Shift to a learning journal

This entry marks a rebirth, of sorts, of this blog. Perhaps there’s some good to come of my painful learning experience of re-branding the original blog. This space will now become my learning journal for self-directed Open Education resources.

I recently signed on to the LearningSpace of The Open University after downloading some of their content through iTunes U. I have had a long-standing interest in the Open Education concept, particularly in light of the success of the OU in the UK. While newer approaches like MOOCs seem to have garnered a lot of attention, OU has quietly contained to evolve and mature.

So, I am going to take some of the writings, notes, and other findings from my disparate, disjointed, and eclectic studies, and place them here. Using this space as my learning journal I won’t be an “elearning guy”, but a Guy doing some e-learning in his ongoing professional development.

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Reblog – Visual Note Taking

While I haven’t digested this article in its entirety, I’m seeing more and more of these kinds of approaches to note-taking and information mapping. I’ll add some comments later, but this was simply too fantastic a post NOT to reblog. Thanks, Jackie!

User Generated Education

As should be the case, there is ongoing discussion among educators about the skills that should be taught to their learners.  One such skill is note-taking.  Note-taking is typically classified as a study skill and taught as it has been through the history of institutionalized education – the outline.

When I started researching brain-compatible learning (see neuroscientist John Medina’s Vision Trumps All Other Senses),  I was exposed to the mind-map as a tool for organization, comprehension, and note-taking.  Mind-maps have several benefits:

http://www.visual-mapping.com/2011/05/study-shows-key-benefits-of-mind.html

. . .  and according to Giulia Forsythe:

As Temple Grandin says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” and some of those minds “think in pictures”. Doodling is a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking. In the conscious mind, doodling can assist concentration and focus but even in the unconscious mind, while doodling and day…

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Blue Moon

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With a little ingenuity and a lot of patience, I managed to capture a few shots of Friday’s ‘Blue Moon’.

With the recent passing of Neil Armstrong, I took a much longer gaze at the Moon, marveling at the audacity and drive it took to get there, while staying mindful of the sacrifices (Apollo 1).

The view never gets old.

Gems from my PLN

A great pair of entries from Ryan Tracey (@ryantracey) on the nature of the SME. This discussion leads us into the territory of “Unconscious Competence” as pioneered by Gordon Training International. Thanks to Ryan for sharing these gems.

E-Learning Provocateur

In my previous blog post, Everyone is an SME, I argued that all the employees in your organisation have knowledge and skills to share, because everyone is an SME in something.

Sometimes this “something” is obvious because it’s a part of their job. For example, Sam the superannuation administrator is obviously an SME in unit switching, because he processes dozens of unit switches every day.

But sometimes the something isn’t so obvious, because we’re either too blind to see it, or – Heaven forbid – our colleagues have lives outside of the workplace.

Martha the tea lady

Consider Martha, the tea lady. Obviously she’s an SME in the dispensation of hot beverages. That’s her job.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that she’s also an SME in customer service and relationship management. That’s her job, too.

Oh, and she speaks fluent Polish and Russian.

Gavin the IT grad

May I also introduce you to…

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Au clair de la Lune

Like many others, I was sad to learn of the passing of Neil Armstrong.

The Apollo missions and all they represented were a key part of my childhood, even as a Canadian. While I was only 14 months old when Apollo 11 touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, I remained captivated by the accomplishments of NASA and even the Soviet Space Program. Those were heady times, and I even remember watching the “handshake in space” live on TV.

Tonight as I look at a half moon still visible in the late summer sky, I think about those days when man walked the moon, and I’m saddened that we’ve not left Earth orbit for similar missions in the 40 years since.

Godspeed, Neil Armstrong. Your quiet courage and humble outlook were examples to us all. Tonight I give the moon a wink, just for you.

Pinterest: It took a while, but I get it. Finally.

Pinterest LogoIn many respects (for those who subscribe to such things), I am a typical Taurus, and stubborn as hell. I admit that there are times when I will resist trying new things until I know I can see the benefits for me. Once I “get it”, however, I’m unstoppable.

That paragraph accurately sums up my experience with Twitter. While initially skeptical, I have now – as most of you know – embraced the tool enthusiastically because I see the value from a personal and professional point of view. A secondary benefit is, of course, the entertainment value.

And then came Pinterest…

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