If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


A few people I have blogged or spoken to seem a little ‘freaked out’ at this point in terms of where their direction should be and how much to do. There are bound to be hundreds of interesting twists and turns you are encountering as you undertake the tasks and reflect on your learning. But at this point you need to familiarise yourself with what exactly you need to hand-in to marked.

As you know it is not the tasks. They are stepping stones to help you in your work. I advise you go back to handbook and review the assignment you are handing-in. What form it takes, how many words, what it is about? We do not what the ‘story’ of your tasks we are looking for you to synthesize all the experiences you have had and address the assignment. Maybe some tasks will be more pertinent than others. Maybe you feel you’d like to re-do something. But now is the time to start writing what you are handing-in so that you can have a draft done in time for feedback, if you want feedback from your advisor, even if you don’t it gives you time to really think about what you have been doing and what relationship it has with the assignment you are handing in.

I keep missing one of my students who wants to talk about the artefact. (I will keep trying). This is something module 3ers are doing but it is learning EVERYONE is in fact doing. The artefact is about what is indicated. In all the modules the assignment you handing-in has something to do with consolidating what you have done to the point where you can articulate what it indicates. With Module 1ers you are looking at all the ways you explored yourself learning and writing about what it indicates in terms of what you have done and what you are interested in.

Module 2ers are looking at all the information in the area of the questions you have been looking at and consolidating this into what it indicates in terms of  something that resonates with what you have done and what you are interested in (see the progression from module 1?).

Module 3ers you are consolidating what you have done this term, which was a response to what, you have done and what you are interested in (Module 1 & 2). the artefact is about sharing how this practically manifests considering what you have learnt. It is the meaning behind what the artefact is that is important not the artefacts perfection.

My research has led me to think that understanding something using words only is not as helpful as using a range of mediums. If I write about this I am in fact saying that what I am choosing to share the idea (that you need more than words) is not as helpful than if I had used a range of mediums. So wouldn’t you ask “If you think that why have you written it?” Then I would bring out my artefact  - a web-site that has visual elements and sound elements…. Get it? !!

O.K. have a good week
I was having a hard time in class the other day because my injured leg is still not as strong as my other leg. As I was trying to balance I thought of all of you. Thinking if I expect them to step outside their comfort zone and be in the discomfort of challenging themselves; I can challenge myself to stay on balance even if it hurts a bit! So thanks guys for all your inspiring hard work.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Planning the end

Week 8: How is it going?  Just to be clear this is a twelve-week term. So the modules finish on December 16th. But then you have until January 9th to hand-in your work. Different advisors have different cut of dates for feedback. That is when you have to have work in by in December if you want feedback before you hand-in your work. Check you know when the cut off date is and any other requirements your advisor has.  I would leave the last two weeks of the term for writing what I am handing in (December).

Try to do as much as you can, so that drafts are as clear as possible. Make drafts a ‘full-out dress rehearsal’, so that you can see where your problems are.

Think about what will work for you in-terms of your personal and work life over Christmas: so that you give yourself enough time to do what you want to do.

Don’t leave all the nagging things you think you aught to do any longer. Get them done now. If there is a task you really want to do but didn’t get round to do it this week. You need to give yourself time to learn from it.

Overall everyone seems well in the stew of thinking and doing. Just make sure you are not in ‘I must do that mode’ be in ‘I’m doing’. Time is going to go by quickly.

Principle one: only ask for feedback if you are interested in possibly changing what you have created. Do not ask for it as away to engage someone in talking about you work.

I wrote a funny thing about feedback maybe Akin or another graphically gifted person can make it a cartoon. In my head it is a cartoon:

My process for receiving feedback cycle!!

1) Oh, my God that’s right, that’s a much better way to do it than I did!
2) I can’t do it, I can’t change it, maybe I just can’t achieve this.
3) Wait a minute maybe she (the feedbacker) doesn’t really know what she is talking about. I think my work is fine.
4) I feel really sick (fat=cultural / social conditioning , etc… or other excuses for feeling not up to things and just wanting to go back to bed)
5) O.K. that’s better, I think I did, need to develop that etc…
6) Oh my God I’m brilliant; she (the feedbacker) is amazing to be able to see my amazing potential.
7) New feedback

1) Oh, my God that’s right…
2) I can’t do it….


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Courage and Kindness

Hi, week  7 and I’m a little late with my weekly blog!!

Module 1ers are beginning Network tasks supported by Reader 3 – “The networked professional”.  This is about linking things together. Start to think about the module as a whole how things connect.

Module 2ers are starting to try out tools for professional enquiry: see what kind of information piloted tools gives you. Remember that is not what information they give you (i.e. the content, x does x). It’s what kind of information (i.e. general, large quantities, personal, focused etc…)

Module 3ers would be beginning to analyse their data. Starting to think about what it is you’ve found, learnt, re-shaped from your data collection period. I find that this involves a lot of thinking!! And writing is not always thinking. You may need to go on walks, or have conversations with friends about it. What has been working for me is reading all the bits I am trying to make sense of so its in my head, then going to Bikram yoga. Because the poses are all the same each time I can get right into my body, which is, were I find meaning. I find that as I stretch out and realign my muscles and bones my brain (thinking) realigns and stretches out too and I find I have made connections in my research too.

Exciting times, you are probably wanting to make sure your going in the right direction. That is a natural feeling but remember although people can reassure you, YOU have to trust yourself and do your best and be true to what you think you should be doing because its your learning journey not a treasure hunt we have made (where we can say you’re getting cooler or hotter).

“genius is talent exercised with courage’ (– Wittenstein) “and kindness” – me!!


Thursday, 3 November 2011


I changed it!
Does it make sense or still to abstract?


Welcome to week 6 people!!! Well I have been thinking about two things:

Firstly, the process of doing something new: There is a really big shift that one must make from “I’m going to do something” to “I am doing something” to “I am finished”. There is just a comforting feeling in being in the process of starting. And there is a really scary feeling when one is in sight of the end – because while you are just starting you have the potential to be as great as you want to imagine yourself to be BUT when you get to the point where you can see the end you are very aware of all the things you haven’t done or got or understood. I think that we tend to stall ourselves in starting but here we are in week six and so soon you will be more than half-way through the term. Even if you aren’t doing everything you feel you should, give yourself permission not to be perfect and allow yourself to keep moving forward. Whatever module you are doing, by now you should have an idea or outline for whatever you are handing in on Jan 9th. 

Module 1ers make sure you have not got caught-up in doing ‘the perfect task’ and start to own the module as a whole, in order to synthesize what you are doing – remember the portfolio you are being marked on is a document about what you have learnt. You are not being marked on the tasks. Module 2ers start to see your questions and your title as potential ‘realities’, so interrogate what they mean, what they say, where ‘you’ are in them. Module 3ers you need to start figuring out what it is you are ‘finding’. You need to have collected your data or be almost finished collecting.

Secondly, I have been thinking about the last post and the comments people have made.  I hope it was useful in demonstrating the development of an idea / question. But the content of the question itself has raised some really interesting things. I am going to wait and see if there are any more survey responses before I share an analysis.

However, it has made me think there is something missing from my blog. This is a kind of ‘theoretical framework’. A theoretical framework is about showing the context within which you are doing something. In some ways you could argue that your professional practise offers a theoretical framework for much of the work you are doing. It gives you a guideline for how to address things (the ethics section of module 2 is about looking more closely at these).

But the context for which I am teaching is not clear. We know that this course is different and is hoping to encourage you to have a dynamic relationship with learning. A relationship that is possibly not the same as traditional relationship you assume for educational institutes (that is we want you to pull knowledge to you rather than wait to have it pushed at you). The C.V. part of the blog is a way for students to give an idea of their background and in a sense their theoretical context (framework), this is a way to understand how to approach the person. Maybe then my C.V. section should not be so much about what I have done but set out a context for my approach and how I can be approached. I am going to try this. See what you think.

Once again I hope the content of this blog is interesting but what might be most helpful to you is seeing how the ideas resonate with whatever part of the course you are doing. (I’m going to put up my new C.V. over the next few days)

What do you think?