I changed my mind – typical woman!!!- and have now created a new space for the project. We have a proper name (a logo!!!) and a home now which is available at http://morepilot.wordpress.com
Happy New Year to everybody ;o)
Happy New Year to everybody ;o)
Putting the workshop together was quite challenging, since I discovered that there are loads of things that need to be covered. Is it too much? I think it is manageable but we will need around 3 hours. So, it should be light, fun and hands-on and effective.
I decided to use a powerpoint but spiced up with images and colours. Additional aids and resources will be used as well. I don’t like flat classrooms where learning is offered passively and in which you can’t really measue if learning is happening and to what extend. Learning should be exciting, engaging and fun too. It should increase motivation and the appetite for more learning. This is my goal. If I get the pilots on board of this plane then we will fly together.
So, what I have planned so far for the first workshop.
I fell that I have to introduce the project, the research questions and what my expectations are. Sharing these will help to identify and record expectations by participating students. Then find a match. What will happen and when, how we are going to work, what we have to do, for how long and how we are going to evaluate the pilot. Yes, I am using ‘we’ because I feel that this is a collaborative project and I really would like the pilots to have a voice and participate actively throughout.
We need to explore the tools we are going to use and actually trial them. This will be very important. I would like everybody going away from this meeting and feeling comfortable and confident in using them. No, we are not going to buy new tools, we are going to use tools we already have and tools that are freely available. Yes, this is a non-funded pilot. Actually, I think the fact that it is not funded will hopefully increase sustainability. But we will find out!
The focus of this pilot, which is recording audio reflections on teaching practice, has to be analysed. We ask our students to be reflective and many times we don’t actually explain what reflection is, what it involves and how to do it. We assume they know or will find out. Even if they don’t know, will they learn from their mistakes? Yes, we all learn a lot from our mistakes and these made by others but if I persue this string of thought any further at this moment in time, I feel that we should actually let our students discover for themselves what reflection really can be. Back though to my initial thought. If we don’t give them some hints, the basic characteristics of reflection, how can our students get better at it? How will they know if they are on the right track? Yes, of course, there is formative feedback during the process and this will also be happening throughout the pilot but it will be more in the shape of peer feedback. So, I am going to introduce participating students to reflection during that meeting in a very practical way, in a way it will hopefully make sense to them.
After completing all the above, yes, the pilots will go away and actually complete a task in their own time which does involve using the tools explored during the workshop, on their own. The task is linked to the project and if there are any issues, support will be provided not just for completing this task but all the tasks during the project as well. I would like them to know that the support will be there when needed.
We now have a platform for the project at http://mpilots.wordpress.com – note: this is the old one, see later post for the new space.
What else? I have now come up with a proper name for the project (tried to use Blender to create a 3D logo but am having some difficulties at the moment… unfortunately) A bit too late for a prope name? MoRe as in Mobile Reflection. Sounds good, I like it anyway, it is memorable, and says exactly what it is on the tin. Lets hope that it will go well and we will all learn loads from it ;o)
Yes, more questions, loads of questions, closed questions mainly at this stage, to identify where the starting point is, what tools the mpilots have and can use with confidence and how they feel about blogging in general.
Yes, I am putting a questionnaire together within www.surveymonkey.com (up to 10 questions are free and more would be just too long anyway).
I will have to identify what tools the mpilots have (access to a phone, landline and/or mobile, mp3 player or phone that plays mp3s)and what training is needed that will enable them to use http://www.wordpress.com and http://www.ipadio.com and the tools they have for the mobile learning project.
My questions so far
What else? Well, I think I need an introduction about the project and some information about what the mpilots hope to get out of it. Yes, we should have project outcomes and shared goals but also personalised outcomes, and personalised goals! I hope the motivation will stay high and we will be able to measure progress, success and achievement at different stages of the pilot.
I am a bit concerned at this stage. One of the mpilots has, sort of, disappeared… and I am wondering if it is just because of festivities or something else. I am really keen to get started with this pilot in January and am currently exploring alternative pilots who would be interested…
The first surveymonkey questionaire is now ready and will be distributed as soon as the mpilots are ready ;o)
Anyway, while I was surfing in a more focused way… I was looking for an online service that I could use for the mobile learning pilot from January. I know I had mentioned www.gabcast.com before and this was the one I knew. But the problem with gabcast is that you have to purchase units in advance and this could be a problem since the pilot I am running with my pilots (I like to call them pilots!!!), will not be a funded one and I try to remove barriers and keep the cost to a minimum and enable easy participation. Do you know something else? You can actually call an ordinary landline (from a landline, if you wish) and reduce costs further if you have a specific call package such as with www.talktalk.net. Isn’t this great!!!
So, I was excited when I started reading about ipadio at http://www.cellphonesinlearning.com/
I had to try it and setting up and account was fast and painless. Even the first phlog worked without problem. Yes, the option is there to link the phlog to an ordinary blog. Exactly what I wanted. Super!!! Would you like to have a look how it looks like within ipadio? Here it comes. Just click here.
Now, my question is, can the embedded mp3 files be downloaded directly from the wordpress blog (that would be ideal!) or only through ipadio or iTunes? I hope that this is possible to download from wordpress directly or that this option becomes available very soon (before the start of the pilot maybe?) since it would make it supereasy. If the pilots phlog to the blog and then are able to download the mp3s from the same site and use on their phones or mp3 players so that they can listen to the recordings on the go. This definitely would be learning with and from each other on the go. Do I ask for too much?
Trying not to be overexcited… about the possibilities and I hope that the mpilots will feel at least as excited as I am at the moment ;o)
When stupidity becomes a mission to safeguard materialistic dreams and possessions, or when possessions become obsessions.
What does stir our decisions? What does it mean to go against any logic and follow our heart to please a child, our very own child? To bring a smile on their face and become their big hero of all times…
What do we teach our children when we do things based on our emotions and materialistic dreams that go against any kind of brainwork and can easily turn into nightmares. What does the child get out of this process and what about the adult?
I have to admit that I am extremely confused at the moment and the above probably demonstrates exactly that.
note: Why this image? Love and passion for a shared vision have the power to connect people. That is how I felt during the conference. People can make a big difference to how we feel, about who we are, where we are, what we are doing.
The conference is now over. It was a full and exciting day. It definitely provided food for thought and confirmed that thinking is changing and enthusiastic educators in different institutions are driving chance. This is great. Participating in the social network workshop and another one about e-portfolios were the highlights of the event and enabled me to find out what is happening in other institutions, HE and FE.
My workshop on mlearning went ok. We started a bit late and I think we were the last ones there. Loads had signed up but not everybody turned up. People are generally fresher in the morning. However, the dialogue was rich and some were interested in exploring mobile tools within teaching and learning. I had planned too much. We only had 45min. Time is definitely something I need to look at, to be able to become more flexible and mix ‘n’ match depending on how the session goes. Afterwards, it felt as if I was sticking too much to the original plan. The grouping didn’t really work very well, but in the end we did have two groups, the teachers and the students which came up with innovative ideas on how to use mtechnology to enhance a specific teaching/learning aspect.
I would have liked to discuss the pilots that I plan to start in January. Unfortunately, it was getting too late and I had to cut that bit out. However, it is all recorded on www.prezi.com and I hope that some will look at the handout and if interested get in touch.
A colleague from another college, was interested in the pilots and he might contact me about it. I think it would be great if I could find somebody to run similar pilots/a similar pilot in another college, again within teacher education and then compare findings.
I think I will have to focus on one pilot at the time, otherwise, I won’t have time to do anything well. I just wish the day had more hours. There are so many things I would like to explore…
So, I am deciding now, while I am writing, that the start will be with the two dyslexic students and explore how mobile technology can be used to develop reflective skills. Just this pilot for now. We have a home now, but need to test it first. Here it is http://mpilots.wordpress.com
Over the next weeks, I am going to refine my approach and then meet with the two students and discuss the pilot, process and milestones. I have started adding my ideas but I would like to finalise it with the students and check if they would be happy with it. I feel really excited about this pilot and am hopeful that my students will benefit from this investigation. Both students are keen to get started, which is super great!!!
Next step: Check out gabcast again and find out if we can actually use it for the pilot. I haven’t used it before.
My coat is back… well actually it was waiting for me in the office… ;O) and I thought I had lost it for ever and ever…
Whose is the coat I have at home??? Nobody missed it… yet.
Well, I have to admit that over the last 2-3 months I have lost…
What is wrong with me? I used to be the one who never lost anything and now things are disappearing under my nose…
I am going to focus on the last item that I lost from my wardrobe. Well it didn’t disappear from my wardrobe. Nobody took it from my house. I actually left the house wearing it one of these cold days but never returned with it. Weird… I know. Weirder even, that I was actually wearing somebody else’s coat for a few days or weeks now… just discovered it when I went shopping the other day. Somehow, ‘my’ coat didn’t look like mine anymore. The colour was definitely not the same… when we arrived home I discovered that I was right. This was NOT my coat. What happened??? Who is wearing mine? How long am I running around wearing somebody else’s coat? I can’t believe this…
I decided to send the following email to my colleagues and students
I just returned from ASDA where I discovered that ‘my’ long purple coat didn’t look the same anymore… When we arrived home, I had a look inside and discovered that ‘my’ coat was not my coat. Where did I pick this one up??? How long am I running around wearing somebody else’s coat???
It is a size 18 and from BHS. I have to admit it is a nice coat but too big for me. I am wondering if anybody is wearing my coat, which was a bit shorter, a few sizes smaller, not from BHS and slightly brighter.
I am not sure where I got this one from, but I haven’t really been anywhere (sad to admit…) except the TDC, the Dryden Centre… and Peterborough.
If anybody is wearing my coat, please get in touch. Thank you very much.
I am very happy to dry clean the one I have at the moment.
Did I find it yet? No. I am really upset with myself. I try to remember but there seems to be a gap in my brain… do I have amnesia? What is happening to me? I try despirately to connect the pieces of what happend during the last few weeks and remember when I was wearing MY purple coat and where I could have left it and took the one I have at the moment. No, I am not wearing it anymore…
I got some replies from colleagues and students, some really funny ones. Everybody seems really amused with my stories and this story I guess confirms that reality is many times weirder than fiction…
Some of the comments received so far…
I would love to say it is me who has your coat as I have one the same colour, If it was my coat you had you would not be in Asda making your discovery, you would be up Mount Everest thinking were did I get this tent from. If I had your coat I would have been at the Queen Elizabeth having it surgically removed.
Hope yours turns up soon.
“I havent laughed out loud so much for a long time Chrissi
Thankyou for that and good luck finding your coat!
I’m sorry when I first started reading this I thought you had a strange task you wanted us to do? Then realised you were serious. I’m sorry I don’t have your coat and I am sorry but your story made me laugh. I’m sure you’ll get your coat back.
“ Chrissi, You have just made me laugh out loud ………….THANK YOU ! I have an image now of you wearing a purple coat that is huge on you rampaging round ASDA 100miles an hour trying to do your shopping !
By the way …………………….it is not my coat . LOL “
I am so pleased that I am not the only person who has done this, only the person whose coat this belonged to (X) realised as I was standing talking to her.
Where is my coat? I know it is just a coat and I will be happy without it. BUt could this mistery be solved somehow??? I am wondering.
I am now clearer about the focus for the second pilot. Still exploring mobile learning and this time around using audio to develop reflection within initial teacher training. Participating students are dyslexic and I would like to investigate if audio can make a difference to these students and if this approach could be used for the wider community of students to stimulate more senses during the learning process and achieve better results in developing reflective practice.
… more details will follow