Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Podcasts and listening

Modality principle yes. And engaging learners yes. And empowering learners yes. I want to make podcasts so that dyslexic readers have another option. So that academia and theory and a little philosophy seeps into iPods on train journeys. So that actors can ham up academic texts for easy listening. So I read about related theory. And about good podcasts. And how listening only is poor learning as you can't control pace. And I get excited but also grumpy. Does learning always have to be entertaining? If the ideas don't grab you however they come, will their funky presentation?
I played radio plays once for some theatre students. They didn't like it. So. Do I add visuals or is there some value in persisting with the advantages of just wanting / having to listen to something? The image, if it is to help explain , will also simplify.
Also, radio plays are so great. Can't I just make them like them?

Monday, 26 September 2011


Hmm. Casting for the best pods.
Starting to engage with podcasts. There are articles I really would like my students to read. And some just find it too difficult. If they were recorded, would they listen? And do they prefer video? Anyone else making podcasts for teaching?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Great Teachers: I found this article and I felt like sharing it with this group.

Click Here to access the article

Hope you enjoy the article, I found myself agreeing completely with every single point but then I realise that problem solving approach may not be every lecturers cup of tea....

Funny thing is I always saw myself as a facilitator of learning and I see a blog, twitter, youtube, prezzi, mobile phone, pen, laptop, i pad or any other tool I can get my hands on as just another tool that could help me enhance the process of facilitating how to learn, appreciate, philosophize and engange hospitality....

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Remembering and recording

Thinking about Vanessa's blogposts during the conference and Katie's visual recording posts...

Saw a RT on twitter which I have posted in links - article by Niemeyer on how reliance on computers to store knowledge affects our memories, and the links to remembering and doing... how does the act of visual recording/blogging help to store the memory of the thing being recorded ?

Something in the article about remembering either what has been stored, or where it has been stored resonated with me - conversations with students are ghosting through my mind - when I say I'll put session materials on Blackboard, does that cut them off from a more active participation?

So with this blogging, are there connections? I think that the act of objectification which happens as I write - a kind of self censorship based upon the location and permanence and public-ness(?!) is helpful - in the same way that editing drafts is a concrete and creative act.
The power of the written word supercedes the power of words I think - because written words leave my head and come back to lodge in it, are they welcomed and noted more specifically or with more longevity than when I just think them?

Similarly, what about the act of visually recording? This is more than taking snapshots, it involves the same processes of self censorship and selection and creative decision making as the writing, doesn't it?

But if I am not directly involved in the blogposting or visual recording, I come to those memories differently. So unless I actively engage with them, how well will I recall them?

Friday, 15 July 2011

Phil Race Keynote - Visual Recording

Sally Brown Keynote - Visual Recording

Assessment as learning

As people are walking in, how cool would it have been to have planned and choreographed proper dance flash mob for end of today?

The blog is public. But if it was projected live now on those two big screens, what would I write?

We have homework!
Thirty second theatre
-you are late
-I know

(academics like fun things. And standing. And a bit of acting)

-discuss assessment only in whole group sessions to make it fair.
-HE moving toward recognizing and accrediting achievement

What else, what else, what else...

(Yes yes feeling guilty)

So why don't we let students design their own assessments? All the time?

-assessment as learning

- students compare good with bad reports. Decide on differences. Write them down. These then become your own criteria.

(but what if they had chosen the bad one as the better one?)

Feedback on paper is prob the most time wasting and dangerous way to give feedback.

Assessment of learning

Allow students to decide what they want feedback on?

Good questions but shouldn't it be them deciding the questions?

-jot down three questions you would like answered about your work.

- fun voting on whether learning outcomes achieved.

Live blogging

I'm here and not here.
Thinking and reflecting but short term thinking: blog thinking. Thoughts turning into posts. Thoughts that publicize themselves too soon.
It's all very existential.


I was part of very interesting conversations at lunch and break.
About who you blog as
Are we missing something by not writing with pen and paper?
Why do people swear on tube?
Do academics like humor in presentations.

What I'm thinking is what was the difference between those fun conversations and the ones I hope we can continue online? Apart from the obvious quality of liveness and reading faces etc etc.
Interrupting for one. It's really important in live conversations.
Hand gestures.
Sharing food.
Blogging sounds too much like blagging.

An anecdote.
During my devising the memory project, a very quiet student (not actor), posted an article on the blog that changed the whole direction of the show.
What I will never know is this.
Did the blog empower him?
Would it have been better for him to brave it and present his idea live to a big loud studio full of actors?
If there was no blog,would he have shared?

What's it got to do with me?

Interdisciplinary rotations. Have a go at another medium.

Cross discipline buzz words. Transferable skills. Broadening perspectives.

Is there enough time to learn your own craft well enough?

Makes me think about student experience and what if the one they want to have is different to the one you want them to have?

50reasons to own an ipad

Oh Katie, now I really really want one.
Brushes app you can draw then the picture or mind map is animated.
What an inspiring day I am learning so much. many thanks

(above not really me shared login in session. If you want to email me to send you new invite to login as you)
Vanessa. Really.

Flashmob Action!

Shame nobody had a camera on!

Blogs used in assessment

MA photojournalism at uni of arts London taught by Paul Lowe. Blogs are being used by students on this course and elements used in assessment. Courses all online and distance learning.

Enjoying the session but not able to post properly... Can only write in the title space...

The power to include multimedia

Having the ability to include digital elements easily and to publish these can be incredibly powerful. Especially for students who are visual & kinaesthetic learners. Ask them to photograph and make videos or record their voice. But will they do it?
My project students use a blog as a journal in their final year project. Have you tried that?

What did Arnie say to the lecturer?


When do students blog!

Blogging in a formal capacity for a course can be a frightening experience.
Not all students will have the confidence to contribute.
Blogs are often 'slow burn' and build readership slowly.
Students need to feel ownership over a blog and a group blog can detract from this.
I think I want to create my own blog now

Learning from failure

Is it right to innovate with our students?
What if what we do fails?
What if what we do succeeds?
Is it okay not to innovate?
Would we expect them to do the same?
Am finding it fascinating so far

Vanessa's Transmedia Story

The whole (open) theatre process, not just the performance.

Competition for Vanessa's Session Title...

If you blog it, they will come...
How many bloggers does it take to start an iPad?

One to press the slider and 99 advisers!!


Transitions morning Keynote - Sally Brown

A highly entertaining and informative  session but not so reassuring for those of us who are not that close to retirement... (the message its great time to retire somehow stuck with me).

What are your thoughts with some of the issues and points raised by the keynote speaker?

She did mention there may be opportunities. Where do you think are these opportunities hidding?

Same time, same place .... Same blog

Transitions to top up.
While I wait... What do you all expect from this blog?
Notes of the session you didn't go to? My thoughts?
Should I be trying to be funny? Clever, controversial, flattering.. Is the rte a blogger voice? Should I even be writing this? Arrgh what is this blog for?

I work on the theatre arts top up degree at north brook and agree that it can be difficult transition.
(I've got no education type references or quotes in my press. Oops.)
Video of student focus group.
Fdeg students and third year mentors.
- doesn't feel like university.
- third year you have to study reference, not mess about.
- see third year in action helps
- peer support from current third years helps

Third years produce newsletter and student ambassadors have Facebook page

Third year beginning takes you back to first year.
Peer assisted study sessions with recent graduates. (PASS)
10 sessions well attended in case study.
Pass leaders receive training;
Have to do lesson plans (verbal volleyball and question task activities)

(nearing my own presentation getting nervous but must keep focused on this)

(( actually seems like I'm blogging thoughts live too but how honestly? Not very))

What does your door say about you?

(just typed lame joke. Then deleted. Hmm I'm editing then when I thought I meant to freestyle and see what happens).

What is on your door?

Paying a car a year to go to university

And I don't even get to do it like in the movies...

'students are ahead of us'

I keep hearing that.
Students know more about technology, use it more, like it more.
Is it just me?
Not my students. Not in the majority.
They use it but I'm not sure they know it. Or actually, like it.
Might be because I work with actors mainly.

Sally Brown

Sally cheerfully and very engagingly is telling us some very worrying things.
'go EUropean pet'
Send seventeen year olds to Ireland, Sweden, Denmark.
Will we get some back though?
Distance learning might give you more contact time.
Jump to conclusions
Holistic about curriculum design.
Hyper powerful communication.
'cantonized' curriculum.
Way forward to be giving stuff away.
Start students with immersive experiences.
'Why snowboarders like the semesterised curriculum....'

Not sure I can listen and think and reflect and interpret and respond and type on day loan iPad.

Hooray northbrook

Northbrook college turns kids around.
Disadvantaged kids do well at north brook.
And further disadvantaged from now on by about 6000 pounds?

Keynote speech

Full of lovely danishes and wondering. Can I listen and blog?
already I missed the fire exits...
In a period of great change.
Good thing about changes increased focus on student experience.
Aha. It was a pep talk. Knew it. Because also, the student experience is becoming very expensive.
Promoting professionalisation...
Want to translate the conference title to student speak.
A very very interesting time in HE
Seven years of tough times. Who was it then that broke it? Own up.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

In response to your " I reflected but it didn't work" ...

(Mwah ha ha ha! I have the power now!)

Let's do a flashmob

When you see this picture, towards the end of the presentation, please stand briefly and shake hands with whoever else is standing.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

i reflected, but it didn't work

Deja vue dilemma for me.
It's our blog. Not mine.
Give it time.
but if you don't update, it's not a blog.
If I keep updating, it's my blog. Hmm.

Vanessa's presentation

My talk on Friday will focus on a blog my theatre students and I created when we began devising a show about memory. See link section for link to memory blog.
This is what i hoped the blog would do. Find out on Friday how successful it was.

What I wanted our blog to do.
Encourage them to become obsessed with the project.
Find, develop and engage new audiences before, during and after the show.
Practice students’ writing and experiment with narrative voices.
Establish another space where actors, designers, prop makers, costume makers, productions designers could collaborate using medium of their choice.
Find a way for me, the director, to talk to the team after my two young children went to bed.
Share research and crazy late night ideas to try out in the morning.
Empower the team to make decisions.
Encourage quieter students to speak.
Cut down discussion time; more time to play.

If you want the presentation to cover anything specific, blog it.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

What's it for?

Welcome to our new blog.
What shall we use it for?
I would like to invite you to use this blog to experiment as i will.
Experiment with voices, possibilities, collaborations, ideas.
What i'm hoping we can do is begin to talk before we meet and continue to chat afterwards about what brought us to the conference.
My next post will be about my presentation on Friday on blogging in theatre education.