Open Thinkering


Tag: snow

Weeknote #29

Weeknote 29This week I have been mostly…

Getting JISC-y with it

It’s finally finished! The mobile and wireless technologies review I’ve been working on for the last few months is finally ready. I’ll not link to it until I’ve presented at next week’s meeting but, at 17,000+ words it’s a fairly substantial piece of work.

I also attended the JISC Online e-Learning Conference this week. It was variable.. Keri Facer’s keynote on the future of education was awesome, as was Anne Miller’s session on innovation and barriers. Graham Brown-Martin’s session on mobile technologies was entertaining and I wish I hadn’t been commuting during the session on Open Educational Resources. There’s not point linking to the sessions I didn’t like; suffice to say that I’m not fond of people bigging themselves or their institution up and delivering little in the way of new ideas or sharing good practice. Overall, worth virtually attending though – more on my conference blog. ūüôā

Trudging through snow

It’s a winter wonderland up in Northumberland at the moment. It won’t be long before I’ll be able to do this again (January 2010):


Receiving a free netbook

I’m not sure whether it’s because I spoke at BETT a couple of years ago on netbooks in the classroom, my pre-release review of the LG Shine from a few years back or uncomissioned videos such as my hands-on review of the Dell Streak, but I was approached this week to review the Dell 2110 education-focused netbook. It was delivered yesterday so expect a review soon!

Planning a conference

Andy Stewart and I are planning a conference. No, I’m not going to tell you when, where or what it’s about. Suffice to say these things take a fair amount of thinking about. Good grief. If you’ve experience in these matters, feel free to get in touch!

Top 10 links I’ve shared this week

The following links were those most clicked on (according to¬† Pro‚Äės stats) when I shared them via¬† Twitter this week. I don‚Äôt include links back to this blog.

Links given with number of clicks given in brackets:

  1. Telegraph | 200 students admit cheating after professor’s online rant (83)
  2. Spin Collective | Sea mural sticker set (49)
  3. Guardian | Students protest (40)
  4. hu2 | Water Cycle wall sticker (35)
  5. The Importance of Teaching – The School White Paper 2010 (27)
  6. BBC News | Teacher training at heart of schools reform (25)
  7. Twitter | Alfie Kohn: critique of Math instruction (25)
  8. Literature and Latte – Scrivener (21)
  9. Through The Phases (18)
  10. | Boettinger: Moving Mountains (9)

Things I learned this week – #2

The most significant things I’ve learned this week have been snow-related. Have a quick look at the above¬†YouTube video of me building an igloo. That took me¬†7 hours!¬†Instead of getting all philosophical and talking about how good it felt to create something out of nothing and how I started to feel ‘at one’ with the snow, I’ll reflect on some practical considerations:

  1. I should estimate how long things are likely to take before they start
  2. The size of an igloo depends on the angle of the walls – easy to forget!
  3. There are lots of different types of snow.
  4. Igloos are actually quite warm!

I considered sleeping in it, but having worked on it for 7 hours straight every single muscle in my body hurt. I went in the bath, read my book and went to bed… :-p

Here’s a brief overview of other stuff I’ve learned this week, broken down by category.


Productivity & Inspiration


Data, Design & Infographics


This made me laugh! (via Mashable)

This resonated with me Рvia Jennifer Hagy @ indexed

  • The ever-relevant and insightful Harold Jarche¬†looks back at Seth Godin’s predictions for 2009 from 5 years ago (startlingly accurate) and his own from 2007, as well as looking forward to new and emerging business models.
  • I love mashups and¬†Best of Bootie 2009 absolutely rocks. Especially DJ Earworm’s¬†United State of Pop 2009 (top 25 Billboard songs, mashed up!).
  • Mashable reflects on¬†ways social media has changed us. This post makes a lot of sense and I’m going to start to use the term ‘ambient intimacy’ to explain a lot of what goes on, online. It makes sense. ūüôā

Frozen Britain seen from above

BBC News posted a great satellite photo of what Britain looked like without the Gulf Stream last week.

  • There are some places in the world you’re just not allowed to go.¬†This post on listverse (via¬†@dougpete) highlights the ‘Top 10’ of these.
  • Vicki Davis (aka Cool Cat Teacher) in a reflective and revealing post entitled¬†Sojourner Truth outlines her recent struggles with blogging and celebrity.


You’re only given a little spark of madness. You musn’t lose it. (Robin Williams)

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. (Bob Hope)

(both via @gbmiii)

Some Friday fun!

A few things that have kept me smiling over the last few days…

1. Snow

There’s been snow on the ground here in¬†Northumberland since before my birthday (December 22nd). It’s several inches deep now and it’s snowing more as I type this. Suffice to say, the whole world around here has ground to a halt.¬†BBC News have a wonderful video of a helicopter ride over Yorkshire (where I used to live) and Northumberland. Unfortunately I can’t embed it, so you’ll have to click through:

2. Everything I have

Via¬†swissmiss (a great design-focused blog to subscribe to, if you don’t already) comes one man’s visual record of everything he has:

It reminds me of the¬†100 things page Leo Babauta (he of¬†Zen Habits fame) keeps updated on his other blog, He took up¬†Dave Bruno’s challengeto limit himself to 100 personal items. Noble.

3.  Man sleeps in suburban igloo.

CC BY Steven Roberge (not the actual igloo!)

The aforementioned snow situation in England at the moment necessitates people to actually talk to their neighbours. Amazing, but true. David Munt, 28, from Hertfordshire went one step further and played in the snow with some of the children on his street without accusations of being a paedophile. Also amazing (given the current climate).

They built an igloo together and he promised he would sleep in it. He did. The world marvelled. (via