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Jonathan Vernon in a high-vis jacket surveying potholes on Talbot Terrace

Reelected recently to one of the greenest Green Councils in the country (Lewes), I am inadvertently bringing together a gaggle of interests, some tangential, some relevant.  Following a talk on the 'Fungi of Markstakes Common' I am fast moving towards papers/talks on the 'Ancient Trees of Markstakes Common' - those identified 13 years ago (the ash have died, one Beech is a pile of dead wood, two other beech and one hornbeam have lost major stems, as with one of the silver birch - now dead. I could add another 12 to the old list.

Dealing with people is no less engaging and uses similar skills. I was out this morning with a tape measure to look at some local potholes and bring these to the attention of the Conservative run East Sussex County Council which is increasingly looking like the institution that blocks everything - these constipated Conservatives will be duly removed from power, where, in truth they have 'sat on their hands' for too long - doing little, taking their stipend.

But that's politics, and we don't want any of that here.

I'm itching for appropriate postgraduate study on woodland management, biodiversity, sustainability or some such but fear that too much that that is on offer is either dated, or to expensive. 

An online course on Fungi for £40, something on trees for £90. Do I need it, or want it.

Anyone used Chat.ai.open yet? 

Had it been around over the last decade I would have use it to assist with essays and dissertations. I find it/her/him an intelligent tutor, not always getting it right, but able to collate information and produce a coherent point of view. Like all tools though it/he/she must be 'triangulated' - we need references. 

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 7 Aug 2023, 05:57)
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Here we go ...

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No longer age 13 I don't keep a daily diary, though I did so into my ,,, early 40s. Give or take five or six years (or more) where a close relationship, marriage and children negated the desire to reflect ... 

In the past i saw reflection as a valuable tool to build towards career and project ideas - but you tip over a virtual watershead at some point where a dairy, daily or otherwise, is looking back. I try to keep a log of stuff I do AM/PM - best divided into three parts though: morning, afternoon and evening. I sleep 6 1/2 hours on average and get at least 1 hour, sometimes 2 hours of real work done before 6.00am. It's how I work. I wake, I have something to do, I get it done and either my sad laptop's battery requires plugging in or I start to feel tired - joy! I love sleep, and love going to bed to do exactly that whether it is 10.39pm having watched a movie, 4:38am having been up in the middle of the night, or if I have felt around 1:39pm that 'Forty Winks' are required. 

Make what you will of this; I rather think everyone has their own pattern of sleep, not asleep, active and alert or not ... like a fingerprint. My sleep pattern defines me. 

If the magic course on woodland management or environment conservation exists as a postgraduate degree I might seek a way to finance it over a new car. Open Learn offers stuff like this for free. But 'Free' never got me on the starting line ... or got me over the finish.  

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H800 65 How do you make the contents of an iPad electronic 'pop-up' book stick?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 10:47

I'm grateful for being introduced to this highly interactive 'pop-up' eletronic book for the iPad. It was suggested that I should show it to my 12 year old son.

I got a one word response 'cool' - said in a tone of voice that implied he was both impressed and intrigued.

From 'Pop-up Press Publications'.

Is this the danger though?

That it's an electronic pop up book?

Engaging enough, but will any of the messages stick?

Is there not a need for a level of effort and endeavour in education if the content is going to stick (or mean anything)?

It is the question/activity you put to the student(s) that tcreates the educational value.

Something like, our towns going to go for 100% green energy, what do you suggest drawing on ideas from this Al Gore 'book'?

Some learning design issues:

1) Expense

2) How easy is it to update the content

3) How easy is it to share pieces of the content to build you own versions of this i.e. engagement, making it student-centred, rather than technology-centred.


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