Paul Sutton


OpenLearn : Childhood in the digital age

I have just started a 12 hour OpenLearn course, Childhood in the digital age. However I really need to be working in a school to do this course as the first activity asks

What do you think? How might technology hinder children’s physical, social and cognitive development, and how might it provide exciting opportunities for learning?

Make a note of you thoughts at the start of this course. Use a notebook or digital notepad that you can refer back to at a later date.

So while I can answer the question. I would really like to answer this and other course activities, following discussion with children / young people and teachers, in order to help me answer this with an informed and evidence based approach.

I may therefore defer going any further until I am able to do this. Adds value to working as a TA if I can also use this as a way to help with OU Open Learn courses.

In the meantime I am open to offers of employment.



#OpenLearn,#OpenUniversity.#Course,#Childhood,#Technology, #OpenToWork,#LookingForEmployment.

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Essay and report writing skills

I have just completed a course on Essay and report writing skills [3] with OpenLearn [2], which is part of the Open University [1]. In fact, this course mirrors a student tool kit book I have here, also from the OU. It is nice to have a printed and bound version.

Very useful course, lots of useful ideas, pointers to writing good essays and reports. Topics included structure, referencing, quotations,drafting, polishing and letting go. So probably just as applicable in the workplace as it is in the Academic world

I am looking forward to further study.

Course Certificate

The UK government want all adults to spend time learning. To this end have created the skills toolkit [4] to help adults find learning and development courses.

This is a great idea, provided that employers:-

  • Support employees in learning
  • Value any learning an employee undertakes
  • Value the commitment and work put in in order to learn new skills
  • Recognise employee achievements on their CV
  • See potential in their employee(s)


1 Open University 2 OpenLearn 3 Course Website 4 Skills toolkit


#Essay,#Report,#Writing,#Skills, #OpenUniversity,#OU,#OpenLearn,#Course,#E-learning,#Study, #YearOfTheFediverse,

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Numbers, units and arithmetic

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I have just completed the course 'Numbers, units and arithmetic' with Open Learn. This is an excellent 5 hour course and will be really useful going forward.

Well worth doing if you need a refresher as there are lots of worked examples and activities to have a go at to re-enforce learning.

You can of course, as with any OpenLearn course use this as a reference in the future if you need to revise or revisit how to do something. Full PDF of the course is also .




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In the night sky : Orion Completed

I have finally, after months of going back and forth to this, partly due to other study and things to do. Completed the 24 hour OU / OpenLearn Course. I was just doing this casually anyway.

Note: This is a Level 1 Open University course.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

* Understand facts, concepts, principles, theories, classifications and language used in astronomy * Understand the range of sizes, distances and motions of objects in the night sky * Understand the structure, evolution and the main processes operating in stars * Understand the properties of planets in our Solar System and exoplanetary systems * Understand the history of the universe.

Really interesting course, lots to think about and learn just from doing some of the research for the questions posed during the course.

Astronomy uses the greek alphabet for star names for example so this post may help.

#course #openlearn #openuniversity #science #space #astronomy #cosmology #physics #astrophysics #chemistry #biology #OU #greek

I am currently working through another short OpenLearn course. This time I am exploring the constellation of Orion.

Having previously studied other Space science courses, some of the concepts are easier to understand, such as the lifecycle of stars.

Despite understanding the maths behind huge numbers. Distances such as 1 light year are massive : (ly) $$9.5 \times 10^{12} km. $$

The subsequent distance to the Orion Nebula which is 1600 light years. Therefore $$1600 \times 9.5 \times 10^{12} km $$.

I think, that this should be expressed as $$1.6 \times 9.5 \times 10^{15} km $$

Understandably it is difficult to imagine the sort of distances involved.

If you intend to study this course. I would recommend other courses first. Courses such as 'The Sun' may be a good starting point.

I am about ½ way through the second week of the course. Currently looking at the life cycle of a star beyond the main sequence phase, so this includes Red Giants, Brown / White dwarf, Supernova and black holes, or at least how and under what conditions these are formed.

You do need an astronomy package, to help with the course. This comes in more useful, if you don't have clear skies to observe Orion. I have discussed how to use the kstars package to find Orion in post yesterday (30/12/2019).

What I can take from this course, is some inspiration to write some posts about other constellations of the night sky.

References :

It may be beneficial to have a look at these courses before embarking on this longer course:

The Galaxies stars and planets course has a section on the scale of the universe, which is helpful to help you understand very large numbers.

#astronony, #study, #openuniversity, #openlearn, #free, #shortcourse, #orion

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I have just completed another OU / OpenLearn course, this time on The Evolving Universe. Despite its rather complex subject matter it was very interesting and expanded a little further on the 'How the universe works' course I undertook a few years ago.

The course looked at the early universe, the big bang, how particles, energy, time and temperature all changed over time and how all these are inter-related. How the matter we know today formed and why the universe is mostly matter and not antimatter. The fact there was more matter and what would have happened if the amount of antimatter and matter had been equal. Plus other interesting topics.

How sub-atomic particles such as Bosons, Leptons, Quarks etc interact. How research finds new particles and the huge energy levels required for this to take place.

This is a level 1 introductory course, and like the more formal course mentioned. The course also asks other questions which gets the reader thinking about different scenarios that could have occurred.


#OpenUniversity, #OU, #OpenLearn, #science, #EvolvingUniverse, #Space, #astronomy, #astrophysics,

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