Archive for the ‘My Learning Journey’ Category

blogging from the boat…

May 22nd, 2008 by Cristina Costa
it’s a journey into knowing.
I am at the digifolio seminar and blogging from the  boat! connection: slooooooooooooooooow.
I wanted to twit live but there is no wireless and I’am not a mo-blogger YET .-(. BUt I am learning and micro-reflecting on the go. I jotted down some key ideas during today’s presentations, which I am now transcribing on to here. 
I need you to help me develop them. Your comments are therefore invaluable. I want and need to ‘pick’ your brain while I show you what’s going on in mine too.
Keynote speakers said teachers think that if they could turn off cell phones completely in schools the problems would be solved, and then he asked: would it be solved?
hmmm…. I immediatelly thought: is it really a problem? and if so, to whom? 
I liked one of the keynote speaker’s remarks: To forbid our youngsters to use mobiles in schools is like having forbidden the older generations to use encyclopedias  when they were in school. Cool thought, I wrote. That was for me the highlight of the 1st keynote. ,-) 
On Maths eportfolios:
The speaker concludes students liked it better than regular assessment strategies. It was a fairer assessment, they said, because teachers were evaluating what they knew, not what they didn’t know. Listen to the kids, I say! It’s not about looking at failure, it is about emphasizing  their strong areas and working with them on their weak ones.
They also reported they liked eportfolios because they were sharing it with others. Cool or what?
Then I got bored!!!!!!!!!!! Because someone was reading their presentation. I wrote” A prof. who reads and gives me data in percentage is not able to keep me focused for long. Maybe 2 minutes…maybe even less.
Another presenter starts by saying she is very interested in the results. I think to myself: I would like to focus more on the process. That is what I aspire people I work with will do too. The path we have to walk is far more important than the destination we have to reach.
Next presentation focuses on eportfolios and PLEs. My first note: I like it already :-).
They say: with web 2.0 tools, like netvibes, etc students can keep their digifolios even after they leave Uni. (And I am here thinking: just what I believe in….THANK YOU, it will make my presentation easier, although I think it might seem to be too “out of the box” to some of the seminar delegates…according to what I have seen so far. They will think I am a nut case…well, I guess I am. Even the color and layout of my slides stnad out when compared with theirs…so academic and so structured. Mine looks like this. Colourful. Happy. Active. Pictorical.  As learning should be, I would assume…
Last presentation is about eportfolio tool developed for Moodle by Portuguese Institut. I think I like it. I need to check it in more detail though. You can do it here: http://eportefolio.ese.ipsantarem/pt/repe_en
Will blog more tomorrow.
Can’t wait for your comments. Loads of them! 😀

Do you Twit?

May 19th, 2008 by Cristina Costa

It’s been a while since I last posted here. I kinda miss it.

Today seems a good day to post, especially because I have decided to take part of one more challenge: this time is twitter and I was wondering if you were interested in twittering or at least checking what it is going on there. The challenge page can be seen here and basically it all comes down to one thing: Twitter fun!

Let me tell you how I got so into twitter. I always start off being very suspicious and quite reluctant about the new fashionable tools to which you get invited almost on a daily basis. Twitter didn’t appeal that much to me at the beginning – I am never an early adopter… Embarassed it seem to be quite vague and ineffective… to be honest …and so after signing up to one more account I didn’t give it much thought. However, during the preparation of the earth day event it became extremely useful as a way to get to know the other members of the project a little bit better. Along the way I started getting more and more involved in it as people were sharing resources, expressing opinions, talking a little bit more about what they were doing at that exact moment (how it is raining again, and Hurray … the football team scored again! – those little things that make daily life more bearable and also make you wear a smile on your face as you think to yourself…it’s not only me who has all this paper work to take care of!) Nothing like experiencing in context! Cool

Then with diigo offering the possibility to twitter your bookmarks away and igoogle allowing me to add my twitter friends’ feeds to my home page, twitter has become part of my daily wanders in cyberspace. I got convinced about its potential. Finally!

I have linked to so many useful resources my twitter friends have twittered about, I have followed other interesting people who otherwise I would probably not have come across, and I have benefited loads from what other people bother to share. The twitter-land is indeed a GREAT micro-world.

The learning with computers community has recognized that and is now promoting the Microblogging challenge. I hope you can join us! 😉

More info about twitter can be found here.

Text originally posted here.

“How does your blog relate to your business?”

May 11th, 2008 by Cristina Costa

This is a challenge my friend’s friend posed on to her and which she decided to pose on to me. Actually, the question was asked on my friend’s friend’s friend’s blog. In the blogsphere news travel fast, one single question can suit many and so the challenge was up. I learned through my google reader I had been tagged to respond to this challenge the day Carla Arena posted her answer (RSS feeds travel even faster!), but somehow I was having trouble finding the right words for my answer-post. I don’t think I have come up with the right ones, but I can’t delay it any longer.

So, “How does my blog relate to my business?”

Well, my blog is me… or part of me. It is my thinking-aloud corner, where I jot down some random ideas, try to answer some queries, and most times end up raising even more questions than actually answers, which was the purpose of the blog post in the first place. Blogging is like this joint and at the same time personal never ending journey, which “forces” you to relentlessly examine your practice, (re)evaluate your believes and be prepared to new challenges [to change, adopt, adapt and re-adapt to a world in a ceaseless (r)evolution] .
None of this would ever be possible without the networks I have cultivated around me, or better, the people (those are the key) with whom, in one way or another, I have bonded in this cyber-world, and who have offered me diverse and relevant perspectives of a landscape always in motion.

My blog – or my blogs, if you want – completely relates to all my businesses. I have grown professionally through my blog. Blogging on a regular basis is my own reminder of how much I still have to learn (B. Brecht once wrote (something like this) : “let’s try and reduce our ignorance even if only 1mm” – as long as I keep blogging, I know I am still working at achieving it!)
I have also developed better inter-personal skills through the multi-blogging interactions. They are fun, they are interesting, they bring out the best of me…the best I can…I mean!

On personal and professional levels (and yes, the two dimensions intertwine Big Time, and I am not complaining, because that’s who I am), I think I have been able to develop a “voice” – an identity. Not that I have any presumptions of being an authority in the field or anything of the kind, but by blogging I have been able to grow more confident about what I do and try to pass on, and somehow I have been able to speak my mind out: for the better and for the worse too… 🙂 .

In short, my blog is a continuous update of who I am, what I do, what and how I think, and what and how other people make me perceive the world around me. And this last part is the most important bit: because without the “other people” – my friends (and I have made really good friends online) – none of this would ever have been possible.

I blog, because they blog… because they comment, because I comment…because there is a conversation going on. I can hear the sound of voices. I enjoy it.
I don’t like the disturbing silence of thinking.

And if I wanted a mono(b)log I would have started a paper based journal…or maybe not (just remembered I attempted it several times and never got past the second or third page of those perfumed note books from my teen years).

And now it’s time to pass on the challenge. To answer “How does your blog relate to your business?” I am tagging: Anne Fox, Dennis Oliver, Hala Fawzi, Graham Attwell, Joao Alves, Nina Lyulkun and Ramona Dietrich, and anyone else that reads this blog (just let me know through the comment feature and I will tag you too! 😉 )

Looking forward to reading your answers. And don’t forget to pass the challenge on to other bloggers . Thinking about the answer to this question is actually a very good exercise. 😉

Loads of New Challenges!

May 1st, 2008 by Cristina Costa

Today is Labor day and it does seem that people have been working on ideas to keep us busy, busy, busy!

Or maybe it was the Spring which brought a new wave of imagination and creativity.

Be as it may, the fact is that the challenges are here and there is no way passionate people about education, the blogsphere or simply cyber-fans will ignore these two challenges that arrived to me through twitter

The Comment Challenge: From today on and for a period of one month (1st – 31st May) Sue Waters, Silvia Tolisano, Michele Martin and Kim Cofino are challenging you to be a better blog citizen. For more information link to the wiki.

Meanwhile, you can invite your students and/or gather inspiration while wandering around the blogsphere to apply to this mega cool contest: The Sparky Awards

What a shame I don’t have students right now, otherwise we would already be cooking up something for this challenge too. (the process is more fun than the prize itself. It is also a cool way to get the learners involved)

So, the question is: Are you up for the challenges? I really hope so.

If you still have some reservations, do listen to this video and read some of the comments that were stimulated by this master piece by blog experts! Isn’t this exciting! I am just thrilled!!!;-)

  • Search

    News Bites

    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information

    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.

    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time

    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”

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