Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #31

You’re expecting me, I know, to talk about Google Teacher Academy UK. I learned so much in my time in London that to try and shoehorn it into this post would be foolish. Instead, I’m going to write a series of five (or so) blog posts over the next couple of weeks. I’ll stick to the usual format with this post! 🙂


  • Google Goggles now works with Google Translate. Which means no more foreign menu mishaps!

The fun of Twitter and, I suspect, its draw for millions of people, is its infinite potential for connection, as well as its opportunity for self-expression. I enjoy those things myself. But when every thought is externalized, what becomes of insight? When we reflexively post each feeling, what becomes of reflection? When friends become fans, what happens to intimacy? The risk of the performance culture, of the packaged self, is that it erodes the very relationships it purports to create, and alienates us from our own humanity.

Productivity & Inspiration

  • Told you. Lifehacker’s got a post linking to research showing that cognitive activity is boosted by 30 minutes of exercise:

Almost every dimension of cognition improves from 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and creativity is no exception. The type of exercise doesn’t matter, and the boost lasts for at least two hours afterward.

Education & Academic

  • Harvard have released their fork of Drupal called OpenScholar. It’s a “full-featured web site-creation package solely for the academic community.” I’ve found Drupal a bit complicated the few times I’ve tried it, so you could also try Jobrary which I also came across (but haven’t tried yet) this week.

  • It’s great that Stephen Downes has a page where people can commit to supporting ‘free learning’. It’s just a shame he doesn’t explain on it what type of freedom he’s referring to…
  • Want to cite a tweet in APA style? Here’s how.
  • Will Richardson’s got 10 things we need to ‘unlearn’ as educators. I like this one in particular:

We need to unlearn the notion that our students don’t need to see and understand how we ourselves learn.

Data, Design & Infographics

  • This is an interesting post on designing for the iPad and how it’s different from what’s gone before.
  • I found this If browsers were women ‘infographic’ funny. Especially the entry about Internet Explorer… 😉
  • Seen the film Inception? Here’s a great infographic overview of the four layers of ‘reality’:



The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it. (Confucius)

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. (Phillip K. Dick)

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. (Anonymous)

Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. (Maxwell Maltz)

To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle. (George Orwell)

Main image CC BY-SA Lisa Thumann

4 thoughts on “Things I Learned This Week – #31

  1. re:number 11 on 50 Things every man should be able to do

    I don’t know whether you can learn that skill (short of doing The Knowledge in London). I think a good sense of direction is something that is in you. You could help yourself by paying more attention and reading road signs!

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