changing how, what & where we learn
I've been involved in teaching and learning since 2001, working throughout Europe, Australasia, North America, Asia, India and the Middle East to change the thinking behind curriculum structure, public services, classroom teaching and virtual learning networks.
Rubbing off on that thinking has been my involvement since 2007 in the world of digital media and technology startups, helping to bring private and public investment together for investment in some of the brightest creative people around. You can see some of those project highlights on the NoTosh Digital Business Development site.
The first education unconference, for teachers, by teachers. In no more than 7 minutes. Since 2006.
I founded TeachMeet in 2006 as a means of gathering enthusiastic but often unheard educators under one, beer-filled roof, to share the innovations going on in their classrooms. Senior education officials were always invited along to listen. No keynotes. No spotlight sessions. One teacher to another. Key to its success was gaining support from the education and publishing industry to sponsor drinks, food and a/v for a community that has gone from six educators to several thousand, going from Scotland to a worldwide phenomenon. When we started we ran two events a year. There are now events happening somewhere on the planet every week.
Talk. Share. Buzz.
On a tiny budget but with a whole lot of passion, colleague David Gilmour and I created a social platform for parents, teachers and students to connect with each other, share ideas and let everyone know what was going on in the classrooms of East Lothian. The key results were better parent connection with their local schools and better professional practice as a result of teachers sharing their experiences. The platform informs nearly 3m unique monthly visitors of what is going on in East Lothian classrooms.
Create your own art studio
The Arts are a core part of any public service broadcaster's remit, yet they are often seen by small niche audiences. Art, design and film are far from being small or niche interests, especially on the web. Central Station is an arts platform that helps new talent flourish and more established talent to connect with them. In its early days the platform has already attracted Turner Award-winning artists, secret collections from design agency and art school attics, and thousands of uploaded works from the UK's top emerging art talent.
Applications & Software
How your current day bad habits muck up your future face
A set of applications on Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and iPhone that take medical research and hi-tech facial recognition software to show what your face will look like if you continue the habits of the last week for a lifetime. I helped form the idea, spot opportunity for the apps to "market themselves" as well as structuring the approach to launching the product in the run up to Christmas, and relaunching it in the New Year with a fresh angle. We also worked with television indie Maverick to create a cross-promotional section of the highly traffic-ed Embarrassing Bodies Channel4.com website.
A social iPhone app to gauge your drinking
What's your poison? A fun iPhone app and mini-games engages younger binge drinkers and makes them think twice about what they put down their throats. I brought together Digital Goldfish, the games company that went on to produce one of Apple's top 30 all-time downloaded games, and digital agency Blonde, to get the app's messages across to the hard-to-reach 18-24 year old group. With the resultant coverage, chatter and Facebook banter, it's an app designed to achieve its goals without even having been played.
South American Spanish Vodcasts changing the way we learn Spanish, and even which Spanish we learn
Working with a new startup from San Fernando City in Los Angeles, Alas Media, I exec-ed the production of a 17-part series exploring the lives of first, second and third generation immigrants to the USA from South America. This was the first foray at such a scale in Europe into the learning and teaching of Southern American Spanish, the most widely spoken version worldwide. An example:
Illegal immigrant smuggling
Latino students from California talk about life: Victor Sanchez describes the harrowing business of sending money back to relatives in El Salvador so they can pay illegal 'coyotes' to smuggle them across borders, first to Mexico and then to the US.
Being Gay and Latino
Latino students from California talk about life: Ricardo Avalos talks about the difficulties of being Latino in the US, the difficulties of being gay in the US, and the even bigger challenges of being a gay Latino here.