Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #23

I’ve learned this week that there’s a sweet spot between gut instinct and meticulous research when it comes to most things, especially gadget-buying. I’ve also learned that cous cous is a viable lunch option. :-p


  • Lifehacker reports that scientists have confirmed that your anxiety levels are raised when someone’s phone goes off who has the same ringtone as you. So don’t be the loser who still has the CTU ringtone from 24. Get something individual. I’ve now got the music from Super Mario when Mario got the star of invincibility. No copying! 😉
  • I doubt ‘data life’ in the future will actually look like this. But the concept’s cool.

Productivity & Inspiration

  • Mashable has a great post entitled 10 Free Android Apps to Boost Your Productivity. Having just invested in a Dell Streak, I’m excited to see some on there of which I’m already aware but also some I’m not! (they’ve also got 60+ Awesome Android Apps whilst you’re there…)
  • Seth Godin reckons there’s different voices inside your head trying to get you to do various things. Which is one way of thinking about it, I suppose, from a getting-more-stuff done point of view. I’d like to think that my ‘artist’ and ‘evangelist’ voices shout loudest, but I fear it’s often the ‘lizard’ and the ‘zombie’!
  • Over at alternaview they’re proposing the ’30 day challenge’ to get stuff done. Which is kind of like my ‘calling myself into the office’ idea, except it sounds better. :-p
  • I don’t get people who are addicted to email. How difficult can it be to not do something? Anyway, if that applies to you, then check out Why you’re hooked on email – and how to stop.
  • After reading another wonderful guest blog post on productivity by Scott Belsky I’m definitely going to buy his book!

Education & Academic

  • If you don’t already subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers, then you should! And this post on using a combination of Viddler and for cover/substitute teacher lessons is exactly why.
  • The Rapid E-Learning Blog featured 10 Free Audio Programs to Use for E-Learning. Which was handy.
  • The excellent site has been relaunched with some new content. If you’re a History teacher, or just interested in history, check it out!
  • To continue with the History theme, Historypin is an awesome augmented reality mashup of old pictures and Google Streetview. Makes me wish I was back in the classroom…
  • There’s now a Google Docs demo site up, which should help you influence the influencers in your school/organization! (implementing Google Apps was one of the best things I did in my previous position as Director of E-Learning)

Data, Design & Infographics

  • This visualization of supercomputers across the world by the BBC is worth playing with (it’s interactive on their site). Click on ‘OS’… :-p

  • In the UK we call them motorways, in Germany they call them autobahns, and in the USA they call them freeways. Whatever you call them, it’s annoying when the traffic on them slows down for seemingly no reason. This well-designed graphic explains how that happens:



Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper. (Francis Bacon)

You have to choose where you look, and in making that choice you eliminate entire worlds. (Barbara Bloom)

It’s Human Nature to Find Patterns where there are None & to Find Skill where Luck is a More Likely Explanation. (W. Bernstein)

You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event, it is a habit. (Aristotle)

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. (John Wooden)

Image CC BY-NC-SA j-ster

5 thoughts on “Things I Learned This Week – #23

    1. linked to this slightly, I am online marking, I came across some problems, the ‘Tech’ people suggested it was because I was using Google Chrome, so I switched to IE8 and faced similar problems, they then suggested I use FireFox. I ignored this latter suggestion and now use Chrome and IE8 interchangerbly (is that a real word?) the result is that both work well for a while, and then I switch depending upon what site I am on, me thinks this will become standard practice.

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