• Carolina Hurricanes and Uber logos
    Asides,  innovation,  Travel

    The problems with tech companies as infrastructure

    None of what I am about to relay is new, but it’s enlightening when you have a small personal experience that momentarily lifts away the curtain to demonstrate the broader significance of a trend. So, on the one hand this story is “man had to wait slightly longer for a taxi, boohoo” and on the other it is “foretaste of troubling social trend.” You can decide. Last week I visited my daughter who is studying for a year abroad in North Carolina. Being ice hockey fans we went to see the Carolina Hurricanes (twice) in Raleigh. The PNC Arena where they play is a few miles out of town and…

  • Asides

    I’m back! (sorta)

    I know you hadn’t noticed I was gone – there has been rather a LOT else going on after all. But after a bijou, hipster style breakdown, I’ve been offline (and off work) for about a month. During this time I did use a different blog as a kind of therapy, based around walking my dog. So if you like reading the thoughts of a self-pitying, middle aged man (it’s an undercrowded field after all), then you can at Walking with Teilo. Anyway, some things I (re)learned in my absence: It’s ok to not be ok. I have a strain of that protestant work ethic, British stiff upper lip thing…

  • Asides,  calling bullshit,  metaphor

    Ed Tech Pitch generator

    I have a chapter in my Metaphors book on the “Uber for education” type metaphor – ie taking the latest hot technology and applying to education. The “Netflix for learning” one has been doing the rounds again recently. I’ll expand on why these are bad metaphors in another post, but for now: Are you a journalist who needs a quick ed tech story? Do you want to create an ed tech venture capitalist pitch to get money and headlines? Are you tired of having to come up with ideas all on your own? Then behold! The Ed tech pitch generator. Just hit the button and problem solved! Enjoy.

  • Asides,  Weblogs

    The art of STFU

    I’ve not blogged for quite a while. Partly that’s workload, partly an impact of relentless tiredness, but also partly a sense of not feeling I have much to contribute. This post really is not a plea for you to say “no Martin, please keep blogging” (I probably will we all know that), but rather a repositioning of how one sees oneself when you reach a certain age (and particularly if you’re a white guy). You can call to mind your favourite “has an opinion on everything” ageing male ed tech blogger/speaker/commentator for this (it might be me). It seems that whatever people publish or do, there they are, letting you…

  • Asides,  conference

    For the last time

    via GIPHY I was considering the other day, that after a complete year of lockdown with no travel or conferences, I wonder who I have met for the last time? Over the past year I’ve seen a number of people I know take on different roles, or find the pandemic traumatic or withdraw from the worlds I occupy professionally. You get in a routine of attending the same conferences and meetings, often seeing the same people across some of these. And of course, at some point you will meet them for the last time, although you rarely know it then. But we’ve never had a global Ctrl-Alt-Delete before and when…

  • Asides,  comics,  Web/Tech

    The tech futures in 2000AD

    So, confession time – I seem to be regressing to childhood in lockdown. As a kid I used to get the sci-fi comic 2000AD every week. I had numbers 1 to about 450, but when I went to uni my mum gave them away to the boy scouts, saying “you didn’t want them did you?” When I tell you Issue 2 (the first to feature Judge Dredd) sells for about £600 on Ebay you can appreciate this is still kinda raw. I’ve bought a few of the collections and graphic novels over the past couple of years. Then I got issue 1 as a birthday present and this prompted me…

  • Asides,  onlinepivot

    2026 – the year of the face to face pivot

    When the current crisis is over in terms of infection, the social and economic impact will be felt for a long time. One such hangover is likely to be the shift to online for so much of work and interaction. As the cartoon goes “these meetings could’ve been emails all along”. So let’s jump forward then a few years when online is the norm. We can imagine the following: Hip start-ups rediscovering office working – but they won’t call it this of course, it’ll be something new like “cooperative physical co-location”. They’ll rave about the physical water cooler moments around the, erm, water cooler. Unis will offer advice on “physical…

  • Asides,  Weblogs

    2019 blog review

    via GIPHY Warning: Blogging as therapy session follows I usually end the year with a review of my own year on blogging. Not a review of ed tech blogging as a whole and the themes of the year, but just me. And in that is something of my current identity doubts with my own blog. This is my 44th post of the year, down on my usual 50 or so, which hints at that questioning also. The thing I’ve been struggling with is that a lot of the bloggers I admire have effectively become very good ed tech journalists, writing very well researched, thoughtful essays. These are excellent, but working…

  • Asides,  Books

    Confessions of an audiobook addict

    via GIPHY I’ll write my annual books review post soon, but one comparison I won’t do this year is format: from a mix of physical books, ebooks and audiobooks in previous years, it is now nearly all audiobooks (I’m not counting reading for work). I came to audiobooks in 2016 after Brexit pretty much ruined listening to the Today programme (as lots have commented, the BBC is incapable or unwilling to deal with false equivalence and flagrant, unabashed liars). Screaming at the radio is only viable for so long. And once I had stopped listening to the Today programme, my Radio 4 listening fell away all together (I still listen…

  • Asides,  edtech

    Tell me lies about ed tech

    In school one of my favourite poems was by Adrian Mitchell, entitled ‘To Whom it May Concern’, it centred around the refrain ‘Tell me lies about Vietnam‘. It came to mind this week, when I read Audrey Watters’ post The Stories We Were Told about Education Technology. So here, for a bit of fun, and in appreciation of all the work Audrey has done over the years, is a remix of Mitchell’s poem for ed tech. Don’t tell me it doesn’t scan, I did it in 10 minutes, okay? I was run over by AI one day. Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way So suck up all my…