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Finding your tribe

One of the most enjoyable and inspiring books I have read this year has been Sir Ken Robinson's "Out of our Minds"  and my ref...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

this week's exciting news...

<embed wmode="opaque" src="http://static.ning.com/socialnetworkmain/widgets/index/swf/badge.swf?v=201111102352" FlashVars="backgroundColor=0x3F92BC&textColor=0xF5F0F5&config=http%3A%2F%2Fglobaleducation.ning.com%2Fmain%2Fbadge%2FshowPlayerConfig%3Fxg_source%3Dbadge%26size%3Dmedium%26username%3D2bp1worcra532" width="206" height="174" bgColor="#3F92BC" scale="noscale" allowScriptAccess="always" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"> </embed><br /><small><a href="http://globaleducation.ning.com">Visit <em>The Global Education Collaborative</em></a></small><br />

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

From curation to creation

I have invested some time in learning and using scoop.it over the past few months. My topics have increased, as have the follows, so that's all good. Recently, prompted by a contact @sensor, who I got to know through another part of my pln, @timbuckteeth, I have also revisited pearltrees. At first I found the interface tricky but with interaction and support from @sensor I am getting it. Suddenly, as I explored a penny dropped... The more I curated the more I saw links and was moved to create. This is true of language acquisition too - the greater the exposure the more likely you are to have the tools to create your own language to express own thoughts.

Seems to me that it is time to revisit this http://education.ed.pacificu.edu/aacu/workshop/reconcept2b.html
as part of the virtual exchange project this year. It can also be one of my objectives in the #change11 mooc as the result will be more comprehensive when shared and developed collaboratively.

Note to self: Why do I have my best ideas when I'm really busy ??

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

#change11 MOOC

Just as I thought I was starting to see light at the end of a long summer tunnel, the #change11 MOOC is getting underway. The programme is interesting https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?authkey=CPSOtI4C&key=0AsQEdp4A5UZOdGJaSkpKNGJyekR5OXh0QXRSRVFEWnc&hl=en&authkey=CPSOtI4C#gid=0 but I need to get selective if I am not to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material. A quite few moments are scheduled this week to draw up my priorities and goals. Tonght I have read and viewed some introductory material, little and often seems to be the best appraoch for now.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Finding your tribe

One of the most enjoyable and inspiring books I have read this year has been Sir Ken Robinson's "Out of our Minds"  and my reflections on this year's ALT-C conference #altc2011 have brought me back to Sir Ken's explanation of our existence as "suspended in webs of significance". In our quest for ever deeper understanding of our specialised field he points to the danger of our losing sight of the bigger picture, and the importance of maintaining open networks that support collaboration and innovation. At the conference Seb made it clear that ALT's doors are open to all who wish to share their insights into the use of technology in teaching and learning, whatever their professional context: published authors, lauded innovators, movers and shakers mixed with web developers, administrators, lecturers and e-learning advisors. The mix is becoming increasingly international and interactions more public through the use of social networking and web 2.0 tools. This broadening of access will raise wider awareness of the bigger questions in our area of technology use and can only help to inform decision making.
From a personal perspective I realised that I found my "tribe" at ALT-C this year,  or at least one of the tribes that make up a rather complex identity as a linguist, teacher, teacher educator and learning technologist. (not to forget -  mum, wife, homemaker, kitchen sink philosopher, lapsed gym bunny etc etc) and that will be a source of support and inspiration as we start another busy year. @amcunningham's words on managing our digital identity, Sandra Fitton-Wilde's frank exposure of technology resistance amongst some learner groups are just some examples of the insights that will feed directly into my activities. Thanks ALT-C for charging my batteries :)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

ALT-C 2011

Opportunities to meet with others who share similar challenges and experiences, be they new friends or existing acquantances, are always enriching. They are also stressful and demanding - you travel miles, get out of your comfort zone and juggle competing demands on your time in an already busy life. However, I have realised today just how the kindness and simple courtesy of those around you makes everything easier. I know from my experience last year that the alt-c is a busy conference bringing together people who are experts in their field, what has impressed me is how friendly everyone is. Whether it is a helping hand with your luggage, a door held open, a cheerful "I'll show you the way" - these simple things provide the glue that makes ALT not just a community but the best of communities in which to make great connections to help face your challenges.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Languages@warwick featured on warwicknowledge

So exciting this morning to see twitter announcing the warwicknowledge feature on our language learning portal http://m2.warwicklanguage.org.uk/

It has taken many years to get to this stage and in many ways it is still just the beginning but it is such a boost to have a public acknowledgement of what we have achieved so far. I say "we" because, although the article focuses on my role, there are many others whose contribution should be acknowledged. There was support from Warwick's LDC and the more recent IATL; encouragement from Language Centre colleagues, both tutors and support staff; Warwick students too played a vital part in shaping the portal. In my wider Personal Learning Network those at Moodle, wimba and remote learner contributed their expertise en route. If the portal is my latest baby, it is one borne of collaboration and it will flourish if we continue to work together for the creation of great learning opportunities.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

#edchat challenge

Enjoyed a lively discussion on twitter #edchat tonight and @shellterrell which ended with a challenge to suggest a way forward for education reform. This is a subject close to my heart as I am passionate about ensuring high quality teaching and learning for all that is not just driven by metrics and league tables. There is so much excitement, commitment and innovation visible in webinars now, technology can be the channel to ensure that high quality information can be shared. Educators need to be lifelong learners, connected to a wide range of professionals - as Tom Whitby just said (on a radio broadcast I'm listening to online from the UK) educators have the right to live in caves if they wish, they do not have the right to drag their students into them. I'd love to get our bb collaborate room into gear to make this happen :)

Saturday, 30 July 2011

e-portfolio research

Now starting to find my way through the blogs, twitter feeds, studies and research to establish a suitable framework for evaluating our e-portfolios. Our implementation is due to start in October with a small pilot group. Lots of useful information from JISC and Becta. We will be emphasising the employability skills enhancement that we can deliver by encouraging the mastery of the available technologies and engagement with the language learning process. It is very important to me that we facilitate deep learning through a reflective, story telling approach. I found this presentation very significant:

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Change MOOC

Wishing to experience for myself learning as it is presented through connectivism, I signed up for the change MOOC this year. Several things both alarm and intrigue me. Firstly there will be lots of content, too much in fact for me or indeed the facilitators to read, I will have to control my desire to grasp every detail! Secondly "This is an unusual course. It does not consist of a body of content you are supposed to remember. Rather, the learning in the course results from the activities you undertake, and will be different for each person" OK so I can browse and follow my interests, I can "aggregate, remix, repurpose and feed forward" so far, so real life. I am intrigued because now I can see that I will be making my own way through a virtual conrfield, leaving the trampled corn as evidence of my passing by. I hope there will be clearings where I will meet and share with others to be sure that I haven't lost my way.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Moving on

The next steps blog was created to help me keep track of the stages of development that grew from my Warwick E-Learning Award and the creation back in 2004/5 of the online client support site. I think it is helpful to look back and summarise these before moving on.
Since those days, my online presence has grown considerably, to the extent that I have made many new "virtual" friends, 400+ followers on twitter, youtube channels, netvibes pages etc., presented at ALT-C, AULC and Edulearn11 and written articles. I completed my M.A. in post-compulsory education thanks to Alison Le Cornu, achieved a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence (2009) and a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning. I am proud of my achievements and I know my father (who died suddenly of cancer early in this journey) would have been so too.
Now I need to plan the next steps for my career and build on the progress I have made. The implementation of moodle 2 for the Language Centre will be a watershed and should be completed before the summer ends. With technical support handed over to others, I should be able to focus on my next steps and ensure that this journey has a suitable destination for me personally.

Friday, 4 March 2011

electronic news

I love the fact that i can subscribe to electronic newspapers that aggregate content from a wide range of sources and tweet me when they are out!