months. 

My reading has got out of hand; I blame Amazon. I engage with one publication and a entire set of other tasty offerings are put before me. Once was a time that 'getting lost down a rabbit hole' took hours, even days, as you read an article, chased up a reference and waited for the book to be retrieved from the stacks ... or took a trip across town to find the journal burried in another library.

David Attenborough's 'A Life on our planet' is been my Christmas reading. And for others I bougth it for. I want it in the hands of hundreds. I wonder how we might post a copy through every door in Lewes. Would the coucil go for that? Not a Green council, not all those trees however sustainable the source. Yet the message is a relevant for a town of 17,000 as it is for the nation and the globe: we must change our behaviours. 

Then there is the incredible biography by Ely Green, 'Too Black, Too White' which after two close readings with notes I am about to review. I stumbled upon this during my research into the African American soldier's experience in the First World War.

And much more besides.

Today Amazon are offering discounts of 20% or more on Kindle publications. How can I not be caught in this snare? 

We Return Fighting edited by Kinshasha Holman Conwill

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchnes

The Words of Thomas Paine 

And

100 Great Black Britons



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Zoom

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I've subscribed to Zoom. I may only ever have used Google Meet, but I need the platform anyone can join with ease. I just took my first 90 minute 'class' in the hot seat. There ware only five of us and the pace was leisurely. It was an introduction to social media, indicating how we should see ourselves as 'visitors' or 'residents' and wearing a 'personal' or 'instiutional' hat (Dave White). 

I then shared a solar system of we website or blog with the plantes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube spinning around it.

I've got the 90 minutes to go back over. There is still one straggler who hasn't made iether of the two prevous sessions. 

The more practice I get the better: there's be plent of this next term with both staff and students I do not doubt. 

Meanwhile 'Reflections On E-Learning' is taking shapre on Wordpress. I am trying to pull together themese from this blog and began with 'communities of practice' as it is something I will be developing with my colleagues in the New Year. One or two are already interacting on LinkedIn so that is the place to start a group.

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Immerse too deeply and drown

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 21 Dec 2020, 08:05

When in doubt, start another blog, add something else to the 'to do' list, find a different App to organise your life, then feel too scrambled and take a walk.

A two week break should be that - not an opportunity to make up lost time. A large stack of books begs me to read them, but some long abandoned DIY tasks clammer. Putting up pictures intstead of ticking off another chapter read feels like an achievement.

Yet I make time to run the first in seven online sessions on using social media. And take delivery of a Green Screen.

I must master WordPress, not just toy with it.

I've not put much up to YouTube in a decade and have never done a podcast; these things await my attention. 

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Migrating content to Reflectionsonelearning.org

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020, 17:18

Reflections on E-Learning title for WordPress Blog

I've set up another external blog to carry most of my 'reflections on e-learning' content. 

Reflections on E-Learning

> https://reflectionsonelearning.org/

Most further content will be private unless it is closely related to the MAODE, OpenLearn or Open University courses.



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Learning French with Lingvist

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Screenshot of Lingvist language learning dashboard.

Use it or lose it. I try to practice my French three or four times a week. Using Lingvist I can sustain an 80% score. However if I drop to learning once a week (or less) my come back is at first poor. One day a lot of self-paced learning will be like Lingvist. Could I do this through a smart speaker too? 

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Dylan Wiliam on Improving Teacher Effectiveness

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 16 Dec 2020, 12:57

A Chirstmas Brandy Fruit Cake

This SSAT presentation (the first of two) is as dense as the most succulent brandy Christmas cake. I cannot get through it in one sitting. I am now on the fifth helping and still have a long way to do. I have my notes, I have created a transcript, I have looked up names and added references, I have added some of his slides and made some of my own.

I am getting there.

My summary conclusion is simple - to improve effective of student learning teachers should

  • Prioritise what works in your context and make time by dropping other things.
  • Only do what is known to be effective from the research (though question the research rigourously)
  • Make time to seek ways to improve through working with fellow teachers instead of reinventing the wheel

And what Dylan Wiliam failed to mention, let alone develop:

  • Use big data. Surveilliance and monitoring of student (and teacher) performance is made readibly possible through use of digital platforms. 
  • Use A.I. Openly use smarter smart speakers and personalised A.I. that can monitor and therefore personalise and differentiate a student's learning. 



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Registered with the University of Brighton

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Mugshot of Jonathan Vernon for his University of Brighton Student Card

Here today, elswhere tomorrow. 

Yet again a PhD is in my sights for 2022. I have contacts at the University of Sussex (indeed it has been recommended), but what about The Open University? It would have to be 'at a distance' - Milton Keynes and I do not get on from my efforts 2010/2011.

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Dylan Wiliam is keeping me up at night!

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How we learn chart showing a cycle process

I'm on day 3 of a 5 day challenge to pick my way multiple times through the recent talk Dylan Wiliam gave to SSAT on Formative Assessment. I have establised that it is possible to unscamble egss. By the end of this process there will be six of them neatly placed in the door of my fridge.

It is taking time. He name drops academics with every thought of fact and I have wanted to chase down every one of these too. He fires off ideas like a catherine-wheel that once ignited has spun off its perch and is now dancing around on the floor. Oh, to get him in a room on my own for a bit of tutorial rough and tumble; I'd like to keep the sparks flying. Maybe come with some sparklers of my own.

I'll get to the end of this exercise later today. I'd be done if I hadn't decided to get to the end of Kate Clanchy first. This is a new development for me: don't have six books on the go - just a couple. Always get to the end of one of them before picking up the third. 

That said, I've got the Dylan Wiliam library for Christmas. Nothing like hearing the same ideas delivered in multiple ways and at different times, with different metaphors, connected stories and references. 

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Order History on Amaazon is a ready made diary

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Cover of Web-Based Training, a book I bought from Amazone in 1999

To my horror, curioisty had be click on Order History in Amazon (actually it  was simply to locate a book that got sent to the wrong address). To my surprise I found that Amazon has a total archive of everything ever purchased. This takes me back to 1999. I thought I'd first gone onto Amazone 2000 when I bought books for everyone. 

Web-Based Training had me thinking of moving out of 'video based training' which I had done very successfully for the best part of 13 years. I'd already produced a few interactive DVDs: something for independent financial advisers paid for by Standard Life bank in Edinburgh comes to mind.

The following March (2000) I moved to Brighton to work for Worth Media as their 'Digital Editor'. The year after, February 2001 I started the MA in Open & Distance Learning with The Open University. If only I had completed that module, if only I had overcome the challenges of Worth Media having to line up a lot of staff to make redundant and got myself out of the firing line ... if only.

Never mind. I've learnt many life lessons and as a friend says, "it isn't over yet" and as my wife says "you've still got plenty of time". 

I'm not going to direct that drama series or win an Olympic medal, but I might produce or associate produce some drama, could sail single-handed across the Channel ... even pursue an PhD in education at the University of Sussex.


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ReflectionsonE-Learning.org

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When in doubt - launch a new website. I have lost count of how many ideas I've expressed as a website domain and started up in Live Journal, Tumblr or WordPress. 'MindBursts.com' has been my go to for a decade - but has never had a commercial remit: it has been my 'mind dump' and is a blog even more than a life story and CV. Knowing that writing in a student blog like this has the hint of that 'permanent student' about it - never able to let go of his student days and ways, I have finally created the external version of this.

Reflections on E-Learning is now a .org domain.

Ideas, reviews, articles, reports, notes on talks, links to videos and so on will always begin life here. The intention is then to be more selective as the content is taken over to the external 'e-learning' site. 

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Had I listened to my Mum ...

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I would have returned to school having taken my A'levels and changed to Sciences in order to go on and study medecine. Curiosly I rediscovered my O'Level results recently as much to my frustration they were required by the University of Brighton in order to enrol on their PGCE. I have an As in Biology, as well as an As in each of Maths, English Literature and Geography. I gained Bs in English Language, Additional Maths and Physics. I didn't 'get' French or Chemistry but managed a C for each all the same. 

Years later, had I listen to my Mum, this would be 20 years ago after a hiatus with the bursting of the Web Bubble in late 2001, I would have taken a PGCE (but not in my first degree), or taken a portfolio in to show a contact (a fellow student from the 1950s University of Durham Art School then a senior lecturer) at Brighton or Sussex to take an MA in Fine Art. I did get so far as discsuing MA options. 

Had I listened to my Mum ... 

I did listen to my Father. I had wanted to change to study Law at univeristy. He told me I wouldn't enjoy it. He'd risen to be the Senior Partner of a Regional Firm, yet apparently had never wanted to be a lawyer - if he hadn't liked it how could I? 

Life can be a mess - the advice you take, the advice you don't. I wonder if you know how you are going to behave regardless of what people tell you when you ask them. 

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Five Resolutions for 2021

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 21 Dec 2020, 06:16

Every 3 weeks to a month we go for a long walk with family freinds. We try not to talk about the same things, try to pick up where we left off and expect stories to have moved on in some shape or another. And being December I ask about New Year's Resolutions simply because I think you need to be giving some of them a shot before the New Year if you are to have any chance of following them through.

My P had an interesting idea, picked up on social media and yet to trace; you should have five resolutiosn each to cover one of the following:

1) The Spiritual > for me this is the Green Party which I feel is more of a movement than a political party. 

2) The Intellectual > which has to be education given my renewed passion for learning how we learn.

3) The Sporty/Fitness one > where walking the dog and standing at my desk is not enough. I'd like to have skiing and sailing in here but do so little of either and not preparation either that they don't count. I need 'a little and often' such as the TV Yoga that eveyone at home currentl does for 20 minutes or so each day.

4) The Hobby that pays for itself > which must be the digital and social editor role at The Western Front Association. I am paid an 'honorarium' so counting hours done per week or month is faily meaningless and diminishes my contribution to hours clocked up. I do more hours and am far, far quicker at doing everything which is how I can put out 100 Tweets a month and have 10 article, 10 book reviews and more besirdes added to the website.

5) The Creative > for me this has to be life drawing. I'd like to pick up the guitar and sing/play but just don't no matter that the guitar is sitting there longing me to do something.  I don't feel I'm in the space conducive to it anymore. 


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