Posted by: MandyS | April 6, 2013

Block 2, Weeks 8 and 9

It seems an eternity since I was last here but that is perhaps because it is. The reason; well I suppose life catching up with me. Had marking to do, my daughter to organise in her various activities, my mum to move in and out of her flat twice whilst she is redecorated and recarpeted, Easter, and, of course, work. I thought  the activities for these two weeks being more practical would mean less pressure in getting them done. How wrong could I be.

Activity 1 involved having a wander around Cloudworks, gaining a badge and setting up a cloud before embarking on a design narrative. Simple enough but not when the unexpected happens. Newbies are moderated (or at least some are) and of course it had to be me! So any chance of getting a design narrative done early doors when I had the time were nil.

Activity 2a choose two models, review them and compare them to your own. Easy enough but again, not when the unexpected happens. Activity 2a and 2b is adapted into one; the result? the group going into overdrive trying to  set up meetings etc. to decide on two models to review as a group. Why? 2b doesn’t ask for this, only a wiki to determine an overview of the models from the perspective of the group members i.e. do we all hold the same view about the same models, would we use them for the same things. So a simple activity becomes a time-constricted students’ nightmare. And what have I learned about design so far, nothing really other than it can be made far more complicated than it needs to be. The models, in essence, are glorified lesson plans produced by those that have plenty of time to do so. Not that I don’t like the visuals but, in reality, if they are going to be useful, they need to be succinct and easily understood. Any that had more than a few arrows I discounted as just being far too complicated to be of any use to me.

Activity 4; well what can I say. The software downloads for some and not others. But guess what? yes, I was one of the others. So Java uninstalled and reinstalled twice and Compendium finally working, I embarked on translating my own learning design into it. What a fantastic piece of software for creating a visualisation of learning design – but what rubbish instructions. The most useful icon for me is the web one used in the example but can I find out how to get it into mine or even how to embed a link to a webpage, can I… So I just spent a very frustrated morning being unable to complete yet another activity. I am not even going to attempt Activity 5 as no doubt that will have inherent problems, if not for others, most definitely it will for me. I am beginning to wonder whether pen and paper is a much better alternative to this whole use of technology thing. Its good when it works, but when it doesn’t…

I had hoped to get week 9 done during the break week as its holiday time next week and I am really ready for a break but it has just not been possible. I am more than tempted to give these weeks a miss now altogether and move on to something, hopefully, much more constructive. And that’s rather rich given I was looking forward to the ‘hands on’ approach.



  1. Amanda, I like your honesty in your blog, i also had a good few aaaaah moments during week 8/9! Avril

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