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Last updated: December 2020

Hello!

Doug Belshaw

I’m Doug Belshaw, an Open Strategist with a deep background in education and technology. I’m an advocate for openness and transparency working through Dynamic Skillset after spending two years taking the MoodleNet project from zero to one.

In previous guises I’ve worked on Open Badges and web literacy for Mozilla and on mobile learning, digital literacies, and Open Educational Resources for Jisc. Before that I was a History teacher and Director of E-Learning across a nine-site, all-age Academy.

My doctoral thesis (2012) was on digital literacies and I’ve written an e-book and given a TEDx talk on the subject.

I write here mainly about education, technology and productivity. Other places I write include discours.es (commentary), literaci.es (new literacies-related), and ambiguiti.es (more philosophical).

You can get updates to every blog post I publish via RSS or by following me on Mastodon and LinkedIn. I’m kind of done with providing data to ad-supported social networks that only serve to enrich venture capitalists and shareholders.

I’ve got a newsletter called Thought Shrapnel which goes out every Sunday to around 1,500 people. Until the untimely passing of my co-host, Dai Barnes, we recorded a regular podcast called Today In Digital Education (TIDE). The archive of the episodes from 2015 to 2019 remain available.

If you’re interested in my daily routine, I wrote about it in March 2017 here.

My most popular posts from each year since 2006 can be found below. For 2018 and 2019 these include ones from Thought Shrapnel and for 2020 I just selected my favourites.

2020

  1. Letting go of my pre-pandemic self
  2. 3 advantages of consent-based decision making
  3. The auto-suggested life is not worth living
  4. Remaining unmanaged
  5. What I do when I don’t know what to do

2019

  1. #RIPDai: in memory of a good friend
  2. What we need is an Open Badges community renaissance, free of IMS involvement
  3. The best place to be is somewhere else?
  4. Let’s (not) let children get bored again
  5. If you change nothing, nothing will change

2018

  1. Bullshit receptivity scale
  2. The fate of private social networks
  3. On the death of Google/Apache Wave (and the lessons we can learn from it)
  4. Social internet vs social media
  5. Living an antifragile life

2017

  1. 3 reasons I’ll not be returning to Twitter
  2. Friends don’t let friends use Facebook
  3. So it turns out that you can pretty much do whatever you like on your own website
  4. Against mass consumption of ‘already certified’ credentials
  5. How to build an architecture of participation

2016

  1. 3 things I’ve learned from 200 weeks of sending out an email newsletter
  2. Utopia, pedagogy, and G-Suite for Education
  3. 7 approaches to educational technology integration
  4. Open Badges, BlockCerts, and high-stakes credentialing
  5. A new dawn for Open Badges

2015

  1. Why I left teaching five years ago
  2. HOWTO: use GitHub Pages to host a bootstrap-themed website
  3. Today is my last day at Mozilla
  4. The three biggest (perceived) problems with Open Badges
  5. HOWTO: Trello Kanban

2014

  1. Why I’m ditching Evernote for Simplenote (and Notational Velocity)
  2. HOWTO: Ditch Gmail for self-hosted webmail
  3. FirefoxOS v2.0 is possibly the easiest-to-use smartphone operating system I’ve experienced
  4. My morning routine
  5. The Web Literacy Standard is dead (long live the Web Literacy Map!)

2013

  1. What I learned from turning my ‘Out of Office’ auto-replies on for a month
  2. Why I’m saying goodbye to Dropbox and hello to SpiderOak Hive
  3. Announcing the Web Literacy Standard (specification)
  4. A tribute to Chris Allan (@infernaldepart)
  5. Answering your questions about Open Badges

2012

  1. Using Raspberry Pi and XBMC to build an ultra-cheap HTPC
  2. This is why teachers leave teaching
  3. Platforms as standards? 10 days with the Nokia N9.
  4. How I use a MacBook Pro (October 2012)
  5. How to make #openbadges work for you and your organisation

2011

  1. How I Use a MacBook Pro (May 2011)
  2. What’s the opposite of ‘digital Taylorism’?
  3. The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies (#digilit)
  4. #ukedchat #fail: TES attempts takeover cover-up whilst Pearson muscles-in on grassroots Twitter teacher CPD
  5. 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years

2010

  1. 5 characteristics of successful organisations
  2. 5 genuinely useful Twitter tools
  3. Google Apps (Education Edition) vs. Microsoft Live@Edu
  4. 7 things the Bible taught me about productivity
  5. Things I learned this week – #1

2009

  1. HOWTO: Add an RSS feed to Google Sites
  2. Are organizations like brains?
  3. Daniel Goleman on Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
  4. HOWTO: Present full-screen using Prezi and an Apple Remote [OSX]
  5. HOWTO: Tether an iPhone to a netbook running Jolicloud

2008

  1. Page peel script
  2. How to upgrade your Nokia N95 to v12.x firmware and make it a whole lot better
  3. 5 ways to make ‘textbook lessons’ more interesting
  4. 4 reasons you should jailbreak your iPhone 3G
  5. What is a VLE?

2007

  1. Nokia N95 tips, reviews and software all in one place
  2. Demotivational posters
  3. Apple iPhone vs Nokia N95
  4. My favourite LOLcats
  5. How NOT to upgrade your Xbox

2006

  1. The purpose of education? It isn’t this…
  2. Some ideas about the structure of my thesis proposal essay
  3. Managing Organizational Change – diagram
  4. Barriers to teachers’ use of ICT
  5. Ed.D. Thesis Proposal Outline

Thanks for getting this far and it’s great to have you as a new reader of my work!

10 thoughts on “Start here

  1. Hi Doug, I was taught by your Father at Hirst High, he was a really important figure in my school life. He had huge faith in me on the sportsfield and I was captain of his very succesful school football team.
    i moved away from Ashington at 17 following a career in the Royal Navy.. I often think of the good times at school, and particularly the annual trip to Manchester.
    Please pass on my best wishes to you Father, and thank him for the positive effect he had on my teenage years. Im enjoying life!

    1. Thanks Rob! I’m delighted to hear that. My Dad’s retired now, and still living in North Seaton. It’s great to think of the positive effect he’s had on so many people’s lives – including yours!

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