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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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Twitter's biggest contribution to the world might be the art of synthesis. There's a lot of talk about how Twitter is on its last legs, how the bubble will burst. As a business (or lack of one) that might be true, but what the format has done is promote a new form of writing. I've spent the last two weeks... Continue reading
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A confession: I quietly love flying. This year, I've done 163,581 miles of it. I love that when you fly a lot, the airport social media staff say 'hello' on Twitter when you arrive and the cabin crew on your home route (or even on the Brisbane-Dubai non-stop route) recognise you from last time. I like getting great service, and... Continue reading
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A prospective client sent me a link to this in-depth article on IBM's design thinking revolution, where Phil Gilbert, IBM's General Manager of Design, has hired over 1000 designers into the firm, and pushed for over 8000 of its managers and staff to get 'trained' in design thinking. They have even created specific design centres across the firm, with design... Continue reading
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NetworkEffect.io. My friend Lauren puts it this way: 'an ethernet cable into your brain'. I agree. What did it do for you? Continue reading
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So much school strategy is thunder and lightning, no rain. Teachers don't know how to use it at 9am on Monday morning, students never see it, let alone know how to take their part in making the strategy happen for real. Not in our latest workshop in Sweden. We've been working with our Swedish partners Lin Education​, with colleague Bonnie... Continue reading
I'm working on a project where we're trying to inspire engineers to think beyond improving the existing objects and services in our world, and invent what we don't even know we don't even know yet. We're getting them to bump into their own unknown unknowns. This Steve Jobs video, above, is from 1997, where he describes in anecdote how he... Continue reading
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While search technology made the process of seeking the answers to our questions easier and quicker, social technology and our networks have had a paradoxical effort. Has the ease of 'asking' numbed our curiosity to investigate unknown knowns for ourselves? There’s a strange paradox at work here. We live in an era where information is more freely available and easily... Continue reading
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Here are two great things any educator could try in their learning spaces when they get back to school, or to their office, or their library. Continue reading
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It's ten years today since I wrote my first blog post for me, and I wish we could have today's thinking with the space and time of a decade ago. 1999 I've blogged since around November 1999, one of the first users of a new, shaky service... Blogger. My first one was, as a student teacher, some kind of "making... Continue reading
Creative conflict is the ability to agree to disagree, and use the disruption of a disagreement to make your work better. It relies on the partners in disagreement to both be on top of their game, both of them respectful of the other's views on how something might be made better. Teachers seek this creative, quality feedback discourse every day... Continue reading
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No grades (ever), no sitting down at desks, and harnessing student boredom as a motivator to create and explore might seem an odd recipe for academic success and entry to university, but that is exactly what one of Scotland's newest schools is attempting to do. Drumdruan Upper School was created a few years ago by Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, star... Continue reading
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It’s been a decade since I first heard the education conference cliché that we are preparing our kids for a future we don’t even understand. I argue that since then we've done little about it, in this week's Editorial in the Times Educational Supplement. Ten years ago, that wasn’t really true. In fact, the immediate future was pretty predictable between... Continue reading
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I end this small run of blog posts with the question posed by Professor Brian Boyd at the beginning of our evening: Do we want to close the achievement gap? We know we can close the gap. It’s been done or almost been done before in Scottish education, but the answers have been ignored as they pass us by. The... Continue reading
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“Teachers like to agree with each other, when we talk about learning. It’s hard to change that, when the model we have wanted to make work has nonetheless been failing for 40 years.” Professor Brian Boyd No area has remained up there in the contentiousness charts in Scotland as the notion of business and education working together to do something... Continue reading
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Juliette Murray was, like me, a kid at school who got 5 “A”s, which in the West of Scotland put a certain degree of pressure on one’s shoulders to study either medicine or law. I studied European Law, and became a teacher - that's what a European Law degree does to you. She studied medicine and is today a practicing... Continue reading
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Almost one in five young people in Scotland wake up in the morning wondering if their country needs them. In a country that has in many ways never felt so optimistic and excited about its future, this should be a momentous wakeup call, a call-to-arms for the whole community. The line comes from the opening page of Sir Ian Wood’s... Continue reading
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A large part of NoTosh's time with schools is spent helping leaders and teachers decide upon common languages of learning. Having a shared vocabulary to describe what we're doing means we spend less time working out what we mean, and more time talking through the nuances of what makes one piece of practice exceptional and another less so - and... Continue reading
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In the Designing Spaces for Learning Masters subject I wrote and teach at Charles Sturt University, there is one week spent on Experimental Spaces. Part of that module is on making and maker culture. I purposefully didn't dote an entire one of my sixteen weeks on making, but write about it as a type of activity requiring a type of... Continue reading
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If the Scottish National Party holds the balance of power in Westminster, what would it mean for English education policy? In 48 hours the United Kingdom goes to the polls for its Westminster Parliamentary Election, choosing a new Government no matter the result. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been at the centre of debates this past week as they... Continue reading
The most common application of recursion is in mathematics and computer science, in which it refers to a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition. (Wikipedia) The Google search for recursion concurs... Continue reading
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Imagine designing a school where the bell never rings, the day never ends, that keeps students in for as long as possible, in the same way as Google has designed its campuses to keep employees happy, but working. That's what we explored during a fun field trip visit this week to Singapore Management University's SMU-X with the Facilities team and... Continue reading
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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