Focusing on importance
TL;DR #183 – 2/2/2019
Hi all, welcome to TL;DR. My name is Ian O’Byrne. I research, teach, & write about technology in our lives. I try to synthesize what happened this week in tech…so you can be the expert as well. We’ll have some changes upcoming for this newsletter to help achieve these goals. 🙂
I posted a couple of things this week:
- What is Digital Literacy? – I’m serving on two workgroups that are revising/rewriting the definitions of digital literacy for literacy educators. This post shares some insight…and asks for response.
- What is Screentime? – Change your phone’s display to grayscale.
- Encouraging & facilitating student peer review using Peergrade – An overview of Peergrade, a tool that I’ve been using to create a space to allow my students to give and get feedback from peers.
Marie Forleo interviewing Mark Manson to identify the ways to focus on the things that matter in life. Manson is the author of the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I just finished reading this book, and it was excellent.
Please be warned…there are some NSFW words in the interview.
For better or worse, the Internet is an element in all of our lives. This retrospective from Erin Overbey and Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker gives a great review of some of the moments in tech that brought us here.
I often have concerns about privacy, security, and our data in these digital spaces. But, this piece filled me with a bit of nostalgia as I consider how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.
Now that we’ve started on a positive note…
Since 2016, Facebook has a program where they pay users from 13 to 35 up to $20 a month to install a VPN (virtual private network) on their phones. They use this backdoor to suck up all of the user’s data to study their habits and practices.
Hours after the story broke, Facebook indicated that it would shut down the program. But, before they did anything, Apple blocked the app on iOS devices.
So why does this matter? Facebook is entering a second year of huge data scandals. There is a pattern in which Facebook spies on users, collects data, and sells this off to advertisers…or worse. When they get caught, they obfuscate, block transparency tools, or defer. They cannot be trusted with our data.
When Facebook gets caught, they provide two talking points.
The second thing they indicate is that they’re providing you a value for your data in “tailored ads.” They indicate that we’re all going to get ads, so why not get ads for things you actually like. Protection of ad personalization is a common talking point, but do users really want this?
In this opinion, Joseph Turow and Chris Jay Hoofnagle share some research in which users suggest…no…this is not something that we want.
A new paper based on a massive sample size of 355,358 adolescents indicates that screentime explains less than 0.4% of depression. The research also shows that previous research in this area is deeply flawed.
This twitter thread by Patrick Markey provides an excellent overview on the publication.
In this new report from Data & Society, researchers Alexandra Mateescu and Madeleine Clare Elish show how automated and AI technologies are reconfiguring work at family-owned farms and grocery stores.
As automation becomes a larger force in our lives (and the lives of our children) we need to be considerate of how to work with the machines.
The authors discuss the “human infrastructures” needed to integrate with these machines. Put simply, future workers will need to think about how to make their work machine legible.
This video popped up in my feed earlier this week. It’s a great look at the power of performance and printed text.
Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.
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.