Age Certification for Websites: Fostering Responsibility, Not Censorship

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ensuring that online content is age-appropriate is a challenge of increasing importance, particularly for the safety of younger internet users. With this in mind, I’m proposing a new and not very innovative approach: a voluntary system of age certification for websites.

But, you may wonder, isn’t this just another form of internet censorship? The answer is a clear and resounding no. Let’s delve into why.

Voluntary Participation: Encouraging Responsibility, Not Mandating It

The proposed age certification system is voluntary, not mandatory. Website owners would choose whether or not to apply for an age certificate. Why? Because I believe in the power of choice and the responsibility that comes with it.

I understand that the diversity of the internet is one of its biggest strengths. Forcing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach would not do justice to the vast array of content found online. Instead, I would encourage website developers to consider their audience and the potential impact their content may have. This isn’t about restricting creativity or stifling freedom of speech but promoting mindful and responsible creation.

A Plugin Approach: User Empowerment

Instead of implementing sweeping changes at the internet infrastructure level, our system would be implemented via a browser plugin. This means the control is ultimately in the hands of the users and their caregivers.

The plugin would be designed to read the user’s age from their logged-in account (e.g., Microsoft, Google) and the age certification of the website they’re visiting. Based on this information, the plugin would block or allow access, ensuring an age-appropriate internet experience.

Adult users would have the power to override default settings, granting them access to uncategorised or differently categorised sites. In essence, we’re not deciding what content should be available on the internet, but merely providing a tool that empowers users to navigate the web safely.

A Call to Action: The Web We Want

Our age certification proposal is not about imposing new rules or policing the internet. Rather, it is about sparking a discussion on what kind of web we want for ourselves and for future generations.

If we want an internet that respects the rights of all users, including the most vulnerable, then we must foster a sense of responsibility and mindfulness in how we create and consume online content. A voluntary age certification system, implemented through a browser plugin, is a step towards that vision.

In an era where digital literacy is crucial, let’s encourage a more thoughtful and inclusive approach to web development. Let’s create a safer, more age-appropriate internet experience, not through censorship, but through responsibility and choice.

Welcoming AI in Education: How Disciplining Students for AI Use Disadvantages Them

Reading Time: 3 minutes

AI’s influence on our lives is growing at a pace never seen before. Its applications span various sectors, from healthcare and transport to business operations and entertainment. However, one area where AI could make a transformative impact is education. Despite some disputes surrounding AI’s role in the classroom, punishing or reprimanding students for using AI tools is more likely to place them at a disadvantage in the long run. Here’s why.

The Expanding Role of AI in Education

Artificial Intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, employs machine learning and deep learning techniques to simulate human intelligence in machines. In education, it is becoming an essential asset to personalise learning, provide real-time feedback, automate administrative tasks, and even facilitate remote learning.

Personalised learning is one of the most powerful applications of AI. Algorithms can analyse a student’s learning patterns and difficulties, adapt content accordingly, and provide targeted practice to enhance understanding. This could revolutionise education, moving away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to a customised learning journey.

AI also provides real-time feedback, ensuring that students don’t have to wait until they submit assignments to know if they’ve grasped the material. AI-driven platforms can identify exactly where students make mistakes and provide immediate corrections, supporting learning and instilling confidence.

Moreover, AI can automate administrative tasks such as marking assignments and scheduling, freeing up teachers’ time to focus on what truly matters – teaching and nurturing students.

Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated AI’s effectiveness in facilitating remote learning. AI-based platforms enabled students to continue their education from the safety of their homes, ensuring minimal disruption in their academic progress.

The Risks of Banning AI in Education

Given the enormous potential of AI in education, penalising students for using AI tools or banning them outright could have negative consequences.

Suppressing Creativity and Innovation

AI can foster creativity and innovation by allowing students to experiment and learn at their own pace. For instance, AI-enabled coding tools can help students understand the logic behind programming languages and stimulate their interest in this field. Punishing students for using AI can suppress this creativity and exploration, inhibiting students’ potential to innovate and excel in their fields.

Widening the Digital Divide

Restricting AI use in classrooms might widen the digital divide between students with access to these tools at home and those who do not have such access. The latter group would miss out on the benefits of personalised learning, immediate feedback, and increased learning autonomy that AI provides. This could lead to disparities in academic achievement and future career opportunities.

Preparing Students for the Future Workforce

AI is rapidly permeating all sectors of the economy. Consequently, the workforce of the future will likely involve interacting with AI in some form. If we deprive students of the opportunity to familiarise themselves with AI during their formative years, we risk producing a workforce ill-equipped to thrive in a technologically advanced future.

The Importance of Ethical AI Use in Education

While we advocate for AI’s usage in education, it is crucial to underscore the importance of ethical AI use. Concerns around data privacy, algorithmic bias, and over-reliance on AI need to be addressed.

Educators should ensure that AI tools comply with data privacy laws to safeguard students’ sensitive information. Similarly, AI developers must strive for transparency and fairness in their algorithms to prevent biased outcomes. Furthermore, while AI can augment teaching and learning, it should not replace the critical role of human interaction and guidance in education.

Conclusion: Embrace, Don’t Penalise

Given the ever-increasing role of AI in our

lives, the question should not be whether students should use AI, but rather how we can ensure they use it effectively and ethically. Penalising or banning students for using AI tools not only disadvantages them but also deprives our society of potential innovators and leaders in the era of AI.

Welcoming AI in education, therefore, is not merely a matter of keeping up with the times, but a necessity for equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the future. By understanding and integrating AI in our educational systems, we can prepare students to navigate and shape a rapidly changing world.

Maximizing the Value of Recurring Meetings: Strategies for Staying Focused on High Priorities

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As per a recent survey by Doodle, 60% of all meetings are recurring. Recurring meetings, as the name suggests, happen regularly at a fixed time and day, such as weekly team meetings, monthly project reviews, or quarterly business reviews. While these meetings can help establish a regular cadence of communication and collaboration, they can also take away from high priorities and result in lost focus, lost value, and increased time and salary costs to the business.

One of the biggest problems with recurring meetings is that they can become routine and lose their sense of urgency and purpose. Participants may stop paying attention, become disengaged, or feel they are simply going through the motions. This can result in a lack of progress, missed opportunities, and wasted time and resources.

Furthermore, when misused, recurring meetings can increase the business’s time and salary costs. According to a study by Atlassian, the average employee attends about 62 meetings per month, which adds up to approximately 31 hours of meetings per month or almost one hour per day. This means that employees spend significant time in meetings, which could be better spent on high-priority tasks that drive the business forward. My own experience would put this number much higher with a short survey I carried out coming back with participants spending an average of 40% of their working day in Recurring meetings. Some even reported attending more than 8 hours of meetings per day.

Another study by Harvard Business Review found that poorly run meetings cost US businesses an estimated $399 billion per year. This includes the cost of salaries for meeting attendees and the opportunity cost of time spent in unproductive meetings that could have been spent on other high-priority tasks.

So how can businesses ensure that their recurring meetings add value and not take away from high priorities? Here are some tips:

  1. Re-evaluate the frequency and duration of recurring meetings: Are they necessary, and if so, do they need to happen as often or for as long as they currently do?
  2. Establish clear objectives and agendas: Make sure everyone knows what the meeting is for, what topics will be covered, and what outcomes are expected.
  3. Encourage participation and engagement: Make sure that everyone actively participates and contributes to the discussion and that there is a culture of open and honest communication.
  4. Spend time ensuring that those invited add value and receive value from the meeting. A meeting should be of benefit to all participants. Do not host selfish meetings. If you need something reach out directly to the accountable person.
  5. Follow up and track progress: Ensure action items and next steps are documented, regularly reviewed, and tracked. The tracking does not need to be in further meetings but can but in messages or emails.
  6. If there are no action items or final decisions, it’s likely the meeting was little of no value.
  7. The same information should not be presented more than once within a virtual. Flatten the meeting attendance, bring leaders closer to those with the information.

By taking these steps, businesses can ensure that their recurring meetings add value and stay within high priorities. In conclusion, while recurring meetings can be a valuable tool for communication and collaboration, it is vital to use them correctly and ensure that they are not taken away from high-priority tasks and goals.

Maximizing Meeting Effectiveness: Best Practices for Hosts and Participants

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A topic I love to talk about but it’s really difficult to solve for. Here are a few tips for more effective meetings. Being a host can be difficult especially when you don’t know the players involved. Meetings are a wonderful tool, the ability to get people together to collaborate really adds so much value.

However, despite their importance, meetings are often viewed as unproductive and time-wasting. According to a survey by Atlassian, employees attend an average of 62 meetings per month, half of which are considered ineffective. This often comes back to the host, we’ve all hosted poor meetings. Here are some ideas and best practices to help improve your meetings.

  1. Define clear goals and agenda: Before scheduling a meeting, define its purpose, goals, and objectives. A well-defined agenda helps participants prepare for the meeting, keeps the meeting on track, and ensures that essential topics are covered. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, setting clear objectives and agendas can increase meeting effectiveness by 46%.
  2.  Invite the right people: Inviting the right people to a meeting ensures that the discussion is relevant and productive. More participants can lead to long meetings and off-topic discussions. According to a survey by HBR, 67% of managers believe too many attendees are the most significant barrier to effective meetings. It is vital to identify key stakeholders and individuals who have relevant expertise and can provide valuable input. Don’t bring two people that play the same role, often it will lead to muddy expertise.
  3.  Use technology to enhance meetings: Technology can improve effectiveness in various ways, including video conferencing, screen sharing, and collaborative document editing. According to a survey by LogMeIn, 85% of respondents believe that technology positively impacts their ability to collaborate.
  4.  Encourage participation: Encouraging participation and creating a safe environment for participants to share their ideas and opinions can increase meeting effectiveness. According to a study by the University of San Francisco, meetings that allow for equal participation among attendees lead to better decisions and increased engagement.
  5.  Ensure adequate follow-up: Following up after a meeting ensures that action items are completed, and progress is made. According to a study by HBR, 75% of managers believe that post-meeting follow-up is critical to meeting effectiveness.
  6. Avoiding Regularly Scheduled Meetings: Regularly scheduled meetings, such as weekly team meetings, can become routine and unproductive over time. This can lead to a lack of progress and wasted time and resources. It is crucial to assess the need for a meeting before scheduling it and to consider alternative approaches, such as one-on-one conversations or ad-hoc meetings, when appropriate.

Regularly scheduled meetings and standing meetings can be valuable tools for businesses. Still, they may not always be the best approach. Here are some reasons why businesses may want to avoid these types of meetings:

  • They can become routine and unproductive: Regularly scheduled meetings can become routine and unproductive over time. Attendees may stop preparing adequately, and discussions may become repetitive and unengaging. This can lead to a lack of progress and wasted time and resources.
  •  They can limit flexibility: Standing and regularly scheduled meetings can restrict flexibility and make it difficult to adapt to changing circumstances or priorities. This can result in meetings being held unnecessarily or when they are no longer needed.
  •  They can be a time-waster: Regularly scheduled meetings can become a time-waster for attendees. Meetings that are held simply because they are scheduled rather than because there is a clear need for them can take away valuable time that could be spent on more important tasks.
  •  They may not be necessary: Some meetings may not require a fixed schedule or a regular cadence. Holding meetings only when a specific need or a clear objective can be more efficient and productive.
  •  They may not be inclusive: Regularly scheduled meetings can exclude people who cannot attend at the scheduled time, especially if they are not given the opportunity to provide input or feedback through other channels.


Effective meetings are critical to organisational communication and collaboration. By following best practices such as defining clear goals and agendas, inviting the right people, using technology, encouraging participation, and ensuring effective follow-up, organisations can improve meeting effectiveness and productivity. By doing so, organisations can save time and money while fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation.


Atlassian. (2019). The cost of bad meetings [Infographic].

Harvard Business Review. (2017). 5 ways to make your meetings more effective.

LogMeIn. (2019). Collaboration in the modern workplace.

University of San Francisco. (2014). Meeting best practices.

Wrike. (2020). Meeting statistics: The ultimate list for meeting productivity.

Doodle. (2019). The State of Meetings Report.

Harvard Business Review. (2017). Making Meetings Matter.

Empowering Your Child Through Sport and Esports: Tips for Parents

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As parents, it is natural to want the best for our children. One way we can do this is by allowing them to express themselves through sport and e-sports.

Participating in sports and e-sports can provide numerous benefits for children. It can help them develop physically, as well as improve their mental and emotional well-being. It can also teach them important life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, and discipline.

But in order for children to get the most out of these activities, it is important to approach them in the right way. Here are some tips for getting the best out of your children if you allow them to express themselves through sport and esports:

  1. Encourage a growth mindset: Instead of focusing on the outcome of the game or competition, encourage your child to focus on the process and the effort they put in. This will help them develop a growth mindset, which is the belief that they can improve and learn through hard work and effort.
  2. Support their interests: Whether your child is interested in football, darts, or Fortnite, it is important to support their interests and passions. This will help them feel valued and motivated to continue pursuing their goals.
  3. Set achievable goals: Help your child set achievable goals for themselves, whether it be improving their shooting accuracy in football or reaching a certain rank in an online game. This will give them something to work towards and help them feel a sense of accomplishment when they achieve their goals.
  4. Encourage teamwork: Both sports and esports require teamwork and cooperation. Encourage your child to work with their teammates and to be a good sport, whether they win or lose.
  5. Foster a love of learning: Encourage your child to learn as much as they can about their sport or game. This could mean watching instructional videos or reading about strategies and tactics. This will help them improve and also foster a love of learning.

By following these tips, you can help your child get the most out of their participation in sport and esports. Whether they become professional athletes or esports champions, the skills and lessons they learn through these activities will serve them well throughout their lives.