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Fig.1. ELearning Network team exercise
Throughout my career I have relished the company of like-minds that comes from being part of a ‘trade association’. Since I was a teenager I was part of the IVCA – the communications industry and the extensive use of video in training and communications.
Over the last decade, with the digital takeover and the demise of video in favour of faster, personalised delivery mechanism and smart learning online new associations have emerged. Personally, a Master of Arts in Open and Distance Education (MA ODE) has convinced me that video is a blunt, even bland and potentially forgettable and disengaging response to a learning need – well written text can be read at a pace set by the participant.
I joined the ELearning Network doing a bit online and following various stories. Last Friday I joined 30 or so for a day long series of talks. I was impressed. It worked.
Over the course of five hours there were five presenters – the format was engagement rather than lecture.
It gave me the perspective of the industry I wanted as I contemplate taking my interest in an academic approach to the next step – PhD research.
Where is the ‘smart e-learning’ and what can I isolate into a piece of original research that warrants three years of research and a 100,000 thesis?
I gained insights on:
- Composing questions
- The role of games and gamification
- Design for social interaction
- Designing interaction: games, social, tutorial …
In the process our table invented a game called ‘Kiss the Frog’ where participants have to battle against the odds and each other to ‘kiss the frog’ – so that they too can become a frog and live happily ever after and a game to explain genetics in relation to colour-blindness.
It has been refreshing not to blog for a month. It is easier to reflect.
Had it become compulsive? A necessity to post whether I had something to say or note?
Now qualified with a Master of Arts in Open and Distance Education am I inclined to be more circumspect and scholarly?
Is this ‘jazz writing’ as I call it resistance to or an alternative to ‘proper’ writing, whether academic or storytelling.
I miss what I have missed and the need to catch up. I have been busy with a trip to walk in and out of the old line along the Western Front at Ypres. I have read copiously and widely on psychology, neuroscience, e-learning and history. I have seen a movie a day.
On reflection I am better off WITH rather than without the regular habit of capturing thoughts and ideas as they are experienced. I gain from the e-portfolio, the aide memoire, if nothing else.
Stumbling upon the work of Baroness Susan Greenfield, for example, prompted by a radio talk has had me reading her take on neuroscience.