Open Thinkering


Weeknote 41/2021

River Tyne with bridges and boats

Those who read my last weeknote will not be surprised to learn that I haven’t slept that well this week. Sleep is the most foundational of what I usually refer to as ‘the three pillars of productivity’ along with exercise and nutrition, so it’s had a knock-on effect on the amount of exercise done and my overall output. I’ve also got a slight cold. These things multiply in their effects. Stupid slug.

Despite this, I spoke at Israel EdTech Week in conversation with Shir Boim Shwartz, Director of Innovation and R&D at the Center for Educational Technology (CET). I’ve known Shir a while, and a couple of years ago helped design and was the ‘face’ of a MOOC on digital literacies for teachers in Israel. It’s pretty awesome how things pan out when you work openly: recently I’ve noticed a lot of traffic from Kazakhstan to my website. Low and behold, The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies is being used as a course text at the national university!

I also recorded some audio with Tamás Harangozó for the European Basic Skills Network’s EPALE podcast on digital literacies and Open Badges. I’m never sure these days whether what I say is insightful, or the equivalent of Grandpa Simpson shouting at clouds. Probably a bit of both.

It was Hannah’s birthday this week. She’s 69 days older than me, so being the loving and lovely husband I am, I tend to use this period of time between our birthdays to make comments about how I can’t imagine being as old as [however old she is]. I’m hilarious, I know.

There are three things that we both enjoy doing on our respective birthdays: walking, eating, and drinking. We take each other’s birthdays off work to pursue these activities and, for Hannah’s birthday this year, we ended up in Whitley Bay and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We did about 25,000 steps and ate and drank a lot. It was great.

Most of my work this week has been with Julie’s Bicycle. As Laura was still away, puttering around the Mediterranean, it’s up to me to advise the joint MD’s on digital strategy. I’ve also been screening candidates, asking questions in interviews, and providing technical input into a funding bid they’re currently preparing.

I had another interview with Open Climate Fix, but it became clear to me about halfway through that, although they’re doing important work, the hole they’re trying to fill is not Doug-shaped. I should hear back either way from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) this week.

On the writing front, I published Blogging from localhost to IPFS here, and the following over at Thought Shrapnel:

I’m quite interested in pursuing blogging via IPFS, but need to find a better workflow. I guess it makes sense for my posts about decentralisation to be available in a decentralised way, although experience tells me instead of spinning up another blog I should be applying Occam’s Razor.

Next week, Laura’s back and we’ve got some podcast recording and general work planning to do in a co-op half day we’ve got scheduled. Then I’m taking half-term off, as we’ve booked an Airbnb in Dumfries & Galloway for a few nights. I’ll still be involved in the Badge Summit session we’ve got planned with Participate around our ‘Keep Badges Weird’ project, but otherwise taking it easy.

Image based on a photo from Ouseburn, looking along the River Tyne towards the Baltic and the bridges that join Newcastle-upon-Tyne with Gateshead.

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