#28daysofwriting – it starts with one⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education


A confession: our team at NoTosh has had blog guilt for years, and we keep having tense conversations about why we can't better share the amazing work the team and our clients get up to.

We developed a new website two years ago, with a flurry of writing, but haven't updated it half as much as we'd want to. We all have our own individual blogs which we update when... we have a holiday. If our time is not spent in the high energy, high adrenalin of engaging with thousands of teachers at an event, or the intensity of one business leader over the table, it is in the deep troughs of loneliness and boredom that come with sitting on planes for hours, or facing off the computer screen at the home office. 

Well, I know one thing: a good idea never came out of a computer. Great ideas come out of people's heads, and they come from experiences that have provoked them, jarred them, annoyed them, made them laugh or made them cry. The most vibrant of these experiences are not found on our Facebook walls; they are in the world around us.

My colleague Tom, who came up with this idea of 28 minutes of uninterrupted writing over each of February's 28 days, has kicked off what might become a kind of 'writers' anonymous' (indeed, I've fallen off the wagon twice already in this paragraph, helping my daughter work out how to programme her Dash and Dot). A group of fellow bloggers - writers who share their stuff straightaway - who can provide the mutual kick up the backside that no-one else is going to give you.

What do I plan to do with my 28 days? I have no plan at all. Most of my writing is planned - my 60,000 words of book writing was planned. Most of it is to deadlines - while I wrote my book I underestimated the effort it would take to also write 50,000 words of a new Masters course. A large chunk of my writing just needs done (if you've had an email from me this past week, that's you).

But my 28 days of writing, no matter how much arse-kicking my fellow blogging travellers give me, does not need done, and this is no doubt what will compel me to thump out my 28 minutes, every day, without fail.

My only foreseeable challenge with this 'writers' anonymous'? My writing is akin to an alcoholic's drinking - I go cold turkey for weeks on end, but once I start, I find it hard to stop. Keeping to just one 28 minute stint a day will be the challenge.

Here endeth the lesson / the first 28 minutes.

College Development Network⤴

from @ .........Experimental Blog

I am settling in to a new office and new role and this week between snow showers I had a moment to enjoy the view .  I am looking forward to our mission to reinvigorate support to the further education sector in Scotland and take our support services out to new customers too.

I've been interviewed a few times this month - I've set out my ideas here. 

It has been a great month to arrive - I have already been able to meet most College Principals and Regional Chairs and our other partner agencies

Labour (and the SNP) have missed the point on educational inequality⤴

from @ I've Been Thinking

Last month I wrote a blog post (an edited version of which has also been published by TESS) in response to the SQA’s pronouncement that their new appeals process had been a success. I disagreed with this assessment, arguing that the new system would in fact exacerbate the issue of educational inequality in Scotland. To my […]

Links for 2015-01-29 [del.icio.us]⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

SNP and GE15⤴

from @ Questions and Reflections

The Scottish Referendum campaign was marked by a very timid approach to their message by the SNP. They obviously did not want to appear extreme to the middle of the road voter but as a result failed to garner their votes and possibly also failed to convert some undecided voters to the Yes camp. David Knowles has recently written about converts here. Many people have been converted to the renewal of Scotland through participation in the Referendum and the SNP must talk their language.

That means not sinking to the level of the other parties trying to hedge their bets for their positions after the election. The SNP message should be loud and clear. “Vote for us, the only party who will put the Scottish People’s interests first”. They should ignore any attempt to get them into a duel of weasel words. Be simple. Be evangelistic. That is the Scottish mood.

Filed under: General Election 2015, Independence, Social and Politics

During the Hackday⤴

from @ Mainland Adventures

Only a couple days left till the first hackday…………I am very excited to say the least. Had a couple of people asking what they need to bring.


I would say a Laptop and perhaps a headset is all you need on top of your subject knowledge, energy and professionalism.

The plan for the day is arrive from 9.30 am at Microsoft’s Edinburgh Office. We have arranged for some Bacon rolls as a welcome. I will do an introduction.

Then its up to those who are in the space. You decide what you want to do, how long you want to work on it. You decide it you develop a structure or start building specific parts or resources. Want to do something in particular just ask. We might not know an answer but we will all be keen to learn.


Sandwiches will be brought. Should we all stop or should we let people just snack and break when they have a natural break?

I do not expect anything to be finished on the day. This is a starting point, not a finish.

Last point is for the couple of people who want to help and will be online. I will set up Lync Meeting room that we can dip in and out of as well as a shared online work space.

If you haven’t signed up but interested in joining us, either now or in the future, then please get in touch. Sign up HackDay No.1 go to the online spreadsheet 

So looking forward to building the community