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BBC Short Stories

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This is more than just making the awards and telling each story - the short story as a form is discussed and analysed too. Having the skills to construct and perform or communicate a short story is key to much learning practice. This ties in directly with my developing the skills to create 'scenario-based elearning'. 

 

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The BBC's Interactive First World War Experience

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If you have an interest in interactive learning then this is a great example of how a story can have multiple outcomes. 

https://our-world-war.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/

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Future Learn WW1 Aviation

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014, 21:55

 Fig. 1 Flight Cadet John Arthur Minty, RAF Crail late 1918

A fascinating stimulus to further study, though by its title and how grouped in WW1 themes by FutureLearn I would have expected the focus to have been the rise of aviation during the First World War to the exclusuion of all else, with some introduction to aviation coming into the Great War and a period to reflect on the interwar years. There have been criticisms by fellow travellers on the broad and 'open' nature of the learning experience as if kearning should be exclusive and elitist. 'Open' should mean exactly that for a myriad of reasons. Fundamentally this is about the quality of learning through the amazing 'connectedness' of the Internet and the recreation online of a 'community of practice'. It is also about what the former Xerox Head of Learning John Seely Brown calls 'learning from the periphery' where experts at the centre attract and welcome the newcomers on the fringe and finally, it is about 'vicarious' learning, not always knowing what you are going to get - the many insights and surprises that we've had here. I'm sure people aren't making full use of the tools to filter these massive threaded discussions: by recent activity across the topics, by those you follow and where there may be a reply to your own comment. To design, write and manage a MOOC you need to do them. 

Most MOOCS and most online courses, struggle with the quizzes. These deserve as much thought and preparation as a lecture series. They are hard to do well. The very best examples I've found were created on a platform called 'Spaced-Ed' now QStream by a team originating from the Harvard Medical School supporting Junior Doctors. Multiple choice can be a stimulating learning experience in its own right: challenging participants to use what they have learnt, and adding to this knowledge by making them think through responses that are not necessarily obvious. Replies to getting the answer right or wrong need to recognise the choices made and then inform, guide or further the learning experience. For the only example I've seen across six FutureLearn MOOCs where they are getting it right is The OU's module on 'Start Writing Fiction' where the 'quiz' makes you think. They don't need to be light-hearted.

If the BBC are closely involved in the production of video sequences then I'd expect three things: ideas around presentation that work, are relevant and make you think; media training for non-professional presenters and however done to 'broadcast' standards technically and stylistically.

What a truly brilliant discussion. I need to get my head around this and my copious notes from my mechanically minded late grandfather who trained as a fighter pilot in 1918 and was fascinated by the engines and had a few near-fatal scrapes with the things when they failed mid-flight. I'll wake him up, or bring his ashes over to the computer so that he can listen in!

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Gamification of the First World War

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 28 Aug 2014, 08:45

 Fig.1. The BBC's First World War 'game'

Powerful. Rich. Fast. Makes you think. The perfect morning opener to a history lesson - though the 'F***!' word would not be welcome. I'd question its use. Many soldiers were 'God fearing, church-going Quakers'. And it will be a barrier to its use in many schools. 

The idea of having linear drama interspersed with choices is a 'cross media' or 'multi-platform' gold standard that was dreamt about, even proposed, a decade ago - but quite impossible except at huge expense and on DVD. It offers an interesting way into narratives such as 'Sliding Doors' or 'Back to the Future' where you as the viewer and protagonist could make choices about what you do and how you respond. 

A detailed report in Creative Review

Watching Horizon last night on Allergies I was tempted to go online. Try transcribing what is said in these programmes and you might not fill a couple of sides of A4: they don't say much. For me this is a simple example of how video is often the last thing you need as a piece of learning: a TED lecture would be better, a dozen TED lectures better still.

For all the buzz and excitement around distance and online learning I wonder if the connectedness of the Internet and the gargantuan levels and variety of content is the e-learning legacy - creating the environment in which people can travel virtually rather than prescriptive learning.

More WW1 games from the BBC 

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Must see TV

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 23 Aug 2014, 10:38

Fig. 1 Episode 3 of 'Our World War'

There are many reasons to watch this 45 minute drama made by BBC Documentaries:

1) It is a gripping piece of entertainment that incorporates modern music to help evoke the feelings and tone.

2) The sense of what it meant to take part in this conflict to Britain then, and today, is palpable

3) For a piece of screen writing I can think of little that is so sharp, so succinct, so remarkable ...

4) You don't think of it as a documentary. This isn't docu-drama, so much as drama that seamlessly includes a few animated maps and subtitles as does many a movie or TV series these days

5) You too will be recommending that people watch it.

6) The series so far is excellent, this episode stands out as brilliant - I was left weeping in sadness and joy, while reflecting the violent conflict, though not on this scale, is still very much a contemporary issue.

7) You have this week to watch it. (What seems to happen then is that towards the end of the series it will be offered as a DVD)

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Must see TV

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Aug 2014, 08:39

Fig.1 Great War Diaries

This series, each episode an hour long, features six or so characters per episode, most from episode to episode drawing on their diaries and letters. A lifetime interested in the First World War I am still amazed and thrilled at the stories that are told and the quality of dramatisation. Without any doubt in my mind THIS is the series that our generation will remember in relation to the marking of the centenary of the First World War.

Elfriede Kuhr, featured above, joins us as a 15 year old developing a crush on a German trainee pilot. Born in what is now Poland she went on to marry a Jew and perform in ante-war performances, having to flee Germany in 1933. 

Inspired stuff; though the four universities offering free courses sadly offering little that relates directly to any of this series at all. A lost opportunity. There is a need for a module on the First World War, not niche parts of it, nor a one hundred year sweep from the 1860s to 1960s.

This stunning production, with the highest production values and a budget to match will see many of the actors appearing in movies and TV, with the director surely moving on to Hollywood.

Brilliant

 

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1914 Evening

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 5 Aug 2014, 17:30

 Fig.1 Screengrab from a news report style presentation on why Britain went to war 100 years ago / at midnight tonight.

I stumbled upon all of this quite by chance. Who'd imagine the BBC Parliamentary Channel would produce an evening of documentaries, talks and lectures. Former foreign secretaries reflect on the important role Edward Grey in 1914 took to keep Britain out of a continental conflict. I hope it's all on the iPlayer as every word is worth sharing. 

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Did everyone speak fluent english a hundred years ago with a foreign accent?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 2 Aug 2014, 10:53

Fig.1. Images from my Google Pics gallery

We are collectively being tipped into a centenary marking of the First World War where all 'foreigners' speak english with an accent; we have German, Russian, French ... we have Serbian and Austro-Hungarian 'english'. We even have Americans voiced by English actors speaking ... english with an American accent. So how do we spot the lads from Newfoundland? Not then part of Canada, but a sovereign state? And from the Indian subcontinent the difference in accents and language from a multitude of sources?

It's all compromise and accommodation

It's very much the BBC perspective: which as the ONLY public service broadcaster the world has tries so hard to represent everyone. I have my say here - Jonathan Vernon on Hastings 1918

WBC anyone?

The World or Globe or Earth or ... whatever 'Broadcasting Company'?

For all or any failings the effort, transparently at least, to strive for 'truth' based on evidence of what is going on.

The Open University has been, was and should take the lead. I wonder, with concern that the legacy of Michael Bean has been to trim back too hard and so diminish us to a voice from the corner of the empire.

I hope the next Vice Chancellor will be a global figure. Bill Clinton comes to mind. 

'Read in a subject until you can hear the people speak'.

E H Carr.

It has taken a forty years but I feel I have the voice of the soldier of the First World War - and the officer, and the girlfriends and mothers at home.

 

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The Tragic Poker Game: World War One on the BBC

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 6 Jul 2014, 08:03

Catch the short pieces by Prof. Chris Clark on the First World War.

He's the author of 'Sleepwalkers. How Europe went to war in 1914'. He's a compelling, easy to listen to historian. A linguist too: he is adamant about the need for historians to do first hand research in the original language - he has German and French at least. An Australian whose accent has vanished after a decade or more in the quads of Cambridge.

Listen, then think again.

Personally, I have come to not wholly agree - which cost me a few marks short of a distinction on an essay on the origins of the First World War which I wrote by amongst others, by extensive reading of the OU's Annika Mombauer's edited anthologies of original documents. These are fascinating to pick through so that you can construct your own point of view.

Christopher Clark believes that a) the Kaiser, had he real power, could have and would have prevented the outbreak of a general European war b) that between the French and Russian's had been planning for it and were 'up for it' as the prospective of a test of strength developed. 

No war, no Russian Revolution?

No war, dynastic monarchies still ruling Europe?

No war ... 

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B is for Blogging

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 12 May 2014, 07:12
  • Blogging

  • Helen Beetham

  • BBC (BBC education, BBC Bitesize, BBC iPlayer)

  • 'Birds of a Feather' (not the TV sitcom, but the research concept of like-minds connected online)

  • Blended Learning

I pick out blogging as the most important 'B' in an A to Z of e-learning as I've come to feel that the act of blogging, as a shared learning journal, meets many learning criteria: constructing meaning and connectedness. You share what you do, even if comments are few. This ties into 'bird of a feather' - the title of a paper that shows how people with common interests or beliefs will associate with each other, share and support. Personally this was particularly apparent in the early days of blogging, say 1999-2003 when the numbers online was manageable and less gamified. It'll take me a while to edit, collate and write on blogging from the 400+ posts I have made on blogging over the last decade. I've made a start.

The BBC is a magnificent resource: inspirational programmes and for schools the magic of bitesize for revision.

While Helen Beetham is an academic and author you ought to be reading often.

B is also for:

  • Back Channels
  • Martin Bean
  • Behaviourism
  • John Seely Brown
  • Doug Belshaw
  • Boud
  • Boyer
  • Bruner
  • Tony Benn
  • Boyer
  • The Brain
  • Books

REFERENCE

Birds of a Feather: How personality influences blog writing and reading. (2010) Jami Li and Mark Chignell. Science Direct. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 68 (2010) 589-602.

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H818: A History of Openness

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014, 09:21

We're considering the nature of 'openness' in education as part of this new Master of Arts in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) module.

This is increasingly about ease of access to information, all of it, uncensored.

Often for ease of access and to gain a qualification with a marketable value, information that is packaged in books, journals and lectures, though increasingly in 'sexier' interactive and multimedia forms with the related 'scaffolding' that comes with learning design and planning. The natural tendency is to consider the hectic last decade of the Internet at the expense of the history of openness in access to information and an education over the last century.

A hundred years ago all but the most privileged were in the dark: leaving school after an elementary education, with reliance on biased newspapers, magazines and part works. Libraries, BBC radio and affordable paperbacks, secondary then tertiary education, cinema and TV have each had a role to play, as has the Open University.

Does enlightenment come with access?

What does it say of power of information and ideas where access is controlled, as in China? Does connectedness within openness lead to even greater coalescing of likeminds in cliques, reinforcing stereotypical biases rather than exposing them to valid alternative views?

Nothing is straightforward when it comes to people - heterogenous by design, homogenous by inclination.

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The importance of agony in storytelling

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 23 Sep 2013, 14:56

Fig. 1. Betthany Hughes - The ideas that make us. BBC Radio 4.

The volume of 'educational' content I gather from BBC Radio 4 is remarkable - there is so much of it. Much of it recalled here over the last three years.

Here is a 15 minutes piece that might make you the fiction writer you have always wanted to be.

She derives the word from ancient Greek and its use in Himer's Illiad then interviews an eloquent Aussie Cricket commentator during the Ashes and the author Kate Mosse at her publisher's. 

Agony helps us to empathise with another's struggle.

'Struggle, in the form of philosophy of ideas, is at the heart of a good novel', says Kate Mosse, 'otherwise there is no story to tell'. 

Jeopardy and contest is central to what makes us human. 

And when it comes to the effort of writing:

'Try again, fail again, never mind, fail better', said Sam Beckett.

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Loss of a Mother - woman have Woman's Hour, men have Top Gear.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013, 11:03

Woman also have 'Loose Women', surely the female version of 'Top Gear'. But do men have an equivalent of 'Woman's Hour' or are we supposed to get that from GQ or Esquire magazines sad

I don't make a point of listening to Woman's Hour, but as I'm at home and have done years on and off as househusband it becomes a regular feature of the day. The radio goes on in the kitchen and in the car. I need to be in one or the other.

Is 'Woman's Hour' a party broadcast for the female gender or fascinating issues presented in a radio magazine that mix topicality, with feature and fiction?

Actually it was this late Friday morning I was running out in the car to walk the dog on the South Downs.

Friday 8th March is one you need to download before it comes off air in a few days time.

Alice%2520Walker%2520Judy%2520Murray%2520Lucy%2520Gannon%2520Maureen%2520Fearon%2520WOMANS%2520HOUR.JPG

Fig. 1 Listing on BBC Website - you've got 4 days within which to download this.

BBC RADIO 4 WOMAN's HOUR - PODCASTS

Topics covered:

  • Women Coaches -(worth keeping)
  • Alice Walker - author of the Color Purple (very worthwhile)
  • Vicki Price and the law
  • Women in parliament - could they job share?

The one that had me stop what I was doing ...

Loss of a mother

I'm the boy whose favourite place as an infant was on my Mum's hip and as I gew up on the kitchen counter learning to cook, taking her tuition as an art teacher (MA in Fine Art from University of Durham). Our parents split up when I was eight and she only remarried in her 60th year. She died a few months ago.

Woman%2527s%2520Hour%2520LOGO.JPG

Fig. 2 Women's Hour, Friday 9th March 2013 A 43 minute programme.

On loss of Mothers - if you only have 12 minutes sping through to 00:30:00

What is the impact of losing a mother?
Alice Walker
What is happening here and why?

Paul Mcartney was 14 when his Mum died of a brain tumour. If he had a time machine he would go back and spend time with her.

A speaker Jane Tilly about her mother when she died when she was 17.

At significant transition moments, having no one to share it with.
A role model

The guests:

Maureen Fearon – Therapsit

Lucy Gannon (Playwright, television writer, plays, shortsand 'Soldier, Soldeir' and producer)

Lucy Gannon

  • Lucy's Mum died when she was eight.
  • Know who you are, what diseases you've had, so you lose some of your identity.
  • Children need to know that they are at the centre of someone's world so that they know they are
  • Your life is going on, try to get continuity.
  • You lose your place in the world – she was in care though.
  • Keep that child in the centre of the world they know.

Maureen Fearon

  • Her mum died when she was 29.
  • Look at the grandparents, look at the average, and she's going to be at least that = 89/90.
  • Deeply tearful because of trigger music.
  • That overwhelming,  'I want my Mum'.
  • Smells. Going through the tough times in life. Through challenging times that smell comes and floats away. When there is no smoke there. In our minds, or where it is.
  • Took 12 years of real pain, neurolinguistic exercise ... did it once and fixed.

The mention of how the mind brings back smells is intriguing.

Maureen Fearon is a therapist, not a neuroscientist. There is a phenomenon where we see people we love who we have just lost, it might be the end of a close relationship or the death of someone close - our mind sees them in other people. I relate to this idea of lucid reconstruction of specific smells.

Working%2520Memory%2520L5704%2520N4D.JPG

Fig. 3. From 'Neuroscience for Dummies' - not as stupid as it sounds!

I can, give me a moment, smell the mothballs in my late grandmother's spare bedroom, and while she smoked them the Benson and Hedges cigarettes which surely made her knitting honk? Other smells I can call up include the silt and rotting fish heads of Beadnell Harbour in the 1960s ... and a Christmas tree, and Christmas Pudding, marshmallows roasted on an open fire, melting butter on toast with Old English Marmalade ... and our pet dog as a child, Morag the black labrador, wet and warm from being out in the rain ...

Sheila%2520and%2520Jonathan%2520c1973.JPG

Fig. 4. Sheila Vernon (nee Wilson) 1931-2012 with her son Jonathan c1973/1972 ?

My Mum's parents where 83 and 96 when they died, so an average might have been 90?

She died a few months ago age 81. She had planned to beat the Queen Mum. We all thought she'd do so. But as my even later grandfather kept saying having reached 90, 'I don't mind when I go, I've had a good innings'. He was in his 97th year - we thought he'd make it to a hundred, but at trip to the Western Front to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Paschendaele where he had served as a machine gunner had left him ill (and heart broken).

 

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The OU and the BBC

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 22 Nov 2012, 11:21

In case you didn't know -

some people wonder what happened to the OU Broadcasts in the dead of night - you know, the bloke with unkempt hair and a long bear, in a stripey cheese-cloth shirt and sandals talking through a daigram on a flip chart.

'Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 23 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 56 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme'.

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Procrastination, ADHD and low self-esteem

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012, 13:38

All on BBC Radio 4 this morning (Tuesday 28th August 2012) from 11.30 or so.

ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL TUESDAY 4th SEPTEMBER

Catch it on iPlayer.

I might, tomorrow, or when I get round to it.

The author Steven Pressfield has written a book about procrastination, which he calls resistance - I say 'anything but ...' I will do smething else instead, which can inlcude TMAs and EMAs left to the night before. I do the preparation, I just don't commit to the writing process. Which Is why I prefer exams - the deadlines can't be moved.

 

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Out of control?

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You don't do what you think you're doing. New series on the brain tonight on the BBC. Makes you think.
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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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Script Editor Dr Who

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Now there's an unusual job to go for!
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The 350 year old blog of a 26 year old - Samuel Pepys

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012, 05:25

Episode One (Saved in BBC iPlayer for one week from broadcast)

Episode Two (10h45 Today, repeated 19h45 this evening)

This first episode is a wonderful interplay between domestic and civil life, the prospect of joining the ship that will fetch the King from exile, while the 'wench' who works for them refuses to kill the turkey they've been feeding up because it's her friend.

Samuel%252520Pepys%252520SNIP.JPG

On the 1st of January 1660, the 26 year old Samuel Pepys decides to start keeping a diary.

He's behind with his rent, he goes out too often, and drinks too much. He lies awake worrying about work, and despite being happily married, can't keep his hands off other women.

He gives us eyewitness accounts of some of the great events of the 17th century but he also tells us what people ate, wore, what they did for fun, the tricks they played on each other, what they expected of marriage, and of love affairs.

Pepys.jpg

This BBC radio drama is on every day at 10.45 and again in the evening at 19.45. Episode 2 today.

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Follow Samuel Pepys on Twitter. You get regular 140 characters or less updates.

 

Pepys%2525202.jpg

Read his diary, offered on a the basis of 'on this day 350 years ago.'

Nothing's changed much, the most important things in our life are loves, family and friends. Our lives may touch on the politics and events of the time, they may not. Pepy's got through the restoration of the King, Plague and the Fire of London.

He so often ends is entry with, 'and so to bed'.

For radio for boring bits have been left out; it therfore reads like a novel.

Not a recommended style for these pages, but great for an external blog in Wordpress, Blogger or LiveJournal. Or my favourite, Diaryland.

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Had Pepys blogged would you have read him?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 13 Aug 2011, 09:47

If Samuel Pepys had he blogged would you have read it?

Pepys is about to be serialised on BBC Radio.

This occurs once a decade. The excuse might be his 350th anniversary.

Were he still alive, in his early thirties. Like the Robert Heinlein character Lazarua Long. What would his set have made of social media?

His blog would have been read as the day's events unfolded.

Would he have been able to keep his secrets for long?

Would leaks of practices in Admirality House appeared in Wikileaks?

Would citizen detective work spotted Pepys as he entered and later left massage parlours?

And whilst we may not witness the Fire of London, or the Great Plague, we have had Aids and Terrorist Attacks, riots too.

The essentials of life tick over as they have always done; we live, we love, we get things right and make mistakes, we carry on, we may survive into old age.

The trailer justifies why a young person might keep a diary.

Had millions been doing so in the 17th century would we be that interested in Pepys?

Possibly, given that those blogs that are published are easily described as nefarious and sordid.

They take lovers, they are unfaithful to other halves, they go to places and do things they would never otherwise have done?

Some would.

Is this the would-be artist’s struggle?

Is this what defines a frustrated creative? The desire to express and share what they make of life and to have actions in their lives worth sharing.

I cannot read Pepys.

He would not have made an easy blog. He is cyrptic and inconsistent. The juicy moments are rare. It is a writer's journal, an aide-memoir.

It is all over the place mixing work and play.

But he never was looking for readers in his life time.

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A Tipping Point

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 30 Jul 2011, 08:46

Out of habit I picked up the 5.00pm BBC News.

Having been online since 5.00am then in the garden from 12.00 I expected something fresh, instead, five hours later I got less than what I was following at 5.00am and having picked up conversations elsewhere I found the stance and the responses being offered as immediately redundant, old news, already discussed.

This is a personal tipping point of view, courtesy of various platforms such as Zite and StumbleUpon I am ahead of their curve, worse, I feel as if I am reading the same news points as the BBC, so no longer need them as a filter of what 'they' think I should be told or informed about.

I have enjoyed the comfort of the 5.00pm BBC news for decades, but know now it/they from my point of view are, if I am on holiday and able to follow my own track, redundant.

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Innovating in e-learning is worth it

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 27 May 2011, 21:12

E-learning projects/initiatives of 2000/2001 that cost £120,000 + and went nowhere. Dot.com start-ups that went bust.

Not quite first-hand experience as it wasn't my money or job on the line, but I was involved'sharing an office with the creators of 'Doki' an idea for an immersive language learning experience.

Pioneers of innovation are just that - brave people who go out in the cold with no clothes on.

It is this that I admire so much form the Open University ... 42 years of distance learning (pioneers at the time) and as Professor Jonathan Silvertown says in a video clip on the OU website 'It's as if the Open University was waiting for the Internet to happen - distance no longer matters'.

In terms of initiatives I'm familiar with away from the OU I like what corporate e-learning company Epic have done with the BBC Guidelines.

From my TV days I got a copy of these hefty manual every time a new edition came out - think of a Filofax so densely packed with printed pages that it is has the density (and about as much appeal) as a breeze-block. It was indigestible, however much you had to chew on it. Epic used narrative to create what I can only describe as an engaging tale that for its own sake draws you into the content.

The job is profiled on their website with a quote from someone in BBC Training saying that something that was costing X per head to train in was now a fraction of this for the 16,000 people expected to follow the guidelines.

Can it be costed if it is free?

Open Learn is free.

Or is it? 

As a tool to attract learners, as a duty or desire to support and share with the community (which is glogal now). To use Open Learn you still need a computer, broadband access ... and electricity.

It must work.

It must be worth it. (cash cost, time spent, time given up) It is pointless if a no or low cost none e-learning solution is better. i.e. can you teach someone to ride a bike online?

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The playing field for education in the UK is both muddled and uneven

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 04:53

Competition is a good thing, but the playing field is both muddled and uneven.

Remember, funding for higher education isn't simply from the State, but through corporates and research grants. What is more the UK has a long established history of private education at all stages; many parents plan to pay for their children's education, and where able set funds aside for tertiary education too through savings schemes.

Online support for learning, either blended or 100% at a distance, has become viable for ALL in tertiary education, so they are doing it. Even undergraduates on campus expect the kind of online facilities and support that may until recently been the sole domain of the distance learning student.

In the private sector, where I came from, creating commercial product at any stage: primary, tertiary and secondary was difficult for one simple reason - both students and institutions expected the resources to be free. One model therefore was to have content sponsored. Indeed that's how I came to succeed in producing careers materials (video) because it was all financed in advance by sponsors and distributed for free. DVD and online based course materials failed because no one would pay for it.

Ten years ago I prepared a report for my employer regarding the production of commercial learning materials, one offs for specific age groups and subjects. My conclusion was don't, unless it is all paid for upfront. Even the secondary sector is deeply affected by the BBC and their wonderful, free 'bitesize' series to support GCSEs.

There must be research on perceptions of UK universities. The cache of the long-established Oxbridge and Russell Group institutions must be substantial. From an employee point of view there are those who will divide hundreds (or thousands) of applications for a few graduate positions into two piles: Oxbridge or not.

Unsound and unfair, but if faced with ostensibly the same grade, but from different instituions, how do you differentiate short of seeing everyone for a first interview or reading exam papers for yourself?

The answer from the student's point of view used to be the CV thick with extra-curricula activities; I wonder if the future student should pack an e-portfolio, evidence of their worth and potential once away from the student 'desk'.

The last two decades has seen the private secondary sector buy into/ buy up primary sector 'prep' schools even establish pre-prep schools. I wonder to what degree this long-term relationship can be maintained into the tertiary sector?

The Eton Brand, for example, as a University, would be a valid offering in a global market.

 

 

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Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 2 May 2011, 22:17)
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New Word : Screde

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 11:57

In the context of the superfluous legalese we are meant to read and agree to before buying something online.

Half an hour ago the FT journalist who was interviewed mixed the words 'script' and 'crede' to produce a new word: 'screde'

Something that is a corporate, rather that a religious beleif system i.e. a 'crede' that runs to several pages (six or more) i.e. script.

Result = Screde.

This kind of inventive, communicative English I applaud. The kind of language I've been reading recently on e-learning I decry.

'Elision can thus be viewed as an affordance of the tool, as well as a matter of individual approach. This affordance becomes more apparent as we move into the sphere of ‘dedicated’ e-learning tools, where LAA can continue even during LAR or LAR can be ‘rehearsed’ as part of LAA (as in LAMS’ Preview feature). The VLE project suggests that, as both design and delivery medium, VLEs invite this elision.'

This the verbatim response, I assume, to a questionnaire submited by a tutor in Business Studies and quoted in chapter four of 'Rethinking Pedagogy for E-learning' Rhona Sharpe.

I tried this having looked up these acronyms or 'initialisms'.

Does this make any more sense?

'Where Learning Activity Authoring can continue during Learning Activity Realization or Learning Activity Realization can be ‘rehearsed’ as part of Learning Activity Authoring (as in Learning Activity Management Systems’ Preview feature). The Virtual Learning Environment project suggests that, as both design and delivery medium, Virtual Learning Environments invite this elision.'

If something is not communicated clearly I suspect the person talking doesn't know what they are talking about.

 

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Thomas Edison and innovation

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 12 Dec 2010, 05:07

For anyone embarking on H807 'Innovation in E-learning,' although it isn't part of the course work (yet), I'd recommend listening to the following discussion on Thomas Edison.

The participants are right to suggest that in establishing a lab for inventions Edision create a model that has been followed by others. This may be particularly pertinent when you look at Facebook and Google, also the history of Apple - possibly also of Dyson. Indeed anyone who wishes to be engaged in successful innovative practice.

It would make an interesting discusion point for units on collaboration and leadership.

What delivers success?

How do you thrive on change?

Why is commercialisation vital to success?

 

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