Open Thinkering


Weeknote 07/2016

Doug presenting at Cambridge University

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Issue #202 of Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely focused on education, technology, and productivity. This week it included links about wiki playlists, algorithmic power, and plain text.
  • Recording and releasing Episode 39 (‘Algorithmic Adblockers’) of the Today In Digital Education podcast, my weekly podcast with co-host Dai Barnes. In this week’s episode, we talked about malware, identity, algorithms, adblockers, digital skills, productivity, and more! You can discuss TIDE in our new Slack channel.
  • Working two days as it’s half-term for my wife and kids. I was in London on Tuesday and Cambridge on Wednesday. I’ve spent Thursday and Friday trying to shake off the slow-burn tonsillitis that my children have had. I’m tired.
  • Presenting to Cambridge English, a division of Cambridge Assessment, which is in turn a department of Cambridge University. Consequently, my two sessions on Open Badges were in fairly grand surroundings. You can check out my slides here. It was great to see Geoff Stead and Andy Field again.
  • Updating the image/avatar I use to represent myself online. The one I started using at the start of the year was OK, but this (a selfie taken in my hotel room) is better, I think.
  • Spending time with my kids. I enjoyed building a holly-covered den with my son in the local woods and teaching him the ins and outs of iOS 9.
  • Studying some philosophical books around ambiguity. I’m reading Nonsense: the power of not knowing at the moment, but that’s a popular book about uncertainty. This is more academic texts with titles like Beyond The Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry into Ambiguity, Vageness and Metaphor in Language. Inevitably, I’ve started a new blog about this sporadic work at
  • Creating a /now page for my blog and updating my Start here page to include a list of my most popular posts of 2015.
  • Writing (not a lot):

Next week I’m in London working for City & Guilds, and doing some work with Bryan Mathers about the next steps for Dynamic Skillset.

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