Media and AMORES

Elsewhere on this site you can read more about the AMORES project – it’s an EU project about encouraging a love of literature in students through content creation. I’ve not really worked with learner-generated content before, but after putting together a literature review on the pedagogy of it, have become really excited about the potential (I know – that’s entirely nerdy of me, becoming excited because of the theory rather than by actually seeing some examples of people actually doing stuff). Creation sits at the top of Bloom’s taxonomy, the higher order learning skills it encourages build on and therefore incorporate all the others (I’m talking about the revised taxonomy now – the original one seems horribly dated to me – I like this: http://www.techlearning.com/showArticle.php?articleID=196605124) Seeing the videos the children are creating to introduce their schools is also a lot of fun. I’m feeling the urge to join in, although compared to the pool tables, gyms, saunas, concert halls etc. in their videos I’m not sure what I could show them. “This is the sofa-bed I work on – it’s in bed mode at the moment to provide enough room for me and all my notes to lie on. These are my cats. You will hear them if you ever do a phoneconference with me because they take it on themselves to purr down the receiver. Here is my coffee machine. This is the closest thing I have to a deity in my life.” Not quite so enthralling.

From a media point of view this post http://bblat.se/nyheter/koping/1.2496576-amores-ska-oka-elevers-lust-att-lasa shows how effective getting local media interested in your project can be – it’s a great photo, and also some excellent quotes from the teachers involved (thank you Chrome translate). Hopefully the other four schools involved in the project can do a similar thing and I can post those here too. I suppose I could go through Coventry Uni (my employer on the project) and do something similar, but I don’t think a photo of me on the sofa-bed would carry the same weight somehow.

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First sight

This weekend’s Daily Post is called “First Sight” (Whether a person, a pet, an object, or a place, write about something or someone you connected with from the very first second) http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/first-sight/
I have two cats – one is a Russian Blue called Sina, the other an Egyptian Mau called Pasht. I’d had pets before, but not really deliberately gone out and chosen one. We had a family pet for a while when I was young, a dog when I lived in Seychelles who adopted me (she was a stray who lived around the block of flats I lived in and after I fed her she moved in, bringing her puppies with her), and a cat that I inherited when my friend emigrated to New Zealand. Meeting Sina was the first time I’d actually gone out and sought a pet. The idea of getting a cat was my ex’s. We’d split up and she’d known how much I’d loved my cat Gizmo (even though she died a few within a year of me owning her). I think she thought if I got a cat as a companion I’d be less inclined to relapse into needing her as a companion again. I went through lists of cat breeds and decided that Russian Blue was the one for me, found some breeders in the GCCF website and checked which ones near me had a litter due in the next few months.

I was the first of the people who’d booked a cat to go round there. Some people had been further up the waiting list than me, and had already said what sexes and how many they wanted, but they hadn’t chosen specific cats. I wanted to pick one out. Arriving there I thought maybe I was being overly anthropomorphosising – surely as long as it was a cat of a particular breed it wouldn’t matter.

I turned up at the house where the breeder had the cats and there they all were, six tiny little balls of grey fur, all identical, which just underlined how ridiculous I was being. I was sitting on the floor taking notes from the breeder about caring for them, registering them and so on, when one tottered over towards me and sat on my notepad. In the most annoying, awkward, imposing way possible and looked up at me. Richard, the breeder, who did seem to be able to tell them apart told me she was the one who liked to sit and watch TV. It was an instant connection. I wanted this one.

The breeder said that only two of the three females had gone, and so I could have this one. He put a small white collar on her so he could make sure she was the one I got when they were old enough to be weaned about 6 weeks later.

That was eight years ago. Two years later I got the second cat but the bond between the two of us has always been stronger. If I go away for a while my parents look after my cats. When I come back she runs to me and stays within a few feet of me for the next few days. She falls asleep on me. If I’m not in the room when she wakes up she starts crying and if I yell her name she runs up to me. When I’m away for the weekend after about a day I miss them both, but – like now – I’m looking forward to her curling up next to me while I read a book, or watch a DVD. And she’s there, watching it too, or getting in the way by sitting on the book.sina 060222