Archive for the ‘Jo Blog’ Category

How much do you know about Politics?

April 27th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

In May I will be voting for the first time in the UK elections. This means I have spent large amounts of time researching and discussing the different parties and what they have to offer and I am finding it extremely hard to differentiate between the parties. In discussions with other voters my own age I became very aware what little experience many of us have in politics and within my own experience, aside from the influence of parents, guidance in making this decision for the first time is minimal.
This video from the Yahoo election page shows the extent to which this lack of knowledge can extend and was a real eye opener for me.

I believe learning about Politics is something that should be embedded somewhere within standard curriculums in the education system to avoid this sort of ignorance.
Pontydysgu is currently working on a European project called POLITICS which hopes to increase knowledge of Politics on both a national and European scale.

‘The POLITICS project is built around an e-book “Straight into Politics”. Learners will be invited to form (transnational) teams online and develop a digital and humorous story based on the scenario of a politically active young person who is convinced they can change the world for the better and organizes a election campaign.’

If you’d like to know more about this project this can be found out on the project website at

Working and Learning

April 21st, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

icould is a collection of videos where people talk about their career paths. It provides a diverse selection of stories from people of all ages and backgrounds and is an inspirational way to explore career possibilities.

I was browsing the icould videos and saw a tag to search by age. This videos was one of those thrown up. It caught my interest mainly because it made such a strong connection to work experience and the value of learning and working at the same time. These are two things that throughout my time with Pontydysgu I have held in increasing regard.
In my opinion two weeks of work experience in Year 10, in the English compulsory education system, isn’t enough. This video I felt went some of the way to showing why.

How many Facebook Photos can we take?

April 9th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

Recently I have been blogging a lot of media so I thought I’d do a traditional written post for a change. When I first started using Facebook one of the features I most enjoyed was the sharing of photos, and still do. A while back Graham blogged on the scalability of Facebook as a social network as people are beginning to have more contacts than they know what to do with, and statistics show that people are usually only in contact with a small proportion of these. I recently have been wondering if maybe these sort of scalability issues could apply to photos, as the amount of photos people have on their sites is reaching numbers in the thousands.
These are often people around the age of 18 and if Facebook retains it’s popularity what sorts of numbers will people reach in five or so years. Tens of thousands maybe? When things reach this stage, how would it be possible to organise all of these photos? I already find it difficult to save all of the photos I like and now rely on facebook to keep them for me, as the only true record of all my photos.
Will this be what Facebook becomes, a store of people’s life photos? My parents found that when they put together photo albums for my latest birthdays they struggled to find recent photos as the majority of these were online on Facebook and with no Facebook, they had no access to them.
I have noticed the significant amount of younger sisters, children, small cousins in pictures on Facebook meaning that when these children are finally old enough to enter the online world for themselves they already have a collection of photos waiting for them. This strikes me as an odd concept, as it means other people create someone’s online profile before they are in a position to do so themselves. It does however show how the perception of sharing information online has changed.
I recently have taken to browsing people’s profile pictures when i first add them on the grounds it is photos they have chosen to represent themselves and i don’t have to sift through large numbers of photos of half of their face. Maybe this will be the way things move forward, people will choose favourite photos or organise their photos into those that they feel best represent themselves for people to browse, whilst other photos will be looked at at the time they are uploaded for people to see what happened at certain event and will be compiled as part of a larger build up of a long term collection of photos.
My thinking on this is still is still at early stages but I do think it raises some interesting question as to the change in culture that sites such as facebook are creating and forsees some interesting issues for the future of sites such as facebook.

Careers Guidance- Is it good enough?

April 8th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

Recently I have been researching careers guidance in schools and therefore when I was back in the UK i took the opportunity to ask my family and friends about their own experiences. Here is an interview I did with Year 10 student Ellen.

The State of The Internet

April 7th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

I found this video JESS3 / The State of The Internet on Cool Infographics and loved it. It was embedded originally from Vimeo by JESS3. In addition to providing some really interesting statistics, it was the dynamic way of presenting them that particularly held my attention. Definitely worth watching.

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.

Vygotsky Research Poster

April 7th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

Lev Vygotsky’s theories are become more relevant today than ever before. This poster explores the way that Vygotsky’s fit today particularly with Personal Learning Environments. I made this whilst exploring the best mediums to display data. This poster does currently contain too much information and would be difficult to read if displayed physically. However online the zoom feature on scribd makes it possible to read the information in detail whilst still receiving the overall presentation on the document. It is not necessarily ideal but it is different to the standard blog posts I have previously done. Let me know what you think.

Vygotsky Research

Hans Rosling: Let my dataset change your mindset

April 5th, 2010 by Jo Turner-Attwell

Hans Rosling talk uses visualisation of datasets to show the development pathways countries have taken, and how they may differ from the ideas we have.

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    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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