Scottish Government MA Enforcement Administrator – Victoria Quay, Edinburgh – closing date 11th August 2014⤴

from @ Careers

MA Surveillance Enforcement – Edinburgh – Closing date 11th Aug

Attached is a job specification for a Modern Apprentice opportunity for an Enforcement Administrator based in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh.

Please can you alert the relevant teams to this vacancy and ask that they encourage eligible young people to apply (16-24 years old, unemployed, who are capable of completing an SVQ level 2 in one year). Young people contracted to work less than 16 hrs per week are also eligible.

Unfortunately the Scottish Government cannot support to SVQ level 3 therefore young people who have already completed the SVQ level 2 in business administration would not be eligible.

Candidates should explain in their CVs specifically how they meet the competencies indicated in the job description attached and should include a short covering letter.

Closing date for applications is Monday 11th August 2014. Can I please ask that all CVs and covering letters are sent electronically to laura.mack@sds.co.uk

This position has an attractive starting salary of £16,042.

Summer reading⤴

from @ blethers

What have I been reading recently? Nice of you to ask - I have been reading more than I might, because it's been the kind of weather that allows you to read outside, and I'm an outdoorsy sort who can't bear to sit in if the sun's shining or even if it's not and ... and ... Enough. Right now I've started on Lucretia Grindle's The Lost Daughter  and I'm enjoying it hugely, in the way you  do when you've read several of an author's books and settle comfortably into the environment - in this case Florence - and the characters (Italian cops) you've met before. I continue to be slightly irritated by the writer's tick of consigning adjectival clauses to a separate sentence more than once (once is fine, but it's too distinctive a trait to use more often), but she writes a good tale and the setting is terrific.

I'll not go on about that, however, because I'm just settling in - though I may return for a final thought. Before embarking on the Grindle I was reading the deeply unsettling The Disappeared, by Kim Echlin. Set in Canada and Cambodia, this is a story of the Killing Fields, so I'm now considerably more clued up on Pol Pot and the horrors of that era than I was in the 70s, when I was too preoccupied with bringing up children. As I shall be visiting Cambodia and Vietnam next year, it seemed a good way for a fiction fiend to pick up some history, and a pretty ghastly history it is. Echlin writes in an elegiac way that incorporates Cambodian words into her dialogue and reflects the music that brings the lovers of her story together, but under the poetry of her language is an undercurrent of tension that meant I sometimes had to stop reading (at bedtime, usually) before I was ready to.

I read another thought-provoking book in Frankie and Stankie, by Barbara Trapido. This is a delightfully-narrated account of growing up in the South Africa that existed while I was a child, the South Africa of growing apartheid seen through the eyes of the child of white liberals who nevertheless mingled with the rest of white society - though they took a dim view of the Afrikaaners, whom they saw as boorish country clods. The child-like clarity of the prose means that events happen without necessarily being interpreted; with our hindsight we are able to see how things gathered their own ghastly momentum and changed a world even as its inhabitants watched. I'm glad to have read it.

And then there was the appropriately seasonal Instructions for a Heatwave, by Maggie O'Farrell. This is the story of a family, beautifully and lovingly told, with fascinating flashbacks gradually explaining what is happening and making it possible for the family to continue. I especially enjoyed the seemingly effortless mastery of the writer, the firm grasp of tense, the fine strokes of characterisation. Set in the heatwave of July 1976 - a heatwave in London which was not, I can tell you with all the authority of a diarist, a heatwave in Dunoon - the writer keeps the heat there, oppressively present without being over-described, so that you are constantly aware of the difficulties of coping rationally with any crisis. I saved this one up for the appropriate season, and it went down a treat.

And now, chums, I'm away back to Florence. I'm not after all going to say any more till I'm finished. The sun is shining in the garden and I want to read ...

Why not?, and the power of getting on with it⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

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We are all artists. But not all of us should exhibit.

So says John Hegarty in "There Are No Rules", which I continue to dip into during my break in Tuscany. I laughed when I read this line, because, in my own drawing/sketches case, it's too true. We can all be creative, but not all creative produce is equally stop-you-in-your-tracks creative. The thing is, you don't know until you start to create, whether or not it's going to be worth exhibiting. You've just got to start. And this is why starting is so hard - we can be fearful that what we produce will not be worth exhibiting, so we don't even bother to start it off.

But when I'm on holiday, I don't care so much about what other people think. Most tourists display this characteristic, with their clothing choices perhaps, or their behaviour in the bars on the Southern Spanish coast. I display this characteristic in "having a go" at things I'm normally afraid of wasting time on: writing, drawing and sketching.

I tend to create more on holiday than I do during the working year, the audiences being smaller (Facebookers are also on holiday, the readership lower, the conferences closed for another season) and the canvas being less daunting. One of my favourite holidayish things to do is to draw on paper placemats before my meal arrives, using my daughters' coloured pencils to create whatever comes to mind. I've spent this week on honing my horses skills, learning how to draw them again (when I was 3, I could draw a good horse, jumping over a hedgerow).

During the working year, all of this would draw a simple question: "Why, Ewan?". But during holidays, no-one questions WHY I want to draw horses. On placemats.

It's the distinct lack of "why?", in fact, and the implied criticism that seems to come with those three letters, that relaxes me, helps me concentrate, helps me focus my efforts on one thing, and doing it best I can, and often a little bit better than that, in fact. No devil's advocate. No "have you thought about doing cats instead?". No "why?".

Just a "why not...?"

Cross-posted to the fabulous NoTosh Facebook wall.

You can pre-order my new book, to be released in August: How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually make Them Happen.

Engagement in Deep Learning⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

If we truly want to connect with students in ways that will activate them to be self-driven lifelong learners, then we must be authentic, deeply engaged learners ourselves.  Deep learning is infectious and if the conditions are fertile, it will flourish. Invitation from @fkelly This post is a reflection on engagement in response to a recent […]

The most important thing you need to know about creativity⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

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I am on holiday. It’s a rare beast and, at some point in every couple of weeks of Tuscan bliss, comes a sliver of two minutes where I might get a chance to write. To write anything. Something. My new book, finally due for release this August after five weeks of delays, redesign and reprinting to our satisfaction, started its life on my breakfast terrace while on holiday here in Donnini, about 45 minutes east of Florence. As with all writing, I was starting with a blank page.

This summer’s reading includes my advertising hero John Hegarty On Creativity: There Are No Rules, in which he gives 50 rules for being creative. The first one is called “The Blank Page”. His point: if you want to be creative then you’d better get creative. While all of us start with a literal blank page, none of us have a metaphorical blank page. The trick is finding out the thing you roughly want to write about (or paint, or draw, or sketch as stickmen, or film) and then, for goodness’ sake, get it started.

Having ideas is not about finding a creative muse on a Tuscan vineyard, although I can vouch for the fact that the view and copious Chianti Classico helps. Heck, add some Prosecco and wild things might leap off the page. Creativity, whether you’re writing a strategy or painting views, is about STARTING.

What will you start today?

My first book, How To Come Up With Great Ideas And Actually Make Them Happen, is due for release this August (five weeks late ;-). You can pre-order your iBook or Paperback version on our site now. Kindle version to follow.

Scottish Government MA Admin Support Officer⤴

from @ Careers

MA Admin Support Officer – Parole Board – Closing Date 31st July

Scottish Government MA Admin Support Officer, Parole Board Scotland, Saughton House, Edinburgh – closing date 31st July 2014

Attached is a job description for a Modern Apprentice opportunity for an MA Admin Support Officer based in Saughton House, Edinburgh within the Parole Board Executive.

Please can you alert the relevant teams to this vacancy and ask that they encourage eligible young people to apply (16-24 years old, unemployed, who are capable of completing an SVQ level 2 in one year). Young people contracted to work less than 16 hrs per week are also eligible.

Unfortunately the Scottish Government cannot support to SVQ level 3 therefore young people who have already completed the SVQ level 2 in business administration would not be eligible.

Candidates should explain in their CVs specifically how they meet the competencies indicated in the job description attached and should include a short covering letter.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 31st July 2014. Can I please ask that all CVs and covering letters are sent electronically to laura.mack@sds.co.uk

This position has an attractive starting salary of £16,042.

The department is keen that the successful candidate start as soon as possible, although security checks may take 4 weeks.

Scottish Government MA Business Administrator⤴

from @ Careers

MA Business Administrator – Marine Scotland – closing date 6th August

Scottish Government MA Business Administrator, Marine Scotland, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh – closing date 6th August 2014

Attached is a job description for a Modern Apprentice opportunity for an MA Business Administrator based in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh with Marine Scotland.

Please can you alert the relevant teams to this vacancy and ask that they encourage eligible young people to apply (16-24 years old, unemployed, who are capable of completing an SVQ level 2 in one year). Young people contracted to work less than 16 hrs per week are also eligible.

Unfortunately the Scottish Government cannot support to SVQ level 3 therefore young people who have already completed the SVQ level 2 in business administration would not be eligible.

Candidates should explain in their CVs specifically how they meet the competencies indicated in the job description attached and should include a short covering letter.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 6th August 2014. Can I please ask that all CVs and covering letters are sent electronically to laura.mack@sds.co.uk

This position has an attractive starting salary of £16,042.

The department is keen that the successful candidate start as soon as possible, although security checks may take 4 weeks.

EdChats by Numbers⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories


Any regular readers of my blog will know that the changing landscape of EdTech sales intrigues me. This has led me to exploring the importance of sales in the EdTech ecosystem, social selling, EdTech review sites and other alternative rollout processes... which includes EdChats.

Given my sales background, and the fact that I am on the supplier side of the fence, I've perhaps viewed EdChats from a slightly different perspective from other participants who are mainly educators. I've found that EdChats;
  • Have been a great listening post to hear what concerns educators have on various topics
  • Has been the where a quiet revolution is taking place with word of mouth sales in EdTech
But it has been difficult to listen to all the conversations when there are so many EdChats, but given what I've learned from the chats that I do join, I felt it was important to try.

For example, in the first 5 weeks of #EdTechChat I noticed that 40 companies were mentioned almost 400 times... and not one of these companies were present (I don't know if these companies even replied to the Tweets, if they did, they didn't appear to use the EdChat hashtag).

How many other EdChats were promoting the EdTech products that they liked in this way? 

I set out to explore this and have continued to do so at various times over the last 18 months.This exploration has been a source of frustration and opportunities in equal measure;

Mining Data...Nuggests of Gold & Pearls of Wisdom
ISTE13 Conference Twitter Data
The Connected #EdChatModerator
ISTE13 Reflections: Record, Rewind & Replay

I felt that the ideas that I had about some kind of EdChat moderator resources had merit but, until recently, couldn't find a platform that could deliver this kind of functionality.

NB I feel that the way that Voxer has rolled out amongst educators has confirmed the potential role that Twitter and EdChats can play with the adoption of effective tech.

EdChat Resources 
Last month I found out that the Twitter Chat platform, Nurph, had developed a Chat record and replay function recently which included the kind of analytics that I felt would deliver value to individual EdChats and help to drive EdChats collectively forward in a number of ways.

I discussed my ideas with Nurph who confirmed that the features that I was looking for would be possible, so we imported all the EdChat details into the Nurph & Chat Salad, and have been working on an EdChat strategy document.

We are about to enter into a consultation phase where we share our ideas with EdChat moderators to get their feedback before confirming the development of these plans. EdChats will be the focus of my next few posts to compliment this work, starting with this post which looks at some EdChat stats.

Moderator Best Practice and Cmgr Support
I've been joining Community Manager hangout every Friday since I heard about this group 6-7 months ago and have found this to be a fantastic source of information and ideas for the kind of ethical and welcome approach that I feel suppliers will need to effectively engage with educators.

I don't see many EdChat moderators attend any #Cmgr events but think they would get a lot out of them. I have assisted some of the moderators at the EdChats I join by passing on advice from these #Cmgrhangout sessions. For any moderators reading this post I think you will find these 4 #cmgrhangouts particularly useful;
I also think that most educators would benefit from some #Cmgrhangout sessions for engaging students, parents, employers and other stakeholders (more on that in a future post).

For the purposes of EdChats one of the main reasons that I feel this is important is because;

“Starting a community is the easy part… keeping people and growing the community is the hard part” David DeWald, Experienced Community builder during a weekly #Cmrghangout session.

Community building is not easy! Anyone who is trying to do so needs all the help they can get! In Managing Online Forums Patrick O'Keefe goes into the minutia of this topic. The kind of detail that he goes into when discussing choosing a name is phenomenal, the reason for this detail is because "You don't need anything extra weighing against you" when building a community... For an EdChat this could include the time you choose.

EdChats by Numbers
We've identified at least 219 EdChats with a total of 482 moderators. However, the difficulty with establishing an EdChat can be evidenced by the fact that some 86 other EdChats have been established at some point but appear to have been abandoned.

The feedback I have gotten has been due to the fact that there was lack of participation and moderators found the time involved to organise was significant. How much did some of these factors play a role:

Time of EdChat: There are 10-15 EdChats on during these times
Monday       20:00-22:00 ET
Wednesday  20:00-22:00 ET
Thursday     21:00-22:00 ET

EdChat Focus: Geographic based: 58, Subject Based: 44, Tech Based: 24, Student Services, Counseling & College Admissions: 19, Professional Development: 15, Leadership/Admin: 13, Age Based: 11, Teaching Methods: 7, Library: 6, Faith Based: 6, New Teacher: 4, Private Edu Based: 4, Student Based: 2, Assessments: 2

Number of Moderators: 3 EdChats have more than 10 moderators; 28 EdChats have between 4-9 moderators sharing the load, the rest have less than 3 people.

EdChat Branding: 48 EdChats have a Twitter account that matches the EdChat hashtag; 79 have account currently available, 84 accounts are taken (Although 57 of these appear to be dormant).

Even the most proficient Twitter user will struggle to keep up with 15 EdChats at any one time and, as keen as I am on all things EdTech, attending 24 chats a week on the topic sure would take its toll (I currently attend 10 Twitter chats a week and that's enough of a challenge!)

However, with (at least) 219 active Twitter EdChats there are a lot of analytics and data that can help current moderators with their community building efforts, and to assist any aspiring moderators. Here's just one example of this: EdChat Twitter Accounts


Missing EdChats & Consultation
We have a number of ideas and more data like this in our strategy document (Including an idea to get moderators to events like ISTE FOC), if you are a moderator and would like to receive a copy of the plans we have to develop some dedicated EdChat resources please let me know.

Also, while we have spent a while sourcing all these EdChats we know that new EdChats may have been established please feel free to let us know of any new chats in the comment box below or complete the details on this link: EdChat Survey (or if any changes are required for an existing EdChat).

Please also keep an eye out for other posts including "EdChat Moderators: ISTE or Bust"