Monday, 6th June

1. Six degrees of separation is the idea (with which many of you will be familiar already) that all people (anywhere around the world) are six or fewer social connections away from each other

See if you can establish a six (or fewer) degree connection with the finalists in this year’s Cambridge ‘Dedicated Teacher Awards’ competition

2. Michael Barber has been prominent in UK public life for many years now, usually working in or around education, and was once the founder and head of Tony Blair’s ‘Efficiency Unit’ – Mr ‘Get it Done’. He now hosts an appropriately named podcast, Accomplishment

Try this one with Dzingai Mutumbuka, the first minister of education in newly independent Zimbabwe

or this one with the England football manager, Gareth Southgate

Shame about the result against Hungary the other night, though!

3. A thoughtful blog post by Neil Mosley, What role will MOOC platforms play in UK universities online futures?

“As more UK universities begin to review and develop their online education strategies and portfolios, and think about the role of partnerships in that, consideration of existing or prospective MOOC platform partnerships should be a part of the mix. Now we are over 10 years on from the initial surge of MOOC platforms, universities with existing partnerships that are simply ticking over, should now reflect seriously on these partnerships and whether or not they might, or are actually helping them achieve their goals and aims.”

4. And, finally, a shaggy dog story about a soldier called Shute. My mother’s thought processes are now less straightforward than once they were, and we were reminiscing this afternoon about part-time work she did a long time ago with a company based in Shute Road in Catterick. This led on to our wondering who or what Shute was, and it turns out he’s likely the younger of two General Shutes, uncle Charles and nephew Cameron, and highly unpopular with the troops he commanded during the First World War. General Cameron Shute’s bad luck and our good luck was that the very talented comic writer A. P. Herbert was at one point a junior officer on his staff. Herbert wrote the poem in the attachment below following a latrine inspection by Shute …

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