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Kenneth More appearing in “Reach for the Sky” got me thinking

My late mum, Sheila Vernon and me as a ‘King’s Guard Special’ on the set of ‘King Arthur and the Spaceman’ at Alnwick Castle.

In 1978, though suffering from Parkinson’s, Kenneth More was working on one of his last films ‘King Arthur and the Spaceman’ at Alnwick Castle. Separated from his wife of 10 years he asked my mother out to dinner. My dear late mum, then 47 years old, had a ‘steady boyfriend’ and had dubious thoughts about what might be expected if she dined with the elderly Kenneth. I think they would have enjoyed each others company. Kenneth went back to his wife (or she had him back). He died a few years later.  I’m just reflecting. I was 16: it was not the start of any film career (though one assistant producer I became friends with did try to persuade me to run off to London to work on another film. I had A’ Levels and Oxbridge in my sights) Other aging actors on set included Ron Moody and John Le Mesurier.

I’m only dwelling on any of this because for the upteenth time (it would seem) I caught ‘Reach for the Sky’ on Channel 4 Films, or BBC Two, or Four, or somewhere, the other day. It’s dated, stilted and of its time. Badder has a closer relationship with his batman than his girlfriend. It is gosh and coy. Anyway, I like the few flying shots because it gives me an impression of what my grandfather must have experienced.

Flight Cadet John Arthur ‘Jack’ Wilson MM, RAF Crail December 1918

In 1918 my grandfather, then 22, was learning to fly with the RAF. He flew Avros and Bristol Fighters. My interest in Kenneth More’s film “Reach for the Sky” is that it features flying sequences using these planes (mostly from the Shuttleworth Collection), as well as planes of #WW2. So that’s what it was like? Just as I thought, a 2-stroke lawnmower with wings attached (and a Vicker’s machine gun).

So there you go. My daily drivel.

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What makes an e-learning practitioner professional? Qualification? Codes of Practice? Track Record?

A crude way to determine whether something is a Profession or not; in the Western, 21st century work context, could we do without any of the following?

  • Lawyer
  • General Practitioner
  • Accountant
  • E-Learning Practitioner
  • Estate Agent
  • School Teacher
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Civil Engineer
  • Architect
  • Soldier
  • Priest
  • MP
  • PM
  • Royal
  • Land Argent
  • Surveyor
  • TV presenter
  • Moderator
  • Facilitator
  • Sports Coach
  • Actor

… and if we could do without them, might this be a reason to exclude them from any ‘professional’ status?

I repeatedly feel that the skills expected of an ‘e-learning professional’ are readily available through a web where learning design and programming, let alone copywriting, art direction, video production and production management skills are each a separate role. The ‘e-learning practioner’ in this sense is a one-man band and my suffer from skill dilution as a result, you cannot be a master of all these ‘trades.’

And why do we assume that being a ‘professional’ is a good thing? Some say we need professional MPs, some say not. Is a career MP ala William Hague who’ve known little else and desired nothing more since they were 14 a good or bad thing?

The very nature of working using the latest technologies requires the freedom to chase whatever comes along, rather than being confined to a set or potentially limiting parameters set by others – that could exclude perfectly able peope.

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