Work Place Learning Space

Graham asked me to do something fun which is unusual because *everyday* is fun at Pontydysgu. He asked for five photographs around learning spaces so I tried to capture the five most important aspects of my work based learning.

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Complete with coffee, piles of unsorted paperwork, family photos, sharpies, MacBook, interweb, and most importantly a notepad for scribbles and doodles and lists and ideas which need to be instantly recorded, flowing straight out of my brain onto the paper without ever having to wait for the spinning beachball.

 

My alternative desk

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I do my best writing curled up on the sofa in the evenings. I think it’s because it doesn’t feel like work and there are no distractions.

Outdoor thinking space

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Some days a change of scenery and some exercise is the absolute best way to process information, make decisions, put things in the right order. On other days this would be a picture of the gym, but today is a lovely sunny day in Wales.

Mind expansion

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Read fiction, read non-fiction, read about what I’m working on, read about something so far removed from what I’m working on that I have no idea how I found it, read out loud, read poetry, read picture books, reading makes things make sense.

Music

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Graham stared with a cool black and white office picture so here’s mine. Music to work to, music to switch off from work to.

London Tech Week 2015

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I had a pretty exciting and busy couple of days in London during their annual technology week.

Straight off the train I met Vini from Quizalize which is hands down the best online quiz creator for educators I have used yet with the added bonus feature of live feedback. I don’t think they are embeddable but the option of creating your own quiz app is in the pipeline.

Next I took an hour out to explore the What is Luxury? exhibition at the V&A. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of art with science and technology; a diamond made from the compressed ashes of the script of Superman 3 and a vending machine dispensing DNA samples.

The following morning I headed to Olympia for the Learning Technologies Summer Forum. Amongst the myriad of sales pitches and off the peg e-learning solutions (as if learning were something to be solved) for managing learning were a few gems. e-learning studios presented their virtual reality training courses where fully immersed in a virtual environment you can deal with an office fire, experience a day in the life of a face cream or familiarise yourself with the basics of a passenger jet cockpit.  At $350 for an OcculusRift it’s not exactly accessible technology but then there is always Google Cardboard and there are plenty of games and learning experiences for free.

Then I sat down for a cup of coffee and accidentally listened to Telefónica talking about their use of linda.com for workplace learning. I was pleasantly surprised. Basically they let their staff choose whatever it is they want to learn from the lynda.com instructional videos collection, and I mean anything.  Success is measured in terms of hours of video watched and staff morale.  They described it as an holistic approach to staff development.

In the afternoon I headed over to Holborn for Dragon Hall’s TechDay. Dragon Hall were involved in the RadioActive project and are still making great internet radio. It’s fair to say that they were inspired by the project to keep on introducing their young people to more new technologies.

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The event was meant to inspire and it certainly delivered. There were kids running Minecraft on a RaspberryPi and coding in python to create their worlds rather than using the standard controls; programing enduino cubes with emoticons; Building kano computers from scratch – they were up and running playing games within minutes (click the link and scroll down, impressive stuff!); playing with software where you hand draw your own race track and then race a car around it; makeymakey; bee-bot; scratch; squishy circuits; stop motion animation using an iPhone; 3D printing; oculus rift, google cardboard and more.

The room was buzzing and there was a real sense of excitement for the future.

 

 

 

All of this leaves me thinking – makerspace in Ponty? Who’s in?