<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #163</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #163

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Dealing with the long tail
TL;DR #163 – 8/24/2018


Welcome to Issue #163 of Too Long; Didn’t Read. Each week I highlight some of the things I think you should be reading in terms of education, technology, and literacy. Enjoy. 🙂

Here’s some of what I posted this week:


How teachers can help kids find their political voices (16:59)

Social justice belongs in our schools, says educator Sydney Chaffee. In a bold talk, she shows how teaching students to engage in activism helps them build important academic and life skills — and asks us to rethink how we can use education to help kids find their voices. “Teaching will always be a political act,” Chaffee says. “We can’t be afraid of our students’ power. Their power will help them make tomorrow better.”

As an interesting activity…read through the comments for the video. I’ve had some debates with my students about when/where “social justice” begins and ends. Furthermore, when/where does “indoctrination” begin and end?


Live streaming & live tweeting: a pragmatic approach to ethical considerations

Classes are starting up, and as a result I’m leading students through the beginnings of literacy, language, and technology. In discussions across classes, we have already started to unpack the challenges and opportunities at this intersection between literacy, tech, and education.

This post wades into the challenges as we consider online discourse, ethics, and how culture adapts. This ties into some recent research of mine…and it has spurred some researching into Kant, pragmatics, and how we establish “truth.” I should have some interesting posts on the way. But, for now…I’d definitely recommend reading the post, and the case studies they present.

First- and second-level digital divides in Cuba: Differences in Internet motivation, access, skills and usage

I love all of the articles published by First Monday. It has helped my frame much of my work over the years.

This research by Alexander van Deursen and Lila Solis Andrade is valuable (IMHO) for two reasons. First, the lit review in the beginning about “digital divides” is excellent. Second, I value this examination of digital divides in the special case study of Cuba.

Put your phone in “do not disturb” mode forever

This week I was reading another story about youth that are turning their backs on social media. I’ve also been digging more into research and findings about the role of devices in our lives and the impact of behaviorist philosophies. More on that to come.

In light of that, I was intrigued by this post from Paris Martineau wondering what would happen if we leave our phones & devices set on “do not disturb.” I know that seems like insanity for most of us…but perhaps it is exactly what we need.

As a reminder, please get involved in our discussion about screentime. Many of our students will be jumping in this upcoming week.

The Defense Department has produced the first tools for catching deepfakes

Several months ago I shared the story of “deepfakes” here in TL;DR. Deepfake is an “artificial intelligence-based human image synthesis technique. Put simply, is is a process in which existing images and videos are superimposed onto source images and videos. When this first came to light last year, it was primarily used in creating celebrity pornographic videos or revenge porn videos.

I mentioned in my earlier discussions here in TL;DR that I was concerned about the use of this in propaganda and misinformation to create really fake news.

Apparently researchers are already exploring ways to combat this by having neural networks study “real” data before moving on to the fake stuff to develop “generative modeling.” They then pit the first neural network against another neural network in a process known as “generative adversarial networks”. This work in machine learning and neural networks is really interesting to watch evolve.

The Internet of Garbage

The Internet of Garbage is a 2015 non-fiction book by journalist and lawyer Sarah Jeong. It discusses online harassment as a threat to online discourse, and makes an argument for better possible futures.

The link above shares a portion of the text focused on the intersection of copyright and harassment. My students will soon start annotating this text in Hypothesis.

If you’d like the full text, The Verge made it available for free as a PDF, ePub, and .mobi ebook file, and for the minimum allowed price of $.99 in the Amazon Kindle store.

Google’s hardware 2FA Titan Security Keys available starting today for $50

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This popped up in my feed and it’s already been a point of discussion with several of my tech admins here at my institution. I’m thinking that I’ll buy one soon to test it out and write about my experiences.

I’ve talked about two factor authentication (2FA) in the past. Basically when you log in to a site/service, you need to give another proof of identity. In this case, you would insert the USB stick, or click the bluetooth sensor on your keychain.

I’m intrigued. I want to see if I can make my own using a USB key. I also have questions about whether this would work as I’m typically using computers in my office, home, or the classroom.

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Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.

John McCain

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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