Bookmarked Tell Me, Learning Analytics… (Reflecting Allowed)

Learning analytics give us data on student behaviors, but they do not provide explanations for these behaviors, so they do not tell the whole story of the human being, what motivates them, what barriers/obstacles stand in their way. They do not get to the root of lack of engagement.

Maha Bali discusses the limitations of learning analytics and what information is left silent.


Learning analytics focus on observable and quantifiable behaviors that are easy for the LMS to collect. When someone logged in, how long they stayed, which tool they used. We don’t know for sure that if analytics tell me someone watched the same video 4 times… if this means they literally sat and watched it 4 times from beginning to end (though some systems do tell how many mins were watched) but we don’t know if they tried again because their internet connection was bad, or because they were distracted by something happening at home, or something else they were doing on their computer at the same time… we just don’t know. We can know that someone has not submitted their last two assignments. But we don’t know why they didn’t submit them, what kind of barriers they were facing, and how to motivate them in future?

Bookmarked Curation as an Educational Challenge (Silvia Tolisano- Langwitches Blog)

I am calling YOU to action! Are you up for it? How will you introduce, raise awareness, take on the challenge of CURATION as an educational urgency? Don’t see it as “yet another thing to add to your plate”, but be creative in connecting the skills and content you “need to teach anyway” to curation skills and amplify teaching and learning.

Silvia Rosenthal Talisano discusses the importance of curation in the classroom. To support this, she provides a number of platforms and practices to use in the classroom. Personally, in regards to a curation space, I have taken to using a blog to collect together all my ideas. Although there were a number of features I liked about Diigo, there is something about the ability to link various ideas. Although still in their infancy, I look forward to a time when we can use mixture of micropub/sub applications to curate and connect from our own spaces.
Bookmarked Radiohead on Tom Waits

“We could go and do it tomorrow if you’re talking about the extra material, but that’s not really it, that’s not really the point. It’s more about what sticks with us, and what takes on a significance. Like erm… like you have a song, like, erm… there’s a Tom Waits quote about songwriting, he says he’ll have loads of little ideas and stuff, he’ll leave them in his shed at the bottom of the garden, which is his studio, and he shuts the door, and it’s like they’re little kids and they all breed and when he comes back there’s loads of them… certain things have really flourished and certain things have died. You know, we could go and do it all tomorrow, but… when you write a song, certain songs you just forget about and certain songs increasingly take on a significance and just don’t go away, and I think that’s the most important stage, really, because I think anyone can just rattle ’em off. But it’s what ends up meaning something to you.”

A quote from Thom Yorke taken from Triple J ‘The J-Files’, february 2nd 1998
Bookmarked Triumph holds an epic warning for Morrison by an author (ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation))

Naturally, Labor’s shock loss has left the party reeling. But Scott Morrison, too, should heed the warning it sends for his party’s third term.

Annabel Crabb explains that Australia is actually very much the same as it was before the election. The reason for the ferocity of response is simply expectation. Labor tried to do too much. It tried to change the government and get a mandate for massive change at the same time. Crabb explains that in the last 50 years there have been five similar attempts, with only Whitlam in 1972 being successful. On the flip side, three of the governments that survived against the odds were gone at the next election. As Ross Gittins’ has also touched on, Morrison now has the challenge of putting together an agenda that was largely missing during his campaign.
Bookmarked DCB refund process purposely flawed (Whirlpool)

Optus was recently hit with a $10m fine plus must pay refunds to 240,000 customers for misleading them and charging them via their Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) charges for ringtones, games, tv show voting etc etc (here’s some more details:

As part of this Optus must refund customers. However, I believe the way they are doing so is deceptive.

The current process is this:
– Optus sends text message to customer with a code, saying they have a pending refund and to go to this link: to enter the code
– This site redirects to
– Customer enters the code, then can fill in a form requesting home address.
– Customer is mailed a cheque.

Upon receiving the text, I assumed it was a scam. I investigated the link, and once redirected to the link I was sure it was a scam. I then contacted Optus support separately to confirm it was a scam and to my surprise, found out it was in fact, legitimate.

Here are my concerns:
1. I believe Optus is intentionally playing on the fact the original text message looks like a scam to decrease the number of customers claiming their refunds.
2. I believe Optus is intentionally using an external URL so the process looks like a scam to decrease the number of customers claiming their refunds.
3. The fact Optus is informing a customer in this way and it is in fact legitimate will lead to many future situations where customers will click actual scam links in the future.

What are your thoughts Whirlpool? My concern is Optus is attempting to save money by not paying their customers back. I assume the ACCC ruling forced them to contact their customers. But I believe they are purposely making this sms to contact them look like a scam so not many customers will request the refund, saving Optus millions of dollars. What do you think

Another example of Optus’ suspect practices.
Bookmarked What Game of Thrones can teach us about technology: It’s changing the game that matters, not picking the winner by an author (Zeynep’s Eclectics)

As it stands, machine intelligence functions an extension of corporations and power.

And that’s why all the stories are interlinked: from Wall Street to venture capital; from ridiculous startups to Uber/Lyft model of burning VC money till (the company hopes) it becomes a monopoly; from stagnation in wages to automation in the workplace.

Machine intelligence isn’t only an extension of power, and it doesn’t even have to be mostly that. But it is mostly that where we are.

That’s a story much bigger than Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Schmidt, Sandberg, Brin who-have-you. It’s also a story of Wall Street and increasing financialization of the world; it’s a story of what people are calling neoliberalism that’s been underway for decades. It is also a technical story: of machine learning and data surveillance, and our current inability deal with the implications of the whole technological stack as it is composed: hardware firmware mostly manufactured in China. Software everywhere that I’ve previously compared to building skyscrapers on swampy land. Our fundamentally insecure designs. Perhaps, more importantly our lack of functioning, sustainable alternatives that respect us, rather than act as extensions of their true owners.

Zeynep Tufekci elaborates on her post explaining the problems with Game of Thrones. She explains how technology extends the human. In this sense, technology is a system.
Bookmarked Weekend Reads – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The Weekend Reads is a weekly newsletter written by Virginia Tripoli, the new morning host for ABC Melbourne. It is both a reflection on the week just past and some mixture of reflections and links, as well as a short list of popular pieces on the ABC News site.
Bookmarked The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones by an author (Scientific American Blog Network)

The show did indeed take a turn for the worse, but the reasons for that downturn goes way deeper than the usual suspects that have been identified (new and inferior writers, shortened season, too many plot holes). It’s not that these are incorrect, but they’re just superficial shifts. In fact, the souring of Game of Thrones exposes a fundamental shortcoming of our storytelling culture in general: we don’t really know how to tell sociological stories.

Zeynep Tufekci argues that the reason why so many fans are complaining about the last season of Game of Thrones is because the storytelling style changed from sociological to psychological.

The overly personal mode of storytelling or analysis leaves us bereft of deeper comprehension of events and history. Understanding Hitler’s personality alone will not tell us much about rise of fascism, for example. Not that it didn’t matter, but a different demagogue would probably have appeared to take his place in Germany in between the two bloody world wars in the 20th century. Hence, the answer to “would you kill baby Hitler?,” sometimes presented as an ethical time-travel challenge, should be “no,” because it would very likely not matter much. It is not a true dilemma.

Tufekci explains that this is the same reason we have problems talking about historic technological transition.

In my own area of research and writing, the impact of digital technology and machine intelligence on society, I encounter this obstacle all the time. There are a significant number of stories, books, narratives and journalistic accounts that focus on the personalities of key players such as Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey and Jeff Bezos. Of course, their personalities matter, but only in the context of business models, technological advances, the political environment, (lack of) meaningful regulation, the existing economic and political forces that fuel wealth inequality and lack of accountability for powerful actors, geopolitical dynamics, societal characteristics and more.

Maybe this is a part of what Douglas Rushkoff touches on in his criticism of storytelling.

Bookmarked ‘Don’t believe the myths about Finnish education’ (Australian Financial Review)

It’s obvious what’s damaging education standards, and it’s not the quality of teaching, education expert Pasi Sahlberg explains over Lunch with The AFR.

This profile of Pasi Sahlberg by Robert Bolten in AFR provides a useful starting point for his work and Finnish eduction.
Bookmarked Was Shakespeare a Woman? (The Atlantic)

The authorship controversy, almost as old as the works themselves, has yet to surface a compelling alternative to the man buried in Stratford. Perhaps that’s because, until recently, no one was looking in the right place. The case for Emilia Bassano.

Elizabeth Winkler explores the authorship behind the work of William Shakespeare. She puts forward the case for Emilia Bassano. This lengthy piece provides an insight into exploring the past and why history is interpretative.
Bookmarked meetings, bloody meetings

My introduction to organizing meetings was in the military, where different types of meetings had standard structures. The Orders Format was something any officer could recite from memory. During officer training we were shown the 1976 John Cleese film, which was updated in 1993 — Meetings, Bloody…

Harold Jarche discusses meetings, their purpose and how they are often abused.
Bookmarked The luxury of opting out of digital noise · Woman. Legend.Blog

As I’ve opted out of Facebook, what I’ve noticed is, first of all, that I don’t feel ragingly angry. I don’t know who went on vacation where, unless I talk to them via text message, and I don’t care. I don’t care about political articles that are specifically designed to infuriate me. I don’t care about people I went to college with ten years ago. My world is neater and quieter.

At the same time, I miss more and more events targeted at my daughter’s age level that we could have attended. I miss small observations that my friends wouldn’t make over text that they do via Facebook posts that I no longer discuss with them. I miss parenting conversations that are extremely relevant to my local school district. I miss birthdays that I should have written down in my paper calendar, but didn’t. I miss discussions the Jewish community at large, which I am connected to digitally instead of physically, is having. By opting out of performing emotional labor on Facebook and going into my own sort of media hibernation, I miss the steady background hum of “having my finger on the pulse” as it relates to me and my family.

Vicki Boykis reflects on the privilege associated with being able to unplug. This continues on from an earlier post on fixing the internet. Like Boykis, I wonder about the relief and ostracism associated with leaving the social web.

We are all connected to the spigot, even if we want to opt out. Social media contains all of our news, our family’s baby pictures, extensions of our lives in one exhausting digital stream. One glaring example that comes to mind is Facebook specifically.

Although I’ve written extensively about how important it is to get off the platform as soon as you are humanly able, for the sake of our collective mental health, I find myself not being able to take my own advice.

Not because I’m addicted, but because Facebook, for better or worse, is still the platform where social events are planned. Where parent groups exchange information. Where family pictures are shared and discussed. To willingly walk away from Facebook and all of its needy notifications is to experience both immense relief and complete ostracism.

This reminds me of Venkatesh Rao’s pushback on Waldenponding. I wonder if one strategy is managing your feeds through a form of social media jujitsu or simply writing the web we want as captured by the #ProSocialWeb movement.

Bookmarked Bruce Pascoe teaches Australians about the rich Indigenous history of their country

ABC Education has launched a new resource for Australian students to learn more about their country’s Indigenous history.

The ABC has produced a new digibook with Bruce Pascoe to support students in learning about the history of Aboriginal agriculture and technology and celebrate the ingenuity of the First Australians. Pascoe is also releasing a children’s version of his award winning book Dark Emu.
Bookmarked What is innovation?

In writing almost 100 posts on innovation since 2007, it’s time to put the core observations together into a cohesive narrative. Here goes.
Innovation is fifteen different things to fifteen different people.
“An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or…

Harold Jarche reflect on twelve years engaging with innovation. He discusses the importance of connections and working through a process. It is interesting to read this alongside Rolin Moe’s historical discussion of innovation.
Bookmarked Fix the internet by writing good stuff and being nice to people · Woman. Legend.Blog

Which brings me to the saddest thing about these platforms: they are taking all of our input and time, and our thoughts, energy, and content, and using all of that for free to make money. Think about how many times you’ve tweeted. Or written or commented on a Facebook post. Or started a Medium draft. These are all our words, locked in proprietary platforms that controls not only how our message is displayed, but how we write it, and even more worrying, how we think about it.

Vicki Boykis provides some suggestions on how to turn our current internet from a loud, obnoxious, toxic mall, back into a public forum:

  1. Write your own blog on your own platform
  2. Share good content
  3. Acknowledge creators by paying them
  4. Use adblockers
  5. Engage in dialogue with people who are different from you

I find this an interesting set of reflections. I write my own blog and try to engage in dialogue, but I have issues with platforms like Patreon. I prefer to purchase products.

Bookmarked Introducing SIFT, a Four Moves Acronym (Hapgood)


Mike Caulfield continues with his development of the ‘Four Moves‘ associated with fake news and web literacy. He has introduced an acronym that can be used to remember the moves: SIFT.

  • (S)TOP
  • (I)nvestigate the Source
  • (F)ind better coverage
  • (T)race claims, quotes, and media back to the original context

Caulfield sums up this change as “Don’t CRAAP, SIFT.”

Bookmarked Opinion | It’s Time to Break Up Facebook (

Imagine a competitive market in which they could choose among one network that offered higher privacy standards, another that cost a fee to join but had little advertising and another that would allow users to customize and tweak their feeds as they saw fit. No one knows exactly what Facebook’s competitors would offer to differentiate themselves. That’s exactly the point.

Chris Hughes puts forward the case for Facebook to be split up and regulated. He recounts his experience during the early days and the problem that the platform has in regards to the question, “how big is big enough?” Hughes discusses the spectre of antitrust that haunts the major platforms. Adi Robertson argues that we need to do more than create guidelines in order to fix Facebook.
Bookmarked Into the Personal-Website-Verse · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer (Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer)

It’s, of course, safe to assume that a web of personal websites will never be an equivalent substitute for a social network like Twitter. But that’s also not the goal. Personal websites are called personal websites because they are just that: personal. Thus, the primary objective still is to have a place to express ourselves, to explore ourselves, a place that lasts while the daily storms pass by. A place of consideration, and yes, a place of proudly sharing what we do, what we think, and what we care about. A place to contribute your voice and help others. A home on the internet. A place to tell your story.

Matthias Ott discusses the power and potential of having your own personal website. This reminds me of Martha Burtis’ keynote from Domains 17. The only question I was left wondering is the worth of a site for those who are not developers?
Bookmarked Learn The Art Of Batsmanship With Chris Rogers | Wisden Cricket Coaching (Wisden)

The former Australia Test opener turned coach provides his wisdom and guidance on honing your batting technique and scoring more runs.

I love Chris Rogers’ simplicity in controlling what you can control:

When there is swing or seam your best chance is if you work in straight lines. Make sure you’re not cutting across the ball. Imagine a line from middle stump back to where the bowler lets the ball go and try and get everything to go as much along that line as possible: your feet, your shoulders, your hands, your bat. If you have everything going towards your target you give yourself the best possible chance.

Interesting when thinking about the idea of black swans.

Bookmarked Hillsong’s tech incubator plans to give Facebook a run for its money (ABC News)

The evangelical church is not the only religious group growing its digital focus.

I remember Genevieve Bell saying every company being about data, obviously this applies to religions too? It is interesting to think about something like Hillsong from the perspective of platform capitalism. As a side note, I can’t see digital prayer requests being abused. There is a lot of good faith involved.