Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Will PokémonGO ‘Save’ Education – and ELT?

In ELT and ELL, News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 14/07/2016 at 7:50 am

 

As you might have guessed from my last (tongue-in-cheek) post, I’ve always had a healthy suspicion about blog posts that seem to jump on the latest bandwagon…or the next ‘big’ thing (esp. when that thing is technology-driven).

Sadly, even EDUcators fall for the pull towards the Dark Side:

Self-promotion (cartoon)

…adopting a Kardashian-esque approach to drawing people to their Social Media sites!

 

As I mentioned, Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm – the new Social Media ‘drug’ that has busynesses asking how they can best leverage it (for profit, of course)…and thousands of kids almost getting killed as they cross the road! 

Pokemon Dogs TG ver 130716

Those lovely chaps at Nintendo and Niantic are busy pushing the game with the very sexy tagline ‘The Game Is Only As Good As The Community’ – and seeing as though the second and last word of that tagline are currently all the GO with many a digital cheerleader in EDUcation, I thought I’d dig a round the web and blogosphere a wee bit and what we are saying about Pokémon GO in EDUcation!

See if I am right to be such a Doubting Thomas…by throwing a few rocks at the Internet!

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Blogger (crap blog)

It was not long before one of my rocks ‘hit’ a website!

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A ready-to-GO lesson plan (a 26-page lesson plan…with 40 exercises) from BREAKING NEWS ENGLISH.com (a website developed and maintained by Sean Banville).

I’d seen a few of Sean’s lessons before – and his site definitely lives up to it’s name! Pokémon GO is ‘big, breaking news’…

Now, I am not sure if Sean is an EDUmarketing genius or whether he just accidentally tripped over one of the greatest ways to keep his site on everyone’s Social Media lips (Facebook mostly) – all the stuff on his site is going to be driven by every single trending hashtag (as soon as he gets it out there)! Excellent – bloody genius!

I can see how many teachers would love this material…indeed there are loads of personal recommendations on his Facebook page. I found myself admiring the sheer amount of work he has churned out and got up on the web (he has a wide range of other sites) – I just have no bloody idea how he finds the time!

The problem is that… he is an Arsenal supporter!

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No, shiriously – I just have a wee problem with seeing pages and pages of gap fill exercises, multiple choice questions, true / false reading items, and cloze tests…that I know (in my cynical, black, shrivelled heart) will just be printed up, blindly photocopied and used to breathe life the ‘twin sins’ we see all too often in ELL and ELT:

TWIN SINS TG ver 130716

To be fair, I would be very pushed to brand Sean as the type of Social Media Whore (SMW) we see on so many busyness sites – he is just doing what he says he does (on the lid)…and hands out materials that TEACHers can (and do) use in their classrooms. Further, he does throw in a good range of semi-communicative activities (I just hope these are not the activities that TEACHers ‘skip’ to ‘get through’ all the other more suitable ‘exam prep-esque’ activities) and he clearly knows his ‘ELT stuff’.

but...

Come on…you had to have seen that coming!

I guess I’d just like to see more evidence of sites like this encouraging teachers to ‘thunk’ or ask themselves bigger questions:

ARE WE DOING WHAT IS BEST notepad 130716

…or helping ELTers get ‘out of the box’ a bit more.

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I threw a few more rocks…

…and found the type of post I had assumed there would be thousands of!

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14 Reasons Why Pokemon GO Is the Future of LEARNing (by David Theriault) drew on just about all my tactics to reach his audience (just gotta find an image of him wearing one of those hats)!

Or, so I though initially (do NOT read the last TWO paragraphs of this post)!

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Come on…what self-respecting EDUdigitalcheerleader is going to ignore this wonderful listicle (OK – a list of ‘14’ is a bit awkward…but you gotta love the way he uses the phrase ‘Future of LEARNing’)!

What? I have done the same…SHUT UP!

Read on…

His post starts with the facts – kids love their Smartphones – and rolls smoothly into a ‘subtle challenge’ (to TEACHers). This he does just before making you feel a wee bit ‘guilty’ (if all you are doing is gap-filling and MCQs) by throwing the cornerstones of modern LEARNing at you: the creativity, sharing, community-building, movement, interactivity and virtual field trips enabled by EDtech Toys!

Many of you will probably cry out…

Hadi Ordan 130716 (1)

…but David’s post has got a lot of praise (and, more importantly, HITS)!

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This is also true of the third post I discovered. Written by Lori Gracey and entitled Pokemon GO: What Education Should Be, I had to have a read of this one, too! After all, Lori got as many HITS as David (I wonder if they compared stats, at all).

Lori does a wonderful job of explaining how much better the Android / iOS app version is over the card game (my 5-year-old daughter used to drag my wife and I to a darkened, underground warehouse to buy these when we were in Dubai…scarier than the drive to Ajman or Ras Al Khaimah for our monthly XXXXX XXX…but that’s another story)!

CARDS to GO TG ver 130716 (1)

She admits that she is not really sure how Pokémon GO will help her meet her ‘vision’ – people coming together to have fun and solve problems – but she has a stab at a few decent suggestions…and it is the start of a pretty good vison!

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The thing is…the ideas both she and David discuss in their posts are really quite ‘nice’ – BUT, even together, just did not convince me that Pokémon GO is the Future of LEARNing:

NEW and SHINY TG ver 130716

It certainly won’t ‘save’ us from many of the EDUwoes we face today!

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That having been said their titles got our attention – and, even though these titles weren’t really the best lid for the tin,  I (for one) LEARNed some new stuff…and they got me THUNKing!

Thats a wrap

I was about to wrap things up when I came across a ‘not-PokemonGO-post’, you know, one of those posts that says it is NOT a XXXXXXXX post – from George Couros.

It was cleverly titled, too – ‘#PokemonGo, Being Observant, and Innovation’ (even had the hashtag embedded in the title…and the ‘gap’ removed – smart move, George)!

George plugged his new book (come on…who ain’t gonna do that?) but (more importantly) ended up making me feel a little guilty, too.

Why…you ask!

Well, I had been ‘bashing’ (albeit a wee bit tongue-in-cheek) people in the draft version of this post – and he reminded me that David (Lori and perhaps even Sean – though he did not mention them specifically) was “paying attention and being observant to our world” (mindful, perhaps)…and that these qualities are critical to innovation.

Thinkers wanted (blog ver 02 TG)

He was right, of course!  Isn’t that the very thing I was so nasty about when I had a go at Sean’s site and materials? Sorry, Sean…

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What we are seeing with the mad rush to get Pokemon GO posts into the blogosphere (I hope) by EDUcators is not thinly-veiled attempts at shameless self-promotion (and ‘HITS’…as my initial free advice suggested) – but rather, in George’s words, they are a few initial ‘iterations’ of how we can make Pokemon GO ‘fit’ the vision we have for EDUcation.

In order to do that, we need to be very explicit about what that vision is – and keep asking questions of the latest BIG thing in EDtech

How does this EDtech TG ver 130716

8…and never forget:

Telling the TRUTH TG ver 130716

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3 Evidence-Based Tactics To Increase Traffic To Your Social Media Sites…RIGHT NOW!

In News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 13/07/2016 at 7:08 pm

Pokemon Dogs TG ver 130716

Confused? You will be…

 

Pokémon GO is taking the world by storm (or maybe it’s just the stories that are cropping up about the players’ and their little adventures)!

 

This is a bandwagon you cannot miss out on…an opportunity to be ‘liked’, retweeted, poked, ‘favourited’ and even followed!

 

My FREE ‘marketing guru’ advice to you…exclusively for YOU is:

Pokemon Tactics TG ver 130716

OK – perhaps No. 04 should have read “Use a snappy listicle of 3, 5 or 10”! Problem was I could not find my cute little number 4 graphic…

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Pokemon Brand Switich TG ver 130716

The hat idea ‘works’ – just see how many ‘likes’ I got in the first hour!

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8T..

 

Want to Build a GREAT School? Follow These 10 Commandments…

In Educational Leadership, Our Schools, Our Universities, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness on 12/07/2016 at 9:39 pm

LEARNing Monkey (Abigail Adams quote TG ver)

This was the post that I planned to use to re-launch my bouts of bloggery this summer…

 

In the end I went with an ‘easier’ option…because it was so bloody difficult to plan, draft and finish! I started by reflecting on all the schools I had worked with this year…and all the ways I had tried to support their plans and initiatives (an ‘annual’ review, if you will).

 

It wasn’t enough! So…I went back 5 years (and almost every blog post I had ever written)…still didn’t quite cut it!

Blogging sucks (sign)

I found myself going back to the work of EDU Jedi Masters and their discussions of ‘what works in schools’…combining this with the THUNKS of those that helped me consider ‘what matters in schools’…and, reflecting on all the pearls of wisdom I had picked up from the school improvement, accreditation and institutional enhancement programmes I had worked on.

exploding head

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That got me closer (but I had close to thirty pages of notes) – it was time for a procrastination pill!

Netflix Pill TG ver 100716

In the end, I decided to do a ‘career review’ – yes, reflect on the successes I had witnessed and LEARNed from, all my failures (because they helped me more than the successes I may have had and helped co-create) and all things I still have on my EDU Bucket Listafter over 30 years in the busyness of LEARNing.

 

The listicle of my ‘Magic 10’ Commandments started to take shape…but then the last episode of this year’s Game of Thrones forced me to binge-watch the earlier 50 episodes!

Procrastination (dice now never later)

What? I’m on holiday, too!

 

So…just to prove that all those quotes you can pull up (if you google ‘procrastination’) are hogwashhere you go:

IMAGE CREDIT: https://creativetheology.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/10-commandments.jpg

If you want to build a GREAT school…

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Thou Shalt ‘begin with the end in mind’ and ensure that your school is built on a focussed and clearly stated purpose – and make sure that all members of the school community understand, share and are committed to this purpose and the goals of the school…

Purpose CoP TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt believe in the transformative power of LEARNing, place LEARNing at the heart of your decision-making and walk-your-talk…

Change and Thinking TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt recruit the best TEACHers you can, retain them (at all costs) and renew their talents, skills and knowledge at every opportunity you find…

Good School (quote) TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt plan, implement and renew a curriculum / assessment framework that emphasises LEARNing the ‘right’ things in the ‘right’ way…

Delivering LEARNing TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt provide caring and effective leadership, create the conditions for wider shared-, teacher-, and student-leadership – and evaluate the quality of this leadership in terms of the level of trust you build and the amount of LEARNing co-created across the school…

Leadership TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt create an environment and climate that is organised, secure and safe – yet provides for risk-taking, creativity and imagineering at the student, classroom, departmental and school level…

Success TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt create a culture that is driven by professionalism, collaboration, and stakeholder involvement – and is fuelled by an ethos of feedback, improvement and results… Leader Shadow TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt build and maintain a classroom-focussed LEARNing culture grounded on high expectations for both students and TEACHers, dialogic TEACHing practices and an approach to the adoption of EdTech driven by ‘fitness-for-purpose’ and ‘LEARNing first, TECHnology second’… 

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Learning WoG TG ver 100716

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Thou Shalt adopt a research and evidence-based approach to change and planning – and balance the use of external best practices and internal research findings, as well as ‘big’ and ‘small data’…

EBP TG ver 100716 

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Thou Shalt use a range of policies, processes, and practices designed to evaluate and enhance the quality of decision-making, curriculum and assessment systems, classroom teaching, professional learning communities, allocation of resources, and stakeholder involvement across the school…

Quality TG ver 100716

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That’s 10, right?

 

As I was boiling all the Commandments down, I did ask myself whether I need to ‘spell them out’ more. I hope they are clear…as I hinted, they are all backed by solid research and evidence-based practice (EBP) – but I have seen them ‘work’ and know they ‘matter’!

 

Can I rank them – in terms of importance or priority? Not really – but I’d be interested to see how you might…or (even more) see if you would add any others…

 

T..

 

 

When DIGITAL Natives… ‘Sleep’!

In Adult Learners, News & Updates (from the CBO), Technology on 19/03/2014 at 10:39 am

Slide628

I have been working far too hard these past few weeks – and, as we all know;

All work, and no play…makes Tony Hoca a “dull” boy!

Tony Hoca (new avatar)

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This weekend, I did a little webinar for those lovely boys and girls (all girls, actually!) over at The Spring Blog Festival – and talked about my own visual literacy “journey”.

I’m still getting the hang of this “webinar busyness” – time just whizzed by and I had so much fun doing it! And, to boot – I made some new cyber-playmates”

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Slide11

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THANK YOUNellie Hocam, Shelly Hocam and Slyvia Hocam 😉

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Doing that session (at 22:00 on a Sunday nite!) really helped me remember how important it is to thunk about visual literacy – in my bloggery…and my life in general:

Slide3

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…but sometimes that “little boy” can go too far!

Camera…software…editing “time”:

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When digital natives go to sleep (TG ver)

When digital immigrants go to sleep (TG ver)

…on the sofa TONITE, I guess!

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Have a GREAT day!

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The Next “BIG THING” in #EDtech…

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Learning, Technology on 14/10/2013 at 12:34 pm

Next Big Thing (Cameron Evans quote) ver 02

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I know, I know…some of you are still recovering from that last post I did.

Not only did it have the longest blog post title ever (there has to a “prize” for that somewhere, yes?) but it had enough links & “bedtime reading” to put you off ever stepping back into the blogosphere!

OR, perhaps, just trapped in the Blog-a-Matrix…..forEVER!

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Sorry (bw)

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On reflection, it might have been better to split it up – you know, into 12 parts or something. That certainly would have made planning my bloggery writing schedule easier for the next few weeks!

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In fact, this is what I am doing now – but I thought I’d begin with the last section of that monster post:

Pt 12

…and see how it goes!

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I’m starting with a “part” on “hardware”…not because I think the “toys” are more important than the “stuff” we do with the toys…but because it’s the hardware that most frequently scares us to death.

It’s always been that way – even since we all started watching those Sci-Fi movies in the 1970’sheck, even way before this…who remembers the re-runs of Flash Gordon – all the way from the 1930’s?

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but...

…it’s not just hi-tech hardware (or robots) that give us the willies!

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Take a look at this lovely video (with thanks to Joan Kang Shin for sharing this at the recent conference hosted by AİBÜ in Bolu)

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See – and we got used to these things (and Norwegian)…just dandy!

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On the list I did, however, I chose to focus on:

Google Glass (TG ver 2013)

Google Glass is just so cool…the coolest!

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I want…I want….I want – now!

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I also wanted to share a few thunks from others that agree with me:

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The downside of an innovation like Google Glass is that it has serious…and I mean really shirious potential to create another major educational disruptiona disruption…the likes of which…not even God has seen!

But, didn’t we also say that about “the book”?

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SergeyYES, you and your crew!

If me and my crew lose our jobs in the next few years (because of your bloody “specs”), you will “giz uz all a job”  yeh?

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The thing was, as soon as finished up that post (ain’t it always the way?), I came across another post – a post suggesting that Google Glass was perhaps not the be-all-and-end-all of EDtech over the next few years.

This post was penned by Hartmut Esslinger (the grand-daddy of allthingsAPPLEDESIGN). Harmut tells us about 4 sexy EDtech trends to keep our eyes on

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…while wearing our Google Glass, of course!

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His list was not exactly full of all the “small things” that Cameron Evans (look back at the very first image) told us about last year. Now, Cam probably wouldn’t be seen dead saying something about Apps (unless they were all MS Apps, that is) – but I guess this is what he was really talking about.

Perhaps, the biggest news of the week (about all these “small things”) was the announcement that Apple has just launched its new iPad Apps for TEACHers section on iTunes – actually, it’s TWO sectionsone for TEACHers and parents on Apps for kids (broken down into age groups and LEARNing activities)…and, the otherstuff TEACHers can use in the classroom

If the massive adoption of the iPad (by everyone and his dog) was the last “big” thing (before we all get our hands on Google Glass) – the Apps are certainly all those small things that could change how we “do LEARNing”.

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Boyz n’ girlz…before I forget:

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??????????????????????

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…to all my Sevgili Hocalarım!

Have a wonderful Bayram – from big, bad İstanbul!

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Everything NO Single Teacher Should EVER Want to Know About EdTech, Digital Literacy and 21st Century LEARNing…

In Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Learning, Technology on 05/10/2013 at 12:31 pm

EVERYTHING EdTech 01

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Now, some of you may have noticed (from my last 3 posts…and mini-dizi) that I have had my “techie” head on of late. But, I have to admit it is the “TEACHer LEARNing techie head” or (as I like to say…to convince myself, perhaps) my “THUNKing DOer techie head”!

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Those last 3 posts were not just about the “tech” of Twitter – they were more about the capacity of a tool like Twitter to help us TEACHers LEARN, GROW…and get off the planet faster!

A tool is just as good as the purpose to which it is put…nuff said!

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Twitter Blog Post 03 (21C Culture 3C ver)

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However, I have been working on a little project (for a group of ELL/ELT professionals here in canım Türkiye) with my partner in “EdTech crime”Ana Cristina Pratas (our “Desert Rose”, yes the one with a digital footprint bigger than that of a Sasquatch on steroids).

We got to thunking what it would be like if we pooled our favourite online bedtime readings on Edtech, Digital Literacy and 21st Century LEARNing – and looked how we could feed them into the “syllabus” we are co-creating for our little project…

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Easy-peasy…

…you might thunk!

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This is the “result” – yes, probably the longest title of any blog post ever written…ever!

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We have tried to group our favourite bits of digital reading into 12 parts – and included a few posts / articles that would also be useful for those of you “new” to Edtech – or perhaps just looking for ways to continue your journey of becoming a more connected educator. As I noted, the list was developed for practitioners in ELL and ELT – but we have tried to draw on the thunks of a wider range of THINKing EDUcational DOers…across all our EDUsectors.

Thank you (glass image)

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ALL…so much…for caring enough to share!

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Pt 01

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These are some of our fave speakers doing their thing – these ideas have inspired us, made us thunk…and even given us a laugh or 3.

Enjoy!

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P

Pt 02

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These bits of bedtime reading are just in case you need a reminderEdTech is not just HEREit is here to STAY…and it can help all of us do more with what we know, who we are and how we all improve as educators. 

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Pt 03

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I know, I know…a lot of you are sick to the teeth of hearing the phrase 21C LEARNing!

Remember, “a rose by any other name“.

bla, bla, bla!

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There are a lot of thunks to be had by stepping back from the “tech” and thunking over the issues…and terminology (so, check out that last one from Terryreal cats n’ pigeon stuff there).

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Pt 04

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These great posts and articles follow up on many of the issues raised in Part 03 above – they will keep you going for days…weeks….months! 

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Pt 05

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OK – before we really get into the “techie tools”, this little list are those things you can bookmark (and keep coming back to…again and again).

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Pt 06

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Here we tried to give you as wide a range of tools as possible – the writers of these posts spent hours weighing up the best tools around. Of course, no-one (except an idiot, perhaps) would suggest that we need to know all of these inside out – start with the ones that help you solve the very real problems you have…or just do what you do – “better”

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Pt 07 8

Ahhh, and where would any half-decent, curated Edtech list be…without a nod to Social Media. Again, we have tried to give a few introductory bits of reading – but do check out that last one.

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Pt 08

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This list was one of the toughest to “prune” down – the list of tools is (literally) endless! However, we tried to focus on the ones that are either most useful or most used…

…by connected educators.

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Pt 09

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We almost decided against keeping this little section – well, the second part of it at least. But…with so many of our institutions (sadly) doing such a poor job of supporting (real) TEACHer LEARNing, “going DIY” is probably the best route!

Then, use LinkedIn to find yourself a better job!

Did he just say what I thunk he said?

Yep, he did!

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Pt 10

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Now, considering that both my partner in EdTech crime and I both suffer from acute Idiopathic bloggeria, we opted to keep this one short and sweet (but notice I did manage to sneak one of me own posts in there – tricky, tricky)!

Basically, blogging is good for you…and even better for your LEARNers!

See why…

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Pt 11

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Now, I know I have said (in the past):

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Its NOT about (edtech) TG ver 02

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…and emphasised:

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It IS about (edtech) TG ver 02

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I stand by that…still!

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But, especially here in canım Türkiyem these days…more and more of us are being asked to play with our “classroom toys”. It’s pretty silly to have a “toy” and not know how to use it!

The problem is that our dear friends in the primary sector have kinda cornered the market in half-decent web-based ideas and tips for IWBs. We have done our best here – but let us know, if you have found better stuff. 

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Almost there…boyz n’ girlz!

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Pt 12

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Now, I bet you thought I was going to start banging on about the “flipped classroom”…..“MOOCs” perhaps….even “augmented reality”?

No, no, no!

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Google Glass is just so cool…the coolest!

I want…I want….I want – now!

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Besides, it’s my blog and I can write whatever takes my fancybut I might come back to that other stuff later.

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Thats-all-folks

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You know the jingle…yes?

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SergeyYES, you and your crew!

If I lose my job in the next few years (because of your bloody “specs”), you will “gizza job”  yeh?

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Why are Academics (still) NOT Blogging? (from GUEST BLOGGER Laurence Raw)

In Guest BLOGGERS, Our Universities, Research, Teacher Learning on 25/08/2013 at 1:01 pm

Dummies (Academic Blogging) Ver 02 TG

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While reading Ana Cristina Pratas’ very generous review of the book ADAPTATION AND LEARNING ,2013) that I co-wrote with Tony Gurr, I was reminded once again of the ways in which blogging is still viewed with considerable suspicion by many academics – especially those with an interest in furthering their careers.

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To BLOG or NOT to BLOG

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A blog lacks the respectability associated with a scholarly article; it will neither help you to increase your research profile, nor contribute to your institution’s output for a Research Assessment exercise.  Professorships will never depend on the number of hits your blog receives.

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Yet perhaps this is missing the point.  Five years of blogging about radio drama, and education has taught me a great deal about the act of writing; the need to make one’s point quickly and concisely so as to sustain reader’s attention.  As a member of several editorial boards, I have lost count of the submissions I have received where the writing has been quite simply execrable; repetitive, long-winded and woolly-minded.  A blog helps to eliminate such deficiencies; if readers can’t get your meaning in the first two paragraphs, they’ll simply go on to another page.

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Blogger (crap blog)

As we argued in ADAPTATION AND LEARNING, blogs also attract immediate responses.  Writers do not have to wait months and months to receive feedback in journal reviews; they can find out what their readers think and respond in any way they wish.  This process can help to encourage dialogue, as well as helping writers refine their work for subsequent publication, either online or in print form.

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Blogging is also a democratic form of communication.  Readers do not have to spend time searching for articles in obscure journals, or browsing sites such as JSTOR for material; it is available to everyone, irrespective of their disciplinary specialism.  My Radio Drama Reviews blog attracts professionals – actors, directors, technicians – as well as enthusiasts from all walks of life and from all parts of the globe.  Blogging is also wonderfully democratic; there are no distinctions to be drawn between ‘academic’ and ‘non-academic’ readers and/or writers.

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This provides a wonderful opportunity for bloggers to disseminate their work to a wider audience.  In personal terms, this can help to advance their reputation (as well as increasing the range of possible opportunities for further writing and/or research projects); in institutional terms, this process of dissemination might provide the basis for innovative, transdisciplinary modes of research involving individuals from different walks of life (or disciplinary specialisms).

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Creativity (Matisse quote 01)

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Blogging represents freedom.  I do not have to spend time planning and/or researching something; I can write down what I think and receive an immediate response. I can write on my netbook, my iPad, or sitting at a desktop (or on smart phone).  I can write in the office, at home, or sitting in a coffee-bar.  The American dramatist David Mamet once claimed that writing in restaurants offered him the greatest creative opportunities; I wholeheartedly agree.  Above all, blogging helps to stimulate creativity; I am not constrained by academic conventions to produce pieces of a certain length and according to a particular scholarly format.

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blogger

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Blogging should not be seen as a potential threat to more established means of communication (such as the scholarly article). On the contrary, it provides an ideal means to try out new ideas, which might subsequently appear in printed form.

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Blogging (guest bloggers welcome)

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There are some really good pieces on this topic online: look at these, for instance:

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Also, take a look at one of Tony’s earlier posts – it got him a bit of “hot water”:

Holy Trinity in HEd (Ver 02)

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BLOGGING – the “secret weapon” that is (finally) helping TEACHers “trump” SCHOLars!

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Laurence Raw (aka @laurenceraw on Twitter)

Baskent University – Ankara, Turkey
Editor: Journal of American Studies of Turkey
http://baskent.academia.edu/LaurenceRaw
http://www.radiodramareviews.com
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Teacher LEARNing, PD, CPD, Training….wotever! When are we going to get it ‘right’?

In Adult Educators, Quality & Institutional Effectiveness, Teacher Learning, Teacher Training on 13/07/2013 at 8:06 am

TEACHer THUNKS on CPD

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As you can see from those little images, all is not well in the State of Teacher LEARNing, PD, CPD, Training (delete as you “prefer”) – and not just in the sense that I outlined in my last post!

Indeed, when we try to speak to many TEACHers about their PD or professional LEARNing – more often than not, we get a response like this:

Dont make me use my TEACHer voice (TG ver)

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But, maybe…that’s half the problem?

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When we do ask TEACHers to use their voice on allthingsCPD, we tend to find that many of them are split into TWO camps:

CPD (two camps)

…but this is to the “untrained” ear!

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When we dig a little deeper (and I’m more interested in the “unsmiley group” – that is the problem), what we actually hear them saying is things like this:

PD is crap 01

…and a couple of other things, too:

PD is crap 02

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To put it quite bluntly – many of the “solutions” are thereright in front of our eyes!

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason…proportionate use is the key.

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Sure, there many be issues with money and funding (isn’t there always?) – get creative with sponsors! If we really value LEARNing (of the TEACHer variety – and we should), we’ll find a way to trim some “fat” and inject it where it “matters”. Yes, and there might be one or two malcontents out there (in our staffrooms) who will give us a hard time…whatever we do.

Hey, that’s life…deal!

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but...

…the fact remains that…most TEACHers are human beings, too (!) – they too are imagineered for LEARNing…they love LEARNing new things…new stuff…new ways of promoting student LEARNing

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The LEARNing opportunities we provide them just need it to be “fit-for-purpose”…to be convenient…to be useful…and FUN (but not just a “laugh-and-giggle show”)…

Gamification 02

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There’s been a few really good posts thrown into the blogosphere of late – many of them offer some great THUNKS on how to get it right:

Blogger (still ignore you)

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Adam Bellow did a lovely post based on FOUR critical wordsPD: Four Ways to Start Changing the World This Summer

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Josh Round did one some time back (but I only found it this week) – What to Put in the CPD Pot – full of sensible practical ideas.

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Med Kharback (aka @medkh9) put an EDtech and DIY “spin” on professional development in his post – Top 8 EdTech Tools for Teacher CPD.

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Laura Conley gets us to think about “flipping” (no, not THAT type !) with her great post – 7 Steps To Flipped Professional Development (first appeared on gettingsmart.com).

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@WhatEdSaid (aka Edna Sackson) made a storming return to the blogosphere with her – 10 Principles of Effective Professional LEARNing… – a post that stretches us to be “thunking doers” not just “PD delivery boys” (and girls)!

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LEARNing (cannot be delivered) Ver 02

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…and….ONE more:

Susan Lucille Davis gave us her – What Teachers Really Want – a post that every PD Coordinator, Training Manager or EDUboss should take note of (TEACHers, too)!

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All good stuff!

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But, then again…it’s always better to hear the voices of our own TEACHers!

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BLOGGING – the “secret weapon” that is (finally) helping TEACHers “trump” SCHOLars? (the RE-boot)…

In Adult Learners, Our Universities, The Paradigm Debate on 05/07/2013 at 8:39 am

big bad İSTANBUL

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Still doing a couple of bloggery RE-boots to celebrate reaching my 500,000th milestone

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This one took me totally by surprise and was one of the most popular posts of 2012. Initially posted at the end of May, it stayed on my list of top 10 “best-sellers” for over three monthsnot too shabby, when you realise that most blog posts these days have a shelf life of around 7 days…tops!

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In a way, this post is quite significant for me (as a bloggery LEARNer) as it was the first time that I started to use images to “tell my stories” – rather than just use graphics to “support” the thunks I wanted to get on “paper” (on “screen”).

Some people have told me that this makes my posts more difficult to read…but I find it also makes them more fun to write!

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Anyways, I hope you enjoy seeing it again…or seeing it for the first time!

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TRUMP card Ver 02

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One of my favourite EDUreads from the last 15 years or so is Larry Cuban’s How Scholars Trumped Teachers.

Larry is my kinda EDUscholar and EDUcator – a real “thunking doer” who tells it like it is and does not pull his punches where the LEARNing of others, especially our “kids”, is concerned.

He also has an amazing blog – Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice – and, if you ain’t checked it out, you just don’t know the EDUblogosphere well enough.

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Anyways, the book, written in 1999 (yes, we “oldies” actually read these paper-based thingies back in the day) describes the development of the American Academe over 1890-1990 – using Stanford as his “case study”.

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OK, so he picks up that old chestnut of a question:

What is more important within the university – TEACHing or RESEARCH?

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But…his “answer” really hits the “spot” – and probably cost him a few “Academy pals”!

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Most of us in EDUland know:

Karabell Paradox (Ver 02)

… don’t we?

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Larry does! And, he basically “proves” that it is what academics are “trained” to do that has won out – again, and again, and again.

Not only in the States – all over the bloody globe!

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What Larry also does is also help us “see” through the smoke n’ mirrors that have characterised the type of “changes” and “reforms” the Academe claims to have realised over the years…

It’s a good read! A VERY good read…

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We TEACHers – knowing how much we have been trumped” (click this one) left, right and centre (yep, definition #02 is the one!) – have been known to get a bit miffed about this (…isn’t that Urban Dictionary just great)!

We tend to work harder (with the “people” who “matter”), we put in more hours (planning for the people who matter) – and we take more crap from the parents of the people who matter…and journalists, politicians, wanabe EDUgurus, publishers – do I need to go on?

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A lot of us see conventional higher LEARNing for what it is…and accept that…

Tradition and Bureaucracy (Moe quote) Ver 02

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We also know that the famed “holy trinity” that represents the “purpose” of the Academe – TEACHingRESEARCH and PUBLIC SERVICE – basically, and in practice, “translate” into:

Holy Trinity in HEd (Ver 02)

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We also see that our universities can and do make some very serious “mistakes”:

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Even…the best of them!

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It is because of these, and that fact that we do focus so much of our energy on LEARNing the people who matter, that many of us also ask the question:

Folk Wisdom (Schleicher quote) Ver 02

A fair question really!

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Because…every one of us “knows” (in our heart-of-hearts) that…

EXPERT Brain Ver 02

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I mean, would any university department shiriously consider putting together a “research team” (on the back of a big, fat government grant) made up of people who had not been trained in research methodology, had limited experience of conducting field work or (God forbiddid not have clue about MLA citations.

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That last one is quite interesting – and it now seems that we can even cite our tweets in MLA format. This little change is one tiny example of the “campus tsunami” everyone is banging on about these days…

Bob Dylan (for the times they are a chagin) Ver 02

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The difference…is that TEACHers are ahead of the game, this time – and blogging is our secret weapon!

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The WORLD has changed…

EDUcational THUNKing has changed…

LEARNers are changing…

LITERACY is being transformed

SCHOLARship (and AUTHORship) are being assimilated…

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Blogging is leading the charge with allthingsdemocratisation – and TEACHers have proven themselves to be the BORG of the blogosphere. Just take a look at the blogging figures – those groups of professionals actually using the blogosphere to get their voices “out there” – and inspire others to find their voices!

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TEACHers rule…and are ROCKing the blogosphere!

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It used to be the case that we ran around our classrooms “exposing” ourselves to every Tom, Dick or Harriet who presented themselves to us…Now, we are sharingreflecting…and ADAPTing on a global scale – the likes of which God has never seen!

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Good for us…GOOD for our LEARNers!

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And, it’s fair to ask, I thunk:

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Where are all the SCHOLars?

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POSTSCRIPT:

I did, in fact, do a couple of follow-up posts to this one.

But…and remember:

TELLıng theTRUTH (Ver 03)

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…neither of them really took off in the same way. Maybe, I tried to push a “neat idea” a little too farmaybe I got a little too self-indulgentmaybe they were just “crap”!

There’s a BLOGGERY lesson to be LEARNed in there…

Neyse, have a look at them…if you have 10 minutes to kill!

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Viva la rEVOLUTION!

(posted on 30/05/2012)

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I’m still STANDing…yeah, yeah, yeah!

(posted on 18/06/2012)

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AND…the 500K Winner is… (Cross my heart and hope to…)!

In News & Updates (from the CBO) on 22/06/2013 at 9:01 pm

WINNERS logo (Blog) TG ver

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And, so…without further ado…honest to God (this time)!

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Our Forth, Third and Second WINNERS are:

  • Anne Hendler (AKA @AnneHendler) 
  • Asena Çifçi
  • Dean Cuming

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And, our 500,000th CHAMPION is:

  • Funda Gökce (AKA @fgokcan)

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job-well-done

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I’d also like to say a BIG:

Thank you (glass image)

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…to everyone that follows the blog or just pops in from time to time!

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Guess…I need to get the ole THUNKing cap on…got a post or 3 to come up with!

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Till then…

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Keep Calm and Take Care

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…but remember…

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TELLıng theTRUTH (Ver 03)