Open Thinkering


Tag: purposed

7 upcoming events about which I’m super-excited.

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.

Mobility Shifts (10-16 October)

Due to the generosity of Scott McLeod, Director of CASTLE, I’m attending the Mobility Shifts conference in New York. I’m going to be writing about my experiences over at his blog, Dangerously Irrelevant. The conference programme looks like it was put together just for me! I’m going to be one tired Doug when I get back from…

Mozilla Festival (4-6 November)

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!


A quick rundown of what I’m up to until Christmas.


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.

Here goes:

16 August – 30 September: Semester of Learning on ‘Open badges and assessment’ at

6-8 September: ALT-C conference (delegate; launching Mobile Learning infoKit)

20 September: JISC infoNet Planning meeting

21/22 September: Scottish Learning Festival (delegate)

23 September: JISC OER Phase 3 meeting

28 September: Mobile Learning Symposium (presenting with Steve Boneham)

4/5 October: JISC Digital Literacies and Assessment and Feedback startup meetings

6 October: JISC Digital Literacies workshop (participant)

7 October: Future of Technology in Education (FOTE) conference (presenting)

19 October (provisional): JISC RSC Online Conference (presenting)

24-28 October: Annual Leave (Malta)

8 November: Century Challenge meeting with Prof. Keri Facer, et al.

14 October: JISC OER Phase 3 startup meeting

16 November (provisional): Google Apps workshop with DoDigital and Vital

19 November (provisional): Purpos/ed event

22-25 November: JISC Online Conference (presenting)

6-7 December: JISC infoNet planning meeting

Ongoing: #openbadges weekly IRC meetings (Saturday evenings, 20.00 UK time), EdTechRoundUp Weekly (Sunday evenings, 20.00 UK time)

To plan: #purposedassess meeting (September, with Tom Barrett), November Purpos/ed event (open planning model)

Hopeful about attending: Mobility Shifts conference (10-16 October)

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. 🙂

Image CC BY DafneCholet

A brand-new campaign for Purpos/ed: #purposedassess


After a brief lull (as I’ve mentioned before it’s all about the ‘cadence of engagement’) we’re back with a new campaign for Purpos/ed!

For those who haven’t been paying attention:

We’re a non-partisan, location-independent organization aiming to kickstart a debate around the question: What’s the purpose of education? With a 3-year plan, a series of campaigns, and a weekly newsletter we aim to empower people to get involved and make a difference in their neighbourhood, area and country.

This time we’re discussing and debating the question:

What’s the purpose of assessment?

Details on the Purpos/ed website, but you can jump straight in by following +Purpos/ed Team on Google+ (which is the platform we’re using for this particular campaign!)

Image BY-NC-SA KTVee