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500 years of Lewes Old Grammar School, so what do they do? Close the High Street and march around town in costume

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 24 Oct 2014, 08:29

A school parade through Lewes. This is Lewes. This is normal.

I've been marching around in fancy dress for 12 years either as a Confederate Soldier or an early 18th Century Pirate.

Does Lewes produce more historians per head of population than other towns in the UK?

I wonder because all this activity must have an impact, especially on the younger participants. I took over 200 photos this afternoon, and spent a lot of time getting close ups of the 3d 'Banners' that were paraded through town.

The detail and craftsmanship impressed.

The entire set could be used as multiple pegs into the 500 year history of England ... and beyond, this is afterall the town of Tom Paine.

This on the day Scotland starts its yes campaign for independence and I happend to be reading the chapter in the Norman Davies book 'The Isles' on the extraordinary mishaps that resulted in the union of England and Scotland in the first place.

Scotland had gone bust financing an attempt at empire building in central America. I favour independence. Of the 62 ancestors I can trace back to the 18th century one was Irish, and some 50 from Scotland, the rest from the North East or North West of England.

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The Economist posted this in their Linkedin group a while back. What do you think?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:52

The membership of this group continues to grow at a rapid speed and we get a healthy stream of postings of discussions and news.

1. The discussions board is primarily intended to start discussions therefore please take some effort to phrase your idea, thought or observation in such a way that responses are encouraged.

2. Don’t make multiple posts of the same item.

3. Don’t blatantly promote your company, product, weblog or yourself.

4. Please do not promote other groups (unless of course they are one of ours!) or simply provide links to external reports (though of course we all have some of these to share from time to time). Rather, if there is something worthwhile to be found elsewhere, please post the premise so it can be discussed here.

5. Posts that are off-topic will be removed.

6. Multiple off topic/solicitation postings will result in removal from the group. Indeed, if any members flag a discussion three times it is automatically removed.

I champion this OU Student Blog platform thingey because it is aking to the Bulletin Boards of a decade ago. You post your stuff and others may spot it vicariously or tune in. I love the stuff I am introduced to that would never otherwise pass before my eyes. I want to sudy Art History, I can't get enough of the MAODE of coourse ... I even quite enjoy the enthusiasm some people have for poetry and maths.

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HOLIDAY LISTENING

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Caught up on the 4th and 5th episodes of the Diaries of Samuel Pepys. I find it hard to believe there are not 45 episodes to come. I find myself transported to 17th century London by the dramatisation. The diaries without sharp editing can be dull, like a blog (which misses the point)- a record of your day is just that.
Catch the last couple of episodes now as they are only available on he BBC iPlayer for 7 days since transmission.
'Read in a period until you hear its people speak' wrote the historian E.H.Carr; with period drama such as this there is no need.
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Social Media – Listen for long enough then join in and draw your own conclusions

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 18:06

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The historian E.H.Carr said,’Read bout a period until you can hear its people speak.’

It’s what took me to Oxford to read Modern History and what for some periods in history inspired me to attempt screenplays on the events in the year 1066 … and 850 years later on the Western Front. It’s the quote that impressed Bill Clinton enough to quote it in his autobiography. It suggests, short of being their, you must immerse yourself in a subject in order to understand it, in order to be able to speak its language.

‘Research a subject until the research reveals the narrative’.

Sounds like an excuse for there being no assessment, but perhaps reflects how we pick things up through ‘doing’.

I caught this on Radio 4, Saturday 9.00am, 9 days ago? I’d reference it if I could.


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Interested in blogging but don't know how? Try these OU Bloggers:

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012, 16:19
  1. Doing it the Open Way 'Voices and Texts'.

  2. Floating Along Gina Collia-Suzuki Art History Murder Mystery

  3. Freelance Unbound Making a living out of the crazy world of the business press

  4. From GCSE Maths, to Rocket Scientist...

  5. History of the OU Where students, staff and alumni share their OU experiences

  6. Isabella Black A215 Creative Writing having recently finished the A174 Start Writing Fiction.

  7. Lucienne Boyce's blog In 2006 I completed an MA in English Literature with the Open University, specialising in eighteenth century fiction.

  8. My Open University Life My Plan to get a Honors Degree Natural Sciences (Astronomy)

  9. My Open Experience My name is Hayley and I am a young student studying towards a Humanities Degree with a Philosophy and Religious Studies specialism

  10. Mathematics => A Blog Mathematics diary

  11. Meg Barker's Blog A lecturer in psychology teaching mainly on counselling courses: Counselling - Exploring Fear and Sadness. A counsellor adn writer on issues around relationships and sexuality.

  12. My Mind Bursts Reflections on e-learning as a MAODE student then Social Media Manager for the Open University Business School

 

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Kindle Logic

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 1 Apr 2011, 18:54

Why I am buying e-Books of books I already own.

 

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Some books I read a chapter at a time, over several weeks. Some books, like 'The Isles' I read more than once. Try going to sleep with this in your hands. You can't you lay it on the pillow. CUT TO: Kindle version Easily tabbed forward, left hand or right. Various other books are getting the Kindle treatment, some because they work better as e-Books, anything I need to highlight and take notes on ... and because I may have four, five or six books on the go simultaneously.

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H800:11 WK1 Activity 3 How we perceive and write about innovations as they hit

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 31 Jan 2013, 05:47

Every innovation is perceived as siesmic, like a Tsunami it washes over everything. I like the digital ocean metaphor ...

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In relation to H800 and the Week 1 activities the introduction and final chapter of Stephen Lax's book covers the communications innovations of the last century + enough to inform.

 

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And whilst this is the topic for H807 'Innovations in E-learning' I recommend this. I like him so much I bought copies to give to friends; I don't know if they were grateful.

Is it available on Kindle?

 

 

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Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 15:42

It may be a wooden ruler, but I like this.

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Norman Davies in 'The Isles' devotes a chapter to this idea of Britishness ... and across his book, the equivalent of another chapter all over.

We could get like this trying to pen in types of learning (e-learning, online learning, CBT etcsmile the same applies to many facets of the Internet, it's like trying to define the oceans, ignoring the current the run underneath the surface.

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Multimodality vs. a messup (also known as a mashup)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 10:52

Mulitmodality is the professional and practicle expression of a mashup.

Multimodality (Kress, 2010) is unique to using mixed electronic media. It is what I crave when listening to a podcast or watching something on YouTube. I want the interactivity, the non-linearity and the connectivity that is unique to a multimodal response to learning.

There's not much of it about.

Or is there?

Compendium's pretty neat. Not the best user interface, but it is non-linear and multi-layered and most of all, it only works in its digital form.

What else?

I enjoy Spaced-ed where I am currently doing World History in Maps and Core Anatomy for Medical Students.

See Learning by Degrees in the Harvard Magazine for a piece on the creator of Spaced-Ed, also Floreat Domus 2010, the alumni magazine for Balliol College, Oxford,

Acrobat Presentations

Although I am yet to use this, it feels like a combination of Skype and Power Point, with audio and video thrown in and superior graphics (it is after all Acrobat).

 

I invite further suggestions:


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REFERENCE

Kress,G. (2010) Digital Literacies. A research Briefing by the Technology Enhanced Learning phase of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme. Julian Gillen and David Barton. London Knowledge Lab. Institute of Education. University of London. www.tlrp.org/tel

On of a pack of leaflets, reports and brochures I picked up at JISC in April. I only dug them out because I craved some e-learning literature in print. Odd that.

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E-words. E-terms. E-lexemes.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 11:22

Inspired by The Secret life of words. How English became English. Henry Hitchings (2008)

‘Communications is essential to our lives, but how often do we stop to think about where the words we use have come from?’
Hitchings (2008)

Whilst ‘where words came from’ is the premise for ‘The Secret Life of Words’ it is much more: it is a history of the people who spoke English. It is a refreshing take on a chronology of events. We learn history through words for warrior, through the Anglo-Saxon, French and Latin word for the same thing ... and through the words the English language has so easily accommodated from across the globe. It is a fascinating journey, one made pertinent to someone studying on the cascading wave-edge of the digital ocean that is ‘e-learning’ with the frequent coining of new terms.

For a description of the way the English language functions (or mis-functions) I love this:

English is ‘Deficient in regularity.’

From James Harris (c1720) in Hitchings (2008:1)

It is exactly the kind of thing a teacher might write in red pen at the bottom of a school-boy’s essay.

This is another way of putting it. English, ‘this hybrid tongue’, as Hitchings calls it. Hitchings (2008:2)

A tongue that re-invents itself, twists and transmogrifies at every turn.

A couple of decades ago I recall there being suggestions that the English language would splinter into so many dialects, creoles and forms that a speaker of one would not understand the user of another. The opposite appears to be the case, that ‘core English’ has been stabilised by its myriad of versions. Users can choose to understand each other or not, to tolerate even celebrate their differences or to use difference to create a barrier: think of the class divide, the posh voice versus the plebeian, one regional accent set against another, or an accent from one former British Dominion compared to another.

‘Words bind us together, and can drive us apart.’ Hitchings (2008:3)

How is the Internet changing the English Language?

What impact has Instant Messaging, blogging and asynchronous communication had? Can we be confident that others take from our words the meanings we intend? As we are so inclined to use sarcasm, irony, flippancy and wit when we speak, how does this transcribe when turned into words? How can you know a person’s meaning or intentions without seeing their face or interpreting their body language? Must we be bland to compensate for this?

I love mistakes, such as this one from Hitchings:

Crayfish ... ‘its fishy quality is the result of a creative mishearing.’ Hitchings (2008:4)

Age ten or eleven I started to keep a book of my ‘creative mishearings’ which included words such as ‘ragabond,’ instead of ‘vagabond.’ I love the idea of the ‘creative mishearing,’ isn’t this the same as ‘butterfly’, shouldn’t it be ‘flutterby’? And recalling a BBC Radio 4 Broadcast on Creativity with Grayson Perry, ‘creativity is mistakes.’

Mistakes and misunderstandings put barbs on the wire strings of words we hook from point to point, between arguments and chapters. We are fortunate that the English language is so flawed; it affords scratches and debate, conflict and the taking of sides.

An American travelled 19,000 miles back and forth across the US with a buddy correcting spellings, grammar and punctuation on billboards, notices and road signs. His engaging story split the reviewers into diametrically opposed camps of ‘love him’ or ‘hate him.’ (Courtesy of the Today Programme, the day before yesterday c20th August 2010)

‘Our language creates communities and solidarities, as well as division and disagreements.’ Hitchings (2008:4)

My test for the longevity and acceptability of a new word coined to cover a term in e-learning will be twofold:

Can, what is invariably a noun, be turned with ease into a verb or adjective?

Might we have an Anglo-Saxon, French and Latin word for the same thing. We like to have many words for the same thing ... variations on a theme.

And a final thought

Do technical words lend themselves to such reverse engineering? Or, like a number, are they immutable?

If they are made of stone I will find myself a mason's chisel.

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Clashing swords and VLEs

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Inspired by Martin Weller's book on VLEs. Just read Chapter Seven - Standards and Specification and Chapter Eight - Learning Design. notes to follow.

Courtesy of the OU's 1990 book 'The Good Study Guide' I am trying to make my notes less a cut and paste and more a considered extraction of ideas, my agreements, disagreements and questions with a few notable quotes and references to follow up. These are probably then best catalogued and tagged in the OU ePortfolio MyStuff (for now).

Having read 'Standards and Specifications' I am wondering what role e-learning designers might play once a set of common approaches have been adopted? Once every learning design follows 'the script' the way a Hollywood screenplay has its three acts, various turning points, antagonists and protagonists, roles and events.

For every chapter I read, I read two chapters of a Bernard Cornwell Novel 'The Lords of the North' and a chapter of Norman Davies's history of the Isles (UK and the Republic of Ireland).

I won't be able to afford this luxury come September, a new season and a new moduel H808 'The Elearning Professional.'

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No longer a passing interest ... (EDU)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Aug 2010, 17:22

Happier with a stack of books to get through than anything else, so chasing texts I didn't get through for H807 'Innovations in E-Learning' that I will need for H808 'The E-learning Professional.'

Some ideas, themes and authors are starting to leave impressions across the shifting sands that I wash every week with novels, biographies, books on history, art and learning.

August will be the month of Camus, Andrew Marr, Simon Schama, Conole and Oliver, alongside historical novels and applied psychology. To what end?

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Oxbridge History Exam 1980

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 May 2014, 07:03

The journey I set out on to get to Oxford or Cambridge took two years.

Not getting along with Economics I switched to History after a term in the Lower Sixth. (Not getting on with Sedbergh School, Cumbria, I left smile !)

My essays, though long (always, my habit, then, as now - why say something in six words when eighteen will do?) Tell Proust to write in sentences of less than six words, in paragraphs that don't flow from one page to the next (ditto Henry Miller).

Where was I?

See how a stream of consciousness turns into a cascade?

I digress.

My essays (I still have them. Sad. Very sad). Were on the whole terrible. A 'C' grade is typical, a 'D' not unknown. So what happened to get me to straight As, an Oxbridge exam and a place to study Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford?

Composting

I was bedding down. Putting things in a stack. And working my pile. Perhaps my history tutors detailed notes and bullet points fed on my poor essays? Perhaps the seeds that took root were carefully tendered?

Repeated testing (my self) and learning how to retain then regurgitate great long lists of pertinent facts helped.

Having an essay style I could visualise courtesy of my Geography Teacher helped. (Think of a flower with six or so petals. Each petal is a theme. The stamen is the essay title, the step the introduction and conclusion).

Writing essays over and over again helped. Eventually I got the idea.

Try doing this for an Assignment. You can't. Yet this process, that took 24+ months to complete can be achieved over a few weeks. Perhaps a blank sheet of paper and exam conditions would be one way of treating it, instead I've coming to think of these as an 'open book' assessment. There is a deadline, and a time limit, though you're going to get far longer than the 45 minutes per essay (or was it 23 minutes) while sitting an exam.

Personally, I have to get my head to the stage where I've done the e, d, c, and b grade stuff. When I've had a chance to sieve and grade and filter and shake ... until, perhaps, I reach the stage where if called to do so I could sit this as an exam - or at least take it as a viva.

Not a convert to online learning as an exclusive platform though.

Passion for your tutor, your fellow students ... as well as the subject, is better catered for in the flesh.

The way ahead is for 'traditional' universities to buy big time into blended learning, double their intake and have a single year group rotating in and out during a SIX term year (three on campus, three on holiday or working online.)

P.S. Did I mention teachers?

Have a very good teacher, it helps. The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle where I transferred to take A' Levels delivers.

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