Reflections of a Learning Journey and the Connections made along the way

We are commencing research for our latest project “Making the Most of Emerging Technologies”  This project is funded by the VET Development Centre and we are very grateful for the opportunity to investigate ways to enhance our blended and online delivery using new technologies.

technology e-bookI have come across this fantastic resource which I think will become the bible for this project.  The Free Education Technology Resources e-book.

SLMOOC2016

So I have commenced learning in another MOOC. This MOOC will focus on connecting online for collaborative learning and teaching around the world through Second Life.

My observations so far is that the course itself is quite confusing. There are a lot of different areas in which to participate in the course including Moodle, WizIq and Second Life itself. So an aside is that this a good reminder to keep online course content simple for the learner and to provide very clear directions and information.

Whilst I can understand the benefits of using Second Life in education, I am finding it very confusing to navigate so far. I think it is going to take quite some time to feel comfortable and able to contribute in a meaningful way.

SLMOOC badge week 1However I have received my first weekly badge!  So I hope I can get the hang of it all and will definitely be persisting for a bit longer yet.

Community of practice imageExciting times!  A new Community of Practice is about to be born.  But more on that later.  For now it is time to explore best practice for setting up and maintaining a great community of practice.

So what is it that makes people engage and re engage in a Community of Practice.  Answering this question will be paramount because without engagement there is no community.

There are lots of resources available.  One of my favourite community practitioners in Nancy White.  Her fantastic book Digital Habitats  has been on my digital bookshelf for a few years now.  Finally I have a really good reason to read it properly rather than just skimming.

I have also joined Feverbee.  It is also a great resources with lots of active forums to explore.  I came across Feverbee several years ago and it has grown and changed a lot since I lasted visited.  So they must be doing a lot right.

So the research and planning stage begins!  I would love to hear others experiences so I will be sharing in the hope that others will comment.

 

WOL imageI have recently come across what is a new concept for me – Working out Load.  I recently subscribed to Kate Pinner’s blog Rustic Learning.  I really like her tag line of “A personal space for sense making”.

In a recent blog post she writes about Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) and Working Out Load (WOL).

This is Johnathon Anthony’s definition of WOL:

“Working out loud is the willingness to share and to try and to keep things in (perpetual?) beta. Challenge one’s own orthodoxy, inculcate and encourage a tension in the work with others. Make bold promises that things can improve, and also that they might fail: show vulnerability whilst also being full of hope.”

In recent times I have tried to improve my skills as a self-directed learner and understand the benefits of reflecting on learning in different ways.  I have done a few posts on this blog to that end.

But the actual concept of WOL is new to me. I plan to research this a bit more but more than that I would like to put the idea into practice on a more regular basis.

 

Every morning I get to exercise on the banks of the beautiful Murray River and Lake Mulwala.  This morning was particularly beautiful.  I didn’t have my phone to take photos so I decided to paint a picture in words.

Spring

The sun was rising above a line of clouds and there was not a breath of wind so the lake was completely calm.  The sky was at its bluest and reflections showed clearly on the water.  The bridge between our two towns was shining in the sunlight.  The wattles glowed golden and there are glimpses of green as the willow trees come back to life.

Birds of all types were everywhere.  A pigeon with his tail fanned beautifully dancing around his mate.  A waterfowl soaking up the sunlight hanging its wings out to dry.  Tiny brightly coloured parrots barely noticed as I walked past within a metre.  And the sound of birds was everywhere.

Spring is coming and I feel grateful.

We all love holidays.  Although I have been overseas twice Thailand and New Zealand my favourite holidays have been in Australia.  We live in a breathtakingly beautiful country and have high living standards.  So why holiday overseas?

I think I have very different definitions of the terms holidays and travel.  Travel is about seeing the world, experiencing other cultures and learning about how others live.  On the other hand holidays are for fun and relaxation, not rushing around trying to see as much as possible and having cultural experiences.

I have taken so many photos and written so many journals whilst on holidays and travelling over many years.  But it is very rare that I look back on them.  So this section of my blog is going to be dedicated to collecting the best of my photos in one place so that they are easy to access and enjoy.

I expect this to be a long and ongoing process.  So far I have chronicled my holidays on the Great Ocean Walk, Port Douglas and Darwin which all took place in 2014 and 2015.  Lots of work to do!

Darwin

We flew to Darwin on 11th April 2015. We arrived to a very hot beautiful day – about 33 degrees.  Our apartment was just beautiful and very well appointed with plenty of room for the 7 of us and with a fantastic view of the harbour.  After getting stuck in the lift we went out for dinner at the Tap.

On our first full day in Darwin we paid a visit to the Tourist Information Centre and then went to the WWIII oil tunnels which was really interesting.  They were built to store fuel underground to prevent attacks on the supplies but were never used.  Then went to the wave pool which was great fun. We also swam in the sea at the Waterfront followed by a lovely lunch at Il Lido.

Next day we caught the bus to the Art Gallery and museum. This was very interesting particularly the Cyclone Tracey exhibit. We saw the famous croc, Sweetheart, which died when they were trying to relocate her.  Another feature was the aboriginal art exhibition.  That evening we went on a sunset cruise which left from Stokes Hill Wharf aboard the Streeter Pearl Lugger with Chris and Tania. It was a lovely evening and we drank champagne and ate nibbles as we watched a beautiful sunset. When we got back we had dinner at The Jetty restaurant which was very good.

The Military Museum was also very interesting and the information about the bombing of Darwin was enlightening.  Darwin was first bombed on 19th February 1942, when the Post Office was destroyed and around 90 people died.  We had lunch at Cullen Bay at the Boatshed Cafe overlooking the Marina.  That evening we went to Moorish for dinner. We had delicious tapas and sangria.

We got up early next morning and went for a walk around the Boulevard.  The walk is well set out with war memorials and other interesting information.  We also walked down onto Lameroo Beach.  We did some exploring of  the shopping centre and had a drink at the Darwin Hotel.  Then we had lunch at the Deck Bar.  After lunch we went to Parliament House which also housed the library.  It is a wonderful building.  Apparently the tops of the pillars at the four corners of the building are styled after bomb tails as this was originally the site of the Post Office which was destroyed in the first air raid and there was a bomb found on the site when it was being excavated for the building of Parliament House.

On Day 6 we went on a Crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River and a tour of Litchfield National Park. Our first stop was the crocodile cruise and we were amazed at being able to get so close to the crocs. The tour guide threw out chicken fat which attracted hundreds of beautiful hawks of several species.  Then back onto the bus with Joey our guide.  He was great and made the tour very interesting.  We headed out to Litchfield National Park with a quick stop at Humpty Doo on the way.  The first stop was Florence Falls where we swam under the waterfall.  It was just amazing and very beautiful.  Then we headed to Wangi Falls which was also beautiful but closed to swimming as it can be inhabited by crocs in the wet season.  We had cold meat and salad sandwiches which were delicious given that it was nearly 2 o’clock.  The next stop was Buley Rockpools.  Lots of little cascading pools.  Swimming there was quite different to Florence Falls and we all felt we could have spent a lot longer there.  A quick stop at the Termite mounds before heading back to Fannie Bay for the sunset with champagne and prawns.  Overall it was a fantastic tour.

Our last day was very quiet which was lovely and we went back to Moorish for a farewell Sangria.  We bought seafood and cooked it ourselves and it was delicious to celebrate our last evening.  We all flew back to cold Victoria on 18th April after a wonderful family holiday.