Image CC BY-SA Ismail.alghussein
Another week, another country – I’m beginning to feel like Chris Guillebeau! I spent 24 hours in the UK after last week’s EUROCLIO workshop in Turkey, then headed to the UAE to see what the Specialist Schools & Academies Trust (SSAT) are doing out here. My Dad works for them as a Maths consultant. I’ve learned lots about Arabic customs and have committed more faux-pas than I can count. Still, everyone’s very friendly, approachable and everyone speaks English really well. Better than me in fact… :-p
I presented at both the schools my Dad works on the topic of Education 2.0, trying to explain how technology fits in with an overall shift in education. It seemed to go down pretty well and lots of people had questions. I’ll upload my slides and the video of me speaking when I return back to the UK.
- Google Calendar Labs now has a feature called Smart Rescheduler that allows you to quickly find the best meeting time for all participants.
- Got a multi-touch Mac? Want to be able to ‘middle-click’? Try this!
- Google Apps now has a marketplace. Here’s Lifehacker’s Top 10 additional apps to try – some free, some paid-for.
Productivity & Inspiration
- Set up your own Google-like 20% time for ideas and new projects.
- Here’s 5 tips for fitting studying into your life. My advice? Never stop thinking about what you’re studying so you’re not stop-start-stop all of the time. Consider concepts in the shower, fit 5 minutes of reading in here and there. It all adds up!
- Lifehacker suggests that you banish desktop clutter by banning transient stuff. Likewise, on your virtual desktop, I’d suggest increasing the size of your icons to maximum so you can’t keep putting stuff on it!
- Mark Sisson, guest-blogging at Zen Habits has a Simple Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness. He recommends what he calls the ‘primal blueprint’.
- Version 0.4 of #uppingyourgame: an educator’s guide to productivity is now available!
Education & Academic
- I’m calling shenanigans on promises by all the main UK political parties to offer ‘pupil premiums’ to support poorer pupils. I would be surprised if anyone who’s worked in a UK school was taken in by this in the run-up to a General Election.
- George Siemens has posted his TEDxNYED presentation entitled Collapsing to Connections. I’m hoping the video will be ready soon!
- Will Richardson posted this week about a teacher who’s been experimenting in using social media with his classes. Going beyond the textbook that sort of things. Parents weren’t happy: “Our students don’t need to be part of a classroom experiment…” I echo Will’s <sigh> and raise him a <frown>.
- Smarthistory.org is a free, online art history ‘book’ with nifty visualization and timelines. Oh, and it looks like it will be *awesome* on the iPad…
- Will Richardson throws another great short blog post by quoting Clay Shirky, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” What is the problem to which schools are the answer?
Data, Design & Infographics
- Social media usage around the world (click ‘Full Screen’):
- Human babies can’t recognize themselves in the mirror until they’re at least 18 months old, according to QI.
- Learn how to impress people with ninja-like origami skills!
- Want to create an eBook that will look good and work on most devices? Here’s some great advice!
- This should probably go in the previous section, but here’s some advice about password strength.
- You know those times when you want to add a beard to someone’s photograph? You don’t? Oh well, there’s an app for that anyway…
Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power. (Anon.)
Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life. (Wayne Dyer)
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. (Plato)
The flower that follows the sun does so even on cloudy days. (Robert Leighton)
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. (William James)