In this issue: blockchains, slackers, badges, and systems.
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Issue #8: October 2015

Dynamic Skillset

NFC-enabled business cards


As you receive this, I'll be on a family holiday in Gozo. It's my first proper holiday since setting up as a consultant (a long weekend spent camping doesn't count...)

In October I began to scale back slightly my work with City & Guilds. It's a conscious choice in order to diversify my client list. Over the past few weeks I accepted a couple of speaking engagements and a workshop, and extended my initial contract with London CLC.

The image above shows NFC-enabled business cards that sparked a very collaboration with Bryan Mathers. In fact, it led to a video explaining how they can be used. We're moving on to think how they could be used with Open Badges next.

Availability update

My four-day working week experiment is working well. In October, all four days were taken by City & Guilds. That will change when I return from holiday and I go down to three days with them.

As a result, I'll have one day free per week for other clients in November. In practice, most of this will be taken up by work for London CLC around a digital skills framework, and preparing for some workshops/keynotes.

Looking further ahead:
  • December: two weeks working three days/week with City & Guilds + one day/week free for other clients + two weeks holiday
  • January: four weeks working two days/week with City & Guilds + two days/week free for other clients
I'm interested in working with awesome people on interesting projects. I specialise in taking hard, complicated things and explaining them in a way that makes them more accessible.

If you've got something that you think I could help withthen just hit 'reply' on this email! Initial consultations are free.


*In Case You Missed It.
World's First School to Issue Academic Certificates via Bitcoin Blockchain

World's First School to Issue Academic Certificates via Bitcoin Blockchain

Back in March I wrote an article for DMLcentral that outlined a similar scenario to this: issuing Open Badges backed by blockchain technology. Even if you've no idea what this means, reading both articles linked above should get you up-to-speed quickly. Bonus points for reading this. Exciting times!

Solidarity for Slackers — a Medium publication

Solidarity for Slackers — a Medium publication

This month, a few of us who trade ideas, updates, and banter on a Slack channel, set up a new publication on Medium. We syndicate posts from our own blogs there, using the POSSE model. It's an eclectic mix, which you'll probably like.

Digital Badge Artwork: The power of first impressions

Digital Badge Artwork: The power of first impressions

Although a pretty basic guide, this is a useful approach to thinking through the visual design of badges. Although I do like a good hexagon (tessellation!) it's good to see badges of all different shapes, sizes, and colours.

Are You an Outsider Trying To Change A Broken System?

Are You an Outsider Trying To Change A Broken System?

This short but excellent post on the Farnam Street blog by Shane Parrish explains how broken our systems are in the West. We'll never get anywhere if insiders only listen to other insiders.

Leading Groups: Dealing with Too Cool for School & Other Personalities

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

I'll be reducing this further after Christmas, but if you're in the market for an e-book that helps to make sense of the digital literacies landscape, use the code gimme10 to get 10% off at checkout!

I'd love to hear your feedback once you've read it. :)

TIDE: Today In Digital Education

TIDE: Today In Digital Education

TIDE is a weekly podcast I record with Dai Barnes. It's deliberately long-form, giving us a chance to get our teeth into issues around educational technology and digital strategy.

You can find TIDE via iTunes, SoundCloud, this RSS feed — or just by searching for it in your favourite podcast app!

Dr. Doug Belshaw
Dr. Doug Belshaw is the founder of Dynamic Skillset. He is an internationally-recognised open educator with experience across most educational sectors.

Doug has worked with many high-profile organisations and holds a BA (Hons) Philosophy, MA in Modern History, PGCE (Secondary History) and Ed.D. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the topic of digital literacy.
CC BY 2015 Dynamic Skillset, Some rights reserved.