All change for Digital Education

Digital Education is the name of my newsletter, and this article is a notice about some changes that are being made. If you subscribe to the newsletter and you missed my last email or two, then this is for you. If you have neither the time nor the inclination to read all the background, then jump straight down to 'What happens next'. If you don't feel like reading at all, have a look at the graphic at the bottom of this post.

The list is moving

The list is moving

Changing mailing list companies

Back in November 2016 I took the decision to move the newsletter from one mailing list company to another.  In case you're not familiar with the term, a mailing list company is a company you can use to send out emails to hundreds or even thousands of people. If you do that from your own computer then your internet service provider will almost certainly decide you're a spammer, and stop you sending anything. At the very least, it will take ages to send out hundreds of emails (believe me, I've tried it, when I first started my newsletter, in the year 2000). I have also just been informed that mailing list companies are also known as email broadcasting systems, so you may be more familiar with that term.

Double opt-in

I have always used a double opt-in system. That means that when you fill in the form to subscribe, you receive an email asking if you really want to. I think that's good practice, both because it lessens the likelihood of someone signing you up to a list without your knowledge, and because it gives you another chance to consider whether or not to subscribe.

Proof of opting in

When I transferred the list to a different provider, I thought I'd save everyone time and hassle by not requiring them to reconfirm that they definitely wished to subscribe. After all, they had already done so when they first signed up. What I didn't realise at the time was that in the process of transferring the list, the only data imported about each person was their name and email address, and not the fact that they had opted in. In Aweber, the company I use at the moment, that is known as 'Confirmed'.

Unfortunately, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25th May 2018, I need to be able to prove that subscribers opted in to the list. I no longer have that proof for the subscribers I transferred. Another unfortunate thing is that Aweber doesn't have a mechanism for asking people to reconfirm their subscription.

What happens next

I took up the suggestion of a long-term subscriber, Leo Larsson from Sweden, to start a new Digital Education list, and import subscribers from the current list into the new one. So if you are currently a subscriber, this is what will happen:

First, tomorrow (Friday 16th March 2018), you will receive an email inviting you to confirm that you would like to be signed up to the (new) Digital Education list.

Secondly, you will be unsubscribed from the original Digital Education list.

Thirdly, if you confirm that you'd like to join the new list you will be sent a welcome email.

On the other hand, if you ignore the invitation, your data will be deleted after 30 days and you will receive no more emails from me.

Just in case you're worried about forgetting to look out for the invitation email or acting upon it, I have a fail-safe solution. If you enter your name and email address on the form at, I will send you another invitation to subscribe to the list after your data has been deleted after 30 days.

To make sure you continue to receive the newsletter, it's a good idea to add my details to your approved emails list. The way to do so is described in this article:

I hope that is all clear, and once again I apologise for the slight inconvenience, especially if you have only just signed up.

Finally, if you're prevaricating about resubscribing, please consider the benefits: independent commentary on ed tech matters -- and considered comment too, not just knee-jerk reaction in order to be first with the news; book reviews, and reviews of other products; occasional prize draws and special offers. Also, your data is safe -- please see the Privacy policy at -- and I won't spam you.

A note to non-subscribers

If the description of some of the benefits of joining the newsletter has whetted your appetite, then look at this page for more information and the sign-up form:

A graphical representation of the process described above

list transfer