In case you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t been around for the past couple of months. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
- Not travelling. Apart from a presentation and workshop at the University of Lincoln, I was based at home for almost two whole months. That meant more time with my family.
- Reading. See below where I list what I read.
- Buying tech. I’ve given up trying to resist the Google juggernaut and purchased a Motorola Moto G, a Chromebox and a Chromebook for personal stuff.
- Writing. I’ve nearly finished The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies, I wrote a 20+ page book proposal, and I used 750words.com quite a bit.
- Selling stuff. I used Fulfilled by Amazon to get things out of my house quickly while selling them at a decent price.
- Putting on weight. I lost a few pounds to start with, but put it all back on (and more) over Christmas. <sigh>
Having done ‘Black Ops’ for the past few years, spending an additional month off this time around made a striking difference. I’ve only used my SAD light a couple of times, and I had virtually no migraines. Although it was noticeably warmer at the end of 2013 than previous years, I can’t help but think that stepping out of the stream a bit helped my mental health.
What I’ve been reading
- Krotoski, A. – Untangling the Web (good personal account of what it means to be online)
- Hyatt, M. – The Virtual Assistant Solution (interesting, but too short)
- Stieinbeck, J. – Of Mice and Men (need to re-read to appreciate nuance)
- Morozov, E. – To Save Everything, Click Here (wonderful critique of internet-centrism and ‘solutionism’)
- Murakami, H. – 1Q84: Books 1 & 2 (weird)
- Booth, D.R. – Peer Participation and Software: what Mozilla has to teach government (affirming and enlightening)
- Byrne, D. – How Music Works (interesting ‘composition’ and very applicable to other domains – will re-read)
- Murakami, H. – 1Q84: Book 3 (bizarre)
- Akutagawa, R. – Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories (good, but didn’t finish as had to return to library)
- McCall-Smith, A. – Trains and Lovers: the heart’s journey (a slightly odd structure and equal parts philosophical treatise and novel)
- Isaacson, W. – Benjamin Franklin: an American Life (revealing)
- Weller, M. – The Digital Scholar (haven’t quite finished yet)
- Kingsolver, B. – The Lacuna (currently reading)
What 2014 has in store
Excitingly, we’ve sold our house and we should be out by the end of January. In February we’re planning to head to Gozo for six months until August where I’ll continue to work for Mozilla. It’s just too good an opportunity to miss. I’m not entirely sure where we’ll go afterwards, although we’ll almost certainly be returning to the UK.
Other than that I’m looking forward to digging more into my role as Web Literacy Lead with the newly-formed #TeachTheWeb team. I’ll still be advocating Open Badges (in fact I’m speaking at BETT and Learning Technologies about them) but a combination of my new role and my new location means I’ll be travelling and speaking a whole lot less until September 2014.
What I really do want to focus on in 2014 is quality. While I’m proud of what I’ve achieved at Mozilla – and my career in general – so far, I do have a tendency to focus on quantity. So fewer speaking engagements, a bit less time on social networks, and more time reading books instead of crappy tech articles. Of course, I said something similar last year…
What’s 2014 got in store for you?