Monthly Archives: August 2017

Clouds in My Coffee – Being With My Books⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

In his book ‘Out of My League’ the journalist George Plimpton quotes humorist James Thurber who claimed that ‘every American male falls asleep to the dream of hitting the winning run in baseball.’ In that, he hits upon the very heart of the male psyche. For perhaps we all want to be the hero: scoring a late goal in the cup final, the winning runs at Lords; standing on our classroom desks proclaiming ‘O Captain, My Captain.’ Plimpton wrote about his attempts to live out this childhood fantasy, humiliating himself in the process. Most of us never get that chance. We do, however, identify ourselves in the literary characters we love.

With twenty years of hindsight, I think this may be what connected me to Harry Angstrom all those years ago. The protagonist of John Updike’s ‘Rabbit, Run’, Angstrom has been described as a ‘heroic antihero’, one who stands alone against world. When I first read the books, in my early twenties , I realise now that I foolishly, pretentiously and wholly incorrectly felt that the world had dealt me a dodgy hand, fought against my injustice and saw a kindred spirit in Harry.

That seems to be the power of reading; that we can see ourselves in fictional characters, allowing us to develop some form of empathy, mistakenly or not.

But the character I saw as a rebel, one standing up for himself despite the mistakes he makes, I now see an unconscionable monster: one who damages everyone around him with his cruel behaviour. What was I thinking? Taking time to reread ‘Rabbit, Run’ half a life away has provided an insight into a younger me I perhaps wouldn’t like very much now. Wholly selfish, concerned only with my own place in the world, righting wrongs. What an idiot I was.

Re-Acquainting myself with Harry, all these years later has given me the opportunity to consider how much I’ve changed.

We recently changed our smallest bedroom into a library. A bunch of Billy bookcases, of course, filled to the brim with a lifetime’s collection of old paperbacks, beautifully bound hardbacks and a multitude of travel and photography books. In quieter moments, when I’m alone, I like to run my hands along the spines, feeling the stories within them recalling a younger me, a lifetime ago, when I first picked many of them up and jumped in. Having a library in my home has been, it turns out, a lifetime’s ambition. It’s a small room but it’s ours.

Sitting on the floor, surrounded by a lifetime of reading – a lifetime of friends and enemies, loves and hates, laughter and tears – I realise that books have changed me and I could never have lived with out them. Who needs to be a hero when you’ve got that?


Newton’s third law of motion⤴

from @ fizzics

Today we examined the importance of Newton’s 3rd law of motion. In our discussions, different explanations for the motion of jets and rockets were proposed and considered. The front runners were; at launch, the ground pushes back against a rocket during flight, air pushes back against a plane Unfortunately, the lack of ground and air (or ... Read more

Sack of lies⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

I shared a picture today on Twitter that I took last year in the Victoria and Albert Musuem of Childhood in London. Prompted to do a little more research this evening I discovered I was plain wrong on 2 counts:

  1. not 1970s – 1968
  2. not plastic – giant paper bags

Sack of lies⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

I shared a picture today on Twitter that I took last year in the Victoria and Albert Musuem of Childhood in London. Prompted to do a little more research this evening I discovered I was plain wrong on 2 counts:

  1. not 1970s – 1968
  2. not plastic – giant paper bags

Today is a weard day⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

Today I acquired an additional role* (along with the names that others already call me, some of which I am sure are unprintable). I am now officially a Data Steward. In my institution this is defined as follows:

The Data Steward is responsible for maintaining the security of their dataset; setting access requirements for the data; documenting the data made available to other services, and establishing processes to ensure the quality of the data. They have a duty to ensure that restricted and confidential data is managed securely and appropriately, that the data is made available only to those people and systems that need access, and that access is provided in keeping with legislation and the University’s internal policies. If the data includes any personal data, they are also responsible for completing a Data Protection Impact Assessment.

Thanks to a lot of hardwork from our Enterprise Architecture team I am now one of a network of Data Stewards across our institution and we also have a catalogue of all of our key data sources.

Yesterday Amy Collier’s article Digital Sanctuary: Protection and Refuge on the Web? was published in EDUCAUSE Review. I would like to think that this hard work on the part of my colleagues to whip us into shape takes us some way towards the principles that Amy lays out.

 

 

* This is one of those special roles that we all do as part of our existing jobs. Rewards are the warm fuzzies that come with being responsible with our student and staff data.

Today is a weard day⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

Today I acquired a new role* (along with the names that others already call me, some of which I am sure are unprintable). I am now officially a Data Steward. In my institution this is defined as follows:

The Data Steward is responsible for maintaining the security of their dataset; setting access requirements for the data; documenting the data made available to other services, and establishing processes to ensure the quality of the data. They have a duty to ensure that restricted and confidential data is managed securely and appropriately, that the data is made available only to those people and systems that need access, and that access is provided in keeping with legislation and the University’s internal policies. If the data includes any personal data, they are also responsible for completing a Data Protection Impact Assessment.

Thanks to a lot of hardwork from our Enterprise Architecture team I am now one of a network of Data Stewards across our institution and we also have a catalogue of all of our key data sources.

Yesterday Amy Collier’s article Digital Sanctuary: Protection and Refuge on the Web? was published in EDUCAUSE Review. I would like to think that this hard work on the part of my colleagues to whip us into shape takes us some way towards the principles that Amy lays out.

 

 

* This is one of those special roles that we all do as part of our existing jobs. Rewards are the warm fuzzies that come with being responsible with our student and staff data.

Equality & Inclusion: Good practice exemplars⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The following four good practice exemplars have been published on the National Improvement Hub to highlight initiatives that help learners requiring additional support to develop skills and find employment.

Exemplar 1: Enable Scotland’s ‘Stepping Up’ programme

This innovative employability programme offers comprehensive support for young people aged 14 to 19 who have learning disabilities which takes participants from an initial investigation of the world of work, through a process of discovery and planning for their future, to engagement with employers in real workplace settings. Find out more here.

Exemplar 2: ‘Thinking Digitally’ – a new resource

This credit rate module by Lead Scotland allows candidates to develop relevant digital skills and build confidence operating in online environments.  More on this here.

Exemplar 3:  ‘TOPs’ – training opportunities for young parents

This programme run by Rathbone Training, a UK-wide voluntary youth sector organisation which supports young people aged 16 to 24 who have disengaged from society, aims to help young parents in their personal development. More here.

Exemplar 4: ‘Community Action and Leadership Award

This is a course created by the charity Lead Scotland so that more people can learn how to influence change and make a difference within their communities. More information here.

Professional learning to support Gaelic Medium Education, Scottish Learning Festival, 20 and 21 September 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Following on from the successful conference, Transitions to Secondary we are pleased to announce two further opportunities to support the development of the secondary GME curriculum.

The Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) is Scotland’s key educational event. We look forward to inviting you to a seminar for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) at 9.30am on Wednesday 20 September.  This will have a focus on promoting excellence and equity for learners through an improved GME curriculum.  We are delighted to invite Angus MacLennan, the headteacher of e-Sgoil, to co-present with us.  Angus will share how e-Sgoil has been using technology to deliver different aspects of the curriculum to schools throughout Scotland.  This seminar will be of interest to senior managers, teachers and curriculum partners.  Registration for SLF 2017 is still open.

Following on from the SLF, we will provide professional learning at An t-Alltan to support the delivery of the secondary GME curriculum. E-Sgoil will co-present with us.  This session will give practitioners an opportunity to become familiar with the digital technology that is used by e-Sgoil while promoting effective pedagogy.  Registration for An t-Alltan is now open.  Please visit,  www.storlann.co.uk/an-t-alltan.

Please also refer to our Advice on Gaelic Education, some of which is statutory, on how to structure and design a curriculum for GME.