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My Personal Learning Environment. What’s yours?
I should look back at how this has changed over four years. Taking on more technology took a while. I remember the days of printing off. Then I migrated to an iPad and constantly looked at ways not to come offline ever. Now I mix it all up: I use a white board, I doodle in a notepad and I shift between devices as everything is done in Google Docs.
I have some favourite apps:
And load perhaps 50-100 pictures to Picasa Web Gallery every day … there are over 2000 images and screen-grabs from the MAODEs alone. And far too many pictures of the dog hiding when I take her for a walk.
My only bete noire are the ruddy cables you need to supply power to the kit; I went away for a few days armed with iPad and Macbook Air but forget the charger for the laptop. The iPad cable feels as if I am packing a coil of rope – it ways more with the plug and takes up more space.
My test over the next couple of months is when I set off for a month to Belgium, France and the Alps. Will I hanker after a robust broadband signal all the time?
I love words
Fig.1 On trying to understand the meaning of foveal
Merriam-Webster – the ‘sticky’ web dictionary using gamification to build the brand and hold your attention.
Who’d have thought it a decade ago. ‘Sticky’ was the Holy Grail – but applied to an online dictionary?
I love words.
I have used many online dictionaries, including ‘the dictionary’ and the OED, and of course Wikipedia. Increasingly I pick Merriam-Webster from the list offered.
The response page is clean (ish) i.e. you get an unclutted, quick and short definition, which is all you want if you are trying to read a text.
You can, by default, find you are ’embedding’ your relationship with the word by adding a comment.
- What brings you here?
- Why were you after this word?
- You may then be intrigued by the responses other people have left.
Then there’s the quick 15 second quiz.
A crafty way to up your Pub Quiz or Mastermind General Knowledge.
Fig.2 Another distraction in the Merriam-Web online dictionary
And there’s a pithy video clip on some highfalutin stuff about words. Except of course it isn’t, you’d just expect it to be so. They’re very down to earth. There’s the best explanation of the important difference between – its and its – for example.
My distraction? My word(s)
That collection of nodes in the retina we subconsciously use when focusing on the fine detail of something – often used for reading tough texts where the ‘profoveal words’ i.e. those just out of vision and typically a few down the line from your centre of focus could distract if and where the word is bold, in colour, underlined … or the purposes of the research papers I am reading, if the word or phrase has a hyperlink.
Do you want you reader to read at an uninterupted measured pace – or tangle their eyes in barbed wire?
The aim, as they eventually figured out with the printed word, is a form or set of patterns and guidelines that make the reading of text on a screen easier, engaging enough so the the issues and facts begin to stick, without it being a mess.
I often wonder if a ‘porta-pront’ App – so you read as a Newsreader would do, offers the most uncluttered way to read text?
We’re still a long way short of a digital expression of the written word – the guiltiest group are academic papers. These are for the most part highly formalised layouts based on analogue moveable print.
Where I can I cut and paste and entire paper into Google Docs, then reformat so that I can scroll through.
Now what on earth did I get up to do 20 minutes ago?!
This little gem.
Risse, S, & Kliegl, R 2012, ‘Evidence for delayed parafoveal-on-foveal effects from word n+2 in reading’, Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception And Performance, 38, 4, pp. 1026-1042, PsycARTICLES, EBSCOhost, viewed 11 February 2013.
A fascinating read that debunks the thesis of Marshall McLuhan – not that I was looking for one. It appears we don’t so much see words as perceive them – that there isn’t such a disconnect between oral traditions of communication and learning and the written word. McLuhan is known for the ‘medium is the message’ in relation to mass media in the 1950s/1960s. Other than the fact that he failed to acknowledge that people didn’t stop talking to each other or reading just because they could watch TV, he also likes to ignore radio in this argument. To cite McLuhan in relation to the Internet is a further calumny as it is mixed and multi-media. But, importantly, and no differently to the coming of print or radio or TV we remain human first and prone to communicate as we have always done – either orally, or through interpretation of what we see and do in a mixture of oral and visual terms.
- What do a Peruke, a Sporran and a Uraeus have in Common? (kerngirl.com)
- The Reality of Bliss (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com)
- The spoken word is crucial to understanding. (mymindbursts.com)
How would you define the professional in e-learning?
This looks good on a flip chart, I even took photos of it.
I wish it were more dynamic, on the paper version the reverse side of each category has a set of industry related quotes.
How would you jiggle these terms around?
How do I create a classic Venn Diagram with a piece of software?
Is there the means to play with diagrams like this collaboratively in a wiki or Google Docs?
I’ll produce a reverse image of this with the references.
I also realise that I have about thirty items that would appear where professional, ‘e-‘ and ‘learning’ cross. Sometimes a handwritten essay with a hand-drawn diagram is so much easier to produce and correct 😦
How about handwritten essay produced with a stylus on a Wacom board?
Spent the morning walking along Cuckmere River to the Channel where it became remarkably mild in the sun. Chewing over reasons why efforts to raise finances to produce high-end, TV docu-drama programmes linked to interactive ‘edutainment’ never got off the ground in 2001, despite fullsome praise from the likes of a founding director of Cisco (John Cage) at NABS where he had the keynote speech and we were presenting.
We wanted to wow viewers and spend a great deal and thought there was a way for this to make money. The broadcasters, stalwart supporters of Atlantic Productions with whom were were developing product, were at this very time pulling away from the websites as pits of financial loss. Commercialisation is everything.
It is therefore timely that there was an hour long discussion this morning on the rise of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the ‘Innovations Lab.’ I was in one once myself, the BT Think Tank. If anyone will have me I’ll join a new think tank, if not, I’ll form my own.
Cost still matters a great deal:
- How to radically cut costs by going down the e-learning route (pure online and blended).
- How to make money creating learning for a global market.
This is how to educate 50% of UK school-leavers. They leave school, but they don’t leave home. They take their degree through the OU or some similar while working.
A new generation with a new set of concerns and motivations.
- passport, ticket, money (promenadeplantings.com)
- Sinuous curves, poignant absence: Eric Ravilious in the landscape. (anepistolaryproject.wordpress.com)
- Samsung doubles down on the stylus, goes in bed with Wacom (idownloadblog.com)
Frank Cottrell-Boyce reflected on what an advantage he gopt doing year 6 over in primary school because he was too young for Secondary School.
Frank Cottrell-Boyce reflected on what an advantage he got doing Year 6 over in primary school because he was too young for Secondary School.
It is extraordinary how empowering it is to feel on top of a subject.
I had thought as I did H807 (Innovations in e-learning) that it would be good to do again, that it was all happening too fast, not just re-learning how to study, but knowing how best to function in this online environment.
As it turns out there is overlap between H807 and H808 (The e-learning professional); for the most part I am grateful. On the other hand I wonder if I couldn’t have done this MA in a year and done 20-30 hours a week instead.
Still, this is a chance for me to make choices about the plethora of tools and platforms available. This is the problem, having hundreds of software packages and Apps that may or may not make a contribution to a piece of work I may, or may not, at some stage prepare (probably not) and deliver.
I’m surprised how on a second or third go with Skype, Google Docs and Skype that you can feel at home with them and share what they do with others.
I translated a swimming coach’s CV on sports credentials from Catalan to English using Google Docs this morning. Extraordinary.
I already upload to Flickr and Facebook, and YouTube.
I blog anything between 1,000 and 10,000 words a day. I walk around with the means to photograph anything, video anything or record notes on anything all of which can be easily uploaded to a myriad of mostly free platforms.
And if people want me on a mobile device that easy for them to set up.
But what is the contents of my mind worth?
The skills you need as an e-learning practitioner
Training as a TV producer I picked up some skills editing, writing and directing. A project was never too small that a person fulfilling each of these tasks wasn’t required. Indeed, the ‘one man band’ was frowned upon. Some TV crews were still unionised so you had a cameraman, assistant and sound engineer, minimum. Today in TV production a producer may not only direct and write, but operate the camera and edit the piece. To be a TV professional in 2010 you need this variety of skills. I do. I did the courses. Camera, editing … even six months as a sound engineer.
- Google Docs
- Google Wave
- Adobe Acrobat
- FilmMaker Pro
- Windows Live