Tag: work (page 1 of 14)

Weeknote 02/2017

This week I’ve been:

  • Inundated with requests to run workshops, deliver keynotes, and become a critical friend to projects. From London, to Rome, Toronto, Belfast, and a place I’d never previously heard of in Germany, it would seem that everyone’s back to work and wants my services.
  • Putting together proposals for the above. Pricing is hard, especially when the client only sees the delivery and not the preparation.
  • Getting back into rhythms, including sending out the latest issue of Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter. I was delighted when so many people kindly bought me a coffee in recognition for the value they get from it. Dai Barnes and I also recorded the first episode of the Today In Digital Education (TIDE) podcast of 2017.
  • Trying to take it a bit easier, partly because I’m still getting up-to-speed after Christmas and my digital hiatus, but also because I’m travelling on and off for the next few weeks.
  • Helping a client through our ongoing relationship where I provide critical friend services. I find these conversations extremely valuable, and it seems my clients do, too.
  • Finalising the details of the I HAVE A DREAM ABOUT BADGES webinar we’re running with Educators Co-op next Monday at 16:00 UTC. Details can be found on We Are Open’s webinars page.
  • Following Nigel Slater’s spiced lentil soup recipe, which actually turned out quite well. Along with practising the piano most days, I’m trying to cook at least once a week this year.
  • Celebrating my grandmother’s 93rd birthday and my daughter’s 6th birthday. They were quite… different in the energy levels required, shall we say!
  • Making minor tweaks to my Dynamic Skillset website.
  • Planning an upcoming ‘Badge Bootcamp’ workshop that We Are Open is running in London on February 15th. We’re not officially launching this until Monday, so I can neither confirm nor deny that clicking here will help you get one of the Early Bird tickets.
  • Trying to retain my Zen-like calm when dealing with PayPal, who have placed obscure, Kafka-esque restrictions on our co-op account in recent weeks, for no apparent reason. We’ve finally got it sorted. Hopefully.
  • Creating a ‘what is a co-op?’ page for our We Are Open website. I need to update the placeholder kitten images, but you can see what I’ve done.
  • Re-drafting the script for Chapter 3 of #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity. I actually wrote the original back at the end of November, but Google Keep lost it due to a syncing conflict. Suffice to say, I am now no longer using Google Keep.
  • Writing:

Next week, I’m working from home on Monday at Tuesday, travelling on Wednesday, and then working with Victoria College in Jersey on Thursday/Friday.

If you’ve got something that you think we might be can help with, please do get in touch! Email addresses below:

Image CC0 Christoffer Engström

Weeknote 01/2017

I had a great hiatus and have begun the year fully refreshed and ready to get on with stuff. December is an important month for me each year, as it not only features my birthday and Christmas, but my self-imposed absence from usual routines means I get to reflect more deeply on who I am and what I stand for. I’ll write more about what that means in practice (if I don’t, nudge me!)

Anyway, this week has been a four-day week due to the public holiday in England on Monday. I’ve been:

  • Re-connecting with people, both on Twitter and in our Slack channel. It’s been good to be away, but it’s also great to be back among familiar faces.
  • Sending out Issue #240 of Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter. I’d considered changing the frequency of this, but I settled on just changing the layout and format a bit. It includes links to posts I wrote on other people’s sites during December.
  • Selling lots of stuff on eBay, as I transition away from proprietary, locked-down stuff. Gone is my Chromebook Pixel (eBay), my Mac Mini (eBay), Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (to my son), and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (to my wife). In their place I’m using a OnePlus One (as it has an unlocked bootloader), a bq Cervantes Touch Light (Linux-based, accepts SD card to store my DRM-stripped Kindle purchases), and my trusty Lenovo X220 Thinkpad until I decide which Linux laptop to get next…
  • Putting together Badge News, a brand new, bi-weekly newsletter from We Are Open Co-op. It’s made possible thanks to some foundational sponsorship and includes the latest updates on the Open Badges specification, featured articles from the community, and details of upcoming events. The first issue went out today!
  • Collaborating and planning with Educators Co-op for an upcoming webinar on badge platform/website design (16:00 UTC, January 16th).
  • Testing out and finalising an automated Open Badges course that Laura Hilliger and I  started after the We Are Open Co-op meetup in December. More on that soon — we don’t want to launch it at the same time as Badge News, as that would just confuse people. We’re also discussing the possibility of sponsorship for this, too.
  • Attending the first community call of the Open Recognition Alliance.
  • Discussing potential work with a UK government department. More on that soon, hopefully.
  • Finalising plans for trips to Jersey, London (I’m at BETT on the Friday afternoon and Saturday), and Geneva over the next month. I’m hopefully heading to Canada towards the end of April, too.
  • Changing the avatar I use online, as I do at the start of every year. You can see it on my Twitter account or start here page if you’re interested. Whereas the one I used in 2016 was ‘business Doug’, this one is ‘on top of a mountain Doug’.  I also took the opportunity to update my description of what I do: “help people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology”.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m at home for my grandmother’s and daughter’s birthdays. I’ve got plenty of stuff to get set up for this year, and from the week after I’m travelling every week for a few weeks.

I’m very much looking forward to this year! April will mark two years of my becoming a consultant, and 1st May will be the first anniversary of We Are Open Co-op. If you’ve got something that you think we might be can help with, please do get in touch! Email addresses below:

Image CC0 Neslihan Gunaydin

Weeknote 47/2016

This week I’ve been:

Next week I’m working from home on Monday morning, and then travelling to London in the afternoon. From there, I’ll be working with Sussex Downs College on Tuesday, then heading to Jersey again on Wednesday to work with Victoria College on Thursday/Friday.

A reminder that #BelshawBlackOps16 Pt.2 begins next week. That means that this is my final weeknote of the year!

Weeknote 46/2016

This week I’ve been:

  • Missing my Kindle Paperwhite, which I left on a flight last week. I was so keen to get home, I left it in the pocket of the seat in front of me. That’s really thrown out my daily reading regime, which has had a knock-on effect on the rest of each day this week. It just goes to show the power of routines!
  • Reading, writing, and thinking about things that aren’t quite ready for public consumption yet.
  • Meeting with various people, including a representative of the Education department in Jersey, Sarah Horrocks from London CLC, Wayne Skipper of Concentric Sky,  my We Are Open colleagues, and Steve Regur from Educators Co-op.
  • Sleeping more than usual. I’m tired. It’s that time of year. I prefer the weather in the UK during British Summer Time, to be honest. I’m looking forward to my December hiatus.
  • Pitching a newsletter to potential sponsors. I’m either retiring, or re-imagining my Thought Shrapnel newsletter in 2017 as I want to focus in on key areas rather than provide one ‘general’ newsletter.
  • Recording and releasing Episode 69 (‘Liar, Liar, Facebook on Fire’) of Today In Digital Education, my weekly podcast with co-host Dai Barnes.  This week we discussed Facebook, the US election, and algorithms (main topic) as well as encrypting your life, Elon Musk, co-operative schools, and Finnish education. You can join the community to discuss this episode of TIDE in our Slack channel!
  • Sending out Issue #237 of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely focused on education, technology, and productivity. It featured, among other things, taking election results like a Stoic, and competing with yourself. Many thanks to Makers Academy for sponsorship!
  • Setting up a Google Hangout for our Why badges? webinar next Tuesday. It’s We Are Open’s first collaboration with Educators Co-op!
  • Leaving Facebook. I’ve had enough. Again. I’m also looking at moving my personal email to ProtonMail and generally protecting myself in the wake of Trump’s impending control of the NSA.

Next week looks like this: On Monday I’m drafting my monthly posts for DML Central and The Nasstarian, as well as writing posts for the management section of NewCo Shift. Tuesday is ‘co-op day’ for We Are Open, so Laura, John, Bryan, and I will be collaborating all day on projects and plans. We’re also running the webinar mentioned above. Then, on Wednesday, I head to Jersey, visiting a school on the island that afternoon. On Thursday and Friday I’m working on digital strategy stuff with Victoria College.

I’ve got some availability week beginning 12th December for workshops, writing, and coaching. Get in touch if I can help!

Weeknote 45/2016

This week I’ve been:

Next week, I’ll be mostly at home, writing. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with!

Emailhello@nulldynamicskillset.com

Image CC BY David Blaikie

Weeknote 44/2016

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #235 of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely focused on education, technology, and productivity. It featured, among other things, monsters of edtech, legacy ports, and daybook journaling. Many thanks to Makers Academy for sponsorship!
  • Recording and releasing Episode 67 (‘Working open’) of Today In Digital Education, my weekly podcast with co-host Dai Barnes.  This week we discussed working ‘open’ (main topic) as well as our experiences of the 2016 Mozilla Festival, my new writing, the new MacBook Pro, the inevitability of being hacked, hypernormalisation, and working remotely. You can join the community to discuss this episode of TIDE in our Slack channel!
  • Recovering from a combination of MozFest and the clocks going back to GMT. I have to say that the period between now and Christmas is my least favourite of the year. This year it’s worse because we haven’t taken our usual holiday in Malta/Gozo to get some sunshine.
  • Cancelling my gym membership after they hiked the price up 50%. It’s not so much that the actual price is so high in comparison with other gyms, it’s just the lack of investment means I don’t think it’s necessarily good value. I guess it’s a protest. My wife has joined a different gym, I’m just going to do weights at home and run more (as I found the problem was actually around raising my heart rate too high, not running per se)
  •  Composing a batch of NewCo Shift GSD posts which will be published over the next week or so.
  • Researching, recording, editing, and releasing Chapter 2 of #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity. This update was all about nutrition which I’ve mostly got nailed, although the day before recording I actually managed to eat three egg custards in a row…
  • Debriefing MozFest with my We Are Open co-operators, Bryan Mathers and John Bevan.
  • Running (with Bryan) a Thinkathon for Sunderland City Council around some plans they’ve got to build a consortium to design and deliver a badge-based skills passport.
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home on Monday, attending VentureFest on Tuesday, travelling on Wednesday, and then working with Victoria College in Jersey on Thursday/Friday.

Image CC BY-NC Jeff Wallace

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

 

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!

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!

Weeknote 40/2016

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #231 of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely focused on education, technology, and productivity. It featured links on intellectual attractiveness, secretive empires, and productivity tips. Many thanks to Makers Academy for sponsorship!
  • Recording and releasing Episode 63 (‘Is EdTech a Discipline?’) of Today In Digital Education, my weekly podcast with co-host Dai Barnes.  This week we discussed whether or not EdTech is a ‘discipline’ (main topic) as well as examinations, how to remove profane posts from Twitter, creativity in children, competency-based hiring, and more! You can join the community to discuss this episode of TIDE in our Slack channel!
  • Working out of Campus North on Tuesday this week (I had to be at home on Monday). They finally got around to giving me some laptop stickers!
  • Meeting with my We Are Open co-operative co-founders on Wednesday for our October ‘Co-op Day’. We discussed lots of things, recorded here. I’ve updated our website, and Laura’s written a post about the workshops we plan to run.
  • Announcing a version two of my #uppingyourgame: a practical guide to personal productivity ebook from a few years ago. I’ll be refactoring it as an audiobook with six parts. In effect, it’s an entirely new offering, but using the existing ‘brand’. Details here, if you’re interested!
  • Pimping myself in the name of business development. Although I’ve got plenty of ‘leads’, I haven’t got loads of work right now. That’s either a huge moral failure on my part, or just ups and downs of being self-employed. Either way, I quite enjoy being able to feed my family (OK, it’s not quite that bad) so do keep an eye out for me…
  • Writing:

Next week I had blocked out three days for a client, but it looks that will have to be punted to later in the month. So more business development, I guess…

Image CC BY-NC Q Thompson

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