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Pen and ink drawing class at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
Fig.1 Chair and shade
It was like being back at school: though the ratio of 15 women to 3 men felt like I’d gate-crashed the girl school’s class down the road; I was educated in all male schools from 4 to 19. Of the 15 two were under 20, two were under 30 and the others above 60 and 70. No difference. Just like school. I recognised this swimming with Masters that given any opportunity to be the child that we were we are.
My relationship with art is an odd one: a mother who taught art, had an MA from Durham University in Fine Art, but who discounted at as a career for any of her children. I took it as far as A’levels (under her tutelage).
In 90 minutes we has some history, so thoughts on kit, then we got on with it. I found a secluded spot in the central courtyard (Jerwood Gallery, Hastings). And picked first on the climbing plants on a wall, and then the chair I’d taken out of the class. My challenge was to look at different ways of adding shade. Eventually I found that changing from pen to cotton balls and ink would differentiate between the object and the shadow. This’ll take further work.
Other learning opportunities over the last few days have included:
Power Boat II (Refresher)
It is eight or more years since I did the course and seven years since I’ve been in a power boat. A bit of it came back. And new stuff was added. I need this so that I can operate a ‘rib’ during ‘racing week’ at the local sailing club: laying the course, keeping an eye on the fleet to rescue and assist. The sea can be choppy, the winds strong. Dinghies go over and their mast can pin them to the shallow sand and grit of Seaford Bay.
How to train a pigeon
In her wisdom my daughter has rescued a pigeon with a broken wing. The RSPB and animal sanctuaries aren’t interest. ‘Ralph’ is now accommodated in a garden shed; shits everywhere but is eating from my daughter’s hand. Muggins will be looking after it shortly of course. The volume of pebble-dash shit is impressive as every shit is onto a fresh patch of shed floor – it will be one shit deep, like a carpet by the weekend.
The exhibition on the designer Ivan Chermeyeff at the De La Warr is so good I’ve been back three times. There is no book on this exhibition, though many of his books are nailed to a table to admire (the page it has been opened at), with a few books you can browse. There is an insightful video too – an interview with the designer talking about how he got into fine art and graphic design from an inspiration father. One of the things he talks about is ‘learning to see’. Had photography not been banned I would not have got out a pad of paper and looked more closely at his collages. Had I not taken such a close look I wouldn’t have seen, with magical surprise, that one was made from ephemera collected at the inauguration of JFKennedy as US President on January 20 1961.
Don’t make it easy
Fig. 1 Some ideas from the Ivan Chermayeff ‘Cut and Paste’ exhibition at the De La Warr, Bexhill
As photography isn’t allowed instead of moving from the gallery with my iPhone or camera clicking at everything and anything that caught my eye I was obliged to get out a sketch pad. Just as Ivan Chermayeff says in a exhibition video ‘most people don’t know how to see’.
We risk making everything too easy with e-learning: photos, screengrabs, instant research, transcripts of video, video as audio only or highlights or summaries thanks to others.
The above ideas were for:
a) A School of Visual Arts talk he was giving with a colleague
b) Arthritis – with letters torn from a type font catalogue and jumbled around
c) Mother and Child in modern art – a signal Magritte or Matisse like cut out.
What I would have missed entirely, and I do it no justice here, is a collage of tickets and seating allocation to the inauguration of John F Kennedy on the 20th January 1961. (Before my time, I’d been conceived a few weeks before at a New Year’s Eve party. Not even I can remember that far back).
Fig.2 Sketch of an Ivan Chermayeff collage/poster using bits and pieces from attendance at the inaugurations of US President J F Kennedy
Online vs. Face to face Learning
I’ll add notes here as the differences between the online and ‘traditional’ learning experience dawn on me as I do the two in parallel. Actually there’s a third comparison I can make – that of L&D which the other week included something neither of the above formats offer – ‘learning over a good lunch!’
The ‘traditional’ seminar or lecture forces your hand somewhat – you have to be there. Many these days are recorded, though mine will not be. I’m inclined therefore to take either a digital or audio recorder along to record these things. I have, just a couple of times over three years, got behind with the online course as I kept putting it off.
Travel … and the associated cost
It’ll be around four hours door to door once a month. This means getting up at 4.30 am. Not of course something someone in full time tertiary education needs to do. Off peak, unless booked well in advance it’ll cost £74 return … £24 if I stick to exact trains. The last train home was heaving. I could and did ‘work’ the entire journey whereas home is a constant distraction.
Eating on campus
Lunch I may have to take with me as the campus only had premade Spar sandwiches at every outlet. A jacket potato or pasta would have been better.
After lunch I did something I last did in double Geography on a Friday afternoon. I sat at the back, cupped my hands over my eyes as if in deep thought … and fell asleep.
When to put in the hours
Something, however common to many people on any part-time distance learning course is ‘the early morning shift’ – putting in 90 minutes or so before breakfast.
While this and other support services are offered to us on our VLE it was invaluable to to have a person run through it as a presentation in person. This kind of stuff should be given a linear expression … a mini-module for newcomers and as a refresher. All I’ve done, two years after the event, was a webinar.
On keeping a diary offline in a book and closed while keeping a blog online and open.
12th January 2012
Then you settle into married life and children and, as I now do, I celebrate my 18th Wedding anniversary, my younger sister’s 25th and the 50th anniversary of my in-laws.
I read about people who plan to digitise their life. The ephemera I have includes the diaries and a trunk of handwritten letters; rememeber them? And letters this boy sent to his Mum from about the age of 8.
Wherein lies the value of it? A useful habit, as it turns out, but do we expect our want a new generation to store every text, every message, every Facebook entry. Are these not stored whether they like it or not … and potentially shared. Whose business should it be, when and if to ‘disclose’ or ‘expose’ a life. It can be of value, but it can also be harmful.
On the reverse side of this card is a note to my fiance, written on the 17th February 1992. We’d been engaged for 8 months, were living apart and would be together that summer and remain together now.
The value of reflection here, is a reminder of these sentiments. The value of any record, any stirred memory, can be to reinforce it, to be cherished, forgotten or dealt with. But if you haven’t taken notes, you rely on the vagaries of your mind. So perhaps a massively scaled down version of digitising everything you do may have value, like a broach you press on occassion ‘for the record.
All of this STILL coming from a single Opinion piece in the New Scientist (23 December to 1 Jan) about someone digitising every moment of their existence.
This is how the ‘professional’ student or corporate blog should look … not social networking, no flirting, no personal stuff, just the business – something to chew on.
Creativity Innovation Change and Cryptic notes from tutorial
Cryptic notes offered as pointers.
Were this a Wiki it could be added to collectively.
- Be careful with the term ‘framework’ which here means metaphors as exploration for problem solving.
Whereas methodologies are ‘methods for problem solving’ such as:
- 3 stage model
- Disney (complete method, not technique).
- Guerilla activities : Covert creative problem solving. Can anyone add more to this?
START (in context)
Techniques Library: 82, 86.
- Tiger Samurai Mother in law
- Tut-tut mother in law Tiger growl samurai sword
- Energy levels up
- Into the right frame of mind for finer painting etc:
(actually pom-pom, could be any item to throw and catch from a beach ball to screwed-up newspaper).
I first came across this at Youth Theatre in my teens, then used it as a warm-up with video production teams and later with ‘Mini Squad’ our futu elite swimmers, in the water and used to get names in their heads, then with ‘hot potato’ suitably warmed up.
Adjective and person’s name
Concentration game around the room
How to do the virtual version?
Describe yourself as an animal on a post it.
What you do. Guess the animal.
Perceptions of who you are. Then the two animals together.
How did this go? I should know.
I elected to be a Red Squirrel only because I happened to be thinking about a certain Management Training Centre in the Lake District where we had Red Squirrels. It couldn’t relate to my current role.
Did Super heroes and it worked by people finding complementary powers. Good at solution finding stage.
What have we got to lose? (if you are getting nowhere).
VS lots of incremental changes but not delivering, so how to reframe it and do something more visionary. E.g Charing Cross as an aircraft carrier.
Sequence of diamonds to have the problem, diverge, then draw it together.
Based on ‘systems thinking’ Jane Henry and John Martin. Trying therefore to understand in holistically.
Messy when put together e.g. Hospital, flyover and play park. P.43/44
Wicked or messy problems.
Why am I dealing with this problem? Use a technique for messy or wicked problems.
3:10 unpacking problems
METHODOLOGIES some are techniques, others are complete methods.
Horse shoe and the car STORY But sales are falling … So you make increasingly better horseshoes. Trapped into doing the same thing. When the world is changing around you, you need to do something different.
1) get as much as you can, so keep converging.
E.g. Don’t close down ideas when brainstorming. You want one idea to lead to another. VS. As soon as you close down you stop the flow of ideas.
E.g Brain writing. 30secs to put ideas/answers on a pad, then quickly pass it around.
Interject a game ….
Then back to the brainstorm.
Do something different.
Then back to the brainstorm …
Converge, Diverge, Statement of the problem.
N.B. One people fully understand what the problem is the following stages follow through quickly.
Rules for the environment.
Part 1 what you intend to do.
Part 2 What you did
Part 3 How you’d do it next time (better when it goes wrong) Genuinely real problems (nothing trivial)
N.B. Do it in a real context to convince the tutor that you did it.
Ideal, a group of highly supportive group people at work. Or virtual.
Hamburger or shit sandwich : pointing out what went well and reinforcing this to conclude.
How are you going to overcome the constraints of your organisation?
Role/s required for Social Media.Agency VS. jack of all trades.
Exceedingly well educated, but preconditioned on how to solve a problem.
What people are wearing! Dress down Friday. Different location (and time) No hierarchy, include outsiders. Morning, Afternoon or Evening. Toolkit (bag of toys)
Party facilitator Youth Leader (theatre) Swim Coach (pool)
NO IT games! (paid for and restrive)
Role reversal … In my shoes (personas) Facing the truth.
Lose the passion. HBS.
Gap analysis: where we are … Where we would like to be. Steps BACK from the end putting in place the steps. Make in convergent, divergent. Have a pack of colour discs. Lay them out to diverge, then converge. Physically walk it through. (Human sculpture) … Even as a person not the organisation.
E.g William Hague and the shadow cabinet in waiting on a yacht. Gocek. 1991/2
Why is the group composed the way it is?
Pace Planning Dress down, especially military. Don’t think the technique will work View the technique library as a recipe book. Have back up techniques in your back pocket
See video for Facilitation.
Bring your pet to school day …
QQ what are you doing differently compared to 2011.
Insightful commentary on the decisions 5W&H to structure TMA.
If you cannot define the problem early on start by looking at the symptoms.
What to do with the dominant participant?
- Judgemental people need the rational
- Take them back to the process
- Keep it positive
- Don’t let them close it down
KAI if 10/ 20 apart can cause problems.
Email IAN for chapter on imagery.
Sometimes only paper will do (electronic paper is not always best)
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.
The 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
On reading a book cover to cover – it can be an e-book, it is the extended and consistent voice that matters
I have no doubt that habit has something to do with it. My reading list before going up to Oxford perhaps. A stack of second hand books, a pen and notebook. I like reading a book cover to cover.
I am on my third MAODE module. You are pointed at a chapter here, a chapter there, loads of reports too, but no longer a book. We had books in 2001, a box of them and a CD-rom.
I have bought and read three topic related books. Do they now clutter up shelf-space? They are like oranges I have squeezed dry, for pulp, juice and pips.
I have bought eight e-books and have devoured two of these.
It was reading Vygotsky’s ‘Educational Phsycology’ that made me appreciate the value of reading a single author cover to cover. What is more, I enjoy the limitations of his own reading. This is 1926. How many people is he going to read and reference. Not that many, John Dewey stands out so will be my next read. There has to be value in engaging with a flow of argument from one mind over many thousands of words. Perhaps it is a relief where so much of my reading is prompted by Linked In Forum Messages, OU Tutor Group Forum Messages and feeds from blogs.
‘Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age’ is a compilation piece.
The K-tell album of e-learning authors.
All our favourites get to sing their song.
I enjoy how the editors introduce each new chapter, at least there is some attempt to bind the contributors to a theme. I wonder from amongst them if I have heard a voice I am interested in hearing again? i.e. once again, this suggestion that you tune into a person’s way of thinking and expressing themselves and by doing so surely speed up the learning process?
What counts though are my highlights and notes.
Having read each cover to cover I am now going through the 350 highlights/notes on EACH. This gives me the chance to expand, delete, add and reflect. And for those poor people who Friended me on Facebook by accident rather than design, Tweet-like updates directly from the Kindle. I need to find a better way to manage these … sending them here would be an idea, at least there’s some relevance.
I am reading no fewer than FOUR what we might term ‘popular’ books on e-learning, the DIY books primarily aimed at teachers. One is brilliant, two are also-rans, but one is dreadful: Prensky gets headlines for his headlines (Digital Natives) … there is no substance to him and I heartily wish the OU would drop him as a point of discussion.
Or is this the point?
You know you’ve learnt something once you’ve gone from nodding along with all he says to consigning him to the bin?
Vygotsky, L.S. (1926) Educational Psycholgy.
Beetham, H., Sharpe, R (eds) (2009) Rethinking E-learning Pedagogy.