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7 Years Writing my OU Student Blog

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I remember the first milestone: I wrote every day for a year.

I remember the next milestone: 1,000 views.

Then 10,000 views.

Then 50,000 and onwards to 500,000 and even 1 million.

Having reached over 2.25m views I wonder what the next goals might be?

Blog for 10 years and 5 million views?

Actually, the pattern is that on 6 February I reflect where the MAODE has, or has not taken me.

My efforts to become embedded in an University involved closely in Learning Technology have been thwarted. Just a toe in the door would do - something I had by working for the Open University itself but something that was impossible with my family living too far away to make a commute viable.

I am marking today by getting CVs out to a number of Universities, for a variety of remarkably similar roles, all based in a 'Technology Enhanced Learning' team, some making greater use of my historic skills and experiences as a video and TV producer.

 

 

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There's something vital missing in my life ...

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The answer is not another OU module, the answer is a project. All my career I have orientated myself to the pace, rhythm and expectations of a a project: working to a brief, with a fixed deadline and fees to earn ... or pay. An interest or enthusiasm isn't enough, I have to have a client, or audience, or even a team to be responsible to. Seeking funds for a project is one way forward. Meanwhile I still have an MA on the First World War to get on with, though this is settling into a pattern of copious amounts of guided reading for a quarterly essay and a day of lecturers/seminars every six weeks. So I sign up to the ocTEL MOOC, alongside some MAODErs. To keep my hand in.

An interview to become a lecturer last week may progress.

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H810 - How to turn 13 issues into 3 for our End of Module Assignment

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 6 Jan 2013, 21:13

Courtesy of browsing through my own and two other tutor groups, and looking at the lists produced by a couple of student friends who did H810 in 2010 and 2011 I've developed this 'long list' of 13 issues. I wanted to eliminate concepts and models, which were distracting me. I struggled repeatedly to get these in any order until I did two things:

1) put the issues into my context, knowing the set up and people, what could or would result in something happening for the better in relation to delivering any learning, let alone accessible e-learning for those for whom there are barriers from a variety of known impairments or disabilities

2) create a table of all 13 issues and compare one to the other as less or more important IN MY CONTEXT.

My chosen context is the coaching and teaching of swimming in the UK - with e-learning available for teachers, coaches, club officials, parents and athletes.

I particularly want to thank Simon Carrie who has my point 3 as his first issue - I hadn't given it a moment's thought but in my context, and no doubt in the context of most of us, it cearly is very important - people and tools cost time and money.

(The ones I am likely to pick for the EMA are highlighted - skewed by the needs and practices of my chosen context)

1 Objecti(ive) - The importance of and scoping of the objective as means to an outcome
2 Subject - Significance or role of the subject (student/lecturer) User Centred Design. Involve users in the design.
3 Incentives - Incentives to invest
4 Universal Design - Universal Design/Equity
5= Novice 2 Expert - The role of the novice to learn, participate and develop expertise.
5= Framework for change - A framework for change - An Activity Systems as a model for analysis and action
7 Tools - Role of tools - assistive, web pages, equipment and 'design for all'.
8 Contradictions - Contradictions , conflicts of problems with the actions between components of a recognised activity system
9= Rules - The role of rules (legalese and guidelines) - informal and formal
9= History - What the history of such efforts says about what should be done next and what can be achieved in the future.
11= Division of labour - Division of labour - who is responsible, who is the broker?
11= Community - The community as a ‘community of practices’ or a constellation of connections that engage and participate.
13 Game-like - Game-like play between institutions

What are your thoughts? In your context? How would you prioritise or word these issues? Are there more still (probably).

The two other contexts that interest me are from the point of view of an e-learning agency and from a client point of view.

For the latter - Object(ive) as everyone works to the brief once this is written with clear objectives, universal design for those for whom design as an expressions of creativity and problem solving is important. Tools as agencies are expected to come up with a 'clever' technical response. Framework for change - as in a consultancy capacity the agency will be expected to offer some actionable plan.

For the former - Incentives (as performance Improvement), Rules (legal and mission compliance) and division of labour (who does what) are likely to be significant.

 

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Reflection - personal, extended

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 7 Feb 2014, 13:39

I am undergoing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. For the last 18 months, initially every two weeks and now every month I see a therapist. I pay for this myself as the NHS could only offer 20 minutes every six weeks and said I was just 'a bit depressed,' - 'like most people.'

Five years ago I was temporarily diagnosed A.D.H.D.

This was turned on its head by specialists in London who couldn't distract me and found that as the tasks I was giving to do got harder my concentration improved. Ritlan had been fun. My problem was boredom. Always has been. Whenever there is a family gathering should we discuss the first words of various nieces and nephews, let alone the adults, one of my siblings or my mother will say my first word was 'why?' and my first phrase was 'I'm bored.'

I'm still bored and I'm still asking why. I was 49 last week.

I think too much. Rather than thinking less, please can someone put me in a situation where I can think until my brain hurts.

A best moment for me, outside the exam room ... a TV programme than was going to go live in 90 mins. The MD pulls the entire theme and my producer looks at me and says let's do something new from scratch. It was that or waste the expense of presenters, camera crews (live, multi-camera, galley staff, support staff etc: etcsmile No rewrites, no rehearsals, that script was handed out with minutes to go. Unprepared the interviewees were fresh. it worked. I'm good at doing 'from the top of my head.'

By reflecting on how I behave in certain situations, coming to understand the situations and my upbringing I am changing some of my behaviour - much of the time. This 'reflection' has at times been recorded, transcribed and chewed over - just like this. More often I treat the moment, the hour for what it is> I do wonder if I dwelt on it more often, whent back over these discussions if I would embed the change?

My late father when in his mid-twenty to mid-thirties ( I am told and believe) would spend an hour or so with his mother coming home. (That or he was having an affair - more likely?) Something of a matriarch my grand-mother, I could imagine this regular reflection facilitating and guiding my father's success. Reflection or dictation, being told what to do or coming to yor own decisions? I wonder. It's value, doubtful beyond building a substantial PLC. In terms of his relationships (catastrophic he went through four marriages). I was staying with him as marriage three collapsed. He was attending Relate. He enjoyed these sessions, admitted he was probably mad and came out of these sessions rationalising who he was without any intention of changing. It gave him an excuse.

If any component of this was reflection, then it was reflection reinforced a modus operandi, rather than changing it.

Wherein lies my issue with reflection and blogging. Is it necessarily something that results in change, or even something for the better?

Didn't Hitler write Mien Kampf while gaoled? This is narcissistic, self-indulgent reflection that gave him the opportunity to develop self-belief in his warped ideas.

See, reflection can back-fire, bringing the worst out of people, not necessarily the best.

The desired outcome of reflection as a form of thinking in an academic context is to help embed ideas and facts.

It is an aid to a neurological process, by using the information in a variety of ways it comes to matter more, priorities are made, choices taken, you form you own view of what matters and what does not. However, you share this reflection and immediately it is being written for an audience; you reflect and submit this as evidence in an assignment and the first thing you do is to check the requirements of the paper, and how it will be marked and then you adjust, edit and as a consequence contort the truth that reflection should try to uncover.

If reflection has worked then I can see a need to return to live or as-live TV. I thrive on pressure - head pressure.

 

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