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No, for once, not coffee. I’ve half a dozen blog posts in my head, as usual, and need to be writing an essay on Aquinas and the common good, but while I was researching some uptodate thinking on it, I found this and need to share. On Saturday morning, I was at the latter half of the Cathedral’s Prisons Week seminar, on addictions and rehabilitation.

There was a great presentation from 4Real, a jointly commissioned service that doesn’t reach quite to my side of Gateshead next year, and also a fascinating paper by Prof Chris Cook more…

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…don’t lose faith.”

Steve Jobs talking to Stanford students. Sometimes dropping out allows the space to drop in on what will be key to your life – though you probably won’t be able to connect the dots until you do it in hindsight. Love what you do – keep looking for what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t settle for something. Knowing you’ll be dead soon helps to make you make the most of life. In the face of death, ensure that your life speaks of your love for it. Your time is limited, so don’t live someone else’s life. Don’t let someone’s views influence your internal voice when you are called to something else. more…

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is the phrase we normally use for plagiarising. Except that it stands alone as well. I wrote more than once on our work blog about trying to shift from death by powerpoint to the kind of inspirational presentation that you kind of know is gonna be a great presentation even before you hear/without being able to hear the actual delivery of it. more…

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I’m a visual learner (need to know what you are?). One of the things about the accessibility legislation over the years has been that people have been turned off thinking about doing things different ways, and it has taken quite a long time for inclusive design to begin to win through – that providing alternatives is good for all students. Richard Mayer is good to read on multi-media learning.

Nottingham University have produced this video, unscientifically, they say, but as it’s real student views, that’ll do for me. It’s a bit of a take off of Mike Wesch, but I hope he sees that as flattery.  This collection of views – and I realise that I like the term ‘views’ even though when I first saw this video it was entitled ‘Student Voice’, which is what we are concerned about currently in HE, but since it’s about visual learning (not necessarily audio) perhaps ‘view’ is appropriate…Anyway <digress>, it’s good to see/hear students telling us what we’ve been trying to tell staff!

And then I watched one of Sugata Mitra’s TED talks. He made me laugh out loud at a couple of points and I wish I’ve managed to see him live. He shows how inventive and creative children can be when you have them working in small groups and you give them a computer (and the internet). I couldn’t get away from thinking what would happen if you brought him and Greg Mortensen together. Am not sure the one research the one active thing would work, but the shared passion to change the world I think would have plenty to talk about if they had time for the third cup of tea. I guess people will worry about how this is training (!?) kids to rely (!?) on google/wikipedia, but still, something powerful to say and to be heard. Obviously, there’s the old chestnut of throwing down a gauntlet which he uses clearly to great effect, and I just loved the granny strategy –  but how true, and how sad that this is one of the great losses in our modern progressiveed culture that has moved away from our parents so that granny clouds is all many of our children have.

I remember an article on BBC morning programme years and years ago about a northern French establishment which was both a nursery and a day centre for older people, and how the parents who felt guilty at working fulltime and not being near their own parents thought it was great and how the older people whose grandchildren they hardly ever got to see both saw the beauty in having a space where the children could be told stories or played with at nursery in a phenomenally rich way. I’ve never forgotten it.

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