What am I?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Return to the musings ...

This blog has been badly neglected. Partly due to the fact that I had to run a Tumblr blog as part of a  module I participated in, called 'Web Media'.

Studying on this module was a mixed experience. The good aspect (apart from being allowed to be a student again, if only part-time): I had a great chance to catch up on a few things one of which was, of course, modifying my Tumblr theme, and thus getting into CSS and HTML. More importantly, as part of the module, I started using Mahara as a student, so hopefully I'll now be able to support the introduction of Mahara on a broader base within HLS at Brookes. Reassuringly I managed to get used to Mahara, despite a few issues I still have with the user interface in Mahara.

When it comes to blogging I still prefer Blogger (i.e. this Musings blog), because I don't like having to choose the type of post upfront, as for example suggested in the Tumblr blogging system. This might sometimes be quite convenient, as the formatting is suitable for each different type of post, but personally I find it rather limiting. However, if I would want to run a photo blog it could be just the right choice.

Now, all I have to do is find a way of consolidating my blogging attempts ...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

It's that time of year again ...

... when the new semester is about to start, or rather just starting! In fact, working in Health and Life Sciences does mean that in some areas it had started already, and we're trying to keep up with support requests while reminding/updating ourselves of and with all things Moodle/Mahara.

Just found something in a slideshare posting 20 Jobs of the Future which might tempt me to try for a (micro-) career change:

Friday, 31 May 2013

The latest internet trends ...

... all in pictures and graphs, just discovered on slideshare. Pretty frightening to what extend the internet might impact on our lives. News on the Slideshare blog highlight the latest reports. Here's one slide "snatched" from KPCB Internet Trends 2013:

Looking at these reports makes me think that the foremost thing to learn is how to make reasonable choices in this ocean of online offerings. I'm getting increasingly used to just quickly "flicking" through all these sources of information, and in the end there's often no time left to immerse myself into reading anything ... On this note, I'd like to end this post. There's a of bit sunshine outside, which I'm going to enjoy - NOW!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

All the things I thought I didn't have ...

... and do find suddenly after years of ignoring them: Trying out new tools (including the social media ones) is part of my job. I'm trying to keep up-to-date, but I discovered I seem to be doing it in leaps and bounds. In the most recent Learning Technologists forum we talked about platforms we could use for sharing insights, links or generally communicate with each other about job related isssues. Diigo (a bookmarking tool) was one of the many tools mentioned during this discussion. Today I discovered not only that I've got a diigo account (set up in 2007 - that seems very long ago!), I also discovered that together with someone else I did set up a diigo group called 'Brookes Learning Technologists'. It wasn't much used ...

Now I'm wondering what I'm going to find in another 6 years - hanging around in cyber space, pretty much un-used... Could it be Twitter?

I'm going to put links to sites I would like reminders of into this blog. OK here's a start - our Faculty of Health & Life Sciences Social Networking Club sits at http://openbrookes.net/hlsclub/

Monday, 13 May 2013

All the things I thought I knew ...

... and didn't quite know about Twitter have been revealed in a session with Anne Osterrieder and Marion Waite, preparing a session for the 'Social Network Club' in HLS. OK, I am using twitter, but in a rather casual way. Most of the day I'm in my office, and online, which is - of course - part of my job. I discovered that twitter easily takes me places on the net, and involves me in discoveries. Luckily they are mostly related to learning technologies, but still it can really distract you from getting on with things that need to be done.

'Striking a balance' is certainly one of the things that need to be learned in the context of twitter (and other social media apps). But there were quite a few other things I wasn't aware of, for example 'tweet privacy': In the account settings is a box you can tick which indicates 'protect my tweets'. And there was I, thinking that twitter is all about going public. Which is true, but you can do it in a controlled way should you wish so. I also learned about lists on twitter, was reminded that I can 'favourite' tweets, and I heard the word 'tweetup' for the first time. I searched it, and on a site appropriately named 'hashtags.org' I found that it's a face-to-face meeting of twitter users for a specific objective, see http://www.hashtags.org/platforms/twitter/what-is-a-tweetup-and-how-do-i-start-one/

And despite the weather not being very warm here in the UK, it's spring, hence twitter users might wish to learn more about 'Twitter Spring Cleaning' also on hashtags.org ...

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

ocTEL Week 1 - another MOOC experience

I'm trying to spend some time following the #ocTEL MOOC. While I'm now at least starting to engage with the material on offer, I'm still finding it difficult to actually participate. The contributions of other participants seem mostly relevant and are good to read and learn from, but there are so many, and I observe myself how I start reading one contribution, while already skimming the lists showing other contributions. Am loving some of the Week 1 resources (TEL concepts and approaches), and I'm amazed I didn't come across most of them beforehand. Some examples:

a hypertext history of Instructional Design - very concise, reminding me of how far back in time the notion of instructional design goes

B.F. Skinner and the Teaching Machine, Tablet Edition - parts of a lecture by Skinner with video footage showing kids working on ipads (interesting to compare this with the original video, which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTH3ob1IRFo)

Another MOOC participant suggested this could be the modern equivalent of Skinner's teaching machine:

Murdoch group unveils Amplify tablet for US schools

Not yet sure what I'm going to gain from this short exploration but it sure is interesting! I found a very encouraging case study about tablet teaching - or in this case rather 'tablet learning' (!) about Ethiopian kids, which confirms Sugata Mitra's concept of child-driven education.

Monday, 18 February 2013


Started Monday morning with a YouTube recommendation to watch a clip about Bandura's Self - Efficacy. Discovered it was created with Xtranormal, a software which allows to 'instantly create 3D animated movies'.

Nearly 2 years ago I did consider using Xtranormal to create triggers for case studies. Glad I decided that Xtranormal isn't quite suitable, as computer generated voices and the 'boxy' characters just don't do it for me. I still think there could be a good use for Xtranormal, but I'm finding it difficult to figure out what kind of stories would be suitable to be told in this way. In the meantime I put in an order to get a set of Brookes-type cartoon characters produced for a Virtual Family (health care scenarios). I'm still intending to  use Articulate Storyline, but I did encounter the same problem I have with Xtranormal - pre-produced sets of characters simply don't allow enough flexibility. For example, non of the sets provided for use with Storyline has any children, never mind babies ...

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Lunch break

Started with listening to and watching the ALT webinar: OER: Evidence, Experience, Expectations - Webinar. Interesting, but I ended up with more questions than answers (which maybe a good thing). A relaxing online experience (as kind of 'desert) afterwards was studying the online exhibition: A Creative Catharsis. Quite fun (especially from a designer perspective)!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Time for a first entry in 2013

Today's news: Launch event of OLDS MOOC 2013 at 4pm. I would call this event 'technologically challenged'. It was supposed to run in Cloudworks. Cloudworks was down at exactly the time the launch was planned for. Instead the launch was streamed via Quicktime. The presentation was done in Prezi, hence I was never so sure if what I saw was all I should have seen. It wasn't very interactive from the online viewer perspective, but at least the presenters picked up questions from a twitter stream. The main thing is: this MOOC promises to be interesting, and I'll try to go along with it. Might use it to get back into project related work, rather than moodling along. Revived my cloudworks account. As usual, got into a pickle with resetting passwords.

Now here's the link to the MOOC page which explains what this is all about:


It's still a bit unclear if it'll work for me. We'll see: