Open Thinkering


Tag: Misc.

Things I Learned This Week – #10

Image CC BY-NC Darren Hester

The biggest thing I learned this week offline was at a DriveTech Speed Awareness course after I was caught doing 36mph in a 30mph zone. It was mostly how not to use technology when teaching people stuff. There’s definitely a blog post in there somewhere… :-p


  • Rapportive is a plugin for Firefox or Chrome that replaces the adverts in GMail with some contextual social media information about the people who send you email:

  • beWeeVee is like Etherpad on steroids. But likes Microsoft Silverlight a bit too much for my liking.
  • Picnik, the awesome browser-based image editor, has been acquired by Google. This is not a good thing: Flickr (owned by Yahoo!) allows you to use Picnik to edit your photos. I guess we can kiss that functionality goodbye. 🙁
  • Second Life has never been more than a curiosity to me, but Leon Cych has put together a video showing some new features which might make it a viable proposition to do something useful:


  • ManyCam (Win/Mac) allows you to add effects to your webcam videos/chats. Which could be interesting for EdTechRoundUp tonight… :-p

Productivity & Inspiration

Education & Academic

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”present/embed” query=”id=dcfg9b66_383699snms6&size=m” width=”555″ height=”451″ /]

  • The Shadow Children’s Secretary, Michael Gove, of the Conservative party, has made some comments about education this week. Turns out he’s a bit of a reactionary. “Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England,” he said. Not this parent. I’ve changed my voting habits.
  • As I blogged about this week, Will Richardson’s started a wiki on 10 big questions for education. I’ve volunteered to moderate the page for What does an educated person look like today? Please contribute! 🙂

Data, Design & Infographics

  • The video below gives some stats on The State of the Internet as it currently stands. YouTube serves 1 billion videos per day(!)

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.

  • Tableau Public is a free, online visualization tool that I’m looking forward to playing with. 😀
  • This visualization of the potential tsunami after the Chilean earthquake I found interesting:


  • There’s a flower that blooms once every 3,000 years! It’s pretty rare. A Chinese nun found one under her washing machine.
  • UEFA want more officials in some crazy positions at Europa League games. The rest of the world wants goalmouth technology. <Sigh>
  • The UK Digital Economy bill could wipe out free wifi in many places due to draconian record-keeping requirements aimed to crack down on copyright infringements.
  • There’s an official petition to have 10^27 (that’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) be prefixes with ‘hella’. That would make for ‘hellatons’ and ‘hellawatts’. Awesome. 😉
  • “Enthusiasm is compressed expertise” – I like that idea!


Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance. (Samuel Johnson)

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. (Bill Cosby)

Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway. (John Wayne)

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about. (Dr. Wayne Dyer)

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. (John Wooden)