Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #36

Offline this week I learned the proper way to put up and take down a tent (more trial and error and observing others than anything else), that 3 year olds, Talking Carl and public spaces don’t mix, and not to take my iPhone or my contact lens case to the beach (will I ever learn?!) :-p


Productivity & Inspiration

  • Quotations inspire me, hence the section below every week where I share some new ones I’ve come across. Imagine when my delight when I came across – a place for quotes to live online. Wonderful.
  • Some great advice on the 37 Signals blog about just getting started. Did you know that Van Gogh didn’t start painting until he was 27?
  • Spend four minutes with your significant other to improve relationships. Good advice!
  • Seth Godin reminds us that the way we do our work is just as important as what we produce these days.
  • Lifehack’s got 20 quick tips for better time management. Number 19 is definitely a winner. Be ruthless!

Education & Academic

  • Still looking for a free Ning replacement to use with your students? Try!
  • The politics of education through a cartoon metaphor. Sadly true.

  • The idea of Microlectures looks like an interesting one. It’s just a shame that it will undoubtedly be the lecturers who are so interesting that they don’t need to do this that will actually do it. Gah.
  • I’m writing the methodology section of my Ed.D. thesis at the moment, so found this Wikipedia list of Social Science methodologies useful by way of comparison!
  • The outgoing Chair of Ofsted thinks that virtual monitoring of UK schools is ‘inevitable’. The phrase “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” has never been more applicable.

Data, Design & Infographics

  • Juxio is a really nice way to juxtapose images and text to create meaning. I’ll definitely be trying it out for a presentation soon!
  • This tube map shows the history of the last 500 years of ‘modern science, reason and critical thinking’. Whilst impressive, I can’t help but think that a tube map wasn’t the best metaphor to use…


  • The sheer sincerity of this video made me laugh – which goes to show that people can be very convincing yet very wrong!


  • I’d never heard of the term ‘brandalism’ before reading Graham Brown-Martin’s post about what’s going on in Ghana. Shocking, but definitely worth a read.
  • Ghostly Discovery is a really interesting way (using sliders) of finding electronic music to suit your mood.
  • Did Americans have British accents in 1776? The answer is surprising and involves ‘rhotics’.
  • Many buttons we press are ‘placebo buttons’. I hadn’t thought about it until reading the article, but now it all makes sense…


This world is but a canvas to our imagination. — Henry David Thoreau

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one. – Mary Kay Ash

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neal Donald Walsch

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa

Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great. Niccolò Machiavelli

Main image CC BY-NC wili_hybrid

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