Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #12

Image CC BY-SA Ismail.alghussein

Another week, another country – I’m beginning to feel like Chris Guillebeau! I spent 24 hours in the UK after last week’s EUROCLIO workshop in Turkey, then headed to the UAE to see what the Specialist Schools & Academies Trust (SSAT) are doing out here. My Dad works for them as a Maths consultant. I’ve learned lots about Arabic customs and have committed more faux-pas than I can count. Still, everyone’s very friendly, approachable and everyone speaks English really well. Better than me in fact… :-p

I presented at both the schools my Dad works on the topic of Education 2.0, trying to explain how technology fits in with an overall shift in education. It seemed to go down pretty well and lots of people had questions. I’ll upload my slides and the video of me speaking when I return back to the UK. 😀


  • Google Calendar Labs now has a feature called Smart Rescheduler that allows you to quickly find the best meeting time for all participants.
  • Got a multi-touch Mac? Want to be able to ‘middle-click’? Try this!
  • Google Apps now has a marketplace. Here’s Lifehacker’s Top 10 additional apps to try – some free, some paid-for.

Productivity & Inspiration

Education & Academic

  • I’m calling shenanigans on promises by all the main UK political parties to offer ‘pupil premiums’ to support poorer pupils. I would be surprised if anyone who’s worked in a UK school was taken in by this in the run-up to a General Election.
  • George Siemens has posted his TEDxNYED presentation entitled Collapsing to Connections. I’m hoping the video will be ready soon!
  • Will Richardson posted this week about a teacher who’s been experimenting in using social media with his classes. Going beyond the textbook that sort of things. Parents weren’t happy: “Our students don’t need to be part of a classroom experiment…” I echo Will’s <sigh> and raise him a <frown>. 🙁
  • is a free, online art history ‘book’ with nifty visualization and timelines. Oh, and it looks like it will be *awesome* on the iPad… 🙂
  • Will Richardson throws another great short blog post by quoting Clay Shirky, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” What is the problem to which schools are the answer?

Data, Design & Infographics

Global Map of Social Media – December 2009



Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power. (Anon.)

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life. (Wayne Dyer)

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. (Plato)

The flower that follows the sun does so even on cloudy days. (Robert Leighton)

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. (William James)

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