Liked All the Ways Not to Waste Your Citrus Peels (The New Yorker)

One strategy is to make citrus kosho, the Japanese fermented condiment. (I do this following the method of Jori Jayne Emde, a virtuosic fermenter: she grinds the peels in a spice grinder with chilies and salt, sprinkles the mixture with a little orange juice, then lets it cure.) A more straightforward strategy is to let the peels dry out. This can be accomplished by putting them on a baking sheet by the window, or outside on a fire escape, or in an oven turned on very low. The goal is for the peels to become dry enough that they can be ground into a powder using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.

Bookmarked The Science of Sourdough Starters (Serious Eats)

The abridged version of the process goes something like this: mix equal parts flour and water in a jar and wait. Take some of that pasty sludge out and discard it; stir in more flour and water, and keep waiting. After some period of time repeating this process over and over, you produce a bubbling, doughy-gooey mass that rises and falls with some predictability. Over time, this mixture contains the proper collection of yeast and bacteria that can leaven bread and bestow that distinctive tangy, creamy flavor and light texture that we know and love—it becomes a sourdough starter. In exact terms, we say a starter has fermentative power—the ability to convert sugars into products like ethanol, carbon dioxide, and organic acids.

Tim Chin provides both the short and long version associated with sourdough starters.
Bookmarked Why Remote Work Is So Hard—and How It Can Be Fixed (The New Yorker)

The challenges aren’t just technological. They’re managerial.

Cal Newport looks into some of the history of remote working and unpacks some of the challenges that many are currently facing. One of the challenges is the social aspect to work.

In an age when community-based social ties are increasingly frayed, the office is where many adults interact with other adults. Perhaps, encoded in our genes after millennia of tribal coöperation, there is instinctual excitement at working side by side with others toward a shared goal. An e-mail that reads “Job well done!” is not the same as a smile. These benefits of the office—these subtle affirmations of our humanity—were easy to overlook, until we abruptly found ourselves deprived of them.

In addition to this is the problems associated with communication, collaboration and coordination when working offsite.

In some respects, we may be in an electric-dynamo moment for remote work. In theory, we have the technology we need to make remote work workable. And yet most companies that have tried to graft it onto their existing setups have found only mixed success. In response, many have stuck with what they know. Now the coronavirus pandemic has changed the equation. Whole workplaces have gone remote; steam engines have been outlawed. The question is whether, having been forced to embrace this new technology, we can solve the long-standing problems that have thwarted its adoption in the past.

Remote work is a complex problem. Although it may have many boons, some will still prefer the work-life balance associated with office life.

Remote work is complex, and is no cure-all. Some of the issues that have plagued it for decades are unlikely to be resolved, no matter how many innovations we introduce: there’s probably no way for workplaces to Zoom themselves to the same levels of closeness and cohesion generated in a shared office; mentorship, decision-making, and leadership may simply be harder from a distance. There is also something dystopian about a future in which white-collar workers luxuriate in isolation while everyone else commutes to the crowded places. For others, meanwhile, isolation is the opposite of luxury. There may be many people who will always prefer to work from work.

In some respects, this reminds me of the discussion often made about changing and transforming learning spaces in school. The reality is that for a new space to work it usually involves new practices to go with it. As Matt Esterman suggests,

I’m forming the theory that what most teachers want is a more shiny version of what they have. This is because they are not trained as designers (usually) and are so often hemmed in by the expectations of current reality that they don’t have the time or inclination to think about how things could be different.

Bookmarked Peter Jackson’s LOTR Was an Improbable Miracle, and We’re Lucky to Have It (

If Jackson had tried to make these films a few years later, they could have turned out so, so much worse.

Jim Vorel explains why Lord of the Rings is such a miracle. Not only was it spread across three films, but it was directed by Peter Jackson, someone who clearly had the vision, but very little experience behind him. Vorel argues that it is a movie which would be done differently if made today. However, it has also paved the way for much that we now have.

I think that the size and risk involved is highlighted in Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart video.

Replied to One Zoom to Rule Them All | Reunited Apart LORD OF THE RINGS Edition (YouTube)

It’s the Return of the KINGS – Josh gathers the Fellowship and then some, to go on a very important mission…. quest…. thing. Directed by James Merryman P…

It’s the Return of the KINGS – Josh gathers the Fellowship and then some, to go on a very important mission…. quest…. thing.

Josh Gad brings together some of the some of the cast from Lord of the Rings for a virtual reunion. There are many memories shared and lines spoken, however I think one of my favourite ones was Smeagol’s thoughts on social distancing and drinking disinfectant.

Liked The Very Drugged Nazis (The New York Review of Books)

Nazi ideology demanded purity of body, blood, and mind. Adolf Hitler was portrayed as a vegetarian teetotaler who would allow nothing to corrupt him. Drugs were depicted as part of a Jewish plot to poison and weaken the nation—Jews were said to “play a supreme part” in the international drug trade—and yet nobody became more dependent on cocktails of drugs than Hitler, and no armed forces did more to enhance their troops’ performance than the Wehrmacht did by using a version of methamphetamine.

Bookmarked 4 Legendary Approaches to Teaching That Impact All of Us. A Tribute to Dan Lortie. by Peter DeWitt (

Dan Lortie.png Today’s guest post is written by Andy Hargreaves, professor emeritus, Boston College, and author of Moving: a memoir of education and social mobility, Solution Tree, 2020.

Andy Hargreaves reflects on the legacy Dan Lortie and his book Schoolteacher.

Lortie’s book was the eventual outcome of a massive study of, ironically, 94 teachers about their work in the Boston metropolitan area. Lortie came up with four findings that are all still relevant today.

One of the interesting points that Hargreaves makes was in regards to psychic rewards:

Teaching is rooted in what Lortie called “psychic rewards.” Teachers “concentrate their energies at points where effort may make a difference,” rather than in vague discussions about how to make things better, Lortie wrote. Reformers ignore the psychic rewards of teaching at their peril. It’s students, not data that drive teachers. Online learning struggles to address teachers’ psychic connection to their students. Evidence-based improvement often has little impact on teaching because it doesn’t respect teachers’ psychic rewards. Lortie warned against highly structured interventions that are “developed by people whose orientations are different from classroom teachers” and that do not understand teachers culture.

Bookmarked Mining for gold…what have we discovered? And what now? (

This week, students and teachers are beginning to return to school here in Australia.
return: “an act of coming or going back to a place or activity”
It’s a word I have been trying to avoid as I speak with my partner schools. Instead of thinking about it as a return to…let’s think about it…

Kath Murdoch reflects on some of the discoveries from the forced move online/offsite.  Some of her wonderings included:

  • What would happen if we offered learners the opportunity to create their timetables?
  • Can we team up to allow children to engage in independent inquiry (with one or two educators supporting them in the space) while others work with target groups across the day?
  • What if we met at the end of each day for a short, focussed reflection and thought about how we might adjust plans for tomorrow?
  • Can we build on our online experiences to use more ‘flipped’ models for home learning

Along with Riss Leung’s reflection, this provides a useful provocation for moving forward.

Personally speaking, it makes me wonder about some of the lengths that teachers and schools have gone to during the current pandemic and the danger of turning an exception into a habit. I agree that we need to ‘build back better‘ as Steven Kolber puts it, however we also need to identify what we take off the plate to sustain such change.

On another note, Murdoch speaks about the call to ‘go home’

I recall many years ago, listening to Allan Luke talk about how hard it can be to sustain change in schools. He described the ‘lure of home’ … the longing we have even unconsciously, to ‘go home’ to the safety and comfort of what we know. I can feel it in myself as I have ventured out into this new world of online workshops. There are days when I long for ‘home’ (which, ironically for me was NOT being at home!) and then other days when I am relishing the adventure, the discomfort and all I am learning.

This reminded me of what John Goh’s discussion of our tendency to go back to our ‘default’.

In Episode 7 of the TER Podcast on ‘Engagement’, John Goh spoke about the ‘default’ value that we all have as teachers. Formed during our training to become teachers, it lays the foundation for the way we teach. He suggested that the challenge is to make sure that we continually move away from that starting point.

Liked Building a WordPress Theme From Scratch (

I’m a fan of using WordPress to build custom websites. So I’ve decided to start a tutorial series and share how I go about building a theme from scratch. No frameworks or starter themes. The Sketch Sketch of the theme’s design The layout sketch
Before even setting up my development environment I…

Checked into PressED conference 2020
In A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger talks about the power and potential of different types of questions. One type that stands out is the simple strategy of asking ‘What If?’ Here then are my thoughts on what if the web were different? #pcPopUp2020
What if people had some sort of ownership and control of their presence on the web?

A place where they could find their voice?…

A place to develop over time?…

#pcPopUp2020 #DoOO
What if we posted comments to other spaces from our own sites utilising the power of #webmentions? Both keeping a record of our conversations, as well as owning our opinions.

What if we were all someone else’s conversational follower, as @plugusin has suggested?… Building connections & community along the way.

#pcPopUp2020 #ItTakesaVillage
What if people posted extended thoughts as posts rather than as a thread?…

Therefore, managing their our own canonical links for content for ideas?…

#pcPopUp2020 HT @dajbelshaw
What if we each had our own treasure trove of ideas that we could easily mine and join the dots?…

#pcPopUp2020 #Commonplacebook HT @amyburvall
My intent with these posts is not to suggest that everyone should or must do all or any these things, but instead to stop for a moment and think about the decisions we make about technology and ask ourselves how might we work together to make a better web for all?


Twitter thread posted via Thread Reader App Micropub publisher.

Liked A Philip Glass Score Was Lost. 50 Years Later, Here It Is. (

Mr. Glass’s sketches for “Music in Eight Parts” date to late 1969, and it premiered in January 1970, placing it between “Music in Fifths” and “Music With Changing Parts,” which paved the way for the monumental “Music in 12 Parts.” The title refers not to the number of sections, but to its contrapuntal voices; with a running time of about 20 minutes, “Music in Eight Parts” achieves its drama through rhythmic shifts and intricacy.

Replied to ThreadReaderApp now has beta support for the Micropub Spec so you can publish Twitter threads directly to your blog by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (

Now with the help of @ThreadReaderApp, and the Micropub plugin for #WordPress, I’ll be able to view my thread on ThreadReader in a brand new bonus feature that’s currently in beta.

This is really exciting Chris. Although I went to test it and I could not find the beta button. Is it for paid accounts only?
Liked The Surprising Secret of School Improvement (The Confident Teacher)

And so we return to Wiliam’s sage advice: doing fewer things as school leaders may allow for better things to be done well. Freeing up time and space may be the only way to allow for improvement.

We are left with the question: what good things should we stop, so that we can do even better things?

Replied to Writers and their notebooks: Claire Saxby – Oz Lit Teacher Narissa Leung (Oz Lit Teacher Narissa Leung)

The writer’s notebook series looks at how published authors use their writer’s notebooks. Claire Saxby shares her notebook insights here.

I really enjoyed this reflection Riss. In particular, Claire’s point that ‘ideas are everywhere’.

It’s a matter of practice to work out which ones to note down, which ones to let flow. I find that an idea that someone else tells me will make a great story seldom sticks with me – not because it’s a bad idea – but because it’s not speaking to me, it’s speaking to them. There are exceptions, but not that many. As mentioned before, I tend to note down anything that sounds interesting or silly or rhythmic or curious without examining why it appeals to me. If it’s meant to be something more, that will be revealed later when I come to reread my notes.

This reminds me of Austin Kleon’s work.


RSVPed Interested in Attending Have your say in TER Teachmeet: What we’ve learnt so far

What: TER Teachmeet: What we’ve learnt so far

What do I need to do: Record either a 2 or 7 minute reflection on something you’ve learnt as a result of the remote learening experiences of 2020, and send it in to be included in the episode.

When: Submissions due by 12 July, 2020. Episode online 19 July, 2020.

How: For now, please complete this Expression of Interest form. More information will be emailed to you shortly after.

Congratulations on the journey Cameron. Looking forward to hear what people have to say.