A few thoughts and ideas

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 4

A few more photos of Bude’s main beach (Summerleaze).

Beach huts overlooking Summerleaze Beach at Bude.
Barrel Rock from the base of the Ocean Pool
Another angle of Barrel Rock from the rocks at the base of the Bude Ocean Pool.
A rock, Bude Breakwater and Compass Point in the distance
Ebbingford Manor, my accomodation during my stay.
This is Upper Tamar Lake, I used to do fly-fishing for trout at the lake when I was a teenager. On the first weekend at Bude, I did the Tamar Lake Park Run – it was freezing and windy.

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 3

During my trip I took a few landscape photos around Bude. The next couple of posts will contain a few of my attempts.

Near Bude’s breakwater is Whale Rock, named for obvious reasons.

Taking photos around the beaches and headlands was a trial with strong gusty winds causing significant vibration. The lighting was also difficult with cloud cover taking a lot of colour from the scenes.

This is where the river and mouth of the Bude Canal meet. Photo taken at low tide.
This was taken from above the previous photo. This is the arm for the last canal lock.
Crab and lobster fishing are active industries for the area.
Barrel Rock at the end of Bude’s breakwater. See the seat for scale.
A view of the Bude breakwater.
The Compass Point building looking out to Lundy Island.
Another view of Compass Point and Lundy in the distance.

On the day I took these photos, I walked from Bude along the downs toward Widemouth Bay. I didn’t get far though as the strong wind was bringing a few significant squalls and the light was fading. After a few hundred metres I turned around and returned to Bude. I didn’t escape getting soaked, but only on one side due to the wind.

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 2

Toward the end of my trip, I visited my brother Ray and his wife Shirley and two of their grown up kids. Another brother, Dez and his kids visited Ray and Shirley also. Dez had come down for a quick visit to catch up with all of us for Christmas and my visit.

As much of the family as could be fitted in Ray and Shirley’s kitchen.

It was great to see them all. As mentioned in Part 1, I caught up with my sister and her family on a different day during my trip. The only brother I didn’t see was Ed who, like me, lives in Australia with his wife Caroline and their children.

Here are some photos of the time I spent with Ray and Shirley, some of their kids – George and Ed (with Ed’s partner Jade); Dez, along with Callum, Annie and Tom; and our mum, Peta, and brother Matthew.

Dez telling us all about it at the table.
Mum, Dez, Annie, Callum, Tom and me.
Annie and Dez
The four eldest with Mum, Peta
& remembering our Dad, Albert, who died 30 years ago.
Dez and Annie
Dez and Callum (Taller than me!!)
Jade and Ed
Ed and Jade
Ray & Shirley with George and Ed
George in his usual corner!
Our Mum
Tom and Dez

It was a nice afternoon, I then said my goodbyes to Dez, Callum, Annie and Tom (I was leaving the next day). Luckily though I got one last hug the next day as Dez and kids turned up while I was visiting to say goodbye to Ray, Shirley, George, Ed and Jade, prior to having lunch with Mum and Matthew and then driving to London in preparation for my return flight.

Part 3 will have some more general photos of my trip.

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 1

In December I visited the UK particularly to see my mum but also to catch up with some of my brothers, my sister and their families.

It was great to go on a couple of trips with my brother Matthew, it reminded me of when we were kids and Matthew and I used to walk or bicycle to local fishing spots.

The following are a few photos of my trip – they are in the order I processed them and not necessarily the order I took them.

Matthew and me at Hartland Point.

I got to catch up with my sister and her family.

Sylvia and Mike in their new house with our Mum and the kids.

It rained a lot in Cornwall during my stay but some days had a bit of sun. On one of these sunnier days Matthew, Mum and I went for a drive to Crackington Haven. We stopped for a photo of Widemouth Bay. Here is Matthew attempting, in a raging wind (which was freezing), to take a photo.

Matthew taking photos and Mum (very sensibly) in the car.

This was what we were seeing.

It was blowing a gale and here is my very sensible mum snug in the car – the reflection is me getting jostled and pushed by the wind.

Earlier in the week, first full day in Bude (the nearest town to my mum’s house), I went for a walk. I re-familiarised myself with Summerleaze Beach, the Breakwater, Ocean Pool and the Canal.

A photo taken on a windy December day across the Bude beach, river mouth toward the Ocean Pool and Crooklets Beach in the distance. Photo taken from the headland above the Breakwater and Barrel Rock (on left with steps and pole).

More to follow as I develop my photos.

Neuromyths and wasting effort in education

The following is related to an article contained in a newsletter from the Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) organisation. (Find the document here ).

As parents and professional educators, we all try to do the best for our children. However, we can sometimes find ourselves using methods that seem sensible but which have little or no provable benefit. Some of these methods and approaches can seem well accepted, both by the general population and specifically by educators, when they and their benefits are actually myths. Read More

Happy New Year 2018

This is Wellington Point in Queensland at sunrise on New Year’s Day 2018. Although the jetty is a popular local photo location, New Year’s Day sunrise is not really the time to take the ‘best’ shot. The jetty and foreshore is often teeming with sightseers and fellow photographers all wanting that first shot of the year.

Anyway, this is my attempt. The photo is processed from the camera’s RAW file (a RAW file is the format that is equivalent to a film negative) using a program called Darktable.  This is an ‘open source’ and free RAW photo editor that has recently been ported to Windows. Darktable is a wonderful piece of software with a different approach to many RAW editors such as Lightroom (Adobe).

I learned to use Darktable when I was using Linux as my operating system for most of last year. At that time Darktable was only available on Linux and on Mac operating systems. Unfortunately, most of my work requires (or is more convenient when using) the Windows operating system, consequently I reloaded Windows on my home computer and stopped using Darktable. With the software now available on Windows, I can now resume using Darktable.

Good  luck and best wishes to all for 2018.

 

 

Inquiry Learning and Habits of Mind

I think, therefore I'm dangersous

Image by John Eisenschenk https://flic.kr/p/fiDzZh

Over the last several months, my College has been working on ways to support student engagement, enduring understanding, and looking at ways to serve our students more effectively as they face a rapidly changing and unknown future as workers, learners and members of society. As a result, we are now building a teaching and learning approach which includes all the most effective and relevant parts of Inquiry Learning, Habits of Mind, Growth Mindset and many of the principles and methods presented by Marzano and his associates.

We have considered the pedagogical continuum that stretches from the most teacher-centric models of education through to the most student-centred methods of teaching and learning in the Primary and Secondary setting.

Read More

Is gamification the answer? Maybe, maybe not.

A recent blog post was shared to me by a colleague. The short article stated that students are learning incorrectly and that gamification would improve student learning if used throughout education. See here for the online article from Futurism.com called ‘The way that students learn today is wrong‘.

The article makes the case that the stages that gamers follow in solving problems is akin to the scientific approach. This may be so, however, my initial response is to say that Read More

The AltSchool Initiative – Algorithms in Education

Image: https://pixabay.com/p-908168

A colleague of mine recently sent me this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40485293 which presents a short movie clip showing the AltSchool initiative. This is a thought provoking piece.

AltSchool is developing a model of education that relies on modern technology to bring about tailored programs of instruction. The system marries sophisticated algorithms, resource development and adaptive instructional programs. It utilises algorithms that track student progress through ongoing formal, but predominantly formative, assessment and the use of quality teacher- and child-actionable feedback, built in to the learning process.  This is supported by the development and presentation of tailored resources, activities, assessment and experiences. Read More

First edit in Darktable

New Year's Day Sunrise

New Year’s Day Sunrise

Just for kicks, I decided to upgrade my computer so it can boot into Windows and Linux (Ubuntu). I use Adobe Lightroom for processing my photos under Windows, I wanted to try Darktable which is only available for Mac and Linux. This is my first Darktable edit. It isn’t brilliant but it still looks like the scene I pointed my camera at!

The picture is of the first sunrise of the year.

In Darktable I used parametric masking – which Lightroom doesn’t do in any great way – to adjust saturation, exposure and contrast. I also used colour reconstruction which is quite good, it allows you to put back colour in areas that are ‘blown out’, for example the disk of the sun.