I initially created this blog in 2015 to support the process of lifelong learning (see original aim below), but recently I’ve been reflecting on the challenges we all face in the changing political, economic and environmental climate. Irrespective of ones perspective I think there is a strong need to make the most of any green / open space we might have at home to help maintain and improve our health and well-being, in essence creating our own personal haven, or little piece of ‘heaven’ if you like.
Creating a pleasant garden and lawn is both a learning experience and a therapeutic event, but many people are unsure of what is really needed to create and then maintain their own haven. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and with some expert guidance you will have the confidence to give it a go yourself.
I’ve now added a further aim for this blog to provide a story on how to produce the lawn we often desire but somehow don’t quite achieve (all being based on my expert knowledge and practical experience in groundsmanship, see my online bio). Last year I sort of neglected my lawn (basically just cut it), so now is an opportune time to create a narrative for a complete growing season on lawn care and document it as the year advances.
The aim of this blog is to offer some thoughts on technology and learning within groundsmanship. Plenty of scope here for blogging and discussions as this can cover web technology, which is where I am initially focusing my efforts on, through to physical technology of materials or equipment and what might be considered effective learning practices.
The ultimate purpose though is to encourage collaborative learning, especially that which engages with lifelong learning, with a particular focus on learners determining the direction they want to take in achieving a desired outcome, rather than following a ‘learning journey’ which has been devised by someone else. I’ll be exploring the concept of self-determined learning (heutagogy) in another post.
This covers a wide spectrum of possibilities, from equipment and materials through to software and web technologies which can support the role of a groundsman or grounds manager.
This aspect of the blog will arguably offer the most opportunities for thoughtful comment, however, I will be exploring technological applications as a means to support learning and groundsmanship – the drivers for utilisation of technology will come from the users. I will therefore be taking a more social constructivist approach than one of technological determinism.
I think the main focus of the blog aspect on technology will be on how can technologies be used to aid learning within the field of groundsmanship. This isn’t going to preclude me from commenting on equipment and materials, but maybe they will be secondary to the main thrust of my focus.
Web technologies are pervasive and continually developing and improving – we are already looking at artificial intelligence (Amazon echo and Alexa), virtual reality and augmented reality (such as Pokémon Go), so the opportunity to develop from the sharing and collaborative technologies of Web 2.0 will be considerable, although initially I will be focusing on aspects of Web 2.0 as this is the core of learning at the present, although Web 3.0 and more will be explored.
What is a blog posting? Well I wasn’t sure to begin with, but with the inspiration for blogging coming from an Open University course H818 ‘The networked practitioner’, (studied during the period October 2015- March 2016) so I could achieve my goal of the Postgraduate Certificate in Online and Distance Education (conferred in July 2016).
I’m following the lead of Martin Weller here who explains that, “A post can vary from a link to an essay; it can be a commentary on someone else’s work, a piece of parody, a research finding, a suggestion, an appeal for contributions and so on” (Weller: 60).
Weller, M. (2011). Researchers and New Technology. In The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice (pp. 52–63). London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved October 30, 2015, from http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781849666275.ch-005
I set up a Twitter account in October 2015 to run in parallel with the course, with a particular emphasis on further exploring the uses of social media within a collaborative learning perspective : https://twitter.com/ChrisGray1066 ; The tweeting is still going strong!
This blog and the twitter account are my own personal views and must not be taken as being representative of the views, implied or otherwise, of my employed role, or that of my employer. Just to make that clear.
Chris Gray, 30th October 2015; last updated 19th December 2017