Saturday, September 30, 2006

Friday Sept 29: Farewell Wellington, NZ

In this audio post I recall my experiences in Wellington for the week, feeling that it's all gone too fast, but that I'm left with a sense of things just beginning.

Some key points I discuss in this post include:
  • the torrent of visual metaphors for learning I see around me as I record this post,
  • the possibilities for further conversations about developing networks and knowledge sharing, and
  • generation 'I' and the need to pursue personalised learning in both informal and formal learning settings.
There's more, but I'll leave it to you...

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Sept 28, Blogs and learning - a conversation (eFest 2006)

Thursday September 28, saw Marica and I run a conversation on 'blogs and learning' at eFest 2006, Wellington NZ. This audio post (below) explores our initial reactions and reflections about the session just after it had finished.

this is an audio post - click to play

We set up the session details on this wiki page and have invited session participants to continue the conversation, to explore the idea of using blogs in learning settings. So, if YOU were there - we'd love to hear from you!

Also, if you'd like to run a session like this, we have included the activity structure on the wiki - you're welcome to use it. And we'd be interested to hear how your session goes! :o)

Some key points we shared immediately after the sessions included:
  • the fact that people raised so many questions about ways of using blogs,
  • that spam is unavoidable (our 'spammer' interrupted the session with flouro pink stick notes!), and
  • that there is a need for some guidance for learners as to how effectively a blog can be used for learning.

It's also quite a task to define what a blog is, because from the comments I heard from many of the participants who use blogs, they are as varied as the bloggers themselves! Another good call for personalised learning support methinks!

We will be updating the wiki page with some of the 'blog posts' people made, which highlight some of their initial thoughts related to Will Richardson's video on blogging in schools. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Sept 26: A cross-fertilisation of ideas (Open Polytechnic)

I recorded this short audio post with Marica, following dinner, reflecting on our day at the Open Polytechnic (Marcia's workplace and a distance education polytechnic based in Wellington).

this is an audio post - click to play

Presentation in K block (Tuesday) Lunch at Galleria (Tuesday)
I conducted a conversation at the Open Polytechnic about the current goings on in the Australian Flexible Learning scene and how it was preparing us for a future of learning. There was some exchange of ideas and experiences, some similar and some quite different. My wiki has a mash-up of presentation notes available.

Thanks to the Open Polytechnic staff for welcoming me into their workplace, and for sharing their experiences - in particular, Brent, Sue, Linda, Jerome, Judy, Anouk and Marica - I really appreciated it! I will be in touch with more questions shortly (especially about Moodle Linda!) :o)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wellington NZ, a dramatic welcome!

Wellington looking south
Originally uploaded by margoc.
I've made it - landed safely in Wellington New Zealand - greeted warmly with open arms at the airport by Marica and Lynsey. ....And an amazingly breathtaking sight to come flying in over the white capped water filled with jumbled piles of rock and green outcrops drizzled with a lacey mist!

The coastline as is wild as the wind buffering it. The plane flew straight over a row of weatherboard houses that stood unprotected on the end of the country, their gay colours defying the elements that beat against them.

What a dramatic welcome! I'm really struck by the drama of the place. Houses climb the hills, scrambling to get a good footing to keep their residents safe; trees and shrubs, dark green, yellow and orange, lock themselves to the hillside huddling together for support against gravity and the wind.

The wind - well, yes, I was warned about the wind, but you can tell me till you're blue in the face, but until I've 'been there' I won't 'know' it! Well, now I know! Situated learning at its best see! :o)

Wellington town reminds me of the those tight Irish streets and the colourful garb of old buildings that have stood the test of time and progress. Likewise, the residential streets are dominated by weatherboard houses, much like those in Newport Rhode Island, and are sort of built into the lie of the land, almost part of the topography itself.

The mist lingers...and lingers...a grey-white hush that pushes aside the sun and conspires with the steady wind - two constant companions for Wellington, her people and visitors!

So, I'm here - welcomed, at home and ready for a week of conversation, sharing, questions, laughter and connections!

Monday, September 18, 2006

The future of learning ...begins today!!

The Open Conference Tour titled 'The Future of Learning in a Networked World' begins in Dunedin New Zealand today!

You can keep track of the tour through the Community Walk map, or participate yourself by viewing the tour locations and activities on the FLNW wiki, and add yourself to the list of participants if you wish to contribute to the discussions!

I'm joining the tour as it winds down in Wellington, finishing with the annual eFest Conference.

I'm excited! Michael Coghlan has posted a short audio on his blog as he arrived in NZ and Leigh has also added some great videos to the Community Walk. Steven Parker has added a 'sparker' video as well, from Wollongong NSW.

There is also a beautiful rendition of a Mihi (welcome) song at the Otakou Marae posted on the community walk too. You can follow along with the words here.

So... what IS the future of learning in a networked world? Join in the conversation!

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Friday, September 01, 2006

You can't beat a good book!

From Stephen's Web...

Google Book Search Offers Free Downloads of Public Domain Books

Stephen draws our attention to this service provided by Google. Who ever said books would die with the advent of the internet!

Ever wanted to read Dante's "Inferno"?

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