Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #21

I learned lots and had a great time at the bMoble Conference in Bradford on Thursday. Shame I didn’t get home until 1.30am the next morning due to trains being massively delayed at every connection! My 7-minute micropresentation went down very well at the associated TeachMeet, presenting using the Lessig method. I’m going to try and sync the video stream and my slides when I get time! 😀


  • You’ve got to love search engine mashups. The latest I’ve come across is Goofram, which puts Google and Wolfram Alpha side-by-side!
  • LiteSwitch makes Command-Tab on Mac OSX a little more useful. 🙂
  • Looks like momentum is growing for a move from Facebook to something more open like Diaspora. Proof? 4772 people pledged $174,323 towards a $10,000 goal. Wow!
  • Amazon S3 is a cloud storage solution. It kicks ass; lots of start-ups use it. Now Google’s getting in on the act.
  • I really like the CoolIris presentation method and have used it a couple of times before. Alan Levine’s got an updated guide on how to do it. Awesome!

Productivity & Inspiration

  • Lifehacker’s got a great post entitled The Set-It-and-Forget-It Guide to Never Missing Important Events. I needed to re-visit my labelling ‘regime’!
  • Another post on Lifehacker explains how useful procedure lists are. It’s something I’ll be looking into soon…
  • As I’ve said eleventy-billion times before, running makes you more productive. Barefoot running looks interesting but potentially painful. Thankfully, Zen Habits has a guide for that!
  • MicroMobs looks like a very productive way to get groups communicating effectively (ReadWriteWeb overview here)
  • On Friday it was the 30th anniversary of Pac-man. The Google home page featured a commemorative logo with a playable game. Apparently it pretty much ground many people’s productivity to a halt… 😉

Education & Academic

Smartboards don’t change the model that’s broken. They just make that model way more expensive.

  • You’ll be delighted to know that that the Boltzmann Equation has finally been solved after 140 years. And just as I was about to publish my own solution… 😉
  • Futurelab is partnering with HP to launch the Catalyst Initiative. As part of this, Futurelab has been invited to facilitate the ‘Pedagogy 3.0’ consortium. They’re taking applications to be part of it. The aim is to:

explore new models of teacher preparation that will better equip teachers to facilitate powerful 21st century STEM learning experiences for students. Projects engage new teachers during their pre-service and induction years, and involve in-service master teachers, teacher education faculty, and engineering/science content experts and faculty.

  • Zooburst is a 3D, augmented reality storytelling tool that I think educators are going to love! Example below from Alan Levine (hint: try clicking & dragging!):

Data, Design & Infographics

  • Want a well-designed visualization of the 2010 World Cup schedule? Look no further! (shame it’s in German…)
  • Ahh… I always wondered where cursors came from… 😉

  • George Siemens has posted a list of useful data sources for those wanting to research and/or find out statistics.
  • Confused about the political situation in Thailand? Need a quick, nicely-designed overview timeline of recent events? Here you go (CC BY-SA wltpim):



I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either. (Jack Benny)

Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish. (Jean De La Fontaine)

Prosperity belongs to those who learn new things the fastest. (Paul Zane Pilzer)

Never, never, never, never give up. (Winston Churchill)

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry & narrow-mindedness, & many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. (Mark Twain)

Image CC BY-NC-SA Claudio.Ar (not too much online)

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