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Scrambulation

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Feb 2013, 07:46

I think I did the equivalent of throwing the files out of the window yesterday afternoon and no doubt the TMA grade will reflect this.

I reached a stage of total scrambulation.

Currently doing a 24 hour spring clean, pack the car, find wetsuits that no one can get into, fix the box on car roof, get keys that work for the car ... listen to Pepys dramatised on the radio (see the blog) ... while feeding teenagers and accommodating my wife whose computer died when it was purloined for World of Warcraft duties sad

(P.S. I am advised that my avatar remains wondering this world in her underwear. Meanwhile, after three weeks of doing a paper round my son has purchased a virtual motorbike for his World of Warcraft avatar - think Harley Davidson - he also has an upgrade on his pet -  an Elephant.

Both impress I am told.

Educators enter here at their own peril.

valdesire%252520nickers.JPG

My advice would be to so so with an experienced 13 year old to assist and you may end up like me, female, in your underwear, doing dances for your living. Seriously, this is my experimental taste of virtual worlds.

I learned that my son has several characters online, somehow, and each has a distinct personality and I suspect gender. I am 'Val Desire' her twin - is creation - is 'Not Val Desire'.)

And the dog is on heat sad

And my 15 year old daughter has decided the contents of her attic room are childish and is currently bagging it (while my wife is going through said bag convinced that everything has a value and ought to be put in our lock up garage for the next decade or two. A garage that is 11 miles away and we took possession of temporarily when we moved house ... four years ago.)

Otherwise a normal day.

Pencils and pastels I have, but I need cartridge paper and a new drawing board.

I'm disinclined to over use the digital camera as it will require immediate downloading to a laptop then editing, then uploading and all that eJazz. Do I go with the flow, indluge this? Maybe I should, passing on some basic craft skills along the way in relation to shot size, editing, action cuts and so on.

I realise too that this desire to go off and draw is akin to being behind a computer screen.

A sort of hunkering down escape into my own head. Though drawing is likely to be less distracting than being online.

Basically, what I crave, and did for decades with my Dad is a boat, to sea with all those challenges and absolutely NO contact with the outside world.

On these trips I took books, paper, guitar. I am inclined therefore to need the iPad that now is the books, the paper and all the sheet music my heart could desire.

Impossible of course because he is long dead and the boat sold.

 

 

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H800 activity 4 virtual worlds cross dressing and role-play

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Feb 2013, 07:36

I have an avatar.

In World of Warcraft.

My son took me through the set- up, vital for any software, have an informed and experienced teacher.

I wasn't allowed to make one quick choice, I had to look at the options. He had views as well as information concerning all the characters. My wife joins in and we plum for a female as the way she poses and sticks out hefty butt when she shuffles about made us laugh. I think I am a night elf. Unable to give her a real name (all taken) I got for Val d'Isere ... Which gets transmuted into Valdesire. This is a lady with attitude; I guess I see myself as a Lara Croft type smile

Aided by my son he insists we skip the intros.

Intermittently he reaches over and gives me a belt, boots and a sword. And were off. I know I am painfully slow for him but after while I can position myself in front of a hovering, dragon slug thing which seems about as easy to kill as standing on a snail. I gain pouts, collect stuff and go up a few levels.

I assume my son is off to the bathroom when he goes of, actually he has signed on a second computer and with delight says the person I am standing next to, my twin but wearing clothes is him and his (her) name is 'Notvaldesire'.

'Let's have a dual,' he says and knowing what he is like I get my sword out and put in a strike only to have some god-like voice/ figure berate us.

On returning from the shops I ask if anything had happened as my wife had taken over 'Our Val.'

We had to sell all you clothes, he said, to buy a spell that didn't work.'

Having no clothes has me think of the only campus Second Life I'm aware of at Sussex University where I understand that repeated calls go out for everyone in Second Life to take their clothes off sad

Thinking about role play as I wondered through Lewes I saw groups of language students in the same blue-tops and football fans gathering before going off to a match.

This is the town where a substantial part of the town dress up for November 5th, indeed I am in Commercial Square and dress up as a Confederate Soldier each year. We joined as newcomers to the town 11 years ago; as a social network it is extraordinarily effective.

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H800 WK25 Does technology diminish or enhance the role of the educator?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 1 Jul 2012, 17:31

 

World%252520of%252520Warcraft%252520CHARACTER%252520SNIP.JPG

My son might be online playing World of War craft often, but so are two or three of his best mates.

From time to time they down tools (weapons, magic wands or whatever it might be) and head into town, or meet up to kick a ball around. Ditto my daughter whose use of the internet is exclusively to talk more with her immediate circle of friends.

This is real.

A colleague who has had the 'social media manager' tag at the OU has gone the full loop and is a 'Communications Manager' despite being online all day. I see her point, we differentiate new practices with new terms, but drop them once we see them in context.

It has happened sooner that I thought but there ought to be no need to different 'learning' from 'e-learning' as it is just learning that exploits new platforms and tools.

The human element is important.

Our human nature demands that we have physical contact with others. We are sociable, which interestingly has me spending increasingly amounts of time as a 'social media manager' in meetings or calling up people to meet face to face over lunch or a coffee.

I appreciate that the MAODE is all online.

I wonder however if this 'purist' point of view is sustainable or even desirable. Or do those who can and want to meet up do so anyway?

(Meeting a fellow MAODEr for the very first time a few weeks ago was odd. We felt we knew eachother, there was no 'ice to break' as we'd worked on group tasks together in a previous module).

Not once have I imagined the technology making the genuine educator redundant i.e. someone whose modus operandi is to help students acquire knowledge and apply it, even to instill a life long love of learning with some tools and techniques to see them through.

Oggy%252520the%252520Cave%252520Painter%252520SNIP.JPG

If on a holiday to the Dordogne you came across a person from the Paleolithic painting in a cave would you leave him to it, or offer him your oils and sable brushes, or show him how to use a digital camera? (or her of course).

You don't change the desire for self-expression, or capturing the world around you.

I know educators in their 80s who marvel at the Internet and the opportunity it offers to inform thousands.

Just think of an academic paper that in the past (and still) may be formally presented to a group of ten in the faculty, a group of thirty at a conference, then published ... and quickly forgotten, compared to an age where such papers are presented face to face as described, but live through livestreaming or a webcast to several hundred, then shared, copied and commented upon by thousands, and before it is even formally published may be gathering in a large readership?

And this is done by nursery, primary and secondary school educators too.

You have an idea for a class, you share it and if it is liked, it is picked up and used in many ways by many different people.

Its no longer a case of saying, 'I wish I had done that.' With permission/creative commons, OER and all that, you can use the fruits of someone else's efforts, tweaked and personalised of course.

I rather think it is an exciting time to be working in education.

Personally I hanker after contact though, to address, mentor and coach people, probably young adults.

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Sleep is fuitile. I'll keep it for the weekend

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 8 Oct 2011, 13:24

Two voices are at each other

The one prattles on about 'how to do it', the other is saying 'shut up, go to sleep'.

One I can deal with, two is one too many.

A moment's irritation, tinitus or the fridge rumbling through the floorboards of the house and I think I may just go to sleep when a third voice pops up.

'I've had an idea!'

Oh boy. So I'm back here, getting it off my chest, as it were, though actually it is more a case of getting it out of my head before it drowns in idea number three.

First the sketch.

This time of a TV box.

There may be just enough happening in the frame to keep my son in one place. He regularly does three things at once: plays World of Warcraft, watches 'Mock the Week' or 'Outnumbered' ... and does his homework. Possibly while listening to music on his iTouch. I really can't tell. Though it is apparently possible to have a conversation with him as well. He's twelve. Can't you tell.

I put a title to my idea

'Towards a new kind of Television'

I think 'hyper-television' might be more appropriate.

And what on earth am I doing bringing a copy of Norman Davies, 'The Isles. A History' downstairs?

This, as it has never had a mention these last four months, is my light relief. My escape from all things e-learning and the Internet or the OU, or stuff. (That technical term again). Norman Davies bores me to sleep at night. But it doesn't, not always. This is the second time I've read this tome ('Europe. A History' will follow in due course).

Balances and difference help the mix.

Mixes, mash-ups and such like have a role to play.

A highly advance tome on Competitive Swimming that makes the sport look like civil engineering is another one for bed. It all goes into my head. Sinks away. Or does it? This is why and how this works, blogging, it gives a thought or a fact a second chance to swim to the surface, to bubble up.

Humble, Bubble, Toil and Tumblr

How to?

I began this process with a video production workshop in the Senior Common Room (Or Middle Common Room) at Balliol College in March 1982? I just tried searching for the entry in my diary, but obviously that bit hasn't been blogged yet. We had Philips micro-cassette video-cameras. We gave them out to fellow students, gave them the basic language of TV shots and techniques as I understood them courtesy of the Kluwer's Production Manual having by then shot and cut a few dozen hours of material myself.

Kit is almost as cheap  today as it was then (we were given it), only the quality is now HD 35mm for a camera the size of and shape of a Ventolin inhaler.

Is it easier to teach the three shot language of video production than say 400 to 2,000 words of vocab to teach English as a Foreign Language?

Of course it is

You don't even have to say anything.

How then to turn basic TV production techniques viral in order to lift the quality of this micro output globally?

Or do people give a monkeys?

If something interesting is going on they'll look at it through any amount of noise. It's called the Zapruder effect. Don't go and see it. How did snuff movies become easy-to-see viewing? The Zapruder effect excuses all the 'You've been framed' clips - rubbish camera work, but cute dog, cat, baby, child, oaf etc:

We'll see

I take the view that however short, there needs to be an idea behind it, a thought, an occurrence, even a narrative.

I'm constantly reminded of a Radio 4 challenge to three speakers to make their point in 45 seconds.

We got 'Bing Bang', 'String Theory' and the 'Offside Rule'. The first, like the opening pages of Genesis was a story with a beginning middle and end in 135 words or so; the second slightly lost its way, but the analogy worked, whereas anyone listening to an attempt at explaining the offside rule in 45 seconds would be left utterly befuddled.

People prefer story to befuddlement.

So who is going to turn Wikipedia into TV?

I cease to be entertained by it. I fear Wikipedia has had its day. Long live 'WikiTVia.'

Half an hour later. What's this about Norman?

I was googling a plumber ventriloquist venture capital person I know. (I have some versatile friends. He can also identify seven kinds of harvester ant).

'As his colleague Thackeray once observed (this is about Thomas Babington Macaulay), 'He reads twenty books to write a sentence; he travels a hundred miles to make a line description.'

All this reading and travelling can of course be achieved in front of computer screen with access to the Internet.

Many more minds, can be liked-minds and big minds.

REFERENCE

Thackeray, quoted by W. Speck, 'Thomas Babington Macaulay', The History of England (Everyman, (London, 1911) vol.II, pp. 488-9.


 

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Web usability or pimping up my OU experience

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 13:23

Out of habit now I cut and paste all the course notes from H807 and H808 into word and reconfigure using techniques I have followed for a decade as a web editor based on the principles of Jakob Nielsen.

I got his book in 2000 and was using it when I started the MA in Open and Distance Learning with the OU in 2001.

Is the OU nervous about being so radical?

Is it note reasonable for us to expect them to keep uptodate? With a unit such as 'Inovations in E-learning' could an attempt at being innovative at least be made?

Some one is going to come along and create and manage platforms that are more suited to the next generation. I watch my son playing World of Warcraft, watching a downloaded movie AND texting friends and more than capable of keeping such a frenetic amount of activity going.

No wonder traditional classroom education bores him to tears. I'd home educated if I thought it wouldn't seriously compromise my ability to earn a living ... but then we wouldn't have school fees to pay?

The recent upgrading with colours and graded shading and a few clear icons and hugely welcome but compared to corporate sites the OU is at least four years behind.

This isn't 'sexy' presentation, but the lessons you pick up from Jacob Nielsen make text like this more suited to online reading. As I now NEVER print of, only diddle about with text and images in some kind of digital form I simply don't require text to be expressed as if it needs to be printed off or has been scanned in out of a book

Come on OU this is 2010, not 2002.

Perhaps when I've done my Web Editor bit on all the course content I could post it back in here?

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