Wednesday, December 03, 2008


The learning journey continues... to Russia!

On the 11th December I will address the lecturers at Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics (MESI) who are in the top 100 best Russian Universities, selected from over 1500 public and private higher schools (2005).

My 2-day seminar will be about learning methods and "Effective facilitation of the learning process: face-to-face and online"

This will prove to be both challenging and exciting and offers me an opportunity to help fellow lecturers consider different methods of engagement and student inclusion to aid learning, understanding and knowledge transfer.

I will blog my pictures and responses early in the New come back again to read how UK learning methods and techniques are being accepted in Eastern Europe.

Have a good Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The learning journey continues...

Well would you believe it - today is my sixth anniversary of setting up The POL Experience, I can remember my first day back on 7th October 2002, as if it were yesterday.

I was working evaluating a national e-learning programme provided by LearnDirect and collating responses to a national survey I had distributed a month or so earlier.

At that early stage I had one lap top and a dial up connection by the front door, so there was I perched on the bottom step of my stairs entering in data as fast as I could before the connection went down.

Nowadays my computer system is far in advance of those early memories. I am wireless, networked and run a few computers and two printers from anywhere in my home office. Working from home is still a delight although I have had to find lots of ways to store my ever-growing research papers and material.

I grew out of storing backups on CD-Roms, very early on. Then I moved to WinZip disks, they were soon replaced by DVD storage and now I am using a 1 Terabyte Network storage system with two back-ups and three Exchange servers for my mailboxes - wow!

The learning has continued and I consider myself very lucky to have survived through a variety of family tragedies alongside the normal business ups and downs - here's to reaching the tenth anniversary!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008


The learning journey continues...

An International conference in Budapest, then a week working in Berlin (both work experience with my son, see and then...

I am working hard to set up my first Auditors certification programme 30th June – 2nd July in London, I have just been awarded Fellowship of Institute of Training and Occupational Learning, following an interview on Friday last, I have just been upgraded to Senior Lecturer at University of Westminster, I was nominated and won the Speakers Award for the presenter with the most impact at the ECLO Conference in Budapest and voted in as ECLO Secretary-General for one-year tenure. Phew, it has been a busy month, I wonder what June has in store!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


The learning journey continues...

...this time with my son, James. Along with most 14 - 15 year olds here in the UK, it is time for many schools to get their work experience period underway.

James and I have been planning his for the last six months mainly so that he could take advantage of the opportunities that are being afforded me this May in Budapest and Berlin. His work experience school brochure states that work experience..

" an opportunity for students to carry out real work tasks on employers' premises and experience, as closely as possible, the hours, working conditions and disciplines they would encounter as employees"

Its aim is to
  • motivate students towards further education and training
  • teach students about the opportunties and realities of working life
  • allow students to apply the social skills they learn back at school

To help him along the way, we have set up a blog to record his thoughts and key learning online - many of my network have written comments to encourage him. Reflective practice is paramount and is emphasised in his school record book, asking particular questions like:

  1. What tasks did I do today?
  2. What were the skills that I used in these tasks?
  3. What did I learn today that was new?

Perhaps those of us in work (some for many years) would also benefit from such reflection.

Keep up to date with James' own learning journey and please feel free to post comments and words of encouragement too, click here for James' blog.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The learning journey continues...

Having been away from this blog now since December 2007, the learning has not stopped, quite the opposite.

My focus has been on my family and my elderly and infirm parent and in-law who are both now getting the level of care they need to support them through their old age years (one is 90 years the other is 83 years). Blogging came right at the bottom of a long list of things to do.

Something I learned many years ago when I was working in the NHS in UK was 'QUALYS' = Quality of life years. What was deemed important was to preserve as much of the quality of an elderly persons' life and not just elongate it and that is what the last four months in particular (and the preceding 13 years) have been about.

What do I wish I had learned earlier? To recognise and take into consideration what things were going to be necessary to have in place when one gets older and certain faculties start to diminish so as to relieve the inevitable burden on the family.

We will all get old or have to deal with elderly parents - think now about how you would cope and make as much provision as possible to help them enjoy their last years.