Open Educational Thinkerer. Consultant focusing on #digilit & #openbadges. Previously: @mozilla / @jisc / school senior leader / #historyteacher.


Open Badges Technical Specification

v1.1 of the OBI landing soon!


The History of the Future of Education — Medium

Essays by the indomitable Audrey Watters.


The problem with the Big Four

1 min read

 Can anything curb the dominance of the internet's big guns?

Cory Doctorow writes in The Guardian about the dominance of a handful of companies in the tech landscape:

The capital requirements for starting a competitor to the internet giants, from Facebook to Google to Apple, are so intense that they effectively only compete with each other. I dearly love the privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo, but the only really big competitor to Google’s search product is Microsoft’s Bing: not a spunky startup, but a blue-chip company that was until recently the most profitable in the history of the world.

They've got a de facto monopoly on the digital world we all inhabit:

The internet companies bargain hard to ensure that the new rules will not destroy their business, and the regulators and spies meet them there – it’s inconceivable that a regulator would tell Google that it must change its search business so fundamentally that it had to go out of business altogether.

Too big to fail? Where have we heard that before?



A directory of free and open source Android apps. As someone said in the Hacker News comments, this should be a contribution towards F-Droid (which could do with a 'popular' section)


Kaomoji: Japanese Emoticons

My go-to site for Kaomoji (which I tend to use in email signatures). Much more bandwidth-friendly than GIFs.


DIY Camps

I'm really quite excited about this. I think they've got the 'regular' pricing wrong - as a parent I'm never going to pay $39 (~£26) per month for this - but the $10 introductory price seems a steal!

My son's opted (OK, I kind of pushed him) to do 'Music Mayhem'.


The link between sugar, willpower and growth mindsets

1 min read

There's an interesting post on Priceonomics entitled Does Sugar Help You Focus? It cites a study whose authors include Carol Dweck, famous for her work on 'growth' versus 'fixed' mindsets.

The key finding is in the graph below:

The Effect of Sugar and Mindset on Self Control

The graph is perhaps best summed up by this quotation from Dweck:

"When you have a limited theory of willpower, you're constantly on alert, constantly monitoring yourself. 'Am I tired? Am I hungry? Do I need a break? How am I feeling?' And at the first sign that something is flagging, you think, I need a rest or a boost."

I'm guessing the same would be true for coffee...


Unpacking design for learning — Medium

Chad Sansing's post attempting to answer a question he set himself: "So how can I better unpack and frame what I know to help people new to the community, new to the Web, or new to writing the Web?"


Five reasons Open Badges are motivational

Tim Riches speaking to the City & Guilds UK Product & Services team.


Just installed Known on my server. Will take a while for the DNS to propagate, but using this instead of Evernote + (which I abandoned early 2014).