This weekend it’s the Mozilla Festival, an event that brings together everyone interested in the open web. It’s an event I attended as a volunteer before I joined Mozilla, something I was involved with during my time as a paid contributor, and now I’m back as a community member.
My We Are Open co-op comrades and I are running three sessions over the weekend. Unfortunately, Laura can’t make it, but either Bryan, John, and I will be taking the lead on the following. The idea is that they work in their own right, but we’ve also worked with the organisers to ensure they form a kind of ‘arc’ for those who want to attend all three sessions!
The Thinkasprint: the art of thinking sideways
Saturday, 11:15am-12:45pm Open Badges, Floor 8 – 801
In this session participants will be taken through a modified version of We Are Open Co-op’s ‘thinkathon’ approach, to help people think about knotty problems in an open, inclusive, and participatory way. The process involves as much drawing as it does thinking and writing, and is solution-oriented.
We use the wealth of experience that participants and facilitators have to take apart a problem and look at it from a different angle. We will go off at tangents and down rabbit holes, but that’s all part of the process!
Our starting point will be whatever issues participants bring to the table after our icebreaker activity, but we have a few ideas up our sleeves, such as Open Badges for employability, digital skills, and ‘passion projects’.
Digital Champions: scaffolding adult digital and web literacies with badges
Saturday, 3:15pm-4:00pm Open Badges, Floor 1 – 101
This session will help attendees understand the concept of ‘flexible frameworks’, using examples from London Connected Learning Centre and Sussex Downs College. This draws on doteveryone’s Basic Digital Skills Framework and Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map. It will be a conversation-led session with visual thoughts captured by Bryan Mathers.
THE BIG BADGE THROW-DOWN
Sunday, 11:00am-11:45am Open Badges, Floor 8 – 801
Using the starting points of doteveryone’s Basic Digital Skills, Workplace Skills, and Digital Leadership Skills programmes, NCVO’s Skills Lab work, and London CLC’s Digital Champions Curriculum, this workshop will find commonalities, overlaps, and ways forward for badges-based flexible frameworks.
We’ll provide examples of existing programmes, badges and pathways and then work to flesh out, fill gaps and imagine new links and partnerships between established players as well as welcoming new entrants to the digital skills space. This will be a hands-on, practical session.
If you’re coming to MozFest, I hope you’ll join us for at least one session. If not (there’s so much going on!) then please do find us and say hello — I’m @dajbelshaw on Twitter and will also keep an eye out on the @WeAreOpenCoop account.
I’ve spoken at BETT in many guises. I started off as a teacher, then I went as a school senior leader, then went there during my time with Jisc, then Mozilla… This time around, BETT 2016 will be my first as a consultant. On the first day I’m there I’ll have my City & Guilds hat on as they’re one of my main clients. On the second, I’m representing myself (i.e. Dynamic Skillset).
I love to hate BETT. While I dislike the amount of snake oil I see there, it’s worth attending because of the people. While I’m there I try to bring a dose of healthy edtech skepticism. I also try and show people alternatives to to their current reality.
This year, you can catch me at BETT at the following times:
The first session I’m involved with on Wednesday is a presentation with Bryan Mathers. We’ll be talking about educational credentials such as Open Badges, and how City & Guilds can help with this. We’ll be going both wide and deep.
The Digital Skills Sandwich: credentialing 21st literacies in a fast-paced environment (1:45pm to 2:15pm) Learn Live Further Education and Skills theatre
The second session is one I’m chairing. I’m looking forward to asking probing questions of the panellists and getting input from the audience!
Connecting With Young People: Using Social Media and Digital Marketing to Enhance Student Recruitment (4:45pm to 5:30pm) Learn Live Further Education and Skills theatre
If you’re attending BETT and want to catch up, lunch, a coffee after my presentation, or dinner are your best options.
I’m only doing one short presentation on Thursday, and spending the rest of my time wandering around. I’ll be presenting on the Exa Networks stand (full programme), after being asked nicely by Alan O’Donohoe. Space is limited and there’ll be 10 minutes for questions afterwards.
How to be an (open) badger (12:00-12:20) Stand B160 – Exa Education
I’m hoping to bump into a few people on Thursday before heading home late afternoon. I’ll be pretty flexible, so if you want to say hello, do tweet me (@dajbelshaw) or email me beforehand to arrange a time (email@example.com).
If you’re interested in where I’ll be over the coming year, then you might want to check out my Lanyrd profile. I still need to update it with some stuff from last year, but event-wise it’s a decent overview of my past/future movements!
Update: We’ve decided to postpone the Purpos/ed event and I’m no longer involved with the Google Apps for Education workshop.
I’ve got a busy time coming up. Of the following seven events, I’m either organising or speaking at six of them. I’m also looking forward to going on holiday to Malta (or, more accurately, Gozo) in the middle of this at the end of October!
Mobile Learning Now and the Future (28 September)
Today I’m off down to London to present at the above event at the College of North West London. I thought it was going to be fairly small, but it seems to be turning into a bit of a who’s-who of mobile learning. I’m presenting with Steve Boneham from JISC Netskills about Implementing Mobile Learning in Your Institution based on the Mobile Learning infoKit.
Future of Technology in Education (7 October)
Tickets for FOTE are free and usually go very quickly. Last year I managed to snag a ticket but then had to look after my son as we had childcare issues. I’m delighted to be able to make it this year and to be presenting with my colleague (and co-kickstarter of Purpos/ed) Andy Stewart. We’ve got a slot in the #140challenge meaning we’ve got 140 seconds to talk about our vision of the future of technology in education. We’re going to argue, provocatively, that it’s fairly bleak.
I’m a big fan of Mozilla’s work, and especially the more recent educational stuff around Open Badges. Matt Thompson asked if I was going to this festival – yes, of course I am! Can’t wait.
Google Apps for Education: from Zero to Hero (16 November)
Along with fellow Google Lead Learner, Zoe Ross (DoDigital) and Google Certified Teacher, Steve Bunce (Vital) I’m helping organise a day-long workshop on Google Apps in Gateshead. It should be very Google Teacher Academy-like and inspirational! Get your ticket here.
Guardian Innovation in Education (17 November)
I was surprised and honoured to be on the keynote panel for the Guardian Innovation in Education event this year along with Lord Knight, John Dunford and Ian Fordham. We’re talking about the impact of technology on education and I’ve been interviewed as part of the lead-up to the event.
Purpos/ed Oxford: Hacking Education (19 November)
If you’re thinking of joining me at just one of these events, make it this one! Purpos/ed Oxford is all about ‘hacking education’ for the better and we’re delighted that Prof. Keri Facer (who inspired Andy Stewart and myself to start Purpos/ed in the first place) will be there in person this time. We’re going to be crowdsourcing the sessions and it promises to be an event not to miss if you can make it!
Whilst I no longer have six-week summer holidays or, in fact, nearly as much holiday time as I did when working in schools, I much prefer my current arrangements. Flexible working hours and being able to book my holiday for (pretty much) whenever I want make for a fitter, happier Doug.
I’m using up my remaining annual leave for this academic year by making this weekend a long one. Last December, for my 30th birthday, my wife bought me a ‘Supercar Fantastic Four’ track day that I’ve finally booked in, so I’m heading down to York today to drive a Ferrari 360, Porsche GT3, Lamborghini Gallardo and Suburu Impreza WRX. I hope this isn’t my last blog post… 😉
Stepping out the stream is a good time to reflect on what I’ve got coming up in the next few months. This overview post, then, is as much for my own benefit as to give readers a heads-up on some stuff I’m involved in.
16 August – 30 September: Semester of Learning on ‘Open badges and assessment’ at P2PU.org
6-8 September: ALT-C conference (delegate; launching Mobile Learning infoKit)
In addition, I’m hoping to submit my Ed.D. thesis by the end of August and then defend it in September/October at my viva voce. Interest in working with me through Synechism Ltd. is increasing; having worked with Greg Perry and Future Behaviour, I’m now meeting regularly with Zoe Ross and DoDigital to work on digital development as well as doing some work with Stephen Haggard for a faith-based organisation on digital futures (they wanted to remain anonymous).
I’ve got plenty to be getting on with until the end of October, but do get in touch if you want me to speak, write or advise you or your organisation. My main fields of interest continue to be Open Educational Resources, Mobile Learning and Digital Literacies. 🙂
You may have noticed the grey bar at the very top of this blog indicating my next speaking engagement. This is powered by Lanyrd, the ‘social conference directory’ – with full details of the conferences I’m speaking at, attending and tracking available here: