Monthly Archives: April 2019

Watched: Jolly Brancher Demo⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Watched Jolly Brancher Demo from youtube.com

Following from this conversation
Tom Woodward whipped up a plugin to clone posts on a WordPress Multi-site blog to one of your own.

I think this could be a really useful way of giving pupils a template for e-Portfolio post. I’d be very interested in exploring getting this into Glow Blogs. I’ve been asked about this sort of functionality a few times.

Selfish selflessness⤴

from

What motivates you?

I have been reflecting on motivation again. A lot of my work involves working out why children behave as they do…but it also often gets me looking at adult behaviours. My overthinking brain also (too?) often makes me reflect on why I behave in the ways I do.

Recently a friend told me that she does not believe that there is any such thing as genuine altruism.

A while back I was told by someone else….for the purposes of this post, I will call him Mr O….. that he believed my motivation was not driven by my moral compass but “something else”. Rather ominously, He did not elaborate on what that “something else” was….

As part of “Into Headship” we were made to think long and hard about our reasons for wanting to be leaders. We were given some amazing reading around the lessons that we can learn from history in relation to leadership; one of my favourite quotes was this:

‘We can all think of charismatic or transformational leaders whose purposes were inappropriate or immoral (e.g. Hitler)’ (Bush and Glover 2014, p 559).

Bush, Tony, and Derek Glover. “School leadership models: what do we know?.” School Leadership & Management 34.5 (2014): 553-571.

Over the last few months I have been thinking and worrying about this way too much. “When I SAY that I’m acting in the interests of children and young people, am I really?” “Why do I want to be in control?” Etc etc. Blah blah blah.

And then this morning I heard the brilliant nurse and poet Molly Case define it perfectly.

She spoke of her motivation being “selfish selflessness”; of the buzz she gets from caring for others and giving people a good experience of hospital and of treating people well.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00046rt

And suddenly I realised that my motivation is just that. It is about me but it is also about others.

And whilst “selfless selflessness” might be the ultimate goal, I think I can live with “selfish selflessness”. As long as I don’t ever slip into “selfish selfishness”….

Can I ask a favour? If you ever see me slipping that way, will you promise to tell me? Please don’t be like Mr O….

Bookmarked: “Bullshit and the Art of Crap -Detection” by Neil Postman⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Bookmarked “Bullshit and the Art of Crap -Detection” by Neil Postman (media.usm.maine.edu)
As I see it, the best things schools can do for kids is to help them learn how to distinguish useful talk from bullshit. I think almost all serious people understand that about 90% of all that goes on in school is practically useless, so what I am saying would not require the displacement of anything that is especially worthwhile.

Found in this tweet by @MarkRPriestley.

My link is to a pdf of the talk from 1969.

Postman also wrote ‎kairosschool.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Teaching-as-a-Subversive-Activity.pdf.

A good fun read with many cringe points, which of the forms of BS have you used? I’ve used a lot.

Bookmark of Bookmarked Nothing Fails Like Success⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Bookmarked Nothing Fails Like Success by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)
Jeffery Zeldman argues that in being unable to pay mortgage associated with the web, we have become indebted to the mob that is platform capitalism. This has led us into the money trap, which demands unrealistic rewards that care more about clicks than community. Zeldman’s suggestion on how to fix...

Aaron points to Nothing Fails Like Success (A List Apart).  

Aaron links to several fellow travellers reactions that make great reading too.

Aaron’s own blogging has gone a long way along the IndieWeb path and is a excellent one to follow.

The Future of Learning⤴

from

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” Dewey, Democracy and Education.

I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience recently.

Not as the ability to spring back up when knocked down (though that can be a good thing).

But as the ability to adapt, to look at a new situation and think about how one can apply one’s existing skills.

resilience (n.)
1620s, “act of rebounding,” from Latin resiliens, present participle of resilire “to rebound, recoil,” from re- “back” (see re-) + salire “to jump, leap” (see salient (adj.)). Compare result (v.). Meaning “elasticity” is from 1824.

There’s no jobs for life now, we are frequently told. Bring on life long learning.

Transferable skills.

Graduate attributes.

Resilience.

Buzz words.

Life long learning is an attitude.

#CLMOOC, #DS106, #LTHEChat.

The future of learning is networked.

A post for OpenBlog19

OER19 – Stories of Hope⤴

from

It always takes me a while to write my post OER Conference reflection because I invariably come back brimming with so many thoughts, ideas, emotions and new perspectives that it’s hard to know where to start. When Catherine Cronin introduced the themes of OER19 Recentering Open: Critical and Global Perspectives at the end of OER18 in Bristol she stressed the imperative of moving beyond hero narratives and including marginalised voices, and the conference certainly met that challenge.  Rarely have I had the privilege to be part of such a diverse, inclusive, respectful and supportive community.  It was a humbling and empowering experience. 

Hope, Labour and Care

If I was to pick one overarching theme from the conference it would be hope. Kate Bowles set the tone of the conference with her profoundly moving and thoughtful opening keynote A quilt of stars: time, work and open pedagogy.  Along the way, Kate acknowledged and paid her respects to those who have shaped and supported her learning journey, from the traditional owners of the land on which she works, the Wadi Wadi Nation, though pioneering Irish astronomers, American solar quilters, friends and colleagues.  And Kate also gave us a moment of silence re-member those who had helped us on our own open journeys and who were not able to be with us in Galway.

Kate spoke about the importance of our labour of care, and how we absorb that labour into our own open practice, but she also highlighted the risk that without a system wide ethic of care, open practice becomes another caring labour.  And we know that such labour usually falls to women and those who lack power and privilege. (This is a something that is very close to my own heart and the heart of the femedtech network.) But it was Kate’s closing note that really resonated with me throughout the conference.  Quoting Henry Giroux “Hope must be tempered by the complex reality of our times” Kate reminded us that although hope must be realistic about the environment we work in, change is possible, and that  

“Hope is not a pipe dream, it is the most important resource we have. It is the heartbeat of our politics.”

Hope was also the theme of the closing address of the conference, with co-chairs Catherine and Laura separately and independently both choosing the same quote from Rebecca Solnit’s Hope In The Dark

“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.”

https://twitter.com/LornaMCampbell/status/1116373348370583552

Telling Tales

It seems fitting somehow that Galway was a place to tell stories. Kate began by quoting Jerome Bruner in her keynote “any story one may tell about anything, is better understood by considering other ways in which it can be told.” I heard many stories told in many different voices. Su-Ming Khoo told the Haida story of The Raven and the First Men and the opening of the world.  Johanna Funk shared her story of Learning on Country in the coastal homelands of Galiwin’ku with Dr Kathy Guthadjaka.  Lori Hargreave told her own deeply personal Tale of Resilience. When the audio technology failed us, Frances Bell stepped in and  gave voice to Suzan Koseoglu’s moving found poem reflecting the voices of Turkish womens’ stories of open and distance learning, which led to a powerful conversation about women’s anger when they are denied the right to education. But perhaps the story that spoke to my own heart was Sara Thomas Once Upon an Open, a story about rescuing two Scottish women, Marie Lamont & Lady Catherine Bruce of Clackmannan, from the forest of history, a story of orcs, and trolls and damn rebel bitches, a story of who gets to tell stories.

Values and Pictures

We were also telling stories in our University of Edinburgh workshop, Positioning the values and practices of open education at the core of University business, when Stuart Nicol, Anne-Marie Scott and I challenged participants to share stories of how openness could be centred and have impact in their institutions.  To provide inspiration we shared some of the amazing open licensed images curated by the University’s Centre for Research Collections and the results were as inspiring as they were creative.  We filmed the stories people told and as soon as we’ve got them online, we’ll share them on Open.Ed.

[See image gallery at lornamcampbell.org]

Decolonisation

Decolonisation, dispossession and the need to foreground indigenous knowledge were other themes that ran throughout the conference.  In her challenging and thought provoking keynote, Openings – Bounded (in) equities; entangled lives, Su-Ming Khoo noted that while we would like to think of Higher Education as a zone of freedom, that freedom is bound up in our entanglements with power, capitalism, and the colonial present. She challenged us to unmask the colonial wound and use these open wounds to be the place where healing and suturing can take place, reminding us that there is honour and value in the art of repair, kintsugi.

“We need to address the psychological and emotional legacy of colonialism and the needs of both the oppressor and oppressed in order to overcome and transform.”

Su-Ming’s keynote made me think of my own people and their history of being both oppressed and oppressor; the Gaels who were cleared from their homelands to the ‘New World’ only to re-enact their own dispossession on the people they found there.

femedtech

femedtech had a powerful presence at the conference.  Sharon Flynn gave a huge shoutout to the importance of the community in her welcoming address and we were overwhelmed by the positive response to the femedtech Open Space, femedtech.net, both in terms of the writing that’s been shared and the people who came to our open space session, where it was standing room only.

In their presentation on the open distributed network and shared curation model that is @femedtech on twitter, Frances Bell, Louise Drumm and Lou Mycroft explained that femedtech’s resources are passion, kindness, enthusiasm and volunteer time, all of which were present at OER19 in abundance.  If any one image sums up the femedtech community, it’s this: women supporting women. 

It is such an honour and a privilege to be part of this amazing community.

Regrets

If I have one regret from the conference, it’s that because I took part in so many sessions and was also on chairing duties, I missed dozens of talks that I really wanted to hear.  I had to duck out of Taskeen Adam, Caroline Khun and Judith Pete’s open praxis keynote panel so I’m immensely grateful for the recording of this and other sessions provided by ALT and OER’s amazing media team of Martin Hawksey and Harry Lamb.  Huge thanks to Martin and Harry to make sure these critical and necessary voices can be heard by all.

That Guy(TM)

There’s one last point I want to reflect on before I round off this post…Not once over the course of the four days I spent in Galway, did I find myself stuck listening to That Guy(TM).  You know the one, I’m sure you’ve met him at many conferences, the guy (though they’re not always guys) who hogs the conversation and is tone deaf to the voices of those who lack his privilege.  I heard many, many diverse voices at OER19, but not once did I hear That Guy(TM).  So I’d like to thank Catherine, Laura, Maren, Martin and everyone who made OER19 such an empowering and inclusive conference and ensuring that marginalised voices were listened to and heard.  It fills me with hope.

Good enough⤴

from

Disco ball
Image by author CC-NC-SA

I was asked this week how I write. Quickly, I said – in odd moments snatched whenever I can find them. I try not to think too much about what I’m writing – I scribble words on scraps of paper, I doodle on the scribbles and scribble some more.

I try not to worry about choosing perfect words and phrases – I often use square brackets to remind myself that parts need polishing – that the words I have scribbled there are placeholders. But, when I finally sit myself in front of a word processor and force myself to type up all the scribbles, I often find that those temporary words are fine.

Of course I do revise what I write – over time, as I edit, I will refine what I say – add to it, delete parts -but often the parts that I wrote as placeholders turn out to be good enough.

Being “good enough” is very much the ethos of the remix culture of DS106 and CLMOOC. We don’t mind about things being perfect -though we appreciate and value skill, expertise etc. they are not the only sorts of things we value. As I write up my PhD thesis I think about this, and wonder how to link what I am discovering about my affinity networks and maker spaces into something that I can use in HE.

Healing⤴

from

Three weeks ago I had a small accident. I had taken part in a local singing competition and, on leaving the stage, I slipped on the steps and landed on my back and arm. Adrenaline helped me to jump up and act as if nothing had happened but by the next morning I was in a lot of pain and hobbling significantly. A call to the GP resulted in a recommendation to keep moving and take painkillers but I was fairly certain that I had done myself some sort of major back injury. There was absolutely no bruising on my back and no evidence of any damage but I felt sore and very restricted in my movement.

My arm, on the other hand, was a very different matter. As well as significant throbbing, a large bruise soon sprang up. Like a child, I became slightly obsessed with showing it off and I was also pleased to have something to show after my body….and pride….had been injured.

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As humans I think we like to have something to show when we are in pain; a trophy mark that people can see so that we don’t have to talk or explain, unless we want to. The mere sight of a bad bruise is enough to elicit a flurry of reaction: “Ooh, that looks painful!” “You poor thing!” “You must have really hit the ground hard!”

This too explains why mental struggles, because of their invisibility, can sometimes cause us such difficulties. You can look “so well” on the outside but be struggling enormously on the inside;  there may be no emotional equivalent of the massive bruise to elicit empathy or understanding.

One of the hardest things for those suffering from anorexia can be the period after they have put on weight when people start to say “you look so much better” when in fact the thoughts and depression associated with the illness are still there. There is a fantastic campaign being led by Hope Virgo around this issue and I would strongly encourage you to sign her “Dump the Scales” campaign.

Three weeks on and the bruise has gone. This is amazing testimony to the body’s capacity to heal, when given time….and a bit of arnica and paracetamol. My back is much better too and had improved to such an extent that last week l managed to do two amazing walks along the West Highland Way with my son, albeit more slowly than I might have normally.

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Just as our bodies have the magical capacity to heal, our minds and emotions do too when they have been hurt. Sometimes we may need the equivalent of arnica or painkillers while our recovery takes place and, for some, medication is a much needed part of recovery. In addition, however, we need time and empathy while we recover; if and when we have the courage to expose our psychological bruises, we need people who will accept that we are in the process of healing and will understand that we maybe need to walk a bit more slowly for a while.

I still have a tiny bump under the surface of the skin on my arm; it serves to remind me that I am not fully healed and that if I press too hard on that spot, it hurts.

One day soon, that will be gone too.

This book about healing will be free to download on Kindle tomorrow, Sunday 14th April.

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B01KP8XT86&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_yNodyb2G7M8DZ&reshareId=98ZW7VHFE86SNCKBF9EV&reshareChannel=system

Senior Phase Programme, a school-college partnership.⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Glasgow City Council Employability Support Team have an effective school-college partnership. The programme currently supports over 1000 young people and provides support to ensure that all young people are supported toward a career pathway.

There are two strands:

SCQF Levels 1-3
SCQF Levels 4-7

Links have been developed with the local colleges to provide a wide range of different courses and levels in order to showcase the wide range of career pathways. Open days and information evenings help to involve parents/carers in the decision making process. Extensive recruitment policy has been extended this year to include further meet the expert evenings for young people and their parents/carers. The recruitment is reviewed, evaluated and modified to ensure the information provided allows young people to choose an option that suits their career pathway.

They currently have successful partnerships with:

Glasgow Kelvin College
Glasgow Clyde College
City of Glasgow College
RSBI Blindcraft

All of the courses have support in place to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to have a successful outcome. There is an online application process that is supported by the school and helps to match young people to a course that suits their career pathway.

Some key points:

Linked programme with East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.

College has a rigorous attendance management procedures to ensure that young people are able to achieve a successful outcome on the course. There is a wide range of courses and levels, currently  SCQF 1-7. This provides an inclusive programme and promotes an ethos that every young person has the opportunity to experience college at an early stage. There is an online portal which provides school with a support and tracking mechanism to ensure that young people are progressing during the programme. Schools and college partners have worked together to ensure that the reporting tool is relevant for both school and college. Learner journeys are reported each year to promote the positive links between school and college.

Courses have extensive ASN support and a range of the options are designed to effectively showcase college as a potential career pathway and to aid transition from school to further education. Taster sessions are used to ensure that they have the correct match of young person and course. The opportunity to experience what is involved has helped to improve the course outcomes.

Schools have harmonised their timetabling to ensure that young people have the programme as an option in their subject choice selection. The majority of the courses take place on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon however some courses have extended timetables and this allows for a varied range of options.

Transport is arranged for the young person and most choose public transport which is subsidised by the programme. This encourages independent travel and ensures that cost of travel is not a factor when young people are deciding on their participation.

Some key statistics from the previous cohort:
1080 young people participating in the programme
7 different providers
96% sustained a positive destination

The programme will continue to work with schools and colleges to provide young people with a wide range of senior phase options.

Some comments about the programme:

“I like it because it is “hands on and specialising in various areas of computing”
Senior Phase Student

“Course designed to prepare student for the construction industry. Learning split between the workshop and the classroom”
Lecturer

“I am developing new skills every day”
Senior Phase Student

“I enjoyed this because I was able to learn to cook lots of different dishes that I had not cooked before”
Senior Phase Student

“All Glasgow Colleges are fully committed to delivering Glasgow’s Senior Phase School/College programme. We will create new opportunities for all young people to embed high quality work-related learning in their curriculum with progression to further learning, training or work. Whatever your gender, background or level these programmes offer a learning experience that may inspire you to develop new skills for the changing world of work.”
Eric Brownlie
Assistant Principal Quality and Performance
Glasgow Clyde College

National Unicorn Day⤴

from

Today is National Unicorn Day. Yes, really. Some of you might know that the unicorn’s Scotland’s national animal. And in these dark, uncertain days, I think we need a miracle to see us out of Brexit, out of te UK, out of austerity.

Here’s our national animal standing proud on the steps of our Uni chapel.
Happy Unicorn day, all

IMG_2154