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27 persuasive reasons to blog today

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Sometimes only paper will do

Whilst I read books and papers using an eReader there are at times when only paper will do.

 Reading course notes in H800 of the Masters in Open and Distance Education, WK25.

Once again, MindCreator, an App for the iPad is rather useful. Updating this Personal Learning Environment mindmap perhaps suggests I spend very little time ‘on paper,’ and a good deal of time ‘online’. I post this thinking it is up to date; having joined Google+ yesterday the interplay of tools here may change again.

Have we ever lived in such a fluid world?

Created in MindCreator

‘B’ is for ‘bathroom’ learning, beach and bed. Not so much ‘mobile’ learning as recumbent learning

SURVEY ON USE OF SMARTPHONES BY US STUDENTS

53% of students (mostly undergraduates in this survey of 573 in the US) with a smartphone, typically an iPhone or Blackberry, use it in the bathroom.

Only 28% say they never do.

My only suggestion is to do as in China and wash you hands both before and after.

This gives me t-learning or should that be ‘seat-uated’ learning.

Situated and contextual learning requires marrying up the place and the learning being done, which could therefore be National Geographic and ‘The Oldie’ online?

The posh may prefer ‘lavatory learning’ – which would be ‘L-learning’.

Lavatorum Docet

The lavatory teaches

Could be bed-based learning too, even the beach, or on a boat; all tried for the purposes of testing the device and its possibilities.

TIPS FOR THE BATH

  • Spare towel for the iPad when you put the thing down. I find this is when the water gets cold.
  • Toe control of the hot tap.
  • Contact lenses in (glasses steam up).

The context lends itself to a variety of e-learning topics, the marketing of bathroom products, shampoos in particular.

A glance might allow the sleuth to identify the make-up of family members.

Takes picture, though this could be uploaded directly to wordpress here I go for Picasa Web, then paste in the code.

DIY tips on a dripping tap would be handy, but isn’t that e-training?

Otherwise normal bath activities apply:

  • read a book,
  • listen to the radio …
  • sleep
  • wash

Surely ‘mobile learning’ in this context is a misnomer (or unnecessary nomer)

Was book reading ever called mobile or portable reading once cost and size meant that some people took the early printed books with them?

Being without a room of my own, or study even a habitable shed, garage or attic the advantage of having an iPad in the bath is that I am unlikely to be disturbed.

A laptop doesn’t work, you get drips in the keyboard and sitting up spoils the point of the bath.

Where do you take your ‘mobile device’ and in what contexts, times and places is it suitable or conducice to learning?

I find a bench ‘in memory to … ‘ on cliffs looking over the English Channel at Hope Gap or the mouth of the River Cuckmere below the chalk cliffs of the South Downs known as the ‘Seven Sisters’ a place to write, especially at first light. For a couple of hours. Train journeys can be good too, so long as it isn’t packed.

Finding meaning across the fluid and complex world of e-learning

H800 wk23 a Activity 2

Stepping over the edge

‘A key characteristic of these new technologies is “learning by doing” – users need to be immersed in and “play with” the affordances that these new digital environments offer, and hence over time get a sense of how they can change practice.’ Conole (2011:403)

MY STUDENT BLOG AS A WORDLE

Whilst I may highlight and annotate, doing do on paper isn’t the easiest way to share; using a screen reader is worse because I find myself not enjoying having the obvious affordances, such as cut and paste, disabled.

I have an iPad to learn from it and to share what I discover.

It is both the angle and the devil on my shoulder.

Does it super-size my mind?

It thrills and engages it, indulges and expands, but also risks loosing me in its labarynthine tangles.

Saved for now by a To Do list that I refresh and follow.

But then I find an idea from Conole (see above) that is key.

The internet is a trip to the sea, it is somewhere to play and discover.

We may require Lifeguards and laneropes but it remains largelly an environment that can only be understood through engagement.

You will get you face wet,you may get bitten by a crab.

To share this thinking I must go online, and cannot help myself.  For the last three months I click through Linkedin, reading and responding.

For the next three it may be Stumbleupon, which through tricks and traits I find increasingly insightful, feeding me like a favourite aunt or uncle , the weirdness of the http://www. 

Serendipity would be a better word for it. 

I am rewarded by 25 minutes of browsing with ‘new finds’ that becomes stuff that I recommend which in turn obliges me to update my profile, might I even say ‘brand tag’ the finds as ‘mymindbursts’. (I need two days off to take stock and write up some ten ore more blog entries.

Draft I know will do, from my experience as a diarist, just enough to trigger a more expansive and reflecive entry)”.

To remind myself:

Monday 11th

Livestream on Social Media Metrics from IET. Five presenters. All to write up from my notes and screengrabs, cushioned or suffocated by the ‘official’ word and slides that have since gone up.

Tuesday 12th

Picklejar Social Media for HE in which Tracy Payle shares insights from a number of Universites and through activities tips my thinking upside down and shakes it out onto the conference room table. I come away enlightened and as I had wanted, more confident if mot emboldened.

Thursday 20th

Faculty discussion on VLE and my experiences of The OU VLE to date. I take a look at the poster in the Post Room and discover a ‘common room’ I had been unaware of.

E-learning is just like a chicken Tika Masala

The idea of thinking of e-learning as a chicken tikka is sound, though I’d perhaps prefer pizza or a Chinese takeaway.

Whether it’s e – learning or m- learning, it must be ME learning.

Chapter 12

Rosemary Luckin, Diane Brewster, Pearce, du Boulay, Siddons – Corbay.

From Mobile Learning:a hand book for educators and trainers. John  Traxler and Agnes Kukulksha-Hulme (2005)

I read this on vacation in a couple of days in between learning to surf on the north Cornwall beach of Mawgan Porth. I have barely managed a day without dwelling on either e-learning or social media, dreaming of them even when a signal is difficult to come by (on the knoll above the farmhouse where we are staying).

Written in 2005 and so based on research of the previous five years I have to wonder at my haste to download it (e-book). It takes me back to my own first forays into online learning in 2001 when amongst others FT Knowledge was my account.

The problem with the content is that is is woefully out of date. All the research being done at the time was on the useless PDAs of the time; I stuck with a PSION that served me well as  a pocket word-processor.

‘Whichever mode of delivery I choose, the meal I eat will still be Chicken Tikka’. Luckin et al (2005:122)

The only idea of lasting significance that I have taken from the entire book is this one, that and fig.1 which I’m a mind map indicates the many devices that provide mobility, ALL of which now reside in an iPad or iPhone with all problems long ago resolved by commercial organisations rather than any institution who without fail take far too long to commit to anything and invariably design by committee trying to please everyone so put everything in, and rarely consider the commercial feasibility of their actions.

On reflection, ‘take-away’ says it all for e-learning as convenience is everything.

REFERENCE

Luckin,R., Brewster,D., du Boulay, P., Corbay, S.  (2005) in Mobile Learning. A handbook for educators and trainers. Edited by Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and John Traxler.

Micro-moments, micro-places – mobile learning anytime, anywhere? Learning in a sneeze?

As a professional swimming coach when working with disabled swimmers I was taught to play to a person’s strengths.

When Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (2011) talks about the inequalities of access, on the one hand she mentions the affordances of such devices on the other … we find a way to play to their strengths – is it not these developments that drive advances?

Woman needing and wanting to study favour learning via a mobile device (smart-phone or more likely a standard mobile) as it can just look as if they are on the phone. There are cultures where learning is liberation and where liberation is not something the men want ‘their’ women to have.

I wonder how many others can now take their mobile device into a ‘space of their own’ (to paraphrase Virginia Woolf), so that they can Rita-like (as in ‘Educating Rita) ‘improve’ themselves.

Bed, bog and bath. You can take an iPad its contents and links wherever you would take a book or a pair of nail-clippers. Walking the dog, up a tree, over a coffee, in a traffic-jam. Waiting for the kettle to boil, the laptp to boot up, the toast to pop?

micro-moments and micro-places.

Why you should act it out as a way to learn and do so in a virtual world

We role-play as children to make sense of the world, we take on multiple personas to some degree in real-life as well.. I am particularly taken by the way people with a disability can walk in a virtual world (Peachy) or indeed how any of us can fly and do much more in these environments (die and repeatedly come back to life of course.)


At no cost my dentist, or rather our family dentist, made a set of dentures for me out of dentine that fitted over my teeth. This allowed me to sing. I foolishly sharpened the fangs and promptly punctured my lower lip. I learnt by the way that unless I could have dislocated my jaw biting someone’s neck is impossible. Vampires should bite the wrist or leg, but then all, or at least the obvious sexual innuendos are lost.

REFERENCE

Peachey, A. (2010) ‘Living in immaterial worlds: who are we when we learn and teach in virtual worlds?’ in Sheehy, K., Ferguson, R. and Clough, G. (eds) Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education (Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World), New York, NY, Nova Science.

Was I living out a fantasy when I played Dracula in my teens? I kept acting into my twenties until I decided that my mental state couldn’t handle the selection process (rejection) and my experience in front of camera and on stage left me bored senseless (I had minor roles).

Do actors, as in role-play, have to overcome or compensate for who they are?

Peachy raises all the points in a common- sense and everyday way. I can imagine or should research where stepping into the role of an avatar has life- saving qualities, for example is not learning to fly a commercial jet-airliner in a simulator not a form of virtual role-play? I believe firemen are trained in virtual set-ups too and believe the nuclear power
industry do so too.

The trouble with doing this in a learning context is the huge development costs. i.e. It has to be better to use a ready made platform. I then ask though, what is wrong with using our imaginations, that improvising and role-play doesn’t require the disguises?

12 metaphors visualised to aid thinking about the brilliance of blogging

Why blog?

  • Old ways vs. New ways
  • Isolated vs. Connected
  • Visible vs. Invisible or rather
  • Silent or a presence or sphere of influence

____________________________________________________________

 What do you think?

  • As an academic
  • As an author (or wannabe writer)
  • As a journalist or ‘citizen journalist’
  • You have something to say
  • You want to be heard
  • It’s your job

_____________________________________________________________

You need the social media skills

  • Reputation
  • CV
  • Google your name
  • Interview on Skype

__________________________________________________________________

You want:

  • To be heard
  • To engage
  • To influence
  • To compete

_____________________________________________________________

Beware:

A)  the limitations of the metaphor
B)  imposing old constructs onto new such as:

  • a website as a brochure
  • a blog as a diary, journal or log
___________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

It is everything and anything online:

  • A digital ocean

  • A digital water-cycle

  • An ecosystem

  • Swim Lanes as a metaphor for learning design

  • Overwhelming volumes of stuff
  • It matters

____________________________________________________________

Distance Learning to Nearness Learning

No longer ‘broadcasting’ but ‘peer-to-peer’, ‘one-to-one’ or ‘group’ influencing

The value lies in the influence of the personal relationship

  • rarely synchronous
  • even more rare to be face to face
  • but as a presence or voice,

  • it is vital.

______________________________________________________________

Analogies make us think, express ideas and through simplification the clarify

  • Ring of blogs (max, ma, min and micro)
  • Ring of Social Media Activities (Linkedin, Facebook and Xing)
  • Saturn’s rings and moons
    A metaphor for collection of webpages, a vibrant, dense, sharp, insightful blogs with a mix of Social Media Networking activity in Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
    INSERT RINGS SKETCH

The pattern that  matters to me is between people.

Which I tried to bring to life with a set of chess pieces. I need to work on this, perhaps lay the relationships out on the floor of a conference hall?

Activity systems illustrate how people solve problems are  innovation and generate influence through interaction

_________________________________________________________________________

Who reads, who comments who creates?

__________________________________________________________________________

Conversations between people, content fed in, discussed, shared, informing the website or informed by it.

BLOGGING

Individual or group/team enterprise

Author or contributor

(Guest writers)

Effort, patience, time …

  • Listen
  • Comment
  • Create

WHAT TYPE OF BLOG?

‘Everything and anything goes. You cannot do it wrong. There are no mistakes. At any time you can change your point of view, your style, your book, the pen you write with, the direction you write on the pages, the language in which you write, the subjects you include, or the audience you write to. You can misspell, write ungrammatically, enter incorrect dates, exaggerate, curse, pray, write poetically, eloquently, angrily, lovingly. You can past in photographs, newspaper clippings, cancelled checks, letters, quotes, drawings, doodles, dried flowers, business cards, or labels. You can write on lined paper or blank paper, violet paper or yellow, expensive bond or newsprint.’

Tristine Rainer, ‘The New Diary’ 1976.

CREATE

______________________________________________________________________________

RECOMMEND

  • Niche (person or team)
  • Comprehensive (an extension of the website)

Also personal, unique even quirky … Has a point of view, voice.
N.b. Consistent … Pace can change, but at least like a fire that never goes out … Or it will.

Beating writer’s block – controlled stimulation to get you going

SOCIAL MEDIA as the ‘Water-Cooler’

Two words:

‘Be Sociable’

LEARNING ONLINE

Why the groundswell?

And why now?

Making meaning of complexity and change through metaphor

H800 wk23 a Activity 2

Stepping over the edge

‘A key characteristic of these new technologies is “learning by doing” – users need to be immersed in and “play with” the affordances that these new digital environments offer, and hence over time get a sense of how they can change practice.’ Conole (2011:403)

MY STUDENT BLOG AS A WORDLE

Whilst I may highlight and annotate, doing do on paper isn’t the easiest way to share; using a screen reader is worse because I find myself not enjoying having the obvious affordances, such as cut and paste, disabled.

I have an iPad to learn from it and to share what I discover.

It is both the angle and the devil on my shoulder.

Does it super-size my mind?

It thrills and engages it, indulges and expands, but also risks loosing me in its labarynthine tangles.

Saved for now by a To Do list that I refresh and follow.

But then I find an idea from Conole (see above) that is key.

The internet is a trip to the sea, it is somewhere to play and discover.

We may require Lifeguards and lane ropes but it remains largely an environment that can only be understood through engagement.

You will get you face wet,you may get bitten by a crab.

To share this thinking I must go online, and cannot help myself.  For the last three months I click through Linkedin, reading and responding.

For the next three it may be Stumbleupon, which through tricks and traits I find increasingly insightful, feeding me like a favourite aunt or uncle , the weirdness of the www.

Serendipity would be a better word for it.

I am rewarded by 25 minutes of browsing with ‘new finds’ that becomes stuff that I recommend which in turn obliges me to update my profile, might I even say ‘brand tag’ the finds as ‘mymindbursts’. (I need two days off to take stock and write up some ten on more blog entries.

Draft I know will do, from my experience as a diarist, just enough to trigger a more expansive and reflective entry)”.

To remind myself:

Monday 11th

Livestream on Social Media Metrics from IET. Five presenters. All to write up from my notes and screengrabs, cushioned or suffocated by the ‘official’ word and slides that have since gone up.

Tuesday 12th

Picklejar Social Media for HE in which Tracy Payle shares insights from a number of universities and through activities tips my thinking upside down and shakes it out onto the conference room table. I come away enlightened and as I had wanted, more confident if mot emboldened.

Thursday 20th

Faculty discussion on VLE and my experiences of The OU VLE to date. I take a look at the poster in the Post Room and discover a ‘common room’ I had been unaware of.

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