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Best Laid Plans

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A Fresher's Fair Run by staff doesn't work. Next to NIL interest. Not helped by someone kindly producing a poster for me saying 'Learning Resources' - the best way to put people off, rather than attract their attention.

Having created posters and flyers in various sizes with shortened URLs and QR Codes and then set up at the two community PCs in the common space I promptly had both computers taken over by a couple of guys wanting to play games. As I warned, with the main corridor used for multiple stalls, and the refrectary behind a partion wall - that is where all the students remain with all but the Dominoe's Pizza stall (giving away pizza and recruiting staff) and the Chelmydia desk wth any activity. I have seen my flyers screwed up and chucked on the floor.

I will check viewing figures. I am not hopeful. I overheard some students when asking each other what they were going to do during Freshers' Fair saying they would go home.

This is an FE college, more of a school than a campus based university.

 

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Swimming Coaching Planning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Sep 2019, 10:01

There's a lot of this in my life these days. A case of a volunteer role 16 years ago gradually turning me into a qualified Swim England swimming teacher and coach with 1000s of hours of experience. Planning every session almost takes as long as running the session itself. These based on macrocycle planning for the months ahead.

Three weeks of 'streamlining' then three weeks of 'power/energy' work has been my intention. A good deal of technique improvement is required, and rather more discipline with attendance, arriving on time, and pre and post pool warm up and flexibility.  

I take 6 out of 8 sessions for a National Perforamce Squad. I also attend most of the Open Meets and Galas. At times paid hours are soon matched by additional hours yet again done as a volunteer - the nature of British swimming at a small club scale. 

Already 17 days behind, I want to add these to my Swimcoach Blog https://wordpress.com/view/swimcoach.blog 

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A lot more of this: ThingLink 360° Interactive Tours

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One of the Control Rooms in the impressive complex of live rooms, control rooms, post-production and other rooms (DJ room, sound booth) all at Northbrook MET, West Durrington where I am based at least once a week - often throughout the week supporting various creative departments inlcuding Performing Arts, Props & SFX, Textiles and Music & Music Technology.

Music : http://bit.ly/2kpQyue

Theatre : http://bit.ly/2m4IM9n 

Textiles : http://bit.ly/2lM2Gpp

Props & SFX : http://bit.ly/2lHeE3J 

 

 

 

 

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Planet eStream. Not such a hard sell to the right group of students

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We have a break through with specialist Props & Special Effects HE students to use the access to 2.3m TV programmes as a valuable research tool. 

 

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Something Went Wrong

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 16 Sep 2019, 15:18

Something going wrong frustrates many, is the digital way of life to others. I fall somewhere between the two depending on my mood. Why, oh why, having successfully done something last week will it not work this week?

I'm MAC not PC born. So I struggle with the constant trips and lack of intuativity that I feel comes with a PC.

These photographs would be on, are on my MAC at home. I take a pic on my iPhone, iPad or Sony DSL and that's where they end up. 

 

At college they have to be imported onto the network via the camera disc and a cable. Today PC Photos doesn't like what I have to offer. I am expecting to import RAW photos to colour correct on Adobe Lightroom. I can neither import them, nor open Adobe Lightroom.

A challenge for another day. 

For someone the fix will be obvious. Who to ask? Google doesn't want to help me. Google the problem and you just get flogged an App that will be a panacea for all your problems. 

Any suggestions out there? 

I can see I'll be taking this home with me - get them on my iMac at home that drop them into my college Google Photos album to make use of tomorrow. 

Solution!

I just opened Google Photos and uploaded there. I'll make do of the editing tool there for now. I don't need to do anything fancy via Adobe Lightroom with these.

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Simle done. A 360 Tour of the Learning Resource Centre aimed at Students with Special Educational Needs

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https://qrgo.page.link/ddGmb 

 

There are distinct limitations when using an 'off the shelf' platform. The design component is limited so you have to use your imagination to generate text that is large and accessible. For now this features my voice too. My prefered option will be to video a student doing this and either use them 'in vision' or as a voice over.

Watch this space. 

Now I suppose I need to add some voice over narration to several dozen other such 360 tours. 

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A College TV Station. But will students watch it?

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I'm not quite a BBC Controller, but being the lead on Planet eStream selecting the content that comes onto the college network it supports feels a little like that. I run through some 24 subject areas vacuuming up content that I believe will be of interest to teachers and their students. A few teachers are getting involved too. These programmes can be edited, put into playlists, have slides added and even be turned into interactive quizzes.

The skill lies in the ability of the teacher to integrate it into their learning schedule.

We need to find a way to let students see the Electronic Programme Guide: 70+ channels, all terrestrial, many European and radio too, and some public broadcasters from North America. 

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G Suite for Education & Google Classroom

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Forget the Masters in Open & Distance Education, from my point of view. Pte J F Vernon, in the frontline of teacher and student support, I need to be able to make Google Classroom sing, and Turnitin, and Google Drive and Docs. And Planet eStream. And Thinglink. And WordPress. And video production ... 

At times it leaves me feeling inadequate at everything. Like Roy Castle spinning China plates on the end of long bamboo poles in an 'Guiness World Record' attempt on Blue Peter in the 1960s.

From time to time the plate drops. From time to time the plate appears to be able to spin forever my further intervention unnecessary.

 

 

 

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How to cite a TV broadcast hosted on an educational TV Platform

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 11 Sep 2019, 12:45

BBC Coast. (2019) 6/24. ‘Rivers & Seas Collide’ [Online] Transmission. 12/05/2019 Available at: https://gbmc.planetestream.com/View.aspx?id=3799~4C~F8pJz8xy [Accessed 11 September 2019]

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eNewsletters via MailChimp

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This is another skill I have picked up along the way. Over the last 4 + years I have sent out nearly 20 of these. I have tried all kinds of different approaches, from full fledged digital magazine, to notes with bullet points and links. What works for my audience is something in between: a few things to grab attention so that they open the email, then the widest variety of introductions to, and links to, a variety of events national and local, articles and book reviews. 

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The Western Front Association

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Event details HERE >>  http://bit.ly/2kbrXZX 

I've been the digital editor for the Western Front Association for 4 1/2 years. Here is the kind of thing I do, promoting a local branch event. This one is in Warwick tonight. There are 54 UK branches, another 2 in Ireland and a handful in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and France. 

During this time I took an MA in British History and the First World War. I had thought about taking the OU MA in History which covered 1845 to 1945 or thereabouts but considered it too broad for my needs and interests. I wonder now if I should look again? However, three jobs, 53 working working hours, additional volunteer hours for Lewes Town Council and Lewes District Green party - as well as sailing and sailing duties, let alone 12 hours a week commuting leaves me without the time. I do think that in the the past these degrees have served the purpose of filling gaps in my day and week which are now well and truly covered!

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TV for an audience who never watch TV

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Gathering resources together from a choice of millions of programmes from Planet eStream feels no different to putting on a display of popular books or magazines in a library. You're having to promote stuff to an audience who don't watch any TV. They stream it all from YouTube or Netflix. Other than the biggies: Bake Off, Strictly and Britain's Got Talent ... and soaps, how aware are they of the 'educational' content we would have them watch.

And how education is TV anyway if produced to entertain and then repurposed to form the backbone to a class?

I've been running through 32 subject areas seeing if there are programmes that might intrigue our 16 year olds during Fresher's week. They can view any of this via their Student Sign in on Planet eStream. 

Bjork Meets Attenborough

Stacey Dooley on Fashion

What will the Future Look Like in 100 Years?

The Beauty of Diagrams

Who Do You Think You Are? Daniel Radcliffe, Cheryl ...

Desert Island Discs: Bill Gates

A Good Read

Horizon: Hair Secrets

The Truth About Vegans

 

 

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"It feels like being there!"

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Last year I took over 1,000 360 photos on a Ricoh Theta SC camera. I created some 18 360 tours such as these. I have many other collections of shots of Anne of Cleves House, Lewes Castle and the Langermarke German Cemetery amongst them that I am yet to stitch together.

Do they really 'take you there' ? Yes it is novel, and with a headset there is an immersive experience. Sound helps. But as an experience there is no story, no journey, no narrative or characters. This is where games design experience needs to be involved. 

In our efforts to engage students I will be 'manning' a stall at the GB MET Freshers' Fair, each day for 4 hours at a different campus. I will be armed with cards showing something like these above with a QR Code and shortened URL in the hope that some will be curious and take a look on their phones. Hopefully I'll have iPads, Chrome Books, a touchscreen PC and even a giant smartscreen. 

This should take you on a 360 tour of the Northbrook MET, West Durrington Campus.

 

 

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This is bugging me.

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I've taken over 1,000 360 images using a Richoh Theta SC and out of the blue it has started to do this right when I have an elearning project to create using it. 

These 360 cameras are OK. Not too expensive. Image quality not wonderful in low light. Not great definition when you try to zoom either, but I have had some fabulous results. 

I had been hoping to be working on a introduction/induction to the Learning Resource Centre for students with special education needs. This requires a series of these photographs linked together with further hotspots featuring close ups with annotations and video clips.

I'm working my way through all the possibilities (short of the camera having been damaged).

Update Firmware

Checking the settings for taking images and for uploading them.

Any thoughts? 

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Considering starting my 4th Degree

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Sep 2019, 09:19

I had or have credits towards an Open Degree, an Masters in Education and even an MBA - though time is fast running out as I completed these in 2013.

Meanwhile, as I take up a part-time role as the Head Coach of a Swimming Club, as well as looking at adding to my Swim England qualifications I am looking at taking a Sports Science Degree with the Open University.

Sport and conditioning science into practice

The image at the top is the 8 x 25m pool at The Triangle, Burgess Hill where I have coached and taught swimming since 2008. This is part of a test 360 VR tour I created using a Ricoh Theta SC camera and ThingLink. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BBC Short Stories

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This is more than just making the awards and telling each story - the short story as a form is discussed and analysed too. Having the skills to construct and perform or communicate a short story is key to much learning practice. This ties in directly with my developing the skills to create 'scenario-based elearning'. 

 

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Scenarios not conversations

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This is a scenario framework for learning.

1) There is a situation

2) There is a certain response

3) click

4) and there is an outcome.

This is NOT a conversation.

It is a situation that will have consequences, a decision is taken to do one thing or another, and there is an outcome.

In this instance I guess they've gone for a beer rather than gone to the movies, or had an argument and gone their separate ways.

Having developed a script along these lines to support age group swimmers with asthma, I am now looking at Independent Travel Training for Students with Special Educational Needs.

My mentor/tutor and guide is Anna Sabramowicz.

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Lunch at 4:30pm

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The idea is that you leave 5 hours between meals during the day and 12 hours overnight. I just forget to have my lunch. I was 'pooliside' half an hour before the National Squad turned up. Perhaps I should have waited until they had arrived in order to run through some tips on nutrition.

This is  no longer a diet: I lost 6 kg from 1st to 31st August eating like this - low to no carbs, no sugar at all, and plenty of veggies.

Changing behaviour takes a great deal of effort by someone.

In this instance it was my wife and a year of reading up on gut microbes. Then she has taken time off work and decided that I would be her 'proof of the pudding' to use the wrong expression. I have cheated now and again: a few bears, packets of crisps.

And then has been running. Supposedly a couch to 5k, but getting a run in during the working week is proving difficult.

Monday: at 6:30am I can't do that too often

Wednesday I can get one in 4:30 to 5:30 before swimmers.

 

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Readability for Scenario-Based eLearning

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http://www.hemingwayapp.com

Recommended to make you sentences short, focused and clear. 

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It looks like a sausage roll, it feels and smells like a sausage roll ...

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What do I know until I've tried it?

The Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll. It looks, smells and feels like one. The grease, pasty and taste all say sausage roll (albeit a cheap one). Is it better to support veganism in this way or is it all about the bottom line? Being vegan I loath the meatiness of this: the taste and grease are an unpleasant reminder of what meat recovered from a carcass and disguised in a product can be like.

Don't eat meat, don't eat fake meat - turn to veggies.

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I'm going to take a bus

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I'm going to take a bus an imagine it is the first time I have ever been on a bus. I must have taken a bus with a grandparent, or an older sibling. Unlike kids today I was taking the bus a couple of miles up the road to school when I was 7 or 8. Perhaps age 6 with my older brother. 

I remember taking my young son on a double-decker bus for the first time. He was so excited about the bus with the 'windy stairs' to the top deck. Similarly on his first train journey he held up his ticket thrilled to be going on such a trip.

I am getting into the head of a young person with special education needs as I work my way through a 90 minute transcript with an educator who works with SEND students. 

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BSKB Maths, English and IT

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As an FE College we need to assess levels of English, Maths and IT skills. We do this using BSKB.

This task was somewhat curtailed today by the IT sign ins changing, slow speeds and no staff. I resorted to looking up a get around ... on my private blog, my learning journal for college stuff. THIS is where I see the greatest value in a blog, a learning journal or a work diary, is to keep brief details of what you do, tagged in a way to make it easy to search.

I looked up BSKB and could relive my first run through the system and then the get around. The only pain is that the get around requires typing in a 76 character URL of mizxed upper and lower case, numbers and signs. 

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Great Day until this happened !

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Ending my first 12 hour day, 7:30 am out of the door, 7:30pm home, a pheasant 'floats' into the road and hits the wing mirror hard. It cops it. I roll down the window and grab the mirror before it clatters and breaks too. Its neck broken (the wing mirror, and no doubt the poor pheasant too) I can see that the entire unit will have to be replaced. That'll be £125 parts and labour sad

Otherwise the Digital Editor, Learning Technologist and Head Coach had a great day: an item added to The Western Front Association website - ironically the Gallipoli Association annual conference, a day developing the Students with Special Education Needs projects - transcribing the interviews and seeking ideas and assistance from colleagues internally, and then my first evening 'poolside' as the new Head Coach at Hailsham Swimming Club.

Home as our son gathers up his belongings to head for Paris on a six month placement with Kenzo (male fashion design - though they want him for his graphic art/illustrator skills).

I'm reading stuff and nodding off in bed by a shocking 8:45pm

I'm not so much as 'keeping the wolf from the door' as having the time of my life. 

Throw in some sailing and safety boat duties on the sea, some life-drawing and vegan cooking, running and walking the dog ... 

 

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Testing Ricoh Theta SC for SEND Project

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Revisiting my skills at using the 360 camera to create a VR tour through the Learning Resource Centre and several things occur:

1) I had forgotten how tricksy it can be to set up.

2) Once connected between the 360 camera and my iPad I then had to remember how to use the manual settings for White Balance and Exposure, and using the self-timer so that you are not caught in the picture

3) The results were either soft, or, had this ring effect.

I hope it is a further quality setting that I need to engaged - i.e. High Resolution images. I did lend it out for three weeks. 

The trials and tribulations of the learning technologist continue.

 

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The State of the Union - the United Kingdom one. Tattered!

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This blowing in a strong south westerly breeze sums up the state of the United Kingdom: should see Ireland United, should see Scotland taking a referendum on independence. I'm less sure about Wales. Check your history. Was it ever a country? It was at best three regions: North, South and the Marches.

 

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