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The value of networking face to face not just online
In the spirit of doing something different in order to effect change I attended a ‘Get Together’ organised by Wired Sussex and took the attitude that i would be open to everything and say ‘yes’ to all. Over two hours I listened to, shared with and learnt from Neil, Gerry, Olly, Karla, Tristan, Simon, Michael … and ‘TV Simon’ as I will call him to differentiated from business managing Simon16 (number of employees). I only remember the people, what they said and names to faces as, shared with them, I did this thing of pegging a face to a place on a familiar journey – walking through the house. And so I found Carla at the front door designing jewellery, Gerry on the stairs coaching folk in life skills, Tristan enteringmy bathroom talking agile eaterfalls, Kanban abd SCRUM techniques while Simon was on the landing with our dog – his blonge haird and scruffy beard in keeping with our blonde Labradoodle perhaps? Olly was in the garden talking to John, while Neil moved away and subsequently left. These are only those I met. There is no so much to follow up on: things to do, things to research, people to get back in touch with. So here’s me making some kind of public promise to do so, including having a business card by the time of the next meet up. I own the domain name ‘Mind Bursts’ which is where I plan to seed ideas and seek ways for them to flourish and bare fruit.
Much of the conversation came from my experience of the Open University’s Master of Arts on Open and Distance Education in general (graduated in 2012) and the module H818: The Networked Practitioner that ends tomorrow having submitted End of Module Assignments last week.
Who would you invite to an e-learning dinner party?
Fig.1. The dining room at Appleby Castle, Cumbria
I posed this challenge to an e-learning group on LinkedIn:
‘If you could invited anyone in the world to a dinner party who would it be?’
I could run this every month on a different continent and keep going for a couple of years … 12 might work better as I’d like to include a few undergraduates and graduates … perhaps guests would be asked to bring a member of their faculty, a young work colleague or inspiring student.
I’ve left myself off. As the host I would be at their service. Running the event behind the scenes and enjoying the conversation before and after.
Martin Bean, Vice Chancellor, Open University. Inspirational champion of distance learning and accessible education. The Open University has over 257,000 active students.
Dame Professor Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng – Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences.
Vilayanur.S. Ramachandran – Behavioral Neurologist and Professor at the Center for Brain Cognition at the University of California, San Diego. Influential academic/research on how we think in symbols and metaphors
Professor Daphne Koller, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and a Third generation PhD. Informed on big data, open learn and the future of higher education.
Cammy Bean, VC Learning Design, Kineo US. An instructional designer who mixes creativity and the pragmatic.
Sugata Mitra – Professor of Education Technology at the University of Newcastle. Best known for the ‘hole in the wall’ computers used in research in rural India (and city slums).
Donald H Taylor – Founder and CEO of Learning Skills Group and annual Learning Technologies conference in London every year.
Kirstie Donnelly, Director of Product Development, City & Guilds. From linear video production to a global leader in applied, workplace learning.
12-16 would give me more scope.
I’d book the dining hall at the Oxford Union.
Dr Zbigniew Pelczynski – Founder of the School for Leaders, Poland. Retired Oxford Professor of Philosophy and Politics.
Dr B Price Kerfoot – Harvard Medic and educator, ‘Spaced Education’ and QStream
George Soros – Investor, entrepreneur and educational philanthropist.
Thomas Garrod – Wiseman of e-learning Global Network, educator, learning design.
Double the numbers and I’d run it as an exclusive weekend on the Isle of Eriska – the castle would be ours with 32 guests for the conference and another 18 family members for the extended visit.
- Jonathan Vernon – A career in video communications, training and coaching.
- Matt Bury – Wiseman of e-learning Global Network, learning design.
- John Seely-Brown – Learning from the periphery, former Xerox educator.
- Yrjo Engestrom – Cultural historical activity theory and knotworking
- Gilly Salmon – E-tivities, e-moderation
- Agnes Kukulska-Hulme – Professor of mobile learning at the Open University
- Martin Weller – Digital Scholar
- Diana Laurillard – Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies
- Gordon Bell – long lived, lifeblogging, Microsoft research and experimenter.
- Jay Cross – educator, speaker, inspired thinker on learning and e-learning
- Sir Jonathan Ive – SVP Design, Apple
- William Hague – Oxford, Insead and UK lifelong politician. Engaging and extraordinarily bright.
- Walter Isaacson – A pupil of Dr Pelczynski (see above), journalist and author of the Steve Jobs exclusive biography.
- Steven Pressfield – Author, thinker, influential pusher of the ‘War of Art’ (overcoming resistance).
- Marc Lewis – Advertising entrepreneur and Dean of London’s highly influential School of Communication Arts (SCA 2.0)
- Viktor Mayer-Schonberger – Director of Advancement of the OII and Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation
- Sir Martin Sorrell – WPP CEO. Highly influential and well regarded businessman.
- Richard Davey – Founder, owner of influential global law publishing group.
- David Waller – Ex FT Lex Columnist and Bureau Chief Germany, Founder of PR agency, Author, Head of Communications at Mann Group, previously for Deutsche Bank.
- Susanna White – award winning documentary and filmmaker.
(At the time this photograph was taken Appleby Castle was, aptly, the HQ and Training Centre for a UK based PLC. Managers attended from the US, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, the UK and various parts of Europe.)
- To be told when you are right or wrong is essential to student learning (mymindbursts.com)
- Massive online education: Daphne Koller at TEDGlobal 2012 (ted.com)
- Should ‘real’ students do an online course on the side? (guardian.co.uk)
- What we’re learning from online education by Daphne Koller (bluesyemre.com)
- Technology brings classroom experience to distance learners (guardian.co.uk)
Here’s your 2013 reading list – one a week for the year.
Getting the message across
If the thought put in lessons such as this could be applied to the national curricullum would more be remembered? Walking around Newhaven Fort I’d like to see GCSE, A’ Level and even graduate’trails’ set to help lodge in a student’s minds some of the events and facts they require.
I’d like to seethe develoment of augmentedreality so that dead exhibits could come to life. I’d like to see a number of ker War movies played on a loop too.
A new(ish) model for blended and applied learning (or is this an institutionalised form of apprenticeship?)
These guys and several other teams are doing some great work
25 years ago I was at the School of Communication Arts under John Gillard, an inspired educator with an original approach – get the ‘industry’ to do its bit by providing cash, thought, care, time and opportunity. My own tutors read like a who’s who of advertising and the visits to the school included industry leaders from Saatchis and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
School of Communication Arts 2.0 works
From a learning point of view what works?
- Attracting the best
- They pay (it is expensive, though there are scholarships)
- ‘Industry’ has a responsibility to make it work (and the opportunity to have first dibs at the students)
- Ideas, on brief, well thought through, imaginative and implicitly likely to add considerable worth to a product or service.
- Motivated students and motivated ‘mentors’ doing it for free.
- A form of shadowing and with industry briefs and placements a form of apprenticeship too.
- Embraces the technology, using tools to ‘sell’ ideas and to communicate with supporters
- Simple and low cost (modest)
- FREE of a qualification (though one is now offered). i.e. the emphasis has to be on the output, on developing the teams as creative thinkers, on making them valuable contributors to a commercial enterprise for what they can do rather than the ‘qualification’. Unlike a driving licence, a diploma in the creative arts does not mean you can ‘drive’.
Does this threaten tutors in distance learning?
What does it suggest?
Better to have those in the industry providing guidance and motivation than those with a teaching qualification or academic research pedigree and bias.
Where else does this apply?
Film & Television production, engineering, law, medicine, hotel and catering, sports coaching, fine art:
- Taught by your heroes.
- Use flexibility of employment and ease of communication to keep in touch.
- Have some basic platforms and at the hub a dean with commitment and a sense of purpose.
- Bricks and mortar?
A research basis as in tertiary education? I think not.