Bookmarked James Ferman: The British Film Censor Who Hated Nunchucks (Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.)

How the quirks of a conservative British censor led one of the most popular cartoons in history to appear in censored form during the height of its success.

A fascinating look by Ernie Smith into censorship and violence through Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The focus in the UK was on two aspects: ninja and the nunchucks. This is an interesting look at the impact of constraints on creative process. Interestingly, it touches on why The Toxic Avenger was renamed the Toxic Crusader:

Fred Wolf explained the studio’s approach as such: It would take edgy properties such as the Turtles and make them palatable to mass audiences, something that, at the time, the studio was trying to do with the Troma Entertainment property The Toxic Avenger, which it renamed Toxic Crusaders.


It is interesting think about uranium alongside John Philpin’s suggestion that data is energy.
Bookmarked ‘Plastic recycling is a myth’: what really happens to your rubbish? (the Guardian)

You sort your recycling, leave it to be collected – and then what? From councils burning the lot to foreign landfill sites overflowing with British rubbish, Oliver Franklin-Wallis reports on a global waste crisis

Oliver Franklin-Wallis discusses the current global recycling crisis. Just like the argument around reducing flying, we need to systemically review our use of plastics in the aisles of our supermarkets.
Bookmarked Who am I? Why am I here? Why children should be taught philosophy (beyond better test scores) (The Conversation)

Teaching children philosophy can help improve academic results. But the main reason it should be used in schools is it allows children a space to make sense of the world, and meaning in their lives.

Ben Kilby discusses the potential of teaching philosophy to children, in particular P4C. This supports a range of skills:

from clarity and coherence in speaking and listening to providing reasons for arguments, constructing counter-examples, and using analogical reasoning.

This all reminds me of of quote from Ron Berger captured by Tom Barrett:

When a student completes schooling and enters adult life, for the rest of her life she will be judged not by test scores, but rather two things: The quality of her character / The quality of her work.

Bookmarked What’s the Role of the School in Educating Children in a Datafied Society?

During our research, we also found ourselves reflecting on the unique position of the school as an institution tasked not only with educating its students but also with managing their personal data. Couldn’t one then argue that, since the school is a microcosm of the wider society, the school’s own data protection regime could be explained to children as a deliberate pedagogical strategy? Rather than something quietly managed by the GDPR compliance officer and conveyed as a matter of administrative necessity to parents, the school’s approach to data protection could be explained to students so they could learn about the management of data that is important to them (their grades, attendance, special needs, mental health, biometrics).

Sonia Livingstone, Mariya Stoilova and Rishita Nandagiri argue that schools have a place to not only protect students data, but build their knowledge and understanding of the world that they are being protected from. They provide an online toolkit to support this.
Bookmarked The Sound Engineer Behind Bon Iver’s (W Magazine)

Chris Messina figured out the perfect combo of software and hardware that lets Justin Vernon sound the way he does. “But here’s the thing,” Messina says. “It’s not a thing.”

Emilia Petrarca discusses the innovation and opportunities provided through the use of The Messina, a mixture of software and hardware, created by Chris Messina. This was inspired by the vocoder and the Prismizer. This sound/technique has not only been used by Bon Iver, but also Banks.


A few days after the Pioneer Works show, Chris Messina was on the phone; he was willing to offer a simplified version of what goes on with his machine. “Onstage, Justin is singing a song, and he’s playing a keyboard that can create harmonies simultaneously,” he said. “Normally, you record something first and then add harmonies later. But Justin wanted to not only harmonize in real time, but also be able to do it with another person and another instrument. The result is one thing sounding like a lot of things. It creates this huge, choral sound.”

When I asked Messina to describe what The Messina looks like, he responded, “Here’s the thing — it’s not a thing. There’s a laptop running software, and then that software is run through a physical piece of hardware, that is then doing another thing,” he explained. “It’s many things working together and none of them are ours, but the product is. Basically, we used things the way they’re not normally intended, and we put them together. That’s how we get the sound.”

Bookmarked The Hopefulness and Hopelessness of 1619 (The Atlantic)

Marking the 400-year African American struggle to survive and to be free of racism

Remembering the 400 year anniversary of the arrival of African slaves in Northern America, Ibram X Kendi traces the stories of Angela and John Pory.

No one knows when Angela was born. But she was probably young. If she was 19 years old in 1619, she’d have been born in 1600, the year John translated into English and published A Geographical Historie of Africa, a book of racist ideas about Angela’s race. First written in 1526, and popular as late as the 19th century, its racist ideas apparently had to be true since they were written by an African Moor, Leo Africanus (who probably sought favor from the Italian court that had freed and converted him). “The Negroes likewise leade a beastly kinde of life, being utterly destitute of the use of reason, of dexteritie of wit, and of all artes,” Africanus wrote. “Yea they so behave themselves, as if they had continually lived in a forrest among wilde beasts.”

For Kendi, this is both hopeful and hopeless in how far we have and have not progressed. The New York Times has also collected a number of pieces reflecting on the legacy. This includes an alternative history of slavery and the intertwined tale of sugar and slavery.


The TIDE Podcast is collecting contributions from listeners for a memorial episode celebrating the life of Dai Barnes.
Bookmarked Ibram X. Kendi: How Racism Relies on Arbitrary Hierarchies (Literary Hub)

We pulled into the parking lot, looking for signs of life. But the daily life of the school had ended hours ago. It was pushing four o’clock on that warm April day in 1990, on Long Island, New York…

In an extract from How to Be An Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi traces a path through the construct of racism and the power that it still holds today. He discusses Alonso de Zuazo creation of Blacks in 1510 and Carl Linnaeus’ color-coding of races as White, Yellow, Red, and Black in 1735.

Audrey Watters questions Google’s take on TurnItIn. Another perspective on the news is Martin Hawksey’s point that Google does not retain ownership. Kevin Hodgson wonders if it is not Google, who does own student work?
Bookmarked How far will digital video go? (Bryan Alexander)

Let’s envision video as our default setting in life. In this future we prefer to communicate through video, as opposed to all other mechanisms, so during a given day we participate in videoconferences as often as we check emails or text one another today. We consume content primarily through video – i.e., we’re watching stuff pretty frequently. We also make video, either by passive recording (having systems record our lives) or actively creating video content (recording, remixing, editing, sharing).

Bryan Alexander discusses a world of video. He provides a number of scenarios, including responsive interfaces everywhere. He also explores some of the possible responses to this, such as revulsion at deepfakes and destruction of screens. What is not discussed is the data associated with all of this.
Bookmarked Making spaces to create: environments for collaborative planning

Now of course, great inquiry teachers can plan anytime, anywhere. No one really NEEDS an inspiring environment to design for powerful learning. BUT I wonder what would happen if we did indeed pay a little more attention to the spaces in which we ask teachers to do this important work? How might it contribute to our wellbeing? Our creative process?

Kath Murdoch questions the space we cultivate for teachers and the impact that this might have on learning. To support this, Murdoch provides a number of strategies, such as access to resources, professional reading on display, objects and light to inspire and an active ‘wonderwall‘ for staff. Personally, I think that the space where teachers plan can often provide an intriguing insight into the wider school culture as it is often the last space considered because it does not directly involve students.
Bookmarked The horrendous online abuse a female sports journalist received highlights dangers of media that must change by Jacinta Masters, Author at Women’s Agenda

O’Halloran is among the many women journalists who receive vile online abuse. In fact, a global survey by the International Federation of Journalists found that almost two thirds of women journalists receive online abuse and harassment. To put this further into context; every 30 seconds a woman journalist is harassed online. This harassment takes the form of name-calling, sexist comments, serious accusations of physical harm such as death and rape threats, devaluing their work, threats against their partners and children, and posting of personal details online (doxing).

Clearly gender is an elephant in the room when it comes to social media.
Bookmarked Ban smart phones in schools. Not because they’re disruptive but because of this (EduResearch Matters)

The ACCC has recently released their final Digital Platforms Inquiry, which raises important points that I believe should have led the recent debate when Victorian education minister, James Merlino announced a ban of smart phones in Victorian schools.

This report, coupled with a major project on human rights and technology by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Artificial Intelligence: Australia’s Ethics Framework (A Discussion Paper) by the CSIRO, provide a collective warning about the vast amounts of personal data being collected and its implications.

Janine Aldous Arantes argues that banning phones in schools is a helpful measure in that it makes the management of data and consent easier. Building upon the ACCC’ Digital Platforms Inquiry, Aldous Arantes argues that with the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data that the potential for harm is almost impossible to understand. For me, this is why modelling social media and supporting students in exploring online platforms is so important in being better informed.
Bookmarked Remembering Instagram Before the Influencers (Vice)

Artists like Audrey Wollen, Alexandra Marzella and Arvida Bystrom moved to Instagram from Tumblr in the early 2010s. But the past few years have seen the platform shift.

Daisy Jones takes a look at the early adopters of Instagram and what happened to them. It would be interestingly to look at the early adopters across all the different platforms, whether it be Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Mastadon. I wonder if there is a correlation across the different platforms and the creativity and voices they foster.
Bookmarked 3 Steps to Improve Your Next Workshop – Issue 136 – Dialogic Learning Weekly

Design the workshop with rich provocations, allow time to get ensconced, respond to the needs of those in front of you.

Tom Barrett provides another useful reflection on what constitutes effective professional development. Interestingly, it is about providing the conditions, rather than all the answers.