Intro from Tim
Hi Bronwyn and folks
I hope I'm doing this in the right place...
...I'm sure Bronwyn will move me on if I'm not.
Anyway, this is my fifth course in the Cert, so I'm hoping to be finishing this year, with only the Project to go after this one.
I teach at Manukau Institute of Technology's School of Foundation Studies, which is a bridging education programme for people who wish to pursue tertiary qualifications, but lack the entry criteria. They come to us first, for between one to three semesters, before embarking on the career of their personal choice. I teach communications (which is a fancier way of saying English without the poetry), maths (from time to time), computing (but, only to those to know less than me), and also a course for students who wish to prepare themselves for the Police Entry Test battery.
Enough about me...let's talk about me! I live in the wee town of Papakura (which is looking more like a hotchpotch collection of greater Auckland suburbs every day). I am married to Lisa and have a 13 year old daughter, Jacqui, with another one due in May (I know, it's a big gap, but now Jacqui will be instant baby-sitting material and handy nappy changer - this pleases me). I'm pretty keen on my sport, from the armchair perspective, and the biggest difficulty I face in life is not having Sky TV.
<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://i100.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid100.photobucket.com/albums/m11/caesartim/nerdboywait.flv"> This is me listening to Radio Sport because I don't have Sky.
To answer Bronwyn's question about what interests me about evaluation, what I already know and what I want to learn, I think is that, as we are all users of websites and online tools of various types, we are all evaluaters. We stick with the ones that work for us and ditch those that don't. So, my interest in this course is basically about trying to make sure whatever I may create is high quality, and also creates interest and enjoyment to facilitate repeated use. I look forward to learning more.
At this stage, and after an 'interesting' day that had all the qualities of a Shortland Street script, I have no idea of a project for evaluation, as yet.
Hi Tim, Bronwyn and others,
This is also my fifth paper in the Certificate but I'm now sitting at a computer in Bristol in the UK instead of lovely Pukekohe, south of Auckland. Having returned to Bristol in December (just as the weather was getting nice in NZ!) I'm currently doing supply teaching (relief) with 16-18 year olds studying A levels (equivalent to NCEA Level 2/3) while I search for a new job - hopefully something with an elearning component.
I've always enjoyed using technology as a means of supporting teaching/learning and this course has helped to develop a more thoughtful approach to it. I was taught early in my teacher training to reflect on teaching/learning experiences so that mistakes could be rectified, strengths identified and focussed on. I see this part of the course as a means to being a reflective elearning practitioner. Life long learning in practice!
I live with my husband, Paddy. We're currently in the process of selling a house and buying a new one. After our time living in NZ it feels a bit like setting up from scratch which is a bit odd but it's nice to be closer to friends and family. Missing our kiwi friends but keeping in touch through email.
Until we get settled in our new home I'm using my mum-in-law's computer - so expect some dodgy moments as it's a bit old/slow. Also, I may struggle with synchronous meetings due to the time difference - but will try where possible to be there.
Thought I'd copy Tim and include a link - it's a YouTube funny - Funny Cat Cartoon
This is my blog link.
Hi Tim, Yvonne, Bronwyn and everyone else on the course,
This is my first paper on the certificate (was meant to start last July but it's a long story...). Have just arrived at work with a very strong coffee, first of the day. I sit in front of a computer all day long so technology doesn't faze me but does sometimes flummox me! I did my first blog yesterday for this course but am pretty sure it's not just supposed to sit there in isolation... any hints welcome.
I work in Christchurch, near the city centre but live in South Brighton right on the beach. I'm originally from the NE of Scotland and have lived in NZ for nearly 7 years - and love it.
Anyway, just wanted to say hello and that I look forward to "meeting" you all very soon.
All the best
Hello Lesley I have really enjoyed reading your blog - great work getting it up so quickly - hopefully you have got your settings so you get an alert when comments are left. We have a Brighton here in Dunedin also by a beach and what a wonderful summer we are having. The last trip to a beach I took the dogs on ended in hilarity after they drank too much sea water chasing a ball. Luckily the accidents happened before we got in the car but not so good for the observers on the beach.
You are right- the idea of the blogs is that they will become another medium for communication - and not sit in isolation. The primary communication mode I am hoping as people start reading them and leaving comments.
All the participant blogs are going to be linked on the course blog so people have ready access and if I can figure it out I will add an RSS feed so whenever people make a new post it will feed into the course blog and alert us. You can of course set up your own RSS feed to blogs on bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/)- if you want.
Good to have a geographic mix - Papakura, Auckland; Christchurch and Bristol, UK - not that it makes any difference. But we already have a global element to our class interactions.
I was interested to read about some of your thoughts about evaluation on your blog. Bronwyn
Hello Yvonne great to meet you again. It looks like you and Tim will be graduating together. Yes the weather here has been hot this summer and dry down south - you would have loved cycling in it. ah the time difference - I will have to bear that in mind next time - I can't see 4pm (3am UK) suiting you and the 1215 (1115pm UK) one might be stretching it too. I am impressed at your perseverance in studying the course using a borrowed computer.
I just love the cat cartoon - reminds me so much of my youngest kitty, adopted from our daughter who moved flats and wasn't allowed pets - she brought her up to expect masses of cuddling. My solution - cuddles before lights out and then she gets to sleep in her own bed or go on night time adventures. Otherwise my husband and I would end up with claws hanging off us - she loves to play.
We might have to be creative finding an evaluation project if you are between jobs - perhaps an investigation of the need for innovative eLearning approaches in schools at A level - this would require a look at what is currently happening and the issues? Great to see your blog is restarted. Bronwyn
Hello Tim Yes it is exactly the right place. Good on you for starting us off. At the moment I am sitting here trying to compose a message surrounded by chickens screeching outside the office window and under the house - so many eggs to lay! I like the sound of your interest in quality - that is what we are about here.
It sounds like you wont have much time for lounging watching sport soon, but hey, bubbies love to be cuddled so I guess you might have to jostle your 13 yr old for the couch and the baby so you can pretend to watch sport on Sky. Great illustration using the animation. I recall being a 13 yr old sister to a new sister and cannot remember doing much nappy changing. :-) However when I was 15 yrs old I got very adept at bribing my baby sister to keep quiet about my boyfriend helping babysit....she was not good at secrets! :(
Lots of opportunities for evaluation in a Foundation studies course - I would be interested to find out what sort of approaches you are taking - blended, online, technologies? Are you planning to introduce any new strategies this semester or learning objects? You may be interested in an online module on essay writing at: http://oil.otago.ac.nz - it can be modified to suit your purposes - details are on the website. One of the courses at Otago Polytechnic is using it in a Foundation course on academic communication. Looking forward to the lightbulbs going off. Bronwyn