Replied to OPEN S02E22 – 2020 zat vol met notities en nieuwsbrieven by Frank Meeuwsen (

This newsletter has been moved a few times this year. I started at Revue, where I automatically posted the editions on my blog. I then used a few editions of Mailpoet as a WordPress plugin, to eventually land at Newsletter Glue. First as a betatester and now as a cheerleader. Newsletter Glue lets you write and send newsletters from your WordPress blog. In addition to a newsletter, it becomes a blog post and the edition is searchable on the web. It works really nicely and the developers are open to improvements.

I had not heard of Newsletter Glue. I currently use Buttondown.Email, however I have been looking at other options.
Bookmarked Skodel (
Skodel uses 30-second check-ins to build up a interactive picture of student wellbeing over time.

“In a typical school day you’re not really as a young person given an opportunity where you would feel engaged, comfortable and safe enough to actually let someone know that you’re struggling, or how you’re feeling,” Ian Fagan said.

I am intrigued as to how this differs from other more generic response systems? I am going to assume that it is more focused.

I agree with Richard Olsen that this will be the first of many in this space:

The question I have is that as more enter this space where does one solution start and another stop? I am also interested in the blurring of the lines with some of these things, especially when they start including surveillance and artificial intelligence.

Bookmarked The Justice Department Finally Takes on Google and the Danger of Monopolies by Cory Doctorow (The Daily Beast)

We are long overdue for a reckoning with concentrated corporate power in every industry. The entertainment and telecoms giants who are cheerleading a turn in the barrel for their archrivals in Silicon Valley are making a bet that a revitalized, muscular antitrust will neuter tech, and then stop. They’re wrong. The momentum building for breakups and other anti-monopoly actions is unstoppable.

Cory Doctorow responds to the efforts to curtail Google. He provides a context to the monopoly laws.

Bork’s fundamental belief was that if you stared really hard at anti-monopoly laws like the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act, you’d find that their drafters never really worried about monopolies. Rather, they only worried about harmful monopolies—which is to say, instances in which companies do something nakedly anticompetitive in a way that results in an immediate increase in prices. Bork’s big idea was that unless you could prove that some monopolistic crime would raise near-term consumer prices, it shouldn’t be prosecuted.

And now, after 40 years of non-enforcement of monopoly laws, the world has:

· five giant publishers

· four giant movie studios

· three giant record labels

· two giant brewers

· one giant eyewear maker

One of the main reasons we are where we are is because Google was not  regulated early.

There’s a Silicon Valley consensus that Google survived its infancy because Microsoft elected not to strangle it in its cradle, the way the Beast of Redmond had done with Netscape and other upstarts of the previous decade. This forbearance is attributed to the Justice Department’s long (and ultimately unsuccessful) antitrust action over the Windows monopoly. The theory goes that Microsoft had its predatory spirit tamed after a decade-long regulatory siege and was frightened of what an all-out assault on Google might provoke.

Doctorow suggests that today’s start-ups are really just glorified hiring processes:

Today, the best a budding technologist can hope for is to do a fake startup whose “product” exists only to demonstrate that they and their team can successfully complete an ambitious project. These post-grad practicums are the precursor to an “aqui-hire,” when a large firm buys out a startup solely to get a proven team, shutting down its products after the acquisition. Venture capital is now a glorified talent agency, and the “acquisition” is split between “investors” and “founders” in lieu of a finder’s fee and a hiring bonus.

Replied to 26/12/2020, 14:41 – Colin Walker (

I’ve not been able to play with the Behringer TD-3 yet as it ships with a euro plug (some adapters are on order along with an assortment of cables) but I’ve been getting to grips with the Korg Volca Drum, figuring out what it’s capable of and generally making noise.

I too have turned to the physical in regards to instruments. I bought the Volca Modular. I think I am getting my head around it, partially because of the time spent tinkering with VCV Rack.

I have been looking at getting a Volca Sampler 2 to compliment it and provide some rhythmic contrast. One of the issues I have is finding a power supply that would work for multiple Volcas. Just not sold on the cost of the Korg adaptor, especially when I would have to buy two. Wondering if you bought the official adaptor or if you are just running off batteries?


Replied to by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (

I wasn’t seeing it before, but after upgrading to All in One SEO to 4.0.9 from 3.7ish, the Twitter plugin was throwing in some Twitter card metacrap that was causing a conflict. I’ve turned off the Twitter plugin which shouldn’t affect much since I wasn’t really using much of it’s addition…

Chris, was the Twitter Plugin how you were able to populate multiple tweets in the Post Kinds reply box or have you got a different method?
Replied to How I Built a Simple App Using No-Code App Builder Glide and Google Sheets by Alexis Grant (

We use Google Sheets to solve all sorts of challenges in our family.

We combine Sheets with Tiller to track our family finances. We rely on a Google spreadsheet to stay on top of our home renovation project. And whenever one of us launches a digital product for one of our businesses, we build a dashboard in Google Sheets so we can watch sales in real time.

Usually when we build something fancy with Google Sheets, I need Ben’s help. But over the last few months, I used Google Sheets and a third-party tool to solve a problem I’d noticed in our town… and I didn’t need Ben’s help at all.

For this project, I used a no-code app builder called Glide. This was my first time using a no-code tool to build an app, and the first time I organized an app via Google Sheets. Here’s how I did it.

I really enjoyed this walk-through of Glide and how it can be used. When I looked at it, I felt somewhat constrained by what was available. From this point of view I guess it is important to be mindful of the data used in the first place.

Long term, I wonder about about the transition from no code to full code. As the piece went on and more questions were raised about what was possible, I wonder what happens when the project goes beyond its initial beginnings. I had the same question in reading David Peterson’s piece.

This is why I am interested in cross-overs like Alan Levine’s calling cards for simple websites as they offer both a relatively easy entry point, as well as the potential to go further if required.

Replied to

I agree Ben, I often use Sheets to quickly add various tags when compiling links for my newsletter. I documented this in the past when I used to compile my own regular Google update.
Bookmarked Monetizing the Final Frontier (The New Republic)

The burst of activity and high-tech acumen thrills many space fans. But it is making many others quite nervous. Opening up space to a frenzy of private actors could, they agree, produce measurable benefits back on planet Earth—making crucial scientific research, environmental monitoring, and everyday communication cheaper. But the critics are quick to note as well that the history of privatization is spotty at best, with plenty of civically brutal knock-on effects: concentrations of monopolistic power, enfeebled democratic control, and widespread environmental degradation. We’ve seen all those problems appear on Earth as all manner of traditional social goods, from education and housing to pension plans and mass transit, have been targeted for private-sector control. Next up, it seems, is the great beyond.

Clive Thompson explores the burgeoning frontier of outer space. He explains how NASA’s funding has slowly dwindled over time and been replaced by private industry stemming from various non-government opportunities. In particular, there is a rush has been a rush to invest in opportunities provided by low-earth orbit. The problem stemming from this is space debris:

Low-Earth orbit—roughly, anything that’s whizzing around the planet no more than 1,200 miles high—is the zone where SpaceX and many other New Space firms seek to operate. And simple math—together with the history of virtually all new forms of transportation—tells us that the more things go up there, and without a clear fix on where objects are in space, the greater the odds are that those things are going to start slamming into one another by accident.

One particularly grim vision of the future that haunts astronomers is the “Kessler syndrome,” proposed by the astrophysicist Donald Kessler in 1978. Kessler hypothesized that space clutter could reach a tipping point: One really bad collision could produce so much junk that it would trigger a chain reaction of collisions. This disaster scenario would leave hundreds of satellites eventually destroyed, and create a ring of debris that would make launching any new satellites impossible, forever.

The other point of discussion is the moon. At the moment, this is all remarkably unregulated. The issue with this is that the path for such exploration is often set early on.

Liked 25 Years of OU/Ed Tech – 2020: The Online Pivot by an author (

I know people like to say Ed Tech won’t save you, and that is a good antidote to the ed tech saviour hype, but in 2020 educational technologists really did save education (by which I don’t mean silicon valley profiteers, but the small teams within unis, colleges, schools, etc). People who were often buffeted around an institution, not treated with appropriate respect and under-resourced were suddenly called upon to keep the whole thing going. That’s a hell of a spotlight shift.

Liked The #globalthankswondercut project (

If you were to write a love letter to the world what would it be? A Crowdsourced Creativity Project In the midst of this global pandemic and subsequent isolation, I think about my friends and acquaintances all over the globe…they are gazing at the same moon, after all. This brought me to putting out a creative challe

War on 2020 is a series of satirical sketches about the year produced by The Chaser and The Shovel.

Dubbed The War on 2020, it features an all-stars line up of the best satirical comedians in the country, directed by Jenna Owen and Victoria Zerbst (SBS The Feed), and written and performed by Mark Humphries (ABC 7.30), Nina Oyama (Utopia), Sami Shah (ABC Radio), Steph Tisdell (Deadly Funny), Nat Damena (SBS The Feed) and James Schloeffel (The Shovel). The series will also utilise the writing talents of Evan Williams and Rebecca Shaw.

They cover a range of topics, including the absurdity of QAnon, Dan Andrews being labelled a dictator, the frenzied stockpiling of toilet paper and the solidarity around the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the highlight of them all was Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton’s review of 2020:

Bookmarked #IStandWithDan vs #DictatorDan: how fringe accounts gamed Twitter during Melbourne’s lockdown by James Purtill (ABC News)

New research shows the #IStandWithDan and #DictatorDan warring Twitter hashtags were pushed by a small number of orchestrated and hyper-partisan accounts.

James Purtill reports on the influence of social media in regards to the messaging around Melbourne’s lockdown.

New research shows they were driven by a small number of fringe, hyper-partisan accounts — many of them anonymous “sockpuppet” accounts created specifically to support either side, but posting as an independent third party.

Although it is not clear if there was a central organisation behind the campaigns, but the ‘Dictator Dan’ message did align with the News Corp papers and Sky News.

On a side note, I think the War on 2020 team captured the absurdity of the ‘dictator’ movement in their skit:

Reflecting on the practice of archaeology, Gabriel D. Wrobel and Stacey Camp talk about staring at a site and you will start noticing things:

I brought my father to a site where workers had removed the thick foliage so archaeologists could thoroughly map the site. Another archaeologist and I excitedly discussed the visible architectural features – patios, terraces, the stubs of walls. Finally, my dad threw his hands up in the air and said “All I see are rocks!”
But our trained eyes recognized that the piles of stones or earthen mounds we saw were suspiciously aligned. Stare at archaeological sites long enough and you’ll notice them too.

Mark Binelli talks about the way in which Frederick Wiseman makes documentaries from found objects.

He sees himself, he told me, like an artist who makes work from found objects, except in his case, the art is assembled from found events.

Sometimes such a practice involves instilling constraints as Matthew Herbert outlines in his ‘found sounds’ manifesto.

This reminds me of what Alan Levine calls a noticing pattern and being open to the space you are in

Replied to Taming the Digital Dragon by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O’Byrne)

Don’t slay the digital dragon. Hug the digital dragon.

It is all about perspective. We can stand one foot outside of the washing machine and look in at the torment of the spin cycle. Or we can sit inside with the clothes, suds, and water as the contents are thrashed about.

I really like your point about ‘noticing and naming‘ Ian. It reminds me of a piece I wrote a few years ago about becoming more informed. I think that the challenge with this is that it is an ongoing practice. This is the challenge with accreditation programs like eSmart, where people think that once they have completed their audit that they are done.
Bookmarked How Do Archaeologists Know Where to Dig? (

National Geographic magazines and Indiana Jones movies might have you picturing archaeologists excavating near Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and Machu Picchu. And some of us do work at these famous places.

Gabriel D. Wrobel and Stacey Camp talk about how there are archeological sites everywhere, sometimes it is about learning how to see or tapping local knowledge of place, while other times it involves using technology to capture that which is hidden to the human eye.

Finding that evidence can be as simple as strolling past clearly distinguishable ruins – ah, there are some broken pots or carved stones right over there. It can be as complex as using lasers, satellite imagery and other new geophysical techniques to reveal long-lost structures. The right skills and tools are helping researchers locate traces from the past that would have been overlooked even a few decades ago.

Liked Why Jason Krejza never thought he was as good as he really was (

So it felt like my KPIs were just out of my reach. I had to be perfect – go for two an over and take five-for. It felt like I was always having to evolve as a cricketer, but it felt like when I evolved into something, I’d get told I immediately needed to change. ‘That’s not the right one, do this.'”

Bookmarked The Power of Engaging Families (

Too often, family involvement in schools is limited to baking for cake stalls and participating in fund-raising, Harvard Lecturer Karen Mapp says that it is important to move beyond the bake sale to more interaction around learning and developmental goals, and to provide tools for parents to support these goals.

Cameron Paterson discusses going beyond the information evenings, bake sales and parent involvement in his reflection on family engagement.

Family engagement in education is about parents and carers, schools, and communities working together to ensure that everyone plays a positive role in a child’s learning. Teachers need to find effective ways to honor the wealth of knowledge that families possess. A touchstone question for teachers to ask parents is, “What is something you would like me to know about your child?”

Paterson also shares links to a few resources, including Partners Education in A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships and Learning Potentials website.

This is an interesting topic to consider in regards to COVID and the move to online learning. As Robert Schuetz touched on a few years ago:

Our infrastructure is in place, now it’s a matter of creating the expectations and dedicating the time necessary for teachers and parents to collaboratively advance student learning for all.

While Greg Miller describes this challenge as a battle for the ‘new normal’:

One of the ongoing challenges of designing a ‘new normal’ for preschool to post school has been to clarify how we work in partnership with parents to nurture faith filled curious children to become creative contributors and innovative problem solvers for a changing world.

I also wonder how this all plays out in regards to something like the Modern Learning Canvas? Clearly, it has a place in regards to ‘culture’ and ‘policy’. However, it makes me wonder about the consequences for the role of the educator and the pedagogical beliefs that may align with all of this.