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Welcome to Thought Shrapnel #200!
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Doug Belshaw's Thought Shrapnel
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Hello!

ISSUE 200! Wow! I feel like there should be fireworks and cake and celebrations and things. Instead, I'll just say how grateful I am that anybody at all reads these newsletters. And, whether this is the first one that's arrived in your inbox, or you've been with me since the start, you're all awesome. Thank you.

I've been at BETT this week, the annual edtech trade show in London that we all love to hate. This, I have to say, was the best one I've been to; I met lots of awesome people - sometimes for the first time offline.

Although it can't have been 'flu (I have my shot each winter) I had to power through Thursday thanks to a mixture of ibuprofen, paracetemol, Lucozade, and Lockets. I managed to hold it together and then drank whisky on the train all the way home. Friday, my son's birthday, was spent in bed.

2016, take note: I am officially done with being ill, so let's have no more of that for the next 11 months, thank you very much!
My blog posts this week:

TIDE podcast

TIDE Ep.35: Participatory BETT

Today In Digital Education is a regular podcast hosted by Dai Barnes and Doug Belshaw, focusing on education, technology, and everything in between.

In this week’s episode, Dai and Doug discuss the 4 C’s of learning, Open Badges, participatory methodologies, gamified learning, removing certain apps from your smartphone, and more!

Tweet of the week

Ladies and gentlemen: my mother
You've got to wonder what her mother (who must be an English teacher) thinks of her daughter's spelling of 'family' ;)

Links of the week

The Stanford professor who pioneered praising kids for effort says we’ve totally missed the point

The Stanford professor who pioneered praising kids for effort says we’ve totally missed the point

I saw Carol Dweck, best known for the 'growth mindset' theory cited in this article back in 2009 at the Scottish Learning Festival. It completely altered my parenting style. Instead of praising my then two-year-old son for achievement, I started praising him for effort. In fact, as a senior leader in a 3-19 academy at the time, I put together this video compilation.

As ever, truly impactful and revolutionary approaches often get co-opted by the existing status quo. People who haven't done the work of reading the book or watching Dweck speak take the term as what I'd call a 'dead metaphor' and apply it to things they were planning to do anyway. In this article, Dweck takes them to account.

Twitter Isn’t Raising the Character Limit. It’s Becoming a Walled Garden.

Twitter Isn’t Raising the Character Limit. It’s Becoming a Walled Garden.

In the next few months Twitter, a service I've been using for the last nine years, is expected to announce a huge change to the service. This is in line with it becoming much more of a news site instead of a social network.

This article argues that the proposed change won't be as crude as simply allowing users to go from 140 characters to 10,000 characters overnight. Right now, Twitter acts as a kind of dashboard for information that exists elsewhere on the web. In a situation that's almost the inverse to Facebook, users link to blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. that aren't hosted on the site itself.

The new version of Twitter is likely to be much more of a 'walled garden' where users will be kept to be monetised for the benefit of shareholders to the service. If there was a realistic option other than Twitter at this point, I would have already jumped ship.

F*** working hard

F*** working hard

If you're not tolerant of profanity, this article isn't for you. However, if you're willing to count the swearing as indicative of strongly-held feelings, then it's worth a read. My favourite safe-to-share bit for this newsletter is:

Working hard is a cover up for “I am so insecure, I need to prove to people that don’t give a s*** about me that I am worthy, smart and capable.”
If you're working hard for the sake of working hard, then I would stop and think about it. There's a time and a place for busting a gut, and every week is not it. Sustainable productivity FTW!

Also worth exploring

How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity

How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity

Serendipity as something you do, rather than something that happens to you. Interesting!

WhatsApp to begin sharing your data with Facebook

WhatsApp to begin sharing your data with Facebook

As I (and lots of other people) predicted when Facebook acquired WhatsApp, the services is now free because their business model is farming your data. Yes, there's an opt-out, but by the time they've found it, the damage will be done for anyone who values their privacy. 

If you're thinking, "so what?" you might want to read this.

Forget Schrödinger's Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle Is About Three Pigeons in Two Holes

Forget Schrödinger's Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle Is About Three Pigeons in Two Holes

My brain hurts even trying to understand quantum theory. Crazy stuff.

The Serious Genius Behind Hilarious Comedy

The Serious Genius Behind Hilarious Comedy

A great playlist of videos starting with John Cleese talking about when it's OK to 'steal' ideas.

GIF of the week

Snow
As I put this newsletter together there's reports that the US east coast has been hit with over 70cm of snow in less than 24 hours. That's a lot.

I know many of the subscribers to this newsletter will be affected: stay safe and warm!

Quotation of the week

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Aristotle
Until next time!
Doug
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