I love a good mash-up. It's a digital age version of synthesis.

Actually, that's a little misleading - synthesis is a skill required by academics and scholars, whether technology is present or not. But a mash-up takes several ideas, formats or sources and places them together in a new form, to say something new. That's why I like it. It's creative and it's often thought provoking.

Amy Burvall and I did this a while back, when we invited people to write some thoughts on learning around an image. #Blimage caught on, encouraging hundreds of educators to write blogs, and spawned several other mash-up ideas related to blogging, including #TwistedPair (where two seemingly unconnected people were brought together to create a metaphor about learning - what about Donald Trump and Mickey Mouse?).

I have a confession to make. Over the festive period I binge-watched a number of DVD boxed sets. I watched multiple episodes of the Walking Dead, Scandal and Game of Thrones. It hasn't got any better. Now work has started again, I've been spending time each evening watching The West Wing.

I'm not going to lie. Watching DVD boxed sets is really addictive. These writers know what they are doing. No sooner has one plot been resolved, than another cliffhanger is presented.

I find it useful to look back to see what were the most popular blog posts of the previous year. In retrospect, trends are more observable than they are when you're in the thick of it.

My learning definitions series #learningis (13 posts) proved to be popular with a combined hit count of almost 50,000 views. It kicked off after I watched a video of some teachers at Geelong College in Australia, talking about their definitions of learning.

There's a lot to be said for lunchtime activities. When I attended AFCENT international school in the Netherlands, I would often find myself in the music room, listening to friends and staff playing impromptu concerts. It was great to sit cross-legged on the carpet, eating your sandwiches, chatting to friends and listening to live music.

One lad, a few years older than me, was a great blues guitarist. He would regularly stand up and play some great guitar riffs on his electric guitar.

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why. - Mark Twain.

Discovering that above all other things, you want to be a teacher, is one thing.

Seeing that long and sometimes tortuous journey through to its conclusion is another.

When my graduands leave university each year, they embark on a career that will be highly rewarding, but also physically, emotionally and intellectually challenging. They are full of energy, creativity and vision.

2016 was arguably an unprecedented year for celebrity deaths. Social media channels may have glowed red hot with the seemingly relentless demise of a procession of celebrities - entertainers, astronauts, authors - occasionally entire bands, and other well known individuals from the public sphere. Less reported in the mainstream media was the passing of a number of important individuals that have impacted significantly on the world of education.

Every once in a while I get to interview someone who offers amazing ideas and inspirational thoughts on the future of education. It's easy to interview them, because they start to talk, and you are drawn into new thoughts and possibilities, and the interview takes care of itself.

It was a distinct pleasure to sit down in conversation with Yves Punie at the 25th EDEN Conference in Budapest in June.

Yves is Senior Scientist at the European Commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, and is an expert in digital competencies.

I have worked with Yves before and greatly respect his thinking and views on education in general, and on digital competencies in particular.

This is number 36 in my continuing series of blog posts about learning theories. Psychology has contributed much to our understanding of how people learn, and listed alphabetically below are all of the previous theories I have featured in this series. My most recent post featured locus of control theory, and today's post is about the Pygmalion Effect in education. As with all posts, this is a brief overview and a personal perspective on the application of the theory in practice.

This is number 35 in my ongoing series on learning theories. In this series I have been providing a brief overview of each theory, and how each can be applied in education. All the previous posts in this series are linked below, with theorists listed in alphabetical order. The most recent post in this series featured spreading activation theory - a theory adapted from a hierarchical model of memory proposed by Ross Quillian and Allan Collins.