These visual thoughts are usually a result of a conversation, stumbling across a blog post or someone tweeting some verbiage at me. All these images are available for use under a Creative Commons licence - I’m always interested to hear how you used them.

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Innovation

“I don’t know if I even believe in innovation”. The words escaped my mouth at an event I was speaking at this week. We were talking about innovative uses of technology in Further Education. It seems to me that innovation is only innovation in hindsight: “wow! that thing we made was really innovative.” Even though, at the time it might have felt like fumbling in the dark…

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The conditions of innovation

It’s easy for a manager to say the meaningless statement “Let’s be more innovative!”. In contrast, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a manager say the much more intentional statement “Let’s create the conditions and the processes that will allow us to be innovative.” The right mix of people. The space outside normal work routines. Time to poke and prod a problem. Nibbles and caffeine. Friendly feedback.

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Different isn’t wrong

When I lived in Tanzania, I had to keep reminding myself of this. So much of what felt wrong was simply cultural. This mantra probably features highly in “how to achieve stuff with a bunch of people who aren’t like you”, if someone would actually take the trouble to write it…

Pretty simple — but ultimately liberating, I found.

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Pull yourself together

In the last couple of years I’ve increasingly reflected on my own mental health, and those of the people I work with. I’ve realised how little I know. So when I stumbled across this blog post by Julia Skinner, this thought jumped out of the page and hit me on the head…

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Defender of the Commons…

Hey!
My buddy created that image. I really think you should attribute him as he spent quite a bit of time creating it. Otherwise, how will anyone else know that this image is available for them to use under creative commons as well?

I love these people – these defenders of the commons. Power to their elbows!

This thinkery comes from a thoroughly enjoyable conversation with Alan Levine.

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An oppressive education

To love learning. Is this not the very purpose of life? But this is the stuff you need to know — just get on with knowing it.

My worry is that the purpose of our current system is not to engender a love of learning (and the enjoyment of the hard work that it requires) — but the gaining of certain privileged credentials, whatever the cost.

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Withered Tree

I took my 3 kids out of school in order to support the stand against the increased importance placed on SATs, summative tests for primary school children in English state schools, which place a supreme importance on Maths and English, as if those were the only two subjects that matter. Please note, dear reader, I’m a BIG fan of my kid’s school, it’s leadership and it’s teachers.

We spent the day creating things. First on paper, then on devices, and lastly using a makey-makey kit, Lego and Scratch to create our own basic electric piano for the man-shed.

This thinkery was created by my 11yo (who has now sat his SATs). I simply formatted the text around the side of the tree.

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Blowing up the SATS

Revolution doesn’t happen until the middle-classes are revolting on Minecraft…

This thinkery was conceived of and constructed by my 11yo during our day of striking against the SATS.

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If you’d like to throw me a thought, or would like to commission an image, please get in touch below or if its easier, via twitter.
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