Open Thinkering


Tag: help

Dr. Doug’s Wednesday surgeries

TL;DR: I’m experimenting with 30-minute (free) ‘surgeries’ on Wednesdays. You can book me here:

Every week I have one day devoted to consultancy or pro-bono work, and climbing mountains. In 2018, that day was usually a Friday, which was great for getting away and up mountains, but less good for my consultancy and pro-bono work.

That’s why I’ve decided to experiment with Wednesday as this day in 2019. It will split the work I do for Moodle into two (Mon/Tues and Thurs/Fri) and hopefully ensure that this day I’ve carved out doesn’t become just part of the weekend!

I’m available to talk through anything you think I might be able to help with. Free of charge. That may, of course, lead to paid consultancy work in the future, but I’m keen to spread my wings a bit after ploughing the same (productive, enjoyable) furrow for the last 12 months.

Either way, I’m here for you and happy to help. You can book a 30-minute slot using Calendly at the link below. If you could give me some advance notice of what you want to discuss that would be incredibly helpful.

>>> Book a slot <<<

Google Apps for Education UK summit [HELP REQUIRED]

By way of background, I’m a Google Certified Teacher and was a Lead Learner at the first Google Teacher Academy UK in 2010. I use and like Google’s products and they’re often a great fit for what schools want to do beyond a VLE. And finally, I’m doing this for love, not money. It’s kind of tangential to my role with Mozilla.


Google Apps


Mark Wagner got in touch with me recently asking for some help in setting up a Google Apps for Education UK summit in (11-12?) May 2013.

I, in turn, am asking for your help. 🙂

The summit will be produced by Mark’s organisation, EdTechTeam, in partnership with the Google in Education team. You can see the other summits on the tour here.

What they’re looking for:

  • A large space (theatre or auditorium) for 300 or more people.
  • Two large rooms for 50 or more people (optional).
  • Ten or more small rooms (classrooms) for 25-30 people.
  • A high-bandwidth internet connection (at least 100 Mbps) and wifi for up to 500 or more devices on simultaneously.
  • A beautiful facility and/or campus.
  • Easy access to catering, hotels, public transportation, and airports.
  • A region rich in tourist attractions.

So that sounds to me a whole lot like a sizeable educational institution in a large city.

Answers on a postcard, to me via ‘Email me’ at, or in the comments below please!

Swimming Against the Tide: Tracking the Genesis of ‘Rebellious’ Approaches to Educational Technology.

Swimming against the tide

Lisa Phillips is a Masters student in the Learning & Technology programme at the University of Oxford Department of Education. She got in touch with me yesterday asking for some help.

Busy with the scoping part of her MSc, Lisa is looking for ‘rebellious’ approaches to educational technology – “approaches that challenge, subvert or transform educational norms.” She wants to understand how these approaches came about and what prompted/enabled individuals to think ‘outside the box’.

I’m really interested in this.

Instead of just give her my response and limited expertise, I thought I’d open it out to my readership. Here’s how you can help:

1. Read the following:

Many different groups, such as policy makers, educationalists, teachers, and the business sphere, generate ideas about how to incorporate technology into education. Yet, a critical look at the field would note that the majority of ideas in educational technology exist within a set “box” of education norms, replicating class-based, teacher-led, subject-specific delivery norms in the current education system. Therefore, approaches to integrating technology tend to reflect and reinforce the education structure that already exists. This dissertation will look at approaches to using educational technologies that have the potential to challenge, subvert or transform some aspects of school practice; what I choose to call, for the purposes of this study, “rebellious” approaches. An abstract is attached.

2. Answer the questions in the Google Form below.

[This survey is now closed – thanks to all those who helped!]

Thanks for your contribution! 🙂

Image CC BY-NC-SA Leonard John Matthews