Open Thinkering


Weeknote 20/2017

Doug at 10th anniversary Thinking Digital Conference dinner

This week I’ve been:

  • Sending out Thought Shrapnel, my weekly newsletter loosely structured around education, technology, and productivity. Issue #258 was entitled ‘Keep on keepin’ on’.
  • Walking in the Lake District to clock up two more ‘Quality Mountain Days’. Sunday was glorious sunglasses-and-ice-cream weather and so was easy, but Monday was challenging, and I fell down a crag.
  • Collaborating with my We Are Open Co-op colleagues on Tuesday morning. It was a ‘pre-think’ before the thinkathon we’re running next week for Passbolt.
  • Participating in a pre-conference Livestreaming 101 workshop on Tuesday afternoon, led by Christian Payne. I learned a lot about various approaches and kit, but also about how to run a very relaxed (yet very effective) three-hour workshop. Using Periscope meant I was back on Twitter for a few hours, and you can see the results here and here.
  • Attending the Thinking Digital conference. I’m always blown away by the quality and range of things that the speakers talk about. It was great to see regulars and to meet new people. The highlight for me was Imogen Heap performing a Frou Frou song, using her crazy gloves that can control music in realtime. At the conference dinner, I sat next to Martin Rosinski, the founder of Palringo, who lives down the road from me. His platform serves 30 million users. Wow!
  • Putting together some resources around fake news and digital literacies for an upcoming online keynote I’m doing on June 1st. More details here.
  • Recording and releasing Episode 82 of Today In Digital Education (TIDE), the regular podcast I record with Dai Barnes. This episode was entitled ‘Virtually Education’ and we discussed what we’ve been up to recently, online security, the link between education and poverty, grammar ‘robots’, hacking, virtual reality, and Google’s latest announcements.
  • Catching up with all kinds of people, including Erica Neve from Freeformers, Mike Carter from Tyncan Learning, Rafa Pereira from, Rob Artnsen from MyKnowledgeMapWill Bentinck from Makers Academy, and Paul Stacey from Creative Commons.
  • Making updates and corrections to the Stir to Action article I submitted last week. You can view the draft here.
  • Starting to use again to write down my thoughts at the beginning of the day. It’s something I used to do regularly, and I like the stats they give you. The approach is known as Morning Pages.
  • Talking with Cetis, who are (like We Are Open) a co-op that’s part of Co-operative Technologists. We’re putting in a joint bid to the Ufi VocTech Seed Fund next week.
  • Carrying out some research for London CLC around technology-enhanced teacher professional development in various parts of the world. It’s early days, but I’ve enjoyed diving into some of the academic literature.
  • Getting through the funding/sponsorship from Participate to start work on a wiki-based knowledge repository for Open Badges case studies, etc. We’ve also had confirmation from the foundational sponsors of Badge News that they’d like to continue with the arrangement past the first six month trial period!
  • Spending late Friday night with our eldest in hospital after a weird rash and blue lips gave us cause for concern. Turns out nobody knows what’s wrong, but he’s OK. The joys of parenting…
  • Writing:

Next week I’m working from home on Monday and Tuesday, travelling to London on Wednesday afternoon, spending Thursday at the Future of Work Summit and in meetings, and then taking Friday off.

I make my living helping people and organisations become more productive in their use of technology.  If you’ve got something that you think I might be able to help with, please do get in touch! Email:

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