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"To allow fear to be in control of one's life, is to limit oneself and all around you. Connect with your children, with your learners. Understand them, understand their worlds and grow with them, not against them".




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Friday, 20 August 2010

Learning Must Be A Current Experience!

I was interested in the article below albeit a little surprised that the educational arena is still struggling to get the message.

The same topics where being discussed here in Australia close to a decade ago, if not more.  In 2002 and then 2003, as one of the few and fortunate to be awarded a scholarship, as a Flexible Learning Leader, through the government initiative, of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, teacher, lecturer, educator resistance to change was challenging to say the least.

Personally I find it tragic that in 2010 the same topics, the same problems still arise in our educational arena.
As educators, from the time of the advent of the internet, any who thought they were 'the sage on the stage', who spoke and through the power of 'osmosis',their 'teaching' would somehow, be captured in the brain of their charges, to be regurgitated by their charges in exams, were sadly mistaken.

The trouble educators have in letting go of the above notion is not just sad, it is intolerable.  Change occurs in the world that is a fact.  As educators we should be looking at embracing change and ensuring the currency of what we are offering is exactly that, current.  Our 'clients' deserve' current learning, not just in content but method, they deserve the experience of learning.

Is it not time, that our so called educators 'got it' and put in the effort to provide what is required?  Those who refuse, keep their heads in the sand should be ousted and replaced with those willing to embrace change and evolve with it.  Until then, the same debates and writings will continue, with little happening in reality


 Unlearning Teaching
  Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed
  -------------------------------------------------------------
  http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=53150
  One of the hardest sifts for teachers working with new
  technology is the realization that they are no longer
  central to their students' learning. They have to, in
  effect, unlearn how to teach. "Rather than teachers
  delivering an information product to be ‘consumed' and
  fed back by the student, co-creating value would see the
  teacher and student mutually involved in assembling and
  dissembling cultural products. As co-creators, both would
  add value to the capacity building work being done through
  the invitation to ‘meddle' and to make errors."
  Comment: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=53150
  Direct Link:
  http://weblogg-ed.com/2010/unlearning-teaching/

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

'Talking Head' via Streamfolio for Mahara thanks to Alexander Hayes of Edupov

Wow, I am hoping that I will be presenting live at the mobilizethis conference in Darwin this year.  Two years of presenting online and now time to show that I am 'Real' - scary.

It was suggested to me that doing a 'talking head' piece, on what I plan to talk about, would be a good idea. Um, I thought I knew what it was but all of a sudden 'Freak-out'.  Yep, my head on a little video clip using Streamfolio for Mahara through Edupov.  The only thing that 'Freaked' me, the thought of capturing myself on video, not the technical side as through this system it is easy, fast and fun, the actual 'Me' bit scared the hell out of me.

So playing around in Streamfolio for Mahara and I must thank Alexander Hayes for the opportunity to do this.  By the end of today folks, you will see my 'Talking Head', all I keep thinking is that the only thing to fear is fear itself, so get over yourself Jacinta:)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Games on Facebook - Addictive - A Concern - Yes - Part 1

Games on facebook, no danger or is there????

What began as a bit of fun an outlet, turned into curiosity and what I felt was research.  What happened next I was not prepared for and only now feel free to share.

When I first began to puddle around on facebook, some years ago now, I found a couple of games within the applications that were a bit of fun and just a release from other chores.  The games I settled on were Vampires and Poker.  Neither of them took much time out of my day.  I popped into see how my Vampire was doing, she was pretty cute and it was quite satisfying biting other people (all friends who I knew).  They gave as good as they got and in the end we had a nice Vampire friendly army.  With this game at the time, there was of course the incentive to gather friends as you went, and in those days it was easy to keep track of friends and vet them as required, for safety reasons of course.  I chose who I played with and could  continue the game regardless.  Mindless fun, free of charge (apart from internet connection and time) and I learnt that my competitive streak was still strong - I wanted to get to the next levels, so I bit as many of my friends as often as possible - it was a good laugh:)

My mind became somewhat distracted overtime as adds began to appear on the Vampire game page.  I realised and admired I must say the cleverness of those who had developed the game.  This was not just a game, it was a business with great marketing.  Imagine, developing the game and each time a new Vampire movie came out, you got to advertise it - even click per view and the money would be rolling in.  Whilst I admired the developers, I quickly lost interest as it took longer to load the game with adds rolling all around the place.  For me at the time the fun had gone but the learning experience was great.

I will not talk about Poker too much needless to say I found more in it than a game, lucky as I am a lousy player.  I still think that when I would pop into a table, others would rub their hands and say 'she is back, yay, our cash cow has arrived.  No fear, again it was fun, it did not cost money to play, you just popped in and out at will.  Again I did find it more interesting than just a game, I made new friends.  These friends were people playing, who I would check out (their profiles) and see if there was any strategic connection between us.  I made friends with people in the music arena, learning arena and business, people I could vet and qualify as being who they said they were, friends who added value to my being on facebook.  I still to this day remain connected to many of these people and I hope it has been a win win situation on a personal and professional level. It is amazing who you will find sitting at a poker table.

My journey with games took a break, interesting yes, but far too many by then offered in the applications, I simply could not decide.

I was then sent not that long ago a request to become a Zoo friend.  Yikes, the journey changed and addiction began.

Part 11 of this journey will be with you soon:)

The innovator returns to share her voice

Why do innovators become disillusioned and sometimes cease to have a voice?  In my experience because:
1: I did not see in myself what others see in me
2: I did not have the confidence in myself to continue
3: My self esteem was down
4: Being told in some educational arenas that I should 'shut up' as I was talking 'wanky shit'
5: I felt that I was not supported by those who mattered - in fact I was I just had the wrong people labelled as those who mattered
6: I became frustrated with the surrounds of mediocrity
7: I did not have resilience skills
8: I was unable to lead the change required in the environment I was in
9: I was knocked down once to often and began to give up
10: I needed the strength to move on

Not a sad story folks, my reality and it has lead me to bigger and better things personally and I hope professionally.  I may have been quiet for sometime and have made the odd effort to gain my voice back, but in all of that time I have learnt so much more, lurking online, puddling around, continuing to learn in secret to some extent.

I am now ready once again to share my learning about social networking, social media, e-learning and the like.  All from personal experience.

What I can say is that if you enjoy my experiences, can take something positive away, whatever it is you take then this is my gift.  I you do not agree, then challenge my thoughts. experiences.  If you just simply think I am full of rubbish then just do not read.

To those who have supported me through the years  -  thank you.  It has taken me a while to truly get back out here and do what I believe I do well, but thanks to the believers I am back:)

A huge thank you to just a few of my heros - Stephen Downes, Alexander Hayes, Al Upton xxxx