I am John Johnston A Primary Teacher in Scotland. I currently teach primary 4-5-6-7 in Banton Primary, the Banton Biggies.
From 1993 until 17th October 2008 a class teacher at Sandaig Primary in Glasgow.
In 20th October 2008 I joined North Lanarkshire Council as an Educational ICT Development Officer where I was until 2016.
From January 2014 till December 2015 I was on secondment to the Scottish Government to work on Glow as Product Owner mostly on Glow Blogs. I am continuing the role on a part time basis.
What the Royal Mail IT scandal can teach us about the nature of truth inside organisations, and why things often look perfectly fine until right before they fall apart.
Focusing on IT projects. It does seem that any hierarchical organisation could have similar problems. Although we do not have dashboards and status reports in education could the way new initiatives arrive and are managed have similar problems?
In a 2008 blogpost, legendary IT consultant Bruce F. Webster applied the idea of the thermocline to large-scale IT projects. Why was it, Webster asked, that so many projects seemed to be on-track until just before their launch date, at which point it became suddenly clear that they were miles behind schedule?
Those at the top, though, have no such first-hand knowledge. They rely on the bubbling-up of information from below, in the form of dashboards and status reports. But, Webster noticed, those status reports tend to produce a comically optimistic view of the state of the project. Individual contributors presented a rosy picture of what they were working on to their line managers; middle managers gave good news to their bosses; and senior managers, keen to stay on the promotion track and perhaps hopeful that other parts of the project would fail before theirs, massage the truth yet again.
Does your organisation value truth above all, even from those at the bottom of the org chart? Do you create an environment in which people feel safe challenging their superiors? Do you publicly praise those who give bad news, rather than admonishing them for demoralising the team? Do you use objective metrics to measure progress
Read: Music Love Drugs War by Geraldine Quigley ★★★★★ 📚
Beautiful book about a group of youths in 1981 in Derry in the midst of the troubles. Their difficulty in expressing themselves & sharing feelings is heart-wrenching. I raced through this.
All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire by Jonathan Abrams ★★★★☆ 📚
Quotes from the actors, writers, producers, directors & others involved. Going through the series in order. I’ve watched all 5 series several times through and this makes me want to watch it again.
Do you need to edit it once you’re done? No, you don’t. You need good editing to go from 200 listeners to 2,000 listeners. You don’t have 200 listeners yet. You don’t even have one, because you haven’t recorded an episode yet.
Read: The Gospel of the Eels by Patrik Svensson ★★★★☆ 📚
Great read, a mix of the history of the study & natural history of eels with the author’s eel fishing with his father. The list of folk who studied eels runs from Aristotle through Freud to Racel Carson. Includes a bit of recent Swedish social history, the mystery & plight of the species. loved this.
Firstsite’s mission is to improve the well-being and life-chances of all residents of East Anglia through innovation, ingenuity and creativity. We empower people, no matter their background, to be creative together and lead happier and healthier lives.
This page has several pdf downloads of art activities that looks as it they could be useful in school. I’ve been trying to avoid school related things over the holidays but there are a lot of interesting links out there.
Oh Hello Ana – Blogging and me I really enjoyed this post it is from a web developers perspective but it applicable to most bloggers I think. I particularly liked the bonuses of blogging:
Searchable; Memories that you own and are in control of;
Talking of blogging, Multiverse is a new thing, for the personal site that is different. Easy to set up, I did that in June and sort of forgot. style is Macpaint & HyperCard with gaudy colours, could be fun.
is a friendly introduction to digital accessibility – specifically to help understand WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), the official resource for legal compliance.
One of many I found via Joe’s site. This looks like a very easy entry to thinking about accessibility. I di a bit of cleaning up on the glow Blogs site early this year and could have done with this then.