OU blog

Personal Blogs

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Design Museum

H800 SuppActs. Unit 3.3: 2nd -15th Oct 2011

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:11

SuppActs. Unit 3.3: 2nd -15th Oct

Hi all!

This is a really great activity as Open Source has passionate advocates for and against, and a driving market reality which seems unstoppable.

I wonder, in addition to the course questions, what we have between us in the way of experience on this. It would dbe good to bring that in too. What is 'our' expereince for and against of working with Open source in education?

Discuss here, and  build resource and summaries in Wiki?

Helen

H808 Course Guide: Supplementary activity 3.3: Understanding open source

This is a collaborative activity [..]You may be able to present the output from this activity as evidence of exceptional proactivity.

Download Martin Weller’s paper on eportfolio products from the resources below, which was presented to the OU VLE project as part of its discussion on developing an eportfolio system in 2005, and do a ‘Find’ search through it for the keywords ‘open source’.

How well do you think Martin justifies his recommendation to the OU to consider an open source solution for its eportfolio system?

Do you agree with him? Join a discussion in (the H808 SA Forum &wiki ) with (others) who are interested in this topic and find out what the general opinion of open source software development initiatives is.

Resources

EduTools (2007) Product Listinghttp://eportfolio.edutools.info/item_list.jsp?pj=16 (accessed 25 May 2010).

Dr Helen Barrett’s Bookmarks (2007) Commercial E-portfolio Vendorshttp://electronicportfolios.com/portfolios/bookmarks.html#vendors(accessed 25 May 2010).

Himpsl, K., Baumgartner, P.(2009) ‘Evaluation of e-portfolio software’, International Journal: Emerging Technologies in Learning, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 16–22: http://online-journals.org/i-jet/issue/view/51 (accessed 25 May 2010).

Martin Weller eportfolio report

Martin Weller's 2005 report for the OU on eportfolio products and strategic options for a university-wide system.
Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Multiple browsers

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 5 Oct 2010, 05:49

Goaded into this by H807 and H808, Innovations in E-Learning and the E-learning Professional, I find I am often using two or three software tools to do the same task instead of one. Call it research, or do I like to cherry pick the different way they do things?

I have slipped into using Google Chrome and Firefox as my preferred browsers. I'm also mixing between a PC and a Mac, though I've abandoned Internet Explorer and AOL.

A few weeks using Outlook and I risk smashing the PC (not its fault) or is it? To resolve problems I am having to ring a tech friend as the help prompts are obtuse - worse than a politician who has their prepared answer to whatever question is asked of them which results in some baffling non sequitur.

In one week I have lost ALL my AOL emails (not that seven/eight years of these things were worth keeping I suppose) and now ALL outgoing emails are being bounced back in my face.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I love Mac because it is friendly and intuitive. I loathe most things Microsoft because they are neither.

Is this just me?

If you've never owned a Mac, save up, go buy one.

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

UK Government Drivers for eportfolios

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 16:22

The Government's e-strategy anticipates that schools, colleges and universities "will want to develop eventually an e-portfolio where learners can store their own work, record their achievements" (Dfes, 2005).

The e-learning strategy for higher education also has as an objective "encouraging e-based systems of describing learning achievement and personal development planning" (HEFCE, 2005).

COMMENT life over death, growing rather than frozen, developing rather than not, moving over static, dynamic over passive,
Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H808 Core activity 3.1: Understanding e-portfolio software

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 19:06

Core activity 3.1: Understanding eportfolio software

  1. Select two eportfolio or eportfolio-type applications. Familiarise yourself with the facilities offered by each of them.

  2. Produce a comparison grid (such as the one you get from the EduTools review if you click the ‘Product comparison’ button) for the key features of the two systems. (Note: you do not need to go into the level of detail that the EduTools does. Restrict your comparison to about six key features.)

  3. Post your comparison grid to your tutor group forum. You may find that other people have selected features or facilities that you did not notice or value. Discuss with your colleagues which features really are ‘key’ for an eportfolio system. Decide which of the systems you have discussed might be recommended for use on H808.

Annotate your comparison grid with any relevant comments from the forum discussion and store it in your repository of evidence.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H808 Reflection on Reflection. Core Activity 2.3.

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 18:56

Reflection is ‘cognitive housekeeping.’ Moon (2005). OU Student Jane Barret (2010) doubts that Moon supplies evidence, feels that ‘critical thinking’ is a better term and that Moon (and others) are trying to make something abstract concrete. I prefer to think of reflection in an academic setting as ‘guided consideration and compartmentalisation of the material you’re working with.’

Reflection in the context of studying requires the student to hold a mirror up to their student-selves. Efforts to get things straight in your head, to generate your own take on the topic being studied may go awry on take one, shape up in take two, and, one would hope, comes together by take three. Reflection on this process helps establish the final thoughts. In the OU context where is take one and take two? Some of it is undertaken in the forum, some of it in the blog. Either way, feedback, comment and critique as well as marking is the way to pass through these cognitive stages. Nothing obliges one to reflect more than success or failure, a hearty slap on the back, or a slap across the face. You do well, you want to do better; you do badly, you want to put it right. You reflect on this and find a better way forward. Wherein lies the importance, in e-learning, of comment and collaboration, using what the Internet affords, those around you whose different take and experience can add colour and understanding to your efforts.

Reflection is like making a buerre blanc, which is made by reducing white wine vinegar with stock, a shallot and then carefully adding cubes of unsalted butter. In other words, reflection is at first a gathering in of the correct resources and then a reduction of these resources.

Drawing on what Dewey says, that reflection is ‘a kind of thinking that consists in turning a subject over in the mind and giving it serious thought’ makes me think of composting. You put all kinds of bits and pieces in that over time, reduces down to plant food and fibre, or in the case of reflection, a sentence or two that sum up your thinking.

Dewey defined reflective thought as 'active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends' (Dewey 1933: 118)

Both of these ideas imply a ‘deep approach’ to learning, wherein lies the value of reflection. You take the experience of reading and interacting with others, and draw some tentative conclusions; you achieve more than simply itemising what others have already expressed ‘surface learning’.

Reflection is a process that both reduces and gathers in. The end result ought to be something potent and memorable.

REFERENCE

Barret, J c2.4 Reflection and learning (2) my views. OU. (Accessed 28 SEPT 2010)

Dewey, J. (1933/1998) How we think (Rev. ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Moon, J. (2001) ‘PDP working paper 4: reflection in higher education learning’ (online), The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id72_Reflection_in_Higher_Education_Learning.rtf (accessed 25 Sept 2010).

Moon, J. (2005) ‘Guide for busy academics no. 4: learning through reflection’ (online), The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id69_guide_for_busy_academics_no4.doc (accessed 28 Sept 2010).

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H808 activity 2.3 reflection and blogging

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 18:10

I read the instructions and tips from our tutor on Core Activity 2.3 H808 - on Reflection and blogging and it had might as well have been an address from the form teacher to a class.

This boy is at the back of the room doing an observational sketch; every so often I jot down the teacher's words. On getting home I look at my home work. There is one word 'reflect.' I look in the mirror. I look at the guy staring back, figure out that this isn't a piece of art home-work so write something.

Thirty years on and initially I only saw the word 'reflection.'

I skim read, a block of text in one eyeful. I come away with impressions. I make assumptions. I am not good with clear instructions. I probably expect to have the school or university Sergeant Major forever on my back - indeed when I had an agent or a sales director exploiting what I could do this was the only way to extract something from my head that could be sold. I'm fine with clients too: succinct brief; tight schedule ... payment.

On reflection, therefore, I function better as a team of two or three.

Slowing down, writing it out, breaking it into its component parts I see that the request is multi-layered, that the end result will need to be composed within certain parameters: Moon and Creme, reflection in the specific academic context of H808 and the 'e-learning professional.' I have the 1990s OU Book 'How to study.' All of this is explained. I could take me an hour to dissect Trevor's instructions. Perhaps I have to until I can train my brain to do it this way.

Keying in 'creme', 'moon', 'reflection' and 'blog' in my My Stuff I come away with in turn 7, 14, 71 and 116 entries.

I have the articles downloaded somewhere (note to self to put online so that I can draw on them from whichever computer I'm at).

Keying in 'creme', 'moon', 'reflection' and 'blog' into my OU Blog I come away with in turn 6, 12, 46 and 68 entries.

These entries have been compiled since February. If I can tag all searches with H808 -  then some of these search findings would be reduced. I don't believe that either the Blog or My Stuff operate with an advanced search such as this. All the more reason for me to put everything into Fillemaker Pro (a task I began in week one of H807 in February, but dropped when I learnt I needed to spend £200 or more to replace my version of Filemaker that was now too old to upgrade sad

I cannot read and review 340 Blog and MyStuff entries.

Without spending much time with any, I must get the gist of what they contain, bearing in mind the criteria for this task.

The problem is one of how I tag this data. As it goes in I need to -self-review. to rate it with a star system, somehow, to add several filters. But how?

In any case, would this not all be better off in my head where my brain will do a more successful job of drawing to the surface the answers I need?

Filemaker Pro. A relational database I love. I could search by multiple tags, include a number-based scoring system, by date, or weight, or reference ... by word count. The list goes on. The trick is to do this early on. With Filemaker it is easy to take a template such as this one and re-arrange it to create a multiplicity of templates that all draw down the same information. This is where I need to be. It's software I can make 'sing'; I find the OU Blog and MyStuff plodding by comparison.

Beyond these walls there are nearly 2,000 blog entries containing 1.6 million words. On paper there are I estimate there are 3.5 million.

Habit? Obsession? More akin to a bodily function than either writing or reflection?

Is reflection useful? What about blogging?

Most of H808 is about getting students to do it. I might be a case of doing it less. Or putting on a totally different head when I do it here. Context is everything. But I don't want several blogs, one is fine. I don't want to twist this 'Voice' into words to get marks. Why don't others come round to my way of thinking, my way of doing things? This to me is learner-centred.

This amount of content might be exceptional, but are we saying that people should keep learning journals for life?

In their forties they are going to have several hundred thousand words. 500 words a day for twenty years? It doesn't take much.

Perhaps if I were compiling a book of 50,000 words. Otherwise I know that to write 500 words it will require a locked door, a blank sheet of paper, an ink pen and a clock. Thirty minutes max, twenty minutes may work better. This is how exams work, they bring it to the surface, they excite your body and mind and if you've been guided correctly the right ideas will emerge, first as a treatment, then as the 'essay.'

This or I need a) to get everything into Filemaker Pro and b) look for some kind of Artificial Intelligence add-on. But is that me? Letting the software make my choices? Or does it learn to make the choices I would by following my previous decisions (Another conversation, for another place)

Two hours of this and all I've done is think about answering the question ... I have read two items from My Stuff and one from my the Blog. And on these alone I have generated 300 words (not including these).

I got up in the middle of the night in order to do the task, not think about doing the task thoughtful

Maybe I'm not cut out for this. Or this is an example of where reflection and blogging can be counter-productive (or over productive?) Same problem, job not done.

I jam at a QWERTY keyboard where something more regimented is required.

And then I sleep, no doubt to dream. So there's no escape from it.

As I've suggested before, if I could provide evidence of a dream that showed I was thinking about reflection and bloggind in H808 would this count as evidence? If I could shove a web cam in my ear.

Now that's silly.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Reflection - personal, extended

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 7 Feb 2014, 13:39

I am undergoing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. For the last 18 months, initially every two weeks and now every month I see a therapist. I pay for this myself as the NHS could only offer 20 minutes every six weeks and said I was just 'a bit depressed,' - 'like most people.'

Five years ago I was temporarily diagnosed A.D.H.D.

This was turned on its head by specialists in London who couldn't distract me and found that as the tasks I was giving to do got harder my concentration improved. Ritlan had been fun. My problem was boredom. Always has been. Whenever there is a family gathering should we discuss the first words of various nieces and nephews, let alone the adults, one of my siblings or my mother will say my first word was 'why?' and my first phrase was 'I'm bored.'

I'm still bored and I'm still asking why. I was 49 last week.

I think too much. Rather than thinking less, please can someone put me in a situation where I can think until my brain hurts.

A best moment for me, outside the exam room ... a TV programme than was going to go live in 90 mins. The MD pulls the entire theme and my producer looks at me and says let's do something new from scratch. It was that or waste the expense of presenters, camera crews (live, multi-camera, galley staff, support staff etc: etcsmile No rewrites, no rehearsals, that script was handed out with minutes to go. Unprepared the interviewees were fresh. it worked. I'm good at doing 'from the top of my head.'

By reflecting on how I behave in certain situations, coming to understand the situations and my upbringing I am changing some of my behaviour - much of the time. This 'reflection' has at times been recorded, transcribed and chewed over - just like this. More often I treat the moment, the hour for what it is> I do wonder if I dwelt on it more often, whent back over these discussions if I would embed the change?

My late father when in his mid-twenty to mid-thirties ( I am told and believe) would spend an hour or so with his mother coming home. (That or he was having an affair - more likely?) Something of a matriarch my grand-mother, I could imagine this regular reflection facilitating and guiding my father's success. Reflection or dictation, being told what to do or coming to yor own decisions? I wonder. It's value, doubtful beyond building a substantial PLC. In terms of his relationships (catastrophic he went through four marriages). I was staying with him as marriage three collapsed. He was attending Relate. He enjoyed these sessions, admitted he was probably mad and came out of these sessions rationalising who he was without any intention of changing. It gave him an excuse.

If any component of this was reflection, then it was reflection reinforced a modus operandi, rather than changing it.

Wherein lies my issue with reflection and blogging. Is it necessarily something that results in change, or even something for the better?

Didn't Hitler write Mien Kampf while gaoled? This is narcissistic, self-indulgent reflection that gave him the opportunity to develop self-belief in his warped ideas.

See, reflection can back-fire, bringing the worst out of people, not necessarily the best.

The desired outcome of reflection as a form of thinking in an academic context is to help embed ideas and facts.

It is an aid to a neurological process, by using the information in a variety of ways it comes to matter more, priorities are made, choices taken, you form you own view of what matters and what does not. However, you share this reflection and immediately it is being written for an audience; you reflect and submit this as evidence in an assignment and the first thing you do is to check the requirements of the paper, and how it will be marked and then you adjust, edit and as a consequence contort the truth that reflection should try to uncover.

If reflection has worked then I can see a need to return to live or as-live TV. I thrive on pressure - head pressure.

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Here's an idea - review and grade reports

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 1 Oct 2010, 12:44

Here's an idea.

I'd like to see a 'review grade' recommends star system on all the resources we're invited to read, whether they are a must read or supplementary.

Whilst it is a skill to skim read something before giving it your all, I'd like to have a second, third or fourth opinion. Or just a fellow student indicating, 'don't bother,' or just as useful, 'don't miss this one out.'

Too often I have got stuck into a report only to find I wish I hadn't, either I'm not ready for it, or someone else says it better.

On the resources on 'Reflection' (H808) I feel I came in as an MA student on a topic that in one context I understood, but in relation to its use in academic study I did not. The 'heavier' text simply wound me up. Then I got the RLO from the University of Central London. Simple.

Something happened. What happened? So what? What next?

See, I can even remember it.

Though required for H807 I don't recall it being emboddied in the module. Were too many of us left to flounder? Or allowed to flounder?

Moon, Creme and all the rest embed this simple message in so much learning theory and psychology that the only thing they needed to communicate got lost. It assumes previous knowledge.

Go back to Kolb, rather than tacking on ifs and buts and provisos, or invent your own 'cycle of reflection.' I want to read Dewey. The book, hardback. From a second hand book shop. In my hand. With a former teacher's pecilled in notes.

I've come across a system that is simpler than any of the above.

You ask the question 'what is the problem?' over and over and over again.

By the time you have answered this six times you may be surprised at the truth it reveals, the real problem that on fixing resolves everything else.

Reflection that produces an outcome, or simply a dog chasing its tail?

REFERENCE

(in due course, I think I've drawn on the thinking of a dozen above).

Imagine if we had to reference everything we said in a conversation at a cocktail party? Or in the pub? I feel a sketch coming along. I wonder if I could get Mel Smith and Rhys Grifth-Jones back together to do one of their head to heads? You know, over the table, resting on their elbows, deliberating. But whenever they say something that requires a Harvard Style reference they must give it. Try that as they have first one, then a second or a third pint of Harvey's ale.

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

The Institution for Learning and PebblePad

Visible to anyone in the world

I've joined the first and believe I get the second free as a result?

If this works then the contents of my MyStuff will be exported to PebblePad.

In terms of my journey towards credibility as an 'e-learning professional' this marks a step outside the confines of the OU.

Volunteering my thinking to three e-learning projects marks a step towards 'professionalism' in the sense of being paid.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

The skills I need as an e-learning practitioner

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 8 Jul 2012, 08:32
The skills you need as an e-learning practitioner

Training as a TV producer I picked up some skills editing, writing and directing. A project was never too small that a person fulfilling each of these tasks wasn't required. Indeed, the 'one man band' was frowned upon. Some TV crews were still unionised so you had a cameraman, assistant and sound engineer, minimum.Today in TV production a producer may not only direct and write, but operate the camera and edit the piece. To be a TV professional in 2010 you need this variety of skills. I do. I did the courses. Camera, editing ... even six months as a sound engineer.

To be an e-learning professional it strikes me that as well as research, design and planning skills, with a healthy foundation from an appropriate course that takes in learning history, theory and practice, that you will also need more that just a modicum of IT skills. IT literacy is a given, but further familiarity, even a confident working knowledge of a variety of 21st century e-learning tools and platforms will be necessary, as well as that 20th century skilling of touch typing. (I have that).
With this in mind I am tackling some software that I have to date resisted. I managed without Outlook, now I'm using it through-out the day. I hadn't moved away from my original blogging platform of 1999, so have in the last two months started three new blogs in three different places, as well as continuing with the OU blog. I wanted to feel confident I know what these are doing. I signed into Facebook a ferdw years ago but have let it pass me by. It may feel like the exclusive domain of my children, nephews and nieces, but I am now determined to master it, instead of it having ontrol of me.
And finally, though I have grown familiar with MyStuff and have mine well stuffed ... I must decide on a second e-portfolio system to embrace. I want to try one, two at most. I'd like to run with Filemaker Pro as I'm familiar with it, but there is a cost and it won't be of any use to others who don't have it installed.
Time to look at the Tutor Group Wiki.
Google Docs Zoho Mahara Wiki MyStuff DropBox PebblePad Reflect Google Wave Edublog Adobe Acrobat FilmMaker Pro WordPress Windows Live ThinkFree

Which will permit easy export from MyStuff?

Can anyone explain this to me?

Export your MyStuff in the LEAP2A atom feed format (which enables transfer of data to and from other ePortfolio systems). Please click refresh feed if you have made any changes recently.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H808 E-portfolio Case Study. Core Activity 2.3

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 17:23

1.       What were the anticipated outcomes of using an eportfolio in this case?

2.       What were the limitations to its implementation?

3.       How is the eportfolio in this case supposed to help the user to identify and manage their learning?

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

I've been asked to bash my fingers flat with a tent-peg sledge hammer

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 08:11

Despite using the OU e-portfolio MyStuff for six months I am yet to upload a document, rather than pre-editing and pasting in notes.

As an exercise I am uploading the reading for Core Activity 2.4 on Reflective writing.

This serves several purposes:

a) testing the affordances of the technology - easy tagging and location of complete reports

b) collecting reports on a topic that interests me very much for future and extended use.

None of this changes my need to read, note take, take notes on the notes, reference other sources, see what other people say, blog it, then sleep on it (the best kind of 'cognitive housekeeping'.)

There is a set of 17 questions I use to analyse a dream. This usually reduces down to a core feeling or two. It intrigues me what my head delivers over night.

Could a dream be offered as evidence of reflection?

I cannot prove it happened. I cannot prove its contents, the places, people or events. Yet they are real. They exist. They have a material form do they not? We just have no way of copying them. Yet.

Now wonder Sussex University dropped the assessment of Learning Journals.

As soon as you set a parameter of length you diminish the stream of consciousness that is the mind at work; anything else is forced - considered: or is this the point?They are considered thoughts?

Reflecting I will enjoy. I live my life in the past.

Indeed I spend so much time writing about what I've done I sometimes wonder if I'm living my life in reverse.

Having to edit the stuff will be like hitting the fingers that are gently tapping away at this keyboard with a 1kg club lump wooden sledge hammer camping peg mallet.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 25 Sep 2010, 21:17)
Share post
Design Museum

Reflection on IT skills

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 08:04

There are several software packages I need to familiarise myself with.

This is the consequence of being a freelance, a one man band. If I cannot communicate the way I would wish without a better knowledge of various tools, then I must grasp the IT nettle.

I'm learning Outlook by using it

A 1000 member swimming club, its swimmers, parents, committee, teaching and coaching staff is my material. As I coach or teach five days a week there are a myriad opportunities to create groups, build profiles and get in touch to make things happen.

I prefer Filemakerpro over Excel, but need both.

Having someone who can make Excel sing I've decided to catch up on my knowledge of Filemaker Pro, after all, I can merge all Excel files in Filemaker then build templates from there. It is this ability to build a multitude of bespoke templates that appeals to me, it gives me as many ways as I want and can imagine into the information I store there.

This I will use for the swimming club, performance records of swimmers, tracking coaches too ... and collating data for the club's Swim21 submissions. I trust it will also become part of my e-portfolio for the OU, even a way, yet again, to tackle 90,000 word long fiction.

Let alone a place to gather client and project details.

On verra.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Dreams and other people's notes

Visible to anyone in the world

Is reading the notes someone else has taken on a report about as engaging and of value as reading someone's account of a dream they've had?

My dreams have been interesting.

On brief. Perfect for reflection. This is what happens when you try to fall asleep your brain tickled by a movie with a ridiculous premise (Jumper) and frustrated by a your own anxieties about what you think about the course.

I should do nothing until the maelstrom subsides.

The dream I can recall in minutest detail. I can shred it on 27 questions I've been using for a decade to do this kind of thing.

I'm reminded of some advice in Robert H Heinlein's Sci-Fi bible, 'Time Enough to Love' where we learn how Lazarus Long survived yet another life as his life never ended, while those around him died.

Fit in. It doesn't pay to stick out.

Or in the case of an academic course, if it doesn't get you marks, don't bother.

Meanwhile my eye caught this.

'A great memoir is an unflinching mirror.' Robert MCrum, On Books, The Guardian, last Saturday.

This to me is reflection. Not 500 words, but 50,000. Not over 10 weeks, but over four or more decades.

To reflect is to stand in front of a mirror, not at the end of your career, but at the start, or between times.

That said, I am often told that to 'reflect' is to look at yourself in the mirror, and if you don't like what you see, do somethign about it. i.e. think about what you have done, what you need to do, then do it.

 

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

On Blogging

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 15:47

With thanks to a fellow OU student who asked 'why?'

I’ve blogged since Sept 1999.

More importantly I’ve kept a diary since March 1976 (I was 14 1/2)  ... with substantial two or three year breaks I should add in the 80s, 90s and 00s ... and only on a few occasions ‘every day of every year.’

The diary was never read by others and never of interest to them. Except on one occasion I was aware my girlfriend was looking at it so I wrote some especially nice things about her and she did likewise. A comment, you could say. That was a one off. (She also read that on our first date I thought she had bad breath. Lesson learnt. If you are going to express your mind, keep it private or lie, or jsut leave things out ... and keep it under lock and key).

The appeal in the early days of blogging was to have an electronic form of the ‘journal’ I kept, however this gradually changed into something quite different with the then new additions of ‘friends’ and ‘favourites’ and all the other ‘sticky things’ (technical web term) that are common-place. 

Two things start to happen

1) you make a couple of ‘friends’ you relate to really well and find you’re only truly interested in them and you can develop ideas, support each other and so on i.e. collaboration. (We formed a successful writers group).

2) you go crazy for the statistics and start to wonder why certain pages are read and which get the most hits ... and what you have to do or say to get more hits.

This OU Blog-a-long-a-thon scroll is better for the lack of the many tools, quirks and quasi-personalisation tools that commercial blogsites now offer. 

At this stage the realisation is that you are no longer keeping a journal, nor is it private. Indeed you very quickly find there is a considerable amount of fiction, flaming and writing gibberish simply to fill a page and have your profile picked up in some blog rank-a-thingy somewhere.

I call this turning into an 'e-j'.

It's value is ephemeral. It is not a journal anymore. There's no value in privacy, indeed 'disclosure' and 'exposure' become the way to deliver a high ranking blog. My tactic was to circumvent the entire blog premise by removing any sense of it being a 'log,' writing entries that are tagged or stored by theme, rather than the day they are written on.

I try not to do it in what I call ‘OU Land’ where I am increasingly trying to be more professional and circumspect.

The temptation to write to provoke, or to intrigue is still there which will cause me trouble when it gets to submitting anything for ‘reflection’ because there may not be anything there ... which is why I am starting to post the ‘bland, objective, reflective kind of thing required’ but keeping it private.

There’s a piece on the addictive nature of games and the Internet in the New Scientist. (See below. I wrote about it last week).

I would say between 2002 and 2006 I probably spent far, far too long blogging. When you post 10,000 words on one day and have 1.6 million words online (largely unpublishable farting into cyberspace) I think you could say there was a problem.

Most of this serves no good purpose at all, other than tinkering at the QWERTY keyboard, the piano equivalent of playing chop-sticks. i.e. you quicklky find you are getting the same, repetitive tune.

I never, or rarely read over my old, hand written diaries (a decade is the right kind of timespan to afford them any worth), yet reading a page in a blog is a click away, a search word away. It's as if very day and any day is given equal value. But is it of value to learn that I tend to wash my hair on a Thursday?

Feedback is like gold, it is recognition, and in a tiny way rewarding and flattering.

Once again, there can be an obsessive hankering for comment, to the degree that your views and what you write is geared to nothing else, whilst in OU Land, a type of blogging experience, within the context of academic study, 'hits' count for nothing, whereas there is the potential to gain marks through objective reflection.

And finally ...

Blogging transmogrified through comments, friends and favourites away from being an online journal, to being a form of social networking. The blogging landscape is now so varied and vast that it often ceases to be blogging at all.

Facebook is the equivalent of blogging onto a Post it note that you then stick to the side of a bus.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Take me I'm e-free!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Sep 2010, 15:25

Software providers and platforms are tumbling over each other to offer us something for free.

  • Facebook
  • Google Docs
  • The BBC
  • KodakEasy Share
  • Apps for smartphones
  • Dropbox

the list is long ...

One hundred years ago or so, what could have been the outcome had the development of the horseless-carriage/ automobile been based on giving them away for free?

What about the development of photography?

Or of flight (the Wright-Brohters got into a right hoohah over people using what they claimed to be patented technlogy).

Why, if I have thought it through correctly, am planning therefore to purchase Filemaker Pro for £250 or so?

What are these providers of 'free software' and 'storage' doing if not mining your soul and making you dependent on their services so that you are eventually compelled to take out a subscription for the rest of your life, possibly to store stuff that once went into the attic, shed or garage .... for free, for ever.

What is they model to 'monetise' their products and services?

Or will your every thought, oir message to Mum be tagged wit han ad or hit with a pop up advert?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Filemaker Pro

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 18:00

In an effort to bring myself into the 21st century technologically I am revisiting Filemaker Pro as a piece of software I have used since it was developed in 1994, though not upgraded in eight years.

Whilst it is a relief to find current versions are familiar in terms of the way fields are created and popualted with 'assets' it is a pain that to transfer material I am going to have to retrofit an earlier version of Filemaker and use this as a electronic stepping stone.

The reward will be to have data that I am familiar with that I can then manipulate and share in a Web 2.0 way. The intention is then to populate this with a substantial number of documents to familiarise myself with how it operates with text. It used to be the case that files could not contain much more than 150 words.

Then I will use Filemaker Pro to build by OU e-portfolio for H808.

The problem no doubt remains of 'interoperability.' Does my using Filemaker Pro necessitate others to have the same software? To use its extensive functionality, probably so ... however, on a 31 day free trial I  think much could covered and from this user's point of view, the investment in a light version of Filemaker Pro may be more beneficial that going down to the route of a customised PLE of various recommended software tools, or going for Google Docs.

Meanwhile my OU Blog and MyStuff get the lot! (Just to be safe)

Permalink 5 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Sep 2010, 15:28)
Share post
Design Museum

e-learning is a term compromising one letter representing a physical property of technology (e for electronic)

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 25 Nov 2011, 14:08

I wonder of e-learning as a term will last, like email?

What's happened to 'new media?' I guess it's no longer new. What's happend to 'web-based learning?' I guess the web is there, like air, so we don't need to refer to its existance, it just is. And so on to 'online learning' which at the OU has usrped 'open learning.'

I like this thought:

‘Whereas education is by definition a multi-faceted activity understood to involve a variety of players and activities – teachers and teaching; students and studying; institutions and structures, information, knowledge and, it is hoped, learning.

e-learning is a term compromising one letter representing a physical property of technology (e for electronic) and the hoped-for outcome (learning) for one participant in the interaction.

Given the power of language to constrain our thinking, is our current circumscribed terminology making it increasingly difficult to keep in mind and focus on elements of this expanding activity that, while not readily apparent in the term ‘e-learning’ itself, must be understood and included when establishing policy and researching the phenomenon?’

(Melody Thompson, 2007 in Conole and Oliver, 2007:187)

REFERENCE

Conole, G and Oliver, M (2007) Research in E-Learning

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

H808 Standards and Specifications. Weller. 2007

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 05:33

Although Weller applies this thinking to VLEs the same must apply to e-portfolios.

KEY ISSUES

  • Exchange of learning resources
  • Passing of data between institutions
  • Multiple platforms
  • Software applications that communicate with other students

'Agnostic’

Interoperability


The argument for standardisation is made in relation to electricity plugs.

  • platform agnostic
  • language agnostic
  • IPR terms to share


Modularisation – like music through Napster and the commercially through iTunes.

Problems

  • semantic
  • modularisation
  • security
  • quality
  • licensing
  • development tools

Standards

Is interoperability in relation to the transferability of data and resources like issues of access for disabled people?

Transferability adds a dimension from a point moving forward, as well as going back, and weaving across.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

New technologies

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 12:20

C4 Beyond VLE

‘Looking at technologies is always a moving target.’ Weller. (2007:291)

REFERENCE

Beyond the VLE (2007)

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Getting Organized

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 17 Sep 2010, 09:43

Getting Organized in the Google Era

by Douglas C. Merrill and James A. Martin

(Broadway Business, 2010)

A book I've just bought based on a pithy review in the Harvard Business Review. In brief Douglass Merill and Jame Martin suggest:

Stop chasing work/life balance and start focusing on

work/life integration.

For example, keep a list of five-minute tasks to tackle while in line at the grocery store, and if there’s a lull at the office, ditch your desk for a bit to mentally refresh.

Realize that filing information is almost always futile.

Our brains aren’t built to recall data out of context, but, lucky for us, many new technologies are. They rely on search, not sort. You should, too.

The authors, say Rasika Welankiwar reviewing the book for the Harvard Business Reviews says that the book makes good use of Merrill’s Google expertise (he's a whizz director of something at Google), offers 21 principles of organization, and includes 'a sprinkle of song lyrics'.

What next? A podcast and a sketch on YouTube?

I'll keep you posted as I consme and digest.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Vicki Morley, Friday, 17 Sep 2010, 17:15)
Share post
Design Museum

Management is not a profession

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 17 Sep 2010, 09:44

Management is not a profession. Harvard Business Review

I came across this, read and rejoiced.

http://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=51600603&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

The irresistible internet. New Scientist 11 SEPT 2010

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 16 Sep 2010, 22:24

The OU has stimulated my mind suitably over the last seven months to oblige a subscription to the New Scientist.

I was picking it up every other week for the Web Tech and other 'e-' related topics. These now feature regularly. My wife has ten years in medical market research, though not a Scientist, she will often have an opinion on anything that touches her world of work. It is better read that the weekend colour supplement. In fact, I've ditched the Guardian once a week for the New Scientist once a week with all other stories and news prompted by a sentence on TV, a couple of sentences on the Radio and a paragraph or two online.

Beware the Irresistible Internet

Is it addictive?

Expecting or wishing to look at numerous e-learning style products for H808 I found I had spent 3 hours today doing this with Dropbox and Facebook. I wish I hadn't. I haven't even started to make Facebook sing, so would prefer to exit in tact. And I suspect that Dropbox, like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter is just a neat trap and that within six months we will be enrolled into a myriad of appealing, complementary services that we'll be paying for by subscription.

  • technology-dependence clinic (Richard Graham)
  • young men stuck in multiplayer online gaming environments
  • Women and adolescent girls using instant messaging platforms and social media compulsively
  • obsession with screen-based media (Ofcom)
  • Blackberry-addicted white-collar workers

Hear say or fact? Not evidence and the citations are sparse. But of interest.

  • Is there such a thing as an OU obsessive?
  • A blogging obsessive (certainly).
  • If you have an obsessive nature.

'Now, the potent combination of omnipresent technologies and our addictive nature means more casualties look inevitable.' Paul Marks. Senior Technology Correspondent

REFERENCE

Marks, P. (2010) New Scientist. Volume 207. No. 2777. pp24-25.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Ping-Pong, Pass the Parcle or Observer?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 08:41
There are three types in an OU Forum: those who play electronic Ping-Pong and respond to most posts; those who play pass-the-parcel, unwrapping when they believe it is their turn and the observers - possibly the most adult and astute of all; they listen, though they may never say a thing. Are we aware of their presence though? Do they leave crumbs? Is some algorithm logging you attendance somewhere?
Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 16 Sep 2010, 22:38)
Share post
Design Museum

Google Docs or perhaps EduBlogs?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010, 11:02

Where and how do I share in a secure online environment with 40 swimming teachers, 12 admin staff:

Swimming teaching and coaching plans.

  • NPTS Grade 4-10
  • Squad Competitive Swimming County-Regional-National Standard
  • Micro & Macro-cyles

About 200 documents

  • Squad Books
  • Club Photos
  • Competition Details

Workforce Development

  • Courses
  • CPD
  • Licensing
  • CRB checks
  • Induction
  • Mentoring
  • Meetings

Parents

  • Newsletters by group and grade

This is has been a headache for years, which I feel can be resolved and better managed with something like Google Docs. Whatever Facebook can offer, its image is tarnished, so I can't see anyone taking me seriously if I place and lock documents there.

I'm very aware of Data Protection issues so none of the 'data base' info of our 1,000 members will go beyond a handful of people who keep it on their PCs. However this is some info that must be shared with specific teachers and coaches.

We have a website, but there is a limit to what volunteers can be expected to do and manage therefore 'free' software and service, or at small cost.

Early days to believe photos and video clips could be put here too for teaching-training purposes.

My thoughts thus far:

Google Docs

EduBlogs

Any other suggestions to give a go before I start migrating things here?

This will need to link with contact details in Outlook.

 

 

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010, 21:48)
Share post
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

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: 6517049