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Showing posts from December, 2011

Help ... i must be a self obsessed parent ...

With 35 cumulative experience of dragging up ones own offspring and a collective experience of fostering at least nine children, i can say with conviction that I am still an amateur when it comes to raising children.Every child presents new, entertaining and informative challenges and depending on your level of sleep depravation and caffeine high (or low). So, when I encounter other parents attempting to share sagely wisdom on how their offspring compares to some magical norm of childhood, i am happy to share. ..... your poor children often raise themselves in spite of our clumsy ministrations.If we are lucky, some of our attempts to influence their development and behaviour rubs off on them. Soooo please, please, don't be precious. We do see many mistakes being made, as we have made them and sit back and laugh. We are still making many mistakes and get it wrong on an almost daily basis. If you think you are a good parent, get over yourself, it wears thin very quickly. If you are …

Because someone says it is, is it?

Probably everyday (or at least nearly so) I encounter situations where I see, hear or read a matter where i wonder if the answer being given is actually valid.I am not suggesting that there is a culture of deceit, ironically i feel that the majority of humanity, is honest giving what they feel to be a correct answer or explanation when presented with a question,But, when you are dealing with a situation that demands a little bit more scrutiny, you discover that often the answer being given lacks any substance.Two facebook conversations from today spring to mind, in both cases, those being observed are intelligent and capable, as well as relatively knowledgable souls.Yet ....The conversation goes off into a 'trust' in supposed authority, when they could be wrong, but because the 'supposed' authority may have said so, then its correct.Now at this point you may ask yourself, what if you are wrong .... maybe i am? But then i bothered to check my own facts before tapping up…

Rejoice .......................

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!


Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary — rejoice!

With love from Andrew, Shirley, Victoria and Jeremy xxx

recovering from my afternoon nap ...

I am pleased to share that i am not a frequent napper, in fact, now the off spring are older, one finds that at the moment one needs to nap less.Having a PM snooze is quite the pleasure, but don't you hate the cold nose you get afterwards (unless its only me, where you are welcome to ignore this observation).The point of sharing this is that with Christmas almost upon us, we tend to enter a period of semi-hibernation, enjoying friends, family and some flatulence inducing food.Yet, i have to admit, in this post internet boom world, two facts concern me:Yep ..... i am getting sales related emails already from eTailers i have used over the last few years, some for 'targeted' stuff i am unlikely to want to buy (the thrill of the fridge gets my Christmas spirit a tingling).Also ..... one unnamed saddo sent a work related email today .... TODAY, matey you are in need of a grip get one, even a convinced workaholic like me has left it alone.So, enjoy the season, enjoy Christmas an…

A morsel of notions, my research gave me ...

Been dipping in (and out) of Martin Weller's, 2011 text, the Digital Scholar, on p169 makes an interesting observation when discussing digital resilience . "What goes, what stays and what comes – each element of this trio is significant. Often we concentrate on 'what comes', but its just as interesting to consider what stays."  And then goes on to say ... "The QWERTY keyboard has stayed thus far into the digital age, despite being an analogue solution, not through any sense of value, but because it is too entrenched to overthrow."When we teach, do we have views that are entrenched, are they so entrenched that they can no longer be overthrown or is there help for us (personally) as well as our profession. Because what we do is what has always (in our view) has been the way it has been done, does it mean that it cannot be changed, or that we are unchangeable.

Well, now its time for a Christmas message from the Smiths, if you dont like spoilers, look away now ....

The Smith family Christmas message, the annual event of cultural and intellectual significance has hit the ether to test your synapses.
In some ways it’s nice to hear from our friends near and far on their accomplishments as well as those of their offspring. Now we have social networking, the inter-wide-web thingy, blogs (that brag), SMS and that tweety thing, it is not like it’s terribly difficult to keep abreast of what is happening in your lives. Well that is if you can be bothered to use the marvel of modern technology that is your personal computer, smart phone like pad thing. "Sooooo …. please, we do not want to see your newsletters, it isn’t cool, its not exciting, it shows a level of self indulgence that clearly demonstrates that you have not spotted that everyone has been using Web 2.0 stuff for at least five years." As a token of our appreciation and our desire to express how we feel on this matter. We too have created a ‘newsletter’ but in the zeitgeist of the age an…

There are times when to resist temptation is to resist a bout of Tourettes ....

I do envy the character of Father Jack Hackett, he says what we all think, at times i speak to some education professionals in my 'domain' and despair.
Dealing with a centre 'somewhere in england' who are struggling with the sheer workload of their qualification. 
At first i thought that this was a little misunderstanding, where they were a little emotional about having to do a little bit more than one would expect.
Nope, worse is the fact that they have built a culture over many years, where: They have lost any real understanding of what the qualification is aboutA culture of belts and braces where neither are neededAs the qualification has evolved, they have added layersAs the sector has changed, they do not seem to have doneConfusion over the simplest of concepts, where evolution, has become devolution and complaints that the nasty awarding bodies are being mean to them Worse, even worse is that they are 'outstanding' in the eye of the inspection regime and in sp…

I write this knowing at least two people that I may upset ...

... but lets face it, will it stop me, no, not at all.This is nothing offensive, unless you are really sensitive, in which case, best put your head in a bucket and go 'blah blah blah' it will help.The new modern sacred cow I wish to offend is the concept of a 'search engine optimiser'.When did such an inexact art become a science.When did somebody decide that a forumule for internet hits, beyond any immediate control of the individual become a job role, and a well paid one it seems.Like a shamen or fakir, the search engine optimiser (or SEO as they seem to like being called, seems to rattle some beads and possibly the entrails of the occasional dead chicken and behold your website increases its position in the ranks of the world wide google web.Clever stuff.So, joo joo is committed, and web site becomes popular.The SEO (sorry i meant to say grand wizard of the net), does clever things with your site, pays for the right adwords, tags in the most appropriate way and twee…

Cows ... how the world really works ...

If you have been struggling with the entire economic situation, our bovine friends gives the best explanation :SOCIALISM You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbour. COMMUNISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk. FASCISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk. BUREAUCRATISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away.
TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (VENTURE) CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Compan…

Not the normal blog post, my research ...

Its been a good week, did more than i expect and less than i planned.Apparently this is how it goes.Monday was a very good day, after my work of last year, my friend Paul Wallin asked me back to spend time with his students at Kingston University. In many ways it was a repeat of previous work, so expected to learn nothing new. With 50+ students in the session, there was an unanticipated result which is both interesting and bothersome.Rather than shrug, we will repeat the same experiment in the same room at the same scale but be more systematic about the last part (everyone connecting).I would like to know if Packet Tracer has a limit for EIGRP peers, and if everyone joining at the same instance is still the real issue.By Tuesday, i was into the papers, re-reading past papers and past notes i had regained some considerable lost ground.Not that you want to know about Cognitive Apprenticeships, Zones of Proximal Development etc, but a good read was had.Into Wednesday and i branched off i…

Silly Jeremy Clarkson gives Daily Mail readers something to tut about ...

Yep, he was a plonker on the One Show, then i am not a fan of the One Show, i dont watch it, so lack the same sense of outrage as others.I agree, what he said is a joke, yes its in bad taste, it may work on 'Top Gear' where he can be edited prudently, but on live television, me thinks that Mr J Clarkson has committed a major gaffe and annoyed two opposing groups.Lets think about it, the unions (lets call them the left) are pretty peeved and the Daily Mail readers (lets call them the right) were simultaneously annoyed. After all, nice nurses cannot be criticised, and that simply is not the done thing to be said on ones pre-watershed mainstream evening televisual entertainment (if the One Show can be called entertainment!!!).So, now these opposing factions are unwittingly fettered and united, will the social fabric of the UK suddenly implode in unanticipated outrage.Well timed Mr Clarkson, this will distract the plebs from the nasty recession thing .....
Not that this is my opini…