Friday 16 December 2011

Reflection of What I Gained From the Training the Trainer Course

Here is what I took away from my learning experience on the Training the Trainer course I attended over three days back in September 2011.

I experienced the importance of what I have learnt to call edutainment, which is combining education and entertainment to facilitate learning. This is not just for children but adults who can also lose focus in a learning environment. Three months on from the training I am still able to remember the training which was delivered in a game or was entertaining fashion. However I can only vaguely recall the subject matter being taught delivered by co-attendees of the course, which was monotones and lacking in energy.

I also understand the merit in a good trainer putting the hard work in at the designing stage. This will in turn reduce the amount of work to be done at the time of delivering the training. For example if good group work sessions are designed well on the day of delivering training, the trainer is then able to sit with each group and use this time to observe and possibly an opportunity for a formative assessment.  

To conclude, I have learnt to design the training well, which includes making it an enjoyable experience, entertaining and letting student’s have more discussion time and less teacher talk time.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Tweaking my blog and websites

As part of my current project I'm tweaking all my blogs and my two websites to me inter linked to each other. I found a great video to help with this. Hope it helps others wanting to do the same.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note (ICT)

I've been using a  Dell Streak smart phone for over a year. And loved it. I'm a heavy blogger with minor youtube uploads.

My major gripe with the Dell Streak was the camera shutter speed. It was way to slow. I tried finding a software fix, but no joy. The pictures where poor, and the video quality poor also.
The Galaxy Note is great for blogging on the go, take a picture, write my blog entry and upload.
Same for youtube videos. Just need to play with the on board video editing software some more, then I'll be able to do the lot on the Galaxy Note.

Here's one of the first videos I took on a very cold Dec 2011 morning

Here are some pictures taken on the same day- (ones dated 2011.12.03)

As for the pen usage, I think I'll watch a few youtube videos on how people are using their Galaxy Notes for some inspiration.

To conclude I love it, and it's outdone the Dell Streak by a country mile.
Hopefully I'll update at a later date on how it gets on with what I throw at it.

Monday 5 December 2011

Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (book)

Great Starting Place for Personal Development/ Self Help,

This is a great book to start your self development journey. I say this as it sets a very clear structure on deciding what it is you need to work on, and then the techniques.

The first 3 habits are to make you independent. The next 3 make you work effectively as a team player, and the 7th is to keep you growing.

The reason I prefer this as a starting place, and also as a annual / bi-annual redesign is that fact that while allot of books/ media in the self development world just attempt to hype you with motivating stories etc. This is a very logical and systematic way of designing a productive/ effective life.

Note: I said life, not just business or profession. As getting ones life in order and having a fulfilling balanced life is very important, something this book also covers.

I have brought this book as a gift for my brother, sister, wife and anyone I mentor.

Badshah Rating: 5/5

Book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey in

My Review of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey  in

Connecting with Others in Regards to Personal Development

Just finished work and on route to grabbing a quick bite before I head to BJJ class when I bump into Tony A. He'd just finished a time management days worth of training. So we stood out in the cold and just connected. Simple.

From what I could feel from the conversation Tony A has been bitten by the personal development bug. So I recommended to him a great book - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey 

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Discovering the inner 'why' and then articulating to others from this 'why'

I was going to email my close friend the following email, but figured lets share with all.
After out discussion on discovering the inner 'why' and then articulating to others from this 'why' when we talk to encourage people of smiler motivations to co work with. I thought you'd find the following videos of some use.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Next one is not really on the why, but on motivating people via rewarding them with autonomy.

Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation
Lets discuss these concepts the next time we meet.

Friday 30 September 2011

Using Technology to facilitate learning

I love watching the odd TED Talks video on youtube and wondered what their highest voted videos are. And stumbled on this gem.

His website is here - awesome stuff. Is that Bill Gates interviewing Salman in the end???

Thursday 15 September 2011

Taking a proper lunch break

I love getting away from my desk at work, heating up my packed lunch (lovingly packed by Mrs Bad) getting a coffe and sitting anywhere away from my office. Today I was based in Startford Town Hall. As my lasangnia was heating up I looked out of the and noticed the courtyard bathed in midday sun. I grabbed my food and a cup of coffe and sat out. Mobile phone switched off, just enjoying a real break.

Just as I finish eating a biker is standing over me (Shoei helmet in hand). It happens to be a senior manager from the main building. We sit, chat and enjoy the sun, and the court yard.

Two discoveries. Fist, the court yard itself. It traps the suns heat really well and a great place away from the hustle and bustle of central startford. It's open to the public and they have a cafe their if you'd want a cuppa, quick bite, hot food. I've yet to try their food so can't comment on how the food is.

Secound, the senior manager is a real hands on foody. He's raised and slaughtered his own chickens. We covered topics from automatic irrigation systems to breads of chickens.

Conclusion, try new things and places. You never know it may bring you new friends and new favourite places. To actively push our edges is an excellent way grow , learn and connect.

Note to self: Book next chat and meal with the senior manager in the Malaysian restruant in Westfield Stratford.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Fire Warden Training

So I've just completed my Fire Warden Training and I must say I enjoyed it. Few points I've picked up

Fire regulations do not apply to privately owned personal residence.
BUT privately rented homes need a mains powered smoke/heat detector in the landing of each floor.
A whole book of regulations exist for public buildings (see regulatory Reform Fire Safety order 2005).
Public building should have a Fire Risk Assessment annually AND/OR when any changes to building layout AND/OR use.
I'll be purchasing a fire blanket for my home kitchen and  powder extinguisher for the rest of the apartment.

Got to practically test out fire extinguishers today on real flames and the hands on experience was worth it.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Application & Interview training (1 day)

Had a great days training, interviews for me are not a problem. The applications, more specifically the personal statement stage is a real chore. I walked away with allot from this.

1. A one page C.V. Time is money, and recruiters don't have the patients for 6 pagers
2. When answering a question use the STAR method. State the Situation, Task, Actions and Results. Most time on the last bit.
3. Be confident, if you can't be, then act confident by sitting upright and speaking SLOWER

One of the slides from the training session

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Android Applications I like to use

I used to be a hardcore HTC man, but defected to the Dell Streak and find Android an awesome operating system. The Android Market has all the goodies. Below is a list some of apps I use.

Alarm Clock Plus - Set the alarm, and when it goes off you have to correctly answer a maths question to snooze or switch off. You can set the difficulty to the required level.

ASTRO File Manager - Think windows explorer for your phone

Blogger-droid - for mobile blogging

Compass - Does what it says on the tin

DCSwitch - lets you switch off the data connection, saving your battery life

Tiny Flashlight + LED - Lets you control the LED to you as a torch

Handcent SMS - improves the txting experience

JuiceDefender - battery saver - tweeks settings to save battery life

InkPad Notepad - (for notes) - simple app to take notes

Lookout Mobile Security - Antvirus for your phone

MyPhoneMyRules - turns phone silent and switchs off vibrate by placing phone face down, along with selecting individual contacts to keep on silent.

RockPlayer Lite - for playing video

Tango Voice & Video Calls - think facetime (apple). It works over mobile data connection also.

Unified Remote - lets you control you PC. Mouse and keyboard functions present.

WhatsApp Messenger - free SMS via wifi/data

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Book Review by Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam by Ron Geaves PART 2

Click here for part 1

Quilliam was a true ambassador for Islam, actively lecturing on comparative religion and implementing within the laws of Britain an Islamic community, masjid, school, orphanage, even a portion in the grave yard for those who died with the 'truth'. Along with the equivalent of open days. The local community (regardless of religion) where invited to celebrate and eat at the Eid festivities with the Muslims. Providing breakfast for the poor Christian children on Christmas day is another act of charity and community building Quilliam not only orchestrated but in the majority of theses works heavily funded from his own pocket. He was the first point of contact from dock workers right up to the mayor on all matters concerning the Muslims in and around Liverpool.

I will touch on what could be seen as a negative chapter in Quilliam’s life. His taking on of a new identity in the later years of his live. Much controversy surrounds this section of his life and I feel the author has done well to shed as much light as was possible with the information available to him. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the 'British Muslim' area of politics, sociology, and community cohesion. It's also a great read for those having an interest in the British Empire around this era (1900’s). For me it's been a ‘how to’ guide on becoming a 'Great British Muslim'. I shall attempt to put into practice the lessons learnt from reading about Quilliam's life.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Book Review by Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam by Ron Geaves

Abdullah Quilliam was a giant of a man by any standards. He was the quintessential Victorian British gentlemen. Solicitor by profession, defender of human rights, orator and lecturer on geology and numerous other sciences and an advocate for sobriety at a time when the consumption of alcohol far out weighted today's levels. This was the man even before Islam. After his return form North Africa where he embraces Islam he grows vastly over the following years, and becomes the leader of a multi cultural community of Muslims (both born and British converts, over 200 in number) from all walks of life in Liverpool (the main international dock of the British Empire at the time), along with heading a Muslim school and orphanage he is titled the Sheikh-ul-Islam of Britain by non other then the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Abdul Hamid II). No other Muslim has and in all likeliness (due to the lack of an Islamic state) will ever be given such an honour. 

I first heard about Abdullah Quilliam many years ago in passing conversation, and was intrigued, and when I saw this autobiography, I had to read about this interesting character. For me the pull towards this great personality was the fact that he was a proud Brit, but above all a Muslim. And I wanted to see what this 1900's gentleman a true British Muslim in every sense of the term balanced his loyalties to Queen and country, and by his own compulsion the 'True Faith' (as Quilliam often referred).  While the biography starts a tad text book like I feel this section is important as it lays the settings in which these events in the Sheikh's life are occurring. Victorian Britain during the industrial revolution was the centre of a vast Empire which had colonies across the globes and a greater number Muslim subjects then the Ottomans had. The emerging might of the Russian region, Germany, France and her colonies, as well as the established Ottoman empire all tragically manoeuvring in what eventually where to become the alliances of the first World War. International snapshot of history covered. We move onto Liverpool at this time which was a hub of immigration from Muslim lands and closer to home. (Ireland, Scotland, & Wales) and had its own religious conflicts before Islam enters the equation as the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants often erupting into violence.

But the book after a slow start gets to the main course. Abdullah Quilliam the man, the ideals and his experiences. Most interesting and influential for me being the challenges he often but not always overcame with the duality of being a British Muslim, and these are truly the insights I fell the majority of British Muslims (Muslims in Britain regardless of race, country/ religion of birth, social class) can learn a great deal from.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Easy Life of Hamza the Cat

What a life a well looked after domestic cat has. The best of both worlds. Food and drink provided for, come and go as you please. Fussed over, groomed and adored. Here's Hamza a stray my uncle brought back mistaking him for our lost cat Gorgeous George. He's been with us ever since. 

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Google Reader Saves Time When Reading Blogs

Google's web based reader allows you to enter the web addresses of all the blogs you want to keep up to date on. It saves you having to revisit blogs only to find nothing new has been added. All the blogs I'm interested in, all in one place. Saves time, you gotta love saving time.

You'll need a Google/ Gmail login, add away and manage your subscriptions via the option in the bottom left corner of the reader.

Some blog addresses to get you started on your subscriptions.

Google Reader can also be used to subscribe to news feeds & RSS feeds here's what Wiki states about Google Reader

Monday 14 March 2011

Anthony Nolan Trust FTW

Back in 2009, I stumbled upon the Anthony Nolan Trust. This charity is responsible for maintaining a donor register potential for bone marrow and stem cell matches. Back when I did it, it required a blood sample being taken and sent to the charity to add your details to their register. Now it's even easier, they simply take a cheek swab (just like in the crime dramas). If you're from the black or ethnic minority group then it'll be even more imperative you consider joining this list as the demand far out ways positive matches found for such groups.

Click here for my poor attempt to raise the money it costs to keep me on the register.