Open Thinkering


Tag: workshop

Weeknote 15/2013

This week I’ve been:

  • Creating two new grids for Mozilla’s Web Literacy standard work with the community. The first one’s here and the second (updated) one is still just on Flickr at the moment.
  • Planning my PELeCON keynote presentation. You have no idea how long it takes to collate, choose and organise animated GIFs.
  • Hosting the weekly Web Literacy standard community call. You can catch up here.
  • Catching up with people like Laura Hilliger, Tim RichesLucy Neale and StJohn Smith.
  • Editing the Wikipedia article for Open Badges. Only a bit, though. Must revisit.
  • Moderating a Connected Learning TV webinar featuring Liz Lawley and her work around a ‘gaming layer’ for students and academics.
  • Travelling to Plymouth by train, plane and automobile (literally) for PELeCON.
  • Attending, keynoting and running a workshop at PELeCON. The animated GIFs from my keynote aren’t so animated on Slideshare, so you may want to try this Evernote notebook. Photos are here (when they’ve finished uploading)

Next week I’m in Sweden keynoting and running a workshop at the Swedish equivalent of BETT. Better get planning…

Weeknote 02/2013

Weeknotes are updates about what your business has been doing over the past seven days or so.

I used to write weeknotes (see here). I’m not entirely sure why I stopped, to be honest. All the cool kids do it: BERG London, the Helsinki Design Lab, the UK Government’s Digital Service and the BBC R&D – to name but a few.

As it’s supposedly a business-focused thing to do, weeknotes are usually counted from the birth of your business – regardless of when you start actually writing them. Given that I’m an individual and I’ve already written some in previous years, I’m going to do something slightly different. As you can see in the title of this post, I’ll give the week number (this is the second week of the year) and the year. Hopefully that’ll work.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

  • Tidying up the Web Literacies white paper that I’ve been working on since joining Mozilla. It’s still not completely finished (nor is the framework) but it’s getting there. I’m quite pleased with the interest-based learning diagram that I inserted in there.
  • Turning down invitations to run workshops and speak at events. Much as I enjoy getting out there and meeting people and evangelising stuff around Mozilla’s mission, it both takes me away from my family and doing longer-term things. I don’t like saying ‘no’ (apart from BETT) so this is hard.
  • Booking travel to go to the few events that I am going to. I’m in Leicester next week spending time advising them on some digital literacy work that involves badges. More on that next week! Then, in a couple of weeks, I’m heading to California to meet up with my Mozilla colleagues and the winners of the DML competition to talk all things badges.
  • Recording videos. Given that I’m not going to be darting around the place running workshops, I felt it was important that those who do want to run Open Badges workshops had as many relevant resources as possible. To that end this week I recorded a couple of videos that hopefully will be of help.
  • Running an Open Badges workshop. Despite what I’ve said above, I couldn’t really turn down Stevie Flower’s invitation to Madlab in Manchester. We had a great time on Thursday designing badges. I issued participants this badge.
  • Writing an article on digital literacies for the inaugural issue of the ILTA’s journal. I keynoted their conference last year and they asked very nicely if I’d write a 2,000-word article. I’m basically plagiarising my own thesis, which I think (and people on Twitter seem to think) is OK.
  • Keeping an eye on developments around #ETMOOC, a new Massive Open Online Course about educational technology and media that starts next week.
  • Procrastinating over getting started with the Coursera Game Theory MOOC that I signed up for a while ago and began this week.
  • Messing about with my new phone – a Motorola Atrix 4G. It’s not ‘new’ as in just-come-out, but it met my criteria of being at least dual-core, having a user-replaceable battery, running Android, and accepting microSD cards. I don’t actually care that it doesn’t run the latest version of Android and love the fact that I can unlock my phone with a swipe of my fingerprint.

Next week I’m looking forward to talking to Audrey Watters about the Mozilla web literacies framework, recording some more Open Badges videos, finishing that ILTA article and heading to Leicester. The team formerly known as the Mozilla Learning Team will have re-assembled, Avengers-style by then, so I’ll have other things to think about as well. 🙂

How to find and download YouTube videos for use in the classroom

Our school network, like most in the UK, blocks the video-sharing site YouTube. Whilst this is understandable from an Internet safety point of view, there are many wonderful resources that educators could be missing out on.

There are many ways to download videos from YouTube, one of the easiest being to use a website such as Zamzar. The following screencast demonstrates how to do this. It is hosted at, so should remain unblocked by most school networks! 🙂

This text will be replaced

var so = new SWFObject(“”,”mpl”,”450″,”355″,”8″);so.addParam(“allowscriptaccess”,”always”);so.addParam(“allowfullscreen”,”true”);so.addVariable(“height”,”355″);so.addVariable(“width”,”450″);so.addVariable(“file”,””);so.addVariable(“searchbar”,”false”);so.write(“player”);

Direct link to screencast

If, for some reason, Zamzar fails to work, the following websites do the job in a similar way:

Most of these converters support more than just YouTube – so try them with other video-sharing websites! 😀

***UPDATE*** A colleague suggested that a handout might make things easier than trying to follow an online video. I’ve put one together that you can download below:

How to find and download YouTube videos for use in the classroom (4.9MB)