Then and now – Parliament Square, democracy and repression.

Originally posted on indyrikki:

Back in 2007, Brian Haw battled against a government desperate to close his, by then, 6 year long vigil. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While his own small encampment held ground, he was gradually joined by others, a few legitimate supporters, but several homeless people and other campers, who set up around the square nearby.The GLA put up fences, attached signs warning of “no unauthorised access”, and gave out copies of a nice letter from the GLA’s PR man, Benjamin McKnight, stating that the Mayor of London (then Ken Livingstone) respected peaceful protest, but that the other camping was an eyesore and a health hazard.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 

At the time, we all thought things had got pretty bad, but seven years on, things have changed for the worse. SOCPA was replaced with PRASRA, and the power of seizure was introduced, covering any equipment that might facilitate an overnight stay, any placards or written material, any…

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Autumn leaves – Oxford

The first day without rain so far since I arrived here. Apparently we’re due a hurricane which will result in a major leaf fall so thought I’d pop out whilst I can. Some lovely colours – a very short walk through Christchurch Meadows from St Aldates, past Oxford Botanic Gardens and back out onto the High Street.

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Senior members of the Conservatives think the reorganisation of the NHS is their biggest mistake. Senior members of the Conservative party think the NHS is a mistake and have been actively implement anything that tries to destroy it, since 1948.

Whilst they are trivialising the horrific impacts of their decisions, people need to eat well, get well, be cared for with dignity, work in an environment that allows them to achieve their best and at the end of the day go to a decent home, pay bills, feed their families.

I’m just heading off on strike, I am fully in solidarity with a decent and deserved regular pay rise that allows people to live their lives without unnecessary hardship caused by political interference.


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Posted in healthy living

Moving (again)

I joined our wonderful Leeds NHS campaign group for the 29th September march in Manchester last year and have been out campaigning with them ever since, talking with people wandering through Leeds.

Especially poignant and also exciting this week, joining them at our planning meeting and also Dr John Puntis Medsin session, more students than last year, John as illuminating as ever.

Our group in Leeds is mostly non traditional parties – Left Unity, National Health Action Party, Greens, occasionally TUSC,  some Labour and it makes the ideas and discussion very different. Each wonderful member is well informed, kind, considerate of others, putting things aside and finding ways to campaign together. I am so proud to know them.

In York, Bradford, Sheffield, Rotherham, Calderdale, Dewsbury, particularly National Health Action, Greens, KONP, some Labour & Labour-ish in these areas too, I will miss them all very, very deeply. Passionate, caring, committed, resourceful people who are fighting for our NHS for a long time.











I’m starting a new learning technology job at Oxford Health NHS Trust on Monday for a year, new job, new location, new challenges. New NHS campaigning.

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Posted in collaboration, fighting, healthreg, Leeds

Networked learning for WFD

Just going through some bits and pieces and come across this which I wrote a little while ago.

Where next for networked learning for Workforce Development in the NIHR CRN?

X & X are currently investigating integration of Google Apps with Moodle which could involve production of learning that is

  • Linear modules produced by WFD or experts in the CRN
  • Videos produced by WFD or experts in the CRN
  • Tracking of user activity which is recorded in Moodle with the potential to issue badges for completion and export to other electronic portfolios

The common themes which have emerged from Networked Learning Conference this year do not provide new theories of learning but instead highlight different perspectives on digital learning such as analysis of conversations across social networks using discourse analysis, recording experiences digitally such as digital postcards and lived experience descriptions. Metaphors in learning have been discussed including use of

- jelly-like metaphors

Daring to (let the student) succumb to a process of inherent networked estrangement and sense of self. Learning is neither in the student nor in the teacher but in the pulsating and transfiguring messy process emerging outside the control of both. Students and teachers must become malleable targets or structures for whatever jelly-like qualia that emerge from the learning process gently and fearless put in motion by the teacher as guide.1

- Chronotopes and space:time relationship pairs

physical:virtual, online:offline, individual:community and workplace:university dialectical tensions that such transitions involve and allow new forms of practice and discourse to emerge Being in transition is always challenging and transformative. We conclude that learning in transition between workplace and formal educational spaces requires students to construct new chronotopes in order to make sense of their education and manage the continual changes of culture and identity necessitated by transitions2

Actor network theory has also been revisited with exploration of technologies as entities in a networked learning process. Communities as actor networks has been explored in early 2000s

The difference between actor networks and communities of practice is not that the former involves work and the latter do not. Communities of practice may be seen as actor networks, they are a case in point, since within them there is work involved in mimicking, demonstrating, practicing together. However, beyond a certain size a community of practice becomes an imagined community. What binds that larger community together are the actor-networks which link and connect multiple communities of practice – Cambridge dons, members of parliament, professional bodies, the suffrage movement. Such communities of practice as these can eventually be connected in a wider claim, a broader proposal for change in the direction of a future imagined community.

What seems still to be realised is a way of translating the concept of democracy based on multiple communities into practice. We look forward in learning of examples in practice because our guess is that the obstacle to such development is not due to any limitation in the technology so much as the way consensus-bound discourses dominate participative practices in adult and higher education3

Some examples of a mix of linear/non-linear tools that are not traditional learning platforms but provide opportunities for sharing.

Digital Postcards

Curation tools to learning anything

Lighter linear with a bit of non-linear

Some non-linear network mapping

Open source

Deepa Mehta , MyTool

Within a shared context, the linearity of non-linear interactions – choosing content to be curated, choosing when/how it is shared become patterns. Networks are hierarchies and the constraints force them to ultimately be linear too. So whilst a learner believes that there is more freedom to choose, less barriers to communicating with different people, there are still linear interactions which design their interactions in a similar way to instructional design of online learning such as modules produced by WFD.

A future option for Workforce Development would be to use analysis of interactions across different social media or networks to evaluate if there is any visibility of patterns and combine the data with any interactions on Google and Moodle. Understanding of how transition is changing how people like to learn and apply knowledge at a local and national level e.g. if I have this local identity in this community / site / group, how do I learn or share learning different with a national identity elsewhere and how visible are the two together.

Use of multimedia in digital learning is increasing and with Leeds University platforms there may be many partnership opportunities either for Leeds colleagues to produce and publish content or allow use of platforms for WFD and CRN colleagues. Whatever content is produced it will be of more value if it can be analysed within networked contexts i.e. who has produced it when, how have others responded to it, (sharing, discussing), how does it continue to evolve and the process become self-organised. A greater understanding of networked learning will help identify where are the more experimental areas which are less linear, less constrained appear and interact.

A team within WFD to support the expansion of networked learning could be created following discussion with Leeds colleagues and consist of the following :

  • Creation, publishing and curation of audio and video artefacts
  • Showing others best practices in creation, publishing and curation of audio and video artefacts

Data literacy

  • Ability to extract data and present it in visualisations which can be shared with others
  • An understanding of discourse analysis how to mine different interactions across social networks and provide visualisations of relationships

1. Bengsten S, Norgard T (2014) Becoming jelly: A call for gelatinous pedagogy within higher education, Networked Learning Conference proceedings 2014, available at
2.Timmis S, Williams J (2014) Lost in transition? Making sense of space:time configurations across workplace and educational boundaries, Networked Learning Conference proceedings 2014, available at
3. Fox S (2002), Networks and Communities: an Actor-Network Critique of Ideas on Community and Implications for Networked Learning, Networked Learning Conference Proceedings 2002 available at

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Posted in collaboration, community, learning, Online Communities

British Taekwondo Nationals 2014

Wonderful as ever to be reunited with Mole Valley club members. Proud of all of them. The standard of the competitors was high and the level of fitness seemed higher. The mats also now have blue hexagons rather than squares for fighting on.

It was great to see amazing fighters like Lutalo Muhammad join in as a competitor but also support other fighters taking part. He has a great attitude and the most amazing kicks – can just speed across the whole length of mat in under a second and flick head shots like he is swatting flies with his foot. Great to see Joanne Nash win again too despite injury. Very special again to see Master Matt Hobbs taking part after becoming national champion in his category in 2013, then winning again on Saturday!

Master Mark Worsfold was on great form despite being knackered. He told Matt that was the best he had seen him fight. He was flying across the mat, making it look very easy !

One small criticism. They were getting through the large amount of competitors but GB taekwondo event organisers still have more work to do to if they want people to travel from around the country to the event, to help coaches and fighters get onto the mats for their fights, it is not helpful for fitness and health to expect competitors to stay in a small ‘pen’ for an unlimited amount of hours just in case their fight is moved. The two days on the whole were good though.

Master Worsfold was very helpful with a junior fighter from Manchester who had just fought for the first time (extremely well – he won his first and lost his second by losing points) explaining both to him and his parents, not just how and why points could be lost (holding your competitor) but where you would apply this outside of the competition.

Some early action from day 1



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It’s not about winning or losing, it’s whether you fight – Tony Benn – Will & Testament

This was a very moving documentary of Tony Benn’s life and political campaigning both in and out of office. Fascinating to hear of his views, his mistakes, his family, his principles.

Saw footage of the Jarrow marchers marching and the NHS adverts, leaflets coming through people’s doors. For those of us who chose and had the availability to take the time to complete the #march4nhs, we have the responsibility to carry on fighting with everyone who joined, everyone who contributed in some way – with food, accommodation, organising, sending messages of support. We met so many people who are having a terrible time under the Coalition and it continues to get worse, but they aren’t giving up.

I will carry on campaigning with NHA Party, KONP and other groups, I will never ever forgive (maybe with time, forget) the betrayal of anyone who supports / supported both blue Labour and this unelected coalition with it’s destructive policies but I don’t have to, there are better things to do and people who are fighting for better ways of living which are not packaged up in marketing terminology, not stealing from public services for their own ends.

I will be involved in the following over the next few weeks, once brain is back together (some of it hopefully tonight onwards)

“We believe we have to go beyond political ideology. Our one aim is to save the National Health Service from the greed & corruption of private companies who wish to sacrifice one of the greatest institutions of our country, recognised globally as the most cost-effective and efficient health services in the world. United together we can create a voice too strong to ignore. We can and will end the deceitful selling off of our most precious NHS.”1


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