<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #174</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #174

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Somewhere I belong
TL;DR #174 – 11/17/2018

Hey all, welcome to TL;DR!!! Each week I synthesize the news of the week that I think you need to know in education, tech, & literacy.

I’m writing this from a hotel room in Houston, TX. I’m here for NCTE 2018 where I’m slated to present twice. I presented an Ignite talk at our session on screentime yesterday. I’m also talking about divergent thinking in a session tomorrow before flying home.

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If you didn’t attend our session on screentime, you can find more materials here. I’m going to start posting more quick updates to this screentime site to use as a resource for educator & parents as we study the topic a bit more. Please let me know if you have anything you think should be there.

I’m also working on some materials as I get ready to head to LRA later this month. As part of that, I’m working on some ideas about behaviorism in the classroom…and how this relates to technology and instruction. We started up a Google Doc to start hashing out ideas. Let us know what you think. 🙂


Why beautiful things make us happy (7:36)

It’s hard to define what makes something beautiful, but we seem to know beauty when we see it. Why is that and how does beauty affect our subconscious?

Another great video from the Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell YouTube channel.


Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis

As a regular reader of TL;DR, we’ve been painting this picture for some time now. The narrative is not hard to see, although many were shocked this week.

Facebook is in the business of keeping you on their platform, gathering as much info as possible about you, coaxing/nudging you to give more…more…more info about yourself, and then selling this info to anyone that will pay top dollar. Oh…and they’ve proven they don’t care about your best interests.

As users started to learn the extent of this, and Facebook’s role in the 2016 U.S. Elections (and other global elections), Facebook has dragged their feet, obfuscated, and distracted from this very real message.

When Facebook users learned last spring that the company had compromised their privacy in its rush to expand, allowing access to the personal information of tens of millions of people to a political data firm linked to President Trump, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem.

Facebook betrayed us. Does it matter? Probably not.

Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal

In another story about tech companies throwing their weight around…

Fourteen months ago, Amazon announced a national beauty contest, in which North American cities could apply to win the honor of landing the retailer’s second headquarters. The prize: 50,000 employees and the glory of housing an international tech giant. The cost? Just several billion dollars in tax incentives and a potential face-lift to the host city. Then last week, in a classic late-episode shock, several news outlets reported that Amazon would split its second headquarters between Crystal City, a suburban neighborhood near Washington, D.C., and Long Island City, in Queens, New York.

I heard many pundits suggesting that the U.S. government should have forced Amazon to place their headquarters in an area that needs economic stimulation. I agree…and I don’t think Amazon cares…or the “government” would ever agree to do that. I do think we should have continued questions about the power of these business that have become powerful entities.

Leave no dark corner

China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring privileges — for others, punishment.

This real world surveillance state will involve constant tracking and judging of all of her actions, 24 hours a day.

This story has been making the rounds over the last year online. I thoroughly recommend reviewing the post and the ideas presented.

To feel less depressed, limit social media use to 30 minutes a day

A new study (PDF) being published in December’s Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has tried to look into the causal side of things, and see whether people may actually feel better when they cut down on social media. Its conclusion: “Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being,” the authors write.

Brooklyn students hold walkout in protest of Facebook-designed online program

Brooklyn teens are protesting their high school’s adoption of an online program spawned by Facebook, saying it forces them to stare at computers for hours and “teach ourselves.”

This story provides an interesting counter-narrative for those that think that teachers will no longer be needed in an age of tech.


If You Want to Get Better at Something, Ask Yourself These Two Questions

A post from HBR about coaching others and positivity. Something to think about as we work with others…or seek change in ourselves.

“I have two questions for you,” I said. “One: Do you want to do

If the answer is “no,” then to attempt to coach would be a fool’s
errand (a mistake I have made in the past).

“Yeah” he said.

“Here’s my second question: Are you willing to feel the discomfort of
putting in more effort and trying new things that will feel weird and
different and won’t work right away?”

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Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.

Stan Lee


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