OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

LT2:2 Learning Technologies Day Two: Warming up to a mind-filling day

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 28 Jan 2011, 14:17

Warm Up

LT2:2 Blog 2

If I’m swimming lengths or running lengths then three minutes into my conference warm up I met Jonathan and Steve from Raise the Bar.

As a swimming coach who is currently on the last of 11 parts of the Senior Club Coach certificate, who produces training videos and has an interest in career development I am bound to find using sport and sporting personalities of interest.

Speaking to Jonathan Stanger from Raise the bar I wish that I’d recorded the conversation to play here as a podcast, even to have had a person with a Steadicam floating over my shoulder to record it all for later editing (that would incorporate their footage).

Jonathan talks with conviction and passion (it must be a Jonathan thing).

Thinking about it, a steadicam tour of the entire event, like a quick-march around an Ikea store, would offer a valuable view of it all ... we should have moved on from chunky exhibition directories by now. I didn't notice anyone flicking through the PDF version on an iPad either.

Raise the Bar. Stand 219


  • Goal Setting
  • Bringing out strengths
  • Making an impact
  • Body language
  • Confidence
  • Energy
  • Emerging leaders
  • Feedback and best practice
  • PDP = performance development programme

Key words and buzz words

Personalities have a role to play, they can inspire. It implies to those attending such events/courses that they matter, that getting insights from the best makes them the best.

I believe that motivational presentations have their place

They are uplifting; a personal story of overcoming hurdles/obstacles while striving for success is our own life story. Ideas expressed by the right person may last a lifetime. Now what was it that Roger Uttley said to me when he was playing for Gosforth FC (Newcastle FC since 1996). We lived out the back of the rugby pitch (now a gated estate of executive homes): I would have been 12 or so. I'll look it up later.

Why do we listen to sporting legends or our own sporting heroes?

We will have a period of 18 months where the sports analogies will fly; a good result for team GB will see stock prices rise as the national spirits picks up its pace too.

My hope is to be covering swimming extensively, using HD cameras above and below water, to follow the development of swimmers, coaches and the clubs they belong to and so to raise the temperature in the pool, as well as the bar.

Raise the Bar clients to be proud of: NatWest, Metropolitan Police, Lloyds TSB, RBS, Caudex Medical, Unum, Boots, Talisman, TMB.


Most seminars were covered and at various stages I spotted a broadcast crew and other camera people about. Where is all this footage going? In need to be in the public domain soon all we'll have all moved on.



Share post
Design Museum

The importance of the words

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 08:15

Writing is everything.

I'd master it now. Keeping a blog is a sure darned way to do that. Handwritten is fine; find yourself the perfect pen.

Writing, or rather the ability to write.

It is the key to communication, to learning and to e-learning, and a great deal else besides.

On my passport it says 'writer, director.'

I like that, though I think of my skill as a visualiser and the writing and directing is rarely TV, but corporate and classroom training, desk-top learning, and product launches, change brand and change management.  Still there can be drama in it, and tears, and death, and love, and life, and music and dance. We go underwater and scale mountains, enter shear caves of nuclear power plants and wade through sewers, track super-models along catwalks in Paris and record the last words of a man dying of cancer in Carlisle.

I see things in pictures.

Perhaps the MA in Fine Art IS what I should have started a year ago ... though I fear I may have missed out.

It's easy enough I find to get my 'hand back in' if I want to draw something as it is rather like riding a bike, or skiing in deep powder snow, or racing a Fireball, or pushing off a wall in Breaststroke and emerging from a legal transition half way down a 25m pool ... once you've put in the days, months, years (even decades) learning to do these things, barring ill-health and great age, you ought to be able to do them for some time to come.

Which reminds me, I want to crack written French in 2011.

Clients think of me as something in addition to writing and directing (I produce), but no. that's not it; there are words, voices, images, cut together and linked in various ways that form linear and non-linear assemblages, but to them I am 'a problem solved', a job delivered, with passion, on time, on budget (of course), sometimes as a team of one, but sometimes in a team of a few or many more. I do wonder if sometimes an email with the finally agreed Creative Brief is the end of the process, rather than beginning.

Today, once you've solved that you can invite everyone to come up with their own creative execution.

Now there's a thought I'd not heard coming.

All of this takes words, expressing and solving the problem and sharing this requires words. A fast, reliable typing speed helps too. So perhaps my Mum was right to get me a typewriter when I was 13 when I wanted an electric guitar.

Sometimes I find the problem for the client and share it with them in all its beautiful ghastliness.

This is what good writing means. And experience. And judgment. And belief. And your approach and thoroughness. And the write people around you. And sometimes conviction that £60,000 will deliver the job, but £600 will not.

Good writing is less about the words chosen and put on the page (unless you are a novelist or poet, and I am neither), no, good writing is a good idea, clearly expressed, in as few words as possible. (Which in due course requires editing something like this).

Who is it who said the selling is a good idea?

That all it takes to sell something, is to have a good idea.

Good writing has a purpose and the author knows how to put the words to work by addressing a problem, because you know your audience and whether you or someone else is the subject matter expert, it is your responsibility, even if the words are hidden by a creative brief, a synopsis, treatments and scripts, to get the message across ... like, with some or many images (photos, graphics, cartoons), or with the spoken words and/or similar images that move ...

A swimming club session plan written on a whiteboard to take a squad of swimmers can be beautifully written if it is magically composed, and serves its immediate purpose. The good swimming coach rarely leaves such things in the head. It is thought-out, it is planned, it fits into the scheme of things, it is the right session for that hour or two.

Good writing hits a chord; it too is of the moment.

I conclude that a good teacher, a good tutor, educator, practitioner of e-learning ... all have this ability to write well at the core of their being. They are confident with words, words that are as carefully chosen even if spoken on the fly, as a result of their experience and all the lesson plans or scripts, or class programmes, they have written in the past that bubble up to the surface when faced with a problem - a fresh student.

(My only caveat is the from the podcasts I've heard before an educator is interviewed they should at least have the wisdom to do some media training).

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 12163353