October 09, 2006

A more effective Monday

Writing about web page http://www.earthhum.com/

Quite a lot of stuff happening now – I guess I’m getting there.

Last week had a trip down to Southampton for a meeting with the EDIT4L people and the external evaluators plus the programme manager. It was all very relaxed – it’s so much easier when it’s with people that are easy to get on with. Then Thursday was a workshop that ties in with the EDIT4L project. Southampton have designed an online toolkit that takes users through the process of creating lesson plans. The idea of the project is to take people through the use of it and get feedback. The three people who turned up to the workshop were really helpful, and we got a lot of good ideas about how to best make use of the toolkit.

I still haven’t got anywhere on the PhD – yesterday was spent editing more papers for the DIVERSE conference proceedings. We’re up to 20 papers now – and they’re a really interesting selection. I can’t wait for the proceedings to be published. The other publication is the first of three editions compiling papers from the first four years of DIVERSE. ALT are publishing them and seem to be really efficient. They’re just getting on with it with no fuss, no endless meetings, no laborious decision-making. People like that are such a breath of fresh air to work with.

I’ve finally got to grips with the Design Patterns concept. Last week involved going through a La Verdad - Earth Humset of concept maps of the various elements identified with using games for learning, selecting the appropriate taxon for that deployment pattern and adding it to a table. The process wasn’t made any easier by working in an open plan office. It’s the sort of deep thinking that I need total quiet for, otherwise the thinking doesn’t happen. Whoever thought that work could be conducted in a space like this wasn’t really thinking (maybe they were in an open plan office at the time). Even turning up Earth Hum to full volume on my earphones didn’t drown it out (listening to Earth Hum doesn’t really contradict the “complete quiet” dictum, since it’s the closest music you can get to white noise). Ironically it’s now completely quiet in here apart from the tapping of a dozen keyboards.

This morning I was involved in a videoconference with Amsterdam using Breeze – which worked pretty well. Students here and students there discussed plays, one from NL and a couple from UK. It’s difficult getting a free-flowing conversation going through videoconferencing, but it’s early days yet. That’s part of the Streaming Theatre project.

Also today I’ve started a distance learning course at the University of Genoa. It’s on Narrative Learning Environments – and I’m still not too sure what they are. I’ll keep you posted.


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