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Showing posts from September, 2020

Open? Reflecting on an experiment to give away my teaching resources

In August 2019, I started an experiment . Rather than sell my teaching materials online via a platform, I would share them in a pay-as-you-can arrangement. One year on, I reflect on the experiment and why (spoiler alert!) it has left me poorer. ⌚ 7 minutes Last summer, I read the excellent book called Open: how we'll work, live and learn in the future by David Price. This book discussed how developments in technology are altering how we share and gather information and, as such, have transformative implications for how we live, work and learn. These implications are relevant now, Price argues, and will become even more so in the future. It's a fascinating book. Price argues that the spirit of open enterprise (also called Creative Commons) allows traders and service providers to cut out large consultancy agencies, publishing platforms and so on by speak to their clients directly. If you have a training course to sell, for example, avoid an agency: instead promote it via socia

Not going back

⌚ 3 minutes   I often feel quite sad at this time of year. Teachers and children prepare to return to the school, a mass migration, a new beginning in which I no longer take part. Since leaving teaching in July 2014, the next time a September comes around I feel like I should be doing something: labelling trays, organising my classroom, buying new stationery (best bit), getting excited about subjects I will teach, or books that I will read and looking forward to getting to know the children who will call me sir (or 'miss'). As mundane as these tasks are, they were rituals of the job I performed for many years and symbolised the start of something new, something fresh. No, things are not all bad. I can have a longer, cheaper summer holiday. I don't have to get up at 6.30am. I am far less tired than I used to be. Now, I often find that I have a great burst of creative energy at this time of year - new ideas seem to come easily, I have a renewed determination to achieve the t

What does storytelling software Twine have to offer young writers?

    A fter a chance bit of Googling this week, I stumbled across Twine - an interactive storytelling platform for building text-based games. It is a platform with pot ential for developing narrative in our schools . ⌚ 6 minutes   I have spent my summer reading. After spending lockdown in Thailand with a rapidly deleting selection of books (reading A Casual Vacancy was a last resort), coming back to a house of full bookshelves was a treat. It felt good for the soul to escape the worries of the present by slipping into another, fictional world whose problems were not my concern. I have also been playing a lot of computer games, revisiting many of the games that I enjoyed as a child: The Settlers , Civilisation , Frontier Elite , Rome Total War . If you're not a 1990s computer game fan then, no, you're not alone but please indulge me as I reminisce. This summer, with time on my hands, I started to think seriously about why it was I enjoy playing these games, and why they seem to