Open Thinkering


Weeknote 37/2015

By the Riverside in Migrainia

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out the Issue #185 of my newly-rebranded newsletter: Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel. Many thanks to Makers Academy for sponsoring September’s issues. I’m still looking for a sponsor for October (and beyond!)
  • Releasing Episode 21 (‘Back in Black’) of the Today In Digital Education podcast that I record regularly with Dai Barnes. It was the first one after our summer break and, I think, a good one.
  • Going for a run for the first time in a year and a half. I had a theory that they were correlated with my migraines, but I felt great while out there!
  • Helping out Gateshead Libraries with some digital strategy on Monday. This was at the invitation of Herb Kim who I caught up with afterwards about ways I can help with the North East tech scene.
  • Inviting a couple more people to my super-secret Slack backchannel.
  • Down in London for a couple of days working with City & Guilds. I stayed at The Montcalm London City. It’s a decent location near the Barbican, and there’s a veneer of luxury about it, but I’m always slightly dissatisfied staying there.
  • Catching up with Erica Neve, who’s involved in all sorts of interesting stuff to do with young people and business transformation. You should check out wearedotdotdot.
  • Enjoying Laura Hilliger’s brand new newsletter, Freshly Brewed Thoughts. That woman can write. You should also check out her excellent iterative novel Maybe Zombies.
  • Meeting with the Duke of York’s ‘special adviser’ to feed in some ideas for the next steps of their iDEA platform/community. They’re already issuing badges!
  • Trying to herd some cats in relation to some badging work. Often, people think they want Open Badges when what they actually need is some clarity around business processes and the purpose of their organisation.
  • Meeting face-to-face for the first time with Ben Showers, now of the digital team at the Cabinet Office. I learned a lot from him about government’s new agile approach to projects and how to embed innovation.
  • Interviewed by John Johnston for Radio EDUtalk late on Wednesday night. I wrote it up in this blog post.
  • Celebrating a power cut on Thursday night by turning my one double whisky into three and eating a box of chocolates.
  • Discussing with the Telefonica Foundation how Bryan Mathers and I can help with ScolarTIC.
  • Talking with Marc Scott, the new Curriculum Director at the Raspberry Pi Foundation about some potential upcoming badges work.
  • Reading Badass: making users awesome by Kathy Sierra. It’s in the style of her old blog — very visual and easy to take in. It’s a must for anyone who deals with users of products or learners more generally. Really good stuff on which I need to reflect.
  • Suffering from a migraine. I think this had something to do with the whisky and/or the running. Either way, after having a fuzzy head all day on Friday, it knocked me out completely from late afternoon until Saturday morning.
  • Writing about some random stuff, including Apple product launches as attention conservation devices and why your liberty will not survive combat drones.

Next week I’m at home on Monday, getting the early train to London on Tuesday, in Brighton on Wednesday, back in London on Thursday, and then home on Friday. Busy times.

Want to work together or just catch up if I’m going to be near where you are? Get in touch: [email protected]

Image CC BY-NC Joana Roja

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