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Showing posts from January, 2012

Chest thumping or a sense of ….

Something I believed I cured myself of, this was the need to chest thump and do the company salute, and be anally loyal to a corporate ethos. Like a recovering chest thumper, I have to resist the urge to be derisive to those engaged in the activity. Unlike some who have overcome the urge to chest thump, I don't get any pangs or need to have a sneaky chest thump when I think nobody is looking.
So, what is this chest thumping you speak of, you may ask?
Do you know someone who is so convinced that the working world they are in, with its values is the only way to be? Here in education, we do like our abundance of badges, stars, grades, kite marks, citations of excellence etc. In fact it seems to dominate conversations with schools, colleges and others alike.
As soon as their organization, their team, the school cat, etc, gets a new badge of honour. They enter a public session of chest thumping, its not pretty, in fact its dull.
If you mention that you may have been inflicted with the mag…

There was a correlation there ...

Now it may be fluke, then it may not be, who could tell but in the last year of doing centre reviews. I have noticed when reading back over my reports and comparing them to centres who have been visited by ofsted afterwards.
The centre, I gave outstanding feedback to, interestingly gained a grade 1 (outstanding) two months later.The centre, I ripped to pieces and for the sake of the students avoided blocking as the quality nominee was more realistic than their senior management team. Has recently been deemed as unsatisfactory [grade 4] by ofsted and is in special measures. No, I do not believe that I possess soothsayer abilities. Both these centres were obvious, for the first they had the attitude to win and a can-do mentality. For the second, they were so absorbed in their own past that they could not see the present and what was around them.




Sublime ....

it can be oft seen in education, situations that dramatically range from the sublime to utterly ridiculous. Sometimes in the space of a few hours.I have never fathomed how this happens, but guess that in a world where many of the professionals are in a state of constant flux. Enduring continiously changing government policy, new funding arrangements and a situation that is never the same on a yearly basis it would cause a state of anxiety and therefore hysteria. If you keep telling the workforce that the rules are changing, make sure that it is public knowledge that their futures are uncertain and inflict upon them an inspection regime that would make the hardest nut whimper (metaphorically of course) then you begin to appreciate how this may happen.Whilst i really enjoy teaching, love the rapport and contact with the students, unless the educational establishment is feeling secure i could no longer tolerate the incestuous chaos.

Simulation vs emulation vs virtualisation ....

So, that was an interesting thought, there is a blur of ideas in many research papers I have read where I have wondered if the authors actually know the difference between emulation, simulation and virtualisation. I am not going to claim to be the definite source on this one, but here goes.Emulation : it pretends to be the environment, such as a gaming console, where the 'code' in the guise of ripped ROMs are tricked into thinking that they are running on their host platform. Emu's run like the real thing, but are not. There tends to be no interaction between the emulator and the underlying system, where the emu is effectively the application.I have used emulators for the SNES, Sega MegaDrive and my old ZX spectrum.Virtualisation: it acts like the real thing, pretending to be 'real hardware'. Therefore an operating system does not know if its on bare metal or within the virtualisation environment. By virtue of its affordance, the hypervisor within the virtualisatio…

and i thought i left it in good condition ...

Do you ever get the feeling that something you left for others to look after has not been cherished and given the care that its due.You start something, make a success of it, raise its profile and ensure that it is sustainable with the right management.Well after some years later, i know the the economic climate is changing and that you have to be more inventive to maintain your market position. But with interest i see that there are those making a good job of this in these tough times.So, what is going on, did you like the status but not understand the commitment, you are good at talking the talk, but don't know how to be a real leader and educational entrepreneur?

.... Machiavelli thinks ....

In general, men judge more from appearances than from realness. All men have eyes, but few have perception. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.

Crossing the wire ....

My only thought for today, like two former generals surveying the spoils of a battle once thought. One is still fighting the other, assured of victory has long pursued pastures new.

Major Fail ... some idiot with email ....

Hilarious ...A colleague mistakenly copied me into an email for another 'similarly' named soul in another faculty, over the last four (ish) years this happens very rarely as i have the 'preferable' address, and the senders assume that mine would be theirs. Without engaging in the sensible process of 'checking'.Tonight, i get such an email, where i am the CC, fair enough, its probably been at least six months since the last mistaken email.Email the soul, tell them, its not a problem, common courtesy etc.Then they reply, trying to blame the email system for their error.Eh?Maybe they should check on whom they have mistakenly emailed, the old adage GIGO does still apply.

The imperfect Church ....

This is totally random, and could do with some tweaks, but here goes ….The imperfect Church is perfect for me, Coffee needs to be excellent and so should the Tea.
I don't care if it starts a little late, I don't give a hoot if the PA is second rate.If the projector is on its last legs even better, sometimes it's nice to see the words whatever (they may say).If the worship is loud, quiet, fast, slow, with drums, bass, guitars or tambourines, does it matter. Better if the little children are screaming to drown the clatter.
The imperfect Church is perfect for me, Coffee needs to be excellent and so should the Tea. Occasionally cakes are nice, and fruit will do me.
If the preach is short, I am happy, if its too long, I will start playing with my new phone. Who notices if the notice giving is right or wrong, who cares if the website is with it or right on.We use twitter, facebook and more, but lets be frank social media can be a bore.The imperfect Church is perfect for me, Coffee …

A wee prod into the inter-abyss ....

The nice thing about blogging is that you can enjoy occasional random prods into the abyss of the internet, knowing that the potential obscurity contributes to a collected mass of (mis)information about yourself.In about a months time (thereabouts) i have been asked to speak [again], to a group of writers on this post Web2.0 world we inhabit and how we may utilise it.My thoughts have already been pottering around the subject, whilst i may have done a presentation on this in 2010 (was it that long ago), i feel that the world has already changed. How we interact, engage and abuse the TwitterSocialBloggerSphere has definitely changed, some interesting events have occurred. I think that the world has become less naive and more competition has appeared with different tools demanding your wisdom.We shall see.

No kidding, and there was I trying to help ye ....

Do you ever get the feeling that there are some things you give a 4X for more than the eeejits who stand to lose out from a changing situation.I am sure that the story of Nero fiddling (or playing the bagpipes) whilst Rome burnt is a allegory that has become legend. Trouble is, whilst another educational Rome is having the tinder lit by others who care little for the direct consequence, there are those who could/should make a difference deciding that their diaries have to change at the last minute.Hi .... we are all busy, if we can make the effort for you, maybe you could see your way to having a reciprocal mindset.Sadly, the soul in question seems to be struggling with the broader details of our education system, let alone our intricacies. The ironic calamity is for me, the impact is close to zero, yet i can see the imminent issues if nothing is done.Least my diary has one less thing to do.

To Let : one pond in need of Fish ....

With a new year upon us and one that is going to be interesting, in a challenging sort of way. Unlike many of the media pundits, I cannot foretell what is to unfold nor give some clever pithy comment on the state of education. But i can share with conviction that there is going to be some seriously unpleasant and unanticipated surprises.Education is more customer driven than it would like to admit and whilst many institutions have been working feverishly to gird their loins in preparation for the oncoming storm, taking as many precautions as possible, it is hard to predict what is to happen.Anything post 16 is up for grabs, with a government focussed on a free market 'survival of the fittest' mentality, its a worry that even the fittest may not know who they are.I am interested in some manoeuvrings of some organisations, where they seem to be taking on more in the compulsory education arena, a vote winner and therefore political hot potato. It is clear that if one is to surviv…