Kester Brewin
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Kester Brewin is a teacher and writer living in London. He recently gave a TED talk based on his book Mutiny - Why We Love Pirates and How They Can Save Us.

Entries by Kester Brewin

Macbeth's Ghost: No-Notice Ofsted Inspections Risk an Educational Witch-Hunt

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 8:00 AM

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After the 'Trojan Horse' scandal that has hit some of Birmingham's schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, controversial head of Ofsted, has been given the go-ahead by Michael Gove to allow no-notice inspections. Wilshaw had pushed for their introduction around 2 years ago...

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Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla - Learning to Dwell in the Possible

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 3:47 PM

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About 6 years ago - back, one might say in Internet terms, in the late-Jurassic stage - Mark Edmundson, a Professor of English at a well known American university, wrote a rather beautiful essay that explored the effects ubiquitous online access...

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Library as Church, Bookshelf as Altar: Why I Gave Up Praying, and Carried on Reading

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 8:19 AM

Around 18 months ago my best friend died of cancer. He was early 40s, and left a wife and twins. Like me 'the son of a preacher man,' we'd collaborated together on projects exploring the outer edges of what our faith was becoming.

When I'd first met him we used...

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Oculus, Virtual Reality and Why Books Must Win the Battle for Our Eyesight

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 1:34 PM

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The bookshop Waterstones tweeted a joke yesterday in which Mark Zuckerberg went into their shop on Oxford Street:

'What's this?' he said, holding up a book. 'It's a book,' I replied.

He looked at it for five minutes before asking what...

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In Memory of Bob Crow - Why I Remain a Committed Trade Union Member

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 11:47 AM

"Who will replace him?"

These were the words that a colleague in education spoke when he heard about the sudden death of Bob Crow. Not an administrative enquiry, a question concerning who will put their name plate on his office, and who will take his place at meetings - no,...

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The Trauma of Accepting the Truth: Why Climate Sceptics Are Like Religious Fundamentalists

(2) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 3:42 AM

There's an old joke about how many climate change sceptics it takes to change a lightbulb, the punchline being of course that it doesn't take any: more research is needed to see if the thing needs changing. When I was first told this pun I realised I'd also heard the...

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Apple and Wearable Technology: A Warning From History

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 5:59 AM

Picture the scene - you are completing an application form for life insurance and a page comes up giving you the option to upload data from your always-on fitness monitor, outlining your exercise, work and sleep patterns for the past 6 months, with the incentive that reduced premiums may be...

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Tractors, Trolls and What a 1950's Philosopher Says About Twitter

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 3:05 AM

There is rarely anything new under the sun. It's useful to remember this when there is great furore over new technologies and the effects they are having on us and the world we live in - especially when the stories are as serious as a teenager taking her life because...

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Peace and Goodwill for Bethlehem in London?

(6) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 3:49 PM

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As the season of peace and goodwill to all, it's amazing just how much division and hatred Christmas can throw up.

Earlier this week I attended a fantastic meal put on as part of the 'Bethlehem Unwrapped' festival put together by...

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The Future Is Ours to Decide: Putting Our Mouth Where Our Money Is

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 5:24 AM

A couple of months ago an esteemed educationalist - a Knight of the Realm no less - came to the school I teach in to do some training. One part of his remit was inviting us to think about the future of education, and he began by excitedly delivering a...

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The Pope on Capitalism: The Same Goes for Catholicism

(2) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 8:06 AM

There's a scene in the 1991 filmThe Silence of the Lambs where Agent Starling - played so beautifully by Jodie Foster - is interviewing Hannibal Lecter. In his trademark creepy way, Lecter is telling Starling all that he sees of her - things that are true, but uncomfortably...

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Reborn as a Woman: A Radical Review of Gravity

(1) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 8:10 AM

--Warning This Post Contains Spoilers--

I saw Gravity last week. It's a very good film that has stuck with me since, but the question that has bugged me is this: what is the film actually about? Here's my radical view: Gravity is a new creation myth for the USA, one...

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Twitter - Better Cooperative Than Corporation?

(3) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 5:39 AM

News outlets have been covering the story of Twitter's flotation on the stock market, with a valuation of $18bn. Shares were offered at around $26.

A couple of these recent flotations - I'm thinking of Facebook and, in the UK, the Royal Mail - have given me pause for thought...

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Walt, the 'Wire' and the 'Waltons' - The Logic of Family Values in Tough Economic Times

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 7:00 PM

As Breaking Bad draws to a finale I have been increasingly struck by similarities and differences between it and The Wire.

Both shows are founded on family (though The Wire moves away somewhat from this as it moves beyond Season 3). As evidenced in countless scenes, all of Walt's actions...

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We Are All Geeks (But Should All Be Luddites)

(16) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 10:45 AM

Over the next few days thousands of normal people will be plunging into the depths of updating the core operating system of their Apple mobile phones and tablets. Under the hood this is a highly sophisticated technological operation. But no matter, we are all geeks now, and happily tap away...

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Children, Tools and Screen-Time - It's Never The Knife That Stabs

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 7:38 PM

Once again the news is full of warnings about the dangers of children spending too much time on screens. New research by Public Health England suggests that greater amounts of screen-time correlates with increased potential for depression and anxiety in young people and was responsible for limiting a...

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Edward Snowden - Modern-Day Pirate?

(2) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 5:21 AM

Over the past 48 hours the number of countries saying 'no' to Edward Snowden's application for asylum has grown rapidly. From Austria to Brazil, Finland to Spain, it seems that representatives from nations on Snowden's list have been queuing up with their statements and sad shakes of their...

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'Gamified' Education in Google's 'Glass House' Won't Help Students Grow

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2013 | 2:11 PM

Last week Gi Fernando wrote an impassioned piece here on HuffPost Tech about the need for schools to catch up quickly before technology races ahead too far and we harm the potential progress for a generation of students. As as working teacher, and one very ready to bring...

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We Took on Friends Life in Memory of My Friend Nic - And Won

(2) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 7:00 PM

In October last year my great friend Nic Hughes died of cancer. He died knowing that his insurance company, Friends Life, were refusing to pay out on the critical illness policy he had taken with them. Friends Life were arguing that he had failed to declare relevant information in his...

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