Flexible, Open, Social Learning: Supporting Learning #FOS4L

Today we’re looking at ‘Curating’ – how do we ensure that we don’t just collect content for ourselves, but share it (combining with advice as to what is useful).

“Students expect academic, technical, administrative  and pastoral support as part of their educational provision.” – especially distance learning students, and this makes a difference to success and retention.

Undertake one of the following activities:

  1. Responding: Create a response to the scenario on your own or with others based on the discoveries you made through investigating this. Remember, you might find the FISh model useful. (ilo-1)
  2. Reflecting: Think about supporting learning and reflect on your current practice. Where are the challenges and opportunities? What could you do to help your students? (ilo-2)
  3. Making: Create a poster that provides useful tips and reminder to self and others about how to support learning effectively. Find a way to curate this resource (ilo-3)

Going for 1) – respond to scenario here, as we used student blogging for a module pretty successfully. We emphasised the fact that material going public meant that students needed to pay more attention before they pressed ‘post’, and noted that someone public giving them feedback that the tutor might have given has extra weight because it’s “real world” comments! It’s good to encourage the students that for their own learning, this is good, and to refer back to Seth Godin in 2009 – it doesn’t matter who reads it – it’s all part of learning, and as you improve – people will want to read it. The other layer that we added to it was to encourage students to comment on each other’s work (including within their small groups – who we met with regularly within teaching time to ensure progress was occurring!).

Video: the importance of teacher presence, and being aware of teacher presence was key … and not just doing things the way we thought they want, but listening to what is needed. If establish benchmark of expectation in the first 2 weeks – that is key. Online environments are much more democratic, and international students feel a space to speak up, people no longer feel like isolated learners. Use the offline/private messaging to contact a student to see if there’s a problem, or public boards that highlight the positive work that’s been done – students respond to that. Set expectations for engagement – differentiated by grade – highest grades, post, respond, synthesise.

Options to make infographics with https://infogr.am/ or http://piktochart.com/.

Digital Decluttering & Time Management

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I don’t do ‘New Years Resolutions’, choosing rather to change things in small steps throughout the year. The Christmas ‘holidays’ however, can give a chance to do a bit of extra sorting … and with my house near-enough in ‘maintenance’ phase, I turned my attention to my digital spaces, including a  new 2TB hard-drive which rescued 90% of the data from my previous hard drive (which sounded distinctly unhealthy), and allowed reclassification and removal of duplicates, so annual photo albums dating back to 2007 are in progress!

So, when to find time to do this kind of thing – let’s look at the time management tools I’ve developed over the past year to focus my attentions (having managed to largely keep on top of Inbox 0 for 19 months):

1) Google Calendar

Google calendar is so simple to use, accessible on all devices, easy to add new meetings on the move, and easy to share with other users. I have 3 main calendars running, one for CODEC, one for Digital Fingerprint, and one for everything else. Colour-coded, it offers quite an easy way to see if any parts of your life have taken over more of the calendar than they should!

2) Microsoft Word Table

I use a simple 4×4 table, recurring as often as required, which has “the big dates”: top layer for CODEC, purple for Digital Fingerprint, and blue for everything else. I first did this 2 years ago, and a quick check once a month helps to keep on track and see how realistic I’m being:

deadlines3) ToDoIst

I’ve used electronic to-do-lists for 3+ years. When my previous one failed last year, I moved to todoist, and with it’s premium features (especially the ability to add files to to-do items, which means they can be removed from emails!), and finally discovering sub-projects today, this one ‘ticks all my boxes’! I can access the list via the web, on an android phone, and an iPad ..

todoist

No need to get overwhelmed as one needs only to look at the project/sub-project that one is working on (and one is advised to keep the tasks ‘small’), or just the next 7 days things ‘to do’.

todoist-done

The only trouble is, if it doesn’t make it onto the list, it may get forgotten! But one can see what one has done (and I’m particularly proud of the fact that there’s several days with nothing done):

productivity

4) Toggl.com

As time can fly past whilst one is ‘looking in the other direction’, was great to hear about this piece of software from Dave at work. Decided to try it for a week, just monitoring CODEC time/output, and several weeks later I’m still using it. Stop/start, assign items to particular categories, and see where your time is going. It gives useful data that encourages one to think about where time  is going – as always – use the tool insofar as it helps, don’t let it rule you!

toggl-summary

5) Bundlr

Alongside Pinterest (which is more visually focused), I encountered Bundlr whilst I was collecting articles related to Raising Children in a Digital AgeIt can be quite a useful ‘dumping ground’ for articles, etc. – allowing todoist to list “read articles” re a particular topic, rather than an overwhelming number of thing to-do.

bundlr

Overall, you’ll see that this is about managing focus, and managing overwhelm – leaving more time, space and energy for a more fulfilling life! As each of these have been absorbed as habit, brain space is freed up for more creative thinking…

What works for you?

#Advent20 with @briandraperuk

A beautiful light shimmers in the darkness.

Summarising the #Advent20 journey with Brian Draper:

And so, returning to Advent, we remember the words of the apostle John, as we draw towards this journey’s end: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… In him was life, and that life was the light of all [people]. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Brian asked us to sum our the advent journey in 6 words: “In the darkness, the light exists”

I wondered if that was too obvious, but that’s what comes to mind. Life still feels quite dark/wilderness like at times, and the little gems have really helped! I still vaguely remember from years ago a sermon someone gave re faith – like a match petering out in the darkness, but it’s still flickering .. and J John talking about in the darkest of night skies, the stars twinkle and beckon… 

#Advent20

Sheridan-Wilderness

Been enjoying the company of others around the country on Brian Draper‘s #Advent20 series – and the poem below got me thinking about the pressures on so many on the Christmas season.. being away or abroad for several Christmas’s can make you think differently… (hence e-card, rather than paper cards)

And if, as weeks go round, in the dark of the moon

my spirit darkens and goes out, and soft strange gloom

pervades my movements and my thoughts and words

then I shall know that I am walking still

with God, we are close together now the moon’s in shadow.

DH Lawrence, Shadows

Be your Own Guru…in the Digital Age (@BeyondChoc)

beyond-choc-guru

In 2009, I went to a 1 day event with ‘Beyond Chocolate’. I’ve been working with their materials ever since, and got more involved this year – including becoming content provider for the Facebook page .. making lots of small changes to attitudes/things doing … and I could definitely see the influence on Raising Children in a Digital Age (everything in life influences everything else, right…)… so I wrote this little blog post!

#Advent20: Tunnelling

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I’ve got a couple of Anne Lamott books on the shelves after Greenbelt this year, so this quote via Brian Draper chimes and challenges:

“My understanding of incarnation is that we are not served by getting away from the grubbiness of suffering. Sometimes we feel that we are barely pulling ourselves forward through a tight tunnel on badly scraped elbows. But we do come out the other side, exhausted and changed.” Anne Lamott

For more explanation of ‘incarnation’, see:

incarnation is about actively showing up, being fully here, now – and it offers a Way in yet also through our present darkness. It’s by walking this Way purposefully, faithfully, that we are transformed, step by step, and in the process become transformative.

As Richard Rohr puts it so beautifully, “Transformed people transform people.”

#Advent20

Love this quote from today (#(digi)disciple-ship in being):

‘To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.’

So, does this image make sense in that context (more to it than this, but we are made as we are made – see GWL feedback from Oct 14 – acknowledge it’s there, and moooove on):

imposter

#Adventbookclub: Martha #advent20

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Luke 2: 1-7

Martha is the name given the Innkeeper’s wife in this version of the story. She’s a rather cynical woman who’s done her fair share of midwifery, and, clearly feels she’s been taken advantage of frequently, so is quite tough with a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. She saw both desperation and dignity in Joseph and Mary, however, and so took pity on them. She gives a clear impression of just how dirty and dingy the space was, with straw full of excrement, probably not refreshed for several days (due to lack of time), with a trough (manger) provided for the forthcoming baby. We get a sense of just how scary this was for Mary – she’s young, and not experienced giving birth before… she goes through the full painful process.. and then engages in some ostentatious breastfeeding! Martha doesn’t understand it all, but feels that there is something different .. likening it to a new fire being kindled…

#Advent20

Brian thinks about those who make such a big effort for Christmas, and questions what elements of Christmas we should really/truly be making an effort for:

But it matters that we try. I mean, what was it about Christmas itself that proved so powerful that the guns fell silent, albeit briefly, in December 1914?

If Jesus was born as a child, what else is possible for us to achieve?