almost there now


Last week of the pilot for reflections. Happy to listen and comment once more and then it will be over… maybe… maybe not. Maybe we will find a way to keep MoRe alive, mayve it will evolve into something else. We will see and discuss it with participating students.

Andrew Middleton, on twitter, pointed me towards an interesting article at CNN Tech “Is voice becoming the new text (again)?” Well, I have to admit that I can see some benefits. I can that it is becoming more and more popular because it is faster. We would say much more in a minute than we would write in a minute. The advantage might be that we could talk and do something else at the same time. Mmm. There are however some differences, I think. The language we use wouldn’t be the same. Does it matter? Well it depends. It depends on many things. What about the thinking and the depth of our thoughts? Does it matter? What does matter, process or end-product or both? Are messy speaker, messy thinkers, messy writers? Does it really matter? Is messy really bad? Is it not about making connections, communicating ideas and sharing?

Andrew, I also feel strange when I do have to make phonecalls in public or somebody rings me when I am on the bus etc. Also, when I record audio in front of other people, that also feels weird… and I avoid it whenever I can. Interviews are different! Sometimes, I feel even uncomfortable when I am on my own and as you say, knowing that there is an audience out there, who will be listening makes me feel a bit mor conscious about the way I say things. But then again, wouldn’t we feel the same in a face-to-face communication? One of the differences might be that in a face-to-face situation you will see the other person and communication happens beyond the use of language. Maybe it is just a skill that I need to learn, relax more into it and get better at it… hopefully.

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still a bit to go and a new beginning


We are now in week 7 of the original MoRe pilot. Participating students still feel positive and keep the reflections coming. Sometimes it feels hard not to respond immediately after posting but I haven’t done it because I wouldn’t like to overpower the conversation. For me it is more important to listen, step-back and allow students to be at the centre of the action.

I am writing the report and over the last few days, I was focusing on finding out a bit more about dyslexia. There seems to be some disagreement with what dyslexia is among researchers or maybe they just can’t agree on a definition. Maybe I am wrong. I am not taking any position and I know only very very little about dyslexia. There seem to be different types of dyslexia. However, from my readings, I discovered that there seem to be contradicting views. While some researchers agree that dyslexia is a difficulty in translating sounds into letters and affects written languages, others argue that it also affects the use of oral language and as a result of this auditory skills are effected too. I also read that receptive language disorder is/can be? linked to dyslexia and others disagree. Confused!

I can, however, see how these 2, oral and written language, are or could be linked.

The interesting thing is … and I am using audio to develop reflection for dyslexic student teachers within the MoRe pilot. But then again, there is assistive technology out there and audio is one of the media used to engage dyslexics. Also, a number of pilots and other projects have been carried out and show that audio can indeed help dyslexics to engage more and make learning more accessible. I have to admit I am a bit confused at the moment… I must do some more reading on this. Added some useful links about dyslexia to my delicious collection.

The reality within the MoRe pilot seems to be that participating dyslexics find it natural to talk and record their reflections using their (mobile) phones and this is reflected in the natural flow of thought, the use of language that I have been listening to over the last 7 weeks and their statements that they really find it easy and natural to talk and find it much better than writing.

Maybe somebody could explain this to me? I definitely need some help to understand a bit better the conflicting views. Could it be that there are different types of dyslexia? Could it be that the students involved in this pilot have strong auditory skills despite the fact of being dyslexic? Is there a test that would prove that? How could I find out beyond my observations? Is their statements that they find it easier and more natural to talk than to write not enough? I have loads of questions at the moment.

The MoRe pilots has an offspring ;o). Yes, a brand new pilot just started within Geography Education in collaboration with the Programme Leader at the University of Sunderland. The MoRe approach has been used within a year 2 cohort to develop reflection. This time, it is used for the whole cohort and not just for a specific sub-group of students. The cohort consists of 4 students. So, small and manageable again. Really exciting times. The new space is available at http://youngpeoplesgeographies.wordpress.com/

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fruitful

sweet and juicy
Conversation last night with MoRe pilots. We are in week 6 now, 2 more and the MoRe pilot is coming to an end. Will there be more More? This seemed to be the question in our online skype meeting last night.

Wow! One of the students said that the MoRe pilot has become a good part of his teaching life and the other one agreed. I smiled and was really happy to hear that it is working and that there is a need for more of it.

It was really great to hear that both students feel so positive about their involvement in this pilot and that they will miss it when it won’t be there anymore… in a few weeks time. Can there be a continuation? How would or could it look like? I have started thinking about the ‘after’ and have suggested to discuss it at the end of the pilot. I agree, that it would be a shame if the closure of this pilot would mean the end of what students have built so far. It doesn’t have to be the end. However, which model could be adopted so that it is sustainable and evolves dynamically? Can a 100% peer support model work? I am wondering if I should place an open invitation to people who visit the MoRe space asking them if anybody would be interested to get involved… I could also find out if there are other students teachers who would like to participate and get a taste of MoRe. Not sure. My biggested question is, can it work if there is no community, no glue, so to speak, that would hold peoeple together. But is this really a problem, or can the glue come a bit later?

The report writing is going well. Also working on the presentation. Still a lot work to do but I am happy with some of the sections already. Some trimming will be necessary but that is fine. Still materials to study and data and evaluations to feed into the report. Last night’s conversation made me think a bit more about inclusive teaching and learning, reasonable adjustments and the DDA (1995).

I am going to do some more thinking on the above. In the background of my mind, I am also using a CPD event I am organising at the moment as a possible stepping stone to link a bit of MoRe. This might lead somewhere… we will see.

I think the MoRe end should be a new beginning.