Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Seen and heard: March 2013

"Researching Learners' Experiences of MOOCs and other New Pedagogies" - symposium at ELESIG (Evaluation of Learners' Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group), with talks from Alison Littlejohn, Glasgow Caledonian ('Charting open territory: learners' experiences in Massive Open Online Courses') and George Roberts, Oxford Brookes ('First Steps into Learning and Teaching (M)OOC') - videos at (you need to register, free, for access to the site).

Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. 2011 collection of her talks and essays on science fiction. Interesting, but her own fiction is more powerful.

The Vatican's announcement Habemus Papam - "Brothers and sisters, good evening!" Good start, Francis.

The Challenger - BBC/OU co-produced drama on Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard Feyman's uncovering of the flaws - technical, human and administrative - which resulted in the loss of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. Great performance by William Hurt, vivid re-creation of the period and the events, and a very nice tie-in learning activity on the ethics of being on an investigative committee, about which I have already blogged here.

Wall-E, Pixar 2008 film - watched on DVD for the benefit of our 5-year-old grand-daughter, who enjoyed it very much, though she really prefers Wallace and Gromit, and the references to 2001: A Space Odyssey went over her head. Like many Pixar films, I liked it much more on second viewing, when you're no longer watching to find out what happens - a sign of a good film. And I still have the Peter Gabriel end-titles song going round in my head.

Foyle's War - most welcome return of Michael Kitchen as world-weary detective Christopher Foyle in ITV's drama series, the "war" now being the Cold War. He reminds me of the line from The Russia House: "nowadays you have to think like a hero just to behave like a merely decent human being" (see script transcription).

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