Freedom Wheelchair

Last December I wrote about a wonderful scheme called Freedom Wheels.

I have been thinking a lot about the possibilities afforded by the scheme.

To my great delight I heard about a different set of freedom wheels this morning.

Stella Young was a guest on Radio National’s Life Matters program. The Life Matters website has a podcast of the interview with the great title A Wheelchair Named Desire.

Stella has had the same wheelchair for seventeen years “but it is not without regret that she must let it go for a new one”. In the interview she speaks about her personal relationship to her wheelchair and what it means for those who need wheelchairs to have adequate care and funding”.

The interview was a wonderfully clear sharing of the freedom wheelchairs offer to their owners and a daunting discussion about the affordability of the technology that makes such freedom possible.

Photo Credit

Ramp Up website

Becoming Social

This post started with someone sharing this flow diagram with me:

I have not eaten bacon for twenty years but the diagram made complete sense to me … apart from not having a dog called Dante (what a great name for a dog).

In terms of being social:

  • Someone sent the flow chart to me
  • They thought I would find it amusing
  • I sent it on to some friends thinking that they might find it amusing.

The friends I wrote to liked the flow chart and sent it on to their friends. I researched the origin of the diagram (Miss Fipi Lele, 2007) and found a link to a post in February 2009. I have asked my friends to acknowledge the origins of the diagram if they use it.

I last read Harold Garfinkel’s Studies in Ethnomethodology just before I stopped eating bacon but the flow chart brought back memories of his work (a clear case of synesthesia). I am particularly interested in how we become social and I liked Garfinkel’s approach to how we make sense of the world.

Whilst pondering bacon and ethnomethodology I listened to a delightful Life Matters program on Radio National. In the course of a one hour program, Richard Aedy explored:

All three stories shared insights about social behaviour through the eyes of three remarkable people: Gordian Fulde, Deborah Rhode and Mireille Guilano. Their insights affirmed for me Garfinkel’s approach to life worlds. Each understood their social being in ways that provide astute observations for those interested in shared meanings.

Photo Credits

Bacon Flowchart
A woman painting a view of the Shenandoah Valley

Pedagogy, Principles and the Personal

It has been a great week of discovery for me.

I share four resources here:

Stephen Downes posted his presentation on Pedagogical Foundation for Personal Learning. His summary of the talk is:

In this talk I outline the differences between learning using a personal learning environment (PLE) and learning in an LMS. I argue that a PLE does what an LMS cannot do – it is designed to stimulate learning through an immersion into a community, as opposed to learning via presentation of facts. Pedagogy thus becomes the facilitation of skills for participation in such communities, which I tie to my critical literacy framework.

Slide 25 (of 40):

After reading and listening to Stephen’s presentation I had the good fortune to hear a rebroadcast of a Radio National Life Matters broadcast with Lisa Sanders. She is a technical adviser to the TV program House. (“She’s the brains behind many of the fascinating medical cases you see on the program.” She is passionate about the ‘art’ of diagnosis and the place of physical examination in taking a patient’s case. She is the author of Every Patient Tells a Story.

My trawl through my Twitter feeds found a delightful post by Heather Mason.

She observes that:

While I am not really tech deprived, I’m also not on any list to get a 1:1 classroom, a set of handhelds or any type of interactive anything. I teach in Florida…we’re broke. We make due. So in defiance of the creed that tech is here to stay, I offer 8 indispensible tools that every classroom needs.

These tools are:

  • Post-It Notes
  • Highlighters
  • Notecards
  • Clipboards
  • Personal Whiteboards
  • An Easy Button
  • Large Plastic Tubs
  • Cleaning Supplies

I really enjoyed Heather’s post and liked her follow up post about her attendance at FETC.

Each of these three links gave me an opportunity to celebrate the personal in learning. Just as I was thinking about writing about them I found  a link to David Brake’s thesis in the LSE Library. David’s thesis is entitled ‘As if nobody’s reading’?: the imagined audience and socio-technical biases in personal blogging practice in the UK. With some trepidation I point to a section of David’s abstract:

(Firstly) a blogger’s construction of the meaning of their practice can be based as much on an imagined and desired social context as it is on an informed and reflexive understanding of the communicative situation. Secondly, blogging practices include a variety of envisaged audience relationships, and some blogging practices appear to be primarily self-directed with potential audiences playing a marginal role. Blogging’s technical characteristics and the social norms surrounding blogging practices appear to enable and reinforce this unanticipated lack of engagement with audiences.

His abstract underscored for me the personal focus of this post … the opportunities each of us has to make sense of rich personal lives and documented reality.

Photo Credits

MorBCN llibreria

Foxypar4 Please read instructions before opening

Heather Mason An Easy Button

Tom Stardust Ponte Veccio – Crowd