Category Archives: CPD

Can I expand CPD to a Higher Level

Protection FilmI have often wondered if my CPD needs a little tweak, can I expand my CPD to a higher level, I read, try to organise training with manufacturers, and attend other professional seminars. I do very well, far better than some, and pail into dust at others.

My point is, can I do better, I think I can, and thats the point of this article, can I add more to my CPD, simple yes, and its all down to an article I read by Todd Nesloneyon the Swivl web site. were he outlines what he calls The Power of a personal Learning Network.

I like this idea a lot, I tend to talk to other academics a lot now and can see what he means, I have started to read academic papers, and expand that by making contact with some of the more interesting people I have found from all over the world.

Without realising it, I have already started this some time back with my often lengthy conversations with Jon Pickup, we did not alway talk about Vectorworks, but construction, and design. Plus my business partner, David, who is always ready to talk a detail through, or tell me of materials I might use.

I use, skype, email, and social media to link, Todd has started a hash tag to link these conversations,  try using #SLS15 on twitter, or #scayPLN

I am encouraging my students past and present to do the same, talk about detail, work, projects, materials lectures what ever.

As for Swivl, I have just purchased one of these interesting little devices, it allows me to video a lecture with ease, I tend to walk a lot going from a white board, to a screen and table, this little device follows me, always keeping me in frame, it does this by following not me, but a simple little hand held unit that also has a microphone installed, hung about my neck. More on this later.


Architectural Technologist – Maths

Lat Long - Easting Northing comparisonI so often get asked, what maths do I need as a Technologist, there is no simple answer, because it depends on the type and style of work your doing, but here is my take on the min.

Basic arithmetic, the every day use of numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, with and without a calculator, and if you use one, make sure you know how to use it.

Next trig, or Trigonometry, this is so often over looked now, simply because CAD packages are so good at working out lengths and angles for you, but in my book, you should be able to apply SOH-CAH-TOA without the aid of a CAD program. Unfortunately this means simple Algebra as well.

Logs are an option, but I can’t remember using them in recent years, but I’m told it should not be neglected.

Last but not least, is the ability to use a good spreadsheet, I know its not straight maths, but this is the medium we all use to collect and manipulate numbers, and you should be able to list numbers and use the built in formulas, its almost every day use  now so it is part of my Maths update list.

So the CPD here is, take a little time to practice Trig and a little Algebra, I had not forgotten it, but it took some time to get back into it, and as always, some times computers are just not there, and we might have to do it the long way.

Todays photo is of a comparison of lat, long lines super imposed onto a Eastings and northing lines and clearly shows why we do not use lat and long co-ordinates in the building industry.

I can’t remember where I found this photo, but apologies to you if it’s yours, but its such a good example I thought all should see it.


Architectural Technologist – Leadsheet association CPD event

Our first CPD event for the West Midlands, Region 5 is upon us tonight, if your in the Birmingham area and can get to the Millenium building, for 6:30 pm please drop in. CPD is a very important part of our work, it enables us to keep up with current information, law, materials and techniques.

Tonight we have the Leadsheet Association presenting on the use of lead, and as we all know this versatile material is used almost daily by us all to flash so many details from roofing, to cladding. If you log onto their site, see link above, there are a couple of very usefull training videos, that will easily give 30 mins of useful CPD.

In the dim and distant past, I used to work for evode, on there roofing section, and got involved with one of there products called flash and, basically a thin Leadsheet tool, with a bituminous coating to the one side, protected with a paper seal, a great product, that eased so many details.

The presentation should last 1 hour, so we will be giving 1.5 hour CPD certificats for attending.


Architectural Technologist – Kickstarter CPD record project

Well finally I have all the balls in the air, the Kickstarter crowd funding project is in place and live, to raise a little money for this new venture.

Simply what I want to do is turn my CPD spreadsheet and evernote knowledge base into something a little easier to use, and hopefully start a CPD culture of learning and sharing. It's also known as Continuing Education in the USA, or if your a little older Life long learning.

The video at the bottom is only the start of this month and a half Kickstarter project, it ends on the 30th Sept, so please, please visit the Kickstarter web site and pledge just as much as you can.

CPD has been my passion for the past four years or so, it started with a simple comment, and it grew to what I have now , a spreadsheet with so much information, but what made the difference was Evernote, it's simple open storage and retrieval lifted my CPD to a different level, with research notes, from both the web and external sources.

But the two have never really been connected, so this project is all about connection, the linking of a small iPad app that will link your research and notes, so you can see at a glance your project list and how much time you have given to each, plus the total amount in any one CPD year.

Study like this is so often a singular past time, but with this app, it will be easy to share sources, and time via twitter and Facebook, or any other community network if we find one as good.

The app will be free, well at least in the initial version, and I promise there will always be a free version, but as we learn to use it, a paid for pro version will appear, with added features.

But what will be essential to all versions will be the ability to print out to PDF a list of your activity to send to your professional association, and that all important network sharing. If funding goes over the ask level, I'll add more free function.

Why use Evernote, well it's open structure and vast ease of use make it the ideal repository for just about every piece of information you ever want to store, from short video, to text notes, to PDF files to screen shorts, to web links, and the best part is is you search for anything in say Google, it shows up as a separate column your personal knowledge base,any content that match's the search. Plus for us there is an excellent API or Application program interface for us to link into and use all this data.

So that's it, a project that has been in the making for about four years, please back us with a pledge, it will change the way you study, and achieve your 35 hours of continued professional development.


Architectural Technologist – CPD workflow for saving, creating notes and recording the hours

I thought you might like to see a video I did recently looking at the way I store information I find during my research, it centres on Evernote of course, and also my way of recording the actual hours in my Google Doc Spreadsheet.

I also use PDFpen to scan in documents into Evernote, if they are paper based. I can also just add time direct into my spreadsheet, copy it and paste direct into Evernote.

I can now quite happily search for items on the web, but because I have the Evernote app in my search program like safari or chrome, it can also see what I have stored in my personal database stored within Evernote.

We that is both Technologists and Architects, in fact most profesionals need to complete and show 35 hours of quality CPD in any one year, this is my way of recording that information, but more importantly, how I can see and use it, in my day to day activity.

If you can't work out how to make up the spreadsheet, let me know and I will make up one specific to you, for a small fee of course !!.



Architectural Technologist – CPD dates set for Region 5 West Midlands UK

Well last night I set up the dates for the first two CPD events for the West Midlands, first up is the Leadsheet association, for the 30th October 2013, we all detail with lead, although it's been some time since I used it as a roofing membrane, so this should be a must attend event to pickup on anything you want re lead sheet use.

Next up is the return of the Passive house presentation, on the 27th Nov, last year we received a great presentation on this subject from Mike Shufflebottom of the green building Store, this time it's the follow up, and a lot more detail. We have had so many requests for mike to return, this will be a sell out.

Last night I spent some time updating my Flickr site with new photos and updating the titles and tags, you know how I love tags !!, so drop in to view. Today's photo is one I must have taken on a walk, as it's one of the few styles I have photographed, a classic realy from the Isle of Scilly.

No CPD other than get the dates above into your diary, I will update the calendar tab as new items get booked, as always drop me a line to let me know if your attending, it helps with the catering. ensue we hope will remain at the Millenium building Birmingham City University. Click on the “look for more” link to find the latest dates, they are up now.



Architectural Technologist – CPD list updated

After a couple of months promising I would update my CPD list I have final managed to put aside a couple of hours and review my CPD from last year and correct a couple of mistakes in the formulas and add the new year of 2013-14.

Last year I made a mistake in the totals for Year for the total hours sheet, and a couple of entries had bad dates allocated to them, but I think,,,,, it's now correct.

My hours for 2012-13 are slightly under the 35 I am supposed to do, but as I know I did a lot more in general research and lecturing build up , ie, preparing for lectures and doing research for this blog, I am not that worried.

The project list still looks good and I can see I was a little light on a couple of items so I plan to correct that this year, some of the actual time might well be there but I may have allocated all of it to say general construction, so this year I intend to split it, and be a bit more careful.

The web site is working well and updated almost instantly, on the mac, the iPad used to have a problem with google sheets in that it only shows the vertical scroll bar, not the horizontal, this seems to have been fixed, well it's working for me at present.

If you want to start your own, it's never to late, just copy my site, the spread sheet is simple enough, and if your the office CPD organiser why not add several people to the same list and add a couple of extra personal tabs for them, it's not hard to do. I'm only to happy to creat a site for you, for a fee of course.

I am still not happy with not being able to automatically add my research time for CPD to my Evernote account, so I will do a little more digging to see if it's possible. Currently I copy a line at a time, and paste it into an evernote note. I did think that ifTTT might be the answer, they are updating several items and I will keep you updated on this.