<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #153</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #153

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Deep thoughts about screentime
TL;DR #153 – 6/08/2018

Ball Ed

This week I posted the following:



What do programmers actually do? (9:19)

A great overview on the work of a programmer from the Physics Girl YouTube channel.

I’ll use this in my classes to help explain to students what is involved in programming. I also like the intentionality about gender, race, and identity in this video.



2018 Pew Research Report – Teens, Social Media, & Technology

Some of the main findings from the Pew Center’s survey of U.S. teens conducted March 7 – April 10, 2018. Throughout the report, “teens” refers to those ages 13 to 17.

  • YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. Fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’
  • Facebook is no longer the dominant online platform among teens
  • Teens have mixed views on the impact of social media on their lives
  • Vast majority of teens have access to a home computer or smartphone
  • A growing share of teens describe their internet use as near-constant
  • A majority of both boys and girls play video games, but gaming is nearly universal for boys

Read the full report here. The topline notes are here.

A new tech manifesto

Six demands, from a citizen, Baratunde Thurston, to Big Tech.

  1. Offer Real Transparency Around Data Collection and Usage
  2. Change Data Defaults from Open to Closed
  3. Respect Our Right to Our Own Data
  4. Diversify Who’s At the Table
  5. Implement New Laws and New Rules
  6. Enable Users to Collect and Analyze Our Own Data

Do you want to expand on this draft manifesto? Contribute to_ this open source Google Doc _with additional principles/demands, resources, and examples of progress being made.

Higher education is ailing. It hasn’t been destroyed – yet.

Early in the week, I shared this post with the salacious title, Here’s how higher education dies from The Atlantic.

The post resonated with many of my colleagues, but I would much rather you read the link above from Bryan Alexander. Alexander is cited in the Atlantic piece. But, in his blog post he drills down into all of the details that paint this sobering picture.

Apple’s new product features are an admission of guilt

This week Apple held WWDC 2018, their yearly developer’s conference. Among the things they announced, Apple spent some time discussing a number of annoyance and addiction mitigating features for its devices.

It’s not the first company to do so, either. The tyranny of devices has been covered before: notifications have become so addictive and apps so good at emotionally grabbing everyone by the balls that any time we are so fortunate as to emerge from the vortex for a second, the despair about being trapped in it the only way to solve it is to dive back in or run screaming into the night.

I’ve been thinking & writing quite a bit lately about screentime, addiction, and depression as it may be related to our digital connections. I should have a big research project coming out soon to dig in more. Stay tuned.

The uncertain future of OER

This post from Tom Berger in Edutopia questions why open educational resources (OER) have not caught on. In a world with budgetary constraints in our educational systems, you’d think that (mostly) free online resources would be gobbled up.

I think Stephen Downes’s response is spot on in this discussion.

My thinking here is that so long as you think of OERs as teaching resources, they’re never going to work. They should be thought of as learning resources. Encourage students to find them, share them, and make them.

This led to a great discussion on Twitter as a group of us started thinking about this post and wondering why OER adoption and digital literacy is not more widespread. More to come on that topic.


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Hoaxy – Visualize the spread of claims and fact checking

I’ve been digging in a bit more into data science recently. One suite of tools that has been fun to play with is the web-based tools called the Observatory on Social Media, or “OSoMe” (pronounced “awesome”). This is a joint project between the Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI) and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS).

One of my favorite tools is Hoaxy. When we’re all talking about FAKE NEWS!!!…it can helpful to search online and see where claims have been made, and have they been fact checked.



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Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.

Anthony Bourdain

I’ve been thinking a lot about screentime, connection, balance, & depression as of late. This morning I saw a link from the CDC showing that suicides are on the rise in the U.S. I then receive this news from my wife about one of my favorites in the world of food, education, & culture. I’ll have questions about this loss, and continue to have questions about where our society is heading.


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