Learn, Earn, Yearn

Hello it’s me, Kate Bentham, guest curator of weekly blog club for week four of its second year. It seems you’ve all got the blogging bug in 2013, as we’ve had another bumper crop of blogs posted this week, an impressive 23 in total. Well done if you managed to blog *stares at feet, shuffles uncomfortably* obviously it’s not all about the blogging, there’s the reading, sharing and commenting too, *phew*.

In the past when I have curated, I sometimes find it difficult to see a connection between the wonderful variety of posts we have submitted, and when you look at the categories for the blog it’s easy to see why – how do you link the category of rhythmic gymnastics to pigs, for example? But this week there was quite an obvious connection between quite a few of the posts, the theme of learning.

So we’ll start first with Online learning by Louise Atkinson. In this post Louise shares some of the favuorite websites offering free online learning opportunities  Louise also looks at why she is a fan of online learning and the possibilities it offers. You might know of other sites so why not share them with Louise. A well connected post is The Incidental Researcher Case 2: Open Badges and Free Education by John Patterson. Like Louise, John is also interested in opening up educational opportunities, and looks at how this can be done online. John explores how Open Badges can be used as part of learning and can become an online CV or Continuing Professional development portfolio. I hadn’t heard about Open Badges before reading John’s post but the possibilities are wide reaching. Exciting times for Louise Brown as she has found  Any excuse to get some new stationery by returning to the classroom to undertake a qualification to enable her to teach in the lifelong learning sector. I really admire Louise for enrolling on this course.

The next blog also focuses on one blogger learning a new skill. In Jo recounts her first time Clay Pigeon Shooting By Vindicat PR on the Ladies Shooting blog, Jo shares how she swapped the saddle for a gun, and how she surprised herself by actually being really rather good at clay pigeon shooting and enjoying the session.

The lovely Janet Davis blogged Street Art Musing. Janet shares how she would like to learn more about this genre of art and maybe ever have a go at creating some herself. We hope that happens in the future, but in the meantime Janet shares a photo of some local street art.

In  Man v. Food v. Mobile v. Tablet by Carolyne Mitchell, Carolyne shares how she has been discovering more about responsive websites and everything which needs to be taken into consideration with mobile and tablet devices.

It’s always good to gather feedback to help improve and develop services, process or techniques in the future, this week on the Participation Cymru blog they have been gathering feedback on their advisory board and learning how to make improvements. In   Margaret Peters reflects on the work of Participation Cymru  they aslo share how they have been learning how to gather feedback through the use of video and audio. Linked here is House of Lords’ conclusions reflect a wider concern about the future of consultations by Ewan King on the OPM blog, which is a very important post for anyone who undertakes public consultation.

More learning, this time in Tears, tantrums and chocolate – why research in nursing? by Kim Barron on the Ayrshire Health blog, Kim shares why she loves research into nursing and how from the research a lot can be learnt to improve patient care.

Chris Bolton has keen undertaking his own research into email behaviour in a series of blogs recently. In Improving Email Behaviour. End of Campaign Report and Four Recommendations Chris summaries his conclusions and offers tips for us all to learn from. We also have lots to learn from Exposé: your ultimate social media toolkit by Kenny McDonald. Kenny shares some of his top tips for live tweeting at events, something we were especially keen to find out more about in preparation for attending the LGComms event this coming week on Digital Communications.

Two other bloggers also had a Twitter connection this week, first up in Opinions in 140 charactersDerek Barron talks about taking part in a discussion about nursing. Derek not only looks at the reach of the discussion, which was pretty impressive but also the debate which took place and how tricky it can be to get your opinion across in 140 Characters. Someone who managed to easily share information in 140 characters is Susan Munro, Susan tweets her working week in  A Tweet in the Life, a great idea which some of you may want to also think about.

A great post this week by the cheesecake loving Rachel Williamson on the Ross Wigham blog. Rachel encourages us all to visit a place she loves almost a much as cheesecake, a place called Morpeth in Northumberland. In  A town trail, a history lesson & some cheesecake Rachel shares some of the hidden delights of this town.

As an introvert I really liked Lorna Prescott‘s blog Oh So Quiet? Lorna shares what she was actually doing during a seminar in which she ‘Didn’t say much’. Lorna demonstrates perfectly that you don’t have to be loud and obvious to be involved or to participate.

Lesley Thomson also blogs about participating this week, as she took part in #altukgc13 which took place instead of the scheduled UK GovCamp. In  It’s UKGovCamp Jim! But not as we know it! we are able to see a glimpse of some of the sessions and discussions which took place – it seems as if #alukgc13 was a success for all who attended. 

We’re absolutely delighted to have a post from Mary McKenna, who has submitted a belter of a post as her first contribution to weekly blog club. Mary, who was also at #altukgc13, was involved in a discussion about the lack of women on the speaker circuits and how this may be down to women underestimating their abilities or value. Mary looks at how this could also be a reason why women don’t negotiate an equal pay rate.  Women – would you like to earn as much money as your male colleagues?  is an enlightening read.

We were lucky to have two blogs this week about another respected unconference – Blue Light Camp – from those organising the event Sasha Taylor and Mark Braggins. Sasha updates us on the planning, meetings and work which has been taking place in preparation in Gearing up to BlueLightCamp 2013 and Mark shares with us news of the dates and a hackathon which they are also hoping to organise in Blue Light Camp: Coming in from the cold.

Sasha Taylor is also involved in the Warwick 4am Project and invites us all to meet his at Charlecote Park in the middle of the night with our camera. in Warwick 4am Project: Charlecote Park at 4am Sasha talks about the project which aims to capture unseen images from the middle of the night. Talking about unusual images, we have another image from our past in Wouldham 1932 River Medway by Richard Overy. There’s a happy bunch of chaps in the photo, messing about in a boat, eating a lunch.

The final two blogs this week show storytelling at it’s finest. In Four Readings and a TombstoneDiane Sims reflects on when she heard poet Simon Armitage read and looks at life’s journey and the accompanying baggage. Karen Hart blogs about a yearning for more snow as she’s only had  Tiny, tiny snow. There’s special imagery in the blog which will make you shiver, I loved reading it.

So, that’s your lot, and quite a lot it is too. We’re good to you aren’t we? This week something which I have been thinking about quite a lot is skills, wondering what my skills are – am I Jack of all trades, and master of none, or do I have a talent? I thought this could therefore be the [entirely optional] theme for week 5. What are you good at, what skills do you have, what do others admire about you?

We’ve had a few more lovely folk sign up to be guest host over the coming weeks and we can’t wait to hear their Weekly Blog Club voice. If you fancy being a guest you can find out more  on the Admin info page, and you can suggest a week that you could do on the Who looks after Weekly Blog Club when page. Why not give it a go? I hand you back to the wonderful Janet Davis for week 5.

Sorry this summary wasn’t ready first thing this morning, but I had a curious incident with a flooded car and an absconded horse, but I’ll save that for another blog.

Blog well, eat cake and until next time…


Kate Bentham.

  1. Women – would you like to earn as much money as your male colleagues? by Mary McKenna
  2. Four Readings and a Tombstone by Diane Sims 
  3. Blue Light Camp: Coming in from the cold By Mark Braggins on the  Blue Light Camp blog.
  4. Margaret Peters reflects on the work of Participation Cymru  on the Participation Cymru blog
  5. Jo recounts her first time Clay Pigeon Shooting By Vindicat PR on the Ladies Shooting blog
  6. Online learning by Louise Atkinson 
  7. House of Lords’ conclusions reflect a wider concern about the future of consultations by Ewan King on the OPM blog
  8. Warwick 4am Project: Charlecote Park at 4am by Sasha Taylor
  9. Gearing up to BlueLightCamp 2013 by Sasha Taylor on the  Blue Light Camp blog.
  10. Tears, tantrums and chocolate – why research in nursing? by Kim Barron on the Ayrshire Health blog.
  11. Improving Email Behaviour. End of Campaign Report and Four Recommendations byChris Bolton
  12. The Incidental Researcher Case 2: Open Badges and Free Education by John Patterson
  13. Wouldham 1932 River Medway by Richard Overy
  14. Oh So Quiet? by Lorna Prescott 
  15. Exposé: your ultimate social media toolkit by Kenny McDonald
  16. Tiny, tiny snow by Karen Hart
  17. A town trail, a history lesson & some cheesecake by Rachel Williamson on the Ross Wigham blog
  18. Man v. Food v. Mobile v. Tablet by Carolyne Mitchell
  19. Street Art Musing by Janet Davis
  20.  It’s UKGovCamp Jim! But not as we know it! by Lesley Thomson 
  21. Any excuse to get some new stationery by Louise Brown
  22. Opinions in 140 characters by Derek Barron
  23. A Tweet in the Life by Susan Munro

Working in local gov, managing a frontline service for families. I love Shropshire, love family and love information and blog about all three. There is also the occasional mention of cake and caek.

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Posted in #WeeklyBlogClub summary, communicating, communities, conferences, culture, digital technology, education, emergency services, health, health services, learning, local government, national government, patient care, public sector, public spaces, setting goals, social media, storytelling, Third sector, training, unconferences, visual arts, working practices

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