Face to Face

I had another great day out yesterday. Once again, I was working directly with practitioners.

Sincerest thanks to West Thames College, in Isleworth for inviting me down to deliver two sessions on the pedagogical use of mobile phones in teaching and learning

And thank you too, to the thirty odd staff members that passed my way for being so receptive, positive and enthusiastic. Your students are very lucky.

Since the downturn, I’ve found it hard to get this type of face-to-face event, but every time I do I come away reinvigorated and recharged.

Since all of the national eCPD progammes stopped, several colleges and providers have been kind enough to invite me in on their staff training days and each one has told the same story: Practitioners still need help in learning how to utilise technology in teaching and learning and how to recognise opportunities for that utilisation – the difference is that they are now ready to accept this learning.

There is nothing like face-to-face workshops to encourage this kind of development. I never just deliver, I always show and then allow time for practice. Yesterday it was TEXTING (we all sent texts and explored Wordle as an aside) >> PEDAGOGY (some Q&A interaction around Bloom’s Taxonomy) >> QR CODES (everyone created codes and discussed uses) >> MULTI-MEDIA (we looked at iPadio, and sent photos and videos to Flickr). Everyone contributed and everyone stayed on board. Well done.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve also been invited to lead workshops at Blackburn College, Gloucestershire College, Leeds College of Music, Pontefract New College and at a small number of events with mixed audiences. Each time it has been like giving ice creams to children: much appreciated and very much enjoyed.

Thanks again to all concerned.




http://dsugdenholidays.wordpress.com [still away]

It’s always interesting to observe the customs of others, especially when your own customs are informed or affected by the observation. Likewise, it is said that travel broadens the mind. That is certainly true in most cases although I have to say by no means all. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Like smoking and mobile phones at home, many States have banned smoking in public places and the use of cell phones whilst driving. But they are not universal bans. I quote heavily from the Wednesday July 29th edition of USA Today (page 8A). All rights to those quotes go to the original author. I’m not discussing smoking here.

Apparently ‘Cellphones are as much part of American’s lives as cars these days’ with the number of subscribers,‘270 million’, outnumbering that of registered cars. For all sorts of reasons [see  ‘Smart Mobs’ 2001 – Howard Rheingold] Americans were late adopters of the cell phone, but are now making up for it. During the two weeks we’ve been here we’ve seen all manner and ages of people using all types of cell phones to call (often, like the quiet coach gob-merchant – to SHOUT), to receive calls and to text.

However, there is still no blanket (Federal) ban on texting whilst driving. On our trip from Newark NJ airport into Manhattan, we saw one guy texting on two phones – while we drove slowly through the Lincoln Tunnel. Slowly I grant, but in his case – dangerously. To and from San Francisco airport both shuttle drivers answered calls, briefly, but nevertheless answered. We saw many such car-phone discussions in both Seattle and San Francisco.

But there seems to be a growing debate over here about such usage and David Teater (senior director for transportation initiatives at the National safety Council) asks ‘How many more lives need to be lost before we enact and aggressively enforce laws…?’. Over here the debate isn’t just whether to use hands-free devices or not – it’s whether to allow the phone to be used at all. I wonder how vociferous that debate will become at home?

Truck drivers are apparently 23 times more likely to have a collision when texting than when not texting (which beggars the question: how many times are they likely to have a collision anyway?). The discussion about a blanket ban on talking on the phone is being debated state by state and 21 States (and DC) ban any use by ‘novice drivers’. Five States have bans similar to the UK, where only hands free devices can be used. But we’ve been in two of these and like the UK, have constantly seen the law broken.

Now, I’m as guilty as the next person for using my phone whilst driving, but always hands-free. And, I no longer text or tie my shoelaces while the car is mobile!! It would be hard to argue though that talking on the phone is any more dangerous than talking to passengers. On a recent bus ride a sign above the driver said something like: You may ask the driver for directions but do not engage in conversation as it is dangerous. What’s the difference?

Do other in-car distractions vie for banning too? Noisy children? Chatty aunts/wives/husbands/uncles? I don’t know – what do you think?

Still on holiday: See http://dsugdenholidays.wordpress.com