Thursday, 5 February 2015

Wild and free

I've decided to share this email that I sent to the Chief Executive Officer of the International Airlines Group on Monday 29 December 2014, in response to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation's campaign against British Airways endorsing SeaWorld.  I believe it's a strong statement and a global issue that everyone needs to acknowledge and respect.

Hi Willie,

I am aware of the issue with selling trips/packages to SeaWorld.

I understand the business of selling leisure and travel to people for joy and your company needs to make money and grow.

But ask yourself, are animals here for pure entertainment? Would you, your children and other family/friends like to see animals in an enclosure and not showing their true wildness?  Or would you like to see animals run wild and free showing their unique personalities?  As humans we want others to be true to themselves, but why not animals?  While some enclosures offer positives for breeding programmes, rehabilitation etc.  It's still not right.

You have the power to show other travel operators that through education, you could offer reasonable prices for people to see animals in the wild.  Where they should be seen.  Then there would be no reason for pseudo enclosures and environments.

Please do think about how you could change your thinking and not purely on financial greed as that is only short-term.  Think long-term and how you could revolutionise the industry and the world.  This issue won't go away, it will only get stronger.  So try to think about moving with it.

Thank you.

Monday, 2 February 2015

New Year highs

It's been a while since my last post in December, so thought I'd give a little update!

I had a great Christmas and New Year, a very much needed relax!  I even had an overnight stay at Temple Sap in Huddersfield.  What a lovely warm and relaxing place it is.  I spent all day relaxing in my robe, then a dip into the pool then trying out the heat and ice experience with saunas, steam rooms, foot baths, ice and plunge pools!  After the very busy and intense 2014 it was good to recharge my soul with peacefulness.

After a great break, I fired straight back into work.  I had a visit from a chap from City College Norwich.  They wanted to see how we were running the new Level 3 and 4 in Digital Learning Design qualifications with our apprentices.  So I shared how I plan and operate this within Elephant Learning Designs.  It was a good day to talk about what we are doing and how it is working.

I have also started the course in promoting English and Maths in teaching and learning.  It interested me as I have this underlying passion to do better with English and Maths.  So this was perfect for me to develop my understanding as well as promote the importance with our apprentices and in eLearning itself.

Recently I created a presentation that I will be showing to Advanced Practioners.  I'll not detail it here because I will share it at some point.  I called it 'A Desktop Analysis of eLearning Packages'.  It explores how eLearning is delicately created through a process and is underpinned by relevant theory of how important it is for learning.  Because it is my belief that people might view and use it just for the fun factor or for bell and whistles in lessons.  I felt it was needed to show teachers what actually happens with eLearning rather than assuming its copying and pasting multimedia into some sort of PowerPoint style product.

Barnsley College has successfully maintained outstanding in a recent mock inspection by Ofsted.  So there was a lot of preparation for this.  The Learning Technologies Unit wasn't on the scope for inspection, but they were interested in what we were doing so we had an inspector come to talk to us.  Our apprentices did an excellent job in showing and talking about what they were doing with teachers and in the College.

Last week me and the apprentices had a visit down to the Learning Technologies event at Olympia in London.  It was a great day to collect, share and network with others.  We also helped support a stall with Design eLearn who helped create the Digital Learning Design qualifications.

Just found out today that I received a distinction in my first module assignment.  I really wasn't expecting that at all!  I was really hoping for a C at least as I just felt this assignment was a shambles and I'm not experienced with academic writing.  But it obviously paid off, I just can't believe it.  Now this has set the bar for the future, I should be pushing myself further in the next modules.  We had to submit part 2 of the module via our blog which is here.

At present, I am focussed on refining the course elements of the apprenticeship.  Not only do I have an External Quality Assurance visit in March, but I am in the process of arranging unit task sheets to give to our apprentices amongst other bits.  These unit task sheets will help them achieve each unit within a timescale.  They will help everyone involved and having a clearer structure.

That's a very brief summary for now!  But as always, it's happening!