TEDcember Day 05 – The neurons that shaped civilization

I’ll admit I am doing a bit of catching up here, having missed a day or two, but I’ll be back on track soon. For day five I chose VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization. This talk introduces the idea of “mirror neurons”, elements of the brain which trigger when observing other people’s behaviour, …

Continue reading ‘TEDcember Day 05 – The neurons that shaped civilization’ »

Deliberate Practice and Talent is Overrated

I was very interested to read mark Needham’s thoughts on a book “Talent is Overrated”, in particular the aspect of deliberate practice. Talent is Overrated: Book Review at Mark Needham For me, participation in open source projects – particularly the ones I initiate myself – serves a very useful purpose as deliberate practice. While it …

Continue reading ‘Deliberate Practice and Talent is Overrated’ »

Classroom response systems

A while ago I wrote about th every limited way that many educators use student response “clicker” handsets. Now I read yet another article on the topic. Classroom response systems – elearnspace The thrust of the article is that the use of specialist handsets is limiting, and it considers alternatives such as commodity mobile phones …

Continue reading ‘Classroom response systems’ »

UK universities to lead global e-learning

Apparently there is to be a push to make the UK a world leader in on-line higher education. I’d love to see this happen, but I have my doubts. As with so many other attempts at “e-learning”, the emphasis seems overwhelmingly on “learning and teaching resources”. But this is the easy part of the problem. …

Continue reading ‘UK universities to lead global e-learning’ »

How should we do training in an agile process?

A lot of writings about agile processes seem to assume that everyone comes with all the skills they need, but in the real world people sometimes need to gain new skills which cannot easily be learned “on the job”. Planning ahead enough to ensure team skills are available when needed, and dealing with the impact …

Continue reading ‘How should we do training in an agile process?’ »

At ACU, Students Navigate College Life via Apple iPhone

More indication that mobile technology is continuing to change the process of education. This time students at a university are all issued with iPhone or iPod touch handsets so they can use specific collaboration software at university and outside course times. iPhone University: At ACU, Students Navigate College Life via Apple iPhone – CIO.com – …

Continue reading ‘At ACU, Students Navigate College Life via Apple iPhone’ »

CLI and Learning Communities

A lot has been written about “wi-fi cities” and “wireless communities”. A variety of projects have been considered around the world, some with more success than others. One thing which seems to have been missing from most of the proposals I have seen is the issue of content. Simply making the open internet available across …

Continue reading ‘CLI and Learning Communities’ »

Students Who Use ‘Clickers’ Score Better On Physics Tests

Back when I was teaching, we had several attempts to improve the learning and teaching experience using student handsets which communicate back to a central system. Within their limits, such trials were generally successful; enough that the college bought several sets. However, I always felt that the system was was woefully underused. Using such handsets …

Continue reading ‘Students Who Use ‘Clickers’ Score Better On Physics Tests’ »

Developers needed; Hackers need not apply

Nice article from Jay Fields about the difference between a head-down, crank-out-whatever-I’m-asked-for hacker and a wiser developer who thinks to ask the business about the overall value and reason for the work. I have seen this very strongly in my work. However, and this is one of my pet rants, a major part of the …

Continue reading ‘Developers needed; Hackers need not apply’ »

User Generated Context

I still think that coining a new term that only differs by one letter from an existing one is asking for trouble. However, the idea that creating, sharing and discovering the context around content and discussions itself adds value is an interesting one. As a general case of such internet trends as collaborative tagging and …

Continue reading ‘User Generated Context’ »

Will at Work Learning: New Design for My Smile Sheet

I have both produced and attempted to consume a wide range of learning assessment sheets during my time. Most have missed the point. One big problem with institutional assessment of learning is that it is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that incoming students are a blank page. From that viewpoint, phrasing goals …

Continue reading ‘Will at Work Learning: New Design for My Smile Sheet’ »

Agile Classroom Management (Agile Advice)

I love the idea of running training in an agile manner. Back when I was teaching I did something a bit like this. It seemed to work a lot better with evening students who had chosen to attend the course for their own benefit rather than the day students who just wanted a government handout …

Continue reading ‘Agile Classroom Management (Agile Advice)’ »