Getting what you want from life.

Help enough other people

I found this image on Pinterest and it struck a cord with me.  Being a social entrepreneur I am of the firm belief that what you put out is what you get back.  You cannot take from the community within which your business/enterprise exists.  Even if you are a multinational corporation there still needs to be a human element.  Nothing beats a smile, a well done, a kind word, a listening ear.  You may not necessarily be able to change a persons/business situation, but you can listen.  Perhaps you know of someone/business that may be able to assist or further the dreams/visions of someone else.

I have also learnt that to motivate and encourage takes small actions/words to make a situation seem better than it already is or to assist in making a situation seem better.  Nominate fellow persons/associates for competitions.  They may not win, but the encouragement and the fact that someone believed in them goes a long way.  You never know they may just win 🙂

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For those who can’t…….walk

What makes me drive for 105 kms and another 105 back home to walk 13 kms????
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Because I can walk and there are others who cannot for reasons out of their control. For those who are limited in their physical activities I walk for you and I walk for me.  This is a virtual trip of the 13 kms I covered.  Let’s get to all the reasons why I walk and then we can walk…..
I am addicted to #LadyMavis adventures.  My favourite vehicle of all times is my dear Land Rover Discovery TDi 5 who is named after my dearest grandmother Mavis.  #LadyMavis takes me to destinations I would not ordinarily be able to get to with a normal vehicle.  She makes me feel safe and secure and I know whatever the condition of the road I will get there safely.
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Raising funds and awareness for Rhinos.  In South Africa we have a scourge of despicable people who kill our beautiful animals for what…..because they believe that the horn will make them powerful sexually and otherwise.  I ask you how ridiculous is this thought.  May the karma that they generate by killing these beautiful animals be doubled back to them!  In the meantime while Karma is getting round to her duty we will be continuing to raise funds to eliminate these oxygen thieves.
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And to be out in the fresh air doing what I love…..walking in the bush.   Walking in the outdoors and off the tar is a ‘drug’ for me.  It’s time out, it’s undisturbed, allowing me to refresh my brain, think, dream, plan and just be me.  We are so privileged to live within an our or a few hours from so many beautiful places.  One of these being Inanda Dam. 22046946_10157292604459572_1596849500267376069_n
Well done to the organisers of the Rhino Run. Had a blast and thoughly enjoyed every moment of the walk and the drive to and from Inanda Dam.

I have recently discovered trail walking.  I have watched the trail running events and often thought….’how I would love to visit that venue’ or ‘how I would love to do that event’ but I don’t run.  Then I found out that as a walker, albeit a slow walker, I can still participate.  So now I participate for me and for those who can’t.  I will blog on each of my walks, so that those who are unable to walk and enjoy the scenery as I can, are able to get a view of these beautiful places and enjoy the ‘walk’ virtually.
21687860_10157292606919572_619227045832295232_nThe walk started off along the shores of Inanda dam.  The water level is very low and has obviously been so for awhile looking at the growth of vegetation along the shore line. We followed a track through the bush navigating around the shores of the dam.  The track took us onto a road and past families and homes where we were greeted with great enthusiasm and friendliness.  21687641_10157292605209572_7553689690919813823_nFollowing this road the walk meandered up a slight incline, back onto the main road and around back to the waters edge to finish up where we started.  Those who had already finished were very encouraging of those of us who are much slower than the runners.  The sweep gentleman who followed at the back to ensure everyone was safe and all markers were collected was very kind and encouraging.  Thank you everyone for a wonderful morning spent with nature.

Driving out of the valley I came across some artistry and 21768078_10157292604674572_317428328194103576_nmetal animals one of which was a rhino.  Very well made.  Congratulations go to the artists.

Ticking the Women’s Day Box

Another year, another Women’s Day public holiday, another box ticked by government ensuring that functions, events and celebrations have been held.  Another great meal, over priced venue and event management companies, full bellies by those who don’t need the meal, pics in the press.  Good bye 2017 Women’s Day!

The Women who should be supported, acknowledged and “entertained” are those who continue to sit at the Taxi Rank selling their wares, on the street corners, outside businesses with large work forces.  The women who through their megre earnings and very early morning wake up to get to their place of business on time, who support extended families and often children who are not their own.  These women are the true entrepreneurs of South Africa.  The ones who see an opportunity and use it, no matter how megre the profits.  These are the women who need to be supported, developed, mentored.  Use the funds made available for the vast high profile functions to benefit the rural ladies who work so hard, with no acknowledgement, help or support.

I will continue to champion for these ladies.  If we could get even half of what the govenment Women’s Desk spends on functions and events, we could make an incredible difference to these rural entrepreneurs through training, development, support and mentoring.  Something which is currently unavailable to them.  Do not believe the politically rehearsed chorus of how much government do for rural women.  The “support” is way out of reach of the vast majority of women the Women’s Desk purports to serve.

Mind the #Education Gap 2017

“Mind The Education Gap, now in its 5th year, continues to be a firm favourite amongst KZN educators.  This year’s theme is “Taking your Teaching to the next level”.  Educators from primary, secondary and tertiary levels will benefit from attending.  Not only will they enjoy the interaction amongst  like-minded delegates,  they will also get to learn new skills they can take into the classroom/lecture room. Continue reading “Mind the #Education Gap 2017”

#ONL162 My Experiment

Our second topic lead to a challenge of carrying out an experiment to investigate what forms of OER (Open Educational Resources) are available online, of which can used to enhance the teaching and learning experience and delivery of my lecturing team.

I went the Twitter route as I enjoy the short to the point information that is available, yet simultaneously accessing additional detail through links.

• Traditionally education is static. This tradition is being challenged, splintered and fractured and forced into a space of change. With the overwhelming availability of information, it makes sense for educators to share what works and experiences. By sharing educators are able to support and encourage one another without having to go through the whole learning process individually which seems to be a senseless waste of time.
• Interesting video supporting the fact that education is static and in it’s current format is not serving our future generation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cui59UkoDMA

In the experiment I considered if sharing could be misused?  In my opinion most definitely. Plagiarism and intellectual property need to be taken seriously. The “theft” of someone else’s ideas and theories is a serious offence, which sadly not many people are aware of. As educators we need to be at the forefront of ensuring intellectual integrity is maintained.
Sharing carries with it responsibilities and accountability. In order to be professional and give credit to the original thoughts of authors the user must:
• Ensure permissions are available to use
• Creative commons
• The work, research and thoughts of others is acknowledged by correct referencing.

The benefits of sharing for educators is positive, developmental, encouraging. We are in a world of information overload, the vast array of applications and platforms available offers a confusing choice to educators. If we share with one another what has worked and what hasn’t and the reasons why we are collaborating for our own, our students and our associates benefits.

As educators we need to ensure that the use of educational resources is done in a responsible manner. As educators we lead by example by ensuring that intellectual property is recognised, by acknowledging the work of published information, by sharing sound research material, and doing our own research and sharing our findings

My experiment for Openness and sharing using OER – as indicated above I went the Twitter route. I searched for OER and found and article on “GoOpen” – ‘a national movement to expand and accelerate the adoption of openly licensed educational resources in K-12 school districts and at state departments of education.’
https://medium.com/@OfficeofEdTech/happy-birthday-goopen-ace22f95f4f7#.g8kwgbtsk
Interesting to see how the “uptake” of this #GoOpen has gathered momentum, proving that sharing and collaborating is supportive, encouraging and academically sound practice (as long as it’s done professionally and ethically).
Another interesting site on Twitter was https://twitter.com/MITOCW – MIT Open Course Ware offering free lecture notes, exams and videos.

So what are the pros and cons, benefits and limitations of OER? The benefits of OER far outweigh the limitations as sharing allows us to learn far more than trying to go it alone. However, for me the biggest limitation is the vast knowledge base and making the right choices of resources for our own and educational needs within our environments.

In conclusion, choosing a topic and refining that choice will assist in accessing the information and resources available. If one looks at OER in broad terms it will become overwhelming which will lead to no knowledge or information sharing. Any research conducted requires focus and alignment with the required/perceived outcomes. I cannot allow myself to become all-encompassing and fall prey to confusion.

Facilitating the Facilitator #ONL162

supportCollaboration is not necessarily only for teachers/educators.  For every aspect of our working and personal life we need support in various formats and levels and at various times.  If we limited ourselves to our own perspectives our visions, experiences and interactions would be extremely limited.

With this in mind I have found as a new facilitator for Group 4 in the #ONL162 space, the group collaboration (albeit a very new group) has been resourceful.  I find myself in a new space into which I need to grow in order to support the group, simultaneously the group find themselves in new spaces which require thought, direction, guidance and research.
According to http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ a facilitator is ‘someone who helps a person or organization do something more easily or find the answer to a problem, by discussing things and suggesting ways of doing things: e.g. I see my role as that of a facilitator, enabling other people to work in the way that suits them best.’
https://www.learning-theories.com/ defines Problem Based Learning as:  ‘Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional method of hands-on, active learning centered on the investigation and resolution of messy, real-world problems.’

Both as a facilitator and as a PBL participant I am finding my way around encouraging conversation, looking at and investigation suggested scenario’s and learning from the group and the community as a whole.

A journey of learning and discovery where as the facilitator I feel comfortable saying that I too am learning and that this course we have endeavour on together will be enlightening and realising that there is no absolute right or wrong answer – there are ways of engaging and trying out new ways of teaching and learning.

 

And we are off……ONL162

ONL162 is off to a great start.  My co-facilitator Lotta Hilli and I had a quick chat today on Google Hangouts.  An incredible lady with whom I felt an immediate cohesive link with a shared passion for education.  I have met some of the group on the community page and on our group page.  We need to get to know one another as a start and find common ground within our group so that we have a firm foundation on which to start our Problem Based Learning and start asking questions that will lead to further questions generating inquiry and sharing of ideas, thoughts and processes.

68f038d455187178b72d6366feaa6846http://theberry.com/2014/01/14/daily-motivation-25-photos-359/