Tag: Best of Belshaw

What I got up to during #BelshawBlackOps12 (and what 2013 has in store)

TL;DR version: Best of Belshaw 2012 is now available as an ebook, I felt a little lonely working from home without interaction via social networks, and I’m trying to travel less in 2013.


The difference between working in an office or classroom versus working from home is fairly obvious. When I was in the former I had constant, relevant co-located conversations about work and related areas; in the latter the only occasional interactions I get are not work related. Of course, this is mitigated to a great degree by social networks and the calls I have as part of my working day.

What happens, though, when you consciously try to minimise your use of social networks – as I did last month? You get a bit lonely when you’re at work, that’s what. I really missed the continual partial attention and wealth of information that comes down the tubes, especially via Twitter.

Happily, though, when I wasn’t working I also wasn’t using social networks and therefore spent a lot more time being both physically and mindfully ‘present’ with my family. Which was nice. I played a lot of games, especially FIFA12 (with my son) and OLO (with anyone within my general proximity). I went down to the wonderful beach at Druridge Bay more times in December than I did in the rest of 2012, I reckon. Most of that was down to investing in Scandanavian waterproofs for the children.

I read a lot. Whilst I didn’t quite make it to 10 non-fiction books, I did manage to read seven, which isn’t too bad. I also succumbed and re-invested in the Amazon Kindle ecosystem both for myself and my wife. I feel a bit guilty given the vendor lock-in but, honestly, it makes reading on an ereader a stress-free experience. In addition to the fiction books I read or re-read (including Crime & Punishment and a Jack Reacher novel), I read the following. I’ve ordered them from best to worst:

  1. The Connected Family – Seymour Papert
  2. Society of the Spectacle – Guy Debord
  3. Reality is Broken – Jane McGonigal
  4. The Signal and the Noise – Nate Silver
  5. The Bed of Procrustes – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  6. A Whack on the Side of the Head – Roger von Oech
  7. Slow Reading – John Miedena

The book I was looking forward to reading most, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, I didn’t get a chance to read due to the Norovirus paying a visit.

What I didn’t do in December was write any more of my ebook The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. I’ll be prioritising that in the first months of this year. What was I doing instead? Putting together my Best of Belshaw 2012! You can download it for free:

So what’s in store for me in 2013? Well, hopefully a lot less travel for one thing. I followed a similar strategy in my first six months at Mozilla as I did with my first year at JISC infoNet – getting out and meeting as many people as possible. Now, though, over and above the things I’ve already committed to, some essential travelling, and the inevitable really interesting stuff, I’ll be focusing on my work around Web Literacies and Webmaker badges.

Of course, 2013 will also be the year of world domination for Open Badges. Oh, and the year of Linux on the desktop. 😉

What are you up to in 2013?

Best of Belshaw 2011 now available!

Best of Belshaw 2011As is now customary, I’ve collated the best blog posts I wrote last year (determined by PostRank and personal choice) and put them into handy book form.

It’s FREE and available to download now.

Download Best of Belshaw 2011

Also available:

I’ve got an idea for a book on The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies as well as an updated version of #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity.

Be sure to subscribe to RSS or email updates to keep on top of these developments!

Best of Belshaw

Given the recent arrival into the world of Grace Belshaw, a lack of paternity leave due to not working for my current employers for the requisite amount of time, and an Easter deadline for my Ed.D., now would seem a good time to point out that you can download (for free!) my yearly Best of Belshaw books to peruse at your leisure. They’re iPad-friendly and convert well for viewing on the Amazon Kindle and other e-book readers.

Best of Belshaw 2009 Best of Belshaw 2010

For those readers who are educators and haven’t seen the #movemeon book a number of us collaborated on in 2009, you’re missing a treat. Download them all for free or purchase them at cost price! 🙂

PS If you like my writing and want to check out the only for-profit book I’ve written so far click here.

10 things I did during Belshaw Black Ops.

For the past three weeks I’ve been on Black Ops, a better term than ‘digital hiatus’ to describe my being digitally incommunicado. It’s felt like longer, to be honest. I managed to stay off Twitter completely – the occasional, accidental, and hastily-deleted autopost from Amplify notwithstanding.

Email was a different story: although I had a ‘Black Ops’ autoresponder on my Gmail account, I had to use email for some of the following activities.

Here’s a list of what I’ve been up to:

  1. Collated and published Best of Belshaw 2010 (freely downloadable or available for purchase in physical form at cost price)
  2. Waited patiently for Hannah to give birth to our second child. She was due on the 28th December 2010, but still no sign. It’s the reason I’m not at the Learning Without Frontiers Conference today/tomorrow.
  3. Bought a fair bit of new technological kit and sold older stuff on eBay.
  4. Took my son, Ben, to the beach (to burn off excess sugar) almost every day.
  5. Experimented with Quora and Licorizer, re-joined Facebook, and unfollowed 90% of people I was following on Twitter.
  6. Lost all my iPhone contacts on Boxing Day whilst unjailbreaking my iPhone so I could upgrade to iOS 4.2.1 (text me your phone number if I had it before!)
  7. Kicked off a stealth project with Andy Stewart which will culminate in a manifesto and small events this year, building (hopefully!) to a large event in 2015.
  8. Wrote my first-ever journal article (it’s entitled Seven Types of Ambiguity and Digital Literacy)
  9. Engaged in some consultancy which I may develop a bit more in 2011. I’ve come up with a Hierarchy of Understanding which I’m going to work on (and may even turn into a journal article) before sharing.
  10. Played a whole lot on my Playstation 3, especially Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (the Vietnam expansion pack came out on my 30th birthday!)

More on the above over the next week or so. I may be sporadic given I’m both getting back into my digital routine and having to deal with the imminent arrival of a new baby. :-p

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