Bookmarked The IndieWeb outside of Facebook is full of opportunities – The Garage by Johannes Ernst (Garage)

Promote your own site, or promote on Facebook? Turns out you can do both, and do even better: have your website join the IndieWeb.

I still think Chris Aldrich’s introduction is the most thorough, however it is good to have some of the concepts explained by different people. For example, I like Johannes Ernst’s explanation of webmentions:

Webmention is a simpler but more powerful version of Pingbacks that you might be familiar with. Webmention enables your site to tell somebody else’s site that you posted something about their content on your own site. Think of it as distributed blog comments on steroids.

H/T Doug Belshaw

Replied to FERPA, COPPA and the myths we tell each other (Jim Siegl)

This Sunday is Data Privacy Day., so I thought I would list some of the more “interesting” interpretations I have heard (and read) about COPPA, FERPA and how schools approve educational services. I eventually plan to write up an annotated version of this list.

Jim, this is an interesting list.

The one I hear all the time is 11:

It is an valid COPPA workaround for a vendor, in their terms, to tell a teacher that to comply with COPPA, for them to sign up the student.

Such as from Canva.

The question that I always have from abroad is the impact of COPPA etc. I was once told that we are not in America so it does not matter, yet many of the applications originate from America. That is something that has always stumped me.

Look forward to reading your annotations.

Aaron.

Bookmarked The Victorian State Education System…from the inside out and the outside in. by Peter Hutton (LinkedIn)

Establishing and leading one of the most progressive and innovative schools in Australia, and if the Finnish based HundrED organisation are to be believed, one of the most innovative in the world, I have often been asked what is my relationship with the DET

Former principal of Templestowe College, Peter Hutton, reflects on his connection with the Victorian Department of Education. One quote that caught my eye was this:

Unless there are parental complaints, if the school’s numbers are stable or growing and your data is tracking ok, essentially DET allow you to innovate and do as you please. I have loved this level of professional autonomy and dare I say trust shown by DET in its’ Principals. Not really the ogre that people sometimes suspect. In fact many senior staff have provided me with encouragement and professional support during the more innovative years at TC.

I have heard Hutton present before. It will be interesting to see where his ‘EdRevolution’ goes and grows.

David Krevitt walks through creating a custom formula for conditional formatting. He is correct in saying that there are not many posts or reflections written about this. The formula that he uses (which can be found here) highlights a value found in a separate list in a separate tab:

=match($F12, indirect("'rangeTab'!$B$12:$B") ,0) 

I have used the following formula to highlight a whole row based on the contents of one cell:

=$O1="Yes"

Krevitt now has me wondering what else I could do.

Listened Is a private high school education really worth it? from Radio National – Sunday Extra

Is a private high school education really worth the cost?

This is an important debate. I am unsure much is gained, especially when the private sector argue that they are working on equity more than the select entry public schools. It would be fair to say that this is not what Gonski was talking about in his original review.
Listened 014: The Key Ingredient in Work-Life Balance by Jocelyn K. Glei from Hurry Slowly

At the end of every interview, I do a little Proust questionnaire with all my guests. One of the questions I always ask is: “What’s the key ingredient in work-life balance?” This episode is a supercut of my favorite responses.


Animated gif by Amalteia.

via Austin Kleon

Liked HEWN, No. 250 by Audrey Watters (TinyLetter)

The problems of technology – and the problems of the storytelling about the computing industry today, which seems to regularly turn to the worst science fiction for inspiration – is bound up in all this. There’s a strong desire to create, crown, and laud the Hero – a tendency that’s going to end pretty badly if we don’t start thinking about care and community (and carrier bags) and dial back this wretched fascination with weapons, destruction, and disruption.

Microcast #006

Microcast #006


Microcast #006

Can you remember the route by which you came to use Twitter to support your professional learning?

In a recent response to Ian Guest, I spoke about a beginning to getting onto Twitter. After reading Ian’s reply, I realised I may have been ignoring the wild goose chase …

Liked Raising Awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND / ALS) – Sue Waters Blog (suewaters.com)

When a doctor first suggested that my mother probably had Motor Neurone Disease (MND), also known as ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), I told him to remove it from the list. Why? Because how can that be? Only people you don’t know get MND.

Liked Feel free to enjoy Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill but don’t forget his problematic past (The Independent)

The man who took part in ‘jolly little wars against barbarous people’ and claimed to have shot three ‘savages’ also defended the use of concentration camps in South Africa and the use of poison gas against ‘uncivilised tribes’

It is worth reading some of Raw’s replies on Twitter too:

Bookmarked Panicked about Kids’ Addiction to Tech? (NewCoShift)

Many people have unhealthy habits and dynamics in their life. Some are rooted in physical addiction. Others are habitual or psychological crutches. But across that spectrum, most people are aware of when something that they’re doing isn’t healthy. They may not be able to stop. Or they may not want to stop. Untangling that is part of the challenge. When you feel as though your child has an unhealthy relationship with technology (or anything else in their life), you need to start by asking if they see this the same way you do. When parents feel as though what their child is doing is unhealthy for them, but the child does not, the intervention has to be quite different than when the child is also concerned about the issue.

danah boyd suggests that there is a lot of hype associated with kids addiction and suggests that some of the problems may be associated with the parents themselves:

Parents don’t like to see that they’re part of the problem or that their efforts to protect and help their children might backfire.

In response, she suggests two things for parents to do:

  1. Verbalize what you’re doing with your phone’
  2. Create a household contract

After reading this, I tried verbalising my actions and it soon becomes apparent when maybe the phone could go away.

Liked HEWN, No. 249 (TinyLetter)

Instead of experts, Zuckerberg says, it’s going to be up to “the community.” This disdain for experts is part of the problem we face now – culturally, politically, intellectually. There are researchers whose field of study is precisely this: how do people assess the credibility of information sources? How do technologies shape our notion of trust? How is trust gained, and how is trust violated? How is trust gamed? But why listen to experts when Facebook’s CEO can just get the engineers down the hall to cobble together some poll, and then tell the users this is what they wanted all along. Personalization.

Audrey Watters highlights yet another poor decision from Facebook to ignore experts in order to garners more ‘likes’ and supposed trust.
Bookmarked 10 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts Easier To Read by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)

Here are ten tips for making your blog posts easier to read.

Kathleen provides ten tips:

  1. When it comes to writing online, paragraph structure is more of an art than a formulaic science.
  2. Professional bloggers generally opt to use larger sized fonts now as it enhances the readability of online text.

  3. Heading tags not only enhance your blog post visually but help organize the content of your blog. This helps search engines like Google scan and categorize your information.

  4. Most writers know the value of bullet points. Listicles, or posts with numbered lists, are hugely popular too (hey, this whole blog post is a listicle!).

  5. From a visual point of view, hyperlinks or bold words are another good way to make key pieces of information in your post stand out. It draws you in when you’re skimming or scanning the page.

  6. Breaking up your text with some visuals can definitely make your blog posts easier to read.

  7. If you do use color, remember to be consistent

  8. Left aligned text is best

  9. If you want visitors to be reading your blog posts, you probably don’t want them distracted by too many widgets on your sidebars. Furthermore, excess widgets can slow down the loading time of your blog.

  10. You might not realize that vision impaired visitors to your site may be using assistive technology like screen readers or other software which reads the page out loud. This software will read the alternative text (alt text) instead of the image.

Personally, the headings was only a recent realisation, with Tom Woodward even going to the length of removing H1 as an option, while Amy Burvall talks about developing a palette involving two core colours.

Bookmarked On Which Reading Program to Purchase by Pernille Ripp (pernillesripp.com)

I was recently asked if I could give a 2-minute answer to which reading program would be best for a district. While I was flummoxed at first; 2 minutes, that’s not enough time to discuss the needed components?! I quickly realized that I really don’t need even two minutes to answer this question …

In a recent post, Pernille Ripp addresses which reading program to choose. Rather than listing a range of programs, she provides a list of what should be included:

So what should we look for instead?

A program that supports choice, independent reading time, small group, one on one conferring, as well as lessons for ideas.

A program that focuses on the needs of the individual as much as the needs of the group.

A program that leaves teachers and students alike that reading and being a reader is something good.

A program that builds hope for all readers to be readers.  That balances out between reading for skill and reading for pleasure.  A program with an emphasis on developing reader identity as well as reader skill.  A program that doesn’t kill the love of reading but instead bolsters it.

That is the program you should buy.  And then don’t ever forget that fidelity should always remain to the students and not to the program itself to quote my Assistant Superintendent, Leslie Bergstrom.

I think that listing all of the different influences and attributes is so important. I have spoken about this elsewhere in regards to EdTech, using the Modern Learning Canvas to illustrate it. I have had a quick go at translating Ripp’s ideas here:

Modern Learning Canvas is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Click here to make your own copy of the canvas

Bookmarked It’s Fun, It’s Here! Highlights Theme for WordPress (CogDogBlog)

The only place I ever saw Highlights for Children magazine was at my dentist office, a short distraction while waiting for the drilling and fat fingers of weird old Dr Cooper.
The tagline of the magazine was “Fun With a Purpose”.
But no connection here, except the name, it’s a brand new Word…

Alan Levine has pushed out another HTML conversion that reminds me a bit of Adobe Spark Pages. I think that I like it even more than the Big Picture theme that I used as a ‘home page’. The question I am left wondering about starting from scratch (or a basic starting block) is how hard it would be to bake in microformats or maybe the plugin is enough?
Listened IRL Podcast Episode 9: Digital Overload from irlpodcast.org

Recent reports estimate that over 50% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. Veronica Belmont investigates the impact of growing up online.What does it mean to grow up online? We investigate how the www is changing our bodies and our brains. A college student shares his experience at rehab for Internet addiction. Bestselling author Nir Eyal breaks down what apps borrow from gambling technology. Writer Heather Schwedel talks about taking a cue from Kanye and breaking up with Twitter. And blogger Joshua Cousins talks about the Internet as a lifeline, in the wake of recent natural disasters.

Veronica Belmont brings together a number of perspectives on digital life. From a critique of the naive advice to ‘just turn off’ to a comparison of habit vs addition, this podcast is not about easy answers, but rather about developing a better understanding.
Listened Three Great Potentials – China’s growing international role from Radio National

We take a look at three sectors in which China is beginning to dominate: trade, artificial intelligence and energy.

In this episode of Future Tense, Prof Nick Bisley, Will Knight and Tim Buckley discuss the investments that China is driving, whether it be opening up the Pakistan corridor or control of important resources and rare metals. Having travelled through some of South-East Asia in the past, it is amazing how much investment China has made.