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Your musical moment … a call for contributions

What makes you tick, musically?

(2 min read) Was there a moment, an experience, perhaps a person or meeting that really inspired you – that’s what this is about.  Read more

IVTChat 2 Hey Daddy-O! (Talking to parents)

If anyone is joining us for the first time, this session is part of the Connecting Classes project and it is designed to augment conversations between students, and across the wider profession and community. For this reason, you should all feel most welcome to join in! Read more

On communication and connection

(3 min read) This one’s for Dave. Thank you for asking me to write it.

So this post? We were sitting next to each other in an airport cafe eating pizza before catching our flights to our respective homes after a conference and we were talking about different forms of communication.

I have always been curious about perception and connection, Read more

BEST Ukuleles #OER16

I did bring a suitcase of ukuleles to #OER16 in Edinburgh. It was as part of the BEST (Build Engage Solve Think) workshop I was running on learning networks. The workshop was based on the Open Source Learning Kit built by Mark Cabrinha. It was designed as a tactile tool that could represent the people, places, spaces, that were involved in learning, and through manipulating the pieces, and putting them together the user could create a representation of a learning network.

That sounds either very complex or really simple. Of course educators can design learning networks – we teach. But how often do you have the chance to really reflect on a big question and go through the different possible connections? Read more

#IVTchat More than Notes

This week my class did their first official Twitter ‘listen-n-chat’ and it was great fun! It’s funny how using technology for a purpose can be sort of like having roadworks – it is there to improve the situation, but if you aren’t aware of it and don’t navigate it carefully, you can get stuck in traffic instead of flowing smoothly to your destination. Fortunately my group work very well together and we were able to navigate things and to come out with an enjoyable and productive outcome. Read more

Reaching out and connecting: Connecting Classes

Today’s the day! I’ve invited my students from across year groups, IT people, and Library people to join us as we take part in the Connecting Classes project. It’s all about expanding the conversation and really getting to thinking… thinking wider, thinking deeper, thinking around the subject and being open to other people’s perspectives. We are studying music and the way it works is that we all listen to an interview – simultaneously, but asynchronously (on our own) and tweet about it. Read more

Skeptic to… at Talis Insight

SO many things on my mind. Today I was speaking at Talis Insight Europe and exploring the benefits of using what they do at Talis. I am the biggest skeptic ever when it comes to change. I was telling a friend that once I was on a trip abroad which was a mix of business and pleasure, as my family were able to come for part of it. My husband had to come home early and he decided to surprise me by repainting the inside of the house. He worked so hard and it was expertly done, but when I walked in through the door, tired and carrying luggage, I simply said, “Why did you do that? I hate it.” (I had the same reaction to Talis at first…)

Simon photo2Oh my oh my oh my! Read more

OER16 Open Source Learning

Find the Jokers: The wild card, the magic card – that might be anything or nothing – or might become what we make it.

Is it what it seems?

Where will it lead?

Where will you take it?

Some of you will have come to this just by chance and others will have followed this QR code that was on the back of that joker card at the OER16 conference at the presentation about the Open Source Learning Foundation. The idea of the Jokers came from David Preston, who used them to ask his students about their big questions here in 2012. This time it isn’t specifically an invitation to students or to anyone in a class… This QR code brought you here. Read more

Ah, the Cello Weekend !

I love this time of year. It is all go – there is a buzz in the air from the springtime as everything wakes up, but there is also that sense of drive as students prepare for exams and recitals, and people in general come out of the woodwork after the winter months. It’s then that we gather for the Cello Weekend. I have been running these events since at least 2004 (I’m not actually sure when I started them, but I found an old poster the other day) and every year we do something different. This year we had a lovely range of people who came from all over and I’m not sure there is actually another event quite like this one. The thing is that we all take part – the 8 year old beginner with the graduating music major and the retired professional. All play in the same cello orchestra and I think it is fair to say that all are challenged. Read more

Connecting Classes

(3 min read) I have been preparing to participate in Jonathan Worth‘s initiative Connected Classes, or #CClasses on Twitter.

Wait, you say-

Laura, you’re not a photographer? What’s your music class doing connecting with Jonathan’s?

Let me explain…

Jonathan initially devised a way of teaching that allowed students to remain individuals, yet also be a part of a class group, and even a wider global community. He would record part of his #Phonar class content, like an interview with a practitioner in that field, and then when it came to the class everyone would listen to the interview. How does that broaden the learning horizon? It’s how Read more