Just a 4 day week :)

Two four day weeks, actually, with a 4 day weekend between. That really helped me this week, I think. I’d not realised how tired I was getting (or grumpy, though I suspect colleagues may have  …)

The weekend was spent well away from the computer – mostly in the garden, trying to prepare a bed that previously had been covered with weedproof membrane and shale bits. It’s now much improved and ready for planting.

During the week I got to join a  yoga class via Zoom, taught by a close friend (who just happens to be a yoga teacher). It’s a class I’ve missed a lot since moving to Scotland, so the lockdown has let me rejoin her classes 🙂

From a work point of view, we’re busy right now looking at exams, but already starting to think about next academic year. All I’m reading, and all we’re talking about, makes me really regret stopping doing my PhD. In that, I’d been looking at social networking (though at the time it was “Web2.0”) to support learning. I also worked on an  (online) MSc in eLearning that we ran at Portsmouth, which put a strong focus on students communicating and working collaboratively – indeed, it was for that MSc that I started this blog – we knew we wanted students to blog, so I realised I’d better set a good example.

I’m intending, over the next few weeks, to revisit what I’ve written here in the past, both the published posts, and that rather long list of started ideas – starting to draw together past experiences, with new ideas, new points raised, new technologies. When starting to do the PhD, I realised that focussing on tools wasn’t the right way, focussing on the media – text, audio, video – and the audience – how they can be used to enable students to engage with others, informally, supporting their learning, in a way that suits their needs the best. And that’s something that it’s now a case of balancing University supported tools, with those that students want to use. It’s then how we suggest way of using their own selection for their informal communication and support, with the more formalised use of University supported tools. I believe that we need to recognise both, and be able to make information available to students to help them make informed choices.

Things I’m going to do: 

As well as revisiting older blog posts and ideas, I’m going to try to focus on me. Starting yoga again and reading Marie’s blog post, has made me realise I really need to focus on the me. Having a 4 day weekend last weekend helped, but I know I can make time for me.

Things I’ve read this week:

  • Sheila McNeill’s Lockdown week 3 (I read it at the start of the week!) – The GastaGoesGlobal sounds good – would love to get time to participate in some of that next week.
  • Simon Horrocks Systematic Approach to Online learning I like the idea of co-ordinated sets of resources, as going back to my point about communication – they’d lend themselves well to curation for students to access, then time to discuss. (The ‘flipped’ classroom approach)
  • Stephen Downes got two hits this week! Creating an online curriculum hub looked at a similar idea to Simon’s – this time though for K-12 schools, rather than HE. The more critical to me was the need to update an online learning strategy
  • Wired’s review of World of Warcraft I’d listened to an interview with Bill Gates who’d mentioned that there are few models for a pandemic – which made me remember reading about the WoW incident at the time. I obviously wasn’t the only one to remember reading it 🙂

And a final picture. I’d treated myself a while ago to this. It’s large, and it’s taking time (some bits are very small & my fingers are getting older … but, Lego is so good for so many things! It’s for people of all ages. You’ll get the final when I’ve finished!

Assembly Square - Lego