My ongoing project this year is to establish a new professional digital identity for myself. EdTechFactotum.com will become the hub of my professional life. I’ve also set up a Twitter account and a Facebook page where I’ll be writing and posting about EdTech, open education, online & blended learning, and the like.
While this site will remain, it will begin to morph over the next while to become a more personal space and a place to talk about things not necessarily related to educational technology, open education or teaching & learning.
I like that word – factotum – as it is an apt description of how I see myself. A generalist & a jack of all trades. The word makes me smile, too, because it reminds me of a real Jack – Jack Black. Yeah, that Jack Black, star of one of the most underrated movies about education ever made School of Rock.
No seriously. School of Rock has some great messages about education. Project-based learning, passion-based learning, collaboration, teamwork, authentic learning & assessment – it’s all there in School of Rock. It is no coincidence that Black’s characters name is Dewey, a smart nod from a scriptwriter in the know. The grade grubber in the movie, Summer, referred to herself as the class factotum and that term has stuck with me. So, while I admit that the term factotum does have an air about it, know that I got it from a Jack Black movie.
Anyway, the title of this post. Maybe it is because RSS isn’t a mainstream thing anymore , but I have been noticing a big increase in the use of good old fashioned email newsletters. While I still rock the RSS, some of the best content seems to be coming to me from email newsletters, so I am going to give a weekly newsletter a go.
I think what I like about the email newsletters is that they offer curated links with commentary. This last part is important as it provides a view and context around why the content is important. People like Stephen Downes and Doug Belshaw do this really well, and it is a skill that I want to work on. I read a lot, but don’t often take the time to explicitly summarize and contextualize what I am reading. So, I am hoping that a weekly curated newsletter may be the way to help me better understand the content I read.
To help constrain the newsletter, I am limiting the newsletter to 3 articles each week. I am not sure what day of the week to publish. For now, I am going to start with Friday mornings and see how that goes.
I am using TinyLetter as the mail client. (changed this. it’s now self-hosted) You can sign up at EdTech Factotum.
I’ll likely set up a blog there as well. I had been experimenting with GRAV, but think I was trying to force GRAV to do something that it wasn’t really made to do, so have put that on hold for now, opting instead for a simple HTML5UP CC licensed landing page that I mucked around with. Good for now.
I also had some fun playing with Canva, coming up with a logo design. It’s a fun tool for quickly creating interesting images and graphics.
While I was at CC Global, there was a photographer named Sebastiaan ter Burg who captured a nice shot of me that I will likely be using as my avatar (I’ll reserve little Clint for my personal stuff).
I don’t know if I’ll stick with all of these, but it has been fun playing around with some new tools as I continue to work on developing a separate professional digital identity.
Okay, off to set up issue #1 of the EdTech Factotum newsletter, on the way Friday.