Thursday, 9 March 2017

International Women's Day #IWD2017 #BeBoldForChange #IWDSheff17

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

This year the theme for International Women's Day 2017 is #BeBoldForChange. I was invited to contribute a workshop to the event led by Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield with Kirsty Bowen. We'd never met before but hit it off straight away, both sharing a passion for using social media as a communication channel and a means of developing valued learning networks. 

Our workshop focused on using social media to create a professional online presence. Kirsty and I shared our own experiences and some good practice tips. The workshop element provided an opportunity for participants to explore a variety of social media tools and discuss how these can be used to connect, communicate, curate, collaborate and create. The session was delivered twice (as were the other options) so it was interesting to see the different questions that emerged. Feedback was positive via the post-it notes collected and demonstrated that staff development sessions like these are valued. Not just from what you can learn in a workshop, but the rich conversations that emerge as a result of bringing people together. 


At the event there were two truly inspiring keynote speakers. Both shared their career paths in an honest and open way. Unsurprisingly their progression took grit and resilience. Being a leader is with any doubts hard, and with the role comes the responsibility to make hard decisions. Hard because they involve people - and people matter, people's lives matter. 

I wish the keynotes had been recorded. I'd love to listen to them both again. Below are just a few quotes from both Natalie and Christina. 

Natalie Bennet - Former Leader of the Green Party

My favourite quote from Natalie was taken from the sash she brought with her, which said: 
"Well behaved women seldom make history"  

Professor Christina Hughes - Pro Vice Chancellor Student Experience at Sheffield Hallam University

Christina's advice to us all was:

"Be the brightest shade of you that you can possibly be" 

International Women's Day website

I recommend taking a look at the International Women's Day website and follow @womensday on Twitter to read about the many inspiring stories. 

The ethos is to work together to help forge a better working world - a more gender inclusive world. Consider how you might contribute. Suggestions made include challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence, forge women's advancement, celebrate women's achievements, and champion women's education. 

At my own university there were also events going for students and a rich collection of stories of inspiring women At the University of Sheffield take at look at 


Follow on Twitter @womensday #IWD2017 #BeBoldForChange

Make a pledge for parity

Note: Responses are captured by

Saturday, 4 March 2017

#EdTechRations Emergency Rations: What's so important we can't leave it at home?


Another wonderful opportunity to work with David Hopkins has resulted in contributing a chapter to his latest book. I just received my copy today!

My challenge along with the others who also wrote a piece was to write between 800-1200 words in response to this: 

"What is the technology you find yourself turning around and going home for if you forget it. What can't you leave at home or work, what do you feel naked without? (in your bag, in your pocket, wearable, etc.)? What connects your personal and professional lives to the extent you need to alter your plans to return back to the office to 'rescue'? It would be fantastic to hear your experiences and thoughts on this."
The response to the call was amazing and I feel proud to have had my chapter accepted alongside people like Steve Wheeler, Maha Bali, Amy Burvall, Simon Lancaster, Eric Stoller, Jane Bozarth, Sarah Knight, Julian Stodd, Alec Couros and many more. 

It's fascinating to see the different takes on the challenge and all make for a wonderful read. I know I'm biased but I recommend you get a copy! 

Many of the authors who have contributed to this book are already valued members of my personal network. However some are new and I am certain will add further value going forward. Whilst many of us may not have met face to face, the contributions they make to the edtech community have helped me develop my own learning in this area and all things related to learning and teaching and more! 

Thanks must go to David Hopkins @hopkinsdavid who has worked so hard to pull this all together. I can't wait to see what the next challenge will be!

Find out more about options for buying the book here:

Below is an infographic of my emergency tech rations and gives you a 
flavour of the tech I can't be without. To hear the full story you'll have to go and buy a copy of the book!