Author Archives: William Jenkins

#YOYOW A Return to The Well #ForTheWeb & Our Young Well Beings… Getting a Jump on It⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

In my last post I updated two other posts trying to figure out how to make an impact, when you don't have a voice (And enough to have economic dignity in today's poverty stricken and manically depressed Scotland).

The previous two plans discarded I have decided to explore Steve Wozniak and Susan Cain's advice of 'Work Alone.' 

This post details why I feel a return to The Wells mantra of #YOYOW is needed for the sake of our young Well Beings... and how I've been working on this idea since I first read Katie Hafner's book in 2015.

The Most Powerful Things in the World
Our kids know the following to be true because we tell them constantly!

"Words are the most powerful things in the world"
(You have the power to change the world, you really do... with an idea -> Nancy Duarte)

"Books are the most powerful weapons in the world"
('Ah but what about swords, guns, bombs etc etc?' comes the reply... 'How you gonna learn to make those things?' asks a smart arse dad... 'Oh yeah, with a book'

"It's not what you say... it's the way that you say it"

"If you've nothing nice to say don't way anything at all" 

...You should practice what you preach William!
"But you've been really snarky to people online - especially on your blog and on Twitter" I hear you say.

Well now I'm glad you mentioned that, maybe I've been 'Clearing the Path,' and 'Lowering the Barrier' as New Power puts it for others to follow and pick up on the work?

There are also a few other points worth making regarding any snarky tweets/posts

1) I almost quit social media because I was tired of being taken in by people who said one thing and did another... and/or were what can be best described as 'Fake Friends,' feigning friendship until they got all they could from your time, efforts and ideas*

*I fully accept that this may well have been due to either inexperience with movement building or the misunderstandings as social media is still quite new and in the real world 90% of our communication is non-verbal... so it's EASY to get things wrong when mostly text based. There is zero ill will about any of this, I'm glad something came of the ideas and my time/effort.

2) Hate groups in the Far Left and Right will no doubt say nice things to give vulnerable people a 'sense of belonging' before encouraging them to hate people who are different to them through 'othering'

This appears to be what happened with expert ISIS recruiter and Scottish school girl Asqa Mahmood, James Letts and Ivan Humble who is a former and reformed EDL member.

Where are the good guys giving these kids a hug and turning them away from hate... whether in their IRL communities or in their virtual communities?

"If you've nothing nice to say don't say anything at all" 

Might have worked online 4-5 years ago... but a different approach may be needed to keep our kids safe from the 'Dark Corners of the web'

3) I've seen enough political leaders since 2012 saying nothing but helpful and kind things 

'Celebrating London as a diverse city'
'Fair and Just Society'
'Make America Great Again'
'Strong and Stable Leadership'
'For the Many'

But whether in public or private say

'Muslim women look like letterboxes'
'Scotland is diverse and welcoming' but race hate in schools on the increase
'I just grab them by the p**y' and having hardly anything nice to say about their colleagues

Now I have a huge amount of sympathy for politicians in two respects:
  •  In today's 'always on' society everything is up for scrutiny... whether silly comments made a few years ago costing candidates the opportunity to stand in their constituency in #GE2019.

  • People have an opinion and are critical of the slightest of error... The things that we've seen trend in the last few weeks leads to total and utter dumbing down of politics.
Let's all laugh and comment about someone who put a foot wrong during Remembrance Sunday... and forget about the issues of Education, the NHS and the economy, before we know it we'll have another 4 years of The Conservatives (Which will be worse as it's under Boris Johnson's 'Leadership') and the Brexit party.

The Bannon/Trump and Farage/Cummings 'agitation' will have worked a treat. 

Instead of picking at the minutia I would far rather overlook silly and, in many instances, irrelevant comments and take Ayelet Barron advice in the Building Relationships to Ignite Movements CMAD session:

"I want to know what's in their heart"

We all say or do silly things and when every encounter, big and small, is recorded... some things in context others taken out of context and it must be a nightmare for people in the public eye, especially politicians where approval ratings are low, it is a tribal affair and there are so many videos, clips and soundbites going back decades for many MPs/MSPs.

Edward Snowden makes some excellent points about the internet of his youth Vs the internet of today, which political candidates are paying for today... How do we allow for our kids to 'just be kids saying stupid things' without it wrecking their job prospects/future...or worse their lives?

"My worries [about getting security clearance] were more personal, or felt more personal: the endless conveyor belt of stupid lingoistic things I'd said, and even stupider misathropic opinions I'd abandoned, in the process of growing up online. Specifically, I was worried about my chat logs and forum posts, all supremely moronic commentary that I'd sprayed across a score of gaming and hacker sites. Writing pseudonymously had meant writing freely, but often thoughtlessly. And since a major aspect of early internet culture was competing with others to say the most inflammatory thing, I'd never hesitate to advocate, say, bombing a country that taxed video games, or corralling people who didn't like anime into reeducation camps. Nobody on those sites took any of this stuff seriously, least of all myself.

When I went back and reread the posts, I cringed. Half the things I'd said I hadn't even meant at the time - I'd just wanted attention - but I didn't fancy my odds of explaining that to a gray-haired man in horned rimmed glasses peering over a giant folder labeled PERMANENT RECORD. The other half, the things i thing I had meant at the time, were even worse , because I wasn't that kid anymore. I'd grown up. It wasn't simply that I didn't recognise the voice as my own - it was that I now actively opposed its over-heated hormonal opinions. I found that I wanted to argue with a ghost. I wanted to fight with that dumb, puerile, and casually cruel self of mine who no longer existed. I couldn't stand the idea of being haunted by him forever, but I didn't know the best way to express my remorse and put some distance between him and me, or whether I should even try to do that. It was heinous to be so inextricably, technologically bound to a past that I fully regretted but barely remembered.

This might be the most familiar problem of my generation, the first to grow up online. We were able to discover and explore our identities almost totally unsupervised, with hardly a thought spared for the fact that our rash remarks and profane banter were being preserved for perpetuity, and that one day we might be expected to account for them. I'm sure everyone had an internet connection before they had a job can sympathize with this - surely everyone has that one post that embarrasses them, or that text or email that could get them fired.

Christmas 2018... The Best PD EVER
Before starting a new project/movement I always go back to The Well (Esp Virtual Communities), The Epic Saga of The Well, Katie Hafner's book.

Last December when reading Virtual Communities again I noticed that NodeXL's Marc Smith had written his 1992 College Thesis on 'Voices from The Well' and read it three times in as many days... SOOOO RELEVANT today 30 years on!!

I laughed when I saw not just how predictable my experiences with collaborating online were; they were inevitable, it's all been done before... 30 years earlier by a group of true visionaries.

In Mosaic Science's article 'Why Good People Turn Bad Online,' they highlight that if you see behaviour you don't like and if you feel up to it 'tell them to stop'

I didn't like the way that some friends (Or, in some cases, people I hardly knew, who took my time, efforts and ideas and made me contribute them as a gift) with flattery and all their flowery words to get involved and then change the narrative - whether about myself and/or how ideas came together.

I called them out... was this to be mean? To try to damage their reputation? 

Nope! If anything it was my reputation on the line.

I called them out to experiment with what might work and what doesn't when taking the advice from New Power (The extract at the end of this ACEing Made to Stick post).

"Has my generation taught the youth well enough to prevent another Holocaust from occurring? Or will our hard won freedom capsize in a new sea of hate?" Edith Eger The Choice - The Capacity to Love and Hate

I think it's safe to say the answer to this is: Could do Better!

In a recent post I wondered if I had to choose between Books, the Internet or School which I would choose. Perhaps my books will help plan to #BeTheDigitalChange I'd like to see in the world.

One where friends don't simply reach for the 'Block' option if/when there is a disagreement.

One where our young people have the kind of 'sense of belonging Tom Mandel had on The Well' in their School Communities...Not go looking for this in hate groups where the sense of belonging is conditional on hating others.

One where their is the kind of 'Love in Action' that Howard Rheingold details in the Heart of the Well... and less of the tragic examples of Blair Newman, Amanda Todd and Molly Russell.

#DigiEndurance... Avengers Assemble for The End Game
The Dr Seuss books that we've loosely followed on our adventures include 

Oh the Places You'll Go
Yertle the Turtle
The Lorax (*Waves* to @ILorax)

I'm about to make a start on 'Tech Story 3 - Bolder City & Ol'augh" which will be a Mini NP Superhero adventure that will take place down yonder at the cross roads of old gold mining town of Bolder City and Mulberry Street.

Avengers Assemble! For the well beings of our young people and to answer the Tim Berners-Lees' Bat Signal to fight #ForTheWeb.

Anyone who answers the call may meet some familiar characters from Andy's playroom, Marvel, DC and Pokemon Go as well as some new characters like Hoover Guy? Damn Man? Ol'augh! and the Thunderbolt Kid?

Who writes this stuff? Anthony? I hate that freaking Turtle!

Personally I love them... and, just like Cinderella Man, I'm bringing a Turtle or two safely home at the end of this adventure.

I'll be spit balling some of these cra cra ideas to achieve these last two goals with a group of small committed citizens

...Or is it small citizens who have been committed to Arkam Asylum? 
...Or is it a small group of committed citizens?

I forget which, but I'll be discussing with a little group of little people until it becomes a big idea, one that is on the side of angels, spreading compassion and drains the battery of hate with Superman and Ol'augh leading the charge. 

What If… You Don’t Have a Voice? Keep Telling Your Story (Part 3)… But Work Alone?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

The Gods Send (a Twitter) Thread for a Web Begun

Whether in my own kids school, in my 'world of work' (Whether formal employment or loose, informal collaboration) I've found that, to date...and frustratingly!, when an idea gets to a certain point I don't have a voice, even in small groups of people I know quite well.

No matter how accurate my insights are, or how much I care about the organisation and/or the people or the aims/goals/strategic objectives... It's like shouting in a storm.

No matter how long I've spent with the employer or how long I've spent working on an idea, when it gets to even 2-3 people my voice and ideas get lost... and that's OK.

It has not always been 'okay,' but today it's more than OK... It's ideal! One of the aims we are currently working on is to

"Let quiet people know that they can have a voice and that they can make a difference"

As fortune would have it I spotted this article that IntrovertDear Tweeted out yesterday:

5 Superpowers of the INFJ Personality
(See the Thread at the start of this post)

Today we are in agreement with Steve Wozniak's advice in Susan Cain's book Quiet that it might be an idea to work alone.

"Most inventors and engineers I've met are like me - they're shy and they live in their heads. They're almost like artists. In fact the best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an inventions design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don't believe anything really revolutionary has been invented by committee. If you're that rare engineer who's an inventor and also an artist, I'm going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is : Work alone.You're going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you're working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team." Steve Wozniak via Susan Cain's Quiet

And then hand projects onto others who are heard once you've played to your strengths. 

If you read Steve Wozniak's book you will hear stories like Steve Jobs agreed to share money with Woz 50/50 but then said that he got $1,000 for the work and gave Woz $500.

When in reality he got $2,000 and so it was a 75/25 split... W
hile it being a stitch up and him being lied to  wasn't very nice, without this partnership would Woz's ideas have come to life without Jobs?

(And would Jobs and Wozniak have met if it wasn't for Tech Visionary Stewart Brand* providing the funding for the Home Brew Club where they met?)

*Don't do drugs kids... drugs are bad! But feel free to change the world, twice if you can ;)

I Don't Have a Voice... Even with People who Pay Me?!
To give just two examples from people who decided to pay me for my time:

1) An employer I worked with for 10 years and excelled in every single role/department I worked in. I told him that I recognised what Jim Collins called the '5 Stages of Decline' in his book 'How the Mighty Fall' 

I felt that his org was at around 'Stage 4.' This news was not welcome! And was ignored.

12 months later? He had to downsize the company making 20 hard working dedicated members of staff redundant. I shared the same email with him and some colleagues from 12 months earlier. 

MD response? He said nothing.

Colleagues response? "You sent this to the MD? Your braver than you look! You're braver than I am! It's like the author of this book was sitting in the office watching this unfold"

2) I was asked to detail my career aims and how I would implement a project by a company interested in hiring me.

I did this and when leaving the company I asked what there was about what I sent before starting with them what was different to the way I tried to implement projects?

The answer? Nothing... We just didn't realise what was involved.

I Don't Have a Voice... With Online Collaboration (Or with my own ideas?!)
Realising that my sales, startup and (Limited) #Cmgr experience was useful in the planning and 'Community Activation' stage to get momentum, I aligned with people and groups that do have a voice.

First with people at the grassroots level in education through EdChat Moderators and later with authors looking to build momentum and community with their books.

After 6 years on Social Media (The first acct I opened was in 2011), I joined a webinar and asked 

"What if you don't have a voice?" 

The advice?

"Keep Telling your story"

I wrote a follow up to this after my #DigCitSummit and #CEduAD expereinces... When I was ready to quit social media.

22nd September 2018 
What If... You Don't Have a Voice? Keep Telling Your Story (Part 2)

Just before ISTE 2014 I wrote a post that looked at 'Social Selling' ISTE13 Reflections: Record, Rewind & Replay

"There is a real skill to effective engagement for suppliers on social media. Any attempt to treat social media as a one-way corporate broadcast will not win any friends or influence any influencers... building relationships through authentic two way engagement is the only way to go" 

For #GE2019 candidates my vote in GE2017 was I voted for whoever replied to me on social media. I have tagged my MSP/MP in many a Tweet in the last 2 years... not sure a reply on 'Vote for me to keep me in a £70,000 a year job' will swing it this time.

Later in the same post I highlight that.

"Social media has changed the sales process and anyone who has the view that sales people are the "slick snake oil" type of sales people who you believe will say whatever it takes to close the deal, then you may be surprised at how similar the new social models of selling are to developing and executing lesson plans. 

This process is one of the core messages from John Golden's book, he advocates the following model"

I have tried to follow this model through research, listening and sharing.

8th November 2019... A picture tells a thousand words.

The image below shows how 16+ projects that I've been involved with come together to see the last 2 aims of the #SeaTurtlePirates adventure comes together:

1) Implementing ideas from the early online community The Well and following the advice of people like Stewart Brand (The Man who Changed the World Twice), Howard Rhiengold (Virtual Communities) and Marc Smith (Voices from The Well), among others.

In particular to seeing a return to 'The Well's' mantra of #YOYOW... Although we've pirated/hacked/rebooted The Well's mantra to include the #YOYOWJOI Compass)

(My 2015 #DigCitSummit Closing Remarks were on this topic...A few months ago I updated thoughts from this post to take into account the changes on social media)

2) Assisting with Tim Berners Lee’s call to action with his call to fight #ForTheWeb

You'd think that given all the problems with these two areas... the people who said during GE2015 'What can we do about online abuse' are now saying 'Tech companies can no longer turn a blind eye'

...But do nothing to reign in their own support base, would be clambering all over someone with a track record like this and working on these areas, especially as their is a kick ass attainment gap story to be had too.

Sadly no! Either they are short sighted and lack vision or I don't have a voice... So I'll work alone for a while to develop these things. Hopefully we'll find 'Economic Dignity' and help promote Cmgr as a career here in Scotland.

Social Media Doesn't want you to have Economic Dignity & Cmgr in Scotland
Experienced Community Managers will tell you that one of the best ways to get work in community management is to be an active member of the community... While this has worked on occasion this is tough in Scotland.

I was told in 2010 by a tech executive at a major tech company that if they were hiring anyone they would look for their digital profile and 'Why can't I find you?' 

When I saw there was a business case for being on social media I got connected... and had some early wins (If you are happy to be paid in smiles).

Jaron Lanier's book highlights how you will get some early wins - and cites the Black Lives Matter movement as an example - but after these quick wins movements lose ground and slip backwards (Compare black lives matter's success with the raise of the Far Right).

Another of Lanier's arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts right now, it that 'Social Media doesn't want you to have economic dignity,' and whether looking at films like 'Sorry We Missed You' or the amount that I've done in an unpaid capacity it sure seems like a whole lot of 'Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' 

You either take all the risks and work 16 hours and struggle to make ends meet

...Or you give a whole lot of time and creativity away in the hope that you will be one of the hundreds/thousands of people all looking for attention of the few companies who actually have any money these days.

The advice I was given was 'Get on Social Media, it comes with the job today'

The advice I would give to my kids is 'Don't get on social media until you have a voice... Go on The Apprentice and then spout your controversial views like Katie Hopkins does'

Otherwise, follow the example of The Well and working in small communities of practice with what Howard Rheingold calls a 'No Asshole Rule'

I'm going to continue to work on some ideas that I KNOW have value and develop them until those who do have a voice and influence will take them on. The aims here will be to

1) Let quiet people know that they can have a voice and make a difference

2) Cut a path to find 'Economic Dignity on Social Media

3) Explore where Community/Ambassador programs are headed... Changes ARE on the way in edu at least!! 

4) Lower the barrier; flatten the path for others re the last two goals I'm exploring

5) Try to help provide in-demand skills for my own kids... and hope it helps others.

"At a modest rate the value for my time on these projects would be £90,000" July 2018 Hustle While you Wait

EdTech Report - Developing Relationships & Delivering Value 9 Months
(Research & "Mind dump" only took 3 months but two complete rewrites took a little longer)
SaveEdShelf $30,000 (in 6 Weeks)

Edchat Resource Plan (And adding chats to Chat Salad) 3 months

Get2ISTE 5 people to ISTE

DigCitSummit 2 months

Declara (Volunteer for 12 months) 6 months paid

Curating ISTE resources 2 months (Over 3 years)

Pokemon Go in Edu Report 2 months

Scottish Schools on Twitter (2015 & 2017) 4 months

Skypeathon & MIE Experts maps 4 months

Edcamp Maps 2 months

Bloodhound Maps 2 months

#CEduAD 2018 4 Months

#GE2019 #IndyRef2020 #Cmgr Edu and Life in Scotland⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

Having accurately predicted every election since 2014 and having responded to the kind of 'calls to action' that were put in at the #IndyRef2020 rally at 'Freedom Square' (George Square to the non-SNP Cultists who are capable of critical thinking), this post looks at GE2019 and why IndyRef2 will probably fail.

Like every other industry politics has been disrupted by both technology and new methods, thanks in large part to the unholy alliance of Trump, Bannon and Facebook... And politicians have struggled to get a handle on what's going on (Jaron Lanier's '10 Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Account Right Now and Edith Eger's The Choice are WELL worth a read! Both Michael Wolff books and The Great Hack documentary are worth checking out too).

If I start this post with something like:

"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be writing this. My kids should be in the kind of school that our politicians and policy makers give in their fine speeches. Yet you all let young people like this lose hope. How dare you!

"You have stolen my dreams and my kids' childhoods with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones

...You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you"

I wonder if it will be praised or see my local MSP tell me that the comment is 'Borderline Harassment,' I wonder if it will see the Education Secretary or First Minister praise the work that myself, my 9 year old son and others have done in the last few years?

In my experience, don't count on it... Check out the replies from MSPs in this pathetically hilarious Tweet:

I'm the first to admit that we are among the lucky ones to live in a country where education is a right and there is a system that helps when you are down... But equally Dalrymple is also right when he highlights that:

One of the terrible fates that can befall a human being is to be born intelligent or sensitive in an English slum (But Glasgow has more of them than anywhere in England today #GoDo #ScotlandCan!). It is like a long, slow, exquisite torture devised by a sadistic deity from whose malevolent clutches escape is almost impossible. Lost in the Ghetto

But when you see initiative after initiative and no real change since Dickensian times with 'Social Mobility,' 'The Attainment Gap,' 'Opportunity Area Fund' etc etc... the political soundbites Vs the reality becomes a little tiresome.

Throw in the fact that 20,000 retail outlets closed last year at the cost of 150,000 jobs and 2019 is set to see 23,000 outlets close at the cost of 175,000 jobs... what is it that is replacing them in 'The Most Entrepreneurial country in the world' <- if you listen to Entrepreneurial Scotlands marketing guff.

I'm enjoying the Netflix series 'Living with yourself' and how Paul Rudd's 'Better self' is listened to, but his other self saying the same thing is marginalised.

If you are Greta Thrunberg and encourage kids to take action, people go on #SchoolClimateStrikes and Scottish politicians praise the action. Tell politicians at a fancy ass UN event in New York and express your 'disgust' at them and you are applauded.

Try to encourage change in education - regardless of the tone used or the communication method used - in the SNP's blessed #GoDo #ScotlandCan land of milk and honey and see what reaction it gets.

Help empower other people's kids and educators and then try having kids in an education system where you constantly say "This doesn't seem right, there seems to be issues" then wait until they are leaving the education system and be told "Yeah, there appear to be undiagnosed issues"

See how cheery a tone you'd be using? 

To highlight the level of stupidity we are talking about here even when you send information with the title 'How MSPs can keep their jobs' you get a low level of inquiry... Even when your insights and projects have value.

"If you have insights that prove to be accurate but struggle to be heard... when and where should you speak up? Before disaster? During? After?

Well... I have spoken up before, during and after various train wrecks of initiatives that people in Education have been involved with. I have also tried to raise the alarm since September 2014 with The SNP with the content of this post.

Speak up before hand and you're being negative. Speak up at the time and you're dismissed out of hand, silenced or ignored. Speak out afterwards and it's either you coming across as being smug or rubbing salt in the wounds etc.

Regardless of when you speak out or the reaction the fact remains... opportunities for change are lost!" GE2017 & The SNP - How the Mighty Fall

Listening to the

"Scotland is Diverse, Inclusive and Welcoming"  
"Scotland's destiny is in our hands"
"No matter where you are from you are welcome and this is your independence"

Rhetoric at the weekend might have been inspiring and uplifting for me in 2014/5, it might even have left warm fuzzy feelings for the party faithful yesterday... Until they went into their local newsagent: 

The front page of Friday's papers being full of the depressing levels of poverty here 
  • Foodbanks offering suicide Advice - The Evening Times
  • The expensive Attainment Gap initiatives not working - The Herald
The front page of one of Sunday's papers includes the level of racism in SCOTTISH SCHOOLS 

...Not English Schools.
...Not Welsh Schools
...The DEVOLVED Education that the SNP/Scottish Government is responsible for!

On the next page was an article about how deprived Scotland's towns are today. Of course the default answer will be

'It's the Tories fault... and the rhetoric of hate and division Boris uses' 

Of course there IS something to this, but when that's the excuse since 2007 it wears a bit thin!

Especially if, over the course of the 2007 SNP Government you have had a 16 year old and 18 year old in this 'World Class Education System' that have been BADLY let down and/or you see how uninspiring the job pages are... AKA Sorry We Missed You zero hour contracts, self employed, minimum wage for your wage, you take care of your own tax etc.

9th Sept 2014
For the first time I wrote a post about education and politics

"I am not an ardent SNP supporter, neither do I necessarily want to be separate from the rest of the UK.

However, what I do want, is to see better decisions being made for my kids and other peoples children... I can't see the status quo delivering this (esp as they have been failing at it for decades, if not centuries!), so I feel change is necessary. I don't believe that the SNP and/or an independent Scotland would have the same record with education or class division and elitism" 
Getting Political... About Education

With the benefit of #Cybernat hindsight and the fact that the SNP were clueless about how to manage their grassroots movement in 2014, with the exception of the above... I stand by everything else in the post

...Especially the "Why not you? Why not us? Why not now?" section at the end, something I have gone some way to demonstrate since writing it. As Sam Conniff highlights in his Tedx Talk 

"No one is coming to save us"

19th Sept 2014
As Scotland wakes up to the fact that the hopes of Independence have been dashed and the army of #VoteYes feel "a little down" and are licking their wounds... this Glasgow nutter wonders if victory might be snatched out of the jaws of defeat. Is the best yet to come? Yes Scotland - How can we Help?

I wasn't wrong... Will the insights below be just as accurate on the 13th Dec with the result of #GE2019?

21st Sept 2014
Tried to reach various people in the SNP to let them know that momentum with the post vote movement matters... and that they need to act quickly to keep the movement positive. 

They heard me, but ignored the advice and insights. Every single piece of advice was 100% spot on!
Citizens Assembly? GREAT idea... Erm in 2014 with 1.6 million people who voted 'Yes' at a cost of £0. If 1.6 million was a little ambitious then the 100,000 members was EASILY possible at a seriously low cost and would have delivered a game changing impact too! All on a budget of £0.

A £1.4 million exercise involving 200 people in 2019? 

Lol... What a bunch of idiots who really don't understand what fueled their 2014/5 success!

7th Oct 2014
The culture is now set, and hell mend anyone who disagrees with someone who voted Yes! We are the angry boycotters. We are the anarchists. We are the cybernats and it would appear that our mission to piss everyone off and to argue with anyone who disagrees with the hard line we decide to take.

Oh, and by the way, we're not very good with our maths... because 100% of 45% agreeing with each other is still only 45%, no matter how much more strongly we may or may not believe in independence, this is still a minority. #The45Plus... Where did it all go Wrong?

In August 2019 Sturgeon demonstrates her lack of knowledge (And leadership with her own members AKA the Cybernats) with Community Management. I have encouraged politicians to connect and learn from this group since April 2014... on a regular basis since April 2018.

Some community guidelines and leadership on the weekend of 21st Sept could have worked wonders!

8th Oct 2014
If Vote yes people want to convince Scotland to "Go it alone" an improved economy is a sure fire way to win people over. Collaborate as if Scotland Depends on It

Instead five years later we have a government that gives out bad loans to failing companies like moneys running out, rewarding the lazy and/or those who lacked vision and the ability to plan... while doing nothing for the forward thinking innovators (Adding weight to the argument below that politicians need victims). 

6th May 2015
The day before the election when all the pundits were sayng

"These polls about SNP can't be right, can they?"

I wrote why they were right:

This process could be used in many areas of Scottish society. The SNP benefited from the kind of process that major technology companies utilise, so they know it works. When I'll be impressed with the SNP, or any other party, is when they decide to use these principles in other areas, not just politics.

If any politician (from any party) wants to know how to continue to take advantage of this process in politics or, ideally, apply to other areas, especially in education, you know where to find me if you have any questions. 
Freakonimic Politics: Why SNP Domination was Inevitable

7th May 2015
On election night Henry McLeish came closest to nailing what was going on re: the 'I'm voting SNP' movement. But listening to all the post match guff like 'It will take the Labour Party in Scotland 10 years to recover'

"I was thinking "No it wouldn't!" It could be turned around by 2016... if they did things differently to the political classes usual methods, employing community management methods and "creating new patterns of engagement" Labouring on with #Team56? How to Rebuild Trust When It Is Broken
When reading 'New Power' in May 2018 I was to both find out how accurate these insights were AND be able to find the terminology for what was going on... Maybe should have tried the 'Radical Listening Exercise' of Citizens Assembly fame from 2007-2014 and not left it as late as 2019?

9th May 2015
“When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on Earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path to decline. So, how would you know?” Jim Collins, How the Mighty fall

This was the day that SNP MPs social media pictures were changed from images of candidates in their constituencies with their activists to the photo opp with Nicola Sturgeon and the #The45Plus was changed again to #Team56 AKA it's now all about us, not them... 'The People' our fans, members and constituents.

The culture changed on this day as a result of success.

"Many startups die of indigestion as much as of starvation" Genome Project, that was the case at the height of the SNPs rock star celebrity stage in May 2015. 

29th Sept 2015
The then Education Secretary asks me to pitch in - in the same way I might have after listening to Mhari Black and Nicola Sturgeon at the weekend - if I didn't know that these were nothing but empty words to get as many of their mates in £70,000 a year jobs ...and not much else!

Having a good idea of how things might pan out when dealing with the political classes... I had the foresight to spend one of the best 30 mins I ever have by writing this post: Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice.

If you want to predict the future (Or get a 'bad loan' that the SNP will write off to failing businesses in Scotland) stand up and give a 'fine speech' or issue a press release. Tell educators and students that

"Scotland lacks talent" one year (SLF15)... then a year or two later get £600,000 to make

"Scotland the most entrepreneurial country in the world"

What shit! Across the board... from saying this is a talentless country (Except in the political arena)... to giving funds to someone who does not believe in the potential of a nations people? Maybe the talent is rotting in the many Scottish slums and deprived areas looking for opportunities that don't exist?

Since Sept 2015 I have worked on projects that I feel could be high impact/low cost with few resources, lots of challenges and stress and ZERO! I mean FUCK ALL!! help from the people and organisations that stand up and spout this shit at 'Freedom Square'  

This thread shows what we achieved from 26th Sept to 23rd June 2019

10th June 2017
The weekend of the GE2015 result I saw that The SNP was in stage 1 of what Jim Collins calls 'The 5 Stages of Decline"

“When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on Earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path to decline. So, how would you know?” Jim Collins, How the Mighty fall

Stage 1: Hubris
#Team56 after GE2015
Stage 2: The Undisciplined Pursuit for More
The announcement of #IndyRef2/#ScotRef in March 2017

Stage 3: Denial of Risk
The local election results on the 4th May 2017 and dismissing the result by other parties + going from Team56 to 35 MPs

Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
All the grassroots movements from 2014-2019 and there has not been representation like this from the SNP and a one-time-proponent-turned-detractor/cynic may think either... 

The #IndyRef2020 nationalist propoganda rally at 'Freedom Square' at the weekend:

1) You turn out in force when you want something from 'The People' to crowdfund campaign funds to get you into a £70,000 a year job and then land the £70,000 + expenses + hiring family members + second jobs etc etc or

(Btw have you seen how many Tweets the AUOB account Tweeted on the day? They lay all the ground work only for ScotNational to move in and build on their work, don't be surprised if the organisers become a little less enthusiastic going forward).

2) You KNOW that momentum has been lost and that the 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' of 2014/5 have gone and with it #IndyRef2 in 2020, so you try to replicate the 2014 success in the same way in 2019... But it won't work (At least nowhere near to the same extent).

"No one saw it coming" Alex Salmond after GE2017 result and him losing his seat

...Me BEFORE the #GE2017 result!! Politicians may lie... The data doesn't!

"A party with such large numbers of supporters two years ago and only 65 people supporting Salmond's Crowdfunder... WOW austerity must 
REALLY be kicking in! GE2017 & The SNP How the Mighty Fall

The 2014 'Yes' campaign was a 'New Power' storm where it promised both change and participatory politics... but reverted to 'Old Power' once the crowd delivered what the SNP wanted. The cost? Trust.

As well as these posts various emails have been sent since 2014 to say

'I have some insights that I think might help... I live here and my kids go to school here, I want to help'

But it's far more a case of 'Fuck you' than the

'Scotland's Voice will NOT be ignored!' 

Westminster theatrics and fine speeches.

30th Aug 2018 #ForFairness
Announcing a £100,000 crowdfund from Alex Salmond on 20th Sept 2014 during his 'One Scotland' speech for good causes raised by either 

1) Taking £1 from each of the 100,000 members subscription fee or, more likely
2) Asking their 100,000 members to contribute £1-10 for a 'One Scotland Good Causes fund'

Would have added to the narrative of members leaving food for foodbanks in George/Freedom Square.

A £100,000 fund for one persons legal fees and titled #ForFairness (Or was it 'For Scotland' I forget which)

This was confirmation about the usual 'Us' and our needs Vs 'The People' -> Just as self interested as the Tories. This sin't something people will shout about... You'll only see it on polling day.

But consider the data... Consider the time and number of steps that 4,000 people needed to go through to contribute money to this GoFundMe camapign in comparison to the act of a ReTweet that takes seconds to do.

If you are looking to replicate 2014 results you need to keep an eye on the 'Network Effects' ...take a look at the number of ReTweets that either #IndyRef2020 or SNP MPs get 

...Then change the channel to see how many ReTweets either People's Momentum, Corbyn get at least 300 many well over 1-2,000.

Or, if you prefer, the level of RTs Trump gets in the US - but this too is diminishing rapidly compared to 12-24 months ago! 

The numbers ain't there for a repeat of SNP Active 2014/5 in 2019. The 'Network Effects' to take the online support into offline rallies to create 'social proof' isn't there. It is for Labour in England and in 2-3 weeks that could easily make it's way to Scotland... Look at #IndyRef in the 2-3 weeks leading up to 19th Sept 2014!

Go check the combined total of SNP candidates campaign crowdfunds after a week Vs Salmonds in 24 hours in 2018... Is the combined total anywhere near £100,000 after a week of asking for contributions? 

Or check the number of advocates on the doorstep (I know its December) and the number of Scottish National #IndyRef2020 posters in the windows compared to 2014/5.

The numbers are not the same... the numbers are not there. The powerful combination of 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' with 'Social Proof' from 2014 have gone.

'For Fairness' Crowdfunders, Progress Scotland, Citizens Assembly & IndyRef2020
All of these things were the right thing to do... in 2014! Maybe even as late as 2015. 

But this organisation didn't take the organisational culture seriously at a crucial time when it was scaling and onboarding new members (Both members of staff and fans).

"Ever heard of a company called Ames? From 1973 to 1986 Ames was doing in the North East of the USA what Wal-Mart was doing in the South. Ames stock performance tracked Wal-Mart’s. But while Wal-Mart is alive and well (#1 on the fortune 500), where is Ames today? Dead. Gone. What distinguished Wal-Mart from Ames? The answer lies in their focus. 

Ames acquired a company that changed their focus and destroyed the momentum they built over 3 decades. Wal-Mart continued to focus first on rural small town areas before making an evolutionary migration into more urban settings. In contrast Ames acquired a chain that made them a significant urban player overnight. While Wal-Mart remained obsessed with offering everyday low prices on all brands all the time, Ames dramatically changed to a strategy that was new to them (relying on special loss leader promotions)…one that eventually plunged them into bankruptcy. Meanwhile Wal-Mart continued its relentless march across the US – step by step, store by store, region by region – until it reached the North East and killed Ames with the very same business model that Ames pioneered in the first place" Jim Collins – How the Mighty Fall 

See also Norah Jonestown.

Keep an eye out for how the party splits if/when things go wrong. Don't be surprised if the 'fault lines' are along the lines of Alex Salmond and long time members Vs the newer intake of 2015 fans and Nicola Sturgeon's supporters.

Regardless of your politics you're a pretty shit human being if you wish ill on a group who's aims and goals are worthy but may be unwravelling because of issues around scaling... especially if it's the life's work of some people - and I include Salmond in that, regardless of the court case outcome. (But is obviously with the exception of intolerant hate groups who wish to harm others).

Both social media and technical changes are affecting us all... Including the political classes and one of my core values is empathy

"I even have empathy for politicians (believe it or not). We saw how keen Barack Obama wanted health care reform, but he faced some serious challenges with opposition parties and the industries lobby groups.

I also get that politicians need to show that they are doing "something" in a 4 year period to keep their jobs (whether reshuffle, or losing their seats in an election). One of these challenges may be that good ideas can take a while for results to come through.

I can't imagine that a politician would get praised too much from the media or party whips if their conference speech to included

"What my predecessor established is working, let's leave it another few years"

So having an understanding of the any challenges that people face in their job and obstacles with affecting change is important" 
Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice

I have a better understanding of some of what's in play with the rise of the far right, social media's BUMMER model and the fact that it's unproductive to simply snipe from the sidelines (Especially anonymously), I may deliver messages in a grumpy tone - in the hope of being heard - but it's ALWAYS because I have solid solutions that are cost effective and know would work... and are always high impact/low cost, some ideas I've seen work in other settings.

But if you offer sound solutions the input is not heard... (Unfortunately) you've got to follow the tactics of Bannon and his crew and change the tone of voice in the hope you are heard.

It's easy when you have a platform and it's gossip like the Thomson Vs Sweeney grope gate...Or 'A Tory Teacher said some mean things about me... lost her job and now is standing against the SNP' (At least they are not up on criminal charges for something like the former first minister a cynic might retort) 

With the Thommson/Sweeney gropegate... the SNP/Salmond acolytes are quick to say 'Innocent until proven guilty' but we have what is essentially a workplace complaint that would never see the light of day in the media at this stage if it was any other organisation other than Westminster/Holyrood during an election.

It's less easy for good ideas from the little people to be heard. I KNOW that these ideas and insights were and are sound, I can explain what's going on better than any highly paid media pundit (Who are increasingly and consistently wrong)... but it's painful always looking in the rear view mirror and having people say 

"Ah I see what you mean when you said that 3-4 years ago"

But as a former supporter (Because of the cultural conditions of 'Yes' in 2014), my perspective is that the soundbites at the weekend ring extremely hollow indeed... take that input/opinion however you like. 

We'll see if the 124,000 members who will be out canvassing for their candidate and the people they convince on the doorsteps feel the same way as these views on the 12th December.

Maybe we'll have a 'Who knew?' and ' 'No one saw it coming' when the results come out on the 13th Dec.

"The customer is not a moron. She's your wife" Ogilvy

On you go SNP candidates go 'grab your destiny' at GE2019, good luck picking up your expensive wage!

Spare the same thought for those who will be losing their jobs at Christmas if it is more than 35 SNP MPs as you would if it was a result like 1997 and the sympathy you'd have for the 29 colleagues who lose their jobs. I know what it's like... it's stressful at the best of times, worse at Christmas.

However many are returned to Westminster in January, try not to forget the people who helped you get that job and who you supposedly work for 'to make a difference.'

But don't be totally surprised if the headlines from the weekend about all the poverty overshadows yesterday's #HopeOverFear guff at the polls in 6 weeks time.

What worked in 2014 AKA the big rallies and/or trying to replicate the Trump 2016 shouty rallies to fire up the base, won't work today. 'Network Effects,' 'Feedback Loops' and 'Social Proof' won't work when trust has been lost (And was the reason I suggested MSP/MPs Skype with schools... I like win-win scenarios, would have been a 'win' for all involved as Dave Logan's Ted Talk highlights)

Want to know how trust is lost and the network effects gone? 

You can tell by the lack of ReTweets... that and the fact the #Cybernats have killed off any opportunity to debate and have 'agree to disagree' conversations. May find the support base has done A LOT of damage.

Don't be surprised if people quietly go back to their pre-2014/5 voting habits of Labour.

It's a far trickier election to predict because we are now in the US model of 'The last story to break is what counts' so a negative story... For talking sake 

An unsubstantiated claim that a Tory MP groped a Labour MP and it being the front page story. 

Or NHS waiting times in a December election, could have a HUGE impact on the day

...Again the result of social media conditioning our behaviour and affecting elections.

But here's my take*

Labour - A clear majority thanks to Scotland quietly returning to pre-2014 voting habits without sharing too much on social media or in the polls.

Conservatives - Thatcher, Blaire Blair (Come on the guy was a Conservative by another name!), Cameron, May, Boris and austerity - No Thanks

SNP - Less than 35 MPs to send a clear message that both Brexit and IndyRef are less of a priority than education, NHS and the economy

Lib Dems - Revival may struggle because we all know it was Vince Cable who bailed the banks out

Brexit Party - Was a protest vote when it didn't matter. Could have as many MPs as UKIP have at Westminster in January

Smaller parties - it's not done much for us so people may just go for the party that could get a clear majority. Just like Brexit being 'My vote doesn't matter... I'll use this to give the Tories a kick' but everyone else was thinking the same = a shock leave result' may deliver the same 'shock' labour result 

*NB There is LOTS candidates could do between now and the 12th Dec but it will be too new for them to consider.

And IF I'm wrong? I'm still right... Lol
In a post called Grant Vs Rand I make an argument about 'politicians need victims' and how keeping the population stupid works for them, so why try to make a serious stab at The Attainment Gap or Digital Citizenship, right?

I think that the way politicians like Trump have dumbed down and weaponised social media for their own gain - falsely masquerading as an anti-elite/establishment 'man of the people,' just like Etonian Boris is trying to do.

Or what about all the 'Social Media companies need to do more... abuse... Election interference... BUT, it's election time we need to buy Facebook ads and target people in the same way Bannon and Trump did' irony? or hypocrisy? 

Whether Boris and #Brexit or Sturgeon and #IndyRef2020, the levels of poverty here, lack of literacy improvements, lack of digital citizenship focus in education... I think the suggestions I made in Feb 2014 (Below) both proves the argument that these politicians need 'victims' and that they are responsible for the deterioration of the conversation on social media more than just about any other group.

Better education and more critical thought might lead people to see that life is no different under Sturgeon than it was with Thatcher's Tories. Not a great selling point for #IndyRef or #GE2019 on the doorsteps!

If people were to look at the various 'safety nets' that are there to protect those who fall on rough times - like the NHS that everyone is fighting to protect - they were policies that Labour got through parliament 'back in the day'

Blair skewed this party... it makes you wonder what kind of world and politicians we might have if John Smith was alive to be the Prime Minister instead of 'Things can Only get Better' Blair & Brown's 'New Labour'

With regard to my agreeing with Rands assertion that "politicians need victims" please allow me to play devils advocate for a moment...

How many adults leave school with a reading age of 5 or the inability of critical thought? 

Do these factors then make certain newspapers their news source of choice?

Are such a newspapers capable of getting our politicians into No10? 

Do politicians get all cozy with the owner of these publications? 

If "yes" why would any politician from any party want to change any situation that delivers power in such a straightforward manner?

This might be especially true if you then consider the implications if politicians were committed to ensuring critical thought was a priority in our young people. After all people may start to wonder;

What is it exactly that politicians do? 

If "we're in this together" can you let us the last time a politician had to visit a food bank? 

If political action is indeed making "people's lives better," who for? Where do they live? 

Why does every encounter with the public need to be stage managed and filled with party political drones, stooges and yes men?

"My experience is that our politics is now so poisonous we will never attract good, honest and decent people in the first place" Ross Thomson re the front page Groping gossip that is #GE2019

"Westminster [And I'd add Politicians] is a boys’ club” Black feels patronised, how the place is a world unto itself" Mhairi Black... Try being one of the 'Little People' and see how patronised you feel with the poor choices on the ballot paper.

"No one is coming to save us" Sam Conniff 
(Certainly not the people on the stage at 'Freedom Square' on Saturday, they will save their own children from John Swinney's Education system by putting their kids in private education and their family from poverty with their wages, expenses, second jobs and hiring family members for jobs that don't exist... But they won't save the people in the many deprived areas and failing towns... otherwise they would have already in the last 12 years).

Be More Pirate – A DigCitSummit Adventure⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

8th November 2019 Update
When I published this post on 14th Oct 2019 I took it down after two days when people in my PLN told me that detailing things that actually happened wasn't right... I took the post down.

I have re-posed it after reading Oliver James' Office Politics. If it is a case of

"We are still getting a handle on social media and 90% of our communications is non-verbal and this was the first movement we were involved with and we've all learnt lots"
No problem! Lets discuss it and #BeTheDigitalChange we want to see... If people fall out we do out best to make amends and move on. There's a new project that has it's origins in some of the work below and I would hate for the contribution of others not to be acknowledged.

Let's arrange a call to discuss at your earliest convenience.

If on the other hand, the experiences Oliver James details about Gerald's relationship with Jan is a more accurate assessment, I hope this helps others to avoid some of the things myself and other early summit organisers went through.

Oliver James, Office Politics
"Be at pains to establish what this person is saying about you to colleagues. Without being paranoid, you need to assume that they will be telling the most astonishing untruths about you. Having identified them, there is at least a chance that you will be able to clear your name" Oliver James

Think and Grow Rich
I have recently re-read Napoleon Hill's classic 'Think and Grow Rich' and am aware that the 7 negative emotions are: Anger, Jealousy, Revenge, Hatred, Fear, Greed and Superstition.

I guarantee that I feel none of these emotions when detailing my experiences... Nor do I wish ill of anyone that I have helped even if there are issues like non-payment of money or unkept promises of 'We're building something together'

I can demonstrate this too. In a post called 'On the Record' (Which has now been deleted) the Summit organisers said this about me:

"What William brings to any project is vision and execution. His attention to detail is exquisite. William is like a conductor and he anticipates and prepares meticulously. What distinguishes William from the rest? His core values. He does not compromise. His core values and his work ethic are beyond anything I have ever witnessed. One PLN member shared, 'His work ethic is unsurpassed.' Others used terms like visionary leader, selfless giver and influencer. All agreed that no one should ever pass up an opportunity to collaborate with William in the future" 

I welcome both the DigCitSummit Founders to get in touch to discuss how we have developed the DigCitSummit project that started in Novemebr 2017.

I agreed to have a Skype call with you guys in Nov 2015 and offered to pitch in taking who you said you were and what your aims were at face value... Your welcome to reciprocate by accepting this offer to both arrange a Skype call and collaborate with some current projects.

Salty ToneThe tone below is salty and it may well come across as sounding rather angry... Whether intentional or due to inexperience and miscommunication, the tone below is in the hope of making sure I don't experience ANYTHING like this EVER AGAIN!

I've had my fill of attracting Takers and Fakers! Other Pirate crews out there may want to keep an eye out for the pirates like Stede Bonnett... they are rather incompetent:

"Disagreeable givers are the most undervalued people in our organizations, because they're the ones who give the critical feedback that no one wants to hear but everyone needs to hear. We need to do a much better job valuing these people as opposed to writing them off early, and saying, "Eh, kind of prickly, must be a selfish taker." 

The other combination we forget about is the deadly one -- the agreeable taker, also known as the faker. This is the person who's nice to your face, and then will stab you right in the back" Adam Grant - Are you a Giver or a Taker

14th October 2019

This post updates my experiences with the #DigCitSummit Pirate Crew that I was part of in November 2015... and is written in the hope of helping others who are working with groups in loose/informal collaboration.

If you're doing difficult work like this and your first attempt doesn't work (How many first attempts do turn out perfect?), try again... if that fails, hopefully you'll hear some kind words and experience a little bit of 'Love in Action' and you'll give it yet another go.

As you will see in this post... I have!

If the people in this particular community who only get in touch with me to gossip and/or trash talk me or others, you're in for a treat! But you may also be a little disappointed as I'll also be drawing on Plato's 'When men speak ill of thee...' philosophy too.

I learnt a lot about how predictable the mistakes I made were in the last 18 months through reading books like Be More Pirate (@BeMorePirate), New Power (@ThisIsNewPower) and, in particular, Nicole Yershon's (@NicoleYershon) Rough Diamond and Marc Smith's (@Marc_Smith)1992 College Thesis 'Voices from The Well'

My core values, aims to reach out to my contacts to help Scottish educators and policy makers with their #DigiLearnScot consultation and my 'Love' for tools like Skype and Twitter have not changed, my relationships with those who spouted 'Be the same person you are online as you are offline' has!

Some Previous #DigCitSummit Posts 

28th March 2015
How I met your Awesomeness - Declara
(Check out the Howard Roark quote at the start of my first How I met Your Awesomeness Post)

29th September 2015
Using Core Values to Find a Brands Voice
(Modeled both in this post and throughout my #DigCitSummit experience)

7th December 2015
Ships Log and Pirate Articles

24th January 2016 
#DigCitSummitUK Closing Remarks - YOYOW

3rd November 2017
DigCitSummit @SpyQuest Mission - Help Recruit Ellie the Elephant

July 2019
For more detail - But a more succinct version of how this comes together to suggest #SkypeMS - see
TedxGlasgow The Power of Introverts & The Ripple Effect of the @BeMorePirate Sea Turtle Pirates

To see this same story as the Tedx proposal but in around 20 or so Tweets check out this thread because, if Jason Fried is right that 'The future belongs to the best editors' we better get practicing!


8th March 2015 

Find out about Declara CEO, Ramona Peirson, as a result of International Women's Day and the #SXSWEdu Minority Women in Tech #DigiDiversity presentation.

I connect with James Stanbridge (@Stanbridge) via Skype and discuss the very ideas in this post with him... He can see the value in them Yay!

26th September 2015
Chris van der Kuyl gives his keynote speech at the Scottish Learning Festival and suggests that

1) 'Education lacks leadership'
2) 'That Scottish educators need to collaborate more'

I agree with this and after struggling to be heard with ideas in the past, I use this keynote as a catalyst and pull some visual data together. I take Susan Cain and Steve Wozniak's advice and 'Work alone'

12th October 2015 
The research I pulled together appears in TES Scotland

26th October 2015
The then Scottish Education Secretary, Angela Constance, asks me to

"Promote the @DigiLearnScot consultation on your Twitter page and amongst the networks that you are involved in"

I do just that... and

9th November 2015
First contact with #DigCitSummit!

"Would really like to connect with your both via Skype or GHO about planning a #DigCitSummitUK" is what the Tweet says.

The first thing that I do when I look at collaborating with any organisation is to see if they have their core values on their website... Do they know what they stand for and do I agree with these values?

They do and they they resonate

Image result for digcitsummituk core values

As well as these core values the phrases 

'Be the same person you are online as you are offline' 

#BeTheDigitalChange you want to see 

Are banded around as often as Donald Trump chanted 'Build the Wall' or 'Lock her up' at his 2016 campaign rallies

While these core values and phrases appeal to me... I would find out, like with way too many organisations, that they were nothing more than cat posters and empty words.

16th November 2015 
Have an initial Skype call and I ask at the end of the call, what are you looking to achieve with this event/movement?

"That kids act locally, connect globally" is the reply.

I say I'll help on one condition... that any UK event takes place in Scotland and, ideally Falkirk... and ideally Larbert High School. The DigCitSummit team agree to this.

Two years later (under rather trying circumstances) we model these aims at the 2017 DigCitSummit at Utah

7th December 2015 
We have a small group of 11 people discussing how we can make 'The first international #DigCitSummit' happen. TY each and every one of you!!

15th December 2015
137 people do a quick '5min favour' by signing up to a Thunderclap with the title of
'Skype & Twitter We Love You!'

The people who took a moment to share this not only had the 'Ripple Effect' of helping to establish a Digital Citizenship event within 2 months and on a £0 budget, but see 

1) The next event take place at Twitter HQ with Microsoft as a sponsor

It didn't 'facilitate', it wasn't 'the catalyst for'... it CREATED a number of other projects like 

2) DigCitKidz
3) #CEduAD
4) #Get2ISTE and, 
5) Hopefully #SkypeMS

...And no doubt many more that I am not aware of!

This will also have been the launchpad for whatever funding, awards and contacts that the Digital Citizenship Institute received.

Without the 'Network Effects' that this produced and the 'Social Proof' this 'New Power storm' created, little else that I have been involved with below would have happened. 

Enough people doing something as quick and easy as a retweet can have a huge impact. But BUMMER doesn't want you to have economic dignity (Argument Eight of Ten Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts Right Now)

21st January 2016
Due to a lack of support from Education Scotland - despite the request to reach out to people in my network - we relocate the event to London and arrange it during BETT.

I get a direct message that I send one of the organisers is both read at 5am in the morning and is both mis-read and mis-interpreted and sees an angry reply that starts


What the fuck! I think, and don't speak to the organisers for two days and they wonder if I'm even going to make the trip to the event...

I did go in the end and as I write this during the 5th Annual #DigCitSummit and see the contribution of myself and my 9 year old kid completely sidelined, I wonder if I would have been better staying at home.

'I don't know why I bothered' I sit here thinking to myself

23rd January 2016
The event is over subscribed with speakers and, given both my planning experience and relationships with the speakers knew how to handle this... But as I retracted my time and ideas the event on the day was supposed to finish at 5pm... it ran to 7pm and the DigCitSummit organisers didn't even let the hosts welcome people to Bournemouth University, they just jumped up on stage for the #DigCitSummit show... don't #BeTHATKindofRude kids!

26 January 2016 (Circa)
Messages in a #DigCitSummit group conversation immediately after the event goes something like this from one of the Co-Founders

"He's an Asshole Man"
"I'm in it to win with you"

I've no idea if this is about me or someone else... A message meant for a different DM or what.

It's not very 'kind' and you won't see comments like that in their online profile. I leave this group conversation.

February 2016
I speak to one of the DigCitSummit Co-Founders 1:1 and there's nothing but gossip, trash talking others and toxicity... bear in mind this is the

'Be the same person you are online as you are offline' 
(A bit like spouting about 'Radical Transparency' but then changing the story about how Trust Grew a Global Event in 2 months, when in actual fact effort had been put in over a three year period by others! )

I leave the #DigCitSummit community/group/movement entirely.

Right up until April I get emails asking


June/July 2016
When one of the #DigCitSummit Co-Founder's who holds the #DigCit PLN Chair and sees me exploring ISTE resources via Declara and then PokemonGo, they ask if they can be involved, in a more humble tone.

With the exception of the Games PLN's section, I write the entire DigCitPLN Pokemon Go report and happily allow them to pass off various other bits of work as their own.

Again, TES Scotland kindly agree to run a story on the report...

One snag however, we need to pull an all nighter to get it finished and the link up on time for their deadline in the morning. I stay up all night... My 'Life Long Family Friend' falls asleep.

When they wake up and read the report the first words are

"There are 5 typos in the report... I don't know why I bother"

"Wait what?! I've just done all this work for you and this is all you have to say?"

Later in the same week I see that this person exhibit what Adam Grant calls 'Taker' tendencies, when they 'kiss up' to an influencer but 'kick down' to those that don't matter when they gush about

'It being so selfless that they did work that they allowed others to pass off as their own'  

But I get, 'I don't know why I bother?' WTF!

6th September 2016
In an attempt to make amends, they do what I've seen them do in the past... go off looking for saccharine words with their 'On the Record' post (Now deleted... On the record, off the record again. #YOYOWJOI!)... and going round the 100 or so people looking for a soundbite about how awesome I am.

"What William brings to any project is vision and execution. His attention to detail is exquisite. William is like a conductor and he anticipates and prepares meticulously. What distinguishes William from the rest? His core values. He does not compromise. His core values and his work ethic are beyond anything I have ever witnessed. One PLN member shared, 'His work ethic is unsurpassed.' Others used terms like visionary leader, selfless giver and influencer. All agreed that no one should ever pass up an opportunity to collaborate with William in the future" 

Aw Shucks! TY... Hope you feel the same about those core values today by the time you get to the end of this post ;).

As you'll see I'm happy to 'Collaborate' let's see if you're capable of 'Owning Your Words' (For once!)

This post also included this little soundbite

28th September 2016
I ask for a bit of help from a friend and life coach for a bit of mediation regarding my relationship with the #DigCitSummit brand...

'Stay away from one another, it's a toxic relationship' 

Is the recommendation. I agree with them

12th November 2016
However, I get all this 'Please can we keep collaborating... it will be different this time'

There is always a disconnect, the sincerity of the words never match the actions... But Man! Are these guys good with their words!

Upon hearing about the Skypeathon and the 'Three Nations Challenge' I create a group conversation to encourage 'Team Scotland' to take part... @ElliePrimary1 and @FillTheGapLearn make their first Skype call as a result of this group. One of them get involved as a result of the 2016 attempt at #CEduAD and Skype a Supplier.

One of the #DigcitSummit Co-Founders gets involved and, fair play, on this occasion that is no drama and we nudged the needle forward a little.

30th March 2017
Not for the first time and not for the last comments around

'You'll be my first hire when the Digital Citizenship Institute gets funding... and that's me owning my words'

So there was the constant promise of 'We are building something together here' right up to our very last call assurances like this were made.

12th October 2017
Please bear in mind during this whole post that this 'Be the same person you are online as you are offline' was EVERYWHERE when I first got involved.

So with the catchy tag line in mind (I don't make a habit of sharing private messages, but when your brands are all about this and 'Radical Transparency' then I'm simply modeling what they said they believe in!!)

To show just how strained relations were by the time of the 3rd Annual #DigCitSummit please see how the 'Ask' and/or offer of assistance is worded here:

From: DigCitSummit Co-Founder
Sent: 12 October 2017 17:59
To: William Jenkins
Subject: Global Maker Day

I’m not suggesting we collaborate nor am I suggesting that we have to be associated or even mentioned or tagged in what I’m about to suggest, but if it is something that could help, I would gladly do it. 

I’d also like to add that this has absolutely nothing to do with the Institute or the Summit and is not in any possible way an option to benefit myself. The offer as it is stands is to help the author you have been supporting and that is it. No strings attached, no opening doors to communicate or collaborate. 

I have an opportunity on Tuesday, October 24 on Global Maker Day and thought ifyou want, I could introduce David Goutcher’s innovative work if you think it will help him. I’ll be in a library in an elementary school hosting the online event all day. 

I’m not sending this to stir the pot or upset you and if the idea is in any way offensive or insensitive, I apologize immediately and guarantee you that I will not do anything suggested above. 

I’m sending this as you would call it as a 5 minute favor. No need to respond if it is received any other way. 

Don't be an 'Ask Hole' Mark Babbit at the #DigCitSummit Nigeria event... How did the 'selfless giving and '5min favour' pan out for you? To your benefit I see ;)

3rd November 2017 
I am extremely cool and cautious throughout the collaboration... only chatting in group conversations and not much 1:1... but we manage this rather impressive Mission. And it was a real highlight for me.

DigCitSummit @SpyQuest Mission - Help Recruit Ellie the Elephant

Why I Wasn't at School Today - I Wnet to Utah

Credit where it's due this would never have been possible without the combined talents of the extroverts in the #DigCitSummit camp and my ability to plan etc.

The kids had a challenge of recruiting Ellie, which they did... although she never visited Agent Isaac's school (For whatever reason).

The adults had the challenge of 'Who tells the best stories?' Introverts or extroverts?

My submission to this challenge is this post ;) -> Keep reading folks, especially if you're one of the #DigCitSummit acolytes who have had PLENTY to say to and about me. Ass holes! Erm I mean Donkeys (Remember @BeMorePirate kids, you should always use the YOYOWJOI compass!)

Hint: YOYOW = You Own Your Own Words (As per my 2015 #DigCitSummitUK closing remarks!)

The JOI? You'll need to search @BeYonderLtd and find either a #SchoolClimateStrike Sea Shepherd or Super Hero for that part ;). Spoilers sweetie, spoilers ;)

28th November 2017
This  leads to 8 schools connecting with Spy Quest and the DigCitSummit brand during the Skypeathon
SpyQuest Skype Connection

The first time we speak after myself and my kid supporting this toxic brand (Yet again!) is the following

"I think you have hatred in your heart for me"

Seriously? We've just went WAY! outside our comfort zone to support you and these are the 'Be THAT kid of kid' words you choose to use? Fuck you... and the drama you bring with you! Did you see my 2016 DigCitSummitUK Closing Remarks of #YOYOW? I think I can offer a rather compelling argument that it's you with the 'hatred in your heart' as you so eloquently put it.

1st December 2017
We had already arranged for the #DigCitSummit Co-Founder to Skype into the Scottish #Cmgr meet up when I was presenting my experiences of making the transition from sales to community manager.

That was one of the last times we spoke...

Think there were 1-2 more calls to try to make the best of a bad situation and there was a comment about trying to make a #DigCitSummitScot event happen when #DigCitSummitIRL was on... but there was no one to organise it.

'Oh Fuck it! Thinks I, a quick '5min favour' after all the others I've done, won't kill me'

2nd February 2018
Hi Everyone,

Following Chris van der Kuyl’s keynote speech at the 2015 Scottish Learning Festival where the message was that there needs to be more collaboration in education, after listening to this keynote I got to work with a few projects and ideas. If anyone wants to know the specifics of these project please see this post.

One of the initiatives that I got involved with was a Digital Citizenship event where I said to the organisers:

“I’ll get involved with this on one condition… that the UK event takes place in Scotland and, ideally in Falkirk”

Articulating the reasons for this and the implementation of this statement might have been better at the time. While the event did go ahead, unfortunately, it was moved so that it was closer to London so international speakers and attendees could attend the BETT Show.

I hope that the collaboration that’s taken place between Falkirk schools, Spy Quest and some US Connected educators during the 2016 & 2017 Skypeathon demonstrates the value of my suggestion that this would be a great place to host the event.

I understand that some connected educators will be in the UK again this April, and wondered if it might be worth exploring the idea of hosting an event in Scotland this time?

If enough people in this group like the idea then the you could probably make this happen with very little effort (many hands make light work and all that jazz) and IMHO would be a fantastic opportunity to exchange ideas, share best practice and generally make connections that would facilitate more collaborative online projects.

I’d be happy to pitch in as and when I could, but my time is limited, as I need to focus new goals and opportunities… but it would be fantastic to see an event take place in Scotland when people are in the area to put a bit of “social proof” to work to help get others connected.  

I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts on the idea.

Best wishes


3rd February 2018
From: DigCitSummit Co-Founder
Sent: 03 February 2018 13:31
To: William Jenkins
Subject: Fwd: Scottish Digital Citizenship Event?

Really happy to see the responses especially this one from Hadley! I know you have wanted to bring an Edcamp to Scotland for a long time. 

Happy to support you to bring an event to Falkirk

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows the #DigCitSummit brand that they have now tapped into what became of this project as it 'Pivoted' to #CEduAD (Well before the 2 months that the 'Radically Transparent' #NewPowerEducation crew got involved)

Note to self remember to write a 'How Trust was Destroyed in a single blog post in October 2018'

8th March 2018
"By January 2016, I was connected with Joanne Sweeney because we brought the #DigCitSummit to the UK with the help of a colleague, William Jenkins, who really is responsible for uniting all of us" @Mbfxc

NB We were NEVER colleagues! With the exception of being asked to do some work in Feb 2017 (where the amount was contested and when it would be paid... 50% was paid on time the rest was months later) I was always a volunteer of the #DigCitSummit brand!

28th April 2018
On the day of the #DigCitSummitIRL event people start Tweeting about their enthusiasm for a #DigCitSummitScot event... Something I had tried to do in Nov 2015 and again in Feb 2018.

At the time my thoughts were simply... YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP and/or I would find myself agreeing with Michael Sinclair's observation when we connect during #CEduAD 2018 in June

"It's like the plot to a bad book or movie"

Today, with the benefit of my books and seeing a few ideas get traction after the 3rd or 4th attempt... I can see that this is part of the process.

"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculedSecond, it is violently opposedThird, it is accepted as self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer.

So of course three years later this is self evidently a good idea... and just as I did with 

Nov 2015 - Feb 2018 with #DigCitSummit  
Nov 2015 - Oct 2018 with #CEduAD

I'd be happy willing to do a quick '5min favour' (not a 5 month one)... even if the end will mean that people end up saying 

'I hate that freaking turtle' 

Because you are either working with a group of passionate people and/or as a result of miscommunication when collaborating virtually and we miss the 90% of our comms that is non-verbal..

You get no birthday!
There’s a party and you can’t come, how’s that?
They’re gonna have flaming cars, and trailer folks
and shrimp-dogs and pizza!
Oh, no, no, no, oh dang it!

Check the very first tweet on the #SeaTurtlePirates hashtag to see what that is in reference to. Lol

28th May 2018

In May I was perusing Waterstones for my next book to read and a pink 'Be More Pirate' one caught my eye immediately... as did these two quotes:

"In the workshops we run, the second stage is where things really get started, we break into crews and a sense of mutiny begins to fill the room. Making new rules can be complex, but that's not where we start; the first thing to do is get a crew to choose the one rule they collectively most want to break, and then begin the task of remaking it. 

In this challenge, we've seen things get pretty heated; crews fight, split, re-form and commit to actual rule breaking there and then. We find when you really reconnect with that rule you know needs breaking, and actual alternatives begin to emerge, with a crew ready to try to change them, pirates begin to get serious.

So to any 'New Power,' 'Be More Pirate' crews... especially those in education who have organised a Twitter chat or Edcamp or anything and found their efforts margianlised by the 'Takers' and 'Fakers' ( The qualitative and quantitative data suggests this IS the case)...don't stop collaborating!

Find a different group. Don't let the takers mean that you don't share your ideas and creative gifts with the world, it's those people that are wrecking social media (Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accouts Right Now detail how and why this is the case)

"When I say fight, I mean actually fight. That doesn't have to be physical, it could be a fights with the system, it could be a professional conflict, a falling out with a friend or a row with a stranger. It could be a war of words, it could be a battle of wills or if could be lobbying, arguing, demonstrating or debating.

But whatever it is, it's a real fight, one where you're putting your neck on the line, you could get hurt, you've got something to lose, it could cost you your job, end a relationship, damage your reputation, or worse" 

My core values include having honest relationships... and if someone runs around the internet saying 

'Be the same person you are online as you are offline'
Be The Digital Change you want to see in the world

What happens if you call them out and pick a fight, I wondered ;)

Image result for digcitsummituk core values

With 4 years of messing about with the Pirate Code, I thought at the very least I could give the Be More Pirate community a win with a Blackbeard style #DigCitSummit Tall Tale... and one that would also (Hopefully) keep future takers/fakers away from any projects that I might work on

1st June 2018
After reading Be More Pirate, the New Power Community Manager suggested that I read their book.

As they said at the inaugural New Power Virtual Gathering, I tweeted out half the book, wrote 'Tech Story 2' and was loved by the authors and their #Cmgr

I went on to incorporate the #NewPowerEducation movement into the Skype Edcamp and the 2018 attempt to bring the #CMAD for Edu 'Connected Educator Appreciation Day' to life.

By the 1st August my ideas and voice was marginalised and by 20th October the #CEduAD story was changed entirely and I was suddenly labeled as 'The wrong kind of people with the wrong kind of purpose'

Fuck New Power's idea of 'Radical Transparency' thought I.

*Waves* to the New Power team... Love you guys, #YouMatter... if you didn't we wouldn't be connected yadda yadda etc etc.

17 &19th July 2018
Skype Master Student

31st July 2018
The event that stated out as the #DigCitSummitScot idea had developed to a UK Edcamp and - because of the level of interest internationally - #CEduAD 2018 and an initial Skype call was arranged with people who were interested in getting involved.

14th September 2018

Having had enough of attracting assholes and feeling the effects of ostracism and bullying I thought I'd experiment with the 'Be the same person you are online as you are offline' by sharing some of the horrible things said to me in private messages online.. before quitting Twitter.

Sharing what was said privately by the 'Be the same person you are online as you are offline' brand, wasn't very well received by the #DigCitSummit community... Go figure?!

Like all the flowery things that the DigCitSummit Founder had to say about me, anything controversial I had to say about them has been deleted... they were only up for a day or two.

Long enough to create a moment of conflict and start a fight... I was just trying to implement New Power and use if for good ;)

17th September 2018
It was Microsoft's Ray Fleming who got me onto Twitter. When looking for a little career advice in 2010 he told me that

"If you want to be in EdTech today, social media comes with the job"

Social media hadn't done much for my career and, after lashing out because of the bullying and ostracism and general lack of progress, I almost deleted my account... a quick 5 min favour prevented me from doing so

This led to a follow up on the topic of my 2015 #DigCitSummit Closing Remarks and wondering do you own your own words once they have been said... and realising that they are shared words

This post and my experiences here seem spookily similar to both the 'Love in Action' that Howard Rhiengold saw on The Well, as well as the kind of scribbling that Blair Newman did before tragically taking his own life (See The Heart of The Well).

All the people who said flowery things until they got what they wanted/needed from me then blocked me... was actually a huge blessing, I will be using this in a number of projects going forward. So thank you all!

Anything I do here on out using Twitter I won't know if it would not exist without these 14 words from @Sfm36 last September. Thank you Sarah! If you ever read Nicole Yershon's #RoughDiamond make sure you pay particular attention to the last page of the introduction.

'Words on a screen can hurt people. Although online conversation might have the ephemeral and informal feeling of a telephone conversation, it has the reach and permanence of a publication' Howard Rheingold The Heart of The Well

Equally, the impact a kind word can have is unbelievable.

I want my kids to #BeTHATkindofKid! The 'Love in Action' kind... Not the Fake Friends with empty words types.

18th December 2018
When rereading Virtual Communities I notice for the first time Marc Smith's name and read for the first time ever his 1992 College Thesis 'Voices from the Well' I read it three times in as many days.

I laughed my head off at all the experiences above, not only were they inevitable... they were entirely predictable. The Well Beings truly were and are geniuses!! So far ahead of their time.

As with so many things online today... the guys at The Well have been there, done it and got the T-shirt.

5th January 2019
You simply couldn't make this shit up! #CEduAD 2018 was pivoted when one of the DigCitSummit Co-Founders didn't reply to my efforts to have a #DigCitSummitScot event around the same time as #DigCitSummitIRL in April?!

5th February 2019

I see for the first time Michael Sinclair's comment about me dropping out of #CEduAD because I 

'Could not keep up with the breakneck pace of a global movement'

A little bit of #NewPowerEducation 'Radical Transparency' ...who drops out of something they've worked on for 4 years?

"Before forming your "Master Mind" alliance, decide what advantages, and benefits, you may offer the individual embers of your group, in return for their cooperation. No one will work indefinitely without some form of compensation. No intelligent person will either request or expect another to work without adequate compensation, although this may not always be in the form of money...” Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Or... If even if I was not an intelligent person, if I 'dropped out,' as the official #CEduAD Team story goes... how come I voluntarily handed the @ConEduAD Twitter account that I'd developed since April over in October 2018?

When I saw that the first Be More Pirate meet up was on the 28th February I wondered to myself

'Could I create a new movement between now and the 28th February?' 

I put everything in place for #SkypeMS by the middle of March and thanks to the following:
  • It was a Skype call with @Stanbridge in March 2015 that is responsible for anything I’ve done in education since that call… a kind word from him on a quick Skype call.
    (Who I found out about as a result of Sarah Thomas’ #SXSWEdu ‘Minority Women in Tech’ DigiDiversity presentation)
  • Since the inaugural Skypeathon only a handful of Scottish schools have taken part in the event. Skype was the main comms tool I used when I worked with a hot shot Silicon Valley startup a few years ago... Which is why I'm both a fan and have tried to get more schools here connected
  • Linda Fabiani let me know that an entrepreneur in her constituency was working on an ‘Ingress for kids’ game when I sent a copy of the Pokemon Go in Edu report to politicians
  • Seeing how much the Skype call was second nature to my 7 year old son on the 2017 #DigCitSummit Spy Quest Mission Vs how nervous I was and that I couldn’t wait to get out of the class, made me see the value in young people taking a lead on events like the Skypeathon
  • LI Paper Community Manager Kelly Hungerford for sharing her experiences with me via CMAD 2016 and a Skype call in 2017
  • Skype for Good Director Ross Smith taking a moment to speak to my oldest son… He grew 2 feet taller during the call. If a kid had enough calls like that with people like that during his/her school life, I would not be surprised if it turned out to be a High Impact/Low Cost (Vs Low Impact/High Cost) that could easily make a dent in the #AttainmentGap and #DYW.
  • Reading Ross Smiths RSA 21stCentury Skills post and then having a conversation about it on a walk with my youngest son… and led to us plotting about how he could encourage his teacher to make a call. Lastly, but by no means least!)
  • Andrea Tolley and her awesome Skype Master Student #MIEBoom presentation at ISTE
26th June 2019
As 'New Power' highlights with the Oreo Superbowl 'You can still dunk in the dark' and/or Tim MacDonald's observation that there is usually months of unseen effort that goes into ideas, events, movements and projects.

I wrote this follow up after @TolleyA's awesome #MIEBoom #SkypeMS presentation

4th August 2019
Given the way that re-purposing what people say online - in particular in the dark spaces where Far Right extremists are talking about

'The Patron Saint of the Far Right' 

And policy makers are fueling this... Who is it that's keeping our young people safe.

In the case of Shamina Begum, Asqa Mahmood, James Letts etc etc the answer is no one!!

Just this week we have a 16 year old kid in court for being a Neo Nazi and an 8 year old kid trying to 'scratch his skin off' because of kids N-word abuse (See The Choice - The Capacity to Love and Hate)

Policy makers have dropped the ball entirely with Digital Citizenship and the only group that I can see that will play catch up with Bannon's 'Network Effects' and 'Feedback Loops' are educators.

19th Augaust 2019
I have done all that I can to make a Classroom Skype call at my kids school, but it ain't happening

(See Skype Master Student - Connect Globally to Help Locally)

...And Marc Smith (@Marc_Smith) sure isn't wrong with this observation!

23rd August 2019
...So I made a note of some ideas that others - where they DO make Classroom Skype calls might want to explore: Some Skypeathon Ideas

14th October 2019
I see all the people that I've helped connect the #DigCitSummit brand to and all the people who joined in and, as a so called 'Crowd Leader' (According to New Power), those I helped to 'empower'

...But they decide to leave an 9 year old kid who went so far out of his comfort zone to support the #DigCitSummit fucking brand that they don't even have the common decency to acknowledge his time, work and effort?

I sure as fuck don't want my kid to be THAT kind of kid!

(NB If Trump can use 'Grab them by the...' and LibDems can use Bollocks then a former #DigCitSummit Pirate can sure as heck use Fuck)

People fall out all the time! Every single day in the playground, at their offices, in their group of friends, neighbors and families too… We need look no further than our so called political leaders… and they have contracts, staff handbooks, HR etc etc. Voluntary collaboration like this doesn’t. 

Go sit in a coffee shop for a day and see if you can go an entire day without listening to people talking about their so-called-friends or colleagues, I'd be amazed if you had a gossip free day!

As we see in the world of politics and us voting for Trump/Bannon/Farage/Boris and Brexit, we’re still figuring online out, who's going to show them the way if not educators? Boris Johnston and Donald Trump?

Unfortunately, negative and controversial messages and approaches work (It's Jaron Lanier's BUMMER at play again)

I want to model for my kids the advice from Sam Conniff’s book Be More Pirate (And model Molly Stanbridge's example too – What are you willing to take a stand for… what you willing get in a fight for (something that could see you lose friends, has the potential to harm your reputation).

I've done that here and, if nothing else, hopefully the @BeMorePirate Community have one heck of an Edu based Blackbeard Tall Tale to tell!

... Just like @ThisIsNewPower have a #NewPowerEducation 'Radical Transparency' case study with #CEduAD as a result of my time and efforts. 

But I also want my kids to model ways that if/when friends fall out (online or offline) that they find ways to communicate and, ideally, to make up or at the very least part ways as amicably as possible (Preferably using the #YOYOWJOI compass). So I'll #BeTheDigitalChange I want to see!   

We included everyone who was involved in the #MIEBoom presentation and very much hope that everyone who was involved previously will get involved going forward

Any of the #DigCitSummit acolytes who sees this post as anything other than sharing my experiences and trying to help can get themselves to F**k, I've had enough of you and your judgmental attitudes ('You KNOW who you are' as @FillTheGapLearn cryptically says in his #CEduAD 'Cooking with Gas' post).

"God himselfsir, doesn't propose to judge man until the end of his days. So why should you and I?"

"Don't criticize them [Confederates]; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances" Lincoln

"Before you start to judge me, step into my shoes and walk the life I'm living and if you get as far as I am, just maybe you will see how strong I really am."

Just as I made a few mistakes and learnt from them, I'm sure the #DigCitSummit brand did after their first few events... whether you know me or not, here are some facts.
  • My Core Values have remained unchanged since Sept 2015
  • The reason I got involved with the #DigCitSummit to help get more Scottish educators connected - this has remained unchanged
  • The title of the Thunderclap 'Skype & Twitter We Love You' - this is unchanged, still a fan of both... but a little bit less so 4 years on.
  • 'Be the same person they are online as they are offline' I'm still down with that idea... Especially after reading Edward Snowden's Permanent Record!  
  • #BeTheDigitalChange you want to see - I see value in this, especially with the rise of the Far Right. I have tried to #BeTheDigitalChange in this post and elsewhere.

    Is reaching for 'Block' the best we can do? What if that act of ostracism leads a young person straight into the arms of a REAL hate group, as former EDL member Ivan Humble highlights these guys are waiting with open arms to give people that 'magic sense of belonging'
I also think that various commentators are right - that this kind of loose informal collaboration will be the future of work for many people.

Therefore, in my experience (However misguided or limited), anyone working like this might want to make sure that you 
  • Take Jim Collins advice and 'Get the right people on the bus first'
  • Take Napoleon Hills advice and work in harmony with everyone in your group
  • Take Tribal Leaderships advice and 'Identify your core values and then align them with a noble cause
  • Take time to discuss your Pirate Code 2.0... Personally I like Biz Stone's 'New Rules' and some of Sam Conniff's 2.0 Pirate Code
  • Read about what Nicole Yershon learned about the Lab Team, Lessons from the Lab and her Innovation Framework
  • Get NewPower, it's a good read for movements, but I'd give joining their community a miss... they are not very supportive, not in my experience anyway. At least they were the 'Wrong kind of people for me' but maybe I'm just a Misfit ;)
Thus ends my #DigCitSummit Adventure... and my Skype one... and my Scottish Education one too for that matter, that's one tough nut to crack!

Should've listened to Bill Aulet when he said

"We advise our students at MIT NOT to get into Edu/EdTech... It's too tough a sector"

LOL at the naivety of this post three years ago

'Scotland Lacks Talent' @ChrisVDK #SLF2015... but then gets £600,000 from @ScotGov to make Scotland the most entrepreneurial country in the world. What Tosh! Might be an idea to give the money to people who actually believe that Scotland has talent!!

Books, The Internet or School?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

The week of the School Climate Strikes and the Rugby World Cup (The relevance of this will become apparent) a good time to pose the following question:

If you could only choose one... 

1) Books? 
2) The internet? 
3) School? 

Which would it be? For me I think it would be books.

I never picked up a book for pleasure until I was 29 years old and was thanks to the Open University. I got my first computer at around the same age (Although did have games consoles when I was younger). 

As per, Jack Dorsey's Ted Talk, I do indeed try to use the internet to share the ideas that I've learnt from the books that I've read for pleasure... and have done since my first blog post in 2012.

School didn't do much for me... nor has it done much for my 16 & 18 year old sons. 

When reading about many successful people they seem to take the same view with school at various stages.

So what needs to change to ensure that 'Every Child Matters' the 'Attainment Gap' is realised and where 'No Child is Left Behind' ...All of which were the catchy soundbites of UK & US politicians not so long ago. 

The few lessons that have remained with me from my school days include:

1) When the Rugby World Cup was on and the front page of the papers had some controversy about the England team.

The revelation happened to come the day before the England Vs Australia match... and the papers that were reporting the story was Australian Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Who's telling the story and why? 

Is what our English teacher at the time encouraged us to ask?

This is a VITAL skill today - One which Finland is successfully teaching - in the world of #FakeNews, speedy news cycles and 'bad actors'... Which, because with or without technology some things never change, includes self interested political 'leaders'. 

Who Trended It and Why? 

Is a vital lesson that we don't always appear to be teaching... and is affecting the lives of some of our young people.

2) There's no such thing as an atheist on the battlefield - again my English teacher re Wilfred Owen's poems, back when there was a more coherent and/or less divided national identity.

3) My Geography teachers' passion for the subject leading me to do my Human Geography OU Course and discovering thought leaders like Jane Jacobs.

(School may have not done much for me, but the teachers who had passion for their subject most certainly did! I enjoyed the topics even though I sucked at the tests they gave. "All the good teachers leave" my 16 year old son in a depressed, resigned tone to his 8 year old brother).

4) My biology teacher telling us

"The only thing you'll remember about my class is that it takes 6 hours to boil an ostrich egg" 

He wasn't wrong, but a great statement to make if you want to get a fact to stick in your students heads! Couldn't he have divulged the secrets of the philosophers stone or something as useful through? Lol!.

That's about it from my unispiring school days. 

One of the biggest crimes of my school years was making us dissect to death one of the dourest books I ever had the misfortune to ever come across - which successfully killed off any enjoyment of reading for a decade. 

Thank you Sunset Song and whatever geniuses existed at SQA at the time... Nice job!

What's this got to do with anything? 

My head is buzzing with ideas from books that I've read in 1999 (Esp Jane Jacobs) and mashing them up with more recent ones, which include: The Choice, Bad Blood, Siege Trump Under Fire, Ten Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts Right Now, The 5 People you Meet in Heaven & Permanent Record (To name a few). 

The ideas from these books are then supplemented with all the people I've met online and the articles and videos that they have shared and my attempts to re-skill from sales to community management.

But the 'laggard' and what Adam Grant calls the 'Gisagreeable Giver' in me is so sick of what the internet has become... that I came very close to taking Jaron Lanier's advice and delete my social media accounts at the end of last year. I didn't for similar reasons to the second extract in this post.

Here's some super important lessons I've learned through following people in my network and my books... I hope it helps education leaders make better use of all the resources currently available to keep our kids safe.

The first extract is from Twitter CEO and how he feels Twitter needs to change.

"What we believe now to be the most important thing, which is healthy contribution back to the network and conversation to the network, participation within conversation, learning something from the conversation. Those are not things that we thought of 13 years ago, and we believe are extremely important right now.

…we want to incentivize healthy contribution back to the network, and what we believe that is is actually participating in conversation that is healthy.

You have to balance and look constantly at what is actually going to create a healthy contribution to the network and a healthy experience for people. Ultimately, we want to get to a metric where people can tell us, 

"Hey, I learned something from Twitter, and I'm walking away with something valuable" 

That is our goal ultimately over time, but that's going to take some time" Jack Dorsey, How Twitter Needs to Change

In Feb 2014 I wrote a post called 

At the end of the post I wrote the following:

With regard to my agreeing with Rands assertion that "politicians need victims" please allow me to play devils advocate for a moment... 

How many adults leave school with a reading age of 5 or the inability of critical thought? 
Do these factors then make certain newspapers their news source of choice?
Are such a newspapers capable of getting our politicians into No10? 
Do politicians get all cozy with the owner of these publications? 
If "yes" why would any politician from any party want to change any situation that delivers power in such a straightforward manner?

This might be especially true if you then consider the implications if politicians were committed to ensuring critical thought was a priority in our young people. After all people may start to wonder;

What is it exactly that politicians do? 

If "we're in this together" can you let us the last time a politician had to visit a food bank? 
If political action is indeed making "people's lives better," who for? Where do they live? 
Why does every encounter with the public need to be stage managed and filled with party political drones, stooges and yes men?
Who is John Galt?

I think the way that politicians have both used and dumbed down social media to the same level as 

'It's the Sun wot won it'
Along with Trump's 2016 campaign team saying 

"It was social media and Facebook that won the election"

There is some merit to these comments.  

The second extract? Well let's just say if this person was online today as a teenager who's to say if they might have found themselves living in exile with their citizenship revoked because their extremist comments about taxing games might have seen them be befriended by Scottish School Girl and ISIS recruiter, Asqa Mahmood, and join people like Shamina Begum and Jack Letts in Syria?

However, then they were a teenager and decided to log on in the 1990s a familiar theme I see is that 'The Bar was High' 

Whether to log onto 'The Well' or other forums, so the people these kids met were tech savvy and intelligent... and helped these teens to learn and assisted with their careers.

Today, with the bar being a bit lower to enter the discussions today means that idiots from extreme groups (Whether ISIS or the far right), makes it a little harder to keep our kids to safe if there are no adults in the room... Just like the White House: More adults in the room are needed. 

And I think we'll get there too. Jane Jacobs teaches us that attempts to create order leads to chaos... and chaos of the city can lead to order:

"When Jimmy Rogan fell through a plate-glass window (he was separating some scuffling friends) and almost lost his arm, a stranger in an old T shirt emerged from a bar, swiftly applied an expert tourniquet, and, according to the hospital’s emergency staff, saved Jimmy’s life. Nobody remembered seeing the man before and no one has seen him since. The hospital was called in this way: a woman sitting on the steps next to the accident ran over to the bus stop, wordlessly snatched the dime from the hand of a stranger who was waiting with his fifteen-cent fare ready, and raced into the Ideal’s phone booth. The stranger raced after her to offer the nickel too. Nobody remembered seeing him before, and nobody has seen him since" Jane Jacobs, Life and Death of Great American Cities

Our kids will help clean up the mess that the current generation have made of the toxic internet just like they did on Friday in our physical spaces to protest about the toxicity in our oceans and climate change during the school climate strikes... Even if they do make the odd mistake online.

"My worries [about getting security clearance] were more personal, or felt more personal: the endless conveyor belt of stupid lingoistic things I'd said, and even stupider misathropic opinions I'd abandoned, in the process of growing up online. Specifically, I was worried about my chat logs and forum posts, all supremely moronic commentary that I'd sprayed across a score of gaming and hacker sites. Writing pseudonymously had meant writing freely, but often thoughtlessly. And since a major aspect of early internet culture was competing with others to say the most inflammatory thing, I'd never hesitate to advocate, say, bombing a country that taxed video games, or corralling people who didn't like anime into reeducation camps. Nobody on those sites took any of this stuff seriously, least of all myself.

When I went back and reread the posts, I cringed. Half the things I'd said I hadn't even meant at the time - I'd just wanted attention - but I didn't fancy my odds of explaining that to a gray-haired man in horned rimmed glasses peering over a giant folder labeled PERMANENT RECORD. The other half, the things i thing I had meant at the time, were even worse , because I wasn't that kid anymore. I'd grown up. It wasn't simply that I didn't recognise the voice as my own - it was that I now actively opposed its over-heated hormonal opinions. I found that I wanted to argue with a ghost. I wanted to fight with that dumb, puerile, and casually cruel self of mine who no longer existed. I couldn't stand the idea of being haunted by him forever, but I didn't know the best way to express my remorse and put some distance between him and me, or whether I should even try to do that. It was heinous to be so inextricably, technologically bound to a past that I fully regretted but barely remembered.

This might be the most familiar problem of my generation, the first to grow up online. We were able to discover and explore our identities almost totally unsupervised, with hardly a thought spared for the fact that our rash remarks and profane banter were being preserved for perpetuity, and that one day we might be expected to account for them. I'm sure everyone had an internet connection before they had a job can sympathize with this - surely everyone has that one post that embarrasses them, or that text or email that could get them fired.

My situation was somewhat different, however, in that most of the message boards of my day would let you delete your old posts. I could put together one tiny little script - not even a real program - and all of my posts would be gone in under an hour. It would've been the easiest thing in the world to do. Trust me, I considered it.

But ultimately, I couldn't. Something kept preventing me. It just felt wrong. To blank my posts from the face of the earth wasn't illegal, and it wouldn't even have made me ineligible for a security clearance had anyone found out. But the prospect of doing so bothered me nonetheless. It would've only served to reinforce some of the most corrosive precepts of online life: That nobody is ever allowed to make a mistake, and anybody who does make a mistake must answer for it forever. What mattered to me wasn't so much the integrity of the written record but that of my soul. I didn't want to live in a world where everyone had to pretend that they were perfect, because that was a world that had no place for me or my friends. To erase those comments would have been to erase who I was, where I was from, and how far I'd come. To deny my younger self would have been to deny my present self's validiy.

I decided to leave the comments up and figure out how to live with them. I even decided that true fidelity to this stance would require me to continue posting. In time, I'd outgrow these new opinions too, but my initial impulse remains unshakable, if only because it was an important step in my own maturity. We can't erase the things that shame us, or the ways we've shamed ourselves, online. All we can do is control our reactions - whether we let the past oppress us, or accept its lessons, grow, and move on." P96 & 97

Some Skypeathon Ideas⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

I've done what I can over the years (As and when I've been able) to support tools that I'm a fan of. This includes Skype and encouraging people to get involved with events like the Skypeathon since it started in 2015.

In 2015 it looked like 2 Scottish schools got involved with the Skypeathon, fifteen in 2016 and two initiatives in 2017 (Not sure about 2018).

This post includes some ideas that might help more Scottish schools connect in 2019.

Skype Rivalries 
One of the most successful initiatives with the Skypeathon in Scottish Schools was the year that Paul Watkins organised the 'Three Nations Challenge" a competition between Scotland, England and Wales to see who could travel the most virtual miles.

I wonder what would happen if this was re-ran in any number of the following combinations.

Traditional sports rivalries in US Sports - College & NFL
In our first attempt at content marketing and market research and our Twitter in FE report in collaboration with Social Nation author, Barry Libert we noticed the Texas A&M Vs Texas Uni football rivalry spilling into social media (But in a friendly way... not like political adversaries go after one another today)

In our search for good examples of colleges in Social Media and who had the most fans, we came across a great example involving Texas A&M and The University of Texas.

The longstanding rivalry between the two universities never fails to cause a stir amongst students & fans. In the modern age of Facebook and Twitter, the competition extends beyond the playing field and onto the Internet. These two rival universities compete with one another to have the most followers and fans. At the time of writing this currently stands at;

Texas A&M = 16,000 followers Vs Texas Uni = 13,000 (via Twitter in FE Report 2012)

A twist on this might be that the Twitter chats and/or Edcamp organisers from each state compete against other state Twitter chat and/or EdCamp to see who wins the bragging rights for the most miles travelled within and outside of their state?

Here's a list of Edchat ModeratorsEdcamp Accounts and Edcamp organisers

In Scotland (And across the UK) this could be seeing who Skypes with the most people within their Local Authority outside their district, perhaps buddying up with a state for the right kind of collusion (AKA not the political kind of collusion) to clock those Skype miles up.

To find Schools on Twitter in Scotland (Last updated in 2017) check out this Zeemap

Scottish Schools on Twitter
(Click on the list or pin to see class/departmental accounts)

Microsoft Ambassadors
Or perhaps there could be collusion along Microsoft Ambassador lines with #MIEExperts, #SkypeMTs, Mincraft Global Mentors, Flipgrid Ambassadors, Wakelet Ambassadors and their students seeing which group can get the most schools making that all important first Skype call.

Authors, Industry Experts & VFTs 
Once you've got schools in your district signed up and have established an alliance with a region/community from across the pond... Perhaps you could recruit an author, industry expert or virtual field trip location and book them up before any of your (friendly!) rivals do ;)

You can connect with authors and VFTs on the Microsoft Education Community (MEC) or simply Tag  them in Tweet

Possible Competitions
Some of the things regarding the friendly competition could include:

The most miles traveled
The best call
The class that learned the most on a call
Incentives to stay in touch over the course of the year and the best collaboration between the Skypeathon 2019 and the 2020 event.

Some Wizard Skype Magic... And Serious Fun!
Ever read a book called Harry Potter? Remember the sorting hat? Did you see how seriously those kids took the house competition... and how loyal they were?

#WhatIf... There was Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin for Skype?

I've been exploring some Citizenship ideas with a few educators for some young digital leaders and wonder what some friendly rivalries could look like.

Perhaps having educators and authors who help students to encourage other classes, schools, educators and students connect. 

Based on some of the books me and my kids have got a lot out of over the last couple of years this could include books like:

Spy Quest 
Agent Jones' Mission is to encourage reluctant readers to discover the world of books and he has helped bring reading to life in our house.

If, as we suspect, Be More Pirate author Sam Conniff is right and that 

'Professional Rule Breaking will be an in-demand skill'

Then applying principles from this book will come in useful... Just look at Greta Thrunberg and the School Climate Strike if you are looking for any evidence of this. (Sam Conniff has also inspired young people through his work at Livity)

Rough Diamond
Nicole Yershon's book is all about creativity, digital and organisational transformation and how she helped young people who were 'Rough Diamond's' to shine when she created and ran the Ogilvy Labs.

Gamers, Youtubers & Other Smart Stems
We have seen how 15 year olds are making money from things like the Fortnite World Cup, YouTube and other ideas that simply were not here a decade or two ago... Minecraft experts like Stephen Reid, Minecraft Global Mentors and organisations like Smart Stems could help with this group

New Power Super Heroes 
A lot of kids - some of whom might be lonely at school and/or are having a hard time - can tend to lose themselves in the Marvel and DC universe. 

Other lost kids are not so lucky and find that instead of super heroes it's the white supremacist spaces that they get lost in... Their minds getting warped by people who call the New Zealand Terrorist 'Patron Saint of the Far Right??!

Lets help those kids find the right kind of IRL role models and help them develop their own super powers... and their 'New Power' skills.

As all ideas this one may be a bad idea to start with, an OK idea, or a good one but just isn't ready yet. 

...Maybe it needs a little more collusion with more turtles that we haven't met yet before there is that 'Eureka' moment and/or the meeting of minds and mixing with other people's 'Slow Hunches'. I love those freaking good idea Turtles!

Confused about that last paragraph (Or, indeed, the entire post?) check this video out
Image result for where ideas come from steven johnson
Where Ideas Come From #ForTheWeb

Skype Master Student – Connect Globally to Help Locally⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

This post includes what I hope will happen when trying to develop the idea of a Skype Master Student initiative to the stage where it becomes a good idea so that others will get involved and run with.

The next stage is to take Sam Conniff's advice in Be More Pirate and try to engage one of the groups that - for various reasons - is a tough audience for me. 

This post, like my previous one is more cathartic and 'thinking out loud' as much as anything. It details what I would like to happen... but will, no doubt, hit road blocks and/or may take a few attempts.

My own kids' school(s) should not be a tough audience for me - just like this post, like the one I wrote last July, should be a single paragraph:

"I want my kids to be able to make Skype calls at school, to connect with the kind of people that I've been able to connect with... But in order to do that a bit of encouragement and hustle is needed"

But I've found that's not how things work. Four years ago I would have (and did!) scratch my head about how and why it was so tough. Nicole Yershon articulates this very well in her fantastic book about creativity and innovation.

"We were laying the road as we go along and to write a PowerPoint to explain it, is actually quite difficult" Rough Diamond 

So... What if you have ideas but don't have a voice? 

To give just one example... What if you agree with people like Chris van der Kuyl that 'Education lacks leadership*' and agree that you feel there would be a lot of benefits if Scottish Educators were to collaborate more.

However, unlike those who do have a voice, you are not a position to simply give a fancy keynote speech at and think nothing more about it?

(*IMHO the observations from my previous post detail this quite clearly how and where education lacks leadership from policy makers)  

One piece of advice was to 'Keep Telling your Story' but, thanks to the person who gave me this very advice, I've since found that those who do have a voice will take the story and alter it

"You have to be sure to tell your side of the story... Because if you don't, the truth will be invented by other people to get the credit" Nicole Yershon, Rough Diamond 

So it would appear that there are two options...

1) Just give up and conform.

2) Take Susan Cain and Steve Wozniak's advice and start a @LiveQuiet revolution and work alone. 

"Most inventors and enginners I've met are like me - they're shy and they live in their heads. They're almost like artists. In fact the best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an inventions design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don't believe anything really revolutionary has been invented by committee. If you're that rare engineer who's an inventor and also an artist, I'm going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is : Work alone.You're going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you're working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team." Steve Wozniak via Susan Cain's fantastic book "Quiet"

Work on an idea until it becomes a good idea to 'Flatten the path' and 'Lower the barrier' to help others... until the rationale for the idea is beyond obvious and the value in exploring it no longer needs any explanation at all.
This Comment is pure gold to this particular Pirate!
I've come REALLY close to the first option in the last 12 months, including last week. 

However, a kind word from various groups of people in my network and two experiences with my kids have helped.

The people who have provided a kind word know who they are - if anything happens with this going forward it might not have without your input! TY - The two experiences with my kids are below.

My World of Work Day
Last year there was a "World of Work" day at my 8 year old son's school, and parents were asked if they wanted to get involved. I didn't get involved. The reason?

I "lack presence," I've done the 'stand up and pretend to be an extrovert' stuff on sales calls and at conferences... I'm neither a fan of public speaking and find current sales practices to be so 1980s Gordon Gekko... and, if you take a look at companies that scale well you'll notice that the times they are a changing.

(If you check out my Confessions of an EdTech Salesman from Jan 2014 you'll see that @TolleyA pretty much modeled this at ISTE this year)

Another reason I didn't get involved is because what I was working on wasn't quite ready. 

It is now ready, but the timing might not quite fit in with the schools World of Work Day schedule. So unless a rule or two is broken, they might not hear about the exciting summer that one of their young students has had.

When I picked my son up from school after his World of Work Day, I asked:

Was anyone from Minecraft there?
Was anyone from YouTube there?
Was anyone from Fortnite there?
Was anyone from Pokemon Go there?
Was anyone from Xbox there?
Was anyone from Microsoft there?
Was anyone from Google there?
Was anyone from Apple there?

All games and tech that he likes... answer to each question was 'No' until I get an exasperated 

"Look Dad! No-one from any technology companies were there today! OK!" 

For no reason what's so ever I'll just park this comment from our Right Honourable Education Secratery here

“Our children and young people can access more information at the click of a button than at any point in history” John Swinney, EdTech50 Schools report... along with a link to my previous post: The Choice.

As Twitter highlights all too well, it's easy to criticize and leave things there... complete with a cutting comment or an insult ("Words on a Screen Hurt" Howard Rhiengold Virtual Communities). 

But I asked these things as I felt I was working on a solution to this lack of tech companies at the school's World of Work Day.

When Agent Isaac turned up to Westquarter Primary School on his DigCitSummit SpyQuest Mission Classroom Skype Call to model the movements aim to 'Act Locally; Connect Globally' I envisioned inverting this so that once he had connected globally it would help locally with this very issue.

"When we set  out  to  create  a  community  of  technical scholars  in  Silicon  Valley, there wasn't much here and the rest of the world looked awfully big.  Now a lot of the rest of the  world  is  here" Fred Terman, The Father of Silicon Valley.

The end of this post highlights that we're now ready to go with this as soon as others are ready for the idea.

The Joy of CEX... And Breaking Little Rules
I've delayed writing this post as I knew that if I hit 'publish' I'll see it through, because I would hate to get the support of others only for me to say 

"I'm tired, I've had enough... I'll only get the same results as previous attempts" 

A trip to the game shop CEX with my teenage son at the weekend helped with this. Here's the story...

Teenage son had most of the money for the game he wanted. 

He then had to haggle for the rest in the shop but telling me why he felt he deserved the additional amount he needed (It took a while, it was a fierce negotiation!)

When he secures the additional funds I then see that the game isn't quite age appropriate... Great opportunity for confidence building, thinks me... as well as to encourage a little Be More Pirate rule breaking too.

We're talking about a quiet kid here... a real introvert, he'll avoid things like going up to any counter to pay for something if at all possible, so suggesting that they go up to the counter while breaking a rule?

Well it almost never happened, at one point he put the game away and walked out with the money... talk about cutting your nose to spite your face! Or - more like it - talk about a stubborn streak!!

EVENTUALLY I get him to go back in and give it a go... saying "any problems and I'll go in and get it"

10 minutes later he comes out looking pleased with himself and a little more confident... complete with game in hand and a receipt, then says 

"Well last time I tried to get a game in there they asked for ID and I had to wait 30 mins for Mum to come and get it for me, so you can't blame me for (Being a stroppy, stubborn teenager) not wanting to go up to the counter by myself"

So, like said stroppy teenager, there's a good chance I'm older and wiser too... there's also a good chance that the next project(s) I work on will pan out differently too.

Connect Globally to Help Locally - Rationale, Progress & The Plan
The plan is extremely simple...and is unchanged since the Skype Master Student post I wrote last July:

"I want my kids to be able to make Skype calls at school, to connect with the kind of people that I've been able to connect with... But in order to do that a bit of encouragement and hustle is needed"

Or if you prefer the #EdTech50 Schools report:

“A simple idea that is possible to introduce elsewhere. Good example of becoming a global citizen using Skype” Ysgol Bae Baglan, Port Talbot entry.

I know a student at one of my kids' school who has been busy connecting with people globally and could help with local initiatives like their World of Work day.

In addition to this, if Shane Snow and Sam Conniff are right that Story Telling will be the #1 Business Skill of the next few years and that we should Tell Tall Tales like Blackbeard, we think this one is pretty awesome:

A 7 year old student connecting with @TolleyA in Tennessee and having their work presented at one of the world’s biggest Edu conferences and helping local #EdTech50 entrepreneur @GoutcherD with his @SpyQuest Mission to encourage reluctant readers to explore the world of books.

The Plan
To arrange for some people who have been involved with some of these projects to drop into the school to discuss their World of Work with this young Spy Guy Pirate Piggy and his class and have those who live a little too far to be there in person (But are close to our hearts and never far from our minds) to Skype in to say 'Hello' and discuss their world of work too.

I have 5 main groups in mind, that I think would work well, and would take up about an hour of the school/classes time.

Skype Advocates
This could include Scottish Skype Master Teachers, people from Microsoft/Skype, Virtual Field Trips, Authors or people who are fans of events like the Skypeathon.

This could include people who are Digital Citizenship experts and/or people who are exploring digital transformation/the future of work. People like Nicole Yershon, David Goutcher, Sam Conniff, Mark Babbitt, Susan Bearden among others.

We are seeing all kinds of ways that people are finding a way to make a living with games, whether through Youtube/Twitch or the Fortnite World Cup. Agent Piggy wants to move to Tennessee so he can play Minecraft in class, I am sure there are less drastic (And more affordable!) options... perhaps starting with having people like Immersive Minds Stephen Ried and Global Minecraft Mentors like @TolleyA and experts like Sherry Jones skype in to discuss how they use Minecraft and other games in education.

The Well Beings
Since 2015 I have been looking at the early online community 'The Well' and am delighted to be able to say that some of the members of this community - the Well Beings - are interested in getting involved and would love to skype with more schools and classrooms

SkypeMS Fans
We have a group of people who really like the idea of a 'Skype Master Student' idea to help the Skype Master Teachers to help other classes and schools to make that all important - but, like anything that's new, nerve wracking! - first call.

Date & Venue
In an ideal world the date for this would be the 2nd September as a few people who would like to be involved are available on that date.

I would love for a call like this to take place at one of my own kids' schools... But appreciate that things don't always go to plan. I always try to plan for the best... prepare for the worst.

That's no different as I try to take the Skype Master Student idea from an idea -> to a good idea, by trying to tell the best EdTech Stories that I possibly can... Even if it does involve breaking the odd rule or two ;)  

The Choice – Capacity to Love & Hate⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

As educators get ready for the back to school preparations I wonder to what extent their endeavors to keep our kids safe online will look like? 

I also wonder if any initiatives might be a little behind the curve... as the landscape has clearly changed.

The underlining message of this post is... If you see a marginalised kid in your school this year, give em a hug!

I joined social media in early 2011 starting with LinkedIn, then Twitter and wrote my first blog post in April 2012. I continue to work on ideas from that first post... in particular around the Lost in the Ghetto 

In 2011 my sons were 9 & 10 years old. Both enjoyed school and, as a family, things were going well for us. 

Today I have two teenagers who are at the end of their school experiences and it's not been a great experience for either... and as a family the wheels came off a little. We're currently picking up the pieces.

So perhaps I am able to empathise with how/why some of these lost kids become a little lost, I can see how this could easily have been one of my kids given the challenges they've faced.

Regarding my experiences with social media it has been fascinating seeing the early potential of collaboration when I first joined -> to seeing where things were heading both in education and in politics in 2014/15 -> to the level of hate that exists today.

This includes the way that our so called political 'leaders' use social media (Not to mention the difference between what they say about issues like online abuse Vs the way they sub-tweet their political adversaries and/or how they turn a blind eye to their support base). 

Policy makers will tell us that 'It's everyone else's fault' and claim they have nothing to do with the discourse of hate online that we find today... which is now spilling onto our streets with extreme groups killing in New Zealand, Dayton and El Paso, to name just a few!

Two weeks ago Dayton and El Paso, last night Portland Antifa protests and today 24 year old Jack Letts loses his UK Citizenship. 

In 2006 Letts would have been 12 years old and 'Every Child Matters' would have been part of his school which included a 'Stay Safe' strand... I wonder what Blair did to keep Letts safe from being radicalised?

Articles like this one saying:

"I think Jack was impressionable, he was very young and I think he was very easily targeted by someone" 

Isn't a ringing endorsement for the 'Things can only get better... Education! Education! Education!" Blair/Brown 'New labour' legacy... but what do they care now that they have their memoirs and lucrative speaking gigs? I bet they care a lot less than Letts' parents do about the situation!


1) Books like The Ten Types of Human (The Octracist Chapter 

2) What US Counter-Terrorism explore in response to threats posed by people like Scottish school girl-turned-ISIS-recruiter Asqa Mahmood 

3) Hearing how some young people who were marginalised in their school life found a sense of belonging on Reddit... a space that we now know that the Alt Right has been using to recruit people for years.

Today the far right are creating their own spaces where people like the New Zealand shooter are praised... When things get to the stage where our kids are on these far right/extremist spaces described in articles like Dark Corners of the Web that Fight to restrain the far-right after Christchurch massacre where messages in their online forums that

"Glorify the New Zealand terrorist as St Tarrant — patron saint of the far right"

It's probably too late!

Which organisation and/or group is doing what to prevent them going onto these sites, in a way that actually works? If the answer is no-one, then who will lead on this? How preventable could this have been with a 12 year old Mahmood, Begum and Letts with the right word from the right teacher? ECM Stay Safe?!

"When you're young a little bit of correction goes a long way" 
Steve Jobs regarding how his 4th Grade Teacher probably kept him out of jail

I have some contrarian thoughts to what many think and includes wondering:

To what extent have we let our young people down as they lack a sense of belonging at home and at school that they feel the need to seek out extremist groups... and find a sense of belonging there?

If it takes a village to raise a child, this kind of reflection is a lot more challenging that simply saying 

"It's the tech companies fault"


"All the blame is on this impressionable/lost teenager and the choices they made" 

Such suggestions would mean that grown ups across the board from policy makers, educators to parents have dropped the ball and let these kids down... Which is a concern given the scale, influence and damage the groups recruiting these kids are doing today.

...Or a testament to the tactics that Bannon and Alt-Right & ISIS recruiters like Mahmood used (See the Google example below).

A twenty year old today who is an angry keyboard warrior and/or who is demonstrating on the streets with whatever colour of shiny flag (Whether Confederate, Star Spangled, Saltire, Union Jack or EU) will have seen numerous governments and their shiny initiatives

Every Child Matters (2006 UK)
The Big Society (2010 UK)
Attainment Gap (Scotland)
Developing the Youth Workforce (2015 Scotland)
Curriculum for Excellence (Scotland)
No Child Left Behind (2008 US)

As well as leaders from diverse backgrounds with Barack Obama and female leaders like Theresa May (But in the case of the UK in actual fact there is actually zero diversity as it's always Oxbridge & Eton types!)

While Alt Right were on Reddit making angry young white men even angrier...

Where were the No Child Left Behind advocates? 
Where was Blair's 'Every Child Matters' proponents when Shamina Begum was in his education system
Where was Cameron and Gove's 'Big Society' when Begum was being recruited by Mahmood? 

Dismissing social media and seeing schools block these services from 2007-2010(ish)... only for the all too familiar Twitter, Youtube and Facebook icons to be prominent on many school webpages a few years later?

Some school policies include that educators are not allowed to follow students on social media... let alone reply to them or send any private messages etc.

I understand the risks with suggestions like this BUT I don't see Alt Right or ISIS recruiters having any issues with engaging with students when they were under ECM's 'Stay Safe,' and today Begum and Letts most certainly are children that were left behind with their UK citizenship revoked... by the very people who were spouting 'Every Child Matters,' 'Things can only get better,' 'Education! Education! Education!,' 'Stay Safe.' 

How much worse could things have been if educators were encouraged and empowered to embrace these tools and engage with their students? Surely no worse than what's happened to Begum, Letts and many other impressionable - and by all accounts vulnerable - teenagers?!

Has my generation taught the youth well enough to prevent another Holocaust from occurring? Or will our hard won freedom capsize in a new sea of hate?

Is a question that Edith Eger asks in the extract below, can policy makers in charge of education really say "Yes" to this question with a straight face and without it being nothing more than Trump's 'Alternative Facts' and #FakeNews?

Are you Smart Enough to Work at Google?
You've probably heard the kind of 'You're stuck in a blender' type interview questions that prospective Google employees were asked... or the 5-6 interviews that Biz Stone had when Ev Williams wanted him on the Blogger team... Or that Page and Brin signed off on every member of staff and have 42 page dossier on each member of staff.

So how does this kind of thing happen at organisations that are so thorough with their recruitment practices?

"Googlers on both sides of the battle lines had become adept at working the refs—baiting colleagues into saying things that might violate the company's code of conduct, then going to human resources to report them. But Googlers on the right were going further, broadcasting snippets of the company's uncensored brawls to the world, and setting up their colleagues for harassment" Three Years of Misery Inside Google

The same as has happened at Twitter and Reddit happened at a company with a stringent hiring process and that had such a great culture that it welcomed diversity and dissent. 

Thanks to Bannon and his mission to unite the far right... Without the proper checks in place this has affected our young people, tech geniuses and politics in the US, UK and elsewhere... Online and now offline too.

(The crazy thing is that in 2014 The SNP/Scot Govt had the same momentum as the far right did, as the same 'network effects' and 'feedback loops' were in place).
What if... There was more pro-action and forward thinking and things like #ForTheWeb and #OnlineHarms were launched a decade ago?

As it is, given some of the topics and comments about them, I am kind of glad that my 16 and 18 year old kids are not on social media today.

But these 'radicalised' kids didn't grow up in a vacuum and it seems a little too easy to vilify all things tech and/or put all the blame on a 15/16 year old and not take a closer look within the 4 walls of our IRL institutions. 

I have just finished Edith Eger's book 'The Choice' and regarding both Digital Citizenship and Citizenship I found the session that Edith had with a 14 year old white supremacist extremely interesting.

This extract is below, followed by others that are relevant regarding the role that bullying, ostracism and kids who are just plain lost and how it contributes to some of the online hatred today.

If you see a kid who's alone this academic year... Give em a hug! (It worked for EDL member Ivan Humble

If you see a kid sharing messages of hate online, I don't understand why educators are not swarming in on the convo to both change the narrative and give them a virtual hug... It IS possible to tone the convo down, I know because I've experimented with this myself. 

(Actually I do know why educators don't do this... Because pushing back on these messages is super scary! Not to mention that there are also reputational issues... especially if kids from your class follow your Tweets. But if it isn't educators who lead on these issues - in their own IRL communities and in their online networks - I can't think of any other group who will... you expect Trump, Farage or Boris to? Given that they employ people like Bannon, Cummings and Banks?? Can't see that happening any time soon, can you?)

The Choice
In the middle of the afternoon we reach Krakow. We will sleep here tonight - or try to. Tomorrow we will take a cab to Auschwitz. Bela wants to tour the Old Town, and I try to pay attention to the medieval architecture, but my mind is too heavy with expectation - a strange mix of promise and dread. We pause outside St Mary's Church to hear the trumpeter play the bejnal that marks the top of every hour. A group of teenage boys jostles past us, joking loudly in Polish, but I don't feel their merriment, I feel anxious. These young men, a little older than my grandchildren, remind me how soon the next generation will come of age. Has my generation taught the youth well enough to prevent another Holocaust from occurring? Or will our hard won freedom capsize in a new sea of hate?

I have had many opportunities to influence young people - my own children and grandchildren, my former students, the audiences I address around the world, individual patients. On the eve of my return to Auschwitz, my responsibility to them feels especially potent. It isn't just for myself that I'm going back. It's for all that ripples out from me.

Do I have what it takes to make a difference? Can I pass on my strength instead of my loss? My love instead of my hatred?

I've been tested before. A fourteen year old boy who had participated in a car theft was sent to me by a judge. The boy wore brown boots, a brown shirt. He leaned his elbow on my desk. He said, "It's time for America to be white again. I'm going to kill all the Jews, all the niggers, all the Mexicans, all the chinks"

I thought I would be sick. I struggled not to run from the room. What is the meaning of this? I wanted to shout. I wanted to shake the boy, say, Who do you think you're talking to? I saw my mother go to the gas chamber. I would have been justified. And maybe it was my job to set him straight, maybe that's why God had sent him my way. To nip his hate in the bud. I could feel the rush of righteousness. It felt good to be angry. Better angry than afraid.

But then I heard a voice within. Find the bigot in you, the voice said. Find the bigot in you.

I tried to silence that voice.I listed my many objections to the very notion that I could be a bigot. I came to America penniless. I used the 'coloured' bathroom in solidarity with my fellow African American factory workers. I marched with Dr Martin Luther King Jr to end segregation. But the voice insisted: Find the bigot in you. Find the part in you that is judging, assigning labels, diminishing another's humanity, making others less than who they are.

The boy continued to rant about the blights to America's purity. My whole being trembled with unease, and I struggled with the inclination to wag my finger, shake my fist, make him accountable for his hate - without being accountable for my own. This boy didn't kill my parents. Withholding my love wouldn't conquer his prejudice.

I prayed for the ability to meet him with love. I thought of Corrie ten Boom, one of the Righteous Gentiles. She and her family resisted Hitler by hiding hundreds of Jews in their home, and she ended up in a concentration camp herself. Her sister perished there - she died in Corrie's arms. Corrie was released due to a clerical error one day before all of the inmates at Ravensbruck were executed. And a few years after the war, she met one of the most vicious guards at her camp, one of the men responsible for her sisters death. She could have spit on him, wished him death, cursed his name. But she prayed for the strength to forgive him, and she took his hands in her own. She says in that moment, the former prisoner clasping the hands of the former guard, she felt the purest most profound love. I tried to find that embrace, that compassion, in my own heart, to fill my eyes with that quality of kindness. I wondered if it was possible that this racist boy had been sent to me so I could learn about unconditional love. What opportunity did I have in this moment? What choice could I make right then that could move me in the direction of love? 

 I had an opportunity to love this young person, just for him, for his singular being and our shared humanity. The opportunity to welcome him to say anything, feel any feeling, without the fear of being judged. I remembered a German family that was stationed for a while at Fort Bliss, how the girl would climb into my lap and call me Oma - Grandma - and this little benediction from a child felt like the answer to the fantasy I'd had as I passed through German towns with Magda and the other inmates, as the children spat at us, when I dreamed of a day when German children would know they didn't have to hate me. And in my own lifetime, that day came to pass. I thought of a statistic I read, that most of the members of white supremacist groups in America lost one of their parents before they were 10 years old. These are lost children looking for an identity, looking for a way to feel strength, to feel like they matter.

And so I gathered myself up and I looked at this young man as lovingly as I could. I said three words: "Tell me more"

I didn't say much more than that during the first visit. I listened. I empathized. He was so much like me after the war. We had both lost our parents - his to neglect and abandonment, mine to death. We both thought of ourselves as damaged goods. In letting go of my judgement, in letting go of my desire for him to be or beleive anything different, by seeing his vulnerability and his yearning for belonging and love, in allowing myself to get past my own fear and anger in order to accept and love him, I was able to give him something his brown shirt and brown boots couldn't - an authentic image of his own worth. When he left my office that day, he didn't know a thing about my history. But he had seen an alternative to hate and prejudice, he was no longer talking about killing, he had shown me a soft smile. And I had taken responsibility that I not perpetuate hostility and blame, that I not bow to hate and say, you are too much for me.

Now, on the eve of my return to prison, I remind myself that each of us has an Adolf Hitler and a Corrie ten Boom within us. We have the capacity to hate and the capacity to love. Which one we reach for - our inner Hitler or inner ten Boom - is up to us" Edith Eger, The Choice.

The Ten Types of Human - The Ostracist
Ostracism threatens our need to feel we belong, that we are worthy of attention - are not invisible. It is a pain, Williams says, 'that keeps on giving.' The reaction to such social rejection can be both fundamental and fierce.

On Wednesday 24th November 2004, it was the first period of the last day of school before Thanksgiving at Valparaiso High School, Indiana.

James Lewerke, a 15 year old class member, offered to close the classroom door and turn off the lights for the video. He stood. His teacher, Ashley Dobis, daughter of the State Representative Chet Dobis, thought he was being polite. Students tended to behave well with her. They liked her. So when Miss Dobis gave permission, Lewerke got up. He was a generally quiet boy with pretty good grades. But when he turned to face the class, Dobis says, 'He just had a look in his eyes.' James Lewerke pulled out a machete and a serrated tree saw.

He slashed 7 of his classmates with the weapons.

As he rushed out of the room, several courageous teachers tackled him. One of them kicked a weapon along the school corridor. Later Lewerke told the police that he targeted his fellow pupils indiscriminately because

'They were all the same to him'

In the aftermath of his rampage, it was reported by the Indianapolis Star that

'He was so invisible at High School this fall that students who sat next to him didn't even know his name'

'To repair the pain of invisibility, we may provoke other people into paying attention to us, to force others to recognize our existence. Ostracism is a thread that weaves through case after case of school violence' Kip Williams

In 2003, Mark Leary and colleagues published meta-analysis of school shootings in the US since 1995. They called it, 'Teasing, Rejection, and Violence.' They found that 87% of incidents had as a major contributory factor acute or chronic social rejection. In that period, 40 children had been shot dead in their school corridors and classrooms.

'They are past wanting to be liked or readmitted into society, they may even want to be immortalised for their actions, even their death. By doing what they're doing they're going to get noticed. They'll be invisible no more'

'When Animals experience extreme physical pain,' Naomi Eisenberger, speaking in Reject, a film about ostracism, says 'one of thier first responses is to attack whatever's nearby. This sheds some light on why people may be aggressive after they feel rejected. The extent to which there's some overlap between the system that regulates physical pain and the system regulating pain of rejection, means people may become aggressive in response to social rejection'

'I'm not insane, I'm angry' Luke Woodham, 16, to psychiatrists when arrested in 1997 for opening fire with a hunting rifle in a cafeteria at Pearl High School, Mississippi. He killed two, wounded seven.

'All throughout my life, I was ridiculed, beaten, hated'

...Cognative systems are likely to have developed to solve recurring vital survival problems, including the problems of group living. Deviance from the norm may trigger similar systems to those directed at distancing from contagion. Group members who loyally hold onto the pervasive group norm avoid individuals who depart from or transgress it in a similar way to that in which they avoid disease-bearers. As such, ostracism amounts to a social isolation which can be viewed as a kind of quarantine, with the ultimate sanction being total group isolation.

As it floated and shimmered through the air towards him, the Frisbee that changed Kip William's intellectual life carried with it a message about human communication and connection. Of course, tossing a ball or a Frisbee by oneself can provide the same aerobic and energetic workout, more so if we wish. It's just not phenomenologically rewarding for humans - at least some of the time. But simultaneously, we have a residual, often unvoiced, fear of the fun stopping, of it being taken away, of our being unfriended, unfollowed.

What is all this for?

Beyond a few, relatively rare exceptions, most of us need the impromptu Frisbee games of life with strangers. The opportunity for fruitful future interaction means that the sting of social rejection may be an avoidance adaptation to encourage steering clear of behaviors that lead to exclusion, a method for promoting social bonds. In broad agreement, Williams says,

'I think it has an evolutionary basis. We have evolved as social animals, and it's important for the survival of a social animal to maintain a connection with others. So we are wired to detect hints that we could lose it.'

But that group connection is not free, it comes at a cost.

Groups have norms - rules. Ostracism or its threat operates as a form of social control, the enforcement of norm conformity - even if it is not fair or equitable, even if it is pathological and harmful. The power of ostracism derives from its targeting of our vulnerabilities and insecurities: The fear of not belonging - ultimately, of being alone.

'So as we have seen, interesting patterns of behavioral responses to ostracism. For many people, they will conform more to a unanimous group, even if that group is clearly wrong in their perceptional judgments. They will go along with it. They will be more likely to comply, to obey a command' Kip Williams

In other words, they become more susceptible to social influence, to avoid, as Williams puts it, the 'kiss of social death'

We ostracize; we are ostracized. We are the Ostraciser; we are it's victim. Ostracism lances surgically straight into our mind. Neural systems fire; avoidance systems are engaged; social pain feels like real pain. It is real. Whether the mental module has developed independently or recruited pre-existing systems for physical pain, we are constantly alive to its signals. Acceptance, rejection, they matter. Rejection can lead to serrated tree saws in the classroom; blooded knives being kicked along school corridors; the slashing of wrists after a reality TV eviction; a well meaning boy like Joshua Unsworth walking quietly out of his parents farmhouse and into the trees.(For more extracts see 
Bullies, 'Takers' & Ostracism)

New Power

"The Reddit world is made up of its users, who skew young, male, and geeky, and do the upvoting, linking and commenting...In the months prior to the #RedditRevolt the CEO had tried to create new rules to shut down offensive content and hate speech on the site. Predictably, this had clashed with the somewhat outlaw, libertarian ethos of Reddit. Many suspected these efforts were not driven by a moment of moral awakening but rather were an effort to clean  up the site so it could be more easily monetised for advertisers. The speech that the CEO was targeting was extreme: Revenge porn, attacking transgender people, white supremacists... It was also easy to sense gender dynamics at play on a platform whose users were mostly male" 

"Brian recalls why he chose to become a volunteer moderator when the site introduced them 'You got to build a community. You build a policy structure that keeps it thriving, keeps it going. That's why Reddit was successful. You feel like you own it"

Courtnie talks about her identity as a super users like this: 'Reddit is my community center, it's my YMCA'"

Asqa Mahmood
"After these false starts, the United States began to realise it needed to take a different approach. CSCC coordinator Alberto Fernandez laid out a new direction, speaking to Congress in 2015:

"You need to find a way to form loose, open source communities of interest or swarms that can swarm back and push back against the ISIS message. It's not an impossible thing to do. It can be done"

The new inter-agency Global Engagement Centre is trying to make this happen. Discarding the top down hectoring tone of the Think Again Turn Away campaign, the centre is trying to build a "Network of positive messengers" to share not just counter narratives, but alternative narratives drawing people away for more extreme positions, amplifying the messages of its partners, from religious leaders to schools.

One promising effort is the P2P (Peer-to-peer) Challenging Extremism competition, which partners with Facebook and hundreds of universities around the world. The brief here is loose: students come up with creative ways to 

"Push back on online hate, prejudice and extremism while empowering their peers"

A group of Finnish students launched a movement of pop-up restaurants where asylum seekers shared their native foods with locals. A US team created a Snap Chat campaign. A class from Azerbaijan created a tolerance toolkit for teachers to use in the classroom. .(For more extracts and thoughts about this in relation to Glasgow see ACEing Made to Stick - An Extensible New Power Essay)

DigCitSummitUK Closing Remarks #YOYOW – Three Years Later⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

In March 2015 I was fortunate enough to have a Skype call with @Stanbridge, who saw the value in my ideas before I did... It made all the difference!

Myself and my kids are now 'Paying it Forward' by taking what we've learnt and sharing with others - in a number of ways - including this post regarding our experiences with Digital Citizenship and the lessons learnt.

In the same month I connected with James Stanbridge, I wrote about educators needing to 'Swarm' to help model good Digital Citizenship.

By November 2015 I would be collaborating with the #DigCit Twitter chat moderators over the course of the next 2 years, even meeting two of them from across the pond F2F/IRL.

During this collaboration I shared my thoughts about how we needed to make a return to the early online community, The Well, and their mantra of #YOYOW; You Own Your Own Words.

This post is an update on the advice and suggestions from 2015 after one of those awesome walks with my youngest son about what's happened in my world of work over the last 2 years.

The Story So Far... Previous Voyages
13th March 2015
#DigCit Vs Trolls: I'm A Student Friendly Social Media Educator
(NB In Apr 2018 this "Why Good People Turn Bad Online" post & New Power suggests similar advice to this post)

7th December 2015 
Ships Log and Pirate Articles
NB From Dec 1914 to the present day IMHO this remains relevant
Shackleton's leadership style was formed when working under people like Scott and vowing not to treat men they way he and his crew mates were treated. What he hated most about these jobs were pettiness, irresponsible bosses, insufferable working conditions and a lack of trust and respect among crew members. In the early expeditions which he led he learned that leadership that was rigid, remote, undemocratic, and uncertain didn't work. On the Endurance he focused on the one thing that that gave the best chance at reaching their goals: Unity"

27th Novembder 2015 
Connected Educator Appreciation Day
NB In Oct 2018 The #CMAD organiser would help an awesome crew of educators bring the '#CMAD for Edu' #CEduAD idea to life See How Trust Grew an Idea into a Global Event

30th November 2015 
Mad Learning with a Connected Educator
NB At ISTE 2019 the we would see our work presented in a similar way thanks to @TolleyA's #MIEBoom 'Skype Master Student' presentation

3rd November 2017
DigCitSummit SpyQuest Mission – Help Recruit Ellie the Elephant
NB We would model New Power by highlighting that, like Oreo's Superbowl 'You can Still Dunk in the Dark' campaign... That some of the hustle behind the scenes gets left out of the story DigCitSummit @SpyQuest Mission - Part II

The Heart of The Well 30 years Ago? Or IndyRef a few years Ago?
After re-reading Howard Rheingold's 'Virtual Communities' again in December, which is from almost 30 years ago AKA before Facebook and Twitter... Before Bannon, Trump, Farage and Brexit:

Words on a screen can hurt people

Although online conversation might have the ephemeral and informal feeling of a telephone conversation, it has the reach and permanence of a publication. 

And details how the community dealt with the suicide of one of the members... The arguments being a far cry from the 'Love in Action' from earlier. Take a read Heart of The Well... sound familiar? 

Like #IndyRef perhaps? From unity and leaving food in George Square for those in need... To #AUOB

25th December 2018
I heard about and read Marc Smith's 'Voices from the Well' for the first time in Mid-December (And read it 3 or 4 times in as many days)

I watched Marc's #OCTribe Presnetation on Christmas day... And Man! How I laughed at just how predictable (Inevitable even!) Some of my experiences have been.

I've been reflecting - in writing, re-reading, thinking and talking about everything learnt over the last few years ... and included a conversation with a young Pirate Stowaway I know  

Yesterday... All My Troubles were far away
Just like a walk with this young lad this time last year contributed to the idea - which was formed with the influence of a number of sources - SkypeMS initiative.

...It was another awesome walk, with more awesome ideas discussed and more awesome PD (From an 8 year old!)

#YOYOW... Or Do You? They Get Mis-Appropriated & Meme'd
So, 30 years ago words on a screen hurt... Just as they do today!

HOWEVER! This was before the politicians threatened to ban people who say mean things on social media from running for public office... and before those same politicians lied to the same extent that they do today.

We have the #OnlineHarms document that Sajid Javid launched while 
  • There are all kind of rumours about Bannon speaking to people like Boris and Gove. 
  • Dominic Cummings doesn't appear before a Parliamentary Select Committee when asked now in No 10 
  • Priti Patel 'distancing herself' from her own words from a few years ago regarding capital punishment
  • Vince cable saying in 2008 that banks were 'Too Big to Fail' only to say a few years later... 'should have let them fail' (You bailed them out but failed us mate!)
  • Liz Truss and her 'We've all been affected by austerity' yesterday but could not say how it had affected her... Give me a shout if you wanna hear our story Ms Truss.
  • Aaron Banks DOES attend the Parliamentary Select Committee, but says it's not his job to tell the facts but to agitate... And this agitating #FakeNews gets to influence UK politics by bank rolling Farage and his UKIP/Brexit Party 'Right Honourable MEPs'? 
Many can't keep up with the news cycle but is this all simply a case of 'smoke and mirrors?'

Boris says that 'No Deal Brexit is not the preferred option and is avoidable' on the same day that Gove says that 'No Deal is unavoidable now' (Bannon is on a Far Right Mission to Radicalise Europe)

Political Leaders appear to give controversial soundbites in one setting, only to take the comment - whether in or out of context - to their base at rallies to get people fired up. So in addition to 

Words on a Screen STILL Hurt

30 years after Virtual Communities was written, today 

Words on a Screen also get misappropriated, meme'd & misinterpreted

Sometimes this is intentional by 'Bad Actors' with their own words - like the Bannon/Trump and their Alt Right buddies

(Check out the #CovingtonBoys thread I curated after I jumped in on the anti-Trump MAGA message when the story broke. The tweet that started the story coming from an educators account, but which had some strange activity).

Sometimes messages being mis-appropirated is also intentional, but it is sharing private messages publicly when former friends and colleagues fall out - just like with #IndyRef 'All Under One Banner' organisers and/or during the Reddit Revolt when their popular #Cmgr got fired.

These are a couple of the stories that make the news... but will happen every day on a local level when fall outs occur and friends take sides.

Sometimes it's others taking your words and turning them into a Meme... Sometimes this is good natured and fun, sometimes it's filled with hate and has consequences that lead to discrimination and loss of life. 

So in 2019 it's no longer a case of 

Words on a Screen Hurt
Words on a Screen are now leading people to hate & kill 

If it is not educators who are going to lead on both the Citizenship and Digital Citizenship lessons, if and when people see conversations like this happen. Who will?
Like Shackleton's lesson in the importance of Unity, we can learn from other brave Antarctic explorers... At how humour can help diffuse some tense life and death situations. We need more Zombie Loyalists. 

"Adolf Lindstrøm was basically the most important person on Roald Amundsen's successful expedition to reach the South Pole... He played an essential role in keeping the peace in the group when there were tense moments" What Roald Amundsen’s polar exploration ‘comedian’ can teach us about a mission to Mars
You're uncaring attitude is BULL SHIT!! Or...
Anthony the Turtle is Mushy
Who will teach these valuable comedy lessons? Our current political leaders who seem to have a preference for another, better known and more evil Adolf? Erm... While some of the clowns in politics are without a doubt a joke (as are their words!)... I can't see them utilizing the right kind of comedy any time soon, can you?! 

When mis-understandings happen online it could be not unlike the hilarious bad lip reading sketches but with less fun results... as 90% of our IRL/F2F communications are non-verbal.

Mis-understandings will happen when something is lost in translation from human-to-screen-to-human
(Or worse when the bots get involved, which Trump Retweets?!)

Especially if that all important punctuation mark ;) and/or emoji is missing
(or in my case clumsy fingers, touch screens and predictive texting! I do miss the real buttons of Blackberry phones)

Both these articles are worth a read...
Then compare with The Heart of The Well

I don't think it's just colonizing Mars that comedians will play a vital role with... I think they will also be needed online to help tame the 'Wild West of the Internet,' which is the reason I took the examples from New Power and mashed them up with Toy Story characters for:

I know the script... Movie will be coming to a classroom near you soon!
(You can Bank on me finding a Head to help with this particular Mission)

On March 2015 I wrote this post Online Abuse... I Blame the Politicians, the sentiment remains the same. 

They can write all the #OnlineHarms reports they like but, as long as they have conversations with the far right and refuse to lead by toning down their own hate speech... They are part of the problem, not the solution.

Perhaps we need a #DigCit rebellion? A sexy rebellion? A #DigCit Star Wars Rebellion... on a ship called Digi Endurance perhaps? (Shackleton Family motto: By Endurance We Conquer)

Maybe there will be a EdTech Story about a #DigCit Star Wars Rebellion... along with some '#NewPower Avengers Assemble' Super Hero adventures written at some point.

If there will be it will be one in faraway scene (A long, long time ago by in a galaxy far far away), with people sipping down coffee and reading Ayn Rand... And it will be written with Dignity.

In the mean time any agents of #DigCit may find they are called upon for some important missions soon... #DigCit & #Cmgr Wizards Unite! 


Whether in politics and a trending topic like #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism for all to see (As is the case as I hit 'Publish' on this post???!!!) 

To go along with any comments you may have published about Trump Super Fan Cesar Sayoc last July and the New Zealand Mosque shooting.

While a REAL Leader, New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, will not say that person's  name... others call The Patron Saint of the Far Right?!

Or, if it's a disagreement in private, whether while playing a game on an Xbox or a closed forum with a group of friends who have fallen out in a private conversation... What you gonna do?

Throw fuel on the fire? 
Help diffuse the situation with humour, and/or
Be the bridge? Be the person that connects!

I hope that my kids will go for the last two options. Because I want them to #BeThatKindofKid! Because I know we are #Bettertogether!

Let's learn from the toxic and negative Digital Citizenship lessons as well as the positive ones. Whether White Supremacists or groups like ISIS & Scottish School Girl Asqa Mahmood/Shamina Begum... Let's make sure our kids don't lose their Citizenship, like Begum did.

"Courtnie talks about her identity as a super users like this: 'Reddit is my community center, it's my YMCA'"
via New Power (Crowd Leaders Assemble!).

We now know that the Alt Right made Reddit their playground.. and a dangerous place for some of our young people. So there's a bit of catching up to do. 

We need to help people find a sense of belonging and create spaces that people would die for... Not ignore people to such an extent that it makes them hate and want go out and kill.

"In 2003, Mark Leary and colleagues published meta-analysis of school shootings in the US since 1995. They called it, 'Teasing, Rejection, and Violence.' They found that 87% of incidents had as a major contributory factor acute or chronic social rejection. In that period, 40 children had been shot dead in their school corridors and classrooms.

'They are past wanting to be liked or readmitted into society, they may even want to be immortalised for their actions, even their death. By doing what they're doing they're going to get noticed. They'll be invisible no more'" Dexter Dias, The Ostracist Chapter in Ten Types of Human

Solutions? Could be as simple as
Throw someone in the park a frisbee?
A hug (Real or Virtual)?
Some bad lip reading humour?

I'm not kidding either... Check the 3 links above to see how simple it could be to make a difference to someone's life. I'm lucky enough to have had a few people make a big difference in our lives. TY!

“I do not forget any good deed done to me & I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.” Viktor Frankl

Walking Dead 'I Hate that Freaking Turtle' - The Actual Script
What the hell you do that for? 
I was having fun. No, you were being a jackass. 
...Killing them is not supposed to be fun. 
What do you want from me, girl, huh? 
I want to you stop acting like you don't give a crap about anything. Like nothing we went through matters. Like none of the people we lost meant anything to you. It's bullshit! 
- Is that what you think? - That's what I know. 
You don't know nothing. 
I know you look at me and you just see another dead girl. I'm not Michonne. I'm not Carol. I'm not Maggie. I've survived and you don't get it 'cause I'm not like you or them. But I made it and you don't get to treat me like crap just because you're afraid. 
I ain't afraid of nothing. 
I remember. 
When that little girl came out of the barn after my mom. You were like me. And now God forbid you ever let anybody get too close. 
Too close, huh? You know all about that. You lost two boyfriends, you can't even shed a tear. 
Screw you. You don't get it. 
No, you don't get it! - Everyone we know is dead! - You don't know that! Might as well be, 'cause you ain't never gonna see 'em again. You ain't never gonna see Maggie again. 
Just stop. 
The Governor rolled right up to our gates. 
Maybe if I wouldn't have stopped looking. Maybe 'cause I gave up. That's on me. Maybe-- maybe I could have done something.

Walking Dead - The Misappropriated Bad Lip Reading Script
Look what happens when a comedian enters this particular scene?
The bullshit becomes Mushy... and the hatred turns into a fun Meme 
(Even if the words were never said, it's heavily edited and/or the story no longer makes any sense)

I hate that freakin’ turtle
His name’s Anthony!
Well, I might just do an evil drive-by on Anthony!
You keep away from my turtle, got it?
Ugh, he’s MUSHY!
Oh yeah?
You get no birthday!
There’s a party and you can’t come, how’s that?
They’re gonna have flaming cars, and trailer folks
and shrimp-dogs and pizza!
Oh, no, no, no, oh dang it!
You don’t even get to touch the blind kid!
No, I need to come!

#SeaTurtlePirates… The End of An Excellent Adventure!⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

This post is taking #RoughDiamond author Nicole Yerson's (@NicoleYershon's) advice and get your story out before anyone else does... So I'm going to tell you what a brave group of young Pirates are going to do before they do it!

Tell Tall Tales... Tell Blackbeard Pirate Tales!

Between now and the Skypeathon a merry band of Misfit-Spy-Guy-Pirate-Zombies (Spoilers Sweetie. Spoilers. Lol) are going to go on an excellent adventure and man! Are they gonna have fun while getting stuff done!

The Story So Far...
A 7 year old kid from Glasgow (Agent Piggy) breaking a little rule and skipping school in 2017 to connected with Andrea Tolley (@TolleyA) in Tennessee at Westquarter Primary School (@ElliePrimary1).

In June 2019 they presented their work at ISTE (@ISTE) and how they helped #EdTech50 entrepreneur David Goutcher (@GoutcherD) on a #DigCit Mission and his goal to encourage reluctant readers to explore the world of books... This wasn't just a awesome @SpyQuest Mission

It was such a compelling story that it helped other schools to get connected too ;)

In July 2018 Agent Piggy was sent a brief for his first solo @SpyQuest Mission - A #SkypeMS Mission with the objective being to make sure a Classroom Skype call happened at his school.

This took place in Sept 2019... Even if it had to be improvised, with the help of his Power of Nine Crew.

...What Happened Next

This act of breaking a small rule inspired others - teachers, students, parents to take Nicole Yershon's advice from #RoughDiamond to 'Find a Way, Make a Way,' 

Even if this was to make Skype calls at home, in the playground, the car park or at a McDonald's or coffee shop because of connectivity/Skype-is-blocked-in-our-school-issues

By November 2019 a number of Spy Guy briefings & Pirate meetings take place with #RoughDiamond Digital Leaders (Kind of like a rebellion... a sexy Star Wars rebellion).

Under the guidance of some awesome Pirates, Agents and educators (Currently still working undercover on some covert training: Released when declassified).

This led to at least one School in each of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities taking part in the 2019 #Skypeathon and connecting with educators from some of the 137 school districts in Tennessee (Or was it with classes in all 50 of the States... It all happened such a long time ago that I forget which it was)

The educators who connected with each other from across the pond saw the 'Shallow Engagement' of that first @ClassroomSkype call led to 'Deep Engagement' in the same way some of the Scottish Educators who took part in the 2016 Skypeathon did like

1) Meeting up IRL at the #DigCitSummitIRL event
2) Authouring the DigCitKidz book and
3) Organising global events like #CEduAD.

A Sting in the Tale: Tears & A Journey
By the end of the voyage - as this is a Pirate crew - some horrible words were said on the voyage... some were due to mis-communication and/or mis-understandings during stressful times.So when people said anything like:

"I hate that freaking turtle" 

Whether to that persons face... or by being a real ass and saying mean thing about someone in private behind their back, or taking to social media and saying it publicly... the crew took these actions the same way we do with Donald Trump's 'Locker Room talk' or Boris' 'Letterboxes,' and just let it slide.

In fact, some thick skinned members of the crew even saw them as terms of endearment, to help take the sting out of the tale... it helped prevent tears during and after the journey.

Because we know from the work of Well Beings like Stewart Brand, Howard Rheingold and Marc Smith:

Words on a Screen Hurt.

Black Spot? No problem... Jump on board!
Fake words, flattery, fake friends or worse... Black heart? Erm... No thanks!

This @BeMorePirate crew wanted a @QuietRev, so modeled The Well's 'Love in Action' as and when they could.

For example, the crew modeled 'Love in Action' before setting sail by trying to build bridges and mending fences with crew mates from previous voyages.

In the 'First Pirate Council Meeting' they also Pirated @Marc_Smith's AWESOME! #OCTTribe comment.
#NewPower Avengers Assemble!
Now as this is a rowdy rabble of Pirates the language could be salty at times and there were plenty of fights!

Salty Language!
So as well as a Be More Pirate 2.0 Code, we also have a Spy Guy Pirate Code. Here's one of them.

When people said things like:

"I hate that freaking Turtle" it could actually be Misfit Spy Guy Pirate Zombie code for

"I love you man!"
"You are AWESOME!"
"Great Idea"

"You are an ass!" Might translate as "You have a great work ethic and you help me in lots of ways"

"You are the wrong kind of person!" was taken to be one of the biggest compliments ever!

As it means that you solve complex problems that others couldn't quickly and easily... A bit like these guys: The Creative Power of Misfits (#RoughDiamond #NewPower Avengers Assemble!)

Or it could be taken as a polite way of saying, you're kind of bugging me at the moment.Wanna go find something else to do for a while... Before I maroon you or throw you overboard.

Treasure & Credit
Like the first Apple Mac, every member of the crew was credited for their efforts... and every single member of the crew also found a little treasure, a #RoughDiamond the size of the Hope Diamond (None of them cursed!) right under their noses... and, just like Santiago, one crew member even found his Bliss. It's amazing what a little alchemy can do!

We followed Black Beard's lead as he had fire works in his beard when in battle:

Be a Fire Starter... Not a Lime Lighter

Black Bart Rules... and The JOI Compass
Young Pirates were always welcome and they were asked to check out episode 1 season 1 of Horrible Histories to see the kind of tight ship that Pirates like Black Bart ran.

In the 'Second Council Meeting' the crew 'Manifesto Jammed' the Ships articles, which included in the mix

Biz Stones 'New Rules' and
Be More Pirate's 2.0 Pirate Code 

And we used the #YOYOWJOI Compass when communicating (Especially when in storms and/or battle).

It was an excellent adventure!

And this was only one of the things these guys got up to on their travels, you should see the others!
If you'll #YOYOWJOI... Then Jump on Board!