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Weeknote 06/2013

This week I have been mostly:

  • Reading Mindstorms by Seymour Papert.
  • Planning a SXSWedu panel session with Kate Stokes from Nesta.
  • Writing lots of blog posts explaining Mozilla’s (or at least my) thinking around a new, open learning standard for Web Literacy. See this overview post pulling everything together.
  • Preparing for and presenting as part of the kick-off online gathering for the Web Literacy standard. related resources are here.
  • Leading a Vital TeachShare session on Mozilla Webmaker tools. Slides here and the recording (which I’m hoping to have converted into a more Web-friendly format) can be found here.
  • Talking to the University of Hull about Open Badges for skills awards. I’m also in conversations with another university about a badge-based BSc, which is exciting. And the BBC. Badges, badges everywhere!
  • Submitting an IGNITE proposal for the DML Conference 2013 around the Web Literacy standard work. I did one last year (on a different topic) so I’m not sure if that counts for or against me.

Next week I’m a guest of the University of Salford who are interested in exploring Open Badges for various things. And, apart from eating pancakes on Tuesday and being extra-nice to my wife on Thursday, I’m looking forward to catching up with longer-term projects like learning JavaScript. 🙂

Famous for 42 seconds. [AUDIO]

BBC Radio 4 - Thinking AllowedLike tens of thousands of people around the world I’m a regular listener to the BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed podcast. In fact, as it’s usually around 27 minutes long it’s perfect for my 5k runs (including warm-up and warm-down, obviously…)

For those of you who don’t listen to it, Laurie Taylor – who’s voice makes the show worth listening to in its own right – divides the near half-hour into three sections. The first part deals with a recent paper or book in the area of Sociology, the short middle bit deals with listener correspondence, and the final part deals with contemporary issues related to Sociology.

The episode on 1 August 2012 was entitled Jobs for the Boys and is summarised as follows on the BBC website:

Laurie Taylor talks to Professor Irena Grugulis about her contention that working class people don’t get job opportunities in the UK TV and film industry because they don’t have the right accents, clothes, backgrounds or friends. The media expert, Sir Peter Bazalgette and Professor of Sociology, Mike Savage, respond to this research and explore nepotism, networking and discrimination in the media world and beyond.

As I walked back to my house after a run to the beach and back again last week I couldn’t help but think that the show had missed out something really important: the role of online social networking.To my mind, social networks like Twitter allow people to build up useful contacts and ‘Personal Learning Networks’ (PLNs) based on interest rather than class.

I quickly fired off an email to thinkingallowed@bbc.co.uk and low and behold it was featured in the middle bit of this week’s show! (15 August 2012: Breaking Rules – Wall Street women) I found out, fittingly, through various people telling me via social media.

You can download every episode of Thinking Allowed via the BBC website, including this week’s show. But if you’re interested in just the bit where I’m mentioned (of course you are!) then you can find it embedded below or on the Internet Archive. 🙂

“You can tell a lot about someone from what they’re like.”

…so said the wise Harry Hill. But it would seem that you can also tell a lot about someone from they way they blog. I came across a website yesterday called Typealyzer, thanks to Vicki Davis. Typealyzer analyses blogs and websites and does some clever semantic processing to decide which of the Myers-Briggs personality types the author fits into. As Vicki quite rightly pointed out in her post, there’s a great variety of personality types in the edublogosphere! What am I? INTJ (standing for Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Judgement):

INTJ - The Scientist

I’m not a big fan of pigeon-holing people or stereotyping, so was a bit skeptical. Ironically, after some further research, I found that this is exactly what INTJ personality types are known for. This is from the Myers & Briggs Foundation website (my emphasis):

Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

What I am, and increasingly a fan of, are heuristics. These are rules-of-thumb and methods of problem solving that ‘just work’. My use of and belief in the power of heuristics fits in well with my Pragmatist outlook. If the sixteen personality types were all much-of-a-muchness and I could see myself in all of them, then I would dismiss the power of such talk. However, looking at the list, I’m certainly not anything like any of the personality types beginning with ‘E’ (for extroverted, presumably). In fact, the only other one remotely like me is INTP (the ‘P’ standing for Perception).

As Vicki Davis remarked in a follow-up tweet, the overviews tend only to talk about the positive traits of the personality types rather than including the negative elements. And then there’s the fact that Typealyzer looks at the web page towards which you direct it. As typing in dougbelshaw.com/blog would only take it to the front page of this site with summaries of blog posts, the results are likely to be distorted.

To gain some clarification and a second opinion, I searched for websites where you could take Myers-Briggs personality tests online. I took three. Here are the websites with the results underneath:

http://www.kisa.ca/personality

Kisa test - INTJ

OK, I thought. Well this is just a test on someone’s homepage. And I may have just been answering the questions in a way that would get me to be INTJ. On with the next test…

HumanMetrics.com

INTJ - HumanMetrics

OK, OK, but these aren’t exactly rigorous tests are they? So I searched for something with a bit more clout – and came across…

BBC – Science & Nature – What am I like?

INTJ - BBC

So there we have it. I’m of the personality type INTJ. Apparently this is one of the rarest personality types! You can read more about INTJs at the BBC website, at PersonalityPages, or at Wikipedia. There’s some fascinating (at least, for me!) stuff in there.

If one of the most powerful things an individual can do in order to be successful and happy in life is to know thyself, then the quick Typealyzer blog test has got to be worth a try as a starting point.

What did YOU come out as?

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