Nicely summarised both in the text and the video. Primary points resignating to me were the realities of access, and the increasing gap between not only those with and without access, but between those who can capitalise on the opportunities, and those who can't. That last point stats to touch on my concerns about neo colonialism through open education.
29 March 2012
27 March 2012
As part of an ongoing research project on Sustaining social purpose, I am collecting stories from university adult educators who entered the field between the early 1970s and the mid to late 1980s, and I am struck by the emphasis on conviviality in teaching and learning that is emerging, and how in those dark years of Thatcherism in the UK, increasing instrumentalism and dismissal of learning for its own sake, adult education lost its spirit of conviviality. Only now are discussions about convivial adult learning beginning to regenerate.
I've done it for a number of other sites I manage, but never for myself. Saw little reason to, apart from a kind of integrity on my online identity. So there it is, still resolving, and pointing to my Blogger blog. www.leighblackall.com
$10 per year, registered through Blogger, and bringing with it a Google Apps account. Too cheap to ignore really.
25 March 2012
24 March 2012
If you're voting in Darwin's local elections today, I urge you to vote 1 for Homeless Bum, Trevor Jenkins.
Trevor is famous around Darwin, for his roadside artworks using rubbish and fallen tree branches, and his preaching for love and understanding. I introduced myself to Trevor while he was repairing one of his sculptures at the university. As we shook hands I immediately knew he was a good spirit. Eyes sparkling, happy, genuine, ready to engage. I asked him about his campaign to be Mayor of Darwin, and he passed me a copy of his poster. We then had a long conversation about a wide range of things social, and he easily won my vote, with the depth of his concern for people generally, especially the vulnerable - "which is eventually all of us at least once" he said.
With his body odour, slightly mixed with the smell of the rubbish he handles, Trevor is a breath of fresh air to the political arena! He speaks of the need to connect people in Darwin, to bridge the very apparent gaps, in authentic and genuine ways, and to develop Darwin in creative and unique ways.
|Photo from ABC|
He has no illusions on his prospects for winning the election, or of being accepted if he does, but the simple act of standing is enough. It gives him a platform and a reason to speak to people, and gave me my reason for approaching him. I was really moved by the things he said and the way he said it, and if Mayor is simply a ceremonial role of cutting ribbons and meeting the children, I can imagine no-one better than Trevor for the job. But if mayor is more than that, about writing policy and making systematic changes, again I can imagine no one better than Trevor. I don't know, and have not spoken to the other candidates, but it says enough to me that I have met and spoken at length with Trevor, while the others are just thousands of plastic political posters everywhere.
|Photo from ABC|
I'm sure many of the other candidates are worthy, experienced, and have big ideas (and very bad ideas), but for me Trevor gets it, especially when you meet him in person. The ABC recorded a debate between 3 of the 4 candidates a couple of days. Interesting listening.
17 March 2012
A counter point to the mysterious if not suspicious Kony2012 campaign
What teachers make
Is there a subtext in this, or is it just me. Yeah.. Just me.
12 March 2012
Electronic Frontiers and The Australian Greens teamed up a few months ago, to host an interesting event called War on the Internet, featuring:
- Jacob Applebaum - leading computer security researcher and hacker
- Bernard Keane - 'Crikey' journalist and author
- Scott Ludlam - Senator for Western Australia and Greens spokesperson for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy
- Suelette Dreyfus - author and researcher on whistleblowing
The response of governments and corporations to Wikileaks, Anonymous, the occupy movement and the Arab Spring has been defensive and warlike. The internet and social media were declared tools of agitation. Behaviour that sought peaceful democratic reform was characterised as treasonous or even terrorist.
Government asserted the right to flick the internet off-switch, and law enforcement, Internet Service Providers, telcos and the judiciary were enlisted to harass activists via subpoenas, takedown notices, mercenary denial of service attacks, and direct denial of services based on unexplained breaches of hard to find user licences. It also involved the ritual harassment of activists in the far corners of international airports, dark places reserved for unlawful arrivals and criminal suspects.
It doesn't have to be like this. Come and hear from an activist, journalist, researcher and legislator challenging the gatekeepers and proposing alternatives to the weaponisation of cyberspace.
Peter Shanks dropped two interesting links into the TALO (Teach and Learn Online) email group today. Two newspaper reports about Teachmeets - unconferencing for teachers:
- Daily Telegraph: Australian teachers crazy for their teachmeets
- Sydney Morning Herald: Lesson in numbers: TeachMeet aims for a world record
A TeachMeet is an organised but informal meeting (in the style of an unconference) for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology. These events are often organised to coincide with other educational events like the Scottish Learning Festival and the British Educational Technology and Training Show BETT.Steven Parker then replied in the TALO forum with his experiences in a Teachmeet in Belfast.
Participants volunteer (via the TeachMeet website) to demonstrate good practice they've delivered over the past year, or discuss a product that enhances classroom practice.
TeachMeet events are open to all and do not charge an entry fee.
I recently attended a teachmeet in Belfast. A remarkable success, 80 teachers attended face to face with live streaming of the event to around 140 people online. http://tmbelfast.wikispaces.
com/VIDEOS These videos give a taste of the format with a good use of twitter. With each presentation at 2min to 7 minutes interest was maintained and alot of people got to speak. Here is an animation explaining the format. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=r5iCYzDQX00&feature=player_ embedded
11 March 2012
Wikipedia has had this for a while now, but we've been waiting a long time for it to roll out across the other projects.
09 March 2012
See what we're all about at http://theseriousu.com/kid1yt
If you're not interested in getting your business degree surrounded by a bunch of 19-year-olds, check out the school for busy, working professionals. American Intercontinental University is an accredited university for people who want to earn their business degree as efficiently as possible with no messing around.
SERIOUS YOUNG MAN
When I was looking for a college -- really the only ones I looked at were ones that I knew had strong business programs. But now I realize college is about so much more than just what you learn in class.
It's a place to make lifelong friends. A place to learn about yourself. An environment where you can...grow up. That's why I could never go somewhere like AIU. Sure they've got an award-winning virtual campus where you can get your business degree online. And sure, a business degree could really help build a career.
SERIOUS YOUNG MAN
SERIOUS YOUNG MAN
But they're like totally straight line about it, Point A to Point B -- "let's do this as efficiently as possible." "Get a business degree without wasting any time." I mean, that's why they're called America's #1 Unparty School. They don't get it...college is all about...the journey.
FEMALE VOICE NARRATION
If you've already done all your growing up, come check out the school for busy working adults. We're AIU, American's #1 Unparty School. See what we're all about at theseriousu.com.
LEGAL: Not all programs are available in all states. AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at aiuniv.edu/disclosures. American InterContinental University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. REQ0238142
08 March 2012
Centre for School Leadership and Learning Development. Project Director, eLearning.
This one uses a lighter treated canvas outer, still lined with ventile, a sleaker design better fitted for active wear, more face shielding in the hood, adjusted pockets now using RiRi aqua zips, and all closed up with a 2 way aqua zip protected by a double placket fastened by studs. This version is lighter, axtra weather proof, and a better fit.
I can't wait to test this one in August, up on the main range of the NSW Snowies. In fact, I reckon it'll be tough enough to use in an approach up Mount Townsend from the West, where I'm expecting a rough, rarely if ever attempted climb, carrying skis through forest, thick scrub and alpine grass, before reaching the snowline for a sunset ski return overlooking the valleys of the Murray. I better get started on the pants, gloves, woolens and featherdown jacket, so to be gear-ready for it!
As soon as I have the pattern graded (sizes small, medium and large), I'll get it up as an open source design and offer supply of materials raw or cut, or a complete jacket made to order.
Tracking nicely for a launch in July, August.
02 March 2012
Harold asks a good question, and I've tried to use the obvious answer to guide my practice since 2006. While I don't go as far as not setting up and offering spaces like Facebook for people to engage in courses and other activities I facilitate, I certainly don't make such places the primary channel of information. Wikiversity is my primary, periodicaly copied into blogger, that automatically feeds through to email lists, twitter and Facebook. All of them offer that scale of userbase that enhance the probability of people connecting and hopefully networking their learning, but where people choose to then engage is up to them.
I agree with Graham, these sorts of things should at least have a presence in school based mass education, if not be the central theme of their tech studies, but they're not, and won't be due to a rather sad view of employability and life meaning in such places. So over to you home scoolers, unschoolers, and free universities.