Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry

The tools exist now for us to create networks free from corporate control and spying from our own websites. We can still use social media as outreach but as educators we should be modeling a better way.

This is what I was trying to capture in my post on creating a deliberate social space for students.
Replied to Now that Uber and Lyft are public, their inevitable financial collapse is much clearer (Boing Boing)

Horan writes, there’s no way that Uber and Lyft “can produce their service at costs consumers are willing to pay” and there’s “no evidence that they can ever profitably expand to any other markets (food delivery, driverless cars, etc.).” Uber and Lyft are losing money faster than any Silicon Valley startup in history, and they have “none of the economic characteristics that allowed companies like Amazon or Facebook to quickly grow into profitability and drive strong public equity appreciation.”

I wonder if all those uses of Uber as a metaphor for innovation will be reviewed or recanted?
Bookmarked Run a Pre-Mortem to Improve Your Strategic Planning

A Pre-Mortem is a strategic planning activity that imagines a project has failed. This type of thinking helps to identify and mitigate risks early on in the planning phase.

Exploring the worst-case scenario is traced to great Stoic philosophers, like Seneca, who called it the premeditation of evils, “premeditatio malorum”.

Adding the Pre-Mortem technique to your planning toolkit will help you to project your thoughts ahead, to comprehensively assess the challenges to a project and adapt your plans.

Tom Barrett talks about the importance of exploring any issues before they may arise by doing a pre-mortem. This involves gathering perspective and consider those impacted. This is something that Ewan McIntosh discusses in his book.

Presentation 1: Apple Classroom

Apple Classroom is a free app that integrates with Apple School Manager. It provides the ability to send resources, lock devices, decide what is on the screen and analyse what people have been doing. There are a lot of similarities to what Hapara provides on desktop/laptop via Chrome.

This feels like it reinstates the ‘front’ of the classroom. We are keeping people ‘in class’ longer. Interestingly, kids do not need the app. It is designed for managing the classroom, rather than managing the learning.

Presentation 2: App Smashing

The presenters shared ideas from Apple’s Everyone Can Create ebook. Discussing the use of the Apple Pencil, MarkUp, Clips, Measurement and Pages reminds me of the importance of having clear processes for collecting. It is about being clear about the right space at the right time. It also felt as it everyone is creating a copy of what everyone else is doing. For example, Apple have built in many of the features that made Book Creator so good into itsPages app.


The focus was on the benefits and negatives associated with Minecraft. Although free play is available, it is useful to have some sort of structure, otherwise things can collapse into walking around killing zombies. Another note, when creating a new world, you need to choose the right mode: creative and peaceful.


Replied to ‘This has caused significant stress’: NAPLAN computer errors anger teachers, students (ABC News)

Victorian schools are given the option to scrap online NAPLAN tests after computer glitches and broadband problems affected schools across the country.

What is slightly disconcerting is that it is hard to find anyone who was surprised by this, especially those who were around during the days of the Ultranet.
Bookmarked It does not matter how good the feedback is

Despite the best intentions of the feedback provider, their high skill levels and even high quality – unless the receiver is ready to receive, it does not matter. Mitigate this by using some of these practical strategies and considering how we might increase the capacity, readiness and disposition of receiving feedback.

Tom Barrett discusses a number of impacts on the success of feedback. One particular focus is timing. Barrett provides some strategies to support this, including designing the actual process and creating early opportunities. He also links to his new guide to improving feedback. It is interesting to consider this alongside the discussion of data and performance reviews.
Bookmarked School improvement: Sowing the seeds of success (Australian Council for Educational Research – ACER)

Work in schools long enough and we all get to know the bitter experience of a good idea poorly executed. So, what makes the difference between good implementati

Tanya Vaughan, Jason Borton and Jonathan Sharples provide a case study of educational change across three years. They provide a number of steps:

  • Taking a long-term approach: Treat implementation as a process, not an event; plan and execute it in stages.
  • Giving it the best chance to succeed: Create a leadership environment and school climate that is conducive to good implementation.
  • Starting with your own context: Define the problem you want to solve and identify appropriate programs or practices to implement.
  • Ensuring a smooth implementation: Create a clear implementation plan, judge the readiness of the school to deliver that plan, then prepare staff and resources.
  • Ensuring a smooth implementation: Create a clear implementation plan, judge the readiness of the school to deliver that plan, then prepare staff and resources.
  • Looking to the future: Plan for sustaining and scaling an intervention from the outset and continuously acknowledge and nurture its use.

This example of science is interesting to consider alongside my discussion of supporting technology.

Bookmarked Let them play! Kids need freedom from play restrictions to develop (The Conversation)

Children need to play and discover the world for themselves without too much restriction. Here are some ways we can enhance children’s opportunities to do this.

Brendon Hyndman highlights the benefits of ‘play’ in and out of school. One suggestion includes providing spaces with loose play equipment. This is something Narissa Leung, Adrian Camm and John Johnston have touched upon, through the use of objects, such as old bricks and crates. Sometimes the biggest challenge is getting out of the way.
Bookmarked Newsletter Development: 4 (WARREN ELLIS LTD)

Do people sign up for the newsletter for me, or for the things I bring them? Because I think it’s the latter, and I think it ties into thinking over the previous 10/15 years about Attention Economy and Agalmic Economy.

Warren Ellis shares a series reflecting on the development of his newsletter. He touches on the technology that allows him to produce a small magazine that connects a community of minds. This is interesting reading alongside Craig Mod’s post.
Bookmarked More Schools are Throwing Out Grades, But are They All Clinging to the Same Alternative? (Etale – Embrace Mission-Minded Innovation)

Those who follow my work know that I have a a habit, some consider it a bad habit, of juggling too many projects at once. This is especially true when it comes to writing projects. Of course, all o…

Bernard Bull worries that too many have jumped onboard mastery as an alternative to grade-based learning. His concern is that the other options, such as self-determined learning, are often overlooked.
Liked The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet by an author (One Zero)

Dark forests like newsletters and podcasts are growing areas of activity. As are other dark forests, like Slack channels, private Instagrams, invite-only message boards, text groups, Snapchat, WeChat, and on and on. This is where Facebook is pivoting with Groups (and trying to redefine what the word “privacy” means in the process).

Listened Episode 117: A Dramatic Comeback from TIDE Podcast

Interesting conversation as always Doug and Dai.

I think my question/concern about ‘gaming’ is the use of time? With my limited downtime, I choose to use it for different things.

Also, enjoyed the short discussion about digital parenting at the end. It definitely feels like a conflicted space.

Bookmarked Oz Lit Teacher by an author
Narissa Leung shares a new project which involves sharing possible mentor texts. The concern is that although educators like Pernille Ripp share various suggestions, using them can overlook the local context. Some other useful sites to support searching for books include Kim Yeomans’ Wild About Books and Bianca Hewes’ Jimmy Reads Books. My only disappointment is that Leung is not collecting these in a central spot on the open web.