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Chapter 2 of my new audiobook on productivity is now available!

I’m in the midst of creating an audiobook entitled #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity (v2). Many thanks to those who have already bought the book as soon as it was released. I’m pleased to announce another chapter is now available.

Chapter 2 is concerned with one of the three ‘pillars’ of productivity: Nutrition. This chapter is full of actionable insights and you should be able to stop listening and start implementing straight away!

As usual, I’m using my OpenBeta publishing model, meaning that this product will get more expensive as I add more content. The earlier you buy into the process, the cheaper it is! If you buy Chapter 1 now, I’ll send you every iteration until it’s finished.



Buy now for £2

(click the button to see the proposed chapter listing)


Need a sample? Here’s a two-minute intro:

Note: I’ll email existing backers and keep posting here when each new chapter is available. The ‘canonical’ page for this audiobook, however, is here. That will always be up-to-date!

How I’m Getting Shift Done

NewCo Shift is a publication on Medium’s platform. It launched in April 2016 and covers “the biggest shift in business and society since the industrial revolution”.

This week, they launched a new part of the publication with the title ‘Getting Shift Done’ [GSD], divided into a Management section and a Tips and Tricks section. It’s an experiment, made possible with the help of sponsors Xero (which I use for Dynamic Skillset) and Work Market (which they’re using to manage freelancers for GSD).

I’m pleased to say that I’ll be contributing around five articles a week to NewCo Shift GSD. My first, How to Productively Stalk your Co-Workers using Dropbox Paper is now live (with a creepy, if germane, accompanying image). My focus will be sharing very straightforward ‘howto’-style posts, mostly for tools that I use and recommend.

If you appreciate my work, I could use your support in favouriting, commenting, bookmarking, and otherwise sharing my work on this new platform. Thanks in advance!

Note: I’ll include these posts in my weeknotes and Thought Shrapnel newsletter, rather than cross-post every single one here!

The importance of working ‘open’ in education and business

I’m pleased to say that two closely-related articles I’ve written about working ‘open’ have been published over the last few days.

As of this month, I’ve started writing for The Nasstarian, a new blog from Nasstar, one of the UK’s largest managed IT service provders. They’ve given me free license to write about things of interest to their readers. The first one I’ve written for them is about the ‘unexpected benefits’ of working open for businesses.

My latest DML Central article takes this approach and focuses in on what this means for education. I’m indebted to Bryan Mathers for the wonderful ‘elevator’ image, and to Matt Thompson and Laura Hilliger for comments on an earlier draft.

Comments are closed here to encourage you to add your thoughts to the original articles! Thanks for supporting my work!

Weeknote 43/2016

This week I’ve been:

Next week, I’ll be recovering from MozFest on Monday and then working out of Campus North in Newcastle on Tuesday, catching up with things. On Wednesday and Thursday I’ll be finishing off Chapter 2 of #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity and writing for a publication which I should then be able to tell you about. On Friday, I’m leading a We Are Open thinkathon for Sunderland City Council.


I’ve got some spare capacity up to Christmas. My consultancy, Dynamic Skillset focuses on edtech strategy as well as digital skills and credential. It’s part of We Are Open co-op. If you think I or we can help you, please do get in touch!

Email: hello@nulldynamicskillset.com / doug@nullweareopen.coop

 

A new dawn for Open Badges

Today it’s been announced that Mozilla will transition development of Open Badges to the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a non-profit that maintains and develops technology standards in education.  Alongside this announcement comes the long-awaited refresh of openbadges.org, the dissolution of the Badge Alliance, and the continued harmonisation with the work of the W3C Open Credentials work.

Having had this news previewed to me a couple of weeks ago, I can’t say it’s a huge surprise. Mozilla, with financial backing from the MacArthur Foundation incubated Open Badges and ensured that it was kept going. However, it’s been the enthusiasm and dedication of the community that has ensured its success.

Although I couldn’t make it to Bologna for the ePIC conference this week, I am at the Mozilla Festival this weekend. Both there, and over the next few months, I’m looking forward to working with the community to ensure that there’s a ‘human’ side to badges, to complement Open Badges as a technological  standard.

This is a new dawn for Open Badges, a new chapter in its successful, history. There’s so many people who have been, and continue to be, part of the story — certainly far too many to list here. But you know who you are, and today, as we celebrate the continued viability of a movement built upon a technical standard, I’m raising a glass to you all.

Image via Sweet Ice Cream Photography

Where I’ll be at MozFest 2016

This weekend it’s the Mozilla Festival, an event that brings together everyone interested in the open web. It’s an event I attended as a volunteer before I joined Mozilla, something I was involved with during my time as a paid contributor, and now I’m back as a community member.

My We Are Open co-op comrades and I are running three sessions over the weekend. Unfortunately, Laura can’t make it, but either Bryan, John, and I will be taking the lead on the following. The idea is that they work in their own right, but we’ve also worked with the organisers to ensure they form a kind of ‘arc’ for those who want to attend all three sessions!


The Thinkasprint: the art of thinking sideways

Saturday, 11:15am-12:45pm
Open Badges, Floor 8 – 801

In this session participants will be taken through a modified version of We Are Open Co-op’s ‘thinkathon’ approach, to help people think about knotty problems in an open, inclusive, and participatory way. The process involves as much drawing as it does thinking and writing, and is solution-oriented.

We use the wealth of experience that participants and facilitators have to take apart a problem and look at it from a different angle. We will go off at tangents and down rabbit holes, but that’s all part of the process!

Our starting point will be whatever issues participants bring to the table after our icebreaker activity, but we have a few ideas up our sleeves, such as Open Badges for employability, digital skills, and ‘passion projects’.


Digital Champions: scaffolding adult digital and web literacies with badges

Saturday, 3:15pm-4:00pm
Open Badges, Floor 1 – 101

This session will help attendees understand the concept of ‘flexible frameworks’, using examples from London Connected Learning Centre and Sussex Downs College. This draws on doteveryone’s Basic Digital Skills Framework and Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map. It will be a conversation-led session with visual thoughts captured by Bryan Mathers.


THE BIG BADGE THROW-DOWN

Sunday, 11:00am-11:45am
Open Badges, Floor 8 – 801

Using the starting points of doteveryone’s Basic Digital Skills, Workplace Skills, and Digital Leadership Skills programmes, NCVO’s Skills Lab work, and London CLC’s Digital Champions Curriculum, this workshop will find commonalities, overlaps, and ways forward for badges-based flexible frameworks.

We’ll provide examples of existing programmes, badges and pathways and then work to flesh out, fill gaps and imagine new links and partnerships between established players as well as welcoming new entrants to the digital skills space. This will be a hands-on, practical session.


If you’re coming to MozFest, I hope you’ll join us for at least one session. If not (there’s so much going on!) then please do find us and say hello — I’m @dajbelshaw on Twitter and will also keep an eye out on the @WeAreOpenCoop account.

Photo by Mozilla in Europe

Blockcerts are friends of Open Badges

This morning I read the latest news from MIT about their blockchain and badges project. It’s exciting news for those interested in high-stakes credentials such as university degrees. They’ve given this new standard a name: Blockcerts.

Many will think that this puts Blockcerts in competition with Open Badges, but, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Philipp Schmidt, Director of Learning Innovation at the MIT Media Lab — and author of the post announcing Blockcerts — was one of the originators of Open Badges when he was at P2PU.

Schmidt writes:

Blockcerts provides a decentralized credentialing system. The Bitcoin blockchain acts as the provider of trust, and credentials are tamper-resistant and verifiable. Blockcerts can be used in the context of academic, professional, and workforce credentialing.

[…]

Certificates are open badges compliant, which is important, because there is an entire community of open badges issuers that we want to support, and because open badges is becoming an IMS standard.

He’s perhaps let the cat out of the bag with the last sentence. I’ve had conversations over the last few weeks which point to an upcoming Mozilla announcement in this regard.

Any way you look at it, this is a great move for those in the ecosystem. Blockcerts is Open Badges-compliant, and provides a solution for organisations dealing in high-stakes credentialing. I know the BadgeChain group will be pleased!

The thing that attracted me to Open Badges, and which remains my goal, is to explore alternative credentialing. While there’s definitely a need to move high-stakes credentialing into the digital realm, I’m interested in ways in which we can provide a much more holistic view of the learner.


Want to find out more about Open Badges? Check out the OB101 course that Bryan Mathers and I put together!

Weeknote 42/2016

  • Sending out Issue #233 of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely focused on education, technology, and productivity. It featured links on CC0, broccoli, and ChromeOS alternatives, amongst other things. Many thanks to Makers Academy for sponsorship!
  • Recording and releasing Episode 65 (‘Licensing Educational Content’) of Today In Digital Education, my weekly podcast with co-host Dai Barnes.  This week we discussed Creative Commons Zero and educational licensing (main topic) as well as the Internet of Things, the best jobs for your personality type, and why learning to code shouldn’t be ‘fun’. You can join the community to discuss this episode of TIDE in our Slack channel!
  • Participating in Stoic Week 2016. You can see what I wrote in response to the prompts in the ‘writing’ section at the end of this post or by clicking here.
  • Meeting with Estelle Blanks from the Innovation Super Network and subsequently registering for VentureFest North East. I’m on a bit of a mission to get myself more connected and embedded in the region.
  • Talking with Simon Butt-Bethlendy about all things writing and consulting-related which I’m sure will lead to great things!
  • Catching up with Louise Thomas, now at the Innovation Unit, but who was at the RSA when we did some work with Keri Facer and others around ‘Education for the Apocalypse’.  The slides for the presentation Keri and I did around that at Learning Without Frontiers in 2012 are still available online. I’m hoping to collaborate with Louise on future projects.
  • Planning with my We Are Open comrades for the three sessions we’re running at the Mozilla Festival this year.
  • Offering my services to King Edward VI School, which not only is about 200 metres away from where I live in Morpeth, but also where my children will end up in a few years’ time! They were very keen on Open Badges, so watch this space!
  • Working on Chapter 2 (‘Nutrition’) of my audiobook, #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity. I’ll be releasing it soon, and those who have already bought into the book will get a free update (the price increases with each chapter I add…)
  • Booking the conference room at London Connected Learning Centre for a couple of workshops on Wednesday 7th December. More details soon!
  • Having a mini adventure at Boggle Hole near Robin Hood’s Bay. It was recommended to me as a good family getaway by a couple I met when climbing Helvellyn, and my children’s schools had a teacher training day on Friday. We spent almost exactly 24 hours away from home, from 16:00 on Thursday, to about the same time on Friday. It’s recently had a major refurbishment along a pirate them, and we had a great time! Recommended.
  • Writing:

Next week it’s half-term, so I’ll be working less at the start of the week and spending time with my family. At the end of the week I’ll be at MozFest, and very much looking to catching up with a whole range of people!

3 quick updates

Just a few things to share, briefly:

  1. Workshops — I’m going to be running  at least one workshop on Wednesday 7th December at London Connected Learning Centre. Save the date! More details soon, but the focus will be on digital skills / badges / working open.
  2. Consultancy — One of my clients hasn’t managed to secure the funding to do some work we’d planned before Christmas. That means I’ve got more availability that I expected in the next few weeks. Let me know if I can help! My consultancy site: dynamicskillset.com
  3. Audiobook — I’ve been working on Chapter 2 of #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity. Thanks to those who have given me positive feedback after being an ‘early adopter’ and listening to the first chapter on sleep.

Image by Jungwoo Hong

Weeknote 41/2016

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’ll be doing some more writing, preparing for MozFest, running a thinkathon with my We Are Open colleagues, and catching up with various people. Wondering if I can help you / your organisation? Get in touch!

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