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Mind Bursts

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 6 Oct 2014, 05:49
From E-Learning V

Fig.1. Niel Macgregor's 'Germany: Memories of a Nation' 

I've loved this phrase 'mind bursts' for longer than I can remember so find it refreshing when something comes along which for me is expression of what I mean.

Niel Macgregor's 'Germany: Memories of a Nation' takes the massive and complex and makes it interesting and explicable by picking focused, memorable starting points. Every episode makes you think, but the one that got me hooked was on Konisberg and Strasbourg, two cities, once German: Konisberg now Russian as Kaliningrad, and Strasbourg now French.

Niel Macgregor's 'The History of the World in 100 Objects' has received some 33 million downloads!! THAT is a 'Massive Open Online Course' (MOOC) without the need for instructional design or assessment. It is informative, educational and entertaining.

Back to Germany though.

We are all probably used to history taught and written about as a series of chronological events, with historians questing for a truth interpreted through the philosophy and means of their era: Niel Macgregor therefore is using 21st century approaches to deliver his history, but what is so memorable and effective are the exceedingly carefully chosen objects, the considered, interpreted and historically accessible language and his smart, even 'other worldly' intelligent and dare I say it 'posh' voice.

Also an exhibition at the British Museum

More in the BBC Radio Series Producer's Blog

 

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Av Speed 39 mph

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014, 11:10
From E-Learning IV

Fig. 1 M25 traffic - on a good day

This was for a 135 mile journey, mostly M23, M25 and M40. I've done worse : 27 mph the same journey. Sometimes you wonder whether to take the car out or not. Crawling around the M25 has become my recurring nightmare : you've got to plan for lengthy delays with a tank of fuel, water and grub. At least I had our teenage son with me so I got to hear and ask about a substantial part of his iTunes playlist. And an automatic - a few years of stop starting in jams made me a convert. I'll have a self-driving car please then climb in the back to sleep, read, watch a movie or go online.

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Av Speed 39 mph

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014, 10:52

This was for a 135 mile journey, mostly M23, M25 and M40. I've done worse : 27 mph the same journey. Sometimes you wonder whether to take the car out or not. Crawling arounf the M25 has become my recurring nightmare : you've got to plan for lengthy delays with a tank of furl, water and grub. At least I had our teenage son with me so I got to hear and ask about a subdtantial part of his iTunes playlist.

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I is for iPad

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 06:11
  • Informal Learning

  • Inclusion

  • ICT enabled learning

  • iPad

  • iPhone
  • Iterative research

  • Internet

  • Knud Illeris

  • iTunes

  • Instructional Design

  • Instagram

A list is just a list if I can't be selective; here I would go either for iPad or for iTunes were I only to pick a couple of contenders for 'I' in the 'A to Z of E-learning'.

As e-learning is a subset of learning then, however important, inclusion, iterative research, instructional design, informal learning come outside of the 'A to Z of E-learning'; I'm taking the Internet (and the world wide web) as a given. Instagram today, Tumblr yesterday, Diaryland the day before ... and maybe WordPress when they grew up? I've followed the favoured social platforms for over a decade. What about Pinterest? I'll bag these under 'social learning'. Knud Illeris is of interest across learning as a theme. ICT enabled learning is simple another phrase for what I've known historically as: web-based learning, online learning and only lately as 'e-learning'.

So I am down to iPad and iTunes.

iPad has transformed the way I learn. I do read and interact at anytime of the day or night, just about anywhere. This often means the bath and bed. And yes, on the toilet. I do wash my hands! (Is this a reason not to use someone else's iPad? Where have those fingers been?!) My only complaint is that writing one handed on the iPad I developed a severe case of 'tennis elbow'. Really, I had physiotherapy for a couple of months and my arm in a strap; writing 4000 word assignments when reclined, left handed. Not wise. Reading on an iPad I find I devour books, sometimes reading a chapter from each of six books simultaneously. I have finally developed a system for highlighting too; each colour highlight goes against an essay-related theme so that on completion I can then pick out and assemble the notes, quotes and points. I have a Kindle though; how else do you read in bright sunlight. For long journeys it matters to have a battery that appears to last forever. Access online at anytime, clearly a smart phone does this too, means you can follow asynchronous forum discussions in real time. It is more engaging to read and respond on the fly. When driving I will set the Kindle to audio and have it read the book to me. (I can start to sound like the book and SatNav are having a conversation).

iTunes U offers tens of thousands of free, open educational resources. Some of the very best come from the Open University.

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Augmented

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Feb 2014, 17:15

Imagine a room in which students pick an item from a museum then do this with it on their screens. You have their attention. How do they then take it and create a string of memories that take them through assignments and beyond?

 Imagine downloading ahead of a visit the audio tour for a special show? My visit to the Royal Academy to see the Van Gogh letters had my mother as the audio tour - I wish I'd recorded it. Where we now have ONE voice and script very soon there will be many - then you can choose who you want as your guide.

 

And then imagine an audiotour pinned to locations as you walk around a town, showing you before and after vistas, telling you stories or offering an alternative soundscape. Not if your in a hurry. And if on your daily commute you'll turn yourself into an expert and need to upload your own research and insights. Here the 'Blood, guts and babies' medical tour from the Wellcome Foundation. 

 

And at the risk of getting hit by the next best, take your eyes of the footpath and take a augmented view not just of a shop or cafe, but illustrated history ... London Blitz would be scary, to see a motorbike currier heading towards a bomb crater.

 

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What would Steve Jobs have done with e-learning? Other than calling it iLearning?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014, 13:21

Martin Bean, OU Vice Chancellor: We are at the Napster moment in Higher Education

Martin Bean Key Note - notes from the 2012 HEA conference.

If there is a transcript please let me know!

I took a couple of hours as part of H818:The networked practitioner to follow this presentation closely. It makes you proud to be an OU student, or in my case now, an OU Graduate. Our Vice Chancellor, better perhaps than any other, has an inspired and informed, and often witty outlook on the future of education.

He makes the point that technology in education has everything to do with brain-ware, not software,. that 'we thought our job was done when we got people plugged in'.

He calls for educators in tertiary education to 'do the right thing by our student'

Technology is the enabler - it still requires great teaching.

He is at pains to point out that our approach to education is stuck in the past, that it is NOT about rote learning to regurgitate in an exam, but helping students make sense of the information available to them.

He is HIGHLY critical of research students who rely on the top 15 hits in Google Search and Wikipedia.

His handle on the current student is insightful. He makes the point that 'they want to blend their digital lifestyles with their learning - rather they would say it is 'just the way they live'.

We need to create a trusting environment where the student can challenge the information. 

There needs to be deconstruction and reconstruction of the pedagogy to make it more relevant

He calls for the 'sage on the stage to coach on the side'.

Our National Surveys say that our students want to spend time with us.

This human component is crucial for success and retention.

Martin Bean asks, 'what would Steve Jobs do?'

  • People and process remain more important than the technology
  • What the OU does: relevant, personalised, engaging learning.

How do we inspire people in those informal moments?

The OU are lucky and unique to be able to work with the BBC on productions like the Frozen Planet ...

  • YouTube as an open education repository
  • iTunes - 1:33 come in to find out more
  • Apple authoring tools

The value and opportunity of mobile

  • Akash - a tablet in India running on Android for under £50, so cheaper to give students one of these and access to the Internet than buy academic books.
  • 400 eBooks. e.g. Schubert's poems, listening to music, seeing the manuscript, reading annotations then looking at the original handwritten manuscript ...

How do we as educators do what we do so well?

  • MOOCs - engagement of hundreds of thousands, if not millions in meaningful ways.
  • More than anything esle technology creates access

We are at the Napster moment in Higher Education

See the Hewlett Foundation website for the scale of OERs. 12,000 hours of OU Open Learn for example.
Nurturing powerful communities of learning

  • Break the content down into shorter milestones
  • Qualifications with market currency
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Radio rocks a century on from its invention : h807, B822

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Isn't it ironic that so many decades later the OU can be so successful with radio and iTunes, for example 'The Bottom Line' on Radio 4 is a BBC and OU Business Scool co-production with additional content after the transmission online and available to include in learning modules while the global success of The History of English in Ten Minutes' is a resource for all manner of 'e-tivities' (a Gilly Salmon term you will come to love, loathe or use). I've brought my late grandfather back to life in a podcast based on a recording madein 1992 wheen he was 96. I've been inteerviewing my father-in-law too for the same reasons.
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Steve Jobs iIdeas

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 1 Jan 2012, 06:04

 

Steve%252520Jobs%252520QUOTE.JPG

 

"There's a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That's crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random disucussions. You run into someone, you ask what they're doing, you say 'Wow,' and soon you're cooking up all sorts of ideas". Steve Jobs after Walter Isaacson (2011:431) on the design of the Pixar building.

I'll be quoting from the Steve jobs biography often as I apply what I have learnt to B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change', and share what he did for the world with the Apple, with Pixar, with iTunes and the iPad.

Had he got involved in education I have an idea of how he would have approached something.

Steve Jobs was the idea and for behind releasing on iTunes a box-set of EVERYTHING Bob Dylan had ever recorded; this in the Digital Age is the way forward. Even if I cannot read everything on a subject, I want it aggregated for me nontheless. I want every article or book reference in a book such as this biography, with links to every interview too.

REFERENCE

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs. Little, Brown.

Happy 2012 folks!

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