Tag: Weeknotes (page 1 of 4)

Weeknote 29/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #312 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Thanks to those who back me via Patreon plus those who continue their support via Gumroad!
  • Working on the MoodleNet project:
    • Travelling – I’ve been in Helena, Montana (USA) at the MountainMoot. There’s lots to learn from this ‘unofficial’ moot in terms of engagement and creating a great vibe. The photo accompanying this post is of Carroll College which is where the moot was held with the Montana mounts in the distance.
    • Running a session at the MountainMoot. The attendance wasn’t high, as you’d expect from an early-stage innovation project up against sessions with more tangible outcomes, but there were some great discussions.
    • Working with Outlandish on the second UX milestone. This one is a bit more tricky as we didn’t discuss many of the features from this milestone at the Design Sprint. Check out our meeting notes from this week’s call. We also came up with the user flow for the screencast demo we’ll produce at the end of this sprint.
    • Updating the MoodleNet white paper to v0.25. This was mainly small tweaks to reflect changes in scope and focus to the project over the last few months.
    • Drafting a proposal for the Mozilla Festival on the theme of ‘decentralisation’. You can see that here.
    • Thinking through an idea around emoji triplets for visually communicating identity when users can change both their username and avatar on a decentralised platform.
    • Reviewing Mayel’s draft document explaining how MoodleNet will integrate with Moodle Core.
  • Curating interesting things I came across on the Thought Shrapnel blog. This week I collected some quotations and commented on the following:
  • Writing posts on my Discours.es blog about things that, for one reason or another, didn’t seem to fit elsewhere:

Next week, I’m going to be at home working on MoodleNet, and in particular UX milestone 2.

Weeknote 25/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #308 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘World Cup(cake)’. Thanks to the 39 patrons who back me via Patreon plus those who continue their support via Gumroad!
  • Working on the MoodleNet project:
  • Accompanying my son to hospital a couple of times for a total of around seven hours. He was messing around with his friends after school and a stray rugby tackle knocked him out cold. He’s had some double-vision, but should be OK!
  • Catching up with Cliff Manning about some upcoming work with the Carnegie UK Trust’s #NotWithoutMe digital accelerator project. I also put together an agenda for a workshop I’m running next month for the National STEM Learning Centre.
  • Spending much less time reading and reading due to my son’s injury. That’s meant only one post on the Thought Shrapnel blog: Crawling before you walk.
  • Watching as many World Cup football matches as I can.
  • Opting-out of NHS data gathering (for the second time) on behalf of my family. Given recent revelations about data-sharing with Google, I don’t see why I should give anyone more information about my family’s health than is strictly necessary.
  • Re-elected as Secretary of our local Scout group at the AGM.
  • Testing out Nextcloud again using a free account at disroot.org. I’d quite like to know that important data such as photos, bookmarks, and files are safe and in a place that isn’t being data-mined. I’ve started supporting Disroot on Patreon at $2/month while I test it out, and will up my backing to the $15/month level for the complete list of services if I continue using them.

Next week I’m doing five days for Moodle. I’ll be at home on Monday until my flight to Barcelona in the evening for the MoodleMoot. I’m very much looking forward to visiting the new Moodle office in Barcelona, which opens just before the Moot! I get back home on Friday night.

Image by clement127 used under a CC BY-NC-ND license

Weeknote 24/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #307 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘Home on the range’. Thanks to the 38 patrons who back me via Patreon plus those who are supporters via Gumroad!
  • Recording, editing and releasing Episode 104 of the Today In Digital Education (TIDE) podcast with my co-host Dai Barnes. We entitled this episode ‘Facebook folly’ and discussed leadership, inequality, anarchy, Facebook’s role in society, drugs use in universities, ‘facilitating’ subjects, and more!
  • Working on the MoodleNet project:
    • Continuing our first two-week sprint, focused on setting milestones for the project. This took a while as there a lots of different approaches and moving parts. You can check out our Trello board and milestones (which are all linked to Jira epics). We’re taking account of travel and holidays in listing future sprints, which we’ve got mapped up to the end of October.
    • Figuring out how we’re going to run community calls after being advised by Moodle’s DPO and Legal Counsel, Carlo Polizzi (very nicely!) that we weren’t capturing data from community members in a GDPR-compliant way. More in this blog post.
    • Updating our project overview slide deck to v0.6 and presenting to this month’s Moodle Users Association town hall meeting.
    • Meeting with Martin Dougiamas and Mayel de Borniol to discuss the best way for MoodleNet to integrate with Moodle Core. We’re considering launching with only support for MoodleCloud, as this simplifies compatibility with resources and different versions. However, we’ve more thinking to do on that…
    • Helping the rest of the Team Leads figure out which project management software we should use.
    • Mapping out the spectrum between building a fully federated system and a closed SaaS product. Unsurprisingly, we’re attempting to build something that’s as open as possible while being commercially viable. An ‘API-as-a-service’ approach may work well here, but we’ve further work to do.
    • Catching up with Alberto Corado on UX/Design input to the MoodleNet project, and also Gavin Henrick and Tom Murdock about project management.
  • Curating interesting things I came across on the Thought Shrapnel blog. This week I collected some quotations and commented on the following:
    • Higher Education and blockchain
    • On ‘instagrammability’
    • F*** off Google
    • “Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintop. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discovered without trouble. There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.”(Og Mandino)
    • Where memes come from
    • “Whenever we get swept up in the self-reinforcing momentum and seductive logic of some new technology, we forget to ask what else it might be doing, how else it might be working, and who ultimately benefits most from its appearance. Why time has been diced into the segments between notifications, why we feel so inadequate to the parade of images that reach us through our devices, just why it is that we feel so often feel hollow and spent. What might connect our choices and the processes that are stripping the planet, filthing the atmosphere, and impoverishing human and nonhuman lives beyond number. Whether and in what way our actions might be laying the groundwork for an oppression that is grimmer yet and still more total. And finally we forget to ask whether, in our aspiration to overcome the human, we are discarding a gift we already have at hand and barely know what to do with.” (Adam Greenfield)
    • Inequality, anarchy, and the course of human history
  • Going on a Fathers Day hike with my son’s Scouts troop.
  • Configuring three reconditioned Amazon Fire 8 HD tablets (+microSD cards) I purchased for my kids and me. My wife already has a Xiaomi Mi Pad 3. I’ve installed the F-Droid marketplace so I can install the Yalp to download apps from the Google Play store. It’s also possible to use LauncherHijack so you can use something like Lawnchair instead of the stock Amazon launcher.
  • Enjoying World Cup 2018, although I missed Spain vs. Portugal as I was, unexpectedly, actually playing football. I was on my way into the gym when someone popped their head out of the leisure centre sports hall saying they were a player short.
  • Taking Friday off and picking our brand-new (second hand) car, a 2013 Volvo V60.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home all week, preparing for the week after when I’ll be in Barcelona at MoodleMoot Spain 2018!

Weeknote 22/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #305 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘Sprinting into the distance’. Thanks to the 35 patrons who back me via Patreon plus those who are supporters via Gumroad!
  • Camping with Scouts as a parent helper at Pirate Marra. I really enjoyed it, and managed to get some sleep too!
  • Going for a walk up Simonside with my family. It was misty when we started out, but cleared by the time we got to the top.
  • Planning our family summer holiday. We’ll be flying to Spain and back from Germany, and interrailing for two weeks inbetween! I want to show my children how wonderful Europe is before Brexit kicks in.
  • Leading another thinkathon for We Are Open co-op with the Israeli Center for Educational Technology. We’re helping them with a digital literacy MOOC, and I’m looking forward to the next steps!
  • Spending some time by myself while my wife and children flew to Devon for a couple of days to visit the in-laws.
  • Buying and using Xiaomi body composition scales. I’m already using (and loving) my Xiaomi Amazfit Bip smartwatch, and these scales use the same Mi Fit app. Note that I’m blocking trackers these days on my Android phone using Blokada. The scales told me that my BMI is slightly too high and that I’ve got too much visceral fat. On the plus side, my muscle mass is ‘good’ and my bone mass is ‘normal’.
  • Working on the MoodleNet project:
    • Working only two days to decompress after last week’s MoodleNet design sprint, and to observe the UK Bank Holiday on Monday.
    • Co-ordinating with Mayel de Borniol, our new MoodleNet Technical Architect. We’re going to be working in two-week sprints, starting Wednesday 6th June. Mayel will be working three days for Moodle over the next six months, I work four days.
    • Setting up Trello boards to work with Mayel.
    • Catching up with a couple of consultants who have been helping us figure out the search and metadata aspects of MoodleNet.
    • Following-up with the randomly-picked winners (thanks Claudia!) of the Amazon and Zazzle vouchers we provided as an incentive to fill in the pre-design sprint MoodleNet survey.
    • Giving feedback to Outlandish, who facilitated last week’s design sprint.
    • Tidying up the wiki page for the design sprint and uploading all of the photos from the week.
    • Reading and adding to the information around the May 2018 product roadmaps forum.
    • Booking flights for the Barcelona Moot in June and the Mountain Moot in July.
  • Curating interesting things I came across on the Thought Shrapnel blog. This week I collected some quotations and commented on the following:

Next week, and for the next three weeks before the Barcelona MoodleMoot, I’m working from home. So I’m looking forward to getting into a good, healthy routine and shedding some of that body fat!

Weeknote 21/2018

This week I’ve been:

This Bank Holiday weekend I’m helping out with Marra Camp, a huge Scout camp in Northumberland as a parent helper. My son will be there and the weather is forecast to be good, so I’m looking forward to it. Following that, I’m taking some holiday, working on co-op stuff, and then getting back into Moodle stuff next Thursday.

Weeknote 11/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #295 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘A wee problem…’ and featured curated links from the Thought Shrapnel blog (where you can also sign up if you don’t yet subscribe!)
  • Recording, editing and releasing Episode 98 of the Today In Digital Education (TIDE) podcast with my co-host Dai Barnes. We entitled this episode ‘Zoom zoom zoom’ and discussed audio recording, coding, philosophy books, the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, thinking about dying, big tech, and some tech tricks!
  • Working on Project MoodleNet:
  • Recording a podcast episode with Jeff Utecht about Open Badges.
  • Working with Bryan Mathers on behalf of the co-op on some follow-up work for the Inter-American Development Bank. I’m delighted that we’ll be sharing those outputs on Badge Wiki.
  • Planning for next week’s presentation in Berlin.
  • Attending a fantastic basketball match on  Friday night where Newcastle Eagles came from behind to destroy their opponents, Bristol Flyers. My family loved it!
  • Unexpectedly free on Saturday, after Scout Camp was postponed due to the snow. I was supposed to be leading a group for a mini version of Operation Twilight.

Next week I’m working at home for Moodle Monday through Wednesday. I’m then flying to Berlin to speak on digital literacies at an event organised by the Goethe Institut. I’ll be back on Friday to finish off my Moodle work.

Weeknote 09/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #293 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘Making cheese grate again’ and featured curated links from the Thought Shrapnel blog (where you can also sign up if you don’t yet subscribe!)
  • Jet lagged. I thought I’d beaten it with Melatonin tablets, but it came back to bite me on Tuesday — three days after I got home! I took the day off to get back into the groove.
  • Recording an episode of the Today in Digital Education (TIDE) podcast with my co-host, Dai Barnes. Unfortunately, the recording didn’t work properly and only Dai’s side of the conversation was captured after the two-minute mark. It’s disappointing, as we’ve only just moved to a paid account on Cast after experiencing some issues with Zencastr. Not the best present for Dai, whose birthday it was this week!
  • Buying a Chromebox (Asus CN62) for my office, as I’m sick of having to connect and disconnect my laptop every morning. I just want something where I can turn it on and go straight into a video conference. It’s obviously not as powerful as my laptop, but does the job.
  • Snowed in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much snow in Northumberland, where I live!. The snow was lying 22cm deep outside our house, which meant no school for three days for the children, no travel, and most shops either shut or on reduced hours. I work from home, so the only way it affected me was reducing my options for exercise and having to do some childcare.
  • Booking travel for upcoming events in Berlin, Glasgow, and Bristol.
  • Working on Project MoodleNet:
    • Catching up with stuff I’d missed while away last week, including the recording of the all-hands meeting and (always!) emails.
    • Revisiting my notes from the leadership week in Australia and feeding them into my planning.
    • Adding new scenario images and tidying up the white paper.
    • Talking with lots of smart people, including: Jim Groom, Tom Salmon, Clint Lalonde, Grainne Hamilton, Nitin Parmar, Greg McVerry, and Ian O’Byrne. I very much appreciated their insights and have some more conversations lined up next week!
    • Scheduling the first community call (15:00 UTC, 4th April)
    • Putting together a milestones document for planning and resourcing.
    • Finishing off the Futurelearn GDPR course I’d started. It’s possibly the first online course, other than Learn Moodle Basics, that I’ve ever completed!
  • Participating in our monthly We Are Open Co-op day. We discussed and worked on a bunch of things, including our new website (coming soon!)
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working five days for Moodle as I took a day off this week. I’ll be digging into the Project MoodleNet milestones planning and overview document (initially for internal use) and talking to more smart people!


Image by John Johnston used under a Creative Commons license

Weeknote 07/2018

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #291 of my Thought Shrapnel newsletter. This one was called ‘ Necessary koalafications 🐨’ and featured curated links from the Thought Shrapnel blog (where you can also sign up if you don’t yet subscribe!)
  • Working in Perth and Mandurah, Australia at a Moodle team leads workweek. It was great to hang out in person with my colleagues, some of which I’d never met in person. We got lots done, and it was my pleasure to help facilitate some of that.
  • Putting the finishing touches to plans with Bryan Mathers for next weeks’ work in Washington DC with the Inter-American Development Bank around Open Badges.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m in Washington DC from Monday to Saturday. Over and above the work we’re doing there, I’m looking forward to hanging out with Bryan and a few people I’m planning to catch up with.

Weeknote 05/2018

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m working from home all week, flying to Perth (via Dubai) on Friday.


Image by Michal Grosicki used under a CC0 license

Weeknote 03/2018

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m working from home from Monday to Thursday, then I’ll be at the Bett Show in London on Friday.


Photo taken today as my son and I headed to Kielder to pick up an ex-hire hybrid bike he’s getting for his birthday on Monday.

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