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Reflections on e-learning - September 2010 to September 2012

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 22 Sep 2012, 06:07

New Software

Things I was starting to get my head around in 2010:

  • Skype (a phone call for free)
  • Delicious (don't get it, yet ... or need it?)
  • Outlook (Never used it 'til last week not being a PC person)
  • Google Docs (Up there and loading docs. Hear good things from all)
  • Compendium (Created a map for an e-tivity based on my H807 ECA. Populating this to share content with a producer).
  • Zoho (signed in but not sure)
  • Mahara (But Google does it for free and has seamless interplay with all your other favourite Google tools)
  • Pebblepad (Mixed reviews)
  • Adobe Share (Been using Adobe products forever so this should get my attention)
  • Internet Explorer (new to this Mac user!)
  • Dropbox (I've always been a box person)

Where I stand in 2012:

  • Skype (use often to friends globally, notably for a job interview with Getty Images, interviewing Dr about Qstream and on an iPad passing my brother and my nephews around a room of cousins between the UK and South Africa at Christmas)
  • Delicious (Still struggle, not least as I have more than one account and because I don't see the need to bookmark anything as to Google is quicker and with cookies enabled takes me into my choices)
  • Outlook (formerly trained at the OU on Outlook - training on a 2010 version while we had a 2011 in our office. Still hate it having been raised on all things Mac. Outlook has the look, feel and functionality of Microsoft DOS c 1992)
  • Google Docs (Use as a store to aggregate content, sometimes to share, wiki-like with fellow OU students who are more ofay with the technology than I am)
  • Compendium (Can't stand it - prefer a variety of free iPad Apps, including SimpleMinds, Bubl.us and several others).
  • Zoho (signed in and gave up)
  • Mahara (signed in a gave up)
  • Pebblepad (signed in and gave up - initially making do with the OU's MyStuff, which has been discontinued. Find it easier to aggregate content, while I'm an OU Student in my OU Blog, then cut and paste into one or more WordPress blogs - I had 16 at the last count)
  • Adobe Share (Don't have the budgets, may be of interest once back in a commercial office)
  • Internet Explorer (Never. Over the period have slowly migrated away from Firefox, like family, use Google Chrome almost exclusively)
  • Dropbox (Not really)
  • PicasaWeb - download for all images from camera, iPhone and iPad. Fix then post to some 50 albums, some with over 1000 images (the Picasa limit), pay for extra space. Uncertain or lack confidence though in degree of privacy, especially if screengrabs and other images are automatically uploaded to Google + images (same PicasaWeb account in a different format)

Where I stood in 2010 compared to 2012:

Old Software

  • Word (Yes, but far less often. I write far more often on the iPad using the AI Writer APP, emailing this to a PC to edit, or uploading into a blog to edit there)
  • Filemaker Pro (No longer. I ran it on Macs and iBooks from its inception but others don't prefering of all things the ghastly Excel). Have Bento, baby FileMaker, on the iPad.
  • AOL (still with AOL, but prefer Gmail and still thinking about changing supplier to BT or Sky)
  • Power Structure (Didn't upgrade, my iBook died and the software is on an rescued harddrive though I doubt it will work with a new operating system)
  • Final Draft (An execellent script writing tool though created for linear output)
  • Adobe Photoshop (Haven't upgraded, making do with Picasa)
  • Dreamweaver (haven't been near it, I never was a programmer type anyway, though cut my teeth in this in 2000)
  • Excell (A very reluctant user - just cannot see how this is used by some to create posters, or run a database that required large quantities of content in a cell. Filemaker Pro is better)

Blogs

  • Diaryland (Quite the thing in 1999). Locked forever. Up forever. Sometimes cut and paste. Always amusing to read posts on developments in web-based learning c. 1999
  • LiveJournal (Preferred by 2002). A stepping stone out of Diaryland.
  • WordPress (Expert) Over a dozen blogs, most notably Mymindbursts, though no longer a diary or journal, but a niche journal largely about e-learning, with subject intersts including creative writing, philosophy, tertiary education, history (First War), online and distance education, theories of education. Also blogs on swim coaching and teaching, on the Machine Gun Corps, on the trials and tribulations of a househusband (from old diaries and blogs), on various fiction themes - but also a number of Books of Condolences, in 2011 for colleagues, but very sadly in 2012 for my mother too.
  • EduBlogs (No more)
  • Blogger (No longer)
  • OuBlog (Extensively for all Masters in Open and Distance Education modules, now on my fifth and final module. Daily reflection, updates, aggregating resources, screen clips, diagrams, images, snips from forums, links to other blogs, tagging to assemble content for assignment, re-blog with re-writes to external blogs. Use it like an e-portfolio with CVs and job descriptions here too.)
  • Blipfoto (A picture a day for four or five months - until I have my iPhone to my son. I make do with an iPad and prefer a cheap phone to have kicking around in my pocket or bag ... and to avoid being online when out on the South Downs walking the dog!)

Social Networking

  • Facebook (Love hate. Great to be in touch with immediate family and trusted friends only. Got some groups going with boys I knew age 8-13 at boarding prep school. Got out of hand when a relation fell very ill and died as to the appropriateness of sharing our concerns and grief online. Inclined to disengage - do so only to find I am still there?)
  • MySpace (Never, though I am there)
  • Friends Reunited (Never since they started to charge, or since they came back)
  • Linkedin (extensive, professional use with several hundred contacts and activity in many groups. Feed blog content into Linkedin automatically, tailor some content for specific groups, particularly relating to e-learning for corporates and tertiary education)
  • Twitter (extensive, professional use. Did use TweetReach and various other tools. URLs shortened from WordPress, will use Bitl.y)

Other

  • Flickr (Used to use extensively - migrated all content to Picasa as Flickr tried to socialise the space and I found my pictures being offered for sale!)
  • Kodak Easyshare (Rescued 500 of 700 uploaded photos and migrated to Picasa before Kodak closed)
  • YouTube (Should be making extensive use of YouTube. Starting to digitise 40 hours of Oxford Undergraduate life 1982-1984. With permissions will migrate clips to the web in due course.)
  • Picasa (my favourite now, the teenagers are on Instagram and Tumnblr)
  • Ancestry.com (Covered every conceivable ancestor as far back as is possible online. Could make use of the 2011 census to track down a great aunt but not inclined to fork out anymore or to deal with spurious requests from people so off the map in terms of the family tree it is verging on trainspotting.)
  • Genes Reunited (as above. Not been near it) Of minor interest at a family funeral to figure out who were the common ancestors - both gentleman born in the 1870s it turned out!

Browsers

  • Firefox (very rarely, probably in erro)
  • AOL (winding up here for the last 18 months, should have got out long ago.)
  • GoogleChrome (Almost exclusively)
  • Internet Explorer (avoided at all costs)

What's new?

For the last 18 months extensive use of an iPad and associated Apps, so much so that it is the replacement laptop and even covers as a mobile phone as people know to email me.

Trying to do my final MAODE module on the iPad.

Proving remarkably easy to do so.

Very versatile, especially where resources can be downloaded as PDFs, even to read in Kindle version. Read from the Kindle, note take on the iPad and post online.

Books. We no longer buy them. Is a garage full of wonderful hardbacks worth anything? Glad I never bothered to put up shelves.

Magazines and newspapers. All redundant. Only kept the Guardian on Saturday to have something to line the guinea-pig hutch, when they went so did the newspaper!

TV. Rarely ever watched live. Prefer BBC iPlayer. Exception being the Olympics and Paralympics.

Pen and paper. I do. An A5 notebook and pen. Though prefer to type up notes as I go along.

Twitter Share. Reading an eBook and sharing a line or two with a note directly into Twitter. This aggregates content in an editable format and alerts 'followers' to a good read - usually on learning, education, e-learning, also on social media, story writing and the First World War. Sometimes some great out of copyright literature.

 

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The diary of Samuel Pepys - radio drama

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Sep 2012, 02:06

Kris%2520Marshal%2520Merchant%2520of%2520Venice%2520SNIP.JPG

A fabulous, not to be missed - BBC Radio Drama

The Diaries of Samuel Pepys

Listen this morning and only for a week - the wonderfully evocative, visual radio drama - so good you can smell The Plague in the air.

Laugh out loud.

Unforgettable.

Brilliant

Soon to be a movie?

But nothing will beet the radio version (ditto 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

10.45am BBC Radio 4

Then on iPlayer for a week

Kris Marshall

 

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H810: Activity 5.3 National Policies on provision for people with disabilities

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 19 Oct 2014, 07:50

I work for a global e–learning company Lumesse which has 73 offices spread around some 40 countries. It would be interesting for me to see what accessibility polcies exist (I'll search online) probably a nod in each case to national or regional policy and legislation.

Of greater interest and relevance and running in close parallel to education at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary and beyond – is the policy for sports in the UK and for swimming in particular. (I'm familiar with Swimming Governing bodies in the US, France and Australia so could check these too).

As the 'Swim21 co–ordinator' for one of the largest swimming clubs in Southern England I compile a report with supporting evidence every four years to achieve various Amateur Swimming Assocation (ASA) national accreditiations. This includes provision for disabled swimmers. The award is used as a management tool – the club is a limited company with over 1000 members, some 26 paid staff and 60+ volunteers.

Swim21 – which stands for 'Swimming for the 21st century', goes beyond national legislation regarding disability, equality and inclusion – so much so that it impinges on the Data Protection act – those party to the information we make available have a current CRB check and have signed various documents agreeing to abide by certain disclosure rules, an ethics policy and an equity in sport code of practice.

Educational institutions would benefit from taking a look at this – I can see that it would, if permitted, cover far more than they do or are prepared to do in Tertiary Education. Would they carry the cost, even the potential risk?

The Swim21 report is divided into three parts: Compliance, Athlete Development and Workforce Development.

In each of these there are criteria the club must reach regarding disabled swimmers. I believe that most institutions – universities and businesses, tick boxes for compliance but fail to address the development of and support of their people – including disabled staff. There are notable corporate exceptions, but I can't think of a university other than The OU that champions learning for disabled students ... or provides so well for disabled staff (I worked on The OU campus for a year).

What I find interesting in relation to H810 and ASA policy is the close interplay between various apparently innocuous or tangential criteria that make what the club does such a success – in fact our club is a regional centre of excellence or 'Beacon Club' for disabled swimmers. It is this weave that integrates what we do that makes provision, and therefore access for disabled swimmers possible.

Crucial to this is a good working relationship with the pool operator, local schools for disabled students and a couple of champions who hold on tenaciously to what we can provide.

The relationship with the pool operator, meetings, adherence to their emergency and health and safety policies, provision of appropriate facilities and so on is a starting point. Tangential, but crucial to have in place. There has to be physical access for disabled athletes to changing rooms, toilets and the pool(s) with trained, sympathetic staff on hand.

The fundamental ingredient is what we call 'water time' – access to the pool or pools at times that suit the swimmers, rather than being marginalized to an evening slot on a Saturday or Sunday which is the policy in many pool operators when it comes to disabled swimmers. In relation to H810 then access to 'air time' is key, access to include the right, motivated, experienced and educated tutors, with appropriate resources – with access ring–fenced, protected and treasured.

Our disabled swimmers, themselves divided into two ability groups, have slots on a Saturday morning and a late afternoon/early evening on Wednesday. We integrate certain disabled swimmers into mainstream learn to swim and teenage swim groups and when they come along or develop would include them in squad sessions too. Here too Tertiary Education needs to understand the need not only for total, or part time integration, but also the provision for full or part time specialist, niche provision. This is provided by and should be informed by national organisations for sight, hearing, physical and learning impairments.

Provision for disabled swimmers is ASA Swim21 policy and includes: self–assessment on the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), attendance by coaches on an ASA approved Disability Awareness Course and partnership with local disability organisations.

Supporting this, coach/athlete ratios are moderated to match the needs of the swimmer with 1:1 for some disabled swimmers, even 1:2 or 1:3 at times. We have to declare these ratios and demonstrate that they meet criteria by swimming level, age group and disability. There is a club Child Protection Policy and Equity Policy, and coaches agree to abide by a Code of Ethics – these embrace all swimmers.

In relation to H810, and where Tertiary Education might learn something – we maintain a record of club personnel which includes CRB and current relevant qualifications, as well as safeguarding and protecting children training. Most significantly with membership we capture medical conditions of all participants, disability information and emergency contact information. Teachers and coaches, on a need to know basis, have this information too (though it is wrapped in a data protection statement).

We attend ASA approved workshops on Swimming for Disabled Athletes.

All members, which includes parents and other volunteers, agree to a code of conduct. Anyone working with or likely to work with children have a current CRB check whilst every three years the club puts on a Child Protection Workshop which includes working with vulnerable and disabled swimmers. This is now supplemented by several ASA e–learning modules that include niche topics on coaching swimmers with visual impairment, physical disabilities, learning difficulties and/or behavioural issues.

The note on a swimmer is vital to a teacher or coach

Just a line or two and we can seek further advice and of course speak to the swimmer themselves leading to conversations on what they want to do and where they have problems to overcome. We improvise, compromise and accommodate. The context poolside is of course very different to e–learning if we think of e–learning as distance or independent learning, however, if we think of it as social learning online and do more supported synchronous and quasi–synchronous learning, then there are close parallels. The mistake is to think of e–learning purely in terms of ways to get 1,000 people a year through the same induction process or 2,000 through the same postgraduate module – wherein lies the importance of access to and the engagement of the tutor, and other people in support. People create access, improvise, accommodate difference, find ways around barriers ... and come to understand one person to another, what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Reflecting on this, there is another vital component 

We very often know the disabled swimmer from age 9 or 10 into their late teens – volunteers who work in specialist schools may well have known the swimmer for even longer. Some stay on to swim as adults. Given that there are so many kinds of disability and such a spectrum for each, this knowledge is vital. For example, it helps to know that a swimmer who is barely able to walk can, with assistance, balance on a starting block long enough to start a race. I'm starting to wonder where the equivalents exist in higher education and for e–learning in particular - perhaps this same swimmer using a specialist keyboard to be as active on social networks online as anyone else, not quite an avatar, but as 'free in the airwaves' online as they are in the swimming pool.

 

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e-learning needs to be 'my learning'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Nov 2012, 13:45

iDesk%2520Sketch.jpg

'Time to see the individual needs in a personal way'

This is relevant to all learners, so perhaps provision for disabled students can put them in the vanguard - this is in theory where e-learning is taking us, reading Littlejohn and Pegler (2007) 'Preparing for blended e-learning'

The authors predict that the shift is towards putting the needs of the learner first - I feel however we are a long eay from that - not least the inertia of the physical infrastrucutre, but the traditions, habits and ways of our educators too.

Instead of seeing e-learning as a way to get one standardised module in front of 10,000 people it needs to be seen as a way of delivering 10,000 modules to 10,000 people with the vastness and complexity of their differing needs, interests, experiences, motivations, capacities, skills and so on.

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H810 - Disability and access

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 21:29

BBC%2520Accessibility%2520Graphic.JPG

BBC WEB ACCESS

As I am studying H810: Accessibility for disabled students I have naturally become tuned into my environment in a more sensitive way - there is a good deal on the Radio (especially coming through the Paralympics).

I am engaged with disabled swimmers at various times during the week, both those who are able to train in the mainstream groups (physical disability, cerebral palsy, MS - some 'lesser' learning impairment) and swimmers who come along to specialist sessions, split between two major and minor categories, though it is immiediately apparent, were you to use say the Disability Categories used in the Olympics that the individual differences are often so great that one would ideally have as many sessions as there are swimmers - we try to have as many coaches and helpers poolside as can be found. Ratios are adjusted according to needs from at most 6:1 but often 2:1 or 1:1. There are always people, guardians, parents and helpers to increase the ratio to 1:2 or 1:3.

The facilities meet accessibility criteria in relation to changing facilities, toilets, hoists and so on. However, I wonder if the pool operator, or the staff on duty, realise how insensitive in how they responded to someone using the disabled lavatory (which has access poolside) when they pulled the emergency cord. A light flashed poolside visible to all swimmers and anyone on the balcony - and then an announcement went out on the tannoy to the entire leisure complex.

'Assistance required at the disabled toilet. Someone is stuck in'.

Do anyone of us want a dozen or more heads to turn as we are then 'rescued'.

I bring this up as an indication of the sensitivity required, for anyone. What I have learned so far and know from experience is that people with a disability want access to be in place and obvious so that they can join the mainstream without fuss or favour. The last thing they want is to have a spotlight put on them.

The second issue is with labels and categorises, how with sport and education, depending on the disability, a person is 'lumped in with all the other disabled swimmers'.

To create access takes time, consideration and the right people - with some training and experience. As a coach I find it is the disabled swimmer who arrives in good time and will listen to 'notes' after the swim. It should be considered normal that disabled swimmers take part in 'mainstream' training sessions.

THE ROLE PARENTS PLAY

The parents, for the most part (siblings too, both brother and sisters) form the larger part of qualified swimming teachers or helpers working with disabled swimmers - all CRB checked, members of the club, often Level 1 or Level 2 assistant or full swimming teachers who have attended an ASA workshop 'Swimming for disabled athletes'. I know too from family experience the extraordinary lengths a parent will go to in order to press for what they know is right - ensuring a child with aspergers did NOT get put into mainstream school.

A final observation here, because behaviours in public have to be taught, rather than 'picked up' I find the swimmers with learning difficulties extraordinarily polite - with introductions, introducing other swimmers, making conversation and thanking me after the swim. It's as if in 'mainstream' teachers have given up on such things as teaching good manners.

Working with swimmers with educational difficulties

Short Description

An introduction and overview of commonly seen barriers to learning when teaching children.  This presentation explains the conditions, syndromes and disorders and gives strategies for managing the behaviour in a swimming teaching environment. To help non-specialist swimming teachers work with a class containing one or two  children with special needs.  It is intended to assist teachers to recognise some  conditions they may encounter and offers some coping strategies which may enable  the teacher to meet the needs of all the children in the class.

Intergrating disabled swimmers into a mainstream coaching environment

Short Description

To give  coaches a better understanding of coaching disabled swimmers, whose disabilities fir disability swimming and highlight ways that coaching practices can be adapted to ensure that disabled swimmers get the best from training in mainstream clubs.

Integrating Swimmers with a Physical & Sensory Impairment into Mainstream Swimming Lessons

Short Description

To give L1 and L2 teachers an understanding of integrating disabled  swimmers into mainstream swimming lessons and highlight ways that  teaching practices can be adapted to ensure that disabled swimmers get  the best from the learn to swim or school swimming environment.

We all benefit from 1 to 1 coaching -is this what we get from a parent or grandparent?

Who taught you to read, to swim, to ride a bike or cut a branch off a tree? To make an omlette or a cake.

Learning a musical instrument gets the ratios down, so does private tuition. At times I wonder if e-learning instead of aspiring to mimic this one to one relationship is nothing better than an interactive leaflet. Somehow the learner needs to be profiled before they start and the learning tailored, with student analytics an outcome. The e-learning needs to be smart and integrated.

 

 

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Preparing for blended learning - notes and reflection

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 14:35

 

Fig 1.1 Exponential growth in PC memory

From 'Preparing for blended e-learning' Littlejohn and Pegler, 2007

By 2012 shoulld we show the Amazon Rainforest or the biosphere of the entire planet?

 

Writing before 2007, the authors Alison Littlejohn and Chris Pegler make the concept of blended e-learning sound like anathema to Tertiary Education ywt this is how learning beyond Tertiary Education has always occured - not formal teaching, but learning through participation, through a mixture of books, workshops, and formal or informal passing on of knowledge from those who know to those who don't. From lawyers to accountants, management consultants to marketing managers, further applied career learning and training occurs through professional associations and certification, internal training departments and HR and working with external suppliers - external whether they provide 'external' courses at a bespoke conference centre or because they provide modules or courses online.

'Students are motivated by solving problems based on real-world activities that may be carried out non-sequentially and interactively. Such problems contrast with the sequential orchestration of tasks frequently planned as 'formal' education'. (Littlejohn and Pegler, 2007 Kindle Location 6%)

See Chapter 8 for 'Information Literacy'

The locus of control shifts from the teacher to the learner.

We can achieve this through student analytics. The issue is how to start the process as there are restrictions on just how much, at least in tertiary education, you are allowed to know about your students. In business it should start with thorough, creditable psychometric testing with tailoring of continual professional development to the individual, within the context of their job specification and department.

Towards 'tailored content based on preferences, performance and permissions' (Littlejohn and Pegler, Kindle Location 8%) However, if the learning is tailored, how do you tailor assessment and make it equitable? This sounds like supervision of a D.Phil student.

Chapter 1 What is blended e-learning?

  • choice/access
  • online synchronicity/ or with a tutor, tutor group, cohort or institution - and beyond.
  • downloaded and mobile

NOT the immersion in games that in 1999/2000 companies such as JWM Creative (Worth Media) were creating - bespoke, specialist and expensive one offs.

DIAGRAM

  • Add slider from simple to complex
  • Just in time
  • Blogs
  • in touch with 'study buddies'

 

 

 

 

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On how to write - convincingly

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 07:19
'The nearest to a panacea is the beginner's persistent reading aloud of his work, reading it softly without listeners and without oratory; reading it, if he can, as intently, as dispassionately, as a doctor fingers down the verterbrae of the spine in search of injury'. (Mirrielees, Story Writing 1929:216)
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New blog post

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'Writing still comes from writing, not from intending to write'.

The concluding words of Edith Ronald Mirrielees in her 1930s book 'Story Writing'.

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H810: Disability - a definition

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 05:12
A person is a disabled person (someone who has the protected characteristic of disability) if they have a physical and/ or mental impairment which has what the law calls 'a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'. Either UK DDA 1995 or SENDA 2001
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Preparing for blended e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 05:00

Published in 2007, researched and written over the previous 3-5 years, this book intimates the way things are going - or should I say, the way things have gone already?

The world of e-learning is one that moves fast, so fast that the creation of e-learning has become an integrated global industry - companies, often UK based (even with a Brighton bias) span the globe like international management consultancies, law firms or firms of accountants - indeed, the clients are often international law firms, management consultants, accounts and their clients. Does advertising and PR come into this too? Probably. Internal communications? Certainly.

In 'Preparing for blended e-learning' (2007) the authors Alison Littlejohn and Chris Pegler say that the 'integration of our physical world with the digital domain is becoming ubquitous'. At least two decades ago intergration was already occurring, initially internally, through intranets. Leading businesses knew that educating the 'workforce' was vital so they had learning centres, while the likes of Unipart (UGC) had their own 'university' with faculties and a culture of continual learning. Industry was ahead of tertiary education then and feels light years ahead now with learning created collaboratively on wiki platforms, often using Open Source software with colleagues in different time zones. There is a shift to globalisation in tertiary education, with Business Schools such as Insead, but also with integrated, international universities such as Phoenix buying up or buying into universities around the planet - create an undergraduate course in Geography, a blended e-learning package, and put into onto a campus in North America and South, in Europe and the Middle East, the Far East and Australasia ...

'Learners and teachers increasingly are integrating physical and electronic resources, tools and environments within mainstream educational settings. Yet, these new environments are not yet having a major impact on learning. This is partly because the 'blending' of 'real' and 'virtual' domains - or 'blended learning' - is challenging for most teachers, yet it is becoming an essential skill for effective teaching'. (Littlejohn and Pegler, 2006 L287, Kindle Version)

I'd like to see a corporate e-learning agency create blended e-learning for a university - and to blend this in several additional directions courtesy of social learning back into secondary education, forwards into the workplace and sideways into the community and home. Perhaps I should call it 'smudged learning' - it happens anyway, at least in our household. It's surprising how helpful teenagers can be to their parents who work online - and it is us, the parents, who appear to click them in the right direction of for resources and tools for homework. I wanted Adsense on my blog(s) my son was happy to oblige - for a cut, which more than takes care of his pocket money.

'Blending ... centres on the integration of different types of resources and activities within a range of learning environments where learners can interact and build ideas'. (Littlejohn and Pegler, 2006: L341)

We're in it together like a small community in a medieval market town (actually, I live in one of these, Lewes) where the hubbub of the market spills out into the home and schools. All blended e-learning is doing is returning us to a more social, holistic and humanistic way of learning.

Welcome to the blended world.

What new - the drivers for change:

Costs (spreading them, making it count)

Sustainable (shared, flexible resources. In effect, one book can be shared by all)

Methodologies (still about learning outcomes, but treating each student as much as possible as a unique and vulnerable vessel of possibilities - not a cohort, or label)

Complexity (shared through collaboration in a wiki. Academics find this hardest of all, the idea that their mind , or at least parts of it, are open source, to be shared, not held back by barriers of time, tradition and intellectual arrogance. They too are a vessel and in its purest sense their emptying the contents of their heads into the heads of others is what it is all about)

Ethical issues (when is exposure a good thing? How much should we or do we reveal about ourselves? Knowing who your students are should only be seen as a extraordinarily developmental opportunity, not an invasion of privacy).

REFERENCE

Littlejohn, A., and Pegler, C. (2007) 'Preparing for blended e-learning' (2007)

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H810 : Learning, Accessibility and Memory

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 19 Oct 2014, 11:34

 

Ebbinghaus 'Forgetting Curve'

What does this say in relation to disabled students? What chances do we give them to record, then repeat or store components of their learning experience?

 

 

Where learning takes place at the most basic level. In relatoin to accessibility anything that hinders access to and accommodation of this process is a potential barrier or impact to learning.

 

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Live life for the moment

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:13

Anais%2520Nin%2520SNIP.JPG

Anais Nin

Here's a thought:

'The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a great amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch with a great amount of people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.'

(Anais Nin, Vol 4, Journals, May 1946).

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H810 - Accessibility - Coming Out!

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There has been enough on the radio about people with disabilities struggling for all kinds of reasons to 'come out' that it must be a severe issue inTertiary Edypucation too - where people, clearly those with a hidden disability, go out of their way to deny that they could be at a disadvantage. Wherein lies the problem, better in a socilaized learning context to conform, than standard out or given 'preferential' treatment. The fact is that education was meant for an elite, privileged and powerful few - only now is education becoming 'Open'. Education is power - to be kept from all kinds of people with disabled people just others on a long list of those for whom barriers existed, and have been knocked down in one form and rebuilt in others. An Eton education doesn't close doors does it?
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MAODE - some contemporary theories of learning - all levels including the workplace

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 22:03

Expansive Learning

Engestrom (2006) The idea of internal contradictions of change, with a model of learning activity based in horizontal, not vertical learning and 'knotworking' whereby the nodes and collective ownership of learning changes.

 

Learning that is top down and stems from:

  1. Socialization
  2. Externalization
  3. Combination
  4. Internalization

Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995)

Learning comes about from participation in culturally valued practices in which something useful is produced – though participation and acquisition alone cannot be enough to make major change. Engestrom (2006:61)

When it comes to learning on campus think about the 'hidden curriculum of what it means to be a student'. Bateston (1972)

REFERENCE

Bateston (1972) Steps to an ecology of mind: collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution and epistomelogy. New York. Ballantine Books.

Engestrom Y, (2006) Learning by expanding. An activity theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki. Orienta–Konsultit.

Lave and Wenger (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge.

Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) The Knowledge Creating Company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics for learning

 

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H810 WK2 Activity 4.2 Accessibility - The perspective from the institution

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 13:36

Challenges and opportunities for disabled students:

  • Large, old heavy doors

Sixth Form College a spring-board into university life

  • Provision of laptops and software
  • Better in North America with more discussion instead of note taking in lectures

Tailoring needs

  • Losing paperwork (the institution, not the student with the specifics of their declared disability) - too often occurs
  • A long-winded process

Crowded Power Point slides - often cited as a problem - all students would benefit from simplified and more considered use of 'death by Power Point'.

Speed of delivery by lecturers - accents, always too fast - cited as a problem several times

Libraries and books on shelves - a thing of the past? (personally I used to enjoy using a library as a plsce to research and twke notes - like going to church to pray - it puts you in the required frame of mind.

Provision of pre-lecture notes

  • Talking facing the board - students should leave feedback motes in order to get lectures to change their ways. Why is their no formal teaching qualification at Tertiary Level?
  • Huge reading list - lazy pedagogy?

Noise and seating arrangements

  • Finding out about services by accident
  • Providing details on enrolement that are lost or forgotten
  • Need for own, not shared room/accommodation.
  • Defining boundaries NOT making them looser.

Lecture sheets that aren't precise - sloppiness

 

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H810 WK2 Activity 4.2 Case Studies (notes) - The Student Perspective

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 13:32

Challenges and opportunities from the student point of view:

Accessibility

How the student with a disability sees it:

  • Persistence
  • Internal Support
  • Personality

Independence (responsibility)

(I liken it to a game of snakes and ladders in which the disabled student needs to avoid both, which sounds inequitable: ladders they cannot climb for lack of access and snakes that pose a problem to them that are avoidable or inconsequential to others).

Proactive

  • Working with the way a lecture or tutor responds
  • Software - and its foibles.

Making time to proof read

  • Preference for 'lively discourse' to essays and exams
  • Using the extra time given
  • Use note takers
  • Use the tools on offer: closed caption video, recorder system.

Influences the choice of university

  • Copying missed information from friends
  • Finding out you're not the only student with a disability
  • Dissertation needs not to be the only way to assessThe right motivation at the right time
  • Having to work through pain
  • Doesn't like the fuss
  • Communication a big issue

Alcohol and the student union

Lecturer sounded like a guinea-pig

 

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Transformational Learning - with an angle on accessibility (H810)

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 13:29

'If we were to look at the whole of contemporary culture in the West culture as a kind of school and consider adult roles as courses in which we are enrolled, most adults have a full and demanding schedule'. Kegan (2006:39)

Piaget (1954) Assimilative or accommodative processes?

  • Understand your students - don't presuppose anything.
  • Learning for knowledge and skills, everyone will be challenged to improve the repertoire of their skills.
  • Not what I want to teach, but what, after assessment, they need to learn. No longer had a flexible peg jumping through an institutional, departmental, and academic or LD designed module, but a flexible peg and an accommodating hole.

No two people can possibly be learning the same thing, no matter what common assessment students undertake – the student with a disability, or disabilities, whatever these are and how they affect or impact on this individual – will be acquiring knowledge or a skill that has or is in some way transformed or  translated, the focus diluted or pinpointed through a note–taker, reduced range,  voice of an audio–reader, missing a lecture or seeing it from only one perspective, access denied or field or lab work excluded through their choices,  risk assessment, health and safety, time, money, people and other such barriers – though sometimes enhanced if a live debate becomes an asynchronous forum or verbatim transcripts of audio and provided to all. Having a much different take on the lesson can be advantwgeous as a differentiator.

What is the disabled person's frame of reference?

  • Each learner's experience of learning and their relationship with the subject.  Kegan (2006:45)
  • Where the learner is coming from as well as where they are hoping to go in order to bridge the two – this applies to all learners whatever their circumstances.
  • Where the bridge metaphor is week is to visualise the physical person in transit rather than a myriad of billions of complex bridging actions occurring between neurones in the learner's brain. (Kegan, 2006:47) So a spider gram might be better, showing how close to a goal the learner is.
  • Not just knowing more, but knowing differently. (Ronald Heifetz, 1995)

Mezirow (2000) Transfer of authority from educator to learner. How rapidly will this transformational shift occur, which is a function of how far along they are on a particular bridge.

How do define an adult, self–directed learner?

Skill, style, self–confidence.

What if, for example, we define, say Boris Johnson by what he can do – read Latin, ride a bicycle through traffic and play whiff-whaff, not by what he cannot do, say brush his hair or swim 1000m Front crawl.

While what if I define X by what he cannot do – say, get up in the morning or speak in anything shorter than a paragraph, rather than what he can do, swim the Channel and empathise with others.

Need to read: Hegel, The phemonology of mind.

This is why:

Hegel attempts to outline the fundamental nature and conditions of human knowledge in these first three chapters. He asserts that the mind does not immediately grasp the objects in the world, concurring with Kant, who said that knowledge is not knowledge of “things-in-themselves,” or of pure inputs from the  senses. A long-standing debate raged in philosophy between those who believed that “matter” was the most important part of knowledge and those who privileged “mind.”

REFERENCE

Kegan, R (2006) 'What "form" transformstions? A constructive-developmental approach to transformative learning. An abridged version of a chapter that appeared in Jack Mezirow et al. in 'Learning as Transformation' (2000). In ‘Contemporary Theories of Learning' (2009) Knud Illeris.

Mezirow, J. (2000) "Learning to think like an adult - Core concepts of Transformational Theory." IN J.Mezirow and Associates: Learning as Transformaton: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

Piaget, J. (1954) The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York: Basic Books.

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H810 Activity 4.1 - Challenges disabled students in post-compulsory education

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 09:05

H810 Activity 4.1

Define problems by:

Campus–based issues:

Complusory Education (College, old and new univerisities, postgraduate and even training)

Context – nature of campus, policy, history if and funding of accessibility, maturity and life-expeirence of the student (born with the impairment or not, residential experience or not). Gender, age, socio-economic group and sexual orientation. Before or after the London 2012 Paralympics and the call by Sebastian Coe to 'lift the cloud on limitations'.

Access related to mobility: parking, maps, ramps, signage, estates response to lifts that may not be working, policy and funding in relation to accessibility legislation. Geographical location of the campus – in town, or out of town, residential or collegiate, degree of provision of accommodation and other services.

Provision in lecture halls or tutorials of support for mobility, sight or hearing impaired and getting this balance right so that you promote/advertise services, but don't end up, in a wheelchair user's terms with the 'cripple corner' where wheelchair users are literaly pushed.

Course choices, flexibiliy if online provison as alternatives to some activities, registration procedures and how these are handled, such as per–start induction for disabled students and a buddy system.

Desk space and layout in rooms and libraries.

Access to social spacecs, not just dining areas, but JCR, library, bar, lavatories, postroom, laundry services, theatres etc.

Online learning issues:

Quality of thinking behind the e–learning and how often updated and ameliorated to ease and improve access for everyone.

Training as well as provision of assistive technologies.

Tick the boxes at the design and build stage for: cognitive, visual, hearing and mobility issues. i.e. keep it simple and apply web usability criteria relating to fonts, sizes, choices, colours, contrasts and layout i.e. good design is clearer for everyone.

Issues by subject/context:

The choice is with the student if they have the grades to join the course, but do you question someone with a sight impairment signing up to an art history course, someone with a hearing impairment studying music or potentially someone with mobility impairment signing up to a module in physical education, geology, civil engineering or mining – for example. On the other hand, though this is based purely on personal experience, I feel sure that an above average percentage of people with dyslexia are artisits or actors, or coach/teach sport i.e. they shy away from highly text based academic courses and careers. Part of higher education is a chance for a person to discover where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Common to all:

Extra time to complete tasks, even flexibility in the term or year for longer treatment breaks.

Personality, life–experience and participation in social life, how post compulsory education in various forms can be a 'big step in forming an independent personal and social identity'.

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H810 : Reduced to keying in data

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 09:03

What impact has disability ?

Inteviewed for The Reunion : Dolly the Sheep we hear from Marjorie Ritchie, the institute's surgeon, who was highly active and engaged with the animals as part of her research at the Roslin Institute in 1995 until she developed Multiple Sclerosis in 2000. On the one hand she hoped that the discoveries could one day lead to a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, but she felt that being in a wheelchair meant that the kind of work she could do was now very different, she missed the practical side of 'working with her animals' and had been reduced to 'keying in data'. She also made an interesting point about hopes being raised and dashed as advances are made, say in contrast with Parkinson's and Alzhiemers.

BBC Radio 4 : The Reunion - 9/9/12 at 11.30 am. These points made 37:50 through the transmission.

In relation to accessibility, the thoughts, hopes and expectations of those born with a condition or who develop a condition will be different. Most importantly, the response and wishes must be put in context and personalised. Accessibility should create choices - what the individual does is then up to them.

 

 

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H810 - Accessibility: Lifting the cloud of limitation

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 07:02

So many have had something to say about disability, access and attitudes in the lst couple of days that I have taken to going around wiht a notebook - from Radio discussions and commentary, to TV coverage.

Last night Sebastian Coe mentioned the London terrorist attack in contrast to the Paralympic games and spoke of the 'worst of mankind and the best of mankind' he then said that 'we will never think of disability in the same way' and used this phrase in relation to access and opportunity as 'lifting the cloud of limitation' (Coe, 2012) Then, as the context comes back to education, Stephen Hawking's opening words and ideas are reiterated by the President of the International Paralympic Committee, to look upwards, to the stars - in effect, beyond the barriers of disability.

Earlier, a Channel 4 commentator talked about how wheelchair athletes personalised their kit, 'making them functional to the needs they have'. This, for me, is how we should think of e-learning - as kit that is readily personalised, but also adjusted to suit the 'functional needs' of the learner whether this is for text size, colour background, audio suport, captions and subtitles, or adapted keyboards and other devices that allow interaction with software that isn't unnecessarily tricksy.

It was noticeable to me that Sebastian Coe was introduced thus - he understands that titles are barrriers too, sometimes unneccessarily and undeservedly putting people on a platform when it is not deserved. Edward Windsor should, especially in this context, have been addressed as such - in truth, as the Queen is our Head of State only she should attend these events - or she should retire and the exclusive, unearned privilege of the monarchy and attending aritstocracy be demolished.

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Story telling - repetition

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:06

IMG_3379.JPG

I have a number of stories where I have used this ploy - I now need to go back and fix, fix, fix.

According to Mirrielees (1947) saying the same thing over and over and yet saying it in a way that the reader accepts it as new is an important component of story telling. 'Tapping on the same spot, yet varying the sound of every tap', is how she puts it. Mirrielees (1947:31)

NOTE TO SELF:

By numbers ... The trap

And read the Pit and the Pendulum.

As movies of TV drama - set things up - the unexpected is rarely effective.

 

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H810: Ethical models of accessibility

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012, 12:08

Perhaps it was my interpretation so I'll need to listen to BBC Radio 4 8.30am to 9.00am this morning again but the ethical dimension to access and disability came into the conversation - as did highlights from the entire Games.

With inclusion, out goes difference. There are subtle differences that we use to differentiate between people and make false assumptions over who they are, their culture and background. We say 'first name' now, but used to say 'Christian name' - indeed was having a Christian name not the law in France until recently?

On forms, taking swimmers, I know a child's full name and their guardian's name too. Would questions have been raised fifty years ago if a child and parent had different surnames?

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H810: The politics of opportunity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 5 May 2014, 06:07

In week one we H810ers have been trying to get our collective heads around the meanings of 'accessibility' and 'disability' - courtesy of the Paralympics and the US Presidential Elections there is a wealth of contemporary opinion.

I don't follow the US Presidential Election at all, but sometimes you catch something. This I believe gives us a political model for 'accessibility' and any interpretation and response to disability.

"When we vote in this election, we'll be deciding what kind of country we want to live in. If you want a winner-take-all 'you're-on-your-own-society' you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility - a 'we're-in-it-together' society - you should vote for Barrack Obama and Joe Biden'.

And what The OU means:

 

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Story Writing - E R Mirrielees

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:07

IMG_3379.JPG

Why read this book?

  • To improve all your writing.
  • To subdue some refractory story

Tip 1 - get the story told in first draft.

'You know not, but you know not what you know not'.

Tip 2 - what is the story about? What hols it together?

Tip 3 - Better to be wrong than be spineless. 'Flitter-mindedness - a new idea every week and interest in the old one dead and gone - is one of the handicaps that keep a would-be writer would-be and no more to the end of their writing days'.

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H810: Accessibility as a subject for stand-up comic Francesca Martinez

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 06:55

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUIYuJ62Qbs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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