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Interactive 2d and 360 images and tours

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I have been playing around with Thinglink for 18 months. I must have three or four accounts by now, that I run, or that I have set up for others ... and also run.

My latest is a group account so that students I will be working with can take images, add them and collaborate on creating 360 tours.

We are going to be creating a tour of an early years nursery.

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Etivities in a catering 360 Health & Safety Induction Course

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A cropped part of a 360 image in a catering kitchen with hot spots showing an interactive learning activity

Eons ago, perhaps 15 years ago, certainly 10, Jilly Salmon coined the term 'e-tivity'. It never caught on, though I feel compelled to use it rather than 'interactive activities'.

This is what we have here. 

It is a set of 10 to 16 simply catering food safety and hygiene related execrises spread across a 360 tour of some 12 or more images around a teaching catering facility.

Catering Etivities 

My First Goal is to add, number and annotate a set of these etivities to a 360 page.

My Second Goal is to spread the etivities strategically across the full 360 tour with Voice Over and text instructions.

My final goal is to add VO to edit video clips to provide 'how tos', hints and insights.

Activities design and built by Mia Pledger, 360 tour created by Jonathan Vernon. 

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Murder in the Family and 'Uniformed Services'

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The Judge from the Channel 4 TV Series 'Murder in the Family'

90 minutes talking to 'Uniformed Services' and we came away with 6 or more projects, most major, some minor, to undertake over the next 18 months to support their tutors and students.

The easy part was to locate 6 episods of the court drama 'Murder in the Family' which is used to discuss court procedure and roles. This is now on Planet eStream where I can nip out the adverts and add some notes, even create a playlsist of all five episodes and create an interactive quiz at the end of each.

More complex and exciting will be working with students hoping to become drone pilots for the RAF and RN respectively. This could have me at sea - literally. Qualified to use a RIB they are short of volunteers to go out with the students.

And then 360 tours to create of a crime scene.

Video footage of gun and limber junior trials.

And surveillance work for conference centres and hotels.


Health, Fitness and Wellbeing to Armed Services entry standard ... 

Quite a mix. Quite exciting.

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Smile with Spike Milligan

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 6 Feb 2020, 16:21

Photograph of comedian and author Spike Milligan

Smiling is infectious

You catch it like the flu,

When someone smiled at me today,

I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner

And someone saw me grin.

When he smiled I realized

I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,

Then realized its worth.

A single smile, just like mine

Could travel round the earth.

So if you feel a smile begin,

Don’t leave it undetected.

Let’s start an epidemic quick

And get the world infected!

Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian
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Design Museum

The Power of Stories

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Olympic Skier Lindsay Vonn with her bruised/broken arm in a sling

Ten years ago I started a student blog at the behest of the OU as part of the Masters in Open & Distance Education (MAODE). This was my second go at this having started nine years previously with the MAODL (Distance Learning). 

I came from corporate training. Coming from teaching might have been more appropriate, and teaching in Higher Education in particular. I thought the outcome would be back into industry, whereas it has instead been a route into Education. It might have lead to research. I did prepare a PhD thesis and took this to Southampton.

Events closer to home have me reflecting on the power of story, no matter how or where it is expressed. We are highly tuned in to pay attention to a well told drama.

Our drama lately has been a broken arm (not me) and the unexpected knock on effects and lessons learnt in relation to the medical systems and approach in France and the UK, to being freelance or working fulltime, and a wake up call to what it takes to care for someone. 

The story of this break and its consequences is shared with friends and over a few days it finds its own shape. You learn how to retain attention as one event and its consequences and all the subsequent decissions that are taken, and their consequences too. Let alone the other brickbats that get thrown your way to complicate it all further.

And the conclusion is?

Count your blessings

Smile and get on with it

Remember your friends and family as they remember you

Be prepared for this and worse happening

And in relation to learning?

Holding a students attention

Providing engagement which has a purposeful direction

Letting people draw their own conclusions

Listen to feedback and add this to the lessons being learnt

The vitality that comes from a story with emotional appeal, crisis, pain and laughter, consequences and outcomes. 

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Design Museum

Do not expectorate promiscuously !

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 5 Feb 2020, 14:22

1918 Precautions Against Influenza Poster

We could do with a lot of these up all over our campus. I'm not convinced many people will understand what to 'expectorate promiscuously' means. It could be put more bluntly. 'Don't violently or frequently sneeze your snot and germs around and about'.

Or some such.

The science of sneezing courtesy of MIT

A sneeze photographed in slow motion at M.I.T.

> The distance germs can travel

One powerful sneeze, unhindered, will fill a room.

> Allergies, sinus infections and sneezing ...

> Sneeze Reflex : Facts and Fiction

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Design Museum

Activities for mobile, laptop or desktop

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 5 Feb 2020, 13:16

Diagram recommending the user turns their phone or tablet horizontally to do this activity

So frustrating if you create something for mobile devices only to find that in fact this functionality works best on a larger screen.

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Sanitizing Shared Spaces - is your hot desk a bed of germs?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 5 Feb 2020, 11:13

A woman sneezing in front of a laptop

Are your computers ‘sanitized’ - given a clean - of any kind?

My concern for staff who hot desk (me) and students is that they will often sit down at a computer where someone has sneezed onto the keyboard and screen without any attempt whatsoever to shield their environment from the germs they are spreading.

I see this often. What about you?

The answer is to educate staff and students.     

Add cleaning keyboards and screens to what the cleaning staff do.

Get rid of the multitude of ‘Press this Button’ pads that used used to enter the building , and libraries and corridors.

Students and staff touch these repeatedly across the day so no wonder germs spread fast and so many people end up off ill.

Without frequent handwashing it is hardly surprising that so many people end up ill

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Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills

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This MOOC on Coursera from Melbourne University looks interesting.

This MOOC is designed principally for practicing teachers who are wondering exactly how they can incorporate teaching and assessment of 21st century skills into their classrooms, labs or workshops. It will also be useful to trainee teachers, school leaders, teacher educators and curriculum and assessment specialists, providing them with an understanding of the challenges associated with teaching and assessment of 21st century skills. This course explains the social and cognitive skills that are known as 21st century skills. It reviews how they can be represented in the curriculum, in terms of developmental progressions. It also explores how teachers can recognise these skills in students, how the level of skill of a learner can be assessed, and then how learners can be supported to develop their skill. In this course we work through two detailed examples of 21st century skills. The first is collaborative problem solving, a 21st century skill which combines the capacities of collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and communication. The second skill is a meta-cognitive skill of knowing how to learn in a MOOC. In each example, you will explore how to understand the nature of each skill from a teaching perspective, how to teach it, and how to assess it. These two examples show how any 21st century skill can be tackled in the classroom. The approach to teaching and assessment in this course derives from the application of a developmental, evidence-based, clinical approach to teaching practice. The course provides a mix of theory and practice, of thinking and doing, and opportunities to share ideas, experience and resources with other participants. Join Emeritus Professor Patrick Griffin and the team from the Assessment Research Centre, University of Melbourne in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills, hosted on Coursera.

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Does your institution have the right fit for FutureLearn?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 3 Feb 2020, 10:01

Hoping that we may be able to partner with FutureLearn to generate content we have been politely turned down.

FutureLearn is focused on partnering with Top 400 Universities worldwide or nationally/globally renowned organisations backed by strong academic research and with a clear educational remit and capacity, such as UNESCO, The British Council, or the Houses of Parliament. 

Becoming a FutureLearn partner 

Organisations that do not meet these requirements, in order to develop a  course should approach 'one of our existing partners' or a.n.other agency/partner. 

Current FutureLearn partners 

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Design Museum

More lessons. More Students. More learning.

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An aide-memoire for me. An link to an interesting resource for you! Ever mindful of my need and desire to take and pass a series of Google Educator Certification Exams (levels 1 & 2 and trainer) and needing to be on the pulse of what Google Education is doing (conquering every classroom on the planet), makes this of interest:

Google Educator Resources for teaching digital skills to students

Google's Applied Digital Skills

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Learning from adversity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 1 Feb 2020, 09:15

Using Lego Bricks to help orthopaedic surgeons understand different kinds of break of the upper humerus

Showing her true metal and drilling through every piece of information available relating to a displacement fracture of the upper humerus, and comparing French with English approaches, is now touching on my knowledge and experience of online learning in interesting ways.

A fall on a ski slope and thoughts of a dislocated shoulder saw us in a Cabinet Medical oat the bottom of the slope (Flaine) then a visit to a French Hospital. Triaged and seen within 90 minutes, an x-ray then a wheelchair to a room. Would a CT scan be required? Would it be taken then and there, or the next day? Would there be surgery involved?

Two days later we were in England, once again in A & E and once again faced with the question of whether a CT Scan was necessary. The CT Scan finally took place 9 days after the accident. X Rays had put the break on the cusp of needing further investigation to decide if surgery was required. It isn't - apparently.

In France surgery had been thought likely the day after the accident, then delayed to the following week. In England it was thought highly unlikely that there would be surgery - so no invasive procedure to add nails or plates to stabilise the two displaced fractures that had been identified.

Here comes the online learning bit. The 'Virtual Treatment' that has a dependency of online content, and video tutorials. Needless to say we are given bits of paper printed out, needless to say a copy of the CT scan comes on a disc, not via WeTransfer or Dropbox, needless to say 'we' (It is of course my wife) is on the phone and I am taking her in to see someone to change an unsatisfactory sling, or to seek more convincing advice on exercises required for her break at this time.

The issue when it comes to e-learning is this:  what does replacing the human face to face contact of a subject matter expect, a mentor (1 to 1), a tutor (small group) or a teacher (class) have either advantages or disadvantages? Thinking we must do away with one and do everything online is foolish. Indeed, I am rather wondering that by directing people online and by default inviting those with any aptitude to search online they come away with far, far more unanswered questions that will have to be dealt with by a person.

If I had £500,000 to spend on education in an institution am I going to spend it on tablets, desktops and Virtual googles, or a some informed, bright and motivated teachers? 

Links > Lego Humerus Fracture article 

As a patient my wife has access to the Virtual Fracture Clinic. Here we have there are clear, excellent direct to camera explanations and demonstrations. However, not embedded correctly these are difficult to use on an old iPhone. They of course assume that patients have ready access to the Internet - is that likely where those presenting with this kind of injury have an average age of 72? And then too much of the text is aimed at management and senior clinicians. When nursing her arm and struggling to understand the right approach to take to pain relief, one of three different slings she has now used and physiotherapy does she really need to be made to feel that the primary goal and achievement of the Virtual Fracture Clinic is to save money? £250,000 we are told since it was set up.

Wherein we can once again make a comparison to education.

The aim is to teach more students well for less money. To have fewer teachers managing more students and getting at least the same results (ideally better) and so saving money. 

I feel a backlash is over due. More and better teachers in front of smaller classes, with more face to face time for personalised feedback is the answer.

Take these videos on how to put on a sling for a fractured limb. Useful as an aide memoire after a face to face demo, but think of the differences between a child, teenager, fit middle age or over weight elderly person, make or female ? There is no one-size fits all video. Rather a consultation should be recorded and shared with the online savvy patient. 

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Design Museum

Cogntive Science : The Study Programme

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A couple of books on Cognitive Science

And thus another learning journey begins. The books are a start with 'Becoming Fluent' in audible form so that I can plug it in and listen through. As much as anything I want to try something new (new to me at least). I like reading along, but can I do that? I find on YouTube running the subtitles while watching helps me catch words and phrases that I might otherwise miss.

I also searched online courses and have thus far tried Coursera and FutureLearn. I risk becoming that statistic of students who sign up but never start. Whether a course gains traction or not is down to the ability of the course creators to engage and feed my current enthusiasm at the right level and in the right way - this learning business is just that, a business, and a competitive one.

I ought to check Open Learn of course and a myriad of other online course providers.

I get serious when I return to the likes of the Open University and pay proper money to do a tutor led designed and credited course. 

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1917: On Sikhs and other Indian Soldiers in the First World War

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 23 Jan 2020, 07:00

Though on holiday I find myself stepping back into my role as the Digital Editor for The Western Front Association as I'm kicking around a ski apartment with a stinking cold. This allows me to follow a thread on our @TheWFA Twitter feed discussing the Sam Mendes film 1917 at length in which there has been some discussion on whether or not Sikhs would have been part of the British Army on the Western Front in 1917. 

As well as Sikhs, there were Punjabis, Gurkhas and others in combatant and non-combatant roles, as officers and sepoys (privates) from across what was then called India or the Indian Empire and comprise modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as Burma and soldiers from the North West Frontier (Kashmir), Afghanistan and Nepal.

A collection of books on the Indian Army in the First World War

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What a week!

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We came on holiday on Friday and faced a first in the French Alps: rain and the need for umbrellas. Rain low down meant snow up top so this cloud had a silver lining. However I fell ill with a cold bad enough to keep me in bed, then one of the party broke their wrist and having only just ventured out myself and gently traversing a piste to stop for lunch my wife fell badly and broke her arm - actually she was convinced it was ‘just’ a dislocated shoulder so we skied down to a ‘station’ - not ours, to visit the Cabinet Medical. All was not good - a complicated fracture at the top of the arm requiring surgery. So off to hospital. Ski gear, no other shoes, no change of clothes. A taxi journey some 40km back and forth to where we are staying. And I had planned to take the afternoon off rather than aggravate my cold. Ill and worried I have slept little.

However, I did sign up to study a new FutureLearn Course in British History 1815 to 1945 and also convinced myself that I have the makings of a Cognitive Scientist.

With skis back to the hire shop and me back and forth to a hospital each day until we fly home on Sunday (or not!) I may be able to get some studying done. I can get through a text book a day when I am motivated, travelling or otherwise not distracted. 

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More Show and Tell

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Google Tour Builder telling John Wilson MMs WWI story from DLI, to MGC to RFC and the RAF


Hoping you can view this. I kind of interactive slideshow pinned to a map. In this case I roughly trace my grandather's war years, from growing up in County Durham (Shotley Bridge) to enlisting with the Durham Light Infantry, transfer to the Machine Gun Corps, then experience on the Western Front, surviging Neuve Chappelle, the Somme and Third Ypres. 

On 27th December 1917 his transfer papers came through and he joined the Royal Flying Corps (his kid brother had joined as mechanic the summer before and had then gained a commission as a bomber pilot). 

He then moved around from Hastings, to Bristol, and Uxbridge ending up with flight training out of RAF Crail, Fife from September 1918 to November 1918. He remaiend in Crail during the demob until May 1919.

Sadly his brother was killed that summer flying mail over Belgium to Germany. 

Only in 1992 did Jack return to Ypres, retracing his steps with the author Lyn Macdonald and paying his respects to his friends who had died at the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. 

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Show and Tell.

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I made this today:

Interactive Google Map of The Western Front Association UK & Ireland Branches


This is is part of my Google Educator Level II training. Today I am working on a Google Tour > an interactive itinerary that pops up with images and text. I can also use video and 360° images which I will have a go with too in due course. 

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Free Digital Training for Google Garage

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Free Online Courses from Google Garage

The Digital Garage from Google 

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Google Certified Trainer

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 13 Jan 2020, 10:47

Google Certified Trainer Logo

Where I need to be at. 

It should be on the CV of anyone being recruited into the Learning Technologist’s role, someone who in turn needs to be a former PGCE qualified teacher, so will need to be paid a Teacher and Staff Training Consultant levels. Double their salary then!

Ten years after starting (or rebooting) my MA ODE I am earning half what I earned then! Is that progress? It certainly is not the career change I have been trying to make from 'linear and interactive training' 1985-2000 to 'digital and interactive learning'. 

The MA ODE is an add on to an experienced and qualifed educator in HE. It is less applicable to teachers in primary or secondary education. It has little to offer those from Corporate Training either - my background. it is ideal for an academic invovled in reseaching teaching best practice. It is a step towards a PhD in education.

Don't be:

A badge collector. For me it has been another A level, another degree, another course taken. I recall the story of a girl with 5 A grade A Levels not getting into Cambridge to study physics. Easy to see why. They need a specialist at one subject, not a generalist in many. That would have come out in the interview. 

It is what you do with your knowledge that matters most. 

The person who doesn’t finish. Less that 10% of start finish. It requires determination and commitment. 

Wherein lies the problem. I struggle with motivation. I work best with quick reward and feedback. 

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Google Educator Level 1

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 13 Jan 2020, 10:45

Google Certified Educator Level 1

‘Ideal for classroom teachers who are using G Suite for Education, Google Classroom or Chromebooks on a regular basis’.

I am not a classroom teacher, though I have taught classes and nearly started a PGCE this year. 

Those I support at an FE/HE College are expected to use G Suite for Education and Google Classroom extensively. 

And they and their students use Chromebooks. 

Being a ‘MacMan’ with an iBook I struggle with Chromebooks - like taking to an ice-rink in oversized welly boots sad

So much resistance. I am trying to embrace it. Like I have to stop learning French and take up Portuguese. 

What are the benefits? 

Because I have a passion for effective teaching.

New features, trips and strategies.

As part of lifelong learning.

There are likely to be 110 million students using G Suite for Education.

Can provide training and support once proficient.

Worldwide there are approximately:

Level 1 : 30,000

Level 2: 5,000

Trainers : 2,000

Innovators : 1,200 

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Learn more or die!

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Long ago I realised that my horizontal approach to learning was getting me nowhere. But that is ADHD me. Or just me.

One PhD would be better that three MAs.

Anway, at the opposite extreme, I am failing to gain my Level 1 Google Educator certificate. This reminds me of failing the paper exam for Level 1 Teaching Swimming 18 years ago. The first exam I had failed since my driving test. Give me a degree, course, an essay to write, even an A' level, or a paper for an MA, but don't test me with multiplechoice as my default mode will be to consider all possibilities feasbile!

I have also struggled with skiing, learning French, ballroom dancing, throwing a pot and climbing. My feet are still like lead when it comes to dancing, my hands are not better with clay (though I can draw a likeness and a nude). I cannot overcome the 12ft barrier with climbing - the top of a short ladder is as high as I want to get off the ground. The best part of two seasons working in the Alps and I finally cracked skiing to a standard that satisfies me. Skills take time with me, Like 100s of weeks. Amd after 40+ years of trying I am slowly mastering French (spoken at least), courtesy of regular dosages of LingVist (app) and twice a month meeting up with friends locally to spea in French at Rendez Vous a Lewes. 

So failing Google Certified Educator Level 1 sees me instead going for Google Certified Educator Level 2.

The reality for me is what I am not doing, needing and thinking about, I forget. My brain is more Teflon than Velcro. Chucking stuff at my senses does not work unless I am immersed in it, drowning in it, challenged by and suffering it. 

So wish me luck. Bored to tears by Google's own training I am looking for alternatives. What I really need is scheduled time 1 to 1 or in a class with a Google Certified Educator. There are not many of these in England. And it costs money that the institution I work for would need to pay.

On verra.

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PowToon 'Video Creator'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 10 Jan 2020, 15:15

PowToon video creator

Of value, or a distraction? Do animated graphics make a message any more or less memorable? If the script is bad not even Elton John is going to make it into a great tune.

But in the competition to distract eyeballs your way and off other devices perhaps this is the answer? Or one of them? (One of many, I've been introdocued to half a dozen similar product in the last couple of days). 

I've been introduced to these while studying for Google Educator Level 2 Certification. I'm so bored with it that I'm doing my learning in French.

I find the Google Training Center content turgid and unengaging. I therefore find it boring. I find the testimonials fake - unauthentic Americans gushing about how 'awesome' everything is. It is not. 

Google Educator Level 2 Module Two Test Results

Given my score perhaps I'd better go back to studying in English! Having a second stab at it I did rather better. This is me and 'multi-guess'. Why and got a better score and if I could replicate this in a formal test is another matter.

Google Educator Level 2 Module 3 Test Results in French

And eventually I got there. And maybe this is a good approach as I learnt a bit of French along the way!

Google Educator Level 2 Module 3 Test in French 100%

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“How shit gets done in a digital world.”

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 10 Jan 2020, 13:37

It requires the skills of the Digital Project Manager. I tried to be one of these in 2000 when i moved from a career in linear and interactive video production to building websites. Some how I have been forever lost in translation. Though I did take a five year break too smile

Digital Project Management 

  1. Software Engineering
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Ecommerce Businesses
  4. More of the work we do is digital. 
  5. “How shit gets done in a digital world.” 
  6. People, the end point of any product of service.


Principles : Ray Dalio

Inspired : Marty Cagan

Product Leadership : Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson & Nate Walkingshaw

Digital Project Management. The Complete Step-by-Step to a Successful Launch by Taylor Olson.


Coursera : UCI Introduction to Project Management


Toggl and more book recommendations. 

19 Great Project Management Books for Reading in 2019

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Design Thinking

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Design Thinking from Growth Tribe

Is this one for me? 

My interests are spread too thinkly. 

I can fall between the cracks when it comes to employabilty, whereas the game plan based on my late father's advice would have been to remain beyond the career ladder whilst gravitating to the top. He can talk, Senior Partner in a firm of solicitors, CEO of a large PLC he grew and took to the market and part-time Merchant Banker! 

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Last Mile Problem

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Last Mile Problem graphic from Growth Tribe

Had you heard of the 'last mile problem' ? It strikes me as MBA jargon. Easy to understand the metaphor? As in the last mile of a marathon run? Hitting the wall and all of that?

This is what will make UK businesses hungry after Brexit restrictions on movement from the EU. It favours the younger, mobile, Tech graduate or post-grad with the languages to travel. Most likely wanting to use their English, the busienss lingua france, they will head for Ireland. If they can they will head for North America. They could even head to India or Australia/New Zealand.

That said, my son who is working in Paris for an international business says that in the office only English is spoken! When out for lunch the native speakers may tempt him with a few words and phrases but from his point of view there is little reason to learn French. Is it the same in Germany, Italy and Spain I wonder? 

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