Learning Journal Activity 13

Activity 13: Significant new technologies

Timing: 4 hours
Technology How long used for educational purposes
by my organisation by me
Mobile learning in pockets very much, convenient, BYOD know how so low support, supported by VLE, content can be created that is reponsive rather than adaptive (Horizon 2019)
Analytics technologies minimal very much, to pesonalise the delivery of nudges or microlearning for Tricky topics or those identified (Horizon 2019)
Artificial intelligence no Not sure – privacy isn’t sorted see blog on AI talk
Blockchain no Yes, to support micro-crendtially, student and staff records reducing a mountain of admin, lost documents
Virtual assistants no not fond in my experience annoying – by time I have googled and ask they offer very basic info I already found myself – perhaps for new staff/student induction
  • From the table above, decide which three technologies (that are not already being used) you would like your organisation to adopt, and justify your suggestions. If you are working for an organisation that already uses all the technologies listed, suggest other new technologies that would be useful. If you are not currently working for an organisation, think of an organisation you know well and choose three technologies you would like them to adopt, justifying your choices.
  • Record your thoughts in your learning journal/blog. Remember to include the justification for your decision.
  • Discuss your views in the appropriate thread in your tutor group forum.


Artificial Intelligence for Public Good

Samantha Bennett and I went along to @helenmargetts from the Turing Institute and Mansfield College, Oxford talk on ‘AI for Public Good’ talk at Oxford last night and it was really interesting. The key point for me was that GOOD data is really really important. The old saying “Garbage in, garbage out” is so critical for it to work well. If the data is biased and racist from years of LA policemen entering it, then any AI predictions will ALSO be biased and predict the wrong conclusions! If a Robot drops a person or Driverless cars can make mistakes – who is responsible? Do they look after children in the car on the way to school? Many data sets don’t include women’s’ point of view either and inclusion will ultimately make AI most useful.


Well done Greg Jennings for getting all the audio running smoothly 

Mind mapping 4 Learning Theories

Sounds simple right? Not if you want to do it digitally. The reason: I started on a double A4 drawing notebook and quickly ran out of space and couldn’t move things.

My goal this year is to study paperless (another blog and more to come). It doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally grab a notebook so I can journal in a cafe but I find it really annoying not to have them all in one place. Cloud services that autosave and can keep everything at your fingertips so convenient. It is also searchable so if I need to find my notes from that course I took 3 months ago – on Mind mapping and the list of tool the awesome instructor Dominik Lukes Blog Digiknow (http://digiknow.sbsblogs.co.uk/) I can search all my folders on the laptop and the cloud in 2 minutes I found it on my desktop – doh!

I thought I might try using Word or Powerpoint because they now support drawing. I don’t have a touchscreen laptop and the finger method is pretty clumsy. On the iPad  the screen didn’t respond the way I hoped. How many times do you try and try on one stupid box and then give up? This is my most latest final – oops of course you can’t open the Word or PDF file on the laptop  if you created it on the iPad Word app grrrrr….  you have to take a screenshot of it on the iPad to actually share it????? So annoying and this is a PDF! If I wanted to send it to a classmate to collaborate they could not make changes – very very bad. This could be a really really engaging activity for small groups online!!!!! But how can you make everyone use the same device (cost) and software if not Office365 or Google Apps (cost) – Answer: you can’t.

Action: I will test google docs drawing tools.

4 Learning Theories mindmap LAPTOP Word
Screenshot of Mindmap on laptop Word file
4 Learning Theories Mindmap Word ipad
Screenshot of Mindmap from iPad Word app

That’s more like it but what a faff!  There was no template in the app (or Powerpoint) to create a mind map, believe me, I did try text boxes (which were really annoying to move on the tablet). Maybe it is an update but the touch action is laggy and not responsive, doesn’t select what I tap, when moving or trying to place the cursor to edit text it ignores my intention, selects whole words and won’t put the insertion point where I want it.

So I search YouTube videos and found a couple free templates to get the job done and post this stupid thing after a week of delays and other priorities getting in the way.  I was seriously constrained by the number of boxes but made it work since it was to revise key points but will keep looking. Dominik suggested xmind, coggle (advertises as free but not), imindmap, mindjet, freemind (open source complex). I stumbled on GitMind and will try it.

Annoyingly halfway through the text I had painstakingly written on the in green using the Apple Pencil 1 (bought cheap off eBay and iPad Pro) started pixelating and became elligible! That is why the name says copy copy copy copy – I went back to do it over and over to get it looking right.  Writing on a tablet is also a learning process. One of the Youtubers called Paperless Student (of course 😉 mentioned using a screen film that makes is less glassy feeling. I may try that – her digital penmanship is a delight to read. She is a medical student and several of the other tutorials I watched were also medical students – hmmmm good company me thinks.

Learning Journal H817 – Going ‘Paperless’ is it possible? 8 Feb

I seriously hope so this time around!

In my previous course in 2017, I had planned to go paperless and use the iPad or iPhone to study on the go. They are smaller and lighter and can even be used if standing on the bus or train. Honestly, what a shock – I found it so difficult that my H818 project was born out of my frustration (it was a huge success for me and there are blog posts for the Mobile Apps Study Guide – type keywords into the Search box to find them).

My studies and sanity suffered that year and I ended up printing stuff, but it was never where I was when I had a few minutes to spare or writing up (plus it was full of coffee stains and ragged and heavy). Being more organised is one of my top 5 goals for 2020 to save time and stress! When you are a mature student working full-time and have a family life you have to squeeze study into every spare minute during the day cause you get tired by 9-10pm! I found it impossible to cram it all into the weekend and have a life. Another blog will describe my solution, stay tuned.

Perhaps any tablet and smartphone can do the job but Apple costs a bit more for a reason. For the most part they work out the bugs but to make a seamless user experience and due to its limited customising they can control what 3rd party developer dish out. This is their marketing and my personal preference. Yes, I get annoyed sometimes but everything has trade offs right?

Warning – I am an Apple champion and if you can live with their ‘eco-system’ (which is not without issues) tech life is a lot easier. Everything to do with technology takes time (especially printing) and more than you think it should. If you use it for a many of things, i.e. work, school, hobbies and ‘work from home’ sometimes, you don’t have to be a technical network geek to connect from anywhere and find all your stuff (if you save it in an organised way and in the one cloud storage). If you’re like me and tried to use all the free space on iCloud, Dropbox, and Google drive you might end up in a mess (when one got full I shifted to the next free one). I no longer have to buy text books so I pay for a few good apps and cloud storage.

However, if you like getting under the hood and tinkering for hours or days to fix incompatibility errors, battling with Windows and Microsoft then go forth and prosper ;-). For most of us life is busy and I want my tech to sort of be fun. That shouldn’t sound stupid. And the price arguement, I’ve noticed top end androids are also £900 plus. The best small PC laptops are also similar in price to Apple. My strategy is to buy good second hand, keep them till they die and I have had great luck because they are so well made they last for years (today anyway – hopefully now that Steve Jobs is sadly gone it doesn’t change).

iCloud also storage got very cheap in recent years which has helped a lot. I pay £2.99/mo. for 200GBs! and it works with every device and in a browser for hybrid/occasional PC use so I gave up the others except for a few shared docs. Office365 is now a contender but I just didn’t like OneNotes when they got large. I couldn’t remember what folder or tab they were in and the names were squashed and the search was just ok. The apps on the mobile didn’t play nice with the full version and the online ones are not fully featured. I do try to be agnostic and open minded.

So setting up paperless is my mission this week. I had Evernote free for a few years now. Like so many apps, it’s ok for random stuff, lists, web clips, scanning pages here and there but it’s PDF annotation is crap. No handwriting support even though the device has it built in! You can highlight (essential), type text boxes (ok, but I want to write my notes so I can quickly see what are my thoughts and stopping the flow to open a text box and type accurately is not great), can add arrows (so what) and green ticks (don’t care) but no hand drawn circles (essential – a quick way to indicate good vocabulary words or an author’s name in the text) and no ‘notes to self’ in the margins. Terrible.

iBooks and iNotes are also OK-ish but don’t combine notes, highlights plus written annotations. This is a deal breaker for paperless. The video below by ‘Paperless Student’ is a good general overview and starting point. The ‘Paperless Student’ also has a number of comparison videos on YouTube that I found informative.


This is a work in progress, I have jumped and bought Notability today and teaching myself how to get the most out of it. It allows imports of Cornell notes template – ah-ma-zing! A little sting, to have searching in hand written notes is an add-on purchase of $2. It is worth a lot more, years ago text OCR was hundreds of £’s. And it isn’t a annual subscription, just a one time purchase – that is rare and really good. (You do have to buy another app to use it on the Mac laptop because the OS is completely different so fair enough).

I have seen many references that hand write notes, (I will find the links on this) promote better retention because it slows one down and allows reflection as you process. Chris Parks mentions it in the Learning Journal article. I find this true for me and I can quickly see what is the ‘article’ and what are my thoughts. Additionally, I was really surprised at how much it helps me improve my spelling. I am a poor speller and realised that copy and paste doesn’t force me to ‘see’ words in full, I glance at them as an image. (Perhaps that’s why I am a visual artist!)

Hope this wasn’t too long and rambling but I was so interested in sharing the full picture and who knows, I could change my mind if the alternatives improve their game!

Learning Journal H817 – ‘Minds on Fire’ Feb. 6

Minds on Fire: by John Seely Brown and Richard Adler

I love this article. When I started MAODE I had none of this vocabulary and felt so out of my depth. The best part about the OpenU model is how they through everyone in together and the various skills and backgrounds are a gift to someone!

Below are my notes on the Brown article and an experiment with digital notes tested I free Notes Writer (£14.99 for premium). I have a ne blog post on the my research. In the Search box type ‘paperless’.

Brown notes pg1.png

Brown notes pg2.png

Brown Mind on Fire notes PDF

I am tech-savvy and I am experimenting with going paperless (as much as possible) for this module. Be warned, it can be very frustrating though. This fact is odd since I am a traditional artist but the Apple Mac got me hooked a long time ago. Being busy and often studying on the bus struggle with the printed copies of articles, they get rumbled in my bag and seem to be somewhere else, and not with me when I want them. Now that cloud storage is cheaper and I found a used Apple pencil, keeping my notes digitally is very attractive. They should be in my H817 iCloud folder… The job of getting them accessible from the tablet app to the desktop is proving a bit frustrating. I saved them to Evernote. It has a PDFs that shows the correct thumbnail image but the actual file download is one I created today…. so much for a free trial! I will find the notes and get back to you.

Thus far my research has lead me to annotate this article with a tablet and electronic pencil rather than typing.

“In the study published in Psychological Science, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles sought to test how note-taking by hand or by computer affects learning.

“When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can,” Mueller tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective — because you can’t write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them.”

I found this true for me as I struggle with spelling and glance at words – writing them made me see each letter.

I tested free Note Writer. It has mixed results; getting used to writing on glass, adjusting the pressure takes a little practice. I am nearly ready to buy Notability after watching quite a few comparison videos on YouTube. The Paperless Student is very good if you are interested I plan to print them for an archive I keep at home that I could type up if the digital versions go missing!

Found it, maybe I was tired and didn’t save it when I tested Evernote… VERY IMPORTANT to save in the same place not randomly in Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud so when you go to find it later it is quick!


Learning Journal article – H817 Chris Parks – Feb 1

Chris Parks 2003
“The learning journal is much more than just a log of what was being covered in the course, because producing it is a learning experience in itself… the very act of writing the journal is much more important (certainly to the writer) than the finished product. Some of the more interesting journals made a virtue out of this, by documenting how the student’s thoughts and understandings changed through time.’
  • noting specific points or ideas contained in the material to follow up later
  • making a comment or observation on the material, which you might share with others
  • noting something that you don’t understand or need further help with
  • doing further research and storing information related to the material in one place
  • using the journal as a study diary and sharing your experience of studying with other students.”
I have started with this long quote because it so completely captures the essence of why this tool is so valuable. In my previous modules I was invited to ‘blog’. Now the word blog is a complete turn-off, why does it have to sound like a blob of goo? Also, if I’m honest I was a bit of a tech snob. If it didn’t look like a polished website I wasn’t interested. I also didn’t have much time for reflection at the either. I work full-time and had started a new demanding management role so I wanted to be spoon-fed my course via video lecture I suppose.
HOWEVER, I promised myself I would cheerfully (grumble grumble) try everything and was really amazed how much I engjoyed it when I let go of ‘perfectionism’ (can anyone relate? and BTW, you can check your stats in WP and almost no one ever looked at it so I stopped worrying).
I came to appreciate that a blog can be many things depending on the ‘voice’ and a learning journal is how we can use it on our courses. I choose to have mine in WordPress so it doesn’t go in the bin when I finish. Martin Weller wrote a whole book from his collection of posts! http://blog.edtechie.net/
Of course it was years later that he realised he created his own goldmine!)

One-minute blog: Steel 1 March 2020

Yesterday I was suddenly aware of how grateful I am for the invention of steel and the humble plyers.

Plyers IMG_5540

I had a bottle of nail polish that was impossible to open. I walk over to my tool drawer, without hardly thinking about it, pulled out a plyers and twisted open in 2 seconds! OMG – what a great invention I thought. Only a few hundred years ago this was made possible, maybe 18th c. ?

Now of course no one cared about nail polish before that but think of all the other things we can do with small hand tools made of steel. It is fantastic. Being female and lacking the brute upper body arm strength of most men,  I often have to use combined physics principles using levers of timber or all four of my limbs to move, lift or man-handled some object. Today I used the simple ‘plyers’!

And the manicure turned out fab too 🙂

One-minute blog – it was keyhole – so marvellous darling! 👏

I am so very grateful to live in the UK where we have universal health care and an operation doesn’t bankrupt a family.

I am recovering from a full hysterectomy which I am full of more gratitude and praise for my surgeons who did the whole thing via keyhole. Turns out sometimes after they start it isn’t possible and rather than wake you and put you through recovery only to go back in we discussed it before hand. Of course it was my first question when I woke up. What a bleeping miracle!!!!!

The biopsy came back negative and I am cancer free and future proof with no ovaries (silent killer) or cervix.

One-minute blog – Thinking, Worry, Anxiety & Mindfulness 😌

One minute blog


Listening to Dr. Judson Brewer, author of The Craving Mind, yesterday was life changing. You can also look him up on TED.

He was talking about how our brains are “thinking machines” (an evolutionary survival strategy) always on autopilot, taking us hostage! Hmmm, we have a choice…🙃

Worry is a mask for fear and becomes a habit that results in anxiety. It is an evolutionary problem solving effort to predict the future. By detaching and mindfulness we can stop, observe our thoughts with compassion, and feel more calm.

Change your mind with your mind” (another great book on brain science).

It’s working – ahhhh 💓