Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cow and Calf to Dick Hudsons Walk

Finally, summer 2012 started this weekend !

Yesterday I went on a 5 mile bike ride and today I walked for four hours on Ilkley Moor. I have got the sun and ache a bit but I feel good !

Ten or more years ago the walk between the Cow and Calf rocks and Dick Hudsons pub was a popular walk. The prospect of a pint of real ale at Dick Hudsons before walking back to Ilkley attracted many walkers. However, times seem to have changed, Dick Hudsons seems to attract the Sunday lunchtime daytrippers who travel by car. I watched the car park filling up from the beer garden having walked for 2 hours whilst I drank my pint of orange and lemonade.I needed refreshment before setting off back to Ilkley in 24C and a blue sky !

We parked our car in the Cow and Calf rocks car park and headed upwards. The views from the Cow and Calf are fantastic but the views from the ridge way up from the actual rocks is amazing. We could see Menwith Hill in the distance as well as Ferrybridge Power Station and beyond, as well of course some of the most beautiful Yorkshire Dales scenery you will find.

On the way we walked past The Twelve Apostles which are Bronze Age standing stones estimated to have been there for over 7,000 years.

Parts of the walk were quite boggy after all the rain we have had and we found that the start of the walk from the Cow and Calf car park to be quite difficult to follow as there are many paths heading off in different directions but we soon found the right track.

I can highly recommend this walk. Take a look at the video I took of the walk and if you do the walk and decide to have lunch at Dick Hudsons before you turn around and walk back make sure you take off your muddy boots!

Oops! Sorry about the video. Some of the captions don’t match the images.

Online universities are just around the corner

Following on from my recent article about online education there was an interesting news article on the BBC website today which you can read here which is about the news that Edinburgh University is to be the first UK institution to join an influential US-based online university project. Many US universities are now providing online courses which have seen tens of thousands of people sign up for.

Whatever happens in the US happens over here in the UK so I think we can expect to see many other UK educational instituations offering online courses.

Only time will tell how engaging and successful these courses will be. In my opinion there does need to be some form of communication, mentoring and contact between student and teacher for there to be effective learning and how this will be done is going to be very interesting to see. It could be that the student has to go to the university from time to time or it could be that the student communicates by video link.

What is just as interesting is the business model that these online universities are using. They are offering free courses and intend to generate income in other ways from the huge number of students that they will have.

Because these online courses are free there seems to be a high number of students who fail to finish the course. Part of a teachers job is to offer encouragement, guidance and advice and this could be difficult if you don’t see your students.

In any event, educational establishments need to be gearing up to combat the threat of these online universities because in not too many years their “customers” might be tempted to go online rather than learn in the traditional way!

One of the universities pioneering online teaching is Stanford University. You can read about their online teaching and how they aim to retain personal contact here

A Conversation With My 12 Year Old Self

Don’t we all wish that what we now know about life we knew 20 years ago! With age comes wisdom and in most cases we become more sensible and able to cope with most of what life throws at us.

If only you could talk to yourself as a kid and give yourself advice on how best to grow up. Would it make us better adults? Probably not because that’s the point. We need to learn for ourselves.

However, one clever 32 year old American has managed to speak to himself as a kid ! Well, all is not quite as it seems because he interviewed himself as a 12 year old and then interviewed himself again 20 years later. It’s confusing I know. The best thing is to watch the video below and then you will understand !