Tag: weeknote (page 1 of 14)

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

Weeknote 24/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m doing the closing keynote at an Open Badges event up at the University of Dundee on Monday, then spending Tuesday to Thursday building out Badge Wiki, and doing some research for a couple of clients. My children have a teacher training day on Friday, so I’ll be hanging out with the family.


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 22/2017

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’ll be in Dubai from Sunday to Tuesday, then I’m working from home on Wednesday and Thursday. I’d planned to get in another couple of Quality Mountain Days next weekend, but my son’s got an important swimming gala, and a football tournament, so I’m postponing for 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

Weeknote 20/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #258 was entitled ‘Keep on keepin’ on’.
  • Walking in the Lake District to clock up two more ‘Quality Mountain Days’. Sunday was glorious sunglasses-and-ice-cream weather and so was easy, but Monday was challenging, and I fell down a crag.
  • Collaborating with my We Are Open Co-op colleagues on Tuesday morning. It was a ‘pre-think’ before the thinkathon we’re running next week for Passbolt.
  • Participating in a pre-conference Livestreaming 101 workshop on Tuesday afternoon, led by Christian Payne. I learned a lot about various approaches and kit, but also about how to run a very relaxed (yet very effective) three-hour workshop. Using Periscope meant I was back on Twitter for a few hours, and you can see the results here and here.
  • Attending the Thinking Digital conference. I’m always blown away by the quality and range of things that the speakers talk about. It was great to see regulars and to meet new people. The highlight for me was Imogen Heap performing a Frou Frou song, using her crazy gloves that can control music in realtime. At the conference dinner, I sat next to Martin Rosinski, the founder of Palringo, who lives down the road from me. His platform serves 30 million users. Wow!
  • Putting together some resources around fake news and digital literacies for an upcoming online keynote I’m doing on June 1st. More details here.
  • Recording and releasing Episode 82 of Today In Digital Education (TIDE), the regular podcast I record with Dai Barnes. This episode was entitled ‘Virtually Education’ and we discussed what we’ve been up to recently, online security, the link between education and poverty, grammar ‘robots’, hacking, virtual reality, and Google’s latest announcements.
  • Catching up with all kinds of people, including Erica Neve from Freeformers, Mike Carter from Tyncan Learning, Rafa Pereira from data.world, Rob Artnsen from MyKnowledgeMapWill Bentinck from Makers Academy, and Paul Stacey from Creative Commons.
  • Making updates and corrections to the Stir to Action article I submitted last week. You can view the draft here.
  • Starting to use 750words.com again to write down my thoughts at the beginning of the day. It’s something I used to do regularly, and I like the stats they give you. The approach is known as Morning Pages.
  • Talking with Cetis, who are (like We Are Open) a co-op that’s part of Co-operative Technologists. We’re putting in a joint bid to the Ufi VocTech Seed Fund next week.
  • Carrying out some research for London CLC around technology-enhanced teacher professional development in various parts of the world. It’s early days, but I’ve enjoyed diving into some of the academic literature.
  • Getting through the funding/sponsorship from Participate to start work on a wiki-based knowledge repository for Open Badges case studies, etc. We’ve also had confirmation from the foundational sponsors of Badge News that they’d like to continue with the arrangement past the first six month trial period!
  • Spending late Friday night with our eldest in hospital after a weird rash and blue lips gave us cause for concern. Turns out nobody knows what’s wrong, but he’s OK. The joys of parenting…
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home on Monday and Tuesday, travelling to London on Wednesday afternoon, spending Thursday at the Future of Work Summit and in meetings, and then taking Friday off.


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 19/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #257 was entitled ‘Jetlag’.
  • Walking among the bluebells with my wife in the aptly-named Bluebell Wood near our home.
  • Recording and releasing Episode 81 of Today In Digital Education (TIDE), the regular podcast I record with Dai Barnes. This episode was entitled ‘Surveillance, Hacking, and Democracy’ and we discussed Mastodon, Dai’s new Linux machine, smart cities, Amazon’s new Echo device, privacy-invading apps, Chinese classrooms, Brexit, two-factor authentication, and more!
  • Planning with representatives from the David Ross Education Trust, including Guy Shearer. I’m keynoting and helping with their upcoming elearning conference.
  • Asking various people for some advice about what I should do next. Everything going fine, I just want to get my teeth stuck into something a bit ‘meatier’…
  • Interviewed by the Innovation Unit for upcoming work they’re doing around the future of edtech.
  • Finishing the first draft of an article for Stir to Action magazine. I’ve entitled it You Can’t Be What You Can’t See: digital employability for the new economy and you can add comments/thoughts/suggestions here.
  • Attending an important call run by the Open Recognition Alliance around the future of the Open Badges community, now that IMS Global Learning Consortium are stewards of the standard.
  • Catching up with Keiron Kirkland and meeting Rob Brown for the first time.  Gentlemen both.
  • Reading Psalm 139 at my grandmother’s funeral. It was obviously a sad day, but it was such a great send-off for her, and a sunny day to boot.
  • Planning my next two ‘Quality Mountain Days’ (of the 20 I need to get under my belt) to get on a Mountain Leader course.
  • Finishing, and then immediately flicking back to the front page of Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine to read it again. I may have to install a footnotes plugin on this blog in homage to Baker’s genius. Once I’ve re-read it, I’ll be moving on to HHhH by Laurent Binet.
  • Sending out Issue #10 of Badge News, a bi-weekly newsletter for those who want to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of Open Badges (on behalf of We Are Open Co-op).
  • Securing sponsorship for a new ‘knowledge repository’ that We Are Open will build to ensure the continued growth of the Open Badges movement. More on that when we announce it properly next week.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m up mountains in the Lake District on Sunday and Monday, and then collaborating with my co-op co-founders on Tuesday morning before heading to a workshop on Tuesday afternoon (run by Christian Payne, aka Documentally). I’m attending the Thinking Digital conference on Wednesday , and Thursday/Friday will be devoted to research for London CLC, and spinning up the new Open Badges ‘knowledge repository’.


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 18/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Jetlagged. I’m not a night owl at all, so the fact I’m publishing this in the early hours of Saturday morning tells you all you need to know. I slept until midday on Friday. Flying forwards in time messes me up, no matter how much preparation I do.
  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #256 was entitled ‘Canada, eh?’.
  • Spending time in Calgary, working with Rocky View School District. I spent Monday with their tech team figuring out issues around communication and strategy, and then Tuesday with a much wider group around digital literacies. Many thanks to Verena Roberts for inviting me over!
  • Quitting Twitter for a month in favour of Mastodon, a move which I explained in this post. I’ve already come across really interesting people that I don’t think I would have come across otherwise!
  • Sending out the April issue of my Dynamic Skillset newsletter. This monthly missive always has a slightly different focus than my weekly newsletter, so if you haven’t subscribed, do so now!
  • Watching the films Logan and I, Daniel Blake on the way home from Canada. The former was pretty violent, but it was actually the latter that made more of an impression on me. It was set and filmed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, near where I live. It really resonated with me having grown up in an ex-mining town amongst people who just want to get on with life, but are prevented from doing so by a punitive State.
  • Delighted to be reunited with my wife and children. My daughter had lost both her front teeth by the time I got back, so not only did she look different, but she sounds different!
  • Chilling out. I’ll get back to work properly next week.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home all week, apart from Thursday which is my grandmother’s funeral.

Image CC BY davebloggs007


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 17/2017

It’s been quite the last few days. This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m flying to Calgary to work with the Rocky Mountain School District around digital literacies. I’m then travelling back across the Atlantic so that I arrive home on Thursday morning. I am doing nothing else for the rest of the week as I will be tired (and jetlagged as a badger).


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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