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Ewan McIntosh
Edinburgh, Scotland
Creating digital media products that have the potential to change people's lives
Recent Activity
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In 2007, I posted a picture of me blogging, with a one month old Catriona in one arm, one-handed typing on the other: One year later, I had stopped writing on my blog regularly (until this month) for many reasons: At Channel 4 in 2008, I was so unschool in my work that I felt totally uninformed and uninspired to... Continue reading
This is what they call a "forward" post. I wrote it yesterday, when I had wifi and time, and am posting under today's date. I have a (reasonable) expectation that I will be alive tomorrow, and that this will not, therefore, freak out anyone unduly. In the early days of blogging with my school students, back in 2002/3, I'd use... Continue reading
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This morning I set off for Dubai, and on to Hong Kong and Nanjing, before returning for a couple of days in Dubai, and then home in time for tea on Friday. It's a hectic week, with a lot of time in the plane. Something I've noticed over the past year is that flights have become longer. Most of the... Continue reading
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This landmark, required to cope with the overwhelming population growth on either side of the river and increased river traffic to the upper parts of the Thames, was borne out of many, mostly failed, prototypes, most in the form of sketches. Continue reading
Designing the unknown | Long Version (25min) from CGS Mines ParisTech on Vimeo. Sometimes the 28 days of writing is really the 25 minutes of watching. My question: when a teacher uses Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe's backwards design or understanding by design type methodology for learning, and nothing else, will your students ever experience the more real-world feeling of... Continue reading
This would be the kind of learning analytics I might start to get excited by. Continue reading
What might we learn for learning from television drama? Continue reading
Given the number of comments left on the first 14 days of this 2015 writing adventure compared to the flowing discussions oneight have seen 10 years ago, I'm not sure anyone cares about many blog posts any more. Continue reading
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I've been shown hundreds of 'flexible learning spaces' over the years, and none of them are any more flexible than the addition of a wheel here and there might allow. In fact, if you look on Google for 'flexible learning spaces', the above panoply of wheel-laden MDF and plastic is what you discover. Now, I'm all for the wheel -... Continue reading
Reggie Watts breaks me up every time I hear the beginning of this TED Talk. It's funny because, so many times before, I've heard this kind of faux-erudite nonsense from self-proclaimed intelligentsia, in an unfunny context. It comes from people who want to look smart, instead of just being smart. Click play and read along...: "... and that's one of... Continue reading
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Far from the afterthought or polishing to which the task is often reduced, getting the wordsmithing right as you create your strategy is vital if you want people to really believe in it. Continue reading
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Most schools are state schools, so the idea that leadership might spend time working out a competitive position, or value proposition, often seems absurd. Surely that is an exercise the preserve of private schools and, even more so, private business? State schools are for local kids - the value proposition is that the school is closest to your home. Period.... Continue reading
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At a concert in Gothenburg Concert Hall October 23, 2013, Christian Zacharias stopped playing in the middle of Haydn's Piano Concerto, interrupted by a cell phone ringing for the second time the same concert. Was he right to stop? In this interview, that I've used in two recent keynotes on creativity and failure, Zacharias makes the point that listening to... Continue reading
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Does your organisation have a high level vision statement? That's it. On page three of the strategy document no-one reads. The motto that makes everyone roll their eyes slightly. It probably involves something to do with excellence, being "the best", or caring, or striving, or something else with a similar drone. What if I suggested that you might come up... Continue reading
Designing the unknown | Long Version (25min) from CGS Mines ParisTech on Vimeo. In short: you don't know what you don't know. And given that you do not know you don't know it, there's no way for you to ask specific-enough a question to get a specific answer back, from Google or for a friend. It is the theory behind... Continue reading
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This is Saturday's #28daysofwriting, written on Saturday February 7th, but not typed up until Monday February 9th. Why? At the weekend I make every attempt to unplug from technology. Most of my best ideas do not happen while staring at a screen, small or large, but from doing the opposite: experiencing life around me. Stating this will annoy some of... Continue reading
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I picked up this Sporf in Amsterdam Schipol airport. A spork I'd seen before, but the addition of a simple serration on the side of the fork end makes this a genuine "three-in-one" implement for eating one's full three-course takeaway meal on the plane. The sporf is no innovation; back in 1940 the "sporf" was born. It took me until... Continue reading
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The original limited edition version of my book, How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, is down to its last few copies barely 10 weeks after we received crates of them. This was the full-colour 'beautiful' book that I had wanted to make, but its manufacture was incredibly (and surprisingly) complex. Once the last copies... Continue reading
This morning in Edmonton I'll be giving a keynote made up almost entirely of musical metaphors for educators. I've only given the talk once, but it proved particularly powerful with my group of Swedish educators at the time, because you don't need to speak great English to understand the lessons we can learn for our own classrooms. In the excerpt... Continue reading
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Kurt Vonnegut, writer and famous speech giver at US university graduation ceremonies, made this point to one group of soon-to-be-non-students: If this isn't nice, I don't know what is. It is the end of a story about his grandpa who, on a summer's afternoon, would find the shade of a tree under which he could rest with a glass of... Continue reading
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I can't stand it when people say they want to "think out of the box". I try my best to hide the pain on my face, muscles enter involuntary spasm, and I smile back knowing that the mission ahead is going to be a delicate one. It was adman legendaire Gerry Farrell, last Friday, who helped me understand why my... Continue reading
You just distracted me from prepping my workshop today. Thanks.
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Last Friday the legendary Creative Director Gerry Farrell gave a talk about all things 'ugly', and many stories revolved around how we deal with failure, or apparent failure. In one story he talked about Angostura Bitters, an alcoholic mixer with which I had a brief relationship during a passing phase of enjoying the ladies' drink "Long Vodka". In the early... Continue reading
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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... Continue reading
When you don't 'get' something, when there's something you've not got that gets in the way of building your idea, do you put your hands up and wait until the next piece in your puzzle becomes available, or do you just make stuff happen with the resources you've got - are you a puzzle maker who struggles when a piece... Continue reading