Bookmarked Inter-disciplinary curriculum: why is it so difficult to develop? (part two) by Mark Priestley
Fogarty’s work is especially useful for schools seeking to develop a more integrated curriculum, offering a continuum of practice, including:
  • Fragmented – no joint planning or link making between subjects
  • Sequenced – arranging teaching so that related topics are taught concurrently within different subjects (e.g. allowing the study of the First World War in History to coincide with the study of war poetry in English).
  • Shared – joint planning of related disciplines (e.g. identifying commonalities between Science and Geography).
  • Webbed – the use of thematic approaches to bring content from different disciplines together (e.g. an Africa week when all curriculum areas focus on this single theme).
  • Threaded – a cross-curricular approach where big ideas (e.g. citizenship, thinking skills) are coherently planned across the curriculum.
  • Integrated – largely an interdisciplinary organisational approach, which breaks down traditional subject boundaries – either partially (e.g. hybrid subjects) or fully (e.g. the US middle school approach)
Mark Priestley discusses some of the challenges associated with inter-disciplinary curriculum in Scotland, including the differences between primary and secondary education. It is interesting to consider Priestley’s research and observations alongside Richard Wells’ 2020 project.
Listened TER #128 – Teachers and Social Media with Stewart Riddle – 17 Feb 2019 from TER Podcast
Dr Stewart Riddle discusses issues facing teachers engaging in social media, and questions the notion of who gets to speak on behalf of teachers.
Stewart Riddle talks about the collapse in dialogue online, especially in regards to solving social problems. He discusses the rise in educelebs, where the focus becomes on the individual, rather than the change at hand. See for example Darcy Moore’s discussion of the ‘cult of John Hattie‘. Riddle questions our understanding of how problematic being on Twitter can be. He discusses @RealPeerReview and the role that serves in fuelling mass criticism. Riddle is mindful of pointing out that this is not that experience of everyone and that there is still an eduTwitter focused on sharing practice and resources. Something captured by Ian Guest. This is another post to the list associated with toxic Twitter.
Bookmarked “We Measure What we Value and We Value What we Measure” – Maybe Not by Bernard Bull (Etale)
We measure some of the things that we value, but there are many things in our lives that we hold in high regard, but we do not find it necessary to quantify and measure. In addition, there is a persistent danger that our focus upon measuring can detract or distract from something more valuable. Furthermore, sometimes our fixation on a specific approach to measuring blinds us from the bigger picture. Each of these have important implications for our schools and learning communities.
Bernard Bull argues that sometimes what we value cannot actually be measured. This reminds me JL Dutant’s question as to whether the solution to too much testing is more testing. For danah boyd we need to break with the addiction to stats feed by big data.
Liked A hashtag functionality hiding with the ActivityPub for WordPress Plugin by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (BoffoSocko.com)
I discovered yesterday that when I added a # (or hash, pound sign, octothorpe, et al.) in front of any word on my site, it created a native version of something akin to Twitter’s #hashtag functionality, but it was working on my own website. The primary difference was that the hashed word on the page was, upon publishing the post, automatically wrapped with a URL for that tag on my own website, and it was also automatically added to the list of tags for the post. (As an illustrative example, I’m doing the same thing with the word hashtag earlier in this paragraph.)
Liked Toni Morrison on 'Beloved' (Shondaland)
Beloved originated as a general question, and was launched by a newspaper clipping. The general question (remember, this was the early eighties) centered on how — other than equal rights, access, pay, etc. — does the women's movement define the freedom being sought? One principal area of fierce debate was control of one's own body — an argument that is as rife now as it was then. Many women were convinced that such rights extended to choosing to be a mother, suggesting that not being a mother was not a deficit and choosing motherlessness (for however long) could be added to a list of freedoms; that is, one could choose to live a life free of and from child- bearing and no negative or value judgment need apply.
An excerpt from the celebrated author’s latest book, “The Source of Self-Regard.”
Bookmarked Opinion | No, You Can’t Ignore Email. It’s Rude. by Adam Grant (nytimes.com)
Being overwhelmed is no excuse. It’s hard to be good at your job if you’re bad at responding to people.
Adam Grant explains that email today is what taking calls was in the 90’s. He explains that simply ignoring them is not a solution. Instead we need to have clearer processes in place, whether it be alternative means of contact or writing short replies explaining this.

Remember that a short reply is kinder and more professional than none at all. If you have too much on your plate, come clean: “I don’t have the bandwidth to add this.” If it’s not your expertise, just say so: “Sorry, this isn’t in my wheelhouse.” And if you want to say no, just say “no.”

The one caveat, emails from strangers continually asking for something. These can be ignored.

I have a few general rules. You should not feel obliged to respond to strangers asking you to share their content on social media, introduce them to your more famous colleagues, spend hours advising them on something they’ve created or “jump on a call this afternoon.” If someone you barely know emails you a dozen times a month and is always asking you to do something for him, you can ignore those emails guilt-free.

Bookmarked The Secret History of Women in Coding (nytimes.com)
Computer programming once had much better gender balance than it does today. What went wrong?
In an article adapted from “Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World,” Clive Thompson breaks down the gender divide when it comes to coding. He profiles the early journeys of Mary Allen Wilkes and Elsie Shutt. This is contrasted with the current context of a male dominated space. He explores a number of reports, practices and policies that led to the transition from these early years to today, as well as attempts to push back on this.

Marginalia

Once the first generation of personal computers, like the Commodore 64 or the TRS-80, found their way into homes, teenagers were able to play around with them, slowly learning the major concepts of programming in their spare time. By the mid-’80s, some college freshmen were showing up for their first class already proficient as programmers. They were remarkably well prepared for and perhaps even a little jaded about what Computer Science 101 might bring. As it turned out, these students were mostly men, as two academics discovered when they looked into the reasons women’s enrollment was so low.


What Margolis heard from students — and from faculty members, too — was that there was a sense in the classroom that if you hadn’t already been coding obsessively for years, you didn’t belong. The “real programmer” was the one who “had a computer-screen tan from being in front of the monitor all the time,” as Margolis puts it. “The idea was, you just have to love being with a computer all the time, and if you don’t do it 24/7, you’re not a ‘real’ programmer.” The truth is, many of the men themselves didn’t fit this monomaniacal stereotype. But there was a double standard: While it was O.K. for the men to want to engage in various other pursuits, women who expressed the same wish felt judged for not being “hard core” enough. By the second year, many of these women, besieged by doubts, began dropping out of the program. (The same was true for the few black and Latino students who also arrived on campus without teenage programming experience.)


By the ’80s, the early pioneering work done by female programmers had mostly been forgotten. In contrast, Hollywood was putting out precisely the opposite image: Computers were a male domain. In hit movies like “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Weird Science,” “Tron,” “WarGames” and others, the computer nerds were nearly always young white men.


If biology were the reason so few women are in coding, it would be impossible to explain why women were so prominent in the early years of American programming, when the work could be, if anything, far harder than today’s programming. It was an uncharted new field, in which you had to do math in binary and hexadecimal formats, and there were no helpful internet forums, no Google to query, for assistance with your bug. It was just your brain in a jar, solving hellish problems.


Changing the culture at schools is one thing. Most female veterans of code I’ve spoken to say that what is harder is shifting the culture of the industry at large, particularly the reflexive sexism and racism still deeply ingrained in Silicon Valley. Some, like Sue Gardner, sometimes wonder if it’s even ethical for her to encourage young women to go into tech. She fears they’ll pour out of computer-science programs in increasing numbers, arrive at their first coding job excited and thrive early on, but then gradually get beaten down by industry. “The truth is, we can attract more and different people into the field, but they’re just going to hit that wall in midcareer, unless we change how things happen higher up,” she says.


Replied to Tom in reply to Keep Blog Syndication Simple[r] by Tom Woodward
In the near future, we’ll have built a JSON-based plugin that doesn’t duplicate the content but just shows a live view of the other site’s content. It’ll get rid of 90% of the problems we see recurring.
Your plugin sounds really interesting Tom. Look forward to seeing how that might change the reading space.