Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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#SCP12 The Power to Point

Today is delivery day for students taking part in the Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra.

They will be sharing their link to a presentation each of them has posted online.

I received an overnight flurry of links from the group.

Most have used SlideCasts in SlideShare, some have used Prezi, two have used Archive.org and there is one YouTube video.

The YouTube link created a teachable moment for me.

I was compiling the links to the presentations on the unit’s Wikiversity eportfolio page and was alerted to the YouTube link as spam. When Wikiversity drew my attention to this and that I could not save the page with the link in it I wondered if I had compromised the whole page.

Fortunately I had not but it reminded me of how much confidence one needs to build resources.

Today’s meeting in the unit is focusing on Produsage.

After reading Joseph Esposito’s Scholarly Kitchen post on skeuomorphic publishing I am starting my next phase of exploring the power to point to resources open for sharing and reshaping. Joseph concludes that:

What is missing, though, is an industry-wide commitment to think about new media as new media. Rather than contrast and compare it to print, we could be thinking about digital media’s unique properties.  We should not be replacing print collections with digital ones; we should be superseding them.

Photo Credit

Big Issue Seller


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Practice into Action

Most Sunday mornings I go up to my local rural fire station for a radio check.

Last Sunday after the radio check we looked at a short video produced by CFA Victoria.

Although the content is related specifically to a fire incident I thought there were some great generic lessons about:

  • Thoughtful decision making
  • Transferring training into action
  • Reflecting on practice


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Using Video To Promote Canoe Slalom

The 2011 Australian Canoe Slalom Open has started at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium. Australian Canoeing work with Sportscene to provide a video service to the canoe slalom community in Australia and globally.

The Australian Open started on Thursday evening with the demonstration run.  For the first time in Australia the demonstration run was filmed the with a head camera. The video shows the:

  • Head cam footage
  • Course map with the position of the athlete,
  • Gate numbers

The video has a voice over which explains the course.

Sportscene posted a pre-Open video which had 1400 views within five hours. This video is available for download (25MB, 640×360, MP4). Sportscene has a Facebook page too that provides additional information.

Live results from the events can be found at the 2011 Australian Canoe Slalom Open website.

It is fascinating to see how a sport like canoe slalom with no television exposure can use social media to promote the sport. Australian Canoeing has a YouTube Channel that shares video openly. Canoe slalom was an early adopter of video technology and continues to do so.

2011 marks another milestone in the sport’s use of video.

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Play and Playfulness

I have written a good deal about play and playfulness in this blog. In June I wrote about Sliding to Catch a Train and more recently wrote about Play and Display.

This morning I received an RSS feed from The Scholarly Kitchen with a delightful example of the play spirit central to Johan Huizinga’s play elements of culture (Homo Ludens, 1938).

The Scholarly Kitchen post took me back to Roger Caillois too. Caillois suggests that play is:

  • Not obligatory
  • Separate (from the routine of life) occupying its own time and space
  • Uncertain so that the results of play cannot be pre-determined and so that the player’s initiative is involved
  • Unproductive in that it creates no wealth and ends as it begins
  • Governed by rules that suspend ordinary laws and behaviours and that must be followed by players
  • Involves make-believe that confirms in players the existence of imagined realities that may be set against ‘real life’.

In Les Jeux des Hommes (1958) he identifies four play forms (competition, chance, role playing and vertigo) and places these on a continuum that extends from structured activities with explicit rules (games), to unstructured and spontaneous activities (playfulness).

This is The Schorlarly Kitchen post that prompted these thoughts!

This one is dedicated to the parents out there. In this recently rediscovered clip of Mary Carillo’s rant about backyard badminton, every parent can take a moment to recall a day like this, which has certainly occurred at your house or at a house near you. Best line? There are many, but my vote goes for, “Then you see Christopher Berg — and it’s always Christopher Berg”.

Mary Carillo demonstrates in this video some of the cultural universals of play and playfulness. The video started out as a run of the day report from the 2004 Olympic Games and evolved into an absolutely delightful improvised story about backyard badminton. It is a story that will resonate with any parent and teacher. (Please excuse the quality of the audio!)

I thought it was a wonderful playful story about playfulness. It took me back to a remarkable experience my two children and I had in a park in Monmouth in South Wales in the mid 1990s. It was our first attempt to collect some conkers (horse chestnuts) in the park. We were happily throwing sticks at the conkers in the tree with very little success when I caught a glimpse of a policeman approaching.

Thinking we had broken some local bye-law we awaited our fate with trepidation. When the policeman got to us and uttered that time honoured line “Ullo, ullo, what’s going on here then?” We admitted that we were failed conker getters. I am not sure if it was the sad look on the children’s faces but the policeman decided to help us.

I have no idea what possessed him to throw his helmet into the tree but he did … and it failed to come down. Heroically he decided to throw his truncheon after it … and that got stuck too. At this point the children and I were desperately trying not to laugh but we were caught up in that uncontrollable fight with and enormous laugh trying to break out that sounds like a very large vehicle’s air brakes.

To his great credit the policeman did not give up and asked me to give him a bunk up into the tree to retrieve his equipment. I did so but to my great dismay he wedged his foot in the bowl of the tree. I am not sure if you have ever been in this situation but I wonder what message you would send on a police radio you are not supposed to use to request the fire brigade to extricate a policeman from a tree he should not be in retrieving equipment that should not have left his person.

Mary Carillo brought these memories back so vividly!

Photo Credit

Badminton (33)


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Lessons for Sport from OECD Education Insights

Andreas Schleicher (Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division of OECD’s Directorate for Education) visited Australia earlier this month (May 2010). One of his presentations whilst in Australia, Seeing Your Education System in the Mirror of Other OECD Systems, can be found on SlideShare.

His presentation included data from the OECD report The High Cost of Low Educational Performance. This YouTube video outlines some of the key points of the report (please excuse the music!).

I think both OECD resources have fascinating implications for decision-makers in the governance of sport and for coaches as they contemplate long-term development. The report “uses recent economic modelling to relate cognitive skills … to economic growth, demonstrating that relatively small improvements to labour force skills can largely impact the future well-being of a nation. The report also shows that it is the quality of learning outcomes, not the length of schooling, which makes the difference.”

I am keen to promote high challenge/high support learning environments and liked Andreas’s slide (27) from his presentation:

Andreas explores how continuous professional development can transform education. Within his data there is an important message about innovation and insight. His case study of Finland should resonate with any sport or coach seeking to bring about cost effective change.

I liked too his juxtaposition of integration and personalised learning (slide 35):

After looking at the report and the Slideshare presentation I wondered how a sport system at the macro level (a national sport system) and at the micro level (the club) might support an innovative investment in learning that might take a decade to develop.

Andreas’s slide on skill development (slide 15) raises the question of lead and lag investments in a sport system.

His final slide (slide 41) encouraged me to think how a system can be changed and what role intrapreneurial vision might play in change. Do sport systems evolve despite or because of inherent conservatism? How does any macro or micro system move from the left to the right of the slide below?

Andreas’s presentation and the report share how Finland did it in education!

Photo Credit

Bouw houten huis in Finland


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“We stand most securely when we stand connected”

Stephen Downes’ OLDaily (23 March) led me today to a detailed post by Mark Pesce, The Unfinished Project: Exploration, Learning and Networks. I was delighted to read Mark’s synthesis in the post and I think he has wonderful educational insights to share and prompt. I am committed totally to the centrality of play in learning and Clyde Street has been founded on the ludic dimensions of culture.

I finished my reading of Mark’s post and savoured his concluding statement “we stand most securely when we stand connected”. By wonderful synchronicity just at that moment I received an alert from a YouTube channel that I am monitoring.

A video of Sam Lazarides’ (Ascot Canoe Club, Western Australia) performance at Australian Canoeing’s Sprint Nationals has had 227 views. I think his experience of canoeing demonstrates much of the ludic dimension to which Mark refers and that is vital to leaners.

Photo Credit

Boy Scouts


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Engaging Readers

This week I have been introduced to two delightful writers. I met their work through Radio National programs. I have been thinking about writing a great deal recently in my role as supervisor of a number of student theses and research projects at the University of Canberra. I have been thinking about engaging implied readers too. Ironically this is a post about writing stimulated by being a listener.

On Tuesday Richard Stirzaker was a guest on Bush Telegraph and was interviewed by Michael Mackenzie. The interview celebrated Richard’s ability to explain scientific principles to a lay audience. The interview centred on Richard’s book Out of a Scientist’s Garden. A trail for a book launch noted that:

Out of the Scientist’s Garden is written for anyone who wants to understand food and water a little better – for those growing vegetables in a garden, food in a subsistence plot or crops on vast irrigated plains. It is also for anyone who has never grown anything before but has wondered how we will feed a growing population in a world of shrinking resources. Although a practising scientist in the field of water and agriculture, the author has written, in story form accessible to a wide audience, about the drama of how the world feeds itself. The book starts in his own fruit and vegetable garden, exploring the ‘how and why’ questions about the way things grow, before moving on to stories about soil, rivers, aquifers and irrigation. The book closes with a brief history of agriculture, how the world feeds itself today and how to think through some of the big conundrums of modern food production.

This the YouTube presentation by Richard.

On Wednesday Phillip Adams interviewed Jonathan Gold. This is the trail for the interview:

In the US, food critic Jonathan Gold has a cult following, not just because he is the first food writer to win a Pulitzer prize, and not just because he won it while working for a free, alternative newspaper, LA Weekly, but because his reviews embrace both high end cuisine and low rent neighbourhood joints. His reviews are equally riffs on food, music, politics and art; his tastes are bold and adventurous. Just don’t ask him to eat a scrambled egg.

The interview led me to Jonathan Gold’s writings in the LA Weekly and a real desire to find out more about the riffs that so captivated Phillip Adams. I liked  The Gorbals: Stomp, the Restaurant as an introduction to his writing. This is the opening paragraph:

The Gorbals, perhaps, is a restaurant that should not be seen by the light of day, when the boxy tables look like a shop-class project, the artfully scuffed floors look worn, and the back-room speakeasy vibe is overtaken by the thought that the dim space may have once served as an industrial laundry room. The music is still good, various Iggyisms and post-Iggyisms and proto-Iggyisms, but you get the feeling that the chefs would rather be sitting on a couch smoking cigarettes rather than flipping matzoh brei, and although the $5 Bloody Marys with fresh horseradish are of a strength that you may not have experienced since sophomore year in the dorms, on a Sunday morning the staff may be as hungover as you. As crisp as the blintzes are, as rich as the latke-studded pork belly hash can be, the Gorbals is not a fluffy, happy place to brunch.

Jonathan Gold’s book Counter Intelligence (Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles) was written in 2000 and is a collection of  “over 200 of Gold’s best restaurant discoveries–from inexpensive lunch counters you won’t find on your own to the perfect undiscovered dish at a beaten-path establishment”. It is available as an e-book. This blog post (from if it’s hip, it’s here) celebrates Jonathan’s Pulitzer Prize and links to a Washington Post article that is a delightful account of his work. This is the set of works that was considered by the Pulitzer Prize judges and this some biographical material about Jonathan Gold.

Richard and Jonathan have distinctive approaches to writing and sharing experience. As a supervisor of student work I am keen to share different forms of writing as a way of stimulating voice in writing. My hope is that by providing a diversity of forms each student’s voice can be enriched by access to writers such as Richard and Jonathan who offer thick description of the worlds they experience.

Photo Credits

Listening

Jonathan Gold

Road to Heaven