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Agency and perspective

For the final week of #el30 I would like to consider some of what Stephen Downes presents in his intro to the topic of Agency (below in blue). These initial words sparked so much in me, that they were catalyst enough for a post. My thoughts are interspersed with bits from Stephen’s intro (in blue) and ideas presented by Sylvia Baldiris and Jutta Triveranus, his guests for the week’s hour-long video chat.

In Stephen’s intro he asks:

How do we ensure that what we project to the world is what we want to project, both as teachers and learners? 

I’d like to turn this on its head. How do we ensure what we project is receivable? Just as there is no one way to teach or learn, when we project, can this be received? Let’s think literally. Humour me with a metaphor: A projection, of a film can be seen. Can be seen by all seated in a theatre. Can be seen by those in the theatre if the lights are off. You can’t see it from the street. Seeing requires certain conditions and the same is true of any projection. Receiving is one step further along the line of engagement.

For me, the ‘what’ of the projection is the basics, and in considering agency, there is a need to not only project but to also consider (and I mean actively) the conditions that facilitate and enable people to receive and act upon what is projected. Read More »Agency and perspective

Create, share, and learn #el30 with Amy Burvall

This hour was my first in depth experience with Amy Burvall, and with aspects of her backstory. It was Stephen Downes 8th topic, Experience, in his #el30 course, broadcast on 16 December. (I’m catching up) I was aware of Amy’s art, but without the personal, without the moments of detail, I had never looked deeper. As she says – we don’t just want stuff to consume. One of the biggest things I took away from this video was that it took me beyond the externality of Amy’s art and gave me a reason to engage.

At the beginning of the conversation Stephen asks Amy about a few of her core tenants. They talk about her premise of creating something every day. Amy says, ‘It doesn’t have to be big, but do something creative every day.’ Stephen mentions that he does these 1 para posts, and none of them is a work of art, but you develop the sills… It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking something is nothing, when actually something is something. As a musician I know that the value someone else ascribes to my creation is up to them, personal, and very often completely unknown to me. Creation has value, and just because it is not immediately quantifiable or visible does not belittle or negate that value.

‘Beauty in the broken, marvellous in the mundane, wow in the now’

Amy uses an example of having a phone and seeing rust on a fence and using the camera to capture that aesthetically pleasing moment right now, the wow in the now, and then maybe writing a poem about it later.

I loved that.

She goes on to say Read More »Create, share, and learn #el30 with Amy Burvall

Catching up on quick thoughts #el30

Last week Stephen held an open hangout for his class #el30 and I had very much hoped to join. In my work (teaching) life this week was the week of exams, presentations, and submissions for the semester’s work, and so when students asked for help I did my best to make time. Some of that time ended up being during the hangout, and so I missed it.

I did catch up and as is my practice I jotted down some thoughts. They have been sitting on a page, not quite becoming a post, but as this week is about experience I thought I’d share. The first thing I wrote down was Roland’s question:

Is a reader of a book part of the community even if they never write anything about the book?

Read More »Catching up on quick thoughts #el30


I just blinked. Did I miss it? Actually I experienced that blink. I know I think a lot, and with words, their meaning, understanding, and having… Read More »Experience

A Community of Consensus

I love a good think. #el30 has felt like a lovely stretch. My mind feels exercised. 

I am rubbish at following set rules, and in that vein I have come to write this post four times and left the screen blank each time. Here goes.

Some reflections on #el30 so far

My experience is one of value. I value the ‘nobody knows you’re not a dog on the internet’ principle. Everyone in #el30 has come to it with an openness and, yes, with a layer of trust in the way they have been willing to engage with concepts that are not their specialism and post about them. The nature of the topics chosen for each week means that nobody will be ‘expert’ in all of them, Read More »A Community of Consensus

Connected Learner Badge

This post is about a badge I designed called the ‘Connected Learner’.

In the world we are all connected, but how often do we connect? This badge can be earned by following some simple steps.

If you are reading this, then you have some sort of online presence, even if that is as one who reads, and not as a distinct or recognisable identity that you project outward.

The task that I have set is:

Read and comment on three blog posts. The posts should be to do with a particular theme, topic, or course.

For example, I could choose to comment on blogs having to do with the #el30 course. My creating this badge was a task for the #el30 course. (and my setting a task is also one of the embedded tasks for #el30 that was set by the facilitator and fellow participant, Stephen Downes.)

When applying for the badge, there is a place to put your evidence, so save the URL to the blog with your comment.


I think this is the public link to apply for *view* the badge via badgr:

*edit: to apply for the badge, you need to apply to me. I have learned thanks to someone from the Badgr team that issuers award the badges. So as an issuer, I can award my badge. 🙂

Read More »Connected Learner Badge


Recognition is this week’s topic for #el30 and the abstract asks two very different questions:

  • How do we know a course has been successful?
  • How do we know what someone has learned?

For me, these are not necessarily related like a geometric proof.

  • If this -> then that.

If the course is successful the student learns. As we have seen, perspectives can reveal different meanings and aims. I wonder what the criteria one uses to know a course is successful? There will typically be course aims as well as desired learning outcomes, and perhaps criteria-based assessments or tasks.

Does the student learn? Now this is not something I would ever like to fit into a box, or expect to assess adequately or be able to reward completely.Read More »Recognition