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Jonathan Vernon's Mind Bursts - his OLDS MOOC Learning Journal

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Jonathan Vernon
17 January 2013

I'm always loath to start a blog or learning journal away from the platforms I've used for the last five years - Wordpress since 2007 ( 1500+ entries and as an OU postrgraduate student on the OU Student Blogging Platform since February 2010 (1000+ entries) ... and before this in since 1999 1.5m words. I believe in the format, I've kept a diary for long enough. I rather like the idea of being able instead to blab into a webcam like Jack Sully in Avatar. I guess I could talk to Siri on the iPad but then it still has to be edited and posted somewhere ... here if it is to be shared (which is the whole point).

My experience with learning online for the last three years (Masters in Open and Distance Education) is that when at this level someone says it'll take 'x hours' in the week I double the number before I decide if I can make the time - this takes care of needing to familiarise myself with the landscape. I can take 'x hours' and multiply by 4 if there is new software involved, even longer to the point of giving up if it isn't immediately obvious, intuitive and FUN. A fellow MOOCER pointed me towards Pearltrees and I feel in love. But then again, I take both a professional interest and have the boyish curiosity that makes me click on everything anyway. So we'll see.

I've skipped in and out of week 1 trying to follow the instructions but feeling like one in a thousand playing a game of treasure hunt. Or, like one of several hundred on the first evening of an OU Residential School. With an added difficulty here - all Holiday Inn's look the same, but the platforms here are not. Even Cloudworks, which I tried during an MAODE module, looks as unfamiliar as it did 18 months ago. I couldn't get it then ... though I played ball, wrote and posted, but got no interaction. It felt like I was being sent into the jungle to list the flora and collect insects and meet fellow travellers but what I found as a desert full of chimeras. 

Extra content

I cut and paste as I read and click. I want content that is offered on several pages in one place. I also want it laid it as one easy to scan column. This is extreme usability - coming from someone who has been a web editor, quality assurance and tester. I believe in Jakob Nielsen like in was 1999. And still have an early print edition of 'Web Usability'. We MUSTstop laying out text as if it is for a printed sheet. We should write as if for a News Reader ... a Portaprompt i.e about five or six words per line.


Jonathan Vernon
22:05 on 17 January 2013

I should cut and paste into my blog. I learnt over 12 years ago that you keep an audience and retain your sanity by writing in the same place every day rather than dividing yourself across several space.

Jonathan Vernon
22:04 on 23 January 2013

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Jonathan Vernon
8:38pm 22 January 2013

This is odd indeed for me but I am being pulled in several directions at the minute and needed to get some other e-learning related matters out of the way. I'm looking at further postgraduate study in relation to lifelogging and augmented learning and have/had a heap of papers to read and some books to. Reading - that's what it comes down to for many forms of learning, and business practice - reports, more reports, presentation documents and proposals. I am sticking to one group, DIY multimedia as the person who initiated and moderates the group clearly has the gumption to get it goung and to keep it going - if necessary by contacting participants individually. I am thinking of getting out a pad of A2 paper and a pencil to draw some diagrams - maps, venn diagrams or mindmpas, anyting to get it onto a single psge so that I have some kind of landscape of it all.

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