Saturday, 24 August 2013

My Learning Is Your Learning

A little bit about me discovering my potential and purpose.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Online tidying - a positive attitude

I'm actually really OCD about my online identities, accounts, profiles, subscriptions etc.  I'm really concious of the information I'm creating and how I present it.  I just see online information, or any informaton about me or what I present for that matter, that if it is:

  • Not in use and/or being used
  • Not relevant (what and why is the point of creating the account and/or information?)
  • Not meaningful (depending on the purpose, if no one understands it, you've created a barrier.)
  • Not impacting (depending on the purpose, but is it doing its purpose?)

Then the information is dead and needs to be removed or deleted.  There is a lot of 'dead information' out there that is just clutter.  It serves no purpose to you or anyone else.  Plus, people searching on you will come across this dead information and think, what?  So I always ensure I possess good 'online tidying skills' and cleaning up as I mean to go along.  I tie together all of my professional sites together, like within this blog.  They all flow into each other.

I've recently had a massive online clearout and deleted many unused accounts and email subscriptions.  I have this approach that if I am not getting anything from what I have registered to in an impactful way, then I will remove the accounts or information.  For me it's a positive online attitude and contribution to my information I am putting out there and what I am registering and subscribing to.  Plus, in time it will help the internet to not to be full of dead information.

I recently created an eLearning package about eSafety, which also touches on ensuring your online identity information is accurate.

In my opinion and through light research, learners of today don’t need to know all the technical aspects.  They need to know basic communication skills for proper use of collaborative technology and tools.  It’s not the technology they need to know about, they and we do that themselves.  It’s real and proper communication when using that matters.

And this is exactly what this new short but sharp 'object' will hopefully achieve.  It is a visual object with thoughtful statements for learners to think and answer for themselves, but in a happy way.  I don’t do doom and gloom, but maybe they need to see at least one bad example of incorrect communication for further impact.  Which I included!

It will be interesting to see how digital life and knowledge will impact everyone globally.

Just as traditional history is lifeblood to us now, I wonder how the internet will become the history for tomorrow? What about the quality, authenticity and longevity of it?

It begs a lot of thinking, questions and possibly worries!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hello Daniel Scott

A rough and ready video of a little bit about me.


2012/2013 in summary

As this academic year draws to a close, I think it's a good time to summarise what I have done and achieved this year.

It's been another busy year, but they get busier each year for me, which is great!  It keeps me busy!  My work is my interest too, so it doesn't feel like work sometimes.  More like a big personal project.

I find that I grow in person every year too, which is what this career emphasises.  I seem to grow in confidence, skill and knowledge and my spiritual being as a whole.

Looking back from September 2012 to now, I've summarised the key things I have done that have had an impact on myself and my work:

DTLLS

I started doing DTLLS in October 2012.  This has been a really good experience and given me more teaching theory to put into practice.  I'm just finishing off the units, then it's just my teaching hours, reflective logs and sorting out my portfolio.  I talk a bit more about it here.

Inclusive technology

In October, I attended a training event in Liverpool on how technology can support individuals with severe and complex needs by Inclusive Technology.  It was my first visit to Liverpool and I found it a really nice place.  At the event, I learned so much but not just the abundance of technology for different needs, but the understanding of some of the conditions that indivduals have and experience.  The main thing I took away with me was the term cause and effect, specialist technologies for severe and complex needs and new thinking of how I could adapt resources.

Inspirational videos

At the beginning of the year I started to make short inspirational videos on how technology plays a part in learning and teaching.  I recorded them using our Lecture Capture System.  I kept them short and straight to the point, like all of my presentations.  I don't like to stand and give draining lectures that nobody really wants.  As I say; it is what it is and this is how it can be.  I and my audiences prefer to get into it, the hands-on approach!  This is how I introduce new technologies and innovations.  I have done many videos, but the ones that have real depth are:

  • The Flipped Classroom
  • eLearning Today
  • ePortfolios
  • Technology Enhanced Feedback and Assessment (eAssessment)

In July 2013 at the Barnsley College Teachers' Fair, on day 4 of it I did 4 back to back sessions on proactively using ActivInspire, a selection of online learning tools and showcasing some other available equipment we have in the department.

This was a really good session that I am proud of.  I will post about this session soon.

Lambeth College visit

Staff from Lambeth College came to visit Barnsley College to informally see what and how we do things as an outstanding College.  Lambeth College returned the favour and invited a number of our staff down to their College to further extend our support.  I was asked if I would like to go down, and so I did!

It was a great experience!  Not only visiting another College, which I love to do.  But to support their learning technologies department by sharing my experiences and knowledge and what we do as a department.

I had a good tour around and saw how they operated as College and their learning technologies team.  I gave clear advice, support and encouragement on how they could better their services.  On the day I even randomly got asked to do a impromptu short presentation of our VLE and various other bits and pieces I and our department do.  Brilliant day and left feeling high.

CMALT certified

I first started my Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) back in August 2012.  I first submitted my ePortfolio in December 2012.  Then resubmitted it after Christmas.  Then I achieved it in April 2013.  Doing this allows me to deeply reflect on my learning technology use and highlight any areas for further improvement and development. 

Taught and lead a full qualification

I designed, planned, delivered, assessed and managed a level 4 qualification on enhancing the learning and teaching process with technology.  This was a life defining period for me.  I never thought I would be doing this.  Everything I have learned in my full-time learning technologist role I was giving back to our own teachers through a respectable qualification.  It was a pilot doing this qualification with Barnsley College staff.  I have plans to extend this initiative further.  However, while it was a wonderful experience, as teachers will know, it brought me a lot of reflection!  All good material, but challenging.  Bring it!
I will become a full-time teacher, but just not sure when.  I'm not done in my learning technologist role yet.

Jisc Summer Conference 2013

Since being a learning technologist from 2010, I have attended these Summer Jisc events.  Each year I have done something different and challenged myself.  This year I did a discussion session on Colour Outside The Lines (A Bigger Picture).  It was simply about being creative in using technology and not sticking to the typical given black and white delivery.  It went really well and the delegates enjoyed it.

LearnPod13

I first started going to LearnPod when it first started in 2010.  But I couldn't make the 2012 one.  LearnPod is an unconference style event.  This was the first time I presented at LearnPod.  I decided to facilitate a discussion on what other's are proactively doing with social media.  Some great ides and discussion came out of this.  Everyone who participated enjoyed it.

In the afternoon, I dropped into a discussion about VLE's (Virtual Learning Environment).  I contributed deeply to this.  I talked about things that I didn't think I really knew, so this was interesting for me!

I have done so many other things, but these have to be the most memorable of this year.
It's been another great year with lots to think and learn about.  I love it!  But most importantly, I have discovered so much potential in my self, skills and work ethic.  I really have focussed on my drive, motivation and the willingness to push my boundaries and thinking.

I wonder what experiences next year will bring!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Exploring and learning employability

Well, I am learning lots about employability skills at the moment!

I chose to do the Delivering Employability Skills unit as one of my optional units for the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

When I first saw it, I knew I had to do it!  As my entire career and learning has been based upon employability skills, it just had to be explored and learned further for myself.  It's like it's the part of my life puzzle.  It's the one subject that really fits well with me.

I am employability, because you will see from my career journey on LinkedIn that I have started from nearly nothing, to something.  That is a story in itself that I will share soon.

At the moment I am looking at the entire unit and deciding what I can really do with it.  I have been given creative control on all of my optional units.  With others I have done traditional assignment based work.  But I am thinking for this something different as employability will become my main subject when I eventually go full-time teaching.  So, I want this work to be really proactive and really reflect on me as a person.  I'm thinking a mixture of an assignment but being a proactive case study with current employability research.  I have a few ideas at the moment, so I will see how they develop.

But as part of this unit, I have to deliver employability skills to learners.  I plan to do lessons with Barnsley College's Business, Management and Tourism, Skills for Jobs and possibly the Jobcentre Plus in Barnsley.  All of which deliver employability learning programmes.

This will give me a really good in-depth experience of different learner audiences and further build my teaching and employability skills.

I'm using Ann Gravells Delivering Employability Skills book to help me out with this.  But it's now outdated in some areas.  I'm hoping there is a second edition coming soon!

Learning in the Lifelong

I'm currently doing the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.  This is the last qualification in the suite.  I've previously done Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector and Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.  So it was natural progression and a personal ambition to complete the entire suite of qualifications and gain all theory and practice from them.

I've learned so much  from these courses over the years.  I did the PTLLS in April 2011 and the CTLLS from October 2011.  The content in the qualifications for me is really engaging and interesting.  I have found the structure of them very learner friendly too.  I'm currently coming towards the end of doing the DTLLS.  This is like the last piece of the teacher training.  Everything I have learned in PTLLS and CTLLS comes back into DTLLS, but to explore deeper into it all for the full teaching qualification.  It's like I have come full circle now, applying everything I have learned throughout these qualifications.  They have made me a stronger and more confident person as a result and helped me realise my potential as a future teacher.

I do feel a bit unconfident at times as I forget some core teaching theory and practices.  But I just keep refreshing myself of the teacher training I have gone through and revisiting my reference books.  I hope I'm not alone in feeling this!  I am a perfectionist, but not where it's annoying, only for me!

I have recently been teaching fully on the Level 4 Certificate in Technology in Learning Delivery, which has been my main hours for the DTLLS.  Previously for CTLLS, my hours was a mix of my full-time training and dipping into odd lessons teaching on a IT qualification.  It was a great experience, but it wasn't a true reflection of teaching.  So doing the DTLLS has been the true experience for me as I have gone through the entire learning, teaching and assessment processes.

I do feel that in the new reform of these qualifications they should have kept the Lifelong Learning in the title.  Because now they have called them Education and Training, which sounds a bit dull.  For me, Lifelong Learning should have been kept as this is what it is all about and what we should enthuse to our learners.  It's what I am about as a person; a Lifelong Learner.  So I am glad to have taken these qualifications before the changes!

I do assist on these courses at Barnsley College.  From when I first started in my role at Barnsley College, I was asked to do short lessons on introducing technology in learning and teaching, on PTLLS and CTLLS courses.  I introduce online tools and in-classroom devices for learning activities and teaching delivery  To date, I am still being asked to do these short lessons and I love it!  It keeps me in these courses and more importantly, working my practices.

Sometime in my career, I would like to teach on these courses.  Giving back everything I have learned throughout my career for future generations.

My blog - the first post

Hey all!

Welcome to my blog and the inside of my professional head! :-)

Because my full-time role is a learning technologist, you would think it's given that I have a blog and many other technologies to use and promote for myself.  But I am different, I don't and won't write in a self-professed way and be consumed by commercialism like other educators.  My posts are all positive, not negative. I am simply expressing and sharing my thoughts and journey with you (and hoping I am not alone in this lovely challenging career), and my reflective self.  I aim to express. Not to impress.  One of my quotes. ;-)

My blog is intended to be a human collection of my own words and videos, talking about my magical career in Lifelong Learning and Teaching.  I probably won't give away every unique secret about me here, that would be over a cup of tea and biscuits!

Chat
I use Twitter as my Personal Learning Network to keep up to date with new and upcoming learning, teaching and technology innovations.  I also use it to express thoughts that come to me, all of which are positive and meaningful.

Profile
For this I use LinkedIn to present a professional overview of my education and work experience.  Plus, it saves writing and linking up to multiple profiles that say the same thing.

Publications
A list of publications I have written or significantly contributed towards.

Videos
I record short video entries and will post them on my blog.  The videos will be within the same theme of my blog, about me, learning and teaching.

I hope you will get something from my blog, even if it is a smile.

Enjoy, Daniel Scott.

P.S, I probably will edit my posts by adding and correcting things.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist.