Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


Leave a comment

Jeffrey Wright

JW

I am on the lookout for stories about teachers and coaches.

In February I start the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra and am keen to exemplify what I think an expert pedagogue to be.

Today, John Kessel led me to Jeffrey Wright.

The New York Times has an 11m 54s video about Jeffrey. You can find it here. (It had 50,000 views whilst I was writing this post taking it to 648,083 views in total.)

I am delighted that Jeffrey uses explosions and extols the virtues of love. I think both are vital components of expert pedagogy.

Amongst the many stories about Jeffrey, I liked:

Tara Parker-Hope’s New York Time article

The Insider Louisville

If you were looking for a story to start 2013 I think Jeffrey is a perfect choice.

Picture Credit

Frame grab Wright’s Law (1m 26s)

 


Leave a comment

QR Code Update: December 2012

I have written a number of posts about Quick Response (QR) Codes in the last two years. One of the posts has been one of the most popular posts on Clyde Street.

I have a QR Code for Clyde Street on the front page of the blog.

grabRecently, I have been interested in Vocaroo’s use of a QR Code to link audio recordings. Earlier this year I used Daqri QR Codes to share augmented information with students.

Perhaps it is my fascination with orienteering that has led me to think QR Codes have real potential to enrich personal learning journeys. I just like the idea that resources can be shared in a minimally intrusive way.  (There was a lot of publicity about this example from a building roof top.)

This morning, I was delighted that a Diigo Teacher-Librarian alert took me to Andrew Wilson’s recent paper, QR codes in the library: Are they worth the effort? Analysis of a QR code pilot project.

Andrew notes in the Abstract:

The literature is filled with potential uses for Quick Response (QR) codes in the library setting, but few library QR code projects have publicized usage statistics. A pilot project carried out in the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library of the Harvard College Library sought to determine whether library patrons actually understand and use QR codes.

ucniss-qrAndrew reports that:

There is no way to describe the usage statistics as anything but extremely disappointing. None of the three on-line resources were viewed via QR codes more than five times each over the course of the entire semester, and the actual utility of those page views was minimal, at best. Of the three sites, only the “Finding Concert Reviews in Periodicals” appears to have been accessed for use, as the other two research guides had only single page-views, and no recorded time on the sites themselves. Legacy and current usage statistics indicate that the sites are being used, with anywhere from 31 to 53 site visits over each of the past two academic semesters, but once the data is examined at the platform level, mobile usage was negligible in comparison to conventional on-line access.

 Notwithstanding these results I like Andrew’s evaluation of the potential of QR Codes.  He observes:
Despite their ubiquity in the public space, a significant portion of the population appear not to know exactly what they are, or even what the term “QR Code” means. Further, while polls of Harvard’s student population, particularly undergraduates, indicate a high percentage of smartphone usage, there is still a disconnect between the smartphone hardware/software and how they apply to QR Codes.
7913818456_7a4588999a_bAndrew concludes:
Much of the argument in favor of QR Codes in the library (or virtually any other setting) comes down to a simple cost/benefit analysis. And in this case, as long as a few simple rules are followed, the cost of employing QR Codes is so low that any benefit derived from them outweighs the minimal effort involved. There is a reason that QR Codes have become so ubiquitous in print advertising, points-of-sale, and other venues: they are so easy to use, and cost so little in terms of resources, time, and money,that despite low acceptance by the public, it is a technology simply too easy to ignore.
I think QR technology is important and I am delighted that Andrew’s paper provides some usage data in the context of a detailed literature review.
Many years ago when I lived in Devon in the United Kingdom I wanted to explore the delights of letterboxing on Dartmoor. I see QR codes as contemporary letterboxes and ideally suited to treasure hunts. Augmented reality opportunities make these codes very powerful.
Photo Credit
Observation Posts and Datums 1 (Polhigey, CC BY_NC_SA 2.0)


Leave a comment

Planets Aligning

Earlier this year, I wrote about Lycerius’s dilemma.

Lycerius has been playing Civ II for ten years. In June 2012 the game had advanced to 3991 A.D.. There are three remaining super nations “each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands”.

Lycerius’s goal for the next few years “is to try and end the war and thus use the engineers to clear swamps and fallout so that farming may resume. I want to rebuild the world. But I’m not sure how. If any of you old Civ II players have any advice, I’m listening.”

I recalled the dilemma this morning as I started to work my way through a number of emails and alerts that had some interesting connections.

Prezi alerted me to The Rational Person’s Guide to the Mayan Apocalypse in which Jaquelynne Avery shares some news about 21 December 2012.

Maya 1

Here are some of the links I received this morning. I am hoping they are harbingers of an age of transformation (to the Age of Aquarius) rather than a predestined meeting with Nibiru.

Darrell Cobner shared with me Nathan Harden’s essay on The End of the University as We Know It. In the essay, Nathan makes a number of observations about students’ experience of higher education. He suggests that:

students themselves are in for a golden age, characterized by near-universal access to the highest quality teaching and scholarship at a minimal cost. The changes ahead will ultimately bring about the most beneficial, most efficient and most equitable access to education that the world has ever seen.

He adds:

Technology will also bring future students an array of new choices about how to build and customize their educations. Power is shifting away from selective university admissions officers into the hands of educational consumers, who will soon have their choice of attending virtually any university in the world online. This will dramatically increase competition among universities. Prestigious institutions, especially those few extremely well-endowed ones with money to buffer and finance change, will be in a position to dominate this virtual, global educational marketplace. The bottom feeders—the for-profit colleges and low-level public and non-profit colleges—will disappear or turn into the equivalent of vocational training institutes. Universities of all ranks below the very top will engage each other in an all-out war of survival. In this war, big-budget universities carrying large transactional costs stand to lose the most. Smaller, more nimble institutions with sound leadership will do best.

220px-V838_Mon_HSTI wondered, in passing, if Nathan had met Lycerius in Civ II in a 21st century encounter.

The University of Western Sydney is investing $35 million over three years (including providing 11,000 iPads) “in a bid to keep its content and teaching relevant to students”. In her report on this initiative in The Conversation, Charis Palmer notes:

All new students who enrol to study at UWS in 2013 will receive an iPad, and some 1500 academic staff will also receive a tablet device for use in teaching. Existing students will receive a subsidy of $50 to go towards textbook purchases. The investment is part of a broader initiative that will include more flexible study options and interactive learning.

One of the arguments for attendance at a University is the social experience of being there. Stephen Downes has an interesting discussion of this argument today in response to a post by Justin Ritchie. Stephen comments:

if the social aspects of universities are so all-fired important, what happens to the large majority of the world’s population that never attends university? Do they just become socially stunted? Inept? Or is it possible that these social dimensions may be addressed in ways other than university pubs and social clubs?

One alternative might be to engage in a community of readers that discuss and share ideas. A post by Michael Lovett alerted me to the growth of readership in Next Generation libraries.

Since the relaunch of Dayton Metro Library, readers are spending 22-percent more time on site, viewing 22-percent more pages. At the Public Library of Cincinnati And Hamilton County (Ohio), which relaunched on Monday, sample excerpts are up 93 percent. The North Carolina Digital Library (Chapel Hill Public Library, Greensboro Public Library, Hickory Public Library) has seen significant increases in page views (15 percent), time on site (18 percent), visits (10 percent), and sample excerpts (35 percent).

Meanwhile in the Scholarly Kitchen, Phil Davis was writing about How Much of the Literature Goes Uncited?

How much of the literature goes uncited? It seems like a simple-enough question that requires a straightfoward answer. In reality, this is one of the hardest question to answer, and the most appropriate response is “it depends.” A citation is a directional link made from one paper to another. In order to count that event, that link must be observed. And while counting a citation confirms that an event took place, not observing a citation does not confirm that it didn’t.

Given my own online reading habits, I think that discoverability in a semantic web is becoming much more important that citation. I tend to follow Related Article links in Google Scholar as a personal learning tool. I start with 2012 papers and move backwards to saturate my literature search.

I find this approach empowering. By coincidence an email from John Kessel sent me off to the Harvard Business Review and Nilofer Merchant’s suggestion about power:

If you currently equate your power with your bossness, your ability to have all the answers, and getting credit for everything you do, then you are set up to thrive in the past. Thriving in the Social Era requires different skills: collaborating rather than commanding, framing and guiding rather than telling, and sharing power rather than hoarding it.

I finished my early morning reading with the story of a toddler in Townsville in North Queensland who has incubated a nest of Eastern Brown snakes (one of the world’s most deadly species of snake) in his bedroom closet. Kyle is just three years old.

The story from the ABC news site indicates that Kyle managed to do this by himself. His negotiation of the threats posed by venomous snakes seemed a perfect allegory for the start of the Age of Aquarius.

I am definitely on the side of transformation in 2013 … and thinking about how I would support Kyle’s learning journey and his co-learners who will live in the 22nd century.

Photo Credit

V838 Mon (Wikipedia)


Leave a comment

Drupal at the National Library

DSCF7619I am attending a Drupal training day today as part of a global initiative (there are twelve of these Drupal sessions in Australia today). The venue is the delightful National Library of Australia.

Drupal is a free software package (distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License) that makes it possible to organise, manage and publish  content on the web.

Justin Freeman of Agileware will facilitate two sessions:

  • The morning session introduces Drupal fundamentals.
  • The afternoon session provides hands-on experience of building a working Drupal website.

The training outcomes for the day are:

  • Understand Drupal basics and terminology.
  • Explore case studies where organisations have used Drupal.
  • Learn the benefits of building websites in Drupal.
  • Explore and use a real Drupal website.
  • Understand how Drupal can help your work.
  • Explore the building blocks of a Drupal website.

 


1 Comment

Ours is smaller than yours

I read Stephen Downes’ commentary on a Chronicle post on MOOCs.

In his post, Stephen observes:

For me, what’s revolutionary about MOOCs isn’t size, it’s openness – and openness isn’t just about free content, it’s about ownership over the process. And I don’t see anyone who is bored (yet) of talking about open education.

42rdv39p-1353975764I agree with Stephen about ownership. My experience of the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport was that the idea of openness is realised when participants own the opportunities to share and learn.

Just as I was finishing Stephen’s commentary I received an alert to Michael Rose’s explainer about fractals in The Conversation.

In the explainer, Michael quotes Benoit Mandelbrot “Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules which are repeated without end“. It seems to me that open education has this potential. Like fractals I do think open courses are scalable.

As with our SOOC it seems entirely legitimate to laud smallness … if it empowers ownership through self-organisation.

Photo Credit

The Mandelbrot Set (from Wikimedia Commons)


Leave a comment

Making Connections

8104702951_b3c9388a4f_b
I am mindful of the saying “when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail”,  but …

… there are some excellent discussions going on about open learning at the moment. Even with my limited number of feeds, I have noticed a surge in discussion and sharing of practice.

This morning, I viewed Stephen Downes’ presentation The Virtual Learning Organization. I was interested in Stephen’s discussion of cooperation (slide 22), self-organisation (slide 24) and learning as immersion (slide 27) in the context of open learning.

I found David Worlick’s recent post on Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network 2.0 a fascinating read. It gave me renewed enthusiasm to engage with Apple’s iBooks Author (iBA).

I had the same feeling about the announcement of the launch of the Sketchnote Handbook. I wondered if Mike Rohde’s insights might help me develop my aesthetics of sharing. Today was the first time I accessed Sketchnote Army (courtesy of a Paper.Li feed).

I liked Dave Cormier’s discussion of Open courses and content creation. I have spent some time thinking about multiplicity mentioned in the post:

When all participants create content, you have the potential for multiplicity. You can have a discussion from multiple viewpoints, from different contexts, from different life experiences. When different contextual beliefs are combined with difference in ability, race, gender, culture, race etc… a myriad of possibilities and viewpoints can come to the fore. When the course is opened up to the world, your chance for this increases manyfold.

I followed up on Deleuze and Guattari’s work as a result of Dave’s discussion.

I had an opportunity to read John Daniel’s Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility too.

All of which took me back to Stephen’s presentation and the attraction of cMOOCs:

Slide 10

Photo Credit

Sketchnote of Tina Seelig’s TEDxStanford Talk on Creativity, (Stephen Collins)


2 Comments

Open By Design

Art

My involvement with the small open online course (SOOC) Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport has encouraged me to think a great deal about facilitating open access and supporting disparate learning expectations.

I saw the SOOC as a modest approach to the educational issues raised by cMOOCs.

There is a growing (daily) discussion of the structure of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Yesterday I linked to posts by Alan Levine and Ryan Stacey. Today I was interested to read Dave Cormier’s post Why I think open courses should be about content creation.

In the post Dave observes:

There are many good reasons for creating content when we are learning. It provides an excellent method of personal curation of ideas, of being able to keep track of your work. It allows for others (beyond an educator) to be able to see and respond to your work. For some it provides encouragement to work a little harder, to polish a little more. It could also provide an excellent opportunity to explore other skills around publishing in numerous formats. These are all quite nice… but not what I’m on about at all.

When all participants create content, you have the potential for multiplicity. You can have a discussion from multiple viewpoints, from different contexts, from different life experiences. When different contextual beliefs are combined with difference in ability, race, gender, culture, race etc… a myriad of possibilities and viewpoints can come to the fore. When the course is opened up to the world, your chance for this increases manyfold.

I think there are language issues in there too.

An alert to Inge Druckrey’s Teaching to See film encouraged me to think about the aesthetic and design possibilities for Dave’s multiplicity (note Dave’s comment on this post about Deleuze and Guattari’s work). I was delighted to learn that Edward Tufte was the Executive Producer of the film.

Once again a combination of disparate elements freely available has taken me off to think about re-presentation. Dave’s conclusion helped me to do this:

We have the capacity to connect with each other, to share experience and perspectives and to learn both from and in spite of each other. I’m certainly not suggesting that we should live in some fantastical utopia where everyone’s opinions should be shared and equally valued. Quite the contrary. One of the most difficult thing about learning with shared content is the vast amount of crap you need to sift through. Just like life.

Photo Credit

Frame grab from Teaching to See (3 minutes 20 seconds)