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How insight and creativity works - towards a theory of creativity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 10:32

Why are we insightful? What is going on in the brain when we have a flash of insight?

Horizon on the Brain looks at:

  • Insight
  • Divergent thinking
  • Improvisation
  • Unusual and unexpected experiences
  • Schema violation

Based on this I'm going to take up something mindless to do between the gaps - doing the dishes surely counts?

Reading does not?

Watching TV does not?

  • Walking the dog
  • Falling asleep in the bath
  • Pruning bushes
  • Mow the lawn

When and where do people have moments of creativity?

The neuroscience of electromangentic and fMRI scans.

Human advancement is dependent on creativity.

You will hear from:

  • Prof Jonathan Schooler
  • Dr Mark Beeman
  • Dr Charles Limb
  • Dr Simone Ritter
  • Dr Jon Kounios
  • Dr Rex Young

You will hear about:

  • The neural correlate of creativity
  • The anterior superior antilial giros
  • Look for unexpected experiences Scehema violation
  • Breaking cognitive pedants

Breaking any routine – switching steps Change your routines Well trodden neural pathways are abandoned.

  • Mind wandering helps the creative process Engaging in a non–demanding task
  • Don't just do nothing, do something undemanding instead ...

If you're stumped, take a break e.g. walk, shower, gardening ... walk the dog.

  • Down regulate your frontal lobes.
  • Some people are hypofrontal. Losing your inhibitions when you improvise.
  • Releasing your mental handcuffs.
  • Science to explain.

Towards a theory of creativity.

REFERENCE 

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Right now I need an AI Companion

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On my shoulder, perking up when asked like a well behaved, very small butler. 'They' are creating such things - like a dog or cat plugged into Google that knows your mind. Thinking this through I think a couple of AI squirres would do the trick, one red and on my left shoulder, and the other grey and on my right. They can talk to eachother when I'm not around, otherwise they can remind what I've done, what is coming up and what I need to do next. Reading and responding is the measure of the day.
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Why are we insightful?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 22 Mar 2013, 23:15

Why are we insightful? What is going on in the brain when we have a flash of insight?

Horizon on the Brain

  • Insight
  • Divergent thinking
  • Improvisation

 

 

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H809: Reflections at the end of week 7

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 22 Mar 2013, 15:03

Still playing catch-up after the TMA

Through week six writing and most activities (a few hours left to wrap)

Familiar with week 7 as we begin week 8. I will catch up over the weekend. Perhaps. If it rains a good deal and my son's football is off (again). This will come back to haunt me - with all the bad weather they are moving to two matches a week. The Daddy Taxi might be busy.

For H809 conjured up the 'Perfect Storm of Online Research'

  • Young people, including minors
  • Online - gamified if not virtual worlds, with social aspects (whether wanted or not)
  • Medical - not a medical market research but ostensibly an 'intervention' of sorts that would require expertise, training and sign off for everyone involved.
  • Global - what isn't if it is accessible online?

The good news?

  • They haven't found life on Mars yet so I can keep it contained to Earth.

My plan

  • Set further parameters.

I'm looking at use of e-learning to improve uptake of perventer medication by young people with servere moderate asthma (i.e. they are supposed to take a daily preventer inhaler, like me, I do - they don't).

I may 'contain' the research to a group where in some cases a step has already been taken to amerliorate the situation - swimming. I'll talk to the ASA (hypothetical) and have participants as UK swimmers with asthma

 

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Communismization of knowledge

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 22 Mar 2013, 06:54

The penny just dropped ... what's all this fretting about process for? Have we all forgotten the purpose of research???? Not to get the process right, but to get answers to problems, to find better ways, to understand and share what is going on so that we can act, or not act on it?

I'm doing the H817open MOOC so my head is spilling out in various directions trying to define what 'open' is all about. It isn't even the democratisation of education and knowledge either, it is the Tim Berners-Lee rather than the Google approach to knowledge - give it away for free, it is 'communismization' - which is a word, however horrible it sounds, I just looked it up.

This moves me onto dwelling on Creative Commons.

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Where do I stand academically? Where and what next? And the madness of being.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Feb 2014, 07:48

Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) with the Open University, UK (OU)

H800: Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates

H807: Innovations in eLearning – Learning outcomes

H810: Accessible online learning: supporting disabled students

B822: Creativity, Innovation and Change

H808: The e-learning professional

 

This completes the Masters Degree. I graduate on Saturday 27th April 2013

Currently (March 2013) I am taking H809 as a bridge towards doctoral research or professional consultancy. Complete in June 2013.

H809 Practice-based research in educational technology

I joined the #H817open MOOC for one component of this module. I will register for 2014

H817: Openness and innovation in e-learning.

I am applying to undertake doctoral research in education - using learning technologies.
 
H809 will help prepare for applications starting in January 2014 for an October 2014 start. Most are now a 4 year programme, with a Masters in research to begin. WebSciences at University of Southampton is an interesting option - I attended an Open Day in January.
Too many active interests was a stated issue on childhood school reports. Nothing's changed.
 
I am looking at an MA in History with the University of Birmingham which would give me the opportunity
study the First World War. (I have written extensively about this through my late grandfather's memoire 'That's Nothing Compared to Passchandeale')
There is more.
 
I attended the School of Communication Arts, London. A full-time programme in copywriting, art direction and design and have worked in the 'creative' and 'communications' industries all of my career.
And 'EAVE' (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs)
 
My first degree is in Geography. My dissertatio nwas on demographics. I love maps. Perhaps I should try to match maps, e-learning and the First World War. Animated it all and add some interviews and 'drama reconstruction'.
See what happens when you let something fester and wake up in the middle of the night.
 
Neuroscience and long term memory are fascinating too.
I need my life over. I need to split into three and start again. I need a coffee and a long walk on the South Downs. (I need to go back to bed)
And then there's Fine Art.
 
And Creative Writing. And cooking. And the garden. There's teaching, and moderating ... and blogging. There's movies. And sailing and swimming coaching. There's family and friend ... ah. Friend? I knew there was something missing in all of the above.
Scrap the lot and have a belated 50th birthday to celebrate 20 years of marriage, parenthood and the madness of being. Then sign up to crew in the Round the World Yacht Race.
And if that doesn't kills me ...

P.S. ADHD

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H817 Visualizing Open Learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 23 Oct 2014, 07:17
From E-Learning V

Fig.1. This IMHO is what learning has become in the 21st century - and how it got there

There's more going on here than you may realise!

From E-Learning V

Fig.2. Traditional top down learning

Two triangles, one above the other and linked with a downward arrow suggests traditional top down learning ... or simply knowledge transfer from someone who knows something to someone who does not.

From E-Learning V

Fig. 3 By someone's side

Two triangles, one facing the other, may represent a shift towards collaborative or horizontal learning in a formal setting, though for me it represents the learning you do away from the institution - with friends, with family 'on the same level' as it were.

From E-Learning V

Fig. 4. Participatory and situated, networked learning on the periphery

From E-Learning V

Fig.5 The thinking starts with Vigotsky and his research into behaviourist learning

It then progressed to the study and analysis of learning in communities

From E-Learning V

Fig. 6. Activity Theory as conceived of and developed by Yrjo Engeström. 

From E-Learning V

Fig.7 The interplay between two entities or communities coming together to solve a problem and thus producing something unique to them both (object 3) - a fresh idea.

From E-Learning V

Fig.8. Activity Theory re-connected - breaking out

Though developed over some thirty years the structure of 'Activity Theory' as a model is breaking down because of the quality, speed and way in which we now connect overrides barriers and invades silos making communication more direct and immediate.

From E-Learning V

 Fig. 9 Activity Theory in a connected world

Everyone and everything is just a click away.

From E-Learning V

Fig.10 Visualizing the maelström of original ideas generated by people sharing their thoughts and ideas as they form

The maelström of new ideas where people and groups collide and interact. Historically this had been in grounded 'communities of practice', whether a London coffee shop or the senior common room of a prestigious university, the lab, the studio, the rehearsal room ... today some gatherings online are frequent, enabled by the Internet and no less vibrant as like-minds and joiners contribute to the generation of new ideas. 

This, drawing on Engestrom via Vygotsky, might be a more academic expression of Open Learning. Here a host of systems, expressed in model form, interpose their drive to achieve certain objectives into the common whole. That mess in the middle is the creation of the collective powers and inputs of individuals, groups, departments or institutions. The Open bit are the connections between any node in one system, and any other node from any othe one of the systems ... which blows apart the actions within a single system, making them more open, though not random. 

From E-Learning V

Fig. 11 It's going on inside your head.

fMRI scans reveal the complex way in which ideas form and memories are recalled and mixed-up, challenged and re-imagined. We are our very own 'community of practice' of conflicting and shared viewpoints. 

From E-Learning V

Fig.11. Perceiving brain activity as the interplay between distinct, interacting zones

From E-Learning V

Fig. 12 Ideas enter your system, your brain and are given a fresh spin

From E-Learning V

Fig.13 Ideas coalesce until you reach a point of understanding. The penny doesn't so much as 'drop' as to form.

Where would we be without one of these. 98 billion neurons. A uniquely connected mass of opportunity and potential. This is where, of course, memories are formed and thoughts had. Increasingly we are able to share ideas and thoughts as we have them, typically through the tips of our fingers by sharing our thinking online, especially where it comes to the attention of like-minds, and troubled-minds - anyone in fact or strongly agrees or strongly disagrees enough to contribute by adding their thinking and revealing their presence.

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Scale of the Universe

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 21:05

Scale of the Universe

http://www.scaleofuniverse.com/

See Powers of Ten

 

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H809 Activity 6.5: Reading the first part of the paper (30 minutes)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 13 Nov 2014, 11:43

Read the first part of the paper (to the end of page 4).

Note the kinds of changes that the authors describe, and consider the extent to which these apply to your own practices and research interests.

Are there changes that the authors have not considered?

  • The transition to tablets, extensive and preferred use of Smartphone, hot desking in the home, in the home of friends at school so keeping everything online, but also sharing /exposing identities, a 21st openness and frankness in relation to gender, sexuality, individuality, beliefs, bullying, privilege and disadvantage. In my planned context if 'leakage' of content is highly likely then a randomized controlled trial is porbably undoable.

  • The history of informal learning and categories from home, games, clubs, apprenticeship with a social anthropological slant. Is it so different to the way people have always learnt in social groupings, the difference being that if you don’t have someone at your shoulder, you have them at your fingertips and in your head? Take for example the Boy Scout movement of 100 years ago. Even the ‘invention’ of games like football and rugby as a result of informal game-play. What can be learnt from looking at the take up of technologies, or new attitudes to learning in the past?

  • Is a tutorial an informal setting? Socrates in a discussion is preferable to Socrates as a TED lecture? The lessons from the 'Oxbridge Tutorial' of two/three to the workshop-like tutorials of 12+ at the Open University.

  • Is an extracurricular society a self-learn and informal setting?

  • Amateur dramatics (youth theatre), and youth orchestras, teens forming bands, sailing and swimming clubs all show young people learning together, picking up where adults leave off - or taking over as it suits the person rather than the age or cohort - as occurs online. Having something to talk about in the first place encourages its discussion.

  • Virtual worlds are not everyone’s cup of tea, or everyone’s opportunity (Eynon, 2012) 13% excluded, 4% of the remaining choosing NOT to use the Internet.

  • Counter impact of interloper by having participants briefed to undertake research.

  • Are the ways so new? As the Internet is a mirror to human behaviours online, the behaviours are the same though more akin to living in a close-knit community. ‘With brass knobs on’ - people can be rigidly themselves, alter egos, or even a different gender, age or cultural identity. (Kelly, 2011)

My own experience, very dismissive of, even reluctant to bring the classroom into any of these domains, indeed, it is anathema. However, during the Olympics, not surprisingly a few swimmers would say what they’d seen or followed in relation to their stroke or development as competitive athletes - mostly, ‘its not for me!’. A young adult art student, whilst he won’t adhere to his asthma medications, uses the sensation of being breathless in his art.

Observing online activities akin to similar in a boarding school setting - life skills learnt, but rarely to do with class work, my life and team skills, personal identity, coping mechanisms, learning from each other, forming opinions etcsmile Eastbourne College, Mowden Hall School. In contrast to home life football practice, amateur theatre group, dance and so on …

The drivers that see a person transition from child to adult, and the sophistication of the brain makes these impacts of no less or more influence than anything that has occurred for previous generations, indeed, I’d contend that two World Wars, for those caught up in them would have had significantly more effect that anything the Internet can throw at an adolescent.

REFERENCE

Eynon, R (2009) Mapping the digital divide in Britain: implications for learning and education.

Kelly, D (Forthcoming 2011) 'Karaoke’s Coming Home:  Japan’s Empty Orchestras in the United Kingdom', Leisure Studies 30.




 

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H817 Open Learn

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013, 06:38

Few people know what they are doing with PowerPoint they produce a set of cards or stepping stones, then gives these out as hand-outs.

But where is the narrative, the building of the argument of the nuanced slowing down or speeding up to change emphasis - let alone the question from the floor, or the adhoc additional thought.

Visuals in a presentation should compliment what is said - one would be far weaker without the other.

Very, very rarely when I have attended a conference or lecture I have received a handout that is, give or take (though the presenter didn't read from it), the notes they used to talk the audience through the images.

When someone says 'there is a handout' and provides copies of the slides that is ridiculous.

It is like being in a train looking out of the window while someone is talking to you - you want want they said,not what you were looking at.

 

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What's going on in there?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013, 08:48

This apparently.

20130318-233848.jpg

Fig. 1 New Scientist 9 February 2013 Mind Maths by Colin Barras

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H809 Activity 6.2: Effects of audience on research (1 hour)

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Activity 6.2: Effects of audience on research (1 hour)

In the light of Activity 6.1, look again at the research question you chose for TMA01.

  • What kinds of audience were you assuming for the research findings?
  • How might this research question, and/or the methods you chose, be different for different audiences?

Post your thoughts in your tutor group discussion forum.

REPLY

The suggestion is that I am writing to a community of fellow researchers working towards the 'cutting edge' of e-learning in health care, in this instance to support patients and improve patient outcomes, through drawing on literature where various interventions have been successful with doctors.

If written for potential funders then, like the elevator pitch' for a movie script then my inclination would be to spice it up, certainly to push what is unique harder, but also to flag up those few papers that suggest that research of this nature is now required as the next step. i.e. to sell the logical progression of building on what has gone before, using my own experience and skills to say to funders 'you would be backing a safe pair of hands'.

The audience none of the papers talk about are the participants themselves. This is where an inevitable shift is occurring as patients chose to be better informed and in one piece of research I was reading the interviews were compromised as earlier interviewees had posted the questions and their responses online. Currently, from what I have read, the general public are reached via the press. In future, not just through books, radio and TV appearances, but also in blogs and other social media, academics will find they have an audience that includes students (not just their own), and other interested parties.

Just as a conference paper can lead to writing an article for a journal in future there are likely to be other audiences to be written for.

Rather than tailoring niche research for different audiences, as a hypothetical exercise I have presumed the funding would permit a broad approach that would generate material that would, edited and written and expressed in an appropriate way, suit a variety of audiences. Under Creative Commons some content might be offered to a community on the Internet to mash-up, share, curate on other platforms and so on - if the Social Media purpose is to 'spread the word' let those who are best at doing it do it.

 

 

 

 

 

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H809 Activity 6.1: Audiences podcast

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Mar 2013, 13:13

Activity 6.1: Audiences podcast (2 hours)

Listen to the podcast, and consider how the issues raised might be reflected (or not) in the Block 1 readings. Use the forums to check whether others in your tutor group forum share your views.

Several issues are raised regarding research funding, writing to receive funding or writing for the funders as an audience/readers, as well as writing for different communities of research, for students and at conferences, in books and via journalists, to the general public.

One interviewee talks of being vetted by a panel from the funders before publication if being allowed under the contract to publish at all. Setting out your case in a way that makes it attractive to funders.

Even before the research begins you may write a proposal with expectations of seeking external funding.

Reporting expectations drives the way research is delivered.

Research can be driven by policy. If this doesn't impact the content per se, then delivery timing are effected, with the potential of delivering extracts verbally early rather than waiting for the detail and written research- so not simply writing for a specific audience, but talking to/ ‘performing’ to such an audience too and sticking to what they want to know.

Policy makers, we learn, tend to want to know what they should do  (rather than simply being presented with the findings) 

Chris Jones gave three kinds of report:
  1. one- or two-sided briefings.
  2. reports that can be circulated amongst practitioners, which might have some more detail.
  3. practitioner journals,
Then there is writing for books and indirectly to the general public, via journalists quoting a conference or reviewing a book. Generally desirable, especially where both you and the funder want the findings to be known.

Writing to present at conference may lead to writing for a journal

Here you may escape the text with audio, video or moving graphics - ‘bringing it to life’.
With the FIVE papers from Block 1 it was generally possible to see for whom the authors were writing, though only in the case of Hiltz and Meinke (1989) are the funders identified and named - insightfully, and surely indicating considerable potential bias in the paper it is seen the their own institution were financing the prototype they go on to 'test', what is more they take the opportunity to say the the Version of the Virtual Classroom they have created on an IBM Mainframes is available for lease.
Wegerif and Mercer (1997) is aimed tat fellow research academics and presumably funded interenally by the Open University.
Laurillard (1994) was making a conference presentation - which explains the light even journalistic style, and means that the chart or image that is no longer available is more important part of the presentation than may usually be the case.
Oliver et al (2007) is a chapter in a book. Written for academics and students - so havinga broader audience.
Rouen and Eliahu (2000) is a conference presentation too, financed by the Centre for Education.

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Does it work? Have I learnt anything? Have behavious been changed?

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Two things that might have been measured three years ago that show change: the speed at which I type, touchtypye with both hands or with my left only holding an iPad fighting back the desire to fall asleep. And reading. I used to be a slow and clumsy reader, know it can be done at a sprint. I dropped into our library and have some actual books. I have no interest in taking notes on either. The first 'The Salient' on the Western Font around Ypres, the second 'A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare'. This isn't why I took the MAODE - these are side effects, like the digitsl literacies I have gained from forums to wikis.
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What does the Masters in Open & Distance Education make me?

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Not that I'm inclined to put letters after my name except on some official notice, but does this make me:

J F Vernon M.ODE

J F Vernon M.ode

J F Vernon M.ED.

J F Vernon Ed.M

or simply

J F Vernon MAD

or 'Mode in the OU'

I think I'll have it tattoed on my backside as it has hardened over the last three years. Or a large 'O' and and large 'U' on the back of each hand.

Just wondering.

 

 

 

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My insatiable appetite for e-learning

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I've joined the #H817open MOOC.

A few reasons for this.

I had originally signed up for H817 so this is my way of getting a piece of the action. Although my MAODE is done I'd wanted to retake H807 (my first module) and found this replacement more appealing ... H807 was languishing in the early part of the millennium when I did it.  Think studying Aircraft before and after WW1 by way of example. It was all a bit clunky.

So there's that reason.

I'm on H809 which is the better potential bridge into research - applications for PhD work are coming due. I may even have to postpone 'til 2014.

And I believe in the power of total immersion.

Whilst distance and e-learning has served its purpose these last three years I now crave fulltime, campus based study - mixing with students and colleagues, attending and giving lectures, taking tutorials and moderating student forums i.e the all round educator in tertiaru ... or postgraduate study.

Onwards and upwards

(Fuelled by Prometheus which I watched last night and that infected my dreams. An add pattern of a repetitive or recurrent dream where I am Sellotaping posters to a long scroll and flying through space. Rather sums me up at the moment)

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The use of the internet and other new technologies is not a panacea for learning and education. DISCUSS

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013, 11:08

This from a paper from Rebecca Eynon a Professor of Education and the Oxford Internet Institute (Eynon, 2009:277)

Her book 'Teenagers and Technology' is a valuable read too.

So what do you think? Do we expect too much, too quickly from technology? Look at the horseless carriage, it still can't drive you home - well, not in England anyway. Over a hundred years ago you could stumble into you tub trap after a few too many pints of ale and your dobbin would take you home. I suppose the equivalent today would be to have a private secretary to do all this typing stuff for you?

Pizzas burning, must dash.

REFERENCE

Eynon, R (2009) Mapping the digital divide in Britain: implications for learning and education. Rebecca Eynon

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How would we recognise a digital scholar from the other kind if we met one?

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photo%2520%25286%2529.jpg

Martin Weller, in 'The Digital Scholar' looks forward to the time when there will be such people - a decade hence. I suggested, in a review of his book in Amazon, that '10 months' was more likely given the pace of change, to which he replied that academia was rather slow to change. That was 18 months ago.

Are there any 'digital scholars' out there?

How do we spot them? Is there a field guide for such things?

I can think of a few candidates I have come across, people learning entirely online for a myriad of reasons and developing scholarly skills without, or only rarely, using a library, attending a tutoral or lecture, or sitting an exam. But can they ever be considered 'scholarly' without such things? They'll need to collaborate with colleagues and conduct research.

On verra.

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An avalanche is coming

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 24 May 2013, 12:42

An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead

An Avalanche is Coming (not)

No it isn't, or rather - no more than at any specific location around our digital universe. And the idea of a revolution is ludicrous. Do we expect to see guns in schools? (US of A excepted).

Pearson Education want to scare us. This paper is doing the rounds and courtesy of is sensationalist title and its massive quoting of the press in its construction then it will get ample press coverage. Most in academic institutions, some years ago, realised that the change, would be more akin to melting glaciers. Not even of the climate change variety.

I've got an essay crisis on at the moment.

The module is Practice-based research in e-learning with the OU.

The first block and the last five weeks has been spent learning how to review literature so that you feel the authors are credible and the subject has been treated in an objective way with research that is empirically based. There are academic papers and books on the likely or potential changes to Tertiary Education, such as:

  • 'Rethinking University Teaching: A conversational framework for effective use of educational technology', Diana Laurillard
  • 'Contemporary Perspectives in E-Learning Research: Themes, Methods and Impact on Practice' Grainne Conole
  • 'Preparing for Blended e-learning' Allison Littlejohn
  • 'Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age' Helen Beetham
  • 'The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice'

I have read all of these and am currently reading 'Teenagers and Technology (Adolescence and Society' Chris Davies and Rebecca Eynon which took me to her paper 'Mapping the Digital Divide in Britain: Implications for Learning and Education'.

My sober response to this 'paper' starts with the title.

We should read anything with a sensationalist title with great caution. There are two traps that journalists fall into, or exploit, either to say there is revolution or to say that disaster looming. The sober, academic, empirically researched view is often far more contained, less exciting and so less inclined to gain press attention for its authors - in this case Pearson.

I'm up at 4.15 to write an assignment where I have had to put forward five papers and argue for their inclusion to help me get to the bottom of a research question.

I've read three books, reviewed some 60 and read some 20 papers at least to get this far. The research question is set in Tertiary Education.

In the last month I have been to both University of Southampton and University of Oxford - I don't for example, see Balliol College, Oxford, marking its 750th Anniversary this year, changing that radically. The model works too well, indeed, if anything, the Internet will make these institutions more appealing to students. Indeed I spent over an hour on the phone to a second year English Literature Student last night - from Perth in Western Australia, clearly very bright and motivated. She described how she Googled 'English Literature', found the top universities, then chose the one of the leading Colleges at Oxford.

My alarm bells start to go when a forward is written by 'emeritus' - however amazing their career has been, they have retired and their choice may be for PR reasons.

Excuse the cynic in me.

Are the other two authors, employees of Pearson, learning academics? Neither.

Then I turn to the bibliography and I find pages of citations ... for journalists.

In my experience of the last three years of a Masters course in E-learning I have learnt that very few journalists should ever be read on the subject as they always have an agenda - the bias of their paper, the need to sell papers, and the need to sell themselves. What struck me is that NOT ONE of the leading academic figures on the shifts that are inevitable to tertiary education are mentioned here, the names I have given above you may notice, were mostly figures from the OLDS MOOC by the way.

I will read and try to offer a balanced review in due course but fear that the response that it usually elicits in me is the same as the sensationalist titles of these things.

In this case, if its snow then wait for spring and the problem will go away ... and what about all those countries that have no snow?

A few years ago I realised that there was something no right with the concept of a 'digital native' or 'digital immigrant' - both are nonsense.

More recently I've given far too much time to stripping down Nicholas Carr 'The Shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains' more nonsense that at least has be eager to study neuroscience.

Perhaps I like a fight, or debate.

Academia doesn't have to sensationalise - it has to aim to get it right, prove its case, strive for objectivity and 'the truth' and be reviewed.

This looks too like exaggeration 'avalanche' and 'revolution' are well chosen buzz words that will make headlines in the papers - and it lacks the empirical evidence which is a necessity. (And don't be fooled by fellow humans how have been to Harvard or any where else - we're all human, all fallible and usually have an agenda). Must go! J

I may be wrong, but a little more than intuition says read with great caution and make up your own mind - what would or what do fellow OLDS MOOCers think for example?

'Making meaning with metaphors' or some such is a quote from Grainne Conole.

We did a module that was about little else. We cannot help but think in metaphors - neuroscientists such as V J Ramachandran think this is what distinguished us from Neanderthal - we 'think outside the box' as it were. So, metaphors matter and are convincing and plausible and simple.

My take on the Internet and the WWW is to think of Web 1.0 as a digital ocean and Web 2.0 as the entire water cycle (yes, my first degree was Geogrraphy!). So, no harm to have an avalanche in the mix ... but in this context, of a global system, with cyberspace, the avalanche is just one event or a series of events, in one landscape, that is one tiny part of a vast, far more complex and changing system.

I flick open this table I created in order to review the literature for the paper I have to write ... give me a few days and I'l apply it to 'The Avalanche is coming'.

Nice title, what about the content?

TITLE
Who are the players? What are their credentials. Which institutions did they represent and where are they now. What have the written since and what else are they known for?

QUESTIONS / PROBLEMS
What research questions are being addressed?
How does the research question relate to the design of the research?
What is the sector and setting? (e.g. school, higher education, training, informal learning)

LITERATURE REVIEW
In what ways is the wider literature used in the paper?
What theories, concepts and key terms are being used?

EDUCATION THEORY
What views of education and learning underpin the research?

METHODS
What methods of data collection and analysis are used? (e.g. the number of participants; the type of technologies; the use of interviews, surveys, observation, etc.)
What are the limitations of the methods used?

FINDINGS
What did this research find out?
What counts as evidence in this work?
Are there any ethical issues associated with the research?
What are the implications (if any) for practice, policy or further research?

Lord David Putnam is quoted in the opening pages.

He is Chancellor of the Open University, an honorary post, he is a former producer of TV commercials and movies who sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords. Nice chap, but his perspective is to the left and whilst he will listen to the brilliant minds around him when he visits the Open University, he is not an academic himself. i.e. what is expressed are an opinion.

What we need are the facts.

 

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Alice Walker

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 14 Mar 2013, 18:27

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I'd heard of 'The Color Purple' - I've seen the film

The other day on Woman's Hour they interviewed the author Alice Walker and the producer Pratiba Parmar who has just made a documentary on Alice Walker called 'Beauty and Truth'. I would be worth a trip into London this Sunday - its showing at the South Bank Centre.

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Some of the things said about Alice Walker:

  • Born on a paper thin shed in the deep South.
  • Books that have shaped cultural discourse, and started conversations ... we don't have enough woman's stories to inspire.
  • Standing up for the truth, whatever the consequences.

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Some of the things Alice Walker said:

  • Popular from the universe, I'm popular with trees. The truth is all we have, without the truth we're lost.
  • Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet.
  • We have to pay homage for living on the planet.
  • All of us everyday should be thinking about being greatful for being here, for all that we have been given for nothing.
  • The power of art - you can write something, you can sing something ... you can reach someone through art.
  • If you have a lot of love
  • We are amazing people on an incredible planet.

Here's the Pope. Here's why we should have woman bishops and priests too.

Although here latest novel 'Possessing the secret of joy' on female genetal mutilation might not go down so well.

It's left me wanting to know much more, to read more ... and take on some of this message. Simply being grateful for every day. A year ago I joined Blipfoto where you take and upload a picture a day _ my goal always to post something I was grateful, pleased or amazed to see.

The joy of being.

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Teenagers and technology

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013, 11:11

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Fig.1. Letters from Iwa Jima. Clint Eastwood directed Movie.

In one of those bizarre, magic ways the brain works, last nigmt I watched the Clint Eastwood film 'Letters from Iwo Jima' then stayed up reading in bed (quest for a very specific paper/set of papers on teenagers/young adults, health, presription medication) while waiting for my own teenagers to come in from a concert in Brighton.

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Fig.2. Last minute reading for H809 TMA01

I stumbled upon 'Teenagers and Technology' by Chris Davies and Rebecca Eynon.

After a chapter of this I did a One Click on Amazon and kept on reading through the next couple of chapters.

I kept reading once they got home.

My mind constructed a dream in which instead of bagging letters home from soldiers, I found myself, Japanese of course, constructing, editing and reassembling some kind of scroll or poster. I could 're-enter' this dream but frankly don't see the point - it seems self-evident. I'll be cutting and pasting my final thoughts, possibly literally on a 6ft length of backing wall paper (I like to get away from a keyboard and screen from time to time). Reinforced by a Business School module, B822 Creativity Innovation and Change I found that 'working with dreams' and 'keeping a dream diary' are some of the tools that can be used.

If I wish to I could re-enter this dream over the next few months as a short cut to my subconscious.

We'll see.

I'm not sure how you'd come up with a Harvard Reference for a dream.

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Fig.3. fMRI scan - not mine, though they did me a few years ago

Perhaps in 20 years time when we can where an fMRI scanner like a pair of headphones a set of colourised images of the activity across different parts of the brain could be offered.

Dream on smile

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H809 Reflection on Block 1 - towards compliance for those with moderate severe asthma

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013, 11:16
The most straight forward of assignments has proved anything but ... not for how to write this 2000 word piece, that is straight forward, but rather committing to a subject, then narrowing down the theme, possible research question and then dig up some papers ... and not simply offer the lot, but give the five 'that say it all'. To pick five how many must you read, at least as abstracts. I made three false starts, even read a PhD thesis on blogging before deciding it is a minefield. I may like to blog but I no more want to research it for an OU assignment than sort out pebbles on Brighton Beach. Lifelogging, memory and neuroscience all interest me ... but are too big to get my head around in a few months - a few years perhaps. Looking at my notes I see I have papers also on augmented learning for field trips and museum visits. Then I returned to a platform that caught my eye three yesrs ago on H807 when I interviewed Dr. B. Price Kerfoot of Harvard Medical School on 'Spaced Education'. So far this system has been usef with doctors, to support their learning and decission making ... the next step will be patients. One of the humdingers here is 'compliance' - taking the medication you are prescribed if you have a chronic condition. What dawned on me this afternoon is that as a asthmatic I am the perfect patient - compliant to the nth degree. What surprised me is that such a large percentage of asthmatics are not. But with alleregies - a double-whammy of irritations, I ignore the nasal steroids and antehistemines almost completely. Compliant, and defiant in one go so just about canceeling the two out. But why? This is what fasciantes. You know you need to take something to avoid a return of the symptoms, but as there are no symptoms you stop taking the medication. Anyway, I am sifting through papers to set me straight and to offer some answers. If you have a moderately severe chronic condition and wish to share your medication regime or attitude please speak up - asthma, allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, other mental illnesses - chat on Skype? Meanwhile I checked my preventer inhaler - it was empty. I at least had a spare and will get a repeat prescription in tomorrow.
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If I coud see what is going on in there!

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This could surely be some kind of nueroscience research - my mind is going through hoops and will continue to do so while it figures out what the heck if going on. I have a contact lens in my left eye for close up and a lens in my right for distance. My mind will in time put to two pictures together in one. For the time being parts of my brain are being made to dance. This would surely show up on an fMRI scan - it should do - I can FEEL it.
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Why study the electric car if you goal is to understand motor transport?

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To study e-learning before studying learning is like coming to motorised transport via the electric car. Perhaps I need a decade in teaching.
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Moving on ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013, 11:18

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Here in Lewes we shut the town centre down for a march as often as we can.

It all stems from 5th November. We had only been here a couple of months and we were enrolled in a Bonfire Society. That was 13 years ago.

The town also has a Moving on parade for all primary schools in the district, not just the town, but from outlying villages. The town centre is closed to traffic and kids, dressed up, carrying banners and whatnot on a theme, march through town and end it with a party in the Paddock - a large field, formerly part of the earthworks around the 11th century Lewes Castle.

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It helps to make an occasion of something when we move on. We're rather good at it:

  • Christenings
  • Marriage
  • Death
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Graduation

I'm down for Brighton or will try to enroll in Versailles for my graduation. I skipped my first nearly three decades ago. I just didn't feel like moving on. I hadn't felt I'd had an education to justify the fuss. My fault, not theirs. I put in the hours and came out with an OK degree but that isn't why I'll remember my undergraduate years.

I should mark moving on, and away from this blog. It logs, day by day, and in the background countless pages of hidden notes. It has carried me through the Masters in Open & Distance Education.

H809, my bonus track, will mark the end.

For this reason I am migrating most of the content and the journey it records to an external blog.

My Mind Bursts

From time to time I'll post a note at the bottom of the page to say this is where it'll be from June.

My moving on.

By May, I'll also know if the next few years have been set up. We'll see. I may even be back at the OU in some capacity. I rather

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