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Darwin Day on Humanism

A week during a Pandemic Lockdown feels like a month - at least it does to me. Every day I am faced with a new challenge. Most of the time I am OK with this, sometimes it gets me down. I am online too often and for too long - probably.

Every day starts with an hour or two or more refreshing pages of The Western Front Association (First World War History) and getting content onto social media for the day. I am played by and follow the analytics closely. 

I in the listening post of EdTech: I am looking for and looking out for anything that can make a difference. I am rainding across No Man's land a few times a week too. I will try everything once or twice and if nudged by the right person I may try it more often than this. I have taken to the UCL Knowledge Lab platform 'Learning Designer' as one of the tools I use to plan lessons or a series of lessons. I've just used it for a set of four 1 hour classes on Personal Hygiene, Infectious Disease and Stress for our FE Uniformed Services Department. Inspired by a CPD talk from Scott Hayden I am going to push to use a Mind Map app. We will start with pen and paper, but migrate to the students' mind map app of choice ... I used Simple Minds, the college, via Google Webstore has a collection of others. I've used Simple Minds for a decade and can make it sing with embedded images, links to websites, Drop Downs and Pop-Ups, embedded video and all kinds of other fancy stuff.

Other news awaits. 

To end the week I'm sitting through the Darwin Lecture from the Humanist Society. I have decided to become a Humanist - in this Census Year of 2021 it sounds more responsible and matches my Green and Vegan credentials - and is less flippant than declaring ourselves as Jedi Knights as we did a decade ago. 


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Digital Literacy - Making sense of a complex world online

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Though hollowed out by 'stage fright' for most of the day I last night deliverd a formal, observed 90 minute online class to a group of students. To get my head in order I successfully used the UCL Learning Designer; I have been learning how to use this on the UCL FutureLearn Massive Open Online Course which has been running for the last two weeks and end this week.

Summary and Pie Chart Introducing a 90 minute online class on Digital Literacy

This is one the Learning Designs I created > Digital Literacy  

The session was recorded. Though I'll need some breathing space before I revisit it. I will also have formal feedback from the person who observed.

I have to wonder why I put myself through this kind of thing! I guess I wanted to wake up my sleepy soul and have succceeded in doing so. 15 minute before I would have (I had the line in my head) "Eat Shit". This is somewhat exaggerated - I would have made excuses. I would have preferred to have been going on stage to deliver Hamlet in a thong.

But I settled in quickly. I am not delivering a TED lecture.

The pacing was about right. Introduce this, show about of that, seeking their point of view. And I purposively kept the Tec low key (despite the subject). This is not the place for me to show off my skills - it is all about them.

My insight into teaching and learning could not be greater. As I realised a decade ago, even 20 years ago when I first did an OU Module on Open and Distance Learning - the theory has to complement practice, not be something that is done in isolation. Who does? How could I think I can study education without doing it myself? You can't learnt to dance only by reading books - you can only acquire an appreciation. But you can be an art critic without being able to paint? 

I've attached my rationale and a 'running order' with timings for the lesson I delivered. The timings were spot on - more or less. We took a 10 minute break an hour in which I readily accommodate and just added 10 minutes to the plan and continued accordingly. 

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Too busy to blog

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Age 13 I started a Five Year Diary. Very quickly you feel you have to write something each day. I did. A few cryptic notes. Decades later I blog. For a while it was a blog a day. These days I scramble notes together across the day. Thinking about it I could readily blog three or more times a day: I don't. 

Too busy to blog does not mean I am not at least regularly noting things down. It just takes a click to Recent Documents or search in my notes to find out. I do this to keep a record of things I may forget. 

This morning I went into my 'study' (tiny broom cupboard of a space) and saw a page of notes I had put down in the middle of the night. I forget the thoughts or that I'd written them down - but am glad that I did as it forms the spine for a talk I have to deliver on employability in 10 days time.

Meanwhile my focus is on three things: observating online sessions delivered by others and writing up a report, preparing and delivering my own online sessions and getting my head around the Learning Designer from UCL's Knowledge Lab featured in their Blended Online Learning FutureLearn MOOC. 

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The 'professional' TV 'production team

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 12:30

There was a point, certainly when the industry was unionised, when you could only specialise in one function. Production teams, even for something as simple as a 'talking head' interview cutting to a presenter might need six or seven people: producer, production assistant, director, camera, assistant camera, sound, assistant sound and a runner. This doesn't even include the presenter!

Tvprodution role pyramid

With thanks to Neil Anderson for directing me towards the Dia software.

This represents two things, a hierarchical division of roles in TV production, but also as you come towards the base the 'multi-tasking' of the various specialist roles.

When the unions lost influence in the 1980s the technology wasn't there to divide roles too much, but we settled into producer, director, camera, camera assistant and sound as the basic team. Then the producer/director roles merged. With lighter kit with fewer parts the camera assistant or runner would be dropped. Then along came the 'Video Journalist,' basically the self-operating producer/director/camera person with the sound engineer required as a second person and expected to carry kit, set lits etc: too. Meanwhile in post-porduction the editor is gradually taking on the mixing of sound, the creation of title and graphics (one a separate job/function). And then our producer/director/camera person, who can to a basic level edit using software built into the camera, takes on the editing role too - not just what we called 'off-line' editing, but the whole business to finished product. i.e. In broadcast TV, as well as for a wedding video, the production 'team' might be a one man band.

The relevance to H808 regards professionalism and the 'jack of all trades' syndrome that might see or expect a subject matter expert or tutor to have within a portfolio of skills, a growing number of other technical and craft skills. In other words, might a 'professional' be less so as and if they are expected to take on more tasks. If professionalism requires x hours of experience and y amount of technical proficiency, at what point is a subject matter expert tripped up or denied a 21st dialogue with their students because their skills with HTML are poor or non-existent?

From a TV and Film production point of view, with exception, the more roles the producer takes on the small the budget ... and the potential for amateurism.  At the base is any of us with a webcam and some basic software. In every one of these functions if you have the budget, then hire someone who has the kit, 3-10 years experience and who knows their 'craft.'

 

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