About Jeremy

So I’m a Welsh-born, dual national British-Australian, working for a Singapore company, living in Mumbai, India. I support Wales in rugby union, England in football, Australia in cricket, India in hockey and Singapore in table tennis. Some people call me shallow, I think I just pick winning teams!

Professionally speaking, I am a recovering economist.

Starting out as a high school teacher in the UK in the early 1980s, and then in universities in Australia during the 1990s, I taught thousands of students how to pass economics exams, until my conscience finally got the better of me.

At the turn of the new millennium, I started teaching courses in sustainability in various business schools around the world and, at first, faced a lot of resistance.

Now, of course, it’s all very mainstream, unless you happen to have an investment portfolio dominated by fossil fuel stocks.

The great thing about teaching a subject you have a deep conviction about is that helping students to pass an exam makes no sense. What you want is deep learning and a change in behaviour. This is where my interest in connectivist learning theories and technology-enhanced education comes in.

Knowledge is not something a learner absorbs, but something a learner creates. Presented with the opportunity to be co-contributors to the curriculum through blogs and other forms of social media increases learner engagement by several orders of magnitude.

This is an approach I have successfully employed at several institutions including QUT and Griffith University  (Australia), the Asian International College (Singapore and India), and NEOMA Business School (France).

Gandhi is quoted is saying that Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. This is a maxim I try to live by and my current role as Academic Director at the Busy Bees Group allows me to do this.

My main project at the moment is to deliver flexible, innovative, and affordable teacher education programmes to practising and aspiring early childhood educators in India. Few investments generate higher returns to society than investment in early childhood education.

My other great passion is a sustainable enterprise called Green School for Girls (GS4G) which has been in development for an unconscionably long time. It ticks all the sustainability and education boxes and will happen very soon.

Authentic Learning

As the title suggests, the primary focus of this blog is authentic learning. Commencing in 2005, there is a distinct bias towards the use of the various information and communication technologies and how they can harnessed to create authentic learning environments. Another (less distinct) bias is the focus on tertiary education, but k-12 and early childhood education also feature.

Whither the university learning management system?

Most educators would agree that it is important for pedagogy to guide decisions about technology and not the other way around, and yet there is relatively little debate in academic circles about the limiting effects of the LMS.

Why is this?

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Getting my head around cPanel

So I sat through a recording of the second ‘call-in show’ for Connected Courses last night.

This was the one I was waiting for to be honest. I am a fairly proficient WordPress user (albeit a dotcommer rather than a dotorger), and much of the first half of the show that focused on the functionality of WordPress I was comfortable with. The critical information I’m after is how to set up the ‘mother ship’ — so to speak — so that I can create courses in a Levinesque way with Groomlike confidence.

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Nude emperors

So I signed up for Connected Courses.

It may reboot one of my blogs — if nothing else — which have become increasingly neglected as I have become more of a microblogger these days.

Amazingly, I just sat and watched a YouTube without shuffling in my seat for one hour and six minutes courtesy of Jim Groom, Howard Rheingold, and Alan Levine. (I even smiled at their blokey in-jokes.) Seriously, though, these guys need to be taken seriously. I will stick this course out if it kills me because there has to be more to life as a university learner than the ‘LMS’, and I’m confident these guys have the answers.

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This blog started started in 2003, and is quite broad in focus with an underlying theme being the international political economy, and its response (or lack thereof) to climate change and other sustainability related issues.

There is another sustainability related blog linked to a postgraduate course I have convened for many years at NEOMA Business School in France (and elsewhere) entitled Sustainable Development & Competitive Advantage. The course materials housed at this blog are available under a Creative Commons licence.

Abbott’s G20 agenda: climate still the elephant in the room

By Jeremy Williams, Griffith University

News emerging from Washington last week suggests climate change may amount to more than an FAQ in the appendices of this November’s G20 leaders’ summit agenda. President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for international economics, Caroline Atkinson, has made the point that, as the G20 economies generate 80% of the world’s carbon emissions, the group should give a political push to “specific steps” to address climate change.

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The pale blue dot

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

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