Open Thinkering


Tag: black ops

[INCOMING] #BelshawBlackOps12

For the past couple of years I’ve undertaken Belshaw Black Ops. It’s the name Paul Lewis gave to my personal digital hiatus lasting for the month of December. I live in such a fast-paced online world for the other eleven months of the year that I need some time to take it all in!

You can read about what I got up to last year here.

This post is a heads-up to say that during December I won’t be:

I’d hoped not to be travelling either, but my job at the Mozilla Foundation evangelising Open Badges necessitates me going to a few places. Unless you’re also in those locations, the only way of getting hold of me is via my work email. Ask me for it ASAP if you need it!

Just to confirm that I’ll still be around on Twitter and Google+ for the next couple of weeks as well as blogging and writing my newsletter. But after then, leave me alone for a bit, OK?

I need to recharge. 🙂

Image CC BY-NC tantek

What I got up do during #BelshawBlackOps11 (and what 2012 has in store)

Life never quite works out how you planned, does it?

Shuffling cards

The things I anticipated doing during my break from social networks and personal email during December and what I actually did were quite different. Here’s what I got up to:

  • Prepared for my viva voce (thesis defense)
  • Got my thesis rewrites done
  • Played almost no Battlefield 3 (but a whole lot of Football Manager 2012 Handheld)
  • Spent a lot more time with my children
  • Started tracking the food I eat
  • Took the time to read about the best ways to use Evernote (and started using it ‘properly’)
  • Completed the mammoth semi-annual Christmas pilgrimage to my in-laws in Devon
  • Read more physical (as opposed to Kindle) books
  • Started using Path with close friends and family
  • Compiled Best of Belshaw 2011
  • Redesigned this blog (as well as the Purpos/ed website and Doug’s Ideas Garden)
  • Set up
  • Watched more films in one month than I did in the preceding eleven
  • Re-assessed my direction in life
  • Started using a SAD light (early birthday present)
  • Chilled out a whole lot more than I usually do (Migraine count: 1)

What I really missed social network-wise wasn’t the constant stream of news but the positive reinforcement and support I get. This was shown by the number of messages of congraultations I received both in the comments of my last blog post and on Twitter.

Of course, the question I now get asked is: Now you’ve finished your doctorate, what’s next?

Well, I answer, I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up – I’m running a workshop with Prof. Keri Facer at Learning Without Frontiers at the end of January, and then March is a busy month, with me heading to San Francisco for the DML Conference, speaking at TEDx Warwick, and keynoting a conference for the first time (see my Lanyrd profile for details).

At work I’ll be supporting the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme, updating the Mobile Learning infoKit and continuing to champion stuff around open education.

Other than that and a couple of other bits and pieces, I’m open to offers. I’ve been asked to submit a book proposal and things are ticking along nicely with Synechism Ltd. (on a part-time basis). Whilst I’m very much enjoying things at the moment, my focus is on doing interesting stuff that aligns with my values (openness, freedom, authenticity) and that allows me to spend as much time as I can with my family.

We’ll see where that takes me.

Image CC BY-SA Todd Klassy

Thanks for waiting! Dr. Belshaw will see you now.

Well, almost.

doctor minifig

I’m pleased to announce that I successfully defended my doctoral thesis at my viva voce on 12th December 2011. As expected, the examiners gave me minor rewrites but I managed to submit these to my supervisor before Christmas.

Whilst I can’t officially call myself ‘Doctor Belshaw’ until I’m on Durham University’s pass list (and even then I’m probably not your go-to person for emergency tracheotomies) I’m delighted with the culmination of six years’ work into digital and new literacies.

It’s great to be back on social networks such as Twitter and Google+ and press ‘delete’ on hundreds of emails (well, I did warn people…)

Image CC BY-NC-SA Johan Prawiro