Meteorological Education through tweets (?)

I tried an experiment recently to inform people about a specific form of satellite data that can be useful for weather forecasters. This was an unstructured (off the cuff) experiment using a series of tweets. It was inspired by a question a twitter connection asked in an email.

Some numbers:
8 tweets with 4 images
plus 2 replies to a question
with on average 1 favourite each.
1 image was retweeted twice.
I ended following this up with a blog post here on how i plot these data. One person commented that this was helpful.

I used the tag #ASCAT for these tweets. I often share images with this data and use this tag following the pattern of the US Ocean Prediction Center @NWSOPC.

So what do I think about this?

In my regular tweets with this data the main event will be the weather – the data are the tool to tell the weather story. The teaching tweets were providing information about the data. I wonder if people are more naturally interested in the case rather than the theory behind the data.

The stream of tweets makes sense when seen together but they are helped with context.

OPC in their tweets often include something interesting – using an annotated image instead of a tweet text. I like this approach as the information is then contextualised rather than left hanging in a single tweet in a time line. Ā Those tweets without images risk being distributed in various places in a timeline.

Using the blog post to provide clarity was a nice was supplement to the tweets

I asked some people I follow about how useful twitter is in learning. The responses we all positive (unsurprising coming from existing twitter users).

DEFINITELY! Only complain: 140 char! But otherwise, great to interact with willing and like minded people!

I educated on tephis from across Twitter šŸ™‚ Its the way to go šŸ™‚

Definitely useful. Easy access, sharing content, engages everyone, quickly informative.

V.Useful for getting other perspectives on events/data. Also for discussing /w others

Its a powerful tool raising awareness and knowledge/content-exchange. Rcmnd 4 PROF METS.

Interesting. Also trains sender to be concise. Maybe tumblr offers even more scope?

Thank you to Ā @PeterG_WeatherĀ Ā 

So more experiments then!



ETR Publications

ETR Publications

Here are the education and training publications from WMO

Voici les documents de formation de l’OMM


MOOCs I & beginings #edcmooc

So I just logged on to #edcmooc nice to finally have access to all the material. And my first question “how do I fit in round here, what is the first thing I need to do?”

I haven’t looked round the site much yet – but I wanted to play with that question

This is one question I have that I hope will be answered during the course – on a practical level this is about negotiating the roles of student, teacher, and the world outside (home, work, travel …) – what are helpful ways of going about this orientation? How do I know what do to as a student – is it nicely prescribed, do I have to find out for my self, construct it myself … or with others?

I also notice in my question that what I think about “how do I fit in round here” I am making choices (in and out of awareness) about the sort of “I” that I might want to be.Ā  Some of my peers are taking this course and I have a lot of respect for the Edinburgh group – I don’t what to appear stupid or dumb. There are a couple of other education moocs on at the moment which I am watching, but this is the one I want to contribute to – but the day job carries on so I have to work out when I can take part – in other words me presenceĀ  is variable. For the courses I teach I want to be able to help students take part in the courses, to be present enough to get what they and their employer need.

Oh and I like reading but don’t get on so well with writing

Ok – now to find out what I need to do …

Trainign ?or?and? Education

I was recently in a meeting that was discussing approaches to training and education in meteorology. At one point we were discussing the difference between training and education. We settled on training as begin something to do with continuing professional development (CPD) and education as initial broader training that probably takes place in university. It was a brief moment in the process that helped us clarify what we wanted to focus on (CPD). These may or may not be separate categories – it was a useful distinction for that piece of work.

It struck me later than one of the key differences in my field between the two contexts is the set of contracting relationships that exist. Within the university setting there are fees, lectures, exams and certificates which form the basis of contracts between student – teacher – university. Sometimes there may also be a sponsor supporting the student to participateĀ  in the course, and maybe a home institute that nominated the student. There is a corresponding set of relationships for a student attending a professional development course, who may also be sponsored by another body. The web of relationships is similar but the nature of relationship may be different.Ā  A university certificate / degree has a particular value that differs from a non certified certificate from a training provider. The training provider may have an agenda such as the use of their data.

Many of the questions I ask myself about learning and teaching are usually about the process of student enlightenment, a friend recently pointed out the changing nature of educational research to be includeĀ  more about the nature of the political landscape and contracting as it does affect the nature of education and educational effectiveness.



Lessons from a crypto class

For fun I am taking a Coursera class in Cryptography. I don’t need the content of the course but it’s a fun way to relax. I am also taking the course to experience a digital course as a student, to experience the Coursera platform and to experience the another instructor’sĀ  educational methodology to stimulate thinking on my own.Ā  Taking a technical course is interesting as my own field of instruction (weather from satellites) is technical.

Coursera have a description of their pedagogical foundations. It looks like the core idea is to use good instructional methods with some mastery learning approaches (from Bloom’s 2-sigma problem paper). I wonder if Coursera have statistics to show how much into 2-sigma they get for each course ….

When I signed up I had seen the preview materials so I felt I had something to learn [I did not understand the questions], but would not be out of my depth [despite not understanding the questions it looked ok – and it’s a low risk environment].

The structure / format took a while to get used to. The video lectures were pretty clear and for me had a nice chunk size. in each 10-12 min block there were usually a couple of interactive questions. Ā  What was new was new to me was use ofĀ  of forums as the key source of question/ answer and feedback. Questions were answered very quickly by other students, and I answered some questions. Up votes enable people to promote or demote particular answers. Each week block had a particular homework question set, with 4 possibilities to sit the homework. I found some of the homework tough – and for some of the areas I didn’t get theĀ  question feedback was enough to get going, but most of the time the forums were a better place to get some ideas [I.e. I found an expression of my mis-understanding and a corrective feedback that was useful]. The quiz questions required recall of some knowledge by mainly some thinking / working outĀ  and production of a result.Ā Ā  [in my own field I thinkĀ  we concentrate (too much) on knowledge recall questions]. There was also the optional opportunity to complete a programming assignment each week –Ā  these were relatively straight forward and again guidance was available on the forums.

Work commitments meant I wasn’t able to meet the final deadlines for the homework. So I did not complete the course. Picking up with a future class is an option.

Initially I miss the presence of the instructor in the forums (something about a touchstone of correct and right), we saw the instructor in the recorded lectures. After a while it became clear that the cohort was biog enough and had a enough knowledge within it that I missed the instructor presence less.

I also missed variation in instruction methods – in essence there was only the forums and the video lecture. I think I would have appreciated other asynchronous teaching methods or other ways to get feedback when I had the wrong ideas.