Tuesday, 21 April 2015

H800 so far....

H800 had a slow start for me. I was very enthused for the first couple of weeks, and then work commitments took over for a few weeks. That led to a situation where I had to almost cram for the first assignment. Luckily, I have already completed the E891 Educational Enquiry module, and so the education theories that I learned in that module made the cramming a little bit easier. It is not a strategy that I intend to rely on again, though!

I have found that the amount of learning material on H800 is large. The number of Activities each week far exceeds what I have experienced with the Open University in the past. For that reason, I find that I have to be a little bit selective in which Activities that I engage with when I am caught for time. I hope that with my Summer holidays from work coming up fast, that I will be able to spend more time on the Activities than I have been able to so far.

Some of the articles that we have had to read are relatively out of date, I would say. This is more of a reflection on the pace of educational technology than on the course leaders and the design team....technology is moving very fast, arguably much faster than the research on it can move.

In terms of the technology that I've used directly within the module, I've had a mixed experience. The discussion forums have been the most useful to me, although the asynchronous nature of them has meant they are not as dynamic as tech such as the live discussions. My issue with the live discussions is more technical than academic: my Apple Mac updated Flashplayer and made the chat box on the live discussions practically disappear, it became so small. Also, I had issues with a non-working microphone at one point, which greatly limited my contribution to the discussion.

Other tech which we have been asked to look at so far has been mixed too. I found that Cloudworks was fine in principle, but poor in execution and practically extinct in terms of users. Testament to how quickly that tech moves on, I suppose. We've also been asked to look at social bookmarking tools, such as Diigo and Delicious. I browse a lot on my iPhone, and neither of these platforms perform well as apps. I'm looking into Tumblr at the moment, to see if that would work well as a social bookmark app on my phone.

More to follow......

Another blog?

So what's this all about?

Well, with my other two blogs, I had a very clear idea about what I was trying to achieve. With ThinkTank365, I had an audience in mind: my students. The idea of that blog is to present current affairs on Built Environment topics, in a more up to date and dynamic way that a textbook can. So, it was a complimentary resource for my students. Some discussion has taken place on that blog, but mostly it has been about me finding interesting and relevant news, commenting on it myself, and sharing a link to original articles.

With AppSalute, the target audience was the general public, but partly my motivation was to address queries that my friends and colleagues were plaguing me with: "What apps do you use, Wayne, and are they any good?" I thought that it would be a good idea to collect little reviews that I had written for apps that I find useful, and then I could just let my friends know about the blog. It worked well, but the impetus has gone out of it for now. I haven't given up on it, but other priorities have taken over.

So, here's another blog.

The motivation, audience and intended outcomes are very different with this one.

I'm creating "Someone's Learning" (sidenote: the name comes from a very good blues/rock album from one of my favourite bands, have a guess....) as part of my further studies in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning. I am studying for an MEd with the Open University, and one of the suggested technologies for us to try out is blogging. I've done blogging before, but this time is different. My motivation is that it is part of professional development for myself, rather than for any altruistic reasons. To that end, the audience for this is a bit of a great unknown. I think, at this early stage, that it will be more of a space for personal reflection than anything else, and so there may be no audience at all apart from myself. I have no intention of promoting the blog to others like I did with my other two blogs.

The intention is that I will post my own reflections, links to interesting blogs and articles, and allow discussion and comments from anyone that is interested in engaging with me. The end result (if there is such a thing as an end result in learning) is that the blog will primarily be of interest to me, but that there may be posts and links that other will find useful too.

So, there you go. Anything could happen, but I'm sure someone's learning from it.