145 posts categorized "World of Ewan"

January 12, 2010

Games Based Learning Conference: book your earlybird rate with me

Games Based Learning 2010
I'm delighted to be speaking at The International Game Based Learning Conference in London, March 29th-30th. But you've only got until January 31st until the earlybird rate - saving you at least £200 - runs out.

Games Based Learning is one of the fastest growing conferences focused on the positive impact that video games and social media are having on learning.

It will be one of the first major events at which I'll be speaking as part of the wider work of my new digital media and education company, the straight-up and no-nonsense NoTosh. More on that at the end of this week.

There's already a fascinating mix of speakers, from such a wide variety of backgrounds (education, military, healthcare, entertainment, corporate training) that discussions are bound to be outstanding:

Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister for Culture and the Creative Industries
Siobhan Reddy & Kareem Ettouney, Co-founders, Media Molecule
Matt Mason, Author, The Pirates Dilemma
Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Education, Channel 4 [blog]
Michael Acton Smith, CEO, Mind Candy
Derek Robertson, Learning & Teaching Scotland
Stephen Heppell, heppell.net
Ewan McIntosh, CEO, NoTosh [website coming soon]
Jonathan Stewart, Director, Hollier Medical Simulation Centre
Major Roy Evans, British Army, Ministry of Defence

If you'd like to be included in this line-up please submit a proposal or you may wish to participate in the international research strand. Submission deadline is January 31st.

In the meantime, make sure you book your tickets before the end of the month to get the cheapest rate possible.

My Top 20 On The Web: and yours? #mytop20

AllMediaScotland asked me to line up my top 20 sites, apps or feeds and, of course, it's one of those impossible-to-hone -down lists. I took up the challenge, though, and picked 20 from my "Read Me First" folder on Google Reader. Have a look and see if there are any new ones on there for you, and then, if the desire takes you, post your own top 20 with the tag #mytop20

January 01, 2010

Happy New Year 2010 from Edinburgh

Thanks 2009 for a happy daughter and saintly wife, a job that didn't exist two years ago, and the chance to try something new. Thanks for a new home and to all of those who've helped keep the roof over our heads and keep our plates full.

2010, a decade for which we still have no name: a true blank sheet of paper where anything is possible if you make it happen. With Edinburgh's amazing Hogmanay fireworks over the Castle, I bid you a Happy New Year!

* Thanks to BBC Scotland for the video clip [and not, in this season of goodwill, sending a take down order too soon], and to, well, me and my fellow Edinburgers for the over-the-top Council Tax contributions that paid for the big bangs. ;-)

January 01, 2009

Happy New Year. Really?

The world in 2009 is set to be gloomy be you poor or well-off, a C2 or A1, employed or self-employed. Except if you're a teacher in the stat system or working as a startup in the online creative sector.

The former will see growth as rich kids from the private schools transfer to the comp as mummy and daddy-the-former-investment-banker can't afford to pay the fees any more, the latter enjoying a good part of a £1 billion (or $1b or €1b) innovation fund from the UK Government, and 4iP in Scotland continuing to attract proportionally more investment and potential spend than any other area in the UK.

For the rest of you, many of whose place in a web-driven world will only become more fudged unless significant change occurs soon, the Rev IM Jolly sums it up. Happy New Year indeed.

For the hard of understanding, this is meant to be wry, as in 'Scotch and'.

December 27, 2008

Another city, another night away from home...

Hotel door Apart from the camisole, Meg's rundown of her nights away from home is incredibly similar - nay, entirely - to all those that I've had this past year in my three-and-a-half times around the world this year. I'm rather glad that I'll be seeing far fewer of those double king beds and impossible wifi instructions in '09.

November 24, 2008

edu.blogs.com - 7th most reach in the UK online scene

Red phone box For the first time NowPublic have done their metrics testing of who, in the UK, has the most reach in terms of broadband broadcasting, and I'm delighted to be pitched at No. 7 amongst some stellar company.

“The goal of NowPublic’s MostPublic Index is to measure—on a completely transparent, metric-driven basis—who has the greatest digital reach and is most effectively broadcasting their own personal brand online,” said Leonard Brody, CEO of NowPublic.

Worthy of note is that I'm three places ahead of big bro, Neil (well, you've got to have some brotherly competition, no?) and a bevvy of Guardian blogerati, and just ahead of comic legend Stephen Fry and BBC political blogger Nick Robinson. Also blushing to be ahead of the guy who really pushed me into working on my tod, Euan Semple.

There are some other great blogs and sites to try out there, and vary your reading list a bit. I bet that's what people are saying about my blog (who/how/why the hell..?)

Pic; Red boxes

September 20, 2008

Shanghai. Credit Crunch. Boxer Shorts

Alex_cartoon_boxer_shorts_3 Former colleague Penny Sim was quick to spot the connection between my predicament in Shanghai, its quaint resolution and the credit crunch cartoon from Alex in this week's Telegraph. I just thought it was a novel way to get three seemingly unconnected words together in one blog post title.

September 19, 2008

On boxer shorts, and a' that

Alex_cartoon_boxer_shorts It's true. I could have come half way around the world to Shanghai with nothing but carry-on luggage and the saintly wife of Mr Thinking Stick, who went out this morning to get some boxer shorts from Carrefour for me. Jolly nice they are, too. Something to remember the trip by, if you will. Former colleague Penny Sim at LTS was quick enough in her Twitter and newsreading skills to find the Telegraph's topical cartoon that might just go someway to explaining my predicament. Thankfully, I have the Utechts to get me out of this particular crunch.

July 24, 2008

Almost Expired, but not quite: my best worst job

ExpiredThe blog has been really quiet this past couple of weeks, down to the quantity of face-to-face, travel, canoeing and wrapping up of some major projects that has somewhat swamped me. Coming up over the next few weeks will be a series of small-ish blog posts, covering my thoughts, workshops, films and presentations that I've been developing this past month in the States. In the meantime, to reassure that I have not indeed expired, please let me take Christian Long up on his invitation from last June.

Way back in the beginning of June, Christian posted an interesting meme: what's the "worst job" you ever had that, ironically, helped prepare you to one day become an educator? For me, hands down, it was one of the best worst jobs I had as a student that wins the accolade: copy taker at the Edinburgh Evening News "Pink".

The Pink was a Saturday newspaper published by the Scotsman family of papers which, within 15 minutes of the final whistles being blown on football matches around the country, was sitting on the shelves of Edinburgh newsagents and being shoved into the hands of fans as they left the stadium. It's no surprise that such a high-speed print operation became defunct in 2002, an age where people began to get full-time results as text messages on their mobile phones and, increasingly, video highlights and match commentaries through the same devices within seconds of the events occurring.

However, the flow of work there was a great lesson in making a crust through speed, accuracy, good humour and, yes, homework. Let me explain.

The reporters out around the country would phone in to the Scotsman offices around five times each over a Saturday afternoon: the pre-match period about 30 minutes before kick-off with the team names (all those Eastern European ones with no vowels being spelt out at great pain to the reporter) and an atmospheric team news paragraph, which would be para number two; the first half full-time scores (these would arrive within as much as twenty minutes of the actual half-time whistle in a slow-moving match) and two more paragraphs; the beginning of the second half (with any team changes and fresh scores); just before full-time, with the 'final score' (in inverted commas since we were going to press without knowing for sure) and then, only if something changed in the dying moments of the match, a fifth and final call would be made with great excitement and the fresh score news.

The person who got all this information and had to get it through into a system that the sub-editors could work with, and apply to the actual page, was the copytaker. I was one of a team of about six. I was the only male. And the only one under 50 (and some: I was only 17 when I started).

Worse still, kids, I had lied to get the job, saying I could touch type at sixty words per minute. I could go fast but, much like today, I went to the "go-as-hell-a-fast-as-you-can" school of typing, which necessitated three things: nerves of steel, great confidence in one's fingers to 'feel' it and, finally, sight of the letters on the keyboard.

When I came down for the initial interview and typing test I was read a story from the day's paper. As Margaret Turner, my superb but nippy potential boss, began to read, I looked down to begin rattling the keyboard.

Shit. No letters.

I had never come across the problem certain female computer users must face every day. With long artificial nails, these 50 plussers had managed to scrub out any sign that had ever appeared on those grey-with-dirt keyboards. They were now completely blank.

I kicked my memory into overtime as I spent at least three sentences-worth of job interview and typing test starting, backspacing and restarting my efforts, as I worked out where on earth 'q' and 'p' were. Once I found my flow I had my memory catch up with Margaret. I finished the test barely six words behind her, an impressive speed of 58 words a minute. It was good enough for her, and bloody impressive for me given that I had spent about 20 of those words working out the blank keyboard in front of me and that, until that minute of reading out loud, had never heard what sixty words per minute sounds like (it's rather fast).

So, every Saturday at one, I'd head over the Meadows in Edinburgh down to the Scotsman offices on North Bridge, now some swanky hotel, and take up my place at the window which overlooked the whole of Princes Street and Waverley Station (we saw the guys jumping off the Bridge every four months or so - always on a Saturday afternoon it seemed). I was subjected to some of the most profoundly proud moments of my professional life - ever - as rather well known sporting reporters would let me know that I was the best copytaker they'd ever had (within two months I knew how to spell the names of all the footballers in the four main leagues and various juniors and seniors leagues). They appreciated the effort I had put in to go from being pretty awful, meriting the curses of every screaming reporter at the biggest stadium in the country as he tried to file the 90th minute goal in time for the final print, to being pretty damned good. I was able to decipher meaning quickly despite the fact 80,000 fans were screaming rather loudly behind the reporter. It was as much my report, I sometimes felt, as the reporter who had attempted to make himself heard down the phoneline at Ibrox, Celtic Park or Dens.

I stuck at the job for two years, eventually ending up writing for the paper thanks to some help from a generous sports editor, Paul Greaves. He's now the Editor of the whole operation.

I learned how to fulfill your promises, get better at something you had no interest in and enjoy doing it, how, as a young and 'worthless' rookie, to wag chins with the people you admire, and not let them know you admire them. Above all, I learned what it felt like to earn your own good money by putting in the hours no-one else wanted to do. I worked overtime, back shifts, evening shifts and even did the night shift at election time. I earned double time, triple time and bonuses, for three of the House's newspapers. I learned how to take down farming reports, the most demanding literature I've ever had to write, getting them colon, comma and dash correct from the garble down the phoneline despite having given up maths aged 16.

Basically, I learnt what it means to work: nothing stays the same so you always have to relearn it (even typing), no-one will do you any favours (unless you ask the Sports Editor for one) and you'll end up with the Editor's desk with the nice view when you least expect it. And you may never even notice that. It was the first time that, as a paid employee, I had the confidence (encouraged by Margaret Turner) to occasionally tell writers, editors and subs - all of them senior to me - that they were wrong, and I was right, and that they really should just go back to their desk and get out of my office. My office. In time, they stopped taking their problems out on the lad (me) at the bottom of the food chain, and asked for favours from me instead to cover their mistakes over.

Those couple of years were a hoot and, I guess, that remains the main raison d'etre of work for me. If work doesn't feel like escapism, play, fun... then it's not something I want to be doing. If it's not fun any more, I've not done it any more. I've found or made up something else and made it happen. If those reporters, writers and subs attempt to put barriers in my way, I tell them to get out of my way. Fast. Before the barriers become too big to overcome.

Not a bad set of lessons from the bottom of the newspaper foodchain.

June 25, 2008

The TEDsters read edu.blogs.com

Quite nice to have a wee mention on the TED Blog the other day. Now if they could rustle up a ticket for next year my conference fix for the year would be complete ;-)

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

Ewan’s education keynotes & MasterClasses

Module Masterclass

Do you worry that your school or district could better harness its people, digital technology or physical space? Do you want some actionable inspiration, a mentor for a learning journey with your staff?

In a keynote or masterclass we can give them concrete ideas based on experience, enthusiasm fired by a vision of what can be, and backup before and after to make it happen for them.

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