Category Archives: Hackday

During the Hackday

Only a couple days left till the first hackday…………I am very excited to say the least. Had a couple of people asking what they need to bring.


I would say a Laptop and perhaps a headset is all you need on top of your subject knowledge, energy and professionalism.

The plan for the day is arrive from 9.30 am at Microsoft’s Edinburgh Office. We have arranged for some Bacon rolls as a welcome. I will do an introduction.

Then its up to those who are in the space. You decide what you want to do, how long you want to work on it. You decide it you develop a structure or start building specific parts or resources. Want to do something in particular just ask. We might not know an answer but we will all be keen to learn.


Sandwiches will be brought. Should we all stop or should we let people just snack and break when they have a natural break?

I do not expect anything to be finished on the day. This is a starting point, not a finish.

Last point is for the couple of people who want to help and will be online. I will set up Lync Meeting room that we can dip in and out of as well as a shared online work space.

If you haven’t signed up but interested in joining us, either now or in the future, then please get in touch. Sign up HackDay No.1 go to the online spreadsheet 

So looking forward to building the community

Hackday Sign Up so far





The subjects being covered at the moment and the Number of teachers working on these are;

  • 3 Working on Engineering Science
  • 1 Working on Geography
  • 3 Working on Physics
  • 1 Working on Chemistry
  • 3 Working on Business Management/ Admin and IT
  • 3 Working on Design and Manufacture
  • 1 Working on Graphic Communications
  • 1 Working on English and media
  • 1 Working on Biology

can you support your colleagues? Do you have resources you can provide? Can you help develop NoteBooks beyond the day itself?

Hack Day Questions

So we have a space, we have some people, we have a vision.

A couple of questions have been asked;

“Can I get involved even if I can’t make it on the day?”

Ideally, as many people as possible will be there on the day. Kicking things off face to face but having lived on Islay for 12 years, I realise that is not always possible.

So if you wish to Join in Virtually you may do so. The best way of doing this (I think) is having the notebooks and tasks to be done for each notebook online via a site and to use lync for each of the hack groups on the day.

I would be very surprised if any of these will be completed on the day. So the work will continue after. I always need someone to check my writing.

The other question is;

“Can I come along for part of the day?”

The answer is yes. I appreciate that giving up a whole Saturday is a big commitment, however the idea of this hack is to share the workload. So if you can give up some time on the day, meet people and then continue to develop materials online, you would be most welcome.

Of course nobody would be impressed if you turned up, ate all the sandwiches and left again but I know nobody would do that, would they?! I have changed the Speadsheet a little. I have added a column for time available, and if you fancy the pub afterwards. If you can only make part of the day please say approximately when you can make it, no registers will be taken but we have to know who is in and when.

With less than 2 weeks to go, we are making sure that things are in place at our end – bacon rolls ordered for the morning and tea and coffee on tap all day!

If anyone has any questions please ask away.

Hack Day 2

2015 has started.

Work clothes are little tighter.

What are your resolutions? I have stopped making these as it just makes me feel like a failure when I don’t achieve them. Maybe I am not focused enough or maybe my resolutions are too focused?

So instead of small I am going big.

My plan is to get people sharing the workload.

Small statement with lots in it.

In schools people are busy creating amazing stuff that they think;

– only for my classes in my way;
– is not good enough to share;
– not sure what the copyright rules are

So they don’t share.

What if we built stuff together? What if we co-created materials?

What would be the disadvantages to this? The only one I can think of is, “It’s not exactly how I would want it.”

The list of advantages are huge. So I won’t start them here but I am sure you can think of several advantages.

As you may be aware I have a plan. This plan seems to have captured a few people’s imaginations.

So a bit more information about the plan.

As per the previous post I am looking for teachers to come together and start developing multimedia textbooks based on OneNote.

I am aiming at these at the National Courses as this is an immediate pressure point for lots of teachers. Several primary colleagues have said they would be interested but it’s not aimed at them.

They are right, what I have in mind is not aimed at them but if there is something they would like to develop one on (A particular topic, for example Vikings). Why not join us and learn how to develop a notebook for this purpose, or as my wife says, keep us right.

This is a start, not a one off. This start will be in Microsoft Scotland’s Office in Edinburgh. On Saturday 31st January, we are looking to welcome people from 9 am with a kick off time at 9.30 with the space available till 4.30.
Ideally we want people to work together to form groups and set targets for themselves. I would hope these groups will continue to develop the Notebooks.

Also arrange more of these hackdays in different parts of the country.
Are you interested? Sign up on the Office 365 Spreadsheet (Glow login required). Speak to your colleagues and friends.

If you can’t make it on the day, that’s ok. You can join in online as the work continues.
The start of an exciting year