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Why I'm selling my books

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 22 Dec 2014, 13:11
From E-Learning V

Fig.1 Learn How to Study .... I did!

Buying books can be an obsession. Unnecessary too where I have access to a university library up the road, but I do anyway. Books that are long out of print 100, 75 years old. I like chasing down the obscure reference. When I finally read the passage an author, usually an academic has written, I do that thing politicians say about 'quoting out of context'. It is surprising how one's own interpretation of what someone has said can be very different. 

I understand that having read a book we keep them as an aide memoire, not even to thumb through, but to see them on the shelf and so be reminded of the joy we got from them. Do I ever get from that an academic text? Not often. I take copious notes as I read them. I now have a photo of the cover and that is in my Google+ gallery.

From E-Learning V

 

What more do I need?

Courtesy of a specialist local books shop, AbeBooks, Amazon and eBay I'm selling everything. A box of 30 books went to someone studying the MA in History I've been doing. This morning I dropped off four books at the Post Office. Having never used any online service to sell anything I am delighted at how easy it has been to turn the dining room table into a bookshop! Much to my wife's despair there are ten large 'really useful boxes' stacked around the place. ISBN number, get what its selling for, add a handful of photos, post an honest appraisal of the books condition - mostly pristine, one or two I took ownership of with a highlighter pen - not that that has prevented a sale. The content is sound. I'm honest about the things condition.

From E-Learning V

Fig. 2. Learn How to Study - with books!

The oddest thing is to find that sometimes a ten or twenty year old academic paperback sells for more than it cost all those years ago. For example, which says something for the OU, Derek Rowntree's 'Learn How to Study' from 1990. This may not mention online learning, and adds a very short chapter at the end on wordprocessing, but the lessons and tips he passes on are as relevant and as sound to a student planning distance learning as ever it was.

No value in an eBook on a Kindle then?

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Use of video in elearning (part 7)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 4 Oct 2012, 11:24

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What makes an elearning forum tick?

This is the crux of social learning for me, what John Seely Brown calls 'learning at the periphery' or Cox calls 'vicarious' learning and I have dubbed 'learning through serendipity'. As a result of taking part you acquire knowledge, you develop your thinking and underststanind. It was no different for me learning French. The school way was hopeless, what I required was total immersion, which is what I got in my late teens turning up in France on an exchange, making friends and returning ... then wokring a gap year as far from English speakers as possible. This is how I learn, many of us prefer this informal approach. Its something that corporate elearning companies and corporate learning departments have yet to tap into. Perhaps because it lacks measurement, that there appear to be no parameters.

There are many ways to get content noticed. All the traditional tricks of promotion are required here too. Email databases, events, trade promotions, press advertising and business cards; online is not a panacea, neither is it replacement technology. It is part of the world we live in, a choice, something else, that complements other ways of doing things.

The 'long tail' refers to the way content has a life before, during and after being posted. There is a story to tell in its creation and promotion; its release should factor in for a long shelf life, then there is this 'after life', how once posted content may then be picked up by others and developed into different, better and alternative things. Keep tabs on this and content online becomes more like street theatre, or taling from a soap box on Hyde Park Corner, it is an opportunity to engage with an audience.

I like to blog, use Linkedin and Twitter.

Better to be the master of some platforms than a jack of all  trades.

 

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Why do some online forums fly while others never get off the ground?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 20 Nov 2011, 18:52
I was in a ListServ group in 2001 that worked, probably for the novelty factor. A decade later and on my fourth module in 22 months I expect all forums to work, most of the time.

What matters?

Plan for success. The learning design, the planning is crucial. There need to be certain cues, milestones, obligations and opportunities.

Have the right tutor. Training and experience is one thing, personality is another. As in real life they must have the educator's desire to support the right environment, whoever turns up and however it pans out.

Be a team player and whether you are completely new to this or an old hand, play your part.

Clock in regularly, and let people know you are around if only to say 'hi' - especially when you have nothing to say - say so! Tip: no one else can tell if you are or have been present.

Give it a go. Be prepared to make mistakes. Ask a fellow student, the responses you get here are always spot on.

Make friends.

(do a touch typing course! This is talking with your fingertips).

Use email, Skype and Google+ too.

Have a 'water -cooler' to chat in your tutor group away from the cut and thrust of course materials.
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Informal learning, Google+ and iPads

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 23:55

I've set myself a challenge to take mobile learning to the nth degree, 'testing to destruction'.

If I thought the iPad would survive the experience I thought perhaps a jacuzzi or sauna?

Signal might not be good.

In my gap year eons ago I discovered that the hotel owner (4 star) thought it great that guests and staff, including a very lowly teen me, could 'chill' out together in 'his' sauna.

There is relevance and that is the idea of 'informal' learning.

Indeed, I wonder if many OU students, enjoying and enrolled in a 'life of learning' practice in a more informal way then us 'regular' students who (and I applaud it) take it reasonably seriously.

I could knock out the TMAO4 in a first draft before lunch today, not bother with much referencing and checking meaning, grammar etc: and submit expecting to scrape through with a 40 something at worst, a 50 something more likely. The problem I have is enjoying the present too much and even with e-learning being fed the latest through the likes of Zite and Stumbleupon.

Recording our hang-out session may have made for fun viewing.

On the other hand by doing so it radically changes the dynamic. I wouldn't want the student me confused with the business me.

(Four months in to a 12 month fixed contract).

That said I'd love a playback of my slow descent below the frame.

This is the trickster at play.

Belbin I believe categorises people and how they work in teams, I know where I belong! The very fact that it has become a catalyst for conversation shows it's value; where now Elluminate?

I've started to make comparisons in my OU Student Blog.

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Hanging out in Google+ a giggle, that works ... And changes everything!

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 12 Aug 2011, 13:52

Google+ Hang-out  

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Three fellow MAODErs and I spent over an hour 'hanging out' - technical term sad in Google+

Once you have the software loaded it was extraordinarily intuitive.

You speak and your image takes the main frame.

Easy to share docs or type messages. (or was it guys?)

Without a moderator it wad more like very old friends in a bar abroad, except that one person was sitting on a bed, chatting with hubby alongside, eating yoghurt and behaving as if we were all perched on the end of the bed or doing our teeth in the bathroom.

Like nothing else you are bringing people into your home.

I became immediately consciousness of needing a shave.

I had expected to have some choice over whether to appear in vision or not.

At least I wasn't in the bath, though people did wander off to the bathroom or to make a coffee/answer the phone, as you would do if chilled out in your own home. Weird to feel so drawn into the context of each person's 'learning' space. A cat jumped on this bed and I started a chain reaction whereby we all reached out and through the frames to stroke it - the worked too.

We talked shop, a TMA due on Monday, held up charts to the screen etc: no thought of needing a headset or separate webcam, more a case of adjusting the lighting and seating arrangements.

Will this change expectations of students who use Google+ when it comes to online tutorials?

Yes, this was like being in the room with each of these people. We have of course never met in person before but were behaving like siblings at a second cousin's wedding.

 

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New blog post

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 11 Aug 2011, 12:54

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We each have our own metaphors.

For Facebook I go with a family weedding (family and friends).

For Twitter I go with a rain. Sometimes you need an umbrella.

Overused, overhyped, over-whelming noise. It depends on if you like going out in a thunderstorm on monsoon.

I've observed Twitter misused drown discussion groups (Oxford University) because it is being used like DIY direct mail or spam. Everyone sticking their heads out a window and blowing a trumpet about stuff that very few people have any interest in at all. So instead of being used as a way to talk with a niche audience, it is used as a way to spam millions.

For Google+ so far is a handful of OU students who happen to be studying the Masters in Open and Distance Education and are joining this lab together. Its appeal is obvious - control. Though nothing I don't recognise from Diaryland which has something called 'rings' and was live in September 1999. No such thing as a good idea then?

Just someone coming along and doing it better?

Linkedin is where the real networking occurs, between professional like-minds.

Not forgetting blogs, where a specialist interest or three is the best place to pull-together and associate with people whose comments and opinions you value.

We can make these platforms anything we want them to be, indeed turn the recieved thinking or common practice inside out if we wish.

Why not draw professional contacts to Facebook as a creative workout in a different context?

If Google+ replaces Facebook AND Twitter I'll be happy.

But the idea that I'll get used to Google+ over the next 18months and then need or want to change to something else fills me with dismay. It reminds me of how the privatisation of the bus services meant you could get three busses all arriving at the same time, each from a different operator, each wanting you to use their bus.

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Google+

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 7 Aug 2011, 03:37

For the umpteenth time I am starting on a new venture on a new platform.

A decade ago I stuck to what I knew and wouldn't budge. I waved good-bye to contacts as I continued to blog in Diaryland while everyone else moved over to LiveJournal, Blogger and Wordpress. I even stuck with Friends Reunited and MySpace.

No more.

Everything I stumble upon I try.

Anything new I sign up.

Already I can imagine Google+ as a one-stop shop, a kind of Personal Learning Environment (PLE) even like the OU VLE in that is draws together so many of the services and tools I already use.

Managing and engaging with people according to their 'sphere of influence' rings true too. I've never felt comfortable with my several selves in Facebook.

Picasa I swear by for photos and screen grabs. The galleries here feed images into all my blogs.

I use but need to master dropbox.

I have a blogger blog, but I have become so engrossed in Wordpress I am truly reluctant to have to master another 'instrument' as it were.

It is not my desire to play every instrument in the orchestra, the wind section with a bit of piano and guitar for recreational purposes will do.

Conductor?

That's an interesting thought. But does Social Media have the equivalent of a score? I am not and never will be a programmer.

 

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