Asides,  Books,  monthly roundup

June round-up

I usually send out my newsletter at the end of each month. It’s just a collection of the posts published that month (you should subscribe if for some reason you don’t check this site every day). I thought it would be nice maybe to start each newsletter with some personal introduction of what has taken place over the month, and hey, I may as well make that a blog post. So here are some highlights and thoughts from June.

I went to the EDEN conference in Dublin, with Maren who was keynoting. Although I’ve been to a couple of conferences since lockdown, this was the first time meeting lots of international people who I hadn’t seen since the before times. It was a fun conference, lots of good talks, and well organised. I still feel as though my conference stamina is underdeveloped compared to pre-pandemic – it’s all that talking to people. And I’m not entirely sure I want to get back to that level either. Two or three a year seems a nice level now.

We gained a further round of GO-GN funding this month from the Hewlett Foundation, which is great news. This remains the best project I’ve worked on, and this year we celebrate 10 years since its founding.

I read 10 books this month, the pick of them was Fingers Crossed by Miki Berenyi (of 90s shoegaze group Lush). Her childhood is pretty messed up, and her account of the sexism of the music industry (particularly Brit pop) is scathing, but she tells it all with a dry sense of humour. After reading some male rock biographies, which think tales of blocking up toilets and hanging out with groupies are way more entertaining than they actually are, this was a refreshing entry in the rock biography genre.

It was also a delight to see Audrey Watters return with a Substack newsletter, Second Breakfast. I’ve paid up for a year, and it’s already a treat to have it ping into my inbox. I’ve missed her writing and insight.

AI angst continues to dominate much of the ed tech and beyond discourse. I’ve been in meetings at the OU where it is nothing short of outright panic, reminiscent of this scene:

Stay calm everyone.

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