Category: Weeknotes (page 1 of 23)

Weeknote 37/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #274 was entitled ‘Great running’. I send out all of the links for the newsletter via the Thought Shrapnel Live! channel on Telegram. Many thanks to those who have become valued supporters.
  • Bracing myself for Autumn. Someone flipped a switch on the weather and it’s been cold and rainy in Northumberland this week.
  • Working on a research report for the Education Development Trust with Sarah Horrocks from London CLC.
  • Starting to plan upcoming co-op work in Washington D.C. for the Inter-American Development Bank with Bryan Mathers.
  • Catching up with Dai Barnes after a summer break for the TIDE podcast. We’ll start recording episodes again next week.
  • Curating and sending out Issue #17 of Badge News, a newsletter for the Open Badges community.
  • Putting together a bullet-point overview of my presentation for the ALL DIGITAL Summit in Barcelona next month. I’ve given it the TED-style talk the title Future Infrastructure, Future Skills, Future Mindsets.
  • Working with Totara Learning on the vision and strategy for their community migration project. This involves me working in Confluence and JIRA a lot, tools both made by Atlassian. I notice they’ve launched a Slack competitor in the form of Stride, which I’ll hopefully be testing with them soon.
  • Writing:
    • (nothing public)

Next week is a rinse-and-repeat of this week — I’m at home all week, working on the EDT report Monday/Tuesday, and then with Totara from Wednesday to Friday.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com


Photo taken on my run along Morpeth bypass on Tuesday morning.

Weeknote 36/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #273 was entitled ‘Sycamore Gap’. There are now 50 people signed up to Thought Shrapnel Live! and using Telegram to receive links as I come across them. You can also become a valued supporter.
  • Hanging out with my kids before they headed back to school this week. There were celebrations and activities around the Tour of Britain cycle race, which pretty much went past our house!
  • Celebrating being married to my wonderful wife, Hannah, for 14 years.
  • Deleting all of the tweets I’ve sent over the past 10 years. I explained why in this post.
  • Catching up with Bryan Mathers about some work we’re doing in Washington D.C. on behalf of We Are Open Co-op in November for the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Spending a lot of time getting to grips with JIRA, putting together a list of project risks, and experimenting with the admin interface relating to some work I’m doing with Totara Learning.
  • Dismayed that Salesforce seem to be trying to patent digital badges. We’ve begun to crowdsource prior art on Badge Wiki.
  • Accompanying my children who ran in the Mini and Junior Great North Run respectively. I’ve only recently started running again myself (I don’t seem to get migraines afterwards any more) so perhaps next year I’ll enter either the main Great North Run or Great North 10k!

Next week I’m doing some work for London CLC on Monday and Tuesday, and then working with Totara Learning from Wednesday to Friday.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com


Photo taken by me as the Tour of Britain came past the road near our house in Morpeth.

Weeknote 35/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m looking after my children on Monday as it’s their last day of the summer holidays and my wife’s got a teacher training day. I’m working from home on Tuesday doing some research for London CLC, and then with Totara Learning from Wednesday to Friday.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com


Photo taken by me as we walked along Hadrian’s Wall from The Sill to Sycamore Gap.

Weeknote 34/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m at home all week, as we’ve turned the planned in-person We Are Open Co-op meetup into another virtual session to be held on Friday. It’s August Bank Holiday on Monday so I’m trying my best not to work that day, and I’ll be doing my three days for Totara on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’ve got other client work to get done in the evenings so busy Doug is busy…


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com


Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash — not sure why, but this photo really resonated with me.

Weeknote 33/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m at home all week. I’m trying not to work on Monday morning, spending time with my family on Monday afternoon, and then working Tuesday-Friday for Totara Learning.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com

Weeknote 32/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #270 was entitled ‘Holiday’ and this week included only links without commentary given I had deadlines and had to pack to go…
  • On holiday in Devon. It was great, as we stayed in a wooden house built by friends of my wife’s parents, and went as screen-free as possible for a week. We saw the Red Arrows, and hung out with my brother and sister-in-law, and their children, a fair bit. The only thing that could have been improved was the weather at the start of the week…
  • Reading dead-tree books. I finished Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamont, which was excellent and I’ll be re-reading. I can see why so many people recommended it. I also finished Homo Deus: a brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. He’s an historian, so I really enjoyed his previous book, Sapiens: a brief history of mankind, and the first half of this one. However, I think he drank a bit too much Silicon Valley kool-aid before writing the second half of it. I’m half-way through Happy: why more or less everything is absolutely fine by Derren Brown (yes, that one!) He shares a short history of philosophy and some anecdotes, before launching into an overview of Stoicism. The philosophy isn’t anything new to me, but he packages it in an engaging way.
  • Running. Which is probably a good job given how much I’ve been eating and drinking this week. I really enjoyed going out for a short run with our 10 year-old now he’s old enough to keep up!

Next week I’m in Birmingham from Monday to Wednesday to do some work on behalf of Freeformers at the Google Digital Garage. Then I’m in Brighton on Thursday and Friday working with Totara.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com

Weeknote 31/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m on holiday in Devon and I’m not taking anything that has a screen on it. The week after, I’m in Birmingham from Monday to Wednesday co-running ‘train the trainer’ sessions with Freeformers, then in Brighton working with Totara on Thursday and Friday.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com


Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Weeknote 30/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week, I’m trying to finish all the things before we travel down to Devon for a week’s holiday. There’s plenty of stuff to get done — so much, in fact, that I’ll be working this weekend as well. Again, I’m not complaining, but I wouldn’t have predicted that this would be my busiest few weeks of the year!


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com

Weeknote 29/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #267 was entitled ‘Wimbledon(e)’. Don’t forget you can sign up to Thought Shrapnel Live! using Telegram to receive links as I come across them. You can also become a valued supporter.
  • Catching up with John Igoe from AstraZeneca and TJ Scholl from Participate in video conference meetings, and Craig Taylor from HT2 over beers.
  • Confirming my keynote at the ALL DIGITAL Summit in Barcelona (4th-5th October).  I’ll doing a TED-style talk on the infrastructure, skills and mindsets we’ll need to ensure that everyone is included in the digital society of the future. I’ll also be running a workshop.
  • Working with Sarah Horrocks from London CLC on a report on technology-enhanced teacher professional development we’re writing for the Education Development Trust.
  • Attending my daughter’s first ‘proper’ school sports day. She’s six, and beat all the boys in the running race. Second in the potato-and-spoon and skipping races, though, so a hard year’s training ahead…
  • Developing a scheme of work, session plans, and resources on behalf of Freeformers for a large tech company.
  • Putting things in place for the Badge Wiki barn raising next week. Details can be found here.
  • Spending three days in Brighton starting some work for Totara. I stayed at My Brighton and it was great to spend time with Lars Hyland and the team. I’ll be helping them over the next few months, mainly based from home as it’s 5.5 hours each way on the train from Northumberland to Brighton…
  • Reading Ryan Holiday’s fantastic new book, Perennial Seller: the art of making and marketing work that lasts. As with all of his books, it’s about a lot more than just creating content.
  • Sending out Issue #14 of Badge News, a regular newsletter for the Open Badges community. This one features a summer survey for subscribers.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home for Freeformers on Monday/Tuesday, and then for Totara from Wednesday to Friday. I also need to fit in work for other people, so it looks like I’ll be working evenings, too — just as everyone else in my family winds down for the summer!


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com

Weeknote 28/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #266 was entitled ‘Is it a sign?’. Don’t forget you can sign up to Thought Shrapnel Live! using Telegram to receive links as I come across them. You can also become a valued supporter.
  • Joining Costco as a business member, which makes me feel all grown-up. Our kids had a field day, and I took that great photo of the tins of spam. The one that was turned around the other way to the others made me smile.
  • Running a half-day thinkathon for London CLC  around their strategy, branding, and marketing. Bryan Mathers was in the room with them, and I was on the other end of appear.in.
  • Travelling to and from London on the train for a meeting with Freeformers and the client (a large tech company) that we’re doing work for. It’s an introduction to coding project.
  • Ordering and receiving a OnePlus 5 which, so far, is fantastic. The portrait mode using the dual camera is superb.
  • Working on the resources for the above, which is proving very enjoyable as it’s been a while since I wrote a scheme of work! This has taken up most of my week, and will continue to take up a fair chunk of time until the end of July.
  • Confirming that I can keynote the Innovate EdTech Conference on 11th November in London. Early bird tickets are now on sale! This year’s theme is ‘The Age of Learner Experience’.
  • Drafting an article for Hello World magazine on Open Badges at the request of Miles Berry, and answers to questions about badges for Lars Hyland from Totara (who I’ll be doing some work for over the summer). Thanks to Eylan Ezekiel, Gavin Henrick, and Tony Sheppard for helpful comments and suggestions on the magazine article.
  • Catching up with my We Are Open Co-op colleagues after we’ve off being doing different things over the last few weeks, in a couple of cases on the other side of the world! We discussed putting in session proposals for Re:publica in Dublin in early September, and the Mozilla Festival in London in late October (although I’ll be away on holiday during MozFest).
  • Meeting with Jeff Bohrer from IMS Global about the work we’re doing around Badge Wiki. I’ve also invited many members of the badges community to join a Loomio group in preparation for a barn raising session we’re holding on July 26th.
  • Selling some technology on eBay. I’m now completely Apple-free!
  • Working with Sarah Horrocks from London CLC on a report on technology-enhanced teacher professional development we’re writing for the Education Development Trust.
  • Attending my children’s seemingly-endless end of term activities. This week it was summer fairs.
  • Going away my wife away for the night after packing the children off to my parents. We went to Jesterval in Newcastle, which was bizarre and awesome, enjoyed a meal at Fat Buddha, and stayed over at Hotel Du Vin.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home on Monday and Tuesday, and then in Brighton from Wednesday to Friday, kicking off work with Totara.


I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com

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