Everything that is imaginable is possible, but not everything that is possible is imaginable. That puts humankind in a bit of a dilemma. We are limited to our own imaginations, and any invention that is ground breaking or transformative often transgresses the boundaries of conventional thinking.

Many of the great ideas across history were dreamt of by mavericks, people who were considered to be a little unconventional, or simply downright strange. And yet such people brought us an understanding that the earth orbits the sun, time is relative, computers can do more for us than mere calculations, and much more. At the time they may be despised or ignored, but later when the idea emerges as extremely useful, they are revered.

We enjoyed a great time in Jonkoping, Sweden this past week, where we held our 26th annual conference of the European Distance and Elearning Network (EDEN). Around 200 people attended the conference, representing 34 different countries. During the event, it was time for me to step down as the chair of the Network of Academics and Professionals of EDEN after serving 6 years on the steering committee. Another blog post is in the pipeline to report on my work with that particular organisation.

A recent tweet by Jason Elsom made me sit up and take notice: 'We need to stop designing schools for teaching and start designing schools for learning.' And therein lies the dichotomy of education. Are teachers there to instruct, or to facilitate? Do they lecture, or do they support? Most teachers do both depending on context, but I believe it's the balance that Jason is questioning in his statement.
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After nearly 20 years teaching in higher education, I'm walking away.

I have taken voluntary redundancy from my post as Associate Professor at Plymouth Institute of Education. Recently I was informed that the Computing and ICT specialism that I have helped to develop and deliver for the last 10 years has been cut from the B.Ed Primary teacher education programme (yeah - try explaining that).

I have mixed feelings about walking away.
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I love fractals. They are essentially art made from maths. The Mandelbrot set pictured here is one such fractal, and I sometimes use it in my talks to illustrate a key educational point.

Fractals are varied, but the self-similar examples such as the Mandelbrot Set replicate their patterns at every iteration, perfectly repeating themselves almost to infinity.
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I never forget the first album I owned. I was a schoolboy at the time and living in The Netherlands. One evening my father brought home a cassette tape (anyone remember those?) and on it was the most bizarrely colourful photographs of people I had ever seen. I didn't know it at the time but what I held in my hand would completely change my view on music. It was transformational.

I have always been uncomfortable with the categorisation of students. Placing students into boxes because we think they are 'visual learners' or identify themselves as 'theorists' or 'activists' is not only ignorant, it's also doing a disservice to the learners we are labelling. All students should receive the best possible education with varied experiences regardless of what kind of 'learning style' we might assume describes them.

I'm a strong advocate of student centred learning. I can't see any other way education can be conceived. From my early years in education, studying Freedom to Learn by Carl Rogers and my initial forays into the classroom as a fledgling educator, I have strongly believed in the principles of keeping the student at the centre of the learning experience.

We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles album Sgt Peppers this week, and it seems very appropriate that my third year students should create a celebratory video with the same title as one of its tracks. My ICT and Computing specialists on the B.Ed Primary education programme will be leaving Plymouth University in the next few weeks to take up their first jobs in schools.
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