Thursday, 11 February 2010

Learning not to learn

Some personal action research

A year or so back I had a vision of uploading all sorts of documents, contemporary and historical, to stand as 'supplements' to Conductive World. Had things gone well, there would have probably been dozens up there by now in Cyberspace (not just my own stuff but all of it unavailable by any other means).

Then I met Google Knol and, like others whom I know, gave up on it in screaming, carpet-chewing frustration. Maybe Goggle has got the formatting working properly now but I cannot face going back and trying again.

Perhaps the fault was mine all along, sheer computer incompetence.

Before he left for Mauritius Ben Foulder suggested that I try Scribd, and this afternoon I plucked up courage and had a go. I do have to say that my document went up easily enough at first.. Then, however, I altogether failed to find out how to edit the format on line (page ends mainly) and got myself into a terrible mess. I may or may not have got it up now – I can barely look – but what a footling waste of more than an hour's life. Why don't the Junior Einsteins who put such things together find staff capable of writing instructions that are anything but insultingly incompetent?

Again, probably my fault, though what am I doing, apologising, who's the customer?. I shall have another go (not immediately, however). Oh, how I hate being an autodidact, and how I wish for a good teacher/mentor in this. It does rather grant insight insight into the problems of learners and the crippling, demotivating force of frustration and failure.

A small thing but mine own

As a trial run I put together last week's postings on the problems of that the nightmare of 'special educational needs' present to the Conservative Party – and how the likely future Conservative Government might address these.

My proposal – for everybody's sake – is a Royal Commission.

Scribd permitting, my line of thinking that confirmed for me that nothing less will do, more than six thousand words of it, are now downloadable at

I shall doubtless return to this topic.

And now for something completely different

It does look that conductor-blogger Ben Foulger has gone to a far, far better place. Follow his adventures at:


  1. And also there is Zoho Share.

    For the benefit of the Conductive World readers, I would like to warn that it seems to work best in presentations (of the PowerPoint/OpenOffice type), second best in webpages (be careful of HTML) and only not so well with PDFs and ordinary text documents.

    In fact Conductive World and Conductive Education could use many Zoho services well, especially the ones to do with group management.

    In the main, I have been using them since September 2008 and been mostly satisfied.

    There are walls, it is true, but they are not insurmountable ones.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I have signed up for Zoho and so far so self-evident.

    I shall get round to trying it when I can. I am travelling optimistically. I have never used PowerPoint (and don't intend to start now), I don't know what OpenOffice is (and can't be bothered to find out), and have have no idea of HTML or PDFs.

    All this must sound dreadful those who understand such things but all that I want to do is post some words. I continue to be horrified that Geekville seems incapable of coming up with simple, usable human interfaces. It's rather like my amazing mobile telephone, so stuffed with whizz-ding applications that I would never want, even if I knew how to use them, that I can barely find my way through to answer when somebody rings me!

    So, when I have another long piece to publish, I shall try Zoho, that is if someone doesn't come up with the ideal prat-proof solution in the meantime.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Do you have an account for Zoho?

    What I do is I use my Yahoo account.

    You might also use Google and/or GMail.

    Could you point to where the document is?