22nd February

This is the start of my audio diary for extended practice. I tried experimenting with this this time last year, and I’m going to do it again. The format is very simple, I take a mobile phone with me each morning well three times a week when I walk the dog. I do three quarter of an hour walk up the local hill, and I listen to music until I get to the first gate, which is here, and then walking up the steep bit which is now, I record whatever thoughts come into my head targeted at the MA project until I reach the second gate at the top. I can think whatever I want but the basic idea of this audio blog is to try and empty my head of thoughts so that surprising stuff comes in from the periphery, and I find that it does, I find that this works extremely well.

And also in relation to doing an MA in interactive media it clicks a lot of buttons. The system that I am using is very simple it is just a ‘Skype in’ telephone number. I simply phone and leave an audio message on the machine which I can then pick up when I get home. What would be terrific if I could use a bit of software to translate that message straight into type but sadly the technology isn’t good enough yet, it’s getting there. Mac dictate which is the one I’m currently using for dictation doesn’t yet have a transcription feature, and I don’t know if the quality of this would be good enough to transcribe anyway. So the painful bit is listening to the recording when I get home and typing it out, because there is no way that I’m going to go back through an awful lot of audio recording, but if it is types I can scan it much more quickly particularly as I teach myself how to speed read. But I guess that typing it out also has the benefit of speeding up my typing.

But mostly I feel it fits in, partly on the level of blogging, which is a phenomenon of the Internet, lots and lots of quick little thoughts, almost like a twittering which is a new element to how we communicate, and how we use the Internet. Using an iphone to taking these recordings is another feature that links in. And the fact that it is a telephone number that I can phone into sort of fits with the ideas of using telephone audio recording to get ideas and comments from people. So all that fits into the project.

Halfway up

So this is the project that I’m thinking of this part of the course. It would be working alongside the Holborn Museum in Bath they invite a group in in the May half term, these are teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19. These are a group of very difficult teenagers, drugs, low attention span, ADHD, trouble with the law, all sorts of things. They will each have their own personal mentor, they are being drawn from two or three different organisations, and the idea is to do something with them in the May half term that involves computer technology, tries to get them involved, includes the Sydney Gardens, while the Holburne museum itself is closed. They did a project with these teenagers last year in the summer, in August, when they took some famous characters from the museum and they painted them as boards that you could stick your face through and photograph, and had been positioned around the gardens. So there is a publicity element to this, there is working with disaffected youth, there is a budget of some sort, and they are very excited by the possibility of mediascape, so I think mediascape is what it is going to be. I shall be very happy when mediascape is on the iphone. because the iPAQ that I have got is really pretty dire. But my idea is to trial it with my upper 4th, year nine, over the next few weeks, tried to do the bulk of the work over the Easter holiday, and then present it is to these teenagers in the May half term which will give me a week or two after that to write the project up and evaluate it. So we have basically got to do something in mediascape around the gardens, possibly bringing in the history of the gardens, possibly bringing in something to do with photography. Something that is going to engage these teenagers. And being the mediascape that makes me think that it has got to be interesting to them it has got to be I think probably audio based and basically they are going to be producing the mediascape itself that they can then present the visitors to the park. so I think that it has got to be games based, so task one is to do lots of research.

Second gate...

24th February

OK, up a hill again, different experiment this time working with the zoom audio recorder rather than with the iphone. This will record an MP3 file directly onto an SD card which might make it a a bit simpler to get it onto the computer. Still would like to try and get some transcribing going. We could try this one with iListen and see if that would work. It is possible that walking up the hill breathlessly and into the wind is not the best form of audio to transcribe.

OK, thinking about the second part of the project or a second thread to it which is the Silver project, along with the Bridgeman Art library. the Bridgeman Art library is just a monumentally huge collection of images on all sorts of different subjects the Bridgeman Art library in connection with a commercial company, with some government sponsorship, quite a lot of government sponsorship to create resources for use in schools, presumably these would end up being subscriber based, and they are basically classroom activities that make use of the Bridgeman Art library collection At the moment the organisation are producing prototypes and they have asked a group of teachers to come and consult they asked me whether I would consult for them. This will be a series of 7 r 8 days in London over the next year where we go down and brainstorm about what they are doing as a group along with a lot of online brainstorming ideas. I am not quite sure where I fit in yet as an art teacher because an awful lot of what I do in the art room is not directed, I have a very vague structure and a very vague idea and I then let the children free to exercise the creativity - their creativity, so I am not entirely sure about the structure here, but we will see. My first ideas, we were asked to comment or put a comment on their first prototype. The comments seemed to be about this area between freedom, creativity and structure. I found an article on the internet based around the idea of on line resources and flexibility based on the architect Alexander, and how he created plans for new cities that gave the city structure gave the planing structure, even individual building buildings had a sort of structure, but allowed for individual creativity within that and this thesis that I read on line was based on how that structure which might fit into online learning resources. The next thing they sent us about 3 or 4 hundred images from the Bridgeman Art library on the theme of basically around the theme of the Olympics, so these where a lot of photographs of London historical shots more than modern, a lot of photographs of industrial London, the great exhibition, the Great Western Railway and a lot of shots of Olympic subjects from images on Greek vases through to the Nazi Olympics through to Barcelona, Beijing, etc. And at the moment they are just a collection of images for us to comment on. so my plan this morning is just to hand these images on to my U4th group and see what they can do with the images and with comic life, to put some sort of story to-ether, possibly on a theme around the Olympics or possibly just on a theme inspired by the images themselves. So I think that that will be my bit of research for this one, I am also going back over to Bath today to talk to the Holburne Museum and I have looked very briefly at mediascape, looking to get ideas for what I could do with soundscape and mediascape, That is very early yet, we have just completed a project proposal to try and get some funding. i need to know if I will be able to use the ipaqs from HP, and I would need to get some funding I think to put OSX onto my laptops and try and run Windows so that we can get the mediascape onto a number of machines. I also need to think about audio recording devices, maybe we could get two or three like this so the recording would be made a bit more simple.

Thoughts on the seminar that I missed on the online gaming and pervasive media, the Sky project. I am not a gamer at all I have not done games. I can look at it a little from the outside in that I have a teenage son who was addicted to warcraft for a while, and when I was his age, just a little bit earlier, for a few weeks I got addicted to the first game - space invaders - so I can understand the addiction. But I find it very difficult to get my head into games scenario because I have have simply not done it - dungeon and dragons, or whatever, although I have students that have, and they lose themselves into it. And it maybe like computers themselves - I am just of a generation that are not literate in that area, not having grown up with it. Or maybe it is easy to understand. Does it have it’s own sort of protocols and language. like just getting into facebook, which took me a while. It just took me a while to understand what facebook is. Maybe that’s the situation of the young kids as well, or maybe they just do it and learn it very quickly, and once they have grasped facebook they move on with that technology.

27th February

Thoughts in response to the talk by Duncan Speakman, particularly interested in the idea of putting in headphones and sort of cutting yourself off from reality walking round in an actual space but the sound going to your ears is coming from another time and place interesting thoughts around hitchhiking the way you can be someone you are not in actuality because the person who has picked you up doesn't know who you are similarly with the world of second life the virtual world chat rooms that sort of thing where you have got a different reality you can tap into a different reality People, pornography on the internet which is somehow removed from reality and is therefore more readily accessible you can be much more outrageous online because of your anonymity. Wearing headphones on the tube, not socially engaging with the group that surrounds you perhaps to an extent you are engaging with a different group, a different identity. I was thinking about the contrast between speakers that are in your ear and the people that go round with the huge massive speaker systems in the back of their cars to blast everyone with their music which is a different sort of statement I guess

28th February

This is now a re run because I lost the comments that I made on Thursday morning. It’s now Saturday 28 February and this is about my 4th different type of recording device that that i am testing this one seems to be a goody, But I lost what I said before, so I am just going to recap, This was about the project which is now really rolling to produce a mediascape for the Hoburne museum to be giving a take about this on Tuesday very briefly but I thought that I could have fun with a powerpoint in the latest version of Pages I will have to download and pay for that so it will run from my iphone. which is a bit wow and just do a little presentation of what I plan to do on Tuesday and I can put that up on the web for others and generate some interest there. The Duncan Speakman talk last Tuesday, I shall have to respond to that as well, and I had lots of thoughts around when you put headphones on you put yourself into a slightly different reality that real time is what he was going on about and that can be interesting that cutting yourself off from the real world but the real world still being there - two realities going on at the same time a bit like getting into a car where you extend your body to encompass the car when you are online you are sort of creating a space that is outside of your physical time and space and you can do lots of things with that, not all of them necessarily good, I am thinking of the extraordinary ease and prevalence of pornography on the web made so much easier by the fact that you can get into that space very easily and very secretly;ly without letting anyone know that you are doing it which seems true of being on chat sites and things like that, you don’t necessarily have to be you you can be you can imagine who you want to be, a bit like second life you can create a character for yourself, a bit like hitchhiking really, in the days when i used to hitchhike, get into someone’s car, I needn't necessarily be myself, i could invent stories, invent backgrounds for me, just for that bit of the journey and in some ways the time that you are in a chat with someone is a little bit like a journey, But it was more about when you put on headphones you create a different space within the real world, so it is a virtual world, a real virtual world within the real world, if that is not getting too confusing. And what Duncan was doing, just playing with it very slightly so it might even be recognisable sounds from the place where you are but played back at a different time very slightly or just altered in some very small way but to create a sort of slightly uneasy or uncanny environment. And thinking more about headphones and the way we use them in the tube headphone on you sort of cut yourself off with everyone around you, like you don’t want to communicate with them, which we seem to be doing more and more this is what is happening with the internet and chat rooms where you spend hours in your own environment I know when in the evening if my wife is watching a telly programme that I don’t want to watch and I put headphones on to listen to music I am not in the same space as her even thought physically i am in the same space, and when she tries to talk to me I can’t here her, sort of there but not there. It it very interesting with things like gaming and alternate realties is that it is like an alternate reality it is to do with the imagination, and you sort of cart yourself off like you do when you read a book or watch a film. I think that I talked quite a lot about film space actually, film is on a time scale where you stop and you watch a film and you know how long it is going to go on, it has a beginning a middle and an end very structured and engineered and you are very passive, whereas with mediascape you are much more involved, you can get the story in any sequence or any order you want or just get some of it or get all all of it, so although the audio tracks play in real time - in virtual real time, like a cinema, the actual way in which you experience it can have much more of you own choice in as to where you go and get the experiences like the one in Queen Charlotte Square in Bristol so you could pick up the whole of the story little bit by little bit depending on where you go and it’s much more like a spacial montage thinking about Manovich and his book New Media and the fact that the spacial montage can be experienced all at once or lots of bits going on at the same time on a screen and it’s that combination of real time and instant time and bits of time that are not real but are played through the cinematic time all these ideas are what Duncan was talking about and what he was getting into. I was wondering about things that I thought about before, going around a gallery where you can get an instant feel for what is there, if you go to a movie you have to be on trust that you’re going to want to sit through it either because you know the stars or the reputation of the director or something like that or you have had it recommended by someone else. With a work of art are you going to put that time and effort in to watch something if you have no idea of the quality of it , because time is a commitment, and there is getting to be less and less of it as I grow older.

2nd March

Second of March, marching up the hill, bit confused as to where I am having lost the work from Thursday that I did on the voice recorder. Interested looking at Duncan Speakman's work that his mediascape 'always something somewhere else' is one of the most listened to so I am thinking about how I would make the experience engage with the students what is it that they are wanting to create because with Duncan's work it's his work he is very much in control and he is offering the experience, with what I am trying to do the experience is the student's, and what they want to offer, but mentored by me so that it doesn't all go flat. I have no idea what they might offer, music, in a situation, but then you get into copyright issues, thinking about issues, thinking about what they are thinking about. The real success with Duncan's piece he was touching on quite a number of areas but a lot of it was about feel, the feel of stone, listening to water, thinking about the environment,. thinking about the cityscape. I don't know how that would go down with students, whether it is more adult orientated. The beauty of the mole game both for adults and students is that it's really good fun. And it is particularly fun watching people do it, racing around in imaginary games, jumping around. It's that games energy we need I think, getting the games energy going, the hide and seek sort of thing. Don't what to get too much into the sort of dry history of it, it's got to be exciting, although the beauty of the Sydney gardens is it's history, so how does that fit in? Ideas of Big Brother come to my mind, of the confession room and students being keyed into that sort of reflection . The sort of thing that the two James’s were doing for the Christmas do, taking video, taking little sound clips and editing them to give an experiential soundscape What are you feeling as you walk around the gardens? that keyed in a bit to what Duncan was doing with his mediascape in Sidney, where you were sitting in the place but experiencing other peoples experiences. That fits quite well with the photo of Adelise taken at the Sydney gardens, and groups of boys playing in the gardens. So looking at other peoples experiences, or trying to understand other people and get into their experience. That sort of fits in a bit with how the park is used in contemporary times, how you might get an understanding of the old men drinking cider on the bench, the retired person walking through the park, the young people in the evening gathering. The people just using the park to walk through to get to work. You could build a soundscape based on all these different experiences. And maybe based on interviews. If you can stop people in the park and ask them questions. Maybe sitting on a particular bench, or looking over a bridge. What are you thinking of as you lean on the bridge looking down on the railway, which could obviously bring in thought of steam trains going under, sounds of steam trains, the splashing of ducks in the canal, the clomp of horses, the shrill giggles of Edwardian girls in the gardens. That sort of conjuring up an atmosphere that is perhaps this time shift thing, could be to do with a time shift over the time of the gardens, so you get contemporary sounds, airplanes going over, connected with old sounds like the steam engines. Hip hop, or some contemporary drum and bass playing which might merge with some Mozart.

4th March

I think that I have got the voice recording sussed out this now, this is using the latest voice recorder on the iphone transferring it over to my laptop so that I can delete it off the iphone and then using a transcribe programme called transcribe with shortcut keys so that I can slow the recording down, and stop and start it so that I can type it in. I still realise that most of what I am typing in is tripe and i won’t want to read it again so i am wondering how I use this to get to the important bits Maybe I highlight them in a colour so I can skim back through them. I wonder if I even put them on the website. I certainly think that it would be daft to put the audio on the website because of the amount of space of it would take up, and they are not particularly good quality recordings anyway. In response to Tuesday’s seminar from Mobile Pie and Thoughtden The idea of pervasive media, or walking past shops and getting vouchers and doing things where where you are responding with your phone With Thoughtden they were very much working on trying to create simple workable technologies initially using text but leaning now towards the possibilities of GPS although they had gone through Bluetooth and decided that Bluetooth is an old technology that is going out and it isn’t particularly useful because it isn’t push so what they are looking at there is push technology which is very much what the GPS does. My thought around that is if you subscribe into it by downloading the application on your mobile device then you know what it is that you are doing rather than it being like junk mail unsolicited phone calls that sort of annoying crap and then onto mobile pie and the phenomenal applications that are being built at the moment for iPhone a bit like the gold rush there are fortunes to be made very quickly and it is taking the onus out of the big companies games companies to provide the content and the little guys creating it don’t have to go through the games manufacturers they can simply pay $100 and put it straight onto the iTunes store but then the control is with Apple at the moment Apple very definitely control the content and the way that their rating system works controls to an extent whether things become successful or not other companies are getting in on the act like google nokia producing version of application store google without the sort of constraints of apple so what apple is doing is giving you content that is good so that goes back to the whole question of the web and web 2 wikipedia whether what you get is 99% dross an maybe there should be editorial control so that what you get is value same argument over television BBC and public funding that sort of thing so it is that balance between getting the environment to create the ideas and the exciting applications the applications that are really going to work not just the ones that are going to be commercial and the quality so that it actually works letting the good ideas rise to the surface somehow . There was also my little seminar and slide show I think that I need to build the slideshow with the notes in it but beginning to think how I can use the Sydney Garden mediascape where the experience of the kids comes from whether it is like the voyeurism thing of the framed photograph looking out into a world talking about their own experience imagining themselves into the experience of others attaching an experience to a space like tag which is very similar in some ways to what Duncan Speakman was talking about when he gave his lecture. Judith was also talking about getting enough of the MA content in reading up on others and getting some of the current thought into it. They talked about community arts so I need to start exploring into community arts i am not quite sure that that is what it is that I am doing because I am still remaining pedagogist as she put it, a teacher, an educator, so it does need to come from that point of view

9th March

I am thinking that I need to keep these recordings pretty concise as I go up the hill otherwise it is a huge amount of typing for nothing and possibly once I have done the typed transcript then I need to summarise what I have spoken about and it will be just the summary that goes into the journal rather than the whole thing. But I have found a really decent way of transcribing the voice over to type which will make my life a lot easier.
I have been thinking about getting the MA the content. I have got to do a lot more reading. I have got to find relevant sources of information. i don’t know whether this will be about community arts or whether it will be about education but it is definitely about finding relevant sources. I need to get hold of Tom today for his mediascape in Bristol and explore that I also need to get hold of Emma Agusita again at the KWMC and get hold of her reading list and maybe have another talk with her about what she is doing so that I am putting the Holburne experience into context the slide show that I have produced for last weeks tutorial and to show to the Holburne folk that I could maybe put straight up on line on the new Apple iwork site explore how that is going to work I have just started creating a website for the MAD practice and further exploring RapidWeaver although part of me would like to see if I can create this new site using the new Adobe programme to see how that works. Maybe it could be a combination of the two.

11th March

This one is going to be a bit more of a diary entry rather than thoughts just letting whoever know what is going on, Back over to Bath yesterday it takes 3/4 of an hour to get there and same back so it’s quite a journey really, I am not sure that I want to do it every week, but it is very good to keep in touch. I had about 20 minutes with Cleo Witt at the Holburne Museum really just to update her on what is coming up. Tomorrow I am going to London to the Apple Education mobile seminar for a couple of hours and then to the Picasso and the Gerhart Richter exhibitions I trust and next Monday week I am going to the first of the advisory meetings for the Silver.org the Bridgeman Art library in London, and I am going to see Tom next Tuesday, who is doing a mediascape in Bristol Docks, I have got an appointment to see him next Tuesday. There is also a talk - serendipity it is - a talk by a woman at the old scholar’s weekend who is very keen or oral story telling I am not sure whether it is digital or not but she is coming to is coming to give a talk on the oral tradition, I need to pass that information on to Judith as well and in terms of the mediascape it looks like Phil might join me now I have Jo on board and Dennis as well and will start next Tuesday kicking it off with the new U4th group. My big problem is that I simply don’t have the computers because they are all macs not pc’s and I haven’t got the funding that I need to dual boot the Macs because that is sort of like a couple of hundred quid a machine and it is just not worth while doing at the moment, wait until I get some new machines I think, in relation to the mediascape in may and the Holburne gardens I am leaning more towards the idea of students developing digital stories either telling their own stories or imaginary stories might be better like folk song or whatever, like people watching try and imagine the life storied of the people that use the park and you build stories on that possibly tapping into your own experience that's the idea that I have got at the moment connected with place of course.

18th March

18th March, missed a recording last week, just as I was about to start the dog ran off and I had to run off after her. What has been happening? Thinking that I should be doing more recording I should probably be recording the sessions that I have given at Bower Ashton and for the Holburne Museum and recording the introduction to the project that I gave to the kids yesterday. I missed all that and it would have given me an interesting insight into what I have been talking to them about. But it was centred around the Holburne Gardens experiment and working on the plans as to how I should present this to my U4th to get the most out of it but a set of lesson plans and recording what I am doing both of those things would have been very good. Both of those things that I have missed! Reading... Dust and Magic again remembering how beautifully written it is, talking about topology, talking about maps, talking about exploring, talking about territory. And then reading the book Pause and Effect, which started off talking about perspective and viewpoint and narrative, and that has just started to mention plot, with the origin of the word coming from the old French for a bit of land. And that is an interesting connection through topology and exploration and journey and maps and walking, the connection between story and walking and journey, telling a story, going on a journey, narrative, some strange ways it all seems to tie in together, like Chaucer. I was talking to the students yesterday quite a lot about perspective, to the extent of being the voyeur or the flâneur, looking through the hedge, looking out on the world like a story teller or a narrator or an observer, seeing what is going on, looking through the fence, so you are sort of outside of it looking at the bench, thinking yourself into stories, or telling stories about the people who use the park, and what their stories might be. So I was talking to them also, showing them the photographs from last year, and talking about the images in terms of - if you put the character in then it tells a story, even though the story is not explicit it’s there, and if you have an image with two characters in the you have the conversation between them if you have a character even though it is not explicit you are immediately thinking about who it might be where they might have come from are they male or female what’s their life story, how do they relate to me, how do I relate to them. All those sorts of things, and then from the talk last night on the theory behind games it came up in the discussion at the end this thing between when you are in the game, and in character, but you can step out of character there was an interesting point about playing the game tomb raider and people if they made a beautiful jump they would be themselves - I made that beautiful jump - if they failed they would be in character, or step out of character - rather Lara failed to make that jump, and the game theorist was saying when he is playing tomb raider he is not even looking at the figure of Lara Croft, he is involved in the game so the figure, the avatar becomes irrelevant because you think yourself into that position while you are playing. There was also a lot of talk at the end about expertise and virtuosity in games playing, making me think a lot of musicianship and the fact that it can become a spectator sport, a bit like the Photoshop ping pong that I have been following a bit on the email. In the far east there are performances of games playing virtuosity, and other games players can pick up on that. And one of the points that the speaker made quite forcefully is that a lot of people who are looking at games theory are themselves games players - a periscope effect - that they are looking at it only from their own view point as games players. Right. Second gate.

19th March

This is now Thursday the 19th of March, I am not sure what more I have to add today because my previous one was just yesterday, and my thoughts haven’t moved on a great deal since then. I am walking up this hill wondering if this ought to become a podcast, not a podcast, this is a podcast, I mean a mediascape, as I walk up the hill, but them why is the question. I was contemplating yesterday a lot of questions around the frame and the picture, looking through the frame. Lots of these thoughts going back to last term’s work, the voyeurism, looking through windows in the early morning. What we do as a viewer of a work of art, be it a picture or a film, is look through a window, in the theatre with the proscenium arch, is dividing two spaces, the space of the audience and the space of the production, and it’s the time element, whether it is done in real time or if you are in the time space or whether you are in your own space. And the same with mediascape, it is playing about with that time element. As you walk around you are in your time space but you are also simultaneously in the artificial time space of whatever production you are listening to. And mediascape, you can think of it very definitely as a production. Going to see Tom Bennett at Spike Island and the mediascape that he has produced around the docks in Bristol that I am going to go and help out with at Easter, and what he has done there is very definitely a production along the lines of a film production. He was talking about it costing around £100,000 and being properly sponsored and just like a film it is a time commitment not like, well I suppose in a gallery, going back to looking around works of art, those ideas, there is a time commitment to going around a gallery, but the time is in understanding the works so it is about the work that you have put in beforehand to understand it. I was talking to my year 7 yesterday about the Mona Lisa as the start of a cut and paste project and realising how much information I hold about that painting, just through interest in it, that all informs the way I look at it, the way - my understanding of it, this is going back to stuff from the year before, maybe the Brenda Laurel definitely the Manovich, where we bring our own understanding to a piece as a viewer, we see it from our own particular perspective, this links back in with the book that I am reading at the moment which is the viewer - the artist - sets you up in a particular perspective so that you can see a piece from a particular point of view. But you also inevitably bring to it your own particular point of view. He was talking about the Giotto revolution in perspective and the way in which Giotto created gospel scenes, biblical scenes, from a very particular view point, so that you had to be were he was as he painted to produce it and to give that visual illusion of depth. This goes into the symbology, the symbolism in the paintings.

25th March

Wednesday 25th of March. Thinking about the seminar yesterday at the Pervasive Media studio which really was about pervasive media, a couple of guys doing wonderful stuff with mediascape, GPS tracking and web applications such as twitter sms mobile phones, all that sort of stuff. I think that my favourite was the bowler hat hide and seek that they did where they had a GPS device on a bowler hat. Inside the hat were instructions for the game somebody wore the hat the GPS from the hat was loaded up on to google maps if you were playing the game you could look on the hat find out where the hat was and if you came across it on the street ask the person wearing it with a specific sort of password ‘excuse me sir or madam, I believe you are wearing my hat’ or words to that effect, very English very sort of understated, and sounds like a huge amount of fun. They had other games like hunt the moose were one of them was dressed up in a moose suit same tracking device did a two or three day walk and people had to go and try and track and shoo the moose with a mobile phone camera. In both games the moment that you had either got the hat or found the moose you would take a photograph to record the event and upload that onto the site associated with the game. with the hat game the longer you wore the hat the better, and at the end of each day of play the one who had worn it the longest got a prize, so it had that sort of game element. There were more complicated and more complex social games that they had been devising some of them quite expensive with actors and actresses based around locations. The feature of a lot of them, all of them really is that they were one offs and they took time and energy from the makers who are currently working on the wherewithal to create games that anyone can play at any time devising their own games using the tools that these people are creating so that is sort of the next step. It made me think quite a lot about ideas around games play, playing games and a lot of initially childhood memories of hide and seek and sardines and tag all those sort of things the fun of playing those came back to me. Fun that I have basically lost these days I don’t do that at all maybe I am just not in the social situation to do it. But also in the early 80’s playing tag with the American and British military chasing the Cruse which in many ways was a very similar sort of game probably involved quite a lot of the same technology although we didn’t know it at the time. All those thoughts going round in my head. And then on to the Arnolfini to a talk, another guy who’s name I have forgotten (Michael Bauwens) who is an expert and visionary in peer to peer technology and he really was giving a broad view of possible future scenarios where this technology has brought about basically and end to our current social order and the creation of a new social order based on peer to peer where giant corporations can no longer operate and if you give freedom to large groups of individuals you get a great deal more power, a great deal more productivity, and a much better end result. He was pointing to Firefox over Internet Explorer and Netscape other examples of that ilk where small companies or small groups have beaten big companies and he was thinking of it in relation to countries as well where the power of the state is diminished by peer to peer but the actual structure he was thinking might be much more cohesive if we can get it right but he pointed to a fairly extended period of difficulty before that is going to happen. It is all pretty scary stuff really, he wasn’t talking so much about the technology as to the social aspects, how people operate, how groups operate, how societies operate and looking at a post capitalist world, post industrial post feudal. That my second gate.

Meeting on Monday in London with the Silver Group and the Bridgeman Art Library looking at and consulting on their proposals for new resources and classroom materials to do with sustainability, not really in my are because it was very much classroom teaching based on resources very much to do with geography and history and that sort of area and the prototype that they have produced was based strongly along the lines of collating data based on decisions that their students have made when they were out in the field so it was very much targeted at Geography this particular one but there were bits that really interested me especially the idea of it being based around tags I guess the idea of tags has come up very strongly through html and into flicr and blogging and all that sort of stuff the tag seems to be the way these days, the sort hand for organising information the tag is the system and beautiful actually the way in which they have produced it to replicate blog cloud tag whatever it is

stuck me as interesting, at the other meeting yesterday, the game tag, the html code and computer code with opening and closing tags, sound bites and little parcels of information.

The origin of the word cheat - cheten - to confiscate, cheat someone of their land.

31st March

Tuesday, 31 March up early this morning starting work for real MA but not getting very far as yet thinking about this blog idea and realising that chronologically it shows how little I have been doing on the research side for the MA, so that has got to be the priority to the next week or two. But I haven't not been working, I have been thinking a lot about the technology, looking in particular twitter and managing to - with the help of a parent - to get twitter feed directly onto the front page of my art department website. With a programme on the iPhone I can twitter directly from the phone messages, tweets, to the front page of art@sidcot. Just beginning to explore the consequences of very short blogging like this, micro blogging and what it might mean the school use. And I was interested that the guys at last week's lecture were looking at blogging and twitter in particular in relation to the games that they were producing, and how games players might be twittering between each other. I have got quite a lot of learning to do as yet on this technology. I also need to update the silver blog and put that into the MA. Thoughts on online resources for schools. And read the stuff that I have gradually been downloading from the Internet which is on online resources for schools. I have been trying to see whether Steven Hepple or any of that lot are on twitter but I can't see them and the best I have managed is Stephen Fry.

6th April

Monday, 6 April. been reading a bit about the work that Carolyn Hassan has been doing at the Knowle West Media Centre, and the theories behind this of regeneration and and identity. I didn't know this but she initially came in in 95 as a photographer just to do a short project working with local teenagers and it has grown hugely into really quite a successful organisation. It is still a struggle I am sure, but still with basically the same idea, bringing professional media people, filmmakers and photographers, into the community and working with teenagers and with primary schools, and with the whole community, towards regeneration.

The other thing that I have been doing is mapping Sidcot initially, and I have got to hang around the school a few days over the Easter weekend with all scholars there because I am putting up big retrospective of all scholars working on June. But it struck me, but I could go back to my digital storytelling idea of a year ago which never did quite happen at the time but it could happen now to go and ask the old scholars to give me memories about the place and actually were caught them speaking about their time at Sidcot and then pinning those memories to a map of the school I could do this with my upper fourth in the first couple of lessons of next term so that we already have got quite a lot of audio material to work with. They could maybe go out and get a bit more, possibly recalling the gardener and cook and various other people who have been here for a very long time. Basically to build up a history map of the school to give me practice in building and mediascape, of making a useful media scape. We had all the ideas from last year that will put into that book of memories, So if can get hold of that book of memories, and some of those memories could be spoken, in fact that book could be out again this all scholars so we could get more old scholars writing down their memories and using that book killing two birds with one stone.

And moving on to think more about the pedagogy. Mostly I'm looking at blogs and keeping up with things in that way, so I think a lot of the things that I will put into this site, into this journal will be blog links rather than texts as such. And I already had quite a lot of those with the bits and pieces that I have been reading. Specifically online resources, online learning to do with a silver project, that sort of stuff.

I could do some thoughts on the media scape that I went an experienced in Bristol this was around Bristol docks last week, I think I might have already talked about this. Connected with how the docks were in the 1880s and hearing the sounds of the woodwork shop and the ships docking. You have got a lot of reference to the history but it was basically a story. The thing that was most difficult with it was that the screen was very hard to see. The moment that media scape gets onto these iPods it will be very much easier because these screens can be seen in fairly bright light. It is really the device that is the problem not the idea behind it. And I have already come across a media scape sort of thing on the iPod this was a downloadable audio tour of Florence, so they are beginning to be programmers out there programming for the iPhone, so what we need is the media scape link so that children can do the programming, then we are set. I think that it is a very important that the students should take responsibility for the whole project and not just be served it up, so that they really do to ownership of it.

8th April

Wednesday, 8 April

It is going to be another what is happening rather than thinking block this time I think because there is not much that I'm thinking. Mind you there is a quote from Bob Hughes that I like which I think that I will put in about the best thinking happening when you're not thinking. And going through his book, I am not sure how much of it is relevant to what I am doing but the landscape, the idea of all these different possible routes, the fact that we explore a route but it is not necessarily going to be the best one. And actually in exploring the route it can change the topology depending on the route that you have taken. I certainly feel that what he says in his book, that Bill Gates led us up shit creek possibly, I am feeling that way piddling around with a Windows machine that doesn't want to behave, that comes up with illogical messages, that tells you to do something, you do it and then it doesn't do what it said it was going to do it does something totally different and then comes up with the same message again in an endless circle. and I find this happening so much with Windows, you go to the start menu to shut it down, once you tell it to shut down it asks you whether you're sure. that really isn't very good design to my mind as a graphic designer perhaps.

Talking to Carolyn Hassan about her project her essay on regeneration working with teenagers in Knowle West, which I think is much nearer the area that I will be working with, so I have made an appointment to go and visit her next week, and hopefully I will be able to see Emma Augustina again.

Putting some of my students work in competition today, their work on emotions and personality that we did very speedily.

What was that other quote? I know, a quote from Stephen Heppel's blog it is maybe not relevant but he was saying that he finds a lot of the best work on this current thinking isn't in academic papers or published publications but is just online in blocks and from very surprising sources not necessarily the sources that you would think the best thinking to be coming from. And that fits in very well with ideas of peer to peer and web networking the wiki effect where everyone can have a say and everyone's sake can be important, in fact it fits beautifully with the Quaker idea of everyone being equal and they're not being someone above everyone else will I am sure that you do get the occasional genius and you get people who are thinking in a particular way, so they have a lot of experience behind them but that doesn't necessarily mean that everything that they are going to say is going to be correct in right and it may also mean that the way that they are looking is the way that they sort of have to look because they have gone down that path and the path leads on when they could have gone down a myriad of other paths.

Out of the mouths of children and babies. and that fits in with the ideas... that is what was being said about the games as well, did I just lose all that I don't think I did. How the games people, looking at games technology, a usually games players themselves. putting their periscope above the parapet, so they are coming from their particular viewpoint of being games developers or whatever, so really what they see is what they expect to see to an extent and if you have a completely new clear pair of eyes you can possibly see something new with them and inform, if you can get your voice heard. and the whole thing with web and web 2 is that to an extent everyone can get their voice heard, everyone can publish, although of course with millions and millions and millions of people doing that whoever reads it? Who was it done for and how does the clear thinking rise to the surface? But it does, going back to what Stephen was saying, Stephen Hepple and his blog, but he was saying that most of the exciting developments in IT that he as come across have not been written up in papers, not gone through the academic route, there from people just working away at the coalface chipping bits off. and that fits in with my thinking again back to Bob Hughes and these huge corporations creating IT systems that don't work, but fail, that cost millions more than they should have cost and don't deliver. IT solutions developed by committee when a single person or a little group of people working together in open source can produce a workable solution that doesn't have the same financial commitment or expectation behind it. I certainly find this at school with the Sims database and the School website that I know that I could do possibly differently but I think just as well, in fact perhaps better. Bob Hughes was also talking about a huge amount of time that gets wasted on computer stuff writing reports that didn't need to be written doing things one way, dictated by the media, the machine, when they would more easily have been done another way, a bit like my online agenda system as opposed to the whiteboard.

14th April

Thinking about the project in terms of it’s being created by the students rather than by me, so what I give them is a rough framework but it is the ideas that come up with the group that we can follow. That is the way that I can teach a lot of the time, and I feel that it is, albeit teaching by the seat of the pants -- there is not a lot that you can plan in advance, it does hopefully allow the students to gain ownership of the project that they are doing, as long as the structure behind it is strong enough to support whatever it is that we end up doing. The most difficult thing that is the technology, particularly working with the GPS, Windows, and devices that are old and possibly not as good as they might be.

I was also looking at the work this morning, Knowle West Media Centre, and the Urban 2 project at the Knowle West Media Centre have been involved in, and this one is getting the children, students, young people involved in the project, they also had the young people involved in the evaluation of the project, and looking at how that evaluation process worked with young people. So given that the evaluation is such an important part of this project, it may be that I look to how the project is evaluated by the students working on it as well, so that could become a part of the work that I handed in also.

16th April

16th of April wondering what happened to my holiday just a few days left and I have not done nearly as much as I planned to do in fact spent most of the holiday feeling pretty ill and wooly in the head but just beginning to get into it reading a lot of pamphlets and books based around the blueboard project in Bristol suited and booted Knowle West media Centre Futurelab and finding all that sort of connection to look through trawl through read up to make the connections particularly with the article in the evaluation of the blue board project that Simon Poulter did wrote working around the idea that you let the students produce the creativity and have the ownership of it `should probably go in somewhere but also the Futurelab project I filled in a questionnaire for some months ago looking specifically at online resources and teaching and an interesting reconnection on the Art exchange project with Una Shannon back from years travelling and wanting to reconnect thinking about the possibilities of projects that we could do for the coming year online projects possibly using online galleries such as Flickr but I would quite like to do more in the way of database and directly swapping ideas along the lines of the photoshop pingpong and back to the original concept of art exchange which was that it should be a cultural exchange as much as an art exchange particularly if some of the teachers in Barcelona got involved in that while because of language difficulties that we had although I imagine that language translation has moved on just about as quickly as anything else one of the problems that I have been definitely hitting upon recently is people not answering my e-mail and I know when you are busy so many e-mails coming in it is so easy not to be malicious you just say I can’t answer that one now because I need to give it more time and it drops out of the e-mail window and it is very rare to go back and look again so I could really do with a better sorting system myself but the problem I have is other people not answering e-mails I sent three e-mails now to Liz at Adobe connected with summer plans, with Adobe licensing and a trial of Adobe Director 11 which I would very much like to get my hands on and I’ve had no response from her at all I think I need to just go ahead with some plans anyway but also an e-mail to Emma Augusita at the Knowle West media Centre to which you didn’t reply so I need to chase that one up I was supposed to have a meeting with Carolyn Hussan yesterday at Knowle West but that was cancelled so I need to get back onto that an e-mail I sent quite some time ago to Morven at suited and booted never got a response so I have re e-mailed her this morning to try and set up a meeting I think partly meeting with all these groups will be a tremendous help to me because I do tend to act as a bit of a loner which is very isolating in terms of the project I collected a lot of memories from Sidcot old scholars over the last four or five days some of them written and some of them recorded the recordings aren’t particularly good so it may be that we have to work around that somehow that going back to the Simon Poulter quote I don’t want to anticipate what the students might do with it even though they have an extraordinarily short amount of time to work on this project only to lessons so it is going to have to be prepared to quite an extent the other bit on the recording side of things is the telephone Skype in number which seems to be working brilliantly so my feeling with the Park business to get the students doing that to phone in their contributions directly to the Skype in maybe have a team out and about with mobile phones maybe have another team on a computer with Skype in so they can be building the mediascape directly as the reports come in it’s like a team game of some sort with a base camp and the telecommunications going back and forth to add a bit of that feeling of group game team game breaking into teams getting people to rely on each other rather than just sending them all out individually like I often do establish a base camp group.

23rd April

Thursday, 23 April this will be mostly a response to the upper fourth lesson that Phil and I and Dennis did on Tuesday that was the first of two sessions with the idea of creating a media scape around the Sidcot school map I have created the map I have put the co-ordinates in I showed them the map at the beginning of the lesson gave them a very quick demonstration of the media scape software the idea of creating zones and then I showed them all recording equipment that we can use and the cameras and let them go off in groups just really do this first lesson to explore with no fixed idea as to what they would bring back I told them about the old scholars recordings we listened to a couple of those and they looked at the book but otherwise I didn’t proscribe what it was that they would do with this lesson they were really just to go out and explore and I am thinking of that at the end of the lesson they all had a great time they thoroughly enjoyed it they didn’t produce much at all and in a very limited timespan I wonder whether I do tighten up on it myself so that we get a media scape at the end of it or whether it is more important to leave it very free which allows the creativity or the possibility of creative accidents and creative thoughts rising up there is a section in dust and magic that I read a day or two ago about the creative process and how to begin with you just gather lots of ideas and information and then you go and walkabout imagining yourself into the situation of the people that you were working towards and then as you let all this stuff settle in your mind that’s when the creative ideas can start coming and once the creative ideas start coming then they can be developed so getting the idea is not stage one but stage three of the process and it sort of tax in a little bit to what we were talking about in departmental meeting yesterday thinking about how we introduce the A2 the current AS students and what framework and stimulus we need to give them what structure so it’s this question of structure versus fluidity but anyway what these people came back with from their recordings a few technical problems with garage band and equipment levels to high levels too low and metronome on and there is a difficulty with them walking around recording all laptops I really should have lots more devices that they can record on I am thinking that the mobile phone is going to be the best one in the Sydney Gardens because I won’t be too keen on them walking about the gardens with laptops and recording equipment I think that would be a bit daft. so I think that mobile phone has to be it at that one but for this the boys found the recording of voice very difficult they went to their ambient sounds of which there are very few the fountain ping on the door the Road traffic that really unless you have really good sound recording equipment it is difficult to get clear recordings of that sort of sounds I had another boy back in the classroom downloading ambient sounds from the partners in rhyme Web site and they are obviously much clearer and much more useful the girls went round it took a while to get into the garage band and they started by just reading the signposts and the notices that inspiration and playing about with all the different voice effects in garage band so they came back with a hilarious set of recordings which were Echoie and helium and various different types of voice mostly giggling and out of that came the idea that maybe this whole soundscape should be a sort of giggling laughter but that sort of fits with an idea of memory and echoes in the past and a sort of patchwork quilt and one of the boys went out with a camera and took lots of photographs of the buildings mostly not close-ups but quite standard sort of shots I suggested that maybe next week they should go out and take lots of close-up shots of things with cameras little experiences homing in on the minutiae of ideas developed that this sort of patchwork quilt and sounds and what’s a sort of sounds would gather what snippets of information may be laid over the memories so sound quality isn’t what you go for. I think the other big issue that I found doing it was to fill the space the space of the island you have to have a phenomenal amount of material it’s such a huge area that really the scale of it was much bigger than I imagined otherwise you’ve just got to repeat the same sounds over and over again or it just gets extremely boring so the big question that came out of Tuesday to me is how you work an interesting narrative back into it that retains the spontaneity of the students recording along with some interest to the listener and the random nature of the narrative it doesn’t start here and end their duties wherever you go there has got to be something that keeps the interest of the listener

28th April

28th of April feeling really pleased because I had to centre tweet from my iPhone directly to the front page of the art site at Sidcot which is coming on apace now and it worked absolutely beautifully and very speedily and we are thinking of putting a sort of photo twitter come caption competition in there as well so that people want to go each week to see what the photograph is just a little device to get people to go to the site to be proactive in looking at the site which is one of the challenges in relation to the media scape project I spent a stupid amount of time this weekend transcribing all the old memories and I have got the class this morning to work out how it is we are going to create this media scape my feeling from last week is that we have to have an awful lot of audio files in order to fill the space it needs to be something that people want to listen to certainly the old scholars stuff I want to listen to I don’t know whether the children do and a lot of the recording is uneven so my feeling is to get the students to rerecord the memories so they are memories in the voices of children it might even be better to do it with younger children than year nine but we shall try that this morning and see what happens but also working on getting more audio devices working so I have got a couple of old iPods with microphones which are up and running and I have ordered another couple of the zoom audio recorders so we should have plenty with which to make recordings and I am thinking of letting zooms out today drawing the day so that the upper fourth can record the ambient sounds perhaps in lessons perhaps in the playground perhaps at lunchtime and get a lot more sort of general around the school chatter particularly I think small groups of children sort of chatter informal chatter which would create a sort of backdrop to the other media files but I’m getting a little bit stuck as to what I will do with the difficult teenagers at half term I have been doing quite a lot of reading now about creativity and inclusion doing a lot of thinking about giving the creative power to them or creating an atmosphere in which the ideas can come collectively rather than me dictating which isn’t currently working very well with the Sidcot media scape I think I’m going to have to direct it a bit more in order to get anything listenable to out of it other than just the experience but then maybe it is just the experience that is important as well we shall have to see what comes out of that one but in relation to the Holborn Museum media scape I don’t want to be seen as a sort of outsider coming in and imposing I don’t want to be forcing people to do things that they don’t want to do I want them to be genuinely creative and genuinely interested which is one heck of a challenge because I can imagine like with my current group just large amounts of me talking and them being silent and bugger all actually going on and maybe in the end I am satisfied with not having an outcome that may be just that I have managed to get an engaged and involved and having fun do we actually in the end need an outcome? That is sort of polished and usable I think that this Easter one is very much going to be a dry run to the summer which will give me the time to evaluate think about what I produce with them in relation to the summer so it is all a bit of a process really meanwhile thinking a lot about creativity in education and inclusivity and letting students be the ones that direct and choose interesting lesson yesterday with the seven doing photo shop I had to more or less absent myself because I was doing exams stuff and they just got on and did it they can use photo shop now I don’t really have to teach them at all which is quite amazing really because it is really a professional and difficult programme I imagine handing an 11-year-old a violin and saying here play this extraordinary and also getting very wound up I think I talked of this day or two ago we can exam, with the idea of exams measuring one of my stitches getting quite uppity about the forthcoming exam and how we must have the work in the minute before the exam starts to me art doesn’t work like that and also talking to the IB moderator it is very difficult to measure art to quantify it in an empirical system so I understand that building the system is complex but it can’t be that the system that drives the creativity it has got to be that the system fits with the creative process and part of the creative process as always is pushing the boundaries practically I still need to get on to all the people who haven’t replied to me suited and booted I didn’t get a response Caroline I did but I need to re-arrange a meeting the Simons I didn’t get a response Constance I did but I still need to arrange a meeting so in this very very busy two or three weeks there is a lot of arranging and visiting to be done as well as all the marking.

30 April

Thursday, 30 April and nearly May time is running out only five weeks left and I realised in the tutorial on Tuesday looking at what other folks have done beginning by feeling a bit smug because I was feeling that I have probably done a lot then realising when I was showing the website right at the end that in fact an awful lot of what I have done is not as yet been precipitated for real and there is still a huge amount of work to do to get across the stuff that I have done and when do I find the time but I will because it happens time passes things get done to whatever level

Two threads this morning thinking about particularly about the implications of the European year of creativity and innovation and how the rhetoric and the speechmaking that is coming out of the European Parliament at the moment and how that might inform what I am doing and in fact also to go back to seeing if we can make a bid of some sort next year the European funding to see if there is any avenue for that or maybe not next year maybe the bid would be to the following year next year making the bid and laying the foundations with various partners is what the work is about built on part exchange and about getting people involved in finding the programmers who will give their skills or finding the money to pay programmers so that the project can succeed because it’s not all resting on my shoulders I am providing the framework and enthusiasm this comes out of something that Caroline said an unthinking also about some of the stuff that I have been reading particularly the rhetoric I suppose about creativity in education encouraging every student to find their creative impulses and sort of democratising creativity working from a students point of view working with their creativity rather than imposing structure all the things that I have been thinking about and do passionately believe in the stuff that comes from me but the other side of the coin is that there will obviously be a few that rise to the top who are particularly keen to take it up and are exceptionally good and there will be those artists and musicians who learn the craft and get better than their teachers very quickly where does that innate creativity come from and in offering a creativity to all do we not do our best by those people I guess I am thinking particularly of classical music classical painting I guess and structure within the classroom and how do we structure the skills in so that we are inclusive without putting off those who feel they haven’t got the skills and feel that they are not creative feel that they can’t draw hard we work with those in was individual creativity fit in with group work how does the whole thing fit together I was reading an article by Claire Fox is it the metal think tank I think and she is obviously highly capable highly academic and she was sort of lampooning and de-riding a lot of the rhetoric coming out of government circles around creativity and she cited the playing of classical music on the escalators in the tube not in an attempt to calm and entertain but in an attempt to stop loutish behaviour because it is thought that the louts won’t want to be around classical music and yet how do you through education inculcate that love of classical music and the inspiration and indeed not just the love of it but a huge amount of time and work that it takes to learn to play an instrument how the parents parenting fit in with that how does role model fit in with that where do the role models come from thinking particularly in School of the Korean girls Korean girls in particular being forced to have such high expectations of themselves often the most amazing musicians but not necessarily with feeling and what I am doing which is sort of the opposite I guess where the feeling is more important if you get the feeling or the need and the creativity then the craft may well follow but the inspiration the fire is what comes first with the Korean girls the fire is often parental expectation and it can work maybe or it can just burn you out as with Jo possibly.

2nd May

These are some thoughts that have come up over the last few days due to a few incidents. The first was an argument on Tuesday, or a heated discussion with my painting and drawing teacher Cathy particularly relating to how we structure the art is at school that pedagogy internal workings and structure

she is quite keen that we should put a lot more structure in that we should have a lot more skills sessions and help and advice to teach the children and I’m not uncomfortable with that at all I think it is very comfortable as a teacher to be able to teach that it is all so to my mind got to fit in with the structure of the school but we have some students that a on timetable some who are off timetable and some who are already better artists than we are and need to just go off and do it and some of whom the problem isn’t that they wouldn’t do it but they don’t know how to get started and there are some who are very good artists but they are pathologically unable to get past their inertia there is a whole range of different types of people who come through art rooms and it is how we create a structure that will cater to the bulk of them and work the bulk of them that was the first incident the other two really move on from that one

the second was a book that I was sent by an 88-year-old woman who was diagnosed at the age of 80 as being dyslexic she has written a book about her childhood now looking back in relation to her dyslexia she was Sidcot old scholar and was told at school or had the feeling at school and she was stupid in fact the test that she did when she was 80 proved that she is highly intelligent she just has difficulty with sequencing language reading spelling all sorts of things that in a milder form I am sure I am beginning to think that I that it’s the way my brain works too

and the third one was a talk yesterday with IB examiner Moderator and I was talking about the dyslexic students that we have and how it’s very difficult to them and they often choose art because it is a subject that they can do and in fact often dyslexic students are extremely good at art music drama that sort of area as well as Asperger’s students and yet the school system mitigates against them and I was complaining particularly about the IB system and the fact that they had to keep this journal workbook sketchbook and the students that it seems to favour other ones that work in a sequential order the ones that use language very well the ones that can do the research the ones that can put their course into sequence and put them down in writing and the ones who will make beautiful pages and do the thing very beautifully perhaps the one who’s writing is neat and this is the particular one where I always get caught out because my handwriting is awful which is possibly and my spelling is even worse so I have great difficulty in putting anything down partly because of the embarrassment of the spelling mistakes and partly because my writing isn’t readable anyway unless I go very slowly and if I write very slowly I often lose what it is that I am writing so the whole system is set up to favour girls I think in particular who are neat and organised and will do things in order and often the system itself is mitigating against our most creative students who are dyslexic possibly walk will have dyslexic tendencies come to think laterally or have a very good spatial awareness can think in the big picture and be sparky and creative but not wanting to or not able somehow to put it down in order because it is not in order it is there all at once in that wonderful Ted Nelson phrase intertwingled that everything is intertwingled that I see everything at once I can’t be bothered with the structure the writing of notes and making marks in a notebook or whatever I see the whole picture at once and it moves into my teaching what I feel is my teaching and the way I would like to structure the Department which is this sort of whole feel to get everything working as a whole if we get everyone in the arc from a working passionately if we said that fire alight and have fires burning in the art department then people will be attracted to that fire that warmth and that light and that is where the teaching happens an okay so we need to build the fire structurally so that it can light but that is not necessarily about the teaching of skills in particular because there are so many different skills in art I think that people will find the skills if they want to find them so what we have to do is teachers is make them want to find the skills and to give a skill might encourage them to want more or might not do for thing actually was an interesting thing on radio four’s today programme that I recorded which was about how to teach art to attract boys as well as girls and there does seem to be quite a big gender issue thing as to how boys and girls react to school and I do feel with my own own children that school is set up a very particular way of learning often and it’s not very good with other ways and what got me particularly annoyed with the IB examiner who was in she said if we have dyslexic students then we can go down the special needs root you can register them as having special needs and I’m crying no no no no no no no dyslexia is not a special need every child has needs and they are all special and we have to cater every child’s needs and to every child’s strengths and weaknesses whatever just because one child’s brain doesn’t work in the same way as another child’s brain it doesn’t mean that that child has special needs a large child who might not be able to sports very well the classic Billy Bunter has a special need everyone has needs I am completely convinced about that. it’s not about bashing a square into a round hole but carefully moulding a material around the square peg to keep it snugly secured.

4th May

Particularly about how difficult it is to use the equipment, learning everything from scratch on the PCs, try to get enough all the pieces together to do the mediascape working with multiple platforms on the Mac but also the relevance of how media staple fit in with cross curricular working with geography and other subjects and may be putting in the letters that I have written to management in relation to the way that my job might go and the relevance to the work that I am doing here

Thinking about how I organise the essay and thinking that I should have a bit of the front which lists all the visits that I have been to started with the media scape thing and possibly adds Bedales in there as well thinking about alternative possibilities of the way teaching happens talking particularly about team teaching and multidisciplinary cross curricular teaching I was also just thinking that in the introduction I should be very clear about what I’m doing

This isn’t necessarily a new recording this is just ideas to get in quick in the introduction talk about the year of creativity and the fact that ICT going through the schools and being used in every subject and how we work from the children and they know the ICT possibly better than us all those factors should be in the introduction and introduction should be talking about me working this out working out my position with it perhaps are particularly about how we go about getting digital technology into the school what their relevance is what the future might hold and the Knowle West media Centre and other ICT projects that I might have been involved in and I would be very strongly the introduction to the piece to show the pedagogy behind what I’m doing working with my students working with excluded teenagers not going towards any grand idea of changing society not even but yes changing individuals

10th May

my work with these youngsters at half term is getting very close now a couple of weeks I have really got to think about how it is going to work with them

one of the things that I discovered from doing the mediascape at Sidcot is that you have to have a huge number of recordings to fill the space or else you had to limit the mediascape somehow to a path so given the timescale and the nature of the youngsters I’m thinking that we build just create a tour of the park so that people will go on a specific walk to pick up the story we have to think about building a mediascape that will be interesting to listeners but relevant to the students

I’m still very keen on both my ideas of using a stream of photography homing in on little bits around the park as they walk round and then matching that to memories and working with the students so that what we are building up is either a mediascape of their memories and thoughts about themselves or else imagined memories and thoughts about the people that they see I still think that is pretty strong I don’t want to be to directive myself but also talking to the Simons last week it is very clear that it is only going to work if it is very very simple and keep the structure extremely simple and very keen on what they are doing which is taking old games tried and tested games like tag and hide and seek and just adding the dimension of virtual reality on top

and I thought of this idea of a snakes and ladders game that we could create in Sydney Gardens as an icebreaker of some sort I did a lot of thinking this morning as well I was trying to explain to Cheryl what tweeting is what twitter is social networking and blogging and micro blogging and how I might be working with that and really the whole went to thing Flickr and Facebook Twitter, how you go with that technology and that flow and weave it back into the educational work, work with the grain rather than against it work with the materials and media that you have these ideas coming up from Bob Hughes this morning of keeping it in line with the grain and flow of the technology and that is true of education going with the students rather than trying to force them into doing something going back to thinking about what the Simons was saying using very simple technology like Flickr like SMS texting going with that using what is already out there and just using it in new ways may be unforeseen ways geo-tagging and that sort of thing as well with Flickr and making use of that in the games that we are playing, powerful stuff

12th May

this is testing the new voice recording device on my phone

and just making a note of the meeting that I’ve just had with Carolyn and Hassan at the Knowle West Media Centre

I started talking to her about the project in a fortnight and how I would cope with the teenagers and she suggested most of the things I have been thinking about which was have plenty up your sleeve do very short sessions raise the energy she thought that trying to get them to tell stories would be very difficult when she has tried that she has not really managed to get off the ground Digital storytelling that possibly to get it working around objects would work when they tried working with experience in stories it only worked with things like football and pets and bits and pieces like that but it didn’t get them thinking very deeply so she thought they may have trouble with that so it is basically about having a contingency plan and it is basically about the contingency plan being around the photography being around describing things and my new idea of creating the map itself physically as well as creating the media map and doing a lot of concentrating on photography so all those things

and then we started talking about possibilities the next year and a collaboration getting youngsters from Knowle West out to Sidcot and getting Sidcot youngsters back to Knowle West and we talked about horses because courses feature quite a lot in Knowle West we talked about the possibility of photographers coming out to Sidcot and joining in with the photographers at Sidcot and we talked shared website type of ideas

So there is a lot of potential there even at the very smallest scale some sort of sharing of time and experience and the next step is looking for funding so I will put in a bid to the Adobe youth voices funding and see if that will get me anywhere and we need to look at timing so nothing at all was decided other than making contact again and getting some ideas flowing

13th May

windy another day of wind, how wind affects your mood! yesterday in the park went okay the children tend to be in groups can be a bit groupy rather than going off and taking it really seriously although there are some nice images. I haven’t had time to listen to the sound yet.

One thing to do would be to record Cleo walking around the grounds talking about the history of the Sydney Gardens because she will have all that knowledge in her head and she would be able to give us a fantastic tour which we could record and sort of weave that into the story here and there as a thread that fits in a bit like this if it one with the old scholars so we could have snippets of her talking and snippets of interviews with park users and weave the other stories into that students own stories and thoughts and photographs and that would allow old photographs and maps to go in there as well so it ends up the same sort of conglomeration and just reading I can’t remember what I was reading yesterday that it had the root of the word document documentary and also the root of the word text the root of the word text coming from the same place as textile to weave reading words together to create a narrative to create a story I can’t remember where document came from I shall have to look at up when I get home

patchwork quilts seem to be quite a theme with different people producing the quilt images of early American explorers come to mind each person produces a little bit of the quilt and then they all get sewn together into a whole this idea of a patchwork of experience and memories which fits in really well with my ideas of web 2.0 and little snippets from everybody the wiki idea it also fits really well with the metaphor for what we are creating the idea of a map that you look down on a map from above and you get that sort of patchwork quilt of imagery from Google maps it fits in with that and it fits in with ideas of working with school of each child producing a piece of work that fits into a whole and then thinking further about this metaphor and how the brain likes metaphor again from Bob Hughes thing how the websites and the Apple desktop produces a metaphor and how this can be empowering because we like to create images to make sense of things but also it can be restricting as with the art department website once you have created that metaphor that illusion then you have got to stick with it because if you then break that metaphor like when we were coming out to serendipity to the blog it feels uncomfortable evolution is broken

confessions memories sort of fit in with the secrets idea with the website of secrets and sort of secretly sharing things that you have done from your childhood and the personal and the memory thing fits in really well and everyone has those memories we can dig back as far as we can although we could structure it a little bit thinking about a lovely memory and a sad memory one that was really disturbing and those sort of things I think that would really work no matter what age and it should produce something interesting

how about a mediascape based on a fairy story in a wood or a park taking you into a fantasy world as you walk about perhaps aimed at younger children perhaps using Jane as the storyteller

17th May

Sunday, 17 May thinking about gaming thinking about the pedagogy of or should I say pedagogy of the hats, the art room and the hats and sofas games playing having fun creativity coming out of having fun thinking about the radio programme that I heard on Google their philosophy that their workers of sofas and games rooms and working in small teams and that the team should be having fun there is a section in Bob Hughes about small teams he relates it to successful sailing team’s or climbing teams mountaineering and then hats, when Cathy first came and I started buying silly hats so that our students could come into the art room put on a silly hat as they came into the art room only if they wish to of course and changed their personality or persona be something different when they came into that space so it’s a little bit like games space creating the art space differently to allow people to relax and then the creativity to come out of it similarly with the sofas and pedagogy of the sofas in the art room allowing students to get laptops sit down maybe do a bit of facebook or pretty difficult for ordinary teachers don’t smile at them otherwise you have lost it the sort of Victorian ideal of teaching almost completely reversed with the idea that you draw the students out of themselves very gradually and you try and give them, it comes out of their feelings of self-esteem and self-worth drawing the drawing out of them and it is particularly relevant I feel the creative process in art because art being a very visual medium means that you constantly seeing what you are doing in relation to other people and one of the beauties of the digital technology I think that the younger ones you can immediately get some pretty stunning results despite possible problems with hand eye coordination and that your skill of it it will give you results on which you can very quickly build. and older ones can possibly be producing professional work. but it is also the team work thing where you were part of a team and more than the sum of the parts so the work that can come out can be a real team effort particularly with the filmmaking animation that sort of thing

and then thinking about the lesson on Tuesday starting with an actual physical map a little bit worried about copyright because although I have got an aerial view of Sidcot I haven’t got an aerial view of Sydney Gardens so I’ll be relying on printing out a big Google map but the idea of working on a big Google map and doing the media scape physically with collage I really like what I would really like is to build the media scape into that map so you can do it either online or in the physical place so you could explore a map of somewhere that you are going on holiday to example or a new school or anything like that it is very much the idea of Google maps and Flickr I suppose that it is adding others experience into it and that whole area of Flickr and photo synth Google maps tagging that is becoming what it is but you could overlay a surrealistic layer or a narrative story fantasy like Alice in Wonderland dreamworld mixing the real and the virtual mixing the real and the surreal and the unreal you can be there that you don’t need to be and when you are there you can add a virtual layer on top of the tour guides other people’s experience other people’s photographs other people’s memories other peoples experiences it is that blurring of the line between what is real and what essentially becomes other people’s memories so it is a sharing of memory memory becomes a commodity that can be shared in the way I guess it always was and that culture is a sharing of collective memory storytelling conjures up images so it is very much back to storytelling I was thinking of the maps and in relation to telling a story the map of the woods with stories being journeys and building up pictures of the journey particularly something like Hansel and Gretel in the woods or Little red Riding Hood classic tales to be redone in digital media but great to to retell a story in a physical form as you are walking through an area I love the idea of photo stream connected to a touchscreen so that you can walk your way through it with your fingers but that you have a choice as to where you go I suppose that is very much like games and gaming my experience of gaming is a little bit more hazy because I don’t that is basically what it is

Jung and the collective unconscious, the 100th monkey - what was the technical term for this? The mediascape in San Jose - a Halloween walk

18th May

Monday, 18 May and on the M5 northbound heading to the futurelab conference in London I have just had a meeting in school with Michael Loader who is going to come and help me on the first day of the project next week we were talking about how we were going to do the icebreaking theatre performer and artist company called foolworks and I thought it would be great if we could start off with some sort of game to break the ice not really sure what this would be how much the students could get themselves involved straight away from cold. And he can only be with me for an hour which makes it a little bit more difficult than what I had in mind but we discussed it may be the first couple of activities that we might do a lot of it might depend on how the very first few minutes go and how we judge that which is what we do as professionals anyway just test how extreme our first game or two can be

but I’m thinking much more about how we get into the main activity based on the secrets site we could get a few postcards to begin with on which everyone wrote to some secret or other we could start it with being from a bench or a tree or bush or something so it wasn’t personal but it was written in the experience of an object bridge wastepaper bin whatever so basically if they write their secret on a postcard and then they go out into the park and they place their postcard hide it away somewhere in the Park and then they come back and on the map they mark where it is that they have put the postcard and then we go out again and we try and find the postcards so each person comes back with a different postcard that would be the basic plot I think another one might be a listening game where you go blindfolded with a partner and just to sort of exploration of the park without looking which may be a bit too difficult I don’t know it may be simpler just to go to some part of the park and from little while sit down close your eyes and listen and maybe make a record of how many different sounds from one place in the Park just jot down as many different sounds as you possibly can do

so that’s another both useful and an icebreaker and testing the water as to whether we do it blindfold or not and both those the secrets being was getting me back into the idea of the game of consequences that I was talking about a lot in the last project and consequences as a game that a number of people can play so up my sleeve could be a game of consequences anyway as another possibility I don’t know that they could get the same fun out of that as we do as a family that my thinking so far

24th May

Saturday the 24th of May. This may be a long one this morning as there are lots of thoughts starting with an interesting bit of serendipity which is getting to the end of Bob Hughes book eventually 10 minutes each morning I managed to finish it starting at Christmas and right at the end of it has a photograph of the gate in the Mendips and this is where I’m at a gate in the Mendips and this gate is made out of rough wooden planks hammered on to a post and it’s good enough if it does its job so it is all about context in a city centre it would not be good enough but equally if you took a beautifully created teak and glass and steel gate from a shopping all and put it in the Mendip Hills it wouldn’t work either so it’s about context and it is about being good enough and the propensity of digital media for people to expect the world of it because there is no end to it you can carry on polishing and perfecting you can take on far more than you can chew and all that sort of stuff is a really for me it is homing in on what I am actually doing I’ve got today tomorrow and Tuesday is the day that I start this project with my experimental kids and really it is a distilling of what I am doing which is working with media scape mostly on the idea of engagement so the worrying thing for me is that I don’t proscribe what is going to happen because to proscribe will take away what I take to be their creativity they will then work to what I am expecting which removes the art where as what I want them to do is for them to be if they can produce the art through their engagement and in terms of the media scape itself this a patchwork quilt in the Sydney Gardens it’s whether I can communicate to them what it is that that is about and for me in the last few days thinking more and more that it links so much into the ideas of happening and random art another bit of serendipity going to an exhibition in Bath on Friday which was photo marathon where students will it was an artist that said this one up with about 10 people each one is given a disposable camera and they have a day to go round Bath and shoot 10 or so pictures to different themes and I was already thinking of the idea of disposable cameras leaving them around the park pinning notices to trees or leaving postcards to gather the information about the park so the project as a whole the media scape as a whole the actual process of creating it is the work of art is the happening with me as the artist and the students as artist participants and the general public outside of that so the actual finished piece the finished media scape isn’t the work of art at all it is the what happens next week which is the final piece that is where I got too at the moment thoughts of Richard Long

Lots coming out of the meeting that I had on Friday in London with the silver group and the Bridgeman Art library ideas of combining the library resource with the teaching that I will be doing in July the Apple thinking lots about copyright how we need not to infringe copyright in school and encouraged the students to understand about copyright as best we can and the Bridgeman Art library collaboration seems to be a really good way to me to be doing that getting the point across that still offering the creative resources so that was another bit of serendipity that those two things came together and the guy there getting quite animated over Interface design pointed me in the direction of the software but they have been developing to create interactive media so that will be an interesting one to develop perhaps the next year and talking with Cheryl this morning in the hot tub about my ideas and plans talking a lot about the fact that, well I started with saying that I wasn’t really prepared for Tuesday but at what preparation leaving a space and the creativity and the spontaneous and if it is organised I cut out the creativity but it adds a real element of risk and we moved on to talking about well I moved on to talking about what projects am trying to create in school particularly moving across from the art to working in Digital media across many disciplines and working out how I can do that and Cheryl suggested a pilot project within the School working with either the junior school or with history or geography or something like that and I think that the next year that is very definitely the way in and it may be possible for me to create that combination for Adobe funding working with Knowle West media Centre and working with Una Shannon over in Galway possibly with Carlos in Barcelona working online so online collaborative tools working with excluded youngsters from Knowle West alongside students in school a whole load of box ticking going on there but still basically working around the idea of engagement involvement and how we use digital media to engage and involve which I think for me has been the overriding theme all along

So this is down to simple organisation now I think I’ll have about eight kids so eight of the black laptops and 8 cameras Digital cameras they each have their own laptop and they will have a folder on it and I will take the scanner along or a couple of scanners are not on Tuesday but hopefully by Wednesday we will have a wireless network up and running so we can maybe grab stuff of the Internet particularly sound I want to work mostly with sound if I possibly can have the sound thing is much more difficult to do than getting into the imagery that have headphones to go with the laptops and I’ll take some microphones along although we’ve got the decent hand microphones so that will work five of those and were working with clipboards postcards we can scan the postcards in the evidence before a big map where we place things so we’ve got a physical dimensional to it over the table so I have got to print out a big map so actually when they collect images when they collect sound they can plot on the map that will also give us a record of were we have put the Digital cameras the disposable cameras and where we have put the clipboards that we want to claim back in and where we have hidden the postcards so we’re sort of using the big map as the command centre such going back to an extent to what I was thinking of doing with mobile phones that may be taking the technology out just a little bit more we can try and do the phone in stuff later on we can try and do the flickr stuff as well but I think that this particular one we will stick as much as we can to the simple stuff that is not going to go wrong trying to the mobile phone the flickr and the GPS the summer

And I need to have a look at the game’s book to see if there are any ideas from collaborative games that we can overlay over the top

Very interesting to discover that the author of the new games book and the inspiration behind the new games movement was also the instigator of the whole Earth catalogue and that if all out of 60s San Francisco the birthplace of Apple

Web two is all about user generated content, wikis it’s all about collaborative work it is all about the individual as being the learner as being the creator digital media is all about communities creating communities about networking its all about networking

Thinking about the image Galleries and putting in my road sequence and possibly the roadkill sequence and possibly as well a selection of the Mirror photographs not that they relates directly except that the image and the Mirror as a reflection and the mediascape is about being out in the world and seen a reflection you see a reflection of yourself in the mirror so it is just another nice metaphor really a bit like that film the Mirror Tarkovsky where you are looking back on yourself so mirrors memories reflections frames being out in the world contemplating yourself in a world on the outer world the world of the imagination the world the world of memory and the world of how we feel you can we see and how we react and the virtual being laid over the top as another layer the dreamworld the surrealistic dreamworld all these spaces tying in together spaces

Perhaps more than anything else it is just about having fun if we can’t have fun then what’s the point if we can’t have a good laugh don’t it too seriously I think that fun is my overriding pedagogic philosophy it’s got to be fun.

I was thinking I did the media scape by Duncan Speakman again yesterday in the centre of Bristol and I really appreciate and like the way he has over layered sound you have always got sound going on even when he is giving instructions you have a piece of music playing in the background and I was just musing on this walk up the hill and thinking about an overlay of my breathing And the sound of the birds and the wind and that has got me thinking about heavy breathing which isn’t quite what I in to but I am going to stop here and send tweet to the website having reached the gate

26th May

Well that was a very interesting experience and not what I was expecting at all and initially numbers I was expecting eight and four turned up which began at the beginning it made it feel like it was going to be much more difficult because to get the quantity the sort of my shotgun approach needs lots of lots of people producing to get the quantity of recordings I was a little bit concerned and also when they first arrived two of them were very boisterous not wanting to join in racing all over the place disappearing eating biscuits by the ton getting very hyper lots of extraordinary language and the other two were very quiet one of them not wanting to look at you not wanting to tell their names not wanting to get involved at all so two complete sort of camps Michael was absolutely brilliant starting off with some games we went outside and we played a hat game a sort of competition game and then went off and explored some of the... in pairs we went off and found an object like a tree or a bench or something like that and made up a story made up a lie about it in our pairs and then we took the rest of the group round and we told them the stories that we had made up and that began to work and then we had a break and more biscuits more sugar and coffee and all that sort of stuff cigarette break and a the Cleo gave a talk and the whole way through her slideshow her PowerPoint the boy who does a lot of swearing was doing a lot of swearing and it was very difficult for her that formal educational situation they didn’t want to be involved with that at all and then Michael went and I got to map out and started talking about what we would do with this media scape how it would work and straight away the quiet girl had a fantastic set of ideas and got it right off knew exactly what it was about and started talking about making it into a competition for children so that we could take some photographs and places round the park and we could show the photographs and then they had to go off and find them so almost immediately we had the shape of the media scape and that got them going so I send those two the quieter two who I think are from one organisation and possibly know each other and they are a little bit older so I sent those two off to go finding places around the park with a couple of cameras that could be part of the competition while the younger more rowdy boys I was going to get them started on a starter media scape on the mole game but totally let down by the technology not one of the iPAQs wanted to work this morning they were just being very obnoxious I had managed to set up a wireless network and all these iPAQs wanted to do was to try and connect to the wireless they didn’t want to do anything else at all and it took me 20 minutes to discover that if I put them into aeroplane mode then the bluetooth would still work but by that time the boys not having succeeded had gone on to other things and in fact both of them in different ways and separately where completely and totally engaged one of them went off to record the sounds of the mowers and other ambient sounds and then got into taking photographs and he is fully engaged amazing transformation extraordinary transformation he took out a clipboard and he made a nice title about what he was doing and then he started noting down ideas a complete transformation the other guy was more interested in the technology and trying to work out why the machines weren’t working and I left him to get on with it he would have happily gone on trying to do that all night and then we all got back together at the end to upload the photographs and recordings onto the laptops and they started playing around with them in preview which to me is just a program that you look at images in but they found some menus in preview that I have never come across before particularly looking at altering the white balance and making spooky images which fitted really well with the stories about ghosts and sort of the idea of getting a layer of an idea of the layer of ghosts on top of the media scape so that you have got the physical realm and you have got to be ghostly other ghostly history stories sort of layer they had gotten onto that straight away which I think was brilliant so there is a bit of work to do tomorrow on the technical side of things and I’m going to need to download some maps and we are going to have to work very very fast if we are going to manage to do this in four days and is turning into a competition or quiz or a treasure hunt of some sort is beyond what I was planning to do so that is going to give me a lot more technical challenges to work on over the next couple of days but my little flash of inspiration at some point during the day was to get Charlotte and Mentoring plus and Emma and Cleo to actually do some of the evaluating of this week for me so I can simply add their input to the evaluation of how they think this project has gone in the context of these excluded teenagers and working with technology so hopefully that will make the evaluation at the end a little more useful

26th May

Tuesday 26 of May half term and I wonder what I’m doing this early in the morning because I could be lying in bed at today is first day of the collaborative creation of a media scape in Sydney Gardens first of four days and this may well be my penultimate climb up the hill this audio blog is sounding more and more like a big brother sort of thing but I did read in one of the articles that I was looking at that that sort of video diary is going to become popular and it does fit in many ways with the work that I’m doing in school getting students who aren’t so keen on writing to keep a record of how you do it without producing reams and reams and reams and reams which nobody is going to listen to that is that temporal spatial textual thing again searching for the relevant information and I certainly feel that way with the research that I’ve been doing the more that I look at the more there seems to be to look at how do you collect collate all that information to select what you need from it which leads me on to the beauty of twitter as a way of getting ideas out and collecting ideas back in very quick networking and links it is almost like neural pathways that each each of us is one neurone or one fibre passing the neurons along and it’s that network of millions of electronic pulses that make up the systems of our brains and you bring that up onto a larger scale and millions of brains together all firing information

I am wishing that I had a bit more of the practicality organised for this week a bigger list of things to do contingency plans I suppose I got things like photoshop ping-pong and the endless landscape I can always fall back on my tried and tested lessons but I want to be on the edge really I want to be experimenting maybe I need a bigger list of things that we can do outside frisbee was the idea that came to be yesterday get back to something very real catching a frisbee

I also had some good ideas yesterday about how to collect audio from the students one thing would be to get them to sit in the Park absolutely silent and absolutely still and just make a record of all the things that they can hear around them that might have to be written and then they come and speak that written diary and that’s heading interestingly towards poetry perhaps but more towards the sort of art of Richard Long walks that he does the walks and poetry, walks poetry recording and I was thinking from that of the media scape itself that we are creating is a little bit like Richard Long’s photographs of his walks we don’t do the walk he does the walk and a photograph is his record of what he has done his photograph or his map and in the same way we do the week the group of us and the media scape becomes the history of that process that we can pass on and let others experience

There is just one of the things running around in my brain at the moment which is the nature of collaboration both my meetings with well all the meetings I’ve had with other people when I have been talking have really focused my attention and the ideas have flowed much better through collaboration and through talking with other people that they have with these early morning rambles when I have been talking ideas over to someone else I can apparently talking a much more succinct fashion because I have got to communicate with them what my ideas are this sort of goes to the root of education in many ways because of the child has to talk about what it is that they are doing articulate it they will get a much clearer sense of it than if they had just listened to someone sprouting it at the front of a class and I was thinking about in terms of pedagogy of learning group work getting people to talk together it’s amazing how just 10 or 15 minutes with Emma on Friday produced a raft of ideas that might have taken me weeks to get to on my own but also the clarity of talking over my ideas to someone so it’s coming straight out of me rather than even just on to paper the paper bit becomes a craft but the talking straight means that it is coming from somewhere quite deep inside and I occasionally wish I had recorded my conversations with people so that I have got a handle afterwards on it on what it was that I said because it seems pretty clear to me at the time

Of course the difficulty from my point of view is that as a teacher I am sort of outside of their circle and I have got to break myself into that circle to begin with before discussion can happen before we start to work as a group with me in it so often as my experience with this past group has been they don’t say a bloody thing and I’m completely helpless I can’t do a thing unless they do I suppose that’s the downside of it

27th May

Day Two, horrible weather today so that will have had an effect difficult to go out although we did in the morning and we walked around the whole route and we made recordings of the museum staff talking about parts of the park we also identified the 10 different things that we would hide for the hide and seek we then got back and I couldn’t even get them to download the photographs they had taken they were far too keen on youtube and facebook and things like that I couldn’t wean them off that but it was also difficult maybe because there was another group in the room so we were rather cramped but they weren’t particularly keen on working today for some reason today so we put the computers away and I got the big map out and we were hoping to mark all the different bits and pieces of the sounds scape that we wanted onto the map and we made a start on that but again the interest very quickly waned and the interest, the lack of computers was too much of a disappointment so it’s really just group dynamic and group chemistry and maybe they were getting hungry I don’t know so then I got the computers back out and I was trying to get them to download ambient sounds and ran into more technical difficulties because a lot of the sites need you to log in a lot of sound clips aren’t free even though they are supposedly from free sound sites so I really need to find a comprehensive completely free downloadable sound site or else we need to go out tomorrow and create many more of our own sound effects and fill the thing with the noises that we make so some thinking to do tomorrow but lots of ideas for tomorrow as well we need to go out and we need to do more storytelling that is my main feeling

30th May

Saturday, 30 May project is over this is my last blogwalk and as I walk up the hill this morning I’m going to stop every few paces to take a photograph to turn into a photosynth or experiment with photosynth. The week in Bath is over the project there I think was successful depends on what criteria we measure success I spent a stupid amount of time on Thursday evening and early Friday morning getting very little sleep and producing a media scape from the files that they had created which then failed for some unknown technical reasons possibly because I was building it on an emulator on the Macintosh due to lack of a suitable PC on which to do it so it could be it might have been but we didn’t get very much out of it at the end which would have been a shame I had to do some very quick thinking I got one of the students working on the idea of photographs for a photosynth tour and another student went round with a tripod on a camera making 360° panorama’s that we might include somewhere but a third one who is the girl who came up with the original idea of the treasure Trail and she is the one who was responsible for taking photographs and categorising them a 16-year-old very good with technology she is the one who was showing me how to do Bluetooth file transfer when I was going to put it onto a memory stick so in that sense she was already well ahead of me so I very quickly set her up with a laptop and showed her how to use mscape maker and she spent yesterday morning creating a media scape a simpler one that I have in mind but she got the hang very very quickly and she put all the photographs in the right place she set up the zones the regions the ambient sounds and all that sort of stuff and then a couple of times in the morning I had the younger boys go out and test it and it wasn’t brilliantly successful quite a number of the photographs didn’t come up when they were supposed to which I suspect was just down to GPS drift and there is a lot of programming that I would need to learn in order to make it robust I didn’t either get any of the tap the screen functionality into it I might have time to explore that but really I’m not so particularly bothered that we didn’t come up with a finished media scape because to my mind that wasn’t really the intention at all that was just the framework or one of the frameworks within which I was working I would like to produce it just for my own advancement as it were so that so I know thoroughly the In’s and outs of the programming but actually in my evaluation what I will probably say is that working with the technology that we have the old GPS devices only half of which worked working on PCs which I don’t have rather the Macs I’m not sure I can be too bothered to do it once it’s on the Mac platform and working on the iphone or on people’s own mobile phones then it becomes much more relevant to me when they have ownership of the equipment on which the media scape will run particularly so as I spent a lot of time working with devices that didn’t work that caught me out I spent a lot of time charging them up it takes an extraordinary amount of time charging up even five of these devices and then downloading all the bits and pieces that are needed it is simply very time-consuming and you have got to then be in control of keeping them all charged over the week and if you send a child out with one that doesn’t work particularly these children with such short attention spans it really doesn’t work at all so for those reasons I think I don’t have any particular need to make a finished polished media scape that is not what I’m about there were lots of other things that did interest me about the week that are very relevant one - the children were desperate to get an Internet connection and once they had got it, most of the time I didn’t allow them until just before lunch but once they had got it it was facebook it was youtube primarily and once they were sucked into that then they didn’t come out again but interestingly particularly the autistic boy and the youtube what he was pursuing was his passion he was imposing it on everyone else but his passion was rock music Guns and Roses and what he was looking at and trying to find out was to do with his passion and I guess that the facebook thing as well to an extent you know as a teenager communicating with your friends hanging about on street corners wanting to know the latest that is what it is all about and the software supports that and that’s certainly from my teenagers being with your friends and being in with the in crowd being dressed in the right way being seen to have the right phone being seen to fit in such a deep part of being a human being and being a young human being that nothing is going to conquer that really we put the school structures in place and try and fill up these young minds and the army like discipline the rows of benches the homework the cane the anger that cajoling all this sort of stuff with which we try and temper and control uniform when I had these children out of that situation and on a one-to-one they were just absolutely lovely they were gorgeous really friendly really nice to work with really keen and that was really interesting to me also the ability of computers to suck people particularly without the Internet one of them got very keen on taking photographs on the Photo Booth on the Mac and playing around with them and that ability of the computer particularly that self image thing that can be such a laugh, I don’t know how long it would last but it really does suck people in and it just fits in with my philosophy of just letting them play with the computer and explore the computer and see what it will do got and then gradually turn it to my own uses with them that’s what I am wanting to do all three playing around with their mobile phones fairly consistently but they were really interested in the project and they really got into it and they actually produced some really good work in the end so I was very pleased and I do believe that I have learned a lot as well.

As the website is sort of like a map of my ideas and shows that terrain through which I’ve been travelling over the last term I am just thinking that the site map at the end is the place to start actually that should be the first place so that you look at the map and you get an idea an immediate idea of the journey a bit like my memory in Belfast no Gallway a couple of years ago where when I looked at a map and I knew the city straight away but the directions where no good at all and I was also thinking in terms of both the blog and the notes to have at the end the entire text of both partly so you can see the extent of it straight away but also go through both perhaps and just highlight the very salient bits of it and then to explain both in the site map and in the relevant sections of the notes in the blog that’s what I’ve done so that would be sort of one more summary which gives you an immediate overview of the quantity plus picking out just a few of the very is essential important ideas

This project is all about mapping, mapping out my ideas and thoughts mapping out the project and how it’s going to work mapping out my explorations through text it’s all about maps and the website itself is to extent map and all lots of thinking around the topology and the history and topology time temporal spatial all those sort of things.