Weeknote 18/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #302 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘Read aloud for maximum effect’. Thanks to the 31 patrons who back me via Patreon plus who continue to lend their support via Gumroad!
  • Celebrating the two year anniversary of We Are Open Co-op. We’ve inducted a new member and launched a new website, which you can read about here.
  • Recording, editing and releasing Episode 101 of the Today In Digital Education (TIDE) podcast with my co-host Dai Barnes. We entitled this episode ‘An introduction to…’ and discussed the two-year anniversary of We Are Open Co-op, some utopian thoughts, how to be super-productive, the benefits of reading aloud to children, security, memes, and more!
  • Working on the MoodleNet project:
    • Reviewing applications for the MoodleNet Technical Architect role.
    • Discussing the Technical Architect role with three promising candidates.
    • Updating project’s wiki page to make it a bit cleaner.
    • Scheduling next Wednesday’s community call.
    • Getting in touch with Moodle-using educators (recommended by Mary Cooch) to interview for the upcoming design sprint.
    • Drafting a survey to go out next week to the Moodle community, again to give us data to use in the design sprint.
    • Talking with Garnet Berry who, in addition to his role with Moodle, is involved with EQUELLA. We investigated its potential use as part of the MoodleNet ecosystem.
    • Reviewing the UX team’s plan to improve the user experience across Moodle. I’m impressed with the work that colleagues Alberto Corado and Suganya Arthanareeswaran showed me!
  • Reorganising my home office (standing) desk. This is not a trivial thing, and involves adapting to a new layout — including my old monitor in portrait mode (for Telegram / Zoom).
  • Figuring out whether I need to get all of my newsletter subscribers to opt-in again because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). My research would suggest not, actually, as Recital 171 states, “Where processing is based on consent pursuant to Directive 95/46/EC, it is not necessary for the data subject to give his or her consent again if the manner in which the consent has been given is in line with the conditions of this Regulation, so as to allow the controller to continue such processing after the date of application of this Regulation.” I have unambiguous and demonstrable (i.e. auditable) consent in line with Article 7, so it’s all good.
  • Receiving confirmation from my home insurance company that they will replace my Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop. I won’t be getting another one of those, partly because it had a sub-optimal layout, but mainly because I felt Dell screwed me over with their lack of support. I’m currently using my backup laptop, a Lenovo X220 running Ubuntu 18.04 (for which, I have to say, I have unlimited love).
  • Curating interesting things I came across on the Thought Shrapnel blog. This week I collected some quotations and commented on the following:
    • Getting on the edtech bus
    • “You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no boots.” (Joseph Hanlon)
    • Space as a service
    • Blockchain as a ‘futuristic integrity wand’
    • “The difference between profit and benefit is that operations producing profit can be carried out by another in my place: he would make the profit, unless he was acting on my behalf. But the fact remains that profitable activity can always be carried out by someone else. Hence the principle of competition. On the other hand, what is beneficial to me depends on gestures, acts, living moments which it would be impossible for me to delegate.” (Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking)
  • Catching up with Kev Jones about the Digital Guild project he’s been leading. It’s looking great, and makes fantastic use of Open Badges for student work placements.
  • Enjoying this time of the year. It’s a time when I can spend more time walking and running outside. I also start swimming again, as my asthma doesn’t trouble me so much in the drier weather!
  • Reading a couple of fascinating books:
  • Buying quite a few Verso books, due to their 1st May offer. I particularly like the way that you can buy the print version and ebook together for a reasonable price.
  • Writing:

This Bank Holiday weekend, I’m heading up some mountains with my wife. These should count as two more Quality Mountain Days. Next week, I’ll be having conversations with more applicants for the MoodleNet Technical Architect role, and preparing for a design sprint later this month.

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