I'm back! (Cue muffled applause).
The newsletter took a back seat, as my kids took a front seat throughout this last year. In honesty, they took the driving seat, stole my keys, and headed the wrong way down the M4.
Still, we survived. We kept ourselves (and our loved ones) safe.
I've used the break as an opportunity to send from a new email address, and to play about with the format a bit.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.
On with the links...
1. The Four Hour Podcast.
+ Tim's joke about this being the right name for his episode with Balaji Srinivasan wasn't far off (it came in at 3 hours 44 minutes).
Despite the length, it's packed with a huge range of topics. Some favourites... networked states, mayors who think like CEOs, citizen journalists, and just how much digital has changed the world.
+ Balaji talks extensively about cities/countries with technologically progressive jurisdictions. Estonia came up repeatedly, so I was particularly interested to hear about their educational innovation.
2. Let children play.
+ What if school wasn't just about achieving academic success, but also (I would argue, more importantly) about raising healthy and happy individuals? Some countries are guiding us on how it should be done.
+ Here in the UK, despite the mental health crisis among children, experts are still having to call for more play time.
+ Meanwhile, schools continue to struggle with what to do about mobile phones. It's almost as if the education system requires radical change.
If we look beyond 'schooling' and see the role of education as preparing kids for the world they'll live in, helping them understand how to use tech (and how not to use it) is vital.
+ A good place to start is to understand why kids hate writing.
+ I recently finished reading Indistractable by Nir Eyal. An excellent balance between the science behind why we get distracted, along with the tools to help us gain and keep traction.
"We can take steps right now to retrain and regain our brains. To be blunt, what other choice do we have? We don't have time to wait for regulators to do something and if you hold your breath waiting for corporations to make their products less distracting, well, you're going to pass out."
Talking of useful skills for kids... being indistractable is definitely on that list.
4. The cost of care.
+ Every child in care costs the government about £66,000.
There's often a simplistic narrative here... private companies are making money from kids in care. It's right that we question the costs, but the real question is why are spending so much and still failing kids? For the answer we need to look at the whole system.
This week's quick links...
+ This Key Light Air has been massively useful now that every conversation is a video call.
+ Another recommendation from Kyle... “Think about what Twitter did for blogs. Racket is doing the same for podcasts.” – Give me a follow using that link, I'm keen to give it a go.
+ My new favourite tool for writing Twitter threads.
+ Psychological tricks people use in everyday life.
+ Something I wrote for my wonderful friends Barrie & JoJo.
I love hearing from people who read my emails. Hit reply.
Thanks for reading. Have a great week. 👋