Tag: weeknote (page 1 of 14)

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 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 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

Weeknote 26/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’ll be in Dublin to take part in a debate on digital literacy at the World Conference for Computers in Education. I’ll then be working from home for the rest of the week.


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


Image credit: Thiruva’l’luvar 4 by internets_dairy is licensed under CC BY

Weeknote 25/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #263 was entitled ‘Sizzle’. Don’t forget you can sign up to Thought Shrapnel Live! using Telegram to receive links as I come across them.
  • Giving the closing keynote at an Open Badges event up at the University of Dundee. My slide deck can be found here. I enjoyed catching up with Grainne Hamilton from Digitalme while I was there (we were former colleagues at Jisc).
  • Redesigning the landing page of dougbelshaw.com on the train home from Dundee. I’m much happier with how it looks now!
  • Making progress with Badge Wiki, from a technical and policy perspective. With the assistance of Web Architects we’ve sorted out the login workflow, and I’ve drafted Terms of Use and a Privacy Policy for community feedback.
  • Meeting with Sarah Horrocks from London CLC about some research around international teacher professional development that we’re doing for the Education Development Trust.
  • Issuing badges to more of those who have completed Badge Bootcamp. We’re actually going to shut it down at the end of the month to tweak it a bit over the summer, so be quick if you want to go through it!
  • Catching up with Rhys Kidd-Scannell who works for Frog, and is also the father of my daughter’s friend. I also spoke with a reporter from EducationInvestor magazine about badges, Eva-Marie Costello about her plans for digital literacy-related apps for underserved populations, and Bryan Mathers about visualising ways in which badges can be ‘dynamic’ with v2.0 of the Open Badges specification.
  • Attending the local Scout group’s AGM. It looks like I may have upgraded my role from Executive Committee member to Secretary.
  • Compiling, editing, and sending out Issue #13 of Badge News, a regular newsletter for the Open Badges community.
  • Looking after my children due to a teacher training day on Friday.
  • Spending time with local pharmacists, opticians, and doctors at the RVI in Newcastle after a mystery eye infection. I can see fine, but it’s painful. They’ve put it down as viral conjunctivitis, but that’s because they weren’t sure what else it could be…
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home at the start of the week, then heading to London on Wednesday to take part in an SQA expert group on assessment on Thursday. I’m itching to get away up a mountain again, but that might not happen until August now.


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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