Monthly Archives: January 2014

Gamification with Dr Kevin Werbach

I’ve enrolled in a short course about Gamification. It’s run by Kevin Werbach of the University of Pennsylvania, and I’m studying online via Coursera.

What is gamification? It can be difficult to pin down the definition of a fast-evolving phenomenon, because it changes so quickly. But let’s try. Right now, in the context explored by this short course, gamification is the use of game elements in non-game contexts to engage users or change behaviour.

By non-game contexts we mean, simply, not as part of a traditional game. What kind of game elements are we talking about? Continue reading Gamification with Dr Kevin Werbach

Critical Thinking in Global Challenges

I’ve signed up for a range of courses through Coursera, and the first to kick off has been Critical Thinking in Global Challenges. The course is convened by Dr Celine Caquineau and Professor Mayank Dutia of Edinburgh University. It aims to develop and enhance one’s abilities to think critically, assess information from a variety of sources, and develop reasoned arguments in context.

Distinguishing between facts, assertions and opinions particularly resonates with me because of my background as a public sector policy officer. I’m used to evaluating the credibility of evidence from my work in market research. It’s especially interesting in terms of the vanity metrics that Eric Ries talks about in The Lean Startup (and in this post on Tim Ferriss’s blog): does this evidence really show what it claims to show? Critical thinking is essential for designing services and products. It is a skill best developed through constant doing and practice; this course is a great opportunity for me to keep my mind in shape.

Android and the Web of Things: NFC, QR, BLE and Arduino – Meetup

On the day when Google’s acquisition of Nest (story here) made the internet of things a hot topic, I went to the Skills Matter Exchange to hear from someone at the forefront of this exciting trend. Dom Guinard of EVRYTHNG was the main speaker at a meetup event hosted by the London Java Community.

Photo by @SHRecWorks
Photo by @SHRecWorks

EVRYTHNG is a Web of Things™ software company, making products smart by connecting them to the Web. EVRYTHNG helps manufacturers connect directly with customers and partners through their own products, using smartphones and intelligent identities for physical products on the Web. Continue reading Android and the Web of Things: NFC, QR, BLE and Arduino – Meetup

January Meetups

This week I’m going to two exciting meetup events. Firstly, with the London Java Community, talks about the Internet of Things (details here). With 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, it’s a real growth area: QR codes, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Low Energy and Arduino. Secondly, ProductTank, the meeting for Product Managers; speakers will discuss product management in payments, fixing broken checkout experiences and how people pay online (details here). Meetup evenings are a great opportunity to find out about new topics in an informal setting. I’m looking forward to them both.

RFID chip, QR code
RFID chip, QR code