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Story Writing: Edith R Mirrielees

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 17 Sep 2012, 06:10

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'A story to be effective had to convey something from writer to reader and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence'.

So wrote John Steinbeck in 1962 in a letter to his Stanford Creative writing tutor Edith Ronald Mirrieless.

Through Amazon I have got a copy of 'Story Writing' and will apply it in due course. The necessary pain will be returning to a story and sticking with it through all the rewriting.

 

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H810: accessibility in a word

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 5 Sep 2012, 18:29

Open

Access denied or access required implies there are barriers: closed doors, steps, text, voice, tools that require ten finger dexterity and so on. Open, in a spiritual sense, requires us all to be part of an omnipresent ether.

Alone

We are each unique, indivual and alone. Anything else is a label, catergory, sub-category or grouping defined by others to simplify their or our collective perspective with every kind of bias attached.

The level playing field can never be level enough. A new and better metaphor is required if it is to imply that everyone has an equal and fair chance.

Any suggestions?

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H810: Language, Terms, Access, Disability, Impairment, Xenophobia ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Sep 2012, 14:51

Multiple asynchronous discussion in a tutor group, more of the same here – then get online and do the same live, in a synchronous chatroom or tutor group, or with those around you (family, friends and collegaues). This is such a terrific way to mold and shape your thoughts on an issue. I am doing H810 on 'accesibility' – a timely eyeo–opener with the Paralympics raging.

Forgive me if I keep mentioning the radio but I've driven well over a thousand miles in the last three days and not suprisingly there have been many BBC 4 programmes relating to disability due to the Paralympics - all on issues such as the terms to use, accessibility provision and even on how and when someone who becomes disabled 'Comes Out' to friends and family, as well as potentially to an institution where they work or study. Best of all, in the company of young cousins galore we have watched the irreverant, though brilliant, 'The Last Leg' on Channel 4 - comics and athletes, mostly with a disability though plenty of guests who do not, who rib and tell jokes, or make observations about the events of the day constantly making fun of themselves, their attitudes and the attitudes of others.

Dare I offer the kind of email or text they answer?

'Is it OK to punch a disabled person if they are being a knob?' Very Edinburgh Fringe, live and late in the evening, so fruity language used all the time - It breaks down barriers so is a form of access. I've got some time having finally got back home for 24 hours so plan to track down through BBC iPlayer the radio shows I'm referring too - as streamed radio these are only available for 7 days after transmission, though some are available as podcasts. Not necessarily outside the UK though? Perhaps if we act quickly we can persuade the BBC to archive and share some of this content? It's the kind of content that should be given a longer shelf life through Open Learn.

'Thlid, spas, spasmoid, mong' ... obviously and horrible terms used by boys age 8-10 at a boarding prep school in the 1970s.

Locally and with abusive undertones, children at a nearby home were name-called using a diminutive of the name of the place, 'Stellers' for Stelling Hall while at a public school where, for far too many bullying was the favourite sport, any act of stupidity you were called of all things, 'a right Balliol' after a local home for kids with learning difficulties. Even tourists got it in the neck as at any opportunity we'd lean out of a bus and yell 'tourist' at anyone with a rucksack and hiking boots (the school is in the Lake District). I turned up at this instituion after six months hospitalization, ops etc: having broken my leg very badly. I was nicknamed 'booties'' as I had to wear lace up ankle boots as one foot was smaller/weaker and required support. Did I like the term? Of course not, but by protesting the bullies insisted on using it. An entire cohort of younger boys, if anything at all distinguished them, they got a name, so accent, learning difficulty, squint, hearing, colour, religion - not just Jewish, but Catholics, were singled out.

Courtesy of Facebook I've recently been reminded of a list of abusive nicknames given to the teachers - in every case picking out a pysiological trait, accent or behaviour. Horrible.

All what I am saying coming to me from a dark, buried place in my head - no wonder Harry Windsor is admonished for calling a fellow soldier a Paki becuase he got this from Eton and being brought up in an elitist, underserved poweful and exclusive environment. To carry this on 'we' should now forever nickname him 'Bottom' so he isn't allowed to forget. I have to wonder from only a term of social anthropology as an undergrad if this, in a pack, or small group, comes from some innate sociatal xenophobia?

Thinking about the opposite of the appropriate behaviour or teriminology makes it apparent how much effort needs to be put in saying the best and correct thing especially as words come with all kinds of associations.

Historically was everyone who was different persecuted?

The solution to this is to get the person's name as soon as possible, double check with them how it is pronounced, even spelling, then use it - they are a name first, not a category, or a cohort, or an institution, but (like all of us) unique and individual, deserving respect, love and understanding. As I've come to understand v. painfully, whatever our bodies may be doing to let us down or limit mobility or the ability to communicate or even help ourselves, there is a good chance that much of or even a part of this unique being is cognitive to the last.

Respect this and imagine if by some twist of fate you were in this position not them - not pity, but the politeness to listen and look with care, even ask questions and never assume anything at all - being kept from the same life chances is perhaps what accessibility is all about, why should those who already be at an advanage be the  first or only ones to benefit from enhanced approaches to learning? Technology risks giving an 'unfair advantage' to those who already have a head start while access aims to gives everyone a chance or more appropriatley the choice to keep up or catch up in a way that suits them.

'Accessibility is a process of negotiation' - spot on.

Listen, ask questions, learn what you can about the person, their needs, wishes and expectations - get to know them. Where it is required offer choices, sometimes by trial and error, as for disabled people like all of us, we have our likes and dislikes, experiences of what works for us and what does not, and from a plethora of potential gadgets one thing or another, good bandwidth or not, a high resolution screen or not, preference for a mouse, tracker ball or tablet and stencil or a specialist keyboard - and so on. Take a course in learning theory!

Context matters. Pressume nothing.

Within reason be prepared to make the time to individualise and adjust everything - and expect to return to this to adjust as circumstances ebb and flow. One size never fits all - wherein lies the biggest barrier caused by mass produced technology from a mouse to off-the-shelf software. Can it be adapted? Is there an App that suits my specific needs? That opens a door that is currently closed?

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H810: Activity 2.1 Topic 2 :Recognising barriers: visual impairment

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 06:21

Recognising a disability is complex - they afe part of society and learning; they are not distinct or even always distguishable due to spectrum and nature of the impairment.

All communication has a significant visual component to it. Barriers can be reduced. Visual impairment is just that - it's on a sliding scale with only 1:5 blind people unable to see anything at all.

What is more, what can be seen may shift, so check as a course progresses as a person's sight may improve or deteriorate.

Assume nothing, the situation for each person will differ – so ask.

LD: Consider how to sequence information so that it is understood. Take care with unfamiliar language and new words.

Embed good practice and be vigilant about maintaining it through to the end.

Think about ways to recieve communication other than the written word.

Awareness, champion and leadership, policy and procedures.

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Contemporary theories of learning -learning theorists in their own words

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Over the last 30 months and now my FOURTH module I have craved a Primer on education theory as base for understanding the opportunities of e-learning - this book appears to do it.
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iPads an OU Module

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It is a big ask to expect to complete a module entirely on an iPad - I suppose the greater challenge would eb to do so on a smartphone. My first and thus far ONLY trip is that I cannot edit a wiki. The advantage is making use of micro moments, on a bus, waiting for a bus, in the bath (oh yes), a passenger in a car - breaking from a walk. All occasions when a laptop, even a netbook, is too bulk or slow to open.
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H810 Accessibility and the Movies

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 31 Aug 2012, 11:32

Films that portray disability - what are they, what portrayal do they offer, what do we learn either about the disability but also about the authors?

  • Dear John - autism
  • Rainman - autism
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Richard III
  • Avatar
  • Finding Nemo
  • Batman
  • My Left Foot
  • District 9
  • Enemy Mine

Do 'superhumans' whether physical or mental have a disability too?

Or rather, if we see difference as an issue 'we' are going to see 'problems' everywhere.

The problem is only to cater for the majority groups.

The list will be a long one, with good, poor and dreadful expressions of disability, inclusivity and so on. What can you add to the list?

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H810 Accessibility and equality

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Sep 2012, 14:55

Given the start of the Paralympic Games last night it is hardly surprising that disability is a topic or theme on TV, the radio and in the press. Even the Simpsons' satire yesterday evening - the one where the school is split into girls and boys and Liza dresses up as a boy and becomes the object of bullies - had a powerful message regarding equality. It should be about seeing the strength while not ignoring the 'weakness', but accommodating or compensating for it, that it is the lack of x, y or z that makes the disability more of an issue that it needs to be.

Is it just about money?

It took a Paralympian wheelchair basketball player to point out how countries that hadn't the provision of the richer economies had older, clunkier, heavier wheelchairs.

I watched a piece of theatre for deaf people by deaf people. It reminded me of comia del arte - highly physical and rumbustious. I hadn't the slightest clue what was going on, certainly no idea what was being said. Had I someone twlking it through how different would the experience have been.

How do the movies portray disability? From Richard III and Frankenstein, to Finding Nemo, Slum Dog Millionaire and Avatar. Even Dr Who where Darleks, and certainly Davros, are disabled beings in wheelchairs with a wheelie bin, plunger and egg- whisk for limbs.

It takes being ill, of confined to a bed or wheelchair to get some sense if it, or having a close relation, infant or elderly in a state, or phase of amelioration or deterioration to feel it personally. I broke a leg badly enough and far enough away from home to require amabulances and special flights, hospitalisation then a wheelchair. For some months in order to get into the garden I pulled myself about quite happily on a large wooden tea-tray. We knew it was temporary, indeed within six months I was riding a bike and walking with a stick and six months after that competing in the swimming pool and on the rugby pitch - wherein lies a stark difference, the disabled person is very likely to be set inspite or despite of treatment and how the disability came about, indeed their situation is likely to be more complex with medications, care, a deteriorating prognosis even.

There is mental illness and disability in the family too - depression, learning difficulties, aspergers and autism. I'd even dare to say that being exceptionally bright or that ridiculously isolating term 'gifted' in the case of my late father isolated him.

If we wish for inclusivity when will the Olympics and Paralympics play out simultaneously?

Perhaps at a club level I should suggest that once a year we do this - having an inclusive event in contrast to the other exclusive events we run or take part in.

As I reflect I need of course to bring it back to H810.

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) runs a workshop for coaches who work with disabled athletes - there is an online module too which I will sign up for. Annually we apply for a national award called Swim21 which includes an audit in relation to disabled swimmers - we ticked every box without question with qualified personal, watertime set aside, entry into internal and external galas and working with our local leisure providers but is this enough? If the bar isn't that high no wonder it is easy to get over.

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H810 Activity 1.3 : My role and context - accessibility and e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Sep 2012, 14:59

H810 Activity 1.3

My role and context in education.

Without knowing it or going into teaching I have always found myself inclined to teach – an inclination towards being an educator. (I enjoy being a lifelong learner, always a student of something whether sport, writing, history, drawing and even performance. An interest in video production took me into corporate training, carrying kit around Windscale in my teens, shooting video at university, and learning from a BBC producer and members of the trade association the IVCA until I established myself as a professional director and writer. I have worked on every kind of training video production: health and safety in the nuclear power industry, legal training, driving a 4x4, induction in the Crown Prosecution Service, Asthma Awareness for patients and GPs, IT security and 'Green' driving for the Post Office, careers and education choices for 14 year olds, management training and so on. These were usually facilitated and often supported with workbooks. In due course they became interactive and eventually (a backwards step for a decade) migrated to the Web. However, I had no formal understanding of the theory of education, of learning design or of interactive and online learning in particular until starting with the OU.

How these relate to accessibility and online learning.

In many cases creating accessible content is a requirement which in the past meant either the inclusion of subtitles or a signer in vision for those with a hearing impairment or disability. For computer based learning, which in its broadest sense takes in desktops, laptops, tablet and smartphones, with increasing sophistication are we at times restricting access to some if not many disabled people?

What would I like to achieve from the module (H810).

Concluding module to gain the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) with graduation in 2013.

  1. Practical understanding of the issues.
  2. To help plan how the e–learning we produce meets the requirements of the DDA especially where this is a client request.
  3. Helping to ensure that consideration is given to accessibility at the briefing and design stages and that such efforts are costed then applied as scripts are written and learning designs developed.
  4. Provide support to colleagues when making accessibility a point in e–learning proposal documents.
  5. Informed discussions with disabled people I know (colleagues, friends and swimmers) and what they make of accessibility online provision.
  6. The 'Montessori' effect – by thinking how to improve access and communicate more clearly all learners will benefit – the confident e–learning designer may be the one who leaves out the bells and whistles.
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Where and how I learn ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012, 13:22

In the bath each morning with an iPad smile

Reading, noting, posting blog entiries such as this.

On the bus into Brighton. Composing or preparing a longer blog entry, locating a URL, for example to a BBC iPlayer radio programme I wish to cite or doing the all important referencing bit - so that I, let alone others, can go take a look themselves.

Stiil with the iPad after work with a pad of paper and pen alongside (or directly into my wife's laptop or son's desktop). With the Kindle, highlighting, adding notes and sharing some into Twitter.

With the iPad (the same). Write using the App AIWriter.

Various tools for charts, infigrwphics, wordles and mindmaps. Screem grab and photos with the iPad the uploaded to PicasaWeb.

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The Deaf

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 06:09
'The Deaf' not as a group defined by disability, but a group that is a linguistic minority. p8 Equality and Diversity in Language and Image. Guidance for authors and communicators. The Open University. January 2008
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Procrastination, ADHD and low self-esteem

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 29 Aug 2012, 13:38

All on BBC Radio 4 this morning (Tuesday 28th August 2012) from 11.30 or so.

ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL TUESDAY 4th SEPTEMBER

Catch it on iPlayer.

I might, tomorrow, or when I get round to it.

The author Steven Pressfield has written a book about procrastination, which he calls resistance - I say 'anything but ...' I will do smething else instead, which can inlcude TMAs and EMAs left to the night before. I do the preparation, I just don't commit to the writing process. Which Is why I prefer exams - the deadlines can't be moved.

 

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New blog post

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At last I can type this

Engeström

using

this

http://finnish.typeit.org/

I was fed up being corrected in assignments.

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The essential elements of digital literacies

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012, 09:08
Just as there can be no distinctions between the illiterate and the literate (it is a continuum) and there are different kinds of literacies including text and visual (Belshaw, 2012:8) so I would include scales of musical literacy – reading, writing and listening to music as well as the specialist literacies of disabled groups, such as signing and lip–reading for the deaf and Braille for the blind, even communication that is becoming possible or is recognised with people in a continuous vegetative state who nonetheless show brain function and can communicate using it.

Reference

Belshaw, D (2012) The Essential Elements of Digital literacies http://dougbelshaw.com/ebooks/digilit/

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How people learn and the implications for design

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020, 20:15

Had this been the title of a post-graduate diploma in e–learning it would have been precisely what I was looking for a decade ago – the application of theory, based on research and case studies, to the design and production of interactive learning – whether DVD or online.

A few excellent, practical guides did this, but as a statement of fact, like a recipe in a cook book: do this and it’ll work, rather than suggesting actions based on research, evidence-based understanding and case studies.

Mayes and de Frietas (2004) are featured in detail in Appendix 1 of Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age (2007) Beetham and Sharpe.

Four types of learning are featured:

  • 1. associative
  • 2. constructive (individual)
  • 3. constructive (social)
  • 4. and situative.

Of these I see associative used in corporate training online – with some constructive (individual), while constructive (social) is surely the OU's approach?

Situative learning may be the most powerful – through application in a collaborative, working environment I can see that this is perhaps describes what goes on in any case, with the wiser and experienced passing on knowledge and know how to juniors, formally as trainees or apprentices, or informally by 'being there' and taking part.

Each if these approaches have their champions:

Associative – Skinner, Gagné (1985).

Constructive (individual) – Piaget (1970), Papert (1993), Kolb (1984), Biggs (1999).

Constructive (social) – Vygotsky (1978).

Situative – Wenger (1998), Cole (1993), Wertsch. (Also Cox, Seely Brown). Wertsch (1981), Engestrom (), Cole and Engeström (1993)

Beetham and Sharpe (2007:L5987) – the ‘L’ refers to the location in a Kindle Edition. I can’t figure out how to translate this into a page reference.

How people learn and the implications for design

Associative – Skinner, Gagné (1985) (in Mayes and de Frietas, 2004)

Building concepts or competences step by step.

The Theory

People learn by association through:

  • basic stimulus–response conditioning,
  • later association concepts in a chain of reasoning,
  • or associating steps in a chain of activity to build a composite skill.

Associativity leads to accuracy of reproduction. (Mnemonics are associative devices).

  • Routines of organized activity.
  • Progression through component concepts or skills.
  • Clear goals and feedback.
  • Individualized pathways matched to performance.
  • Analysis into component units.
  • Progressive sequences of component–to–composite skills or concepts.
  • Clear instructional approach for each unit.
  • Highly focused objectives.

For Assessment

  • Accurate reproduction of knowledge.
  • Component performance.
  • Clear criteria: rapid, reliable feedback.
  • Guided instruction.
  • Drill and practice.
  • Instructional design.
  • Socratic dialogue.

FURTHER READING (and viewing)

Brown, J.S. (2002) The Social Life of Information

Brown, J.S. (2007) October 2007 webcast: http://stadium.open.ac.uk/stadia/preview.php?whichevent=1063&s=31

+My notes on this:

http://learn1.open.ac.uk/mod/oublog/viewpost.php?u=jv276&time=1298439366&post=0

+The transcript of that session:

http://learn.open.ac.uk/file.php/7325/block1/H800_B1_Week2a_JSBrown_Transcript.rtf

REFERENCE

Biggs, J (1999) Teaching for Quality Learning at University, Buckingham: The Society for Research in Higher Education and Open University Press.  (Constructive alignment)

Cole, M. and Engestrom, Y. (1993) ‘A cultural-historical approach to distributed cognition’, in G. Salomon (ed.) Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations, New Work: Cambridge University Press.

Conole, G. (2004) Report on the Effectiveness of Tools for e-Learning, Bristol: JISC (Research Study on the Effectiveness of Resources, Tools and Support Services used by Practitioners in Designing and Delivering E-Learning Activities)

Cox, R. (2006) Vicarious Learning and Case-based Teaching of Clinical Reasoning Skills (2004–2006) [online], http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ esrcinfocentre/ viewawardpage.aspx?awardnumber=RES-139-25-0127 [(last accessed 10 March 2011).

Engeström, Y (1999) ‘Activity theory and individual and social transformation’, in Y. Engeström, R, Miettinen and R.-L. Punamaki (eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Eraut, M (2000) ‘Non-formal learning and tacit knowledge in professional work’, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70:113-36

Gagné, R. (1985) The Conditions of Learning, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Gagné, R.M., Briggs, L.J. and Wagner, W.W. (1992) Principles of Instructional Design, New Work: Hoplt, Reihhart & Winston Inc.

Kolb, D.A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as a Source of Learning and Development, (Kolb’s Learning Cycle) Englewoods Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Kolb, D.A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Littlejohn, A. and McGill, L. (2004) Effective Resources for E-learning, Bristol: JISC (Research Study on the Effectiveness of Resources, Tools and Support Services used by Practitioners in Designing and Delivering E-learning Activities).

Mayes, T. and de Frietas, S. (2004) 'Review of e–learning theories, frameworks and models. Stage 2 of the e–learning models disk study', Bristol. JISC. Online.

Piaget, J. (1970) Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child (Constructivist Theory of Knowledge), New Work: Orion Press.

Papert, S. (1993) Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas, New Work: Perseus.

Piaget, J. (2001) The Language and Thought of the Child, London: Routledge Modern Classics.

Seely-Brown, J.S and Duguid, P. (1991) ‘Organizational learning and communities-of-practice: toward a unified view of working, learning and innovation’, Organizational Science, 2 (1): 40-57

Schon, D (1983) The Reflective Practioner: How Professional Think in Action, New York: Basic Books.

Sharpe, R (2004) ‘How do professionals learn and develop? In D.Baume and P.Kahn (eds) Enhancing Staff and Educational Development, London: Routledge-Flamer, pp. 132-53.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in Society, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1986) Thought and Languages, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wertsch, J.V. (1981) (ed.) The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology, Armonk, N

Appendix and references largely from Beetham, H, and Sharpe, R (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy in a digital age.

See also Appendix 4: Learning activity design: a checklist

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To be the most interesting flavour of themselves that they can be

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The mission of Libby Purvis with the people she interviews on Radio 4 this week - what an interesting thought for all of us.
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Social Learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014, 07:11

Reading the biography of Dr Zbigniew Pelczynski is to gain a fascinating insight into a natural educator - an academic who is passionate about supporting and motivating learners. Faced with a cohort of students who were prodcing poor exam results he set up a couple of student societies where undergraduates could meet informally to here an inspiring guest speaker, have a drink and talk around the subject and what they'd just heard - it worked. Results began to improve in the termly and annual exam results.

  1. This is what it requires for social learning to work online.
  2. A champion to make it happen

The incentive of a great mind or celebrity academic to offer an insightful short talk as an incentive to the later discussion.

But what about the food and drink, nibbles and tea (it doesn't have to be alcohol). A couple of times in previous modules a bunch of us 'Hung Out' in Google+ and on one occasion we were meant to 'bring along a drink' while in on one memorable occasion, which was a giggle and truly innocent, one suggestion was to make it a pyjama party!

They key thing was to fix a date, which we co-ordinated in Google Events or some such, then be prepared to chill out, and keep the orientation on topic without the pressure of a formal tutorial.

How though to give it the continuity and impact of a student society? Given the session a name? How would we flatter, even pay guest speakers?

Or could we just watch a selected TED lecture first?

And why do results improve?

Motivation

Social cohesion and responsibility to the group?

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Blogs on e-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 10:15

Doug%2520Belshaw%2520eBook.JPG

If you read only two, then follow Martin Weller and Doug Belshaw.

No time now, but I want to go back and re-blog Doug, even take some tips on knocking my own e-learning blog into shape. This is like going into a niche bookstore that ONLY promotes stuff on education and e-learnig.

Invaluable across the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE)

The book is good too.

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Accesibility for disabled and older people

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 8 Oct 2012, 06:01

New%2520QWERTY%2520talking%2520with%2520fingers%2520%2520Google%2520Images%2520SNIP.JPG

'Excluding people who are already at a disadvantage by providing small, hard–to–use, inflexible interfaces to devices and apps that create more problems than they solve'. (Jellinek and Abraham 2012:06)

This applies to older people too, indeed anyone on a spectrum that we might draw between full functionality and diminishing senses. Personally, with four immediate relatives in their 80s it is remarkable to find how quickly they respond to the text size options of a Kindle, even having text read out loud, the back-lit screen of the iPad and in particular galleries of thousands of photographs which are their memories too (in the later case invaluable to someone who has suffered a couple of severe strokes).

Reasons to think about accessibility:

  • social
  • ethical
  • legal

My observation here is that Many programmes are now deliberately ’app like' to meet expectations and because they are used in smartphones and tablets not just desk and lap tops. Where there is such a demand for app-like activities or for them to migrate seamlessly to smartphones and tablets (touch screen versions) we need stats on how many people would be so engaged - though smartphone growth is significant, as a learning platform tablets are still a minority tool.

The users who can miss out are the blind or partially sighted or deaf. Blind people need audio to describe what others can see and guide them through functions while deaf people and those with hearing impairments need captions where there is a lot of audio.

It is worth pointing out that there is 'no such thing as full accessibility for everyone'. Jellinek and Abrahams (2012:07)

But on the other hand, 'we mustn't exclude disabled people from activities that the rest of us take for granted'. Jellinek and Abrahams (2012:07)

There is less homogeneity in a learner population than we may like to think

REFERENCE

Jellinek, D and Abrahams, P (2012) Moving together: mobile apps for inclusion and accessibility. (Accessed 25/082012) http://www.onevoiceict.org/news/moving-together-mobile-apps-inclusion-and-assistance

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They've been at it again

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 08:44

The virtual swing-doors on my final OU module opened today.

Some time next year I will graduate with a Masters in Open and Distance Education - and unlike my undergraduate degree of many years ago I will feel that I have worked for it, earned it and want the thing - I'll even dress up for my first graduation ceremony.

I have been outside the course system for all of four months so it was with delight though suprise to find thst our virtual learning environment (VLE) has changed yet again. I will have screen grabs somewhere of what it looked like in 2010 and 2011 - I believe I even have seen a screen grab of when I was doing this in 2001.

On the one hand we are getting some 3D shading to lift the 'Learning Schedule' off the page, but we also have a plethora of minute and meaningless icons. I can't figure out what some of them are supposed to represent. Instead of going with recognisable images The OU appear to have tried to go one better but gone one worse - there is no point in replacing or even complementing a title or sub-heading with something that is incomprehensible nor recognised.

A load of stuff has migrated over to the left hand side of the screen - I know that research has long shown that this is where the eye first looks and expects this content to be.

The rest of it I'll discover and re-discover in due course. I prefer the minimalist approach - if it isn't vital don't show it, rather offer options to vall up extras instead of having them on the page regardless. Too many of these links I will NEVER use, except as an exercise in the first week. It's too like entering a grand house knowing that it has far more rooms than you will ever enter and where you risk getting lost.

Less is more.

I am however starting to think that I'll be able to do this almost entirely on an iPad (I don't have my own laptop or desktop and this is cheaper).

An APP for writing on this platform would help - like I have writing in Wordpress.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 25 Aug 2012, 06:29)
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H810: Accessibility

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 26 Aug 2012, 08:46

Past experience tells me that being able to apply daily practice to the module is helpful. I've not been in this position for 3 of the 4 modules I have so far completed, however, for H810 I not only find myself working for an e-learning agency, but had a long discussion today about accessibility in relation to the e-learning we produce for one of our clients. The problem surrounds Flash and video - how best to make such interactive content accessible. The simple answer is a word document, or possibly a reversioned earlier expression of the module in PowerPoint. Screenreaders don't cope well with complex interactivities, which sometimes aren't even chronological being more of a 'journey of discovery'.

There needs to be an understanding of the needs of disabled learners so that this is written into the brief and the right kind of accommodations are made - if only to allow readily available software to do their job zooming frames, adjusting backgrounds and fonts to make them easier to read for dyslexia or partially sighted, while making the job of a screen reader easier for those with more severe sight disabilities.

At some point their is surely an inevitable compromise between the requirements of the DDA, the needs and expectations of the client (in relation to their mission or brand too) and cost.

Images

  • Those with a learning purpose require description.
  • Those for visual effect probably do not
  • Charts that are integral to the learning require description.

Are pages compatible with industry standard software such as JAWS?

Keep it simple

  • Word

Decades ago working in linear video we brought in a presenter who would sign in front of a blue screen (later green, these days possibly just a white infinity curve) while the projected the video played through.

Supporting workbooks could be offered in various forms.

A facilitator would be on hand - the learning was blended.

The best chance of getting it right is when the audience is primarily a distinct disability group form whom the project can be tailored and certainly seeking their expert input.

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Harvard Referencing

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 25 Nov 2012, 04:12

I love this simple, interactive guide to the Harvard Referencing System as if has every eventuality clearly covered - a bit late now to get to it 30 months AFTER I started my Masters with The OU!

I had to get this right

McCall, M., Eichinger, R.W and Lombardo, M.M., 1996 The Career Architect Development Planner, 3rd edition (The Leadership Architect Suite).

From this:

Source: M. McCall, R. Eichinger & M. Lombardo, Princeton's Center for Creative Leadership

I'd even give a link:

http://www.princeton.edu/hr/learning/philosophy/

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Learning Design looks like this

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 4 May 2014, 09:26

Gagnés events of instruction:

1. Gaining attention. The scene opener, even the preview or title sequence.

2. Informing the learner of the objective . Laying out your stall

3. Stimulating recall of prerequisite learning . Tapping into what has already been understood - creating empathy.

4. Presenting the stimulus material . Presenting the case, offering evidence that might impress or inspire, that could be controversial and memorable.

5. Providing learning guidance. Offering a way through the maze, the thread through the labyrinth or the helping hand.

6. Eliciting the performance . Now it's their turn.

7. Providing feedback . Sandwiched, constructive feedback on which to build.

8. Assessing the performance . How are targets going?

9. Enhancing retention and transfer . Did it stick, could they pass it on and so become the teacher?

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the future of educational technology

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012, 22:22
http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680348/mapping-the-future-of-education-technology#comments Fascinating if the future of edcation interests you.
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Graphics and variety in E-learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012, 22:25
Many of us respond better beyond words so if you are visual graphics help, though constructing your own as well as using and seeing those made by others must be stimulating. Variety adds something too.
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