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What are the normal people up to?
TL;DR #161 – 8/17/2018
And…we’re back. I took the last two weeks off from this newsletter and social media (for the most part) and it felt good. I didn’t think that a bit of a digital detox would matter…but it was nice. I took some time to rethink my relationship to these spaces, and my goals in general…and will take time to act on these in the upcoming months.
Since we last chatted…here’s some stuff I posted:
- Helping Students, Teachers, & Parents make sense of the screen time debate – I started up a research project with Kristen Turner, and we’d like for you to get involved. We’re trying to start up a discussion across a number of groups on the topic of “screentime.” What is it? What are the challenges? How do others deal with it. You can read more at the post above, or go directly to our website. We’re using Flipgrid for this research, so you can go directly there if you’d prefer.
- Empowering students as critical readers and writes in online spaces – My chapter in the text, Best Practices in Teaching Digital Literacies, was finally published. In this piece, I tie together my work & research from the past decade on the topic to identify what it all means. Email me if you’d like a copy.
Climate Change is a real and serious issue. In this video Bill Nye, the Science Guy, explains what causes climate change, how it affects our planet, why we need to act promptly to mitigate its effects, and how each of us can contribute to a solution.
Also…If you’re a Netflix user, you should watch the new series, Bill Nye saves the World.
This week the latest version of the Horizon Report was released. The Horizon Report is a yearly look at the key trends, challenges, and developments in ed tech that are likely to impact teaching and learning over the next five years. Educause stepped in this year to continue the work of the Horizon project after the NMC unexpectedly declared bankruptcy and ceased operations at the end of 2017.
This latest report highlights redesigns in learning spaces, removing barriers for students, and the growth of open educational resources (OERs).
Over the last week, a very interesting debate has been occurring surrounding Alex Jones, and his website, Infowars. For those of you that don’t follow these spaces, Jones has used the Internet and his radio show for years to spread conspiracy theories and dangerous hoaxes. These have incited abhorrent behavior and even violence.
Twitter, on the other hand, was slow to respond to Jones in any capacity, until they finally suspended him for seven days this week. This has been met by many calls for individuals to leave Twitter. As I write this newsletter, today (August 17th, 2018) is labeled as D-Day in which groups have amassed to delete Twitter and send a signal to the company.
This raises broader questions about hate speech, freedom of speech, and rights online. I hinted at some of the questions I’ve been having about this topic several months ago in TL;DR. Should there be a “terms of service” for freedom of speech? Also, should we require that tech companies be the ones to dictate and enforce these freedoms. I’m still not sure. What do you think?
Location tracking services have been built in to Google Maps, and most specifically Android phones for some time. Google added the ability to turn location tracking off. An investigation by the Associated Press found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.
The AP had their results confirmed by Computer-science researchers from Princeton.
Click through the interactive section of the post to get a better idea of what this data looks like plotted on a map…to see if you would be fine with this.
Over my vacation, I was interviewed by EdSurge to talk about digital literacies, and Facebook’s plan to share more resources on how to be digitally literate. In the wide ranging discussion, we talked a bit about how to effectively, or practically embed this content in instruction.
As I was reflecting on this discussion, this post from Michelle Schira Hagerman popped up in my feed. The post is from last year…but it provides a good context as you begin a new school year.
As I stepped away from digital, social spaces for two weeks, I also spent a lot of time with family and engaged face-to-face with loved ones that don’t exactly have the same viewpoints that I may have. I then spent a day this week at a retreat for my department as we shared more about ourselves, and the strengths we bring to work.
One of the takeaways I’ve been having from this instances is the importance of sitting with others and just listening. As I sit in front of a computer and research or write, I’m frequently wrapped up in how I think the world should act. In truth, these messy spaces in which humans, loved ones may not agree with us…that’s where the real “truths” may lie.
I’ve talked (and written) quite a bit about my use of Hypothesis in my own personal work, as well as in my teaching.
Remi Kalir pulls all of these threads together as he shares how he uses some of these open tools and practices to open up his classroom, and make learning more relevant.
I’m 3/4 of the way to what Kalir is describing…this Fall I’m fully diving in. As you plan, develop, & launch your courses this year…come join in and let me know what you think. I see this as being a powerful tool in secondary and higher ed.
It’s the rough side of the mountain that’s the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn’t have anything for you to hang on to.
TL;DR is a summary of all the great stuff from the Internet this week in technology, education, & literacy. Please subscribe to make sure this comes to your inbox each week. You can review archives of the newsletter here.
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