Listened The value of rituals in a digital world from Radio National

Are rituals still needed in a world mediated through digital devices?

Alexandra Samuel made the argument that ‘digital rituals’ are associated with the notions of reflection and community.

I think there’s two pieces. I think there’s the reflection and formulation of intention, what do I want from this experience, what does it mean. You know, a lot of rituals will include some element of solitary reflection as part of that process, and I think that is hugely valuable when it comes to thinking about our digital lives. But then the other piece is really almost the mirror image of that. Yes, there’s a piece of ritual that is about solitary reflection, but then there’s another piece that’s really about community recognition and understanding that you are now taking your place in a community or changing your relationship to the community or the community is now offering you a different form of participation or membership, and that notion, that when you join a community or when you change your relationship to the community, that you need to have some kind of mutual negotiation of what that means, that I think is a big part of what’s missing and it really has to do with giving us a chance to say, you know, hey, your Facebook login or your Instagram account or your new blog are not just about you, you are taking a place in a larger community that has a stake in how you use of this access.

This made me wonder if approaching the web following the #IndieWeb principles is somehow ritualistic. Rather than merely commenting or sharing, I now make the effort post content on my own site and syndicate from there.

My only question is whether this is the way it is simply because the technology is yet to develop and as it currently is, the #IndieWeb involves a little bit more effort and investment? Or will the community nature of it sustain the reflective nature?

Also posted on IndieNews

Bookmarked A Point of Contact (A Point of Contact)

I live in Canada, currently in Calgary. I have also lived in Central and Eastern Canada, and in Asia.

I don’t blog a lot, and this frequency suits me. I do go through phases depending on the season and depending on time commitments.

Generally, this blog is about (but not limited to) education and technology.

I came upon Cochrane’s blog via his response to my discussion on literacies and fluency. It reads like an #IndieWeb blog in structure, with the structured responses and notes, just without the post kinds and webmentions.
Bookmarked Here’s what is going wrong with ‘evidence-based’ policies and practices in schools in Australia (EduResearch Matters)

So on a general level, the case for evidence-based practice has a definite value. But let’s not over-extend this general appeal, because we also have plenty of experience of seeing good research turn into zealous advocacy with dubious intent and consequence. The current over-extensions of the empirical appeal have led paradigmatic warriors to push the authority of their work well beyond its actual capacity to inform educational practice. Here, let me name two forms of this over-extension.

James Ladwig unpacks evidence-based approaches. In response to ‘synthetic reviews’, he suggests:

Simply ask ‘effect on what?’ and you have a clear idea of just how limited such meta-analyses actually are.

While in regards to RCT’s, he states:

By definition, RCTs cannot tell us what the effect of an innovation will be simply because that innovation has to already be in place to do an RCT at all. And to be firm on the methodology, we don’t need just one RCT per innovation, but several – so that meta-analyses can be conducted based on replication studies.

Another issue is that Research shows what has happened, not what will happen. This is not to say no to evidence, but a call to be sensible about what we think that we can learn from it.

What it can do is provide a solid basis of knowledge for teachers to know and use in their own professional judgements about what is the best thing to do with their students on any given day. It might help convince schools and teachers to give up on historical practices and debates we are pretty confident won’t work. But what will work depends entirely on the innovation, professional judgement and, as Paul Brock once put it, nous of all educators.

This touches on Mark Esner’s argument that great teacher will make anything work to a degree. Also, Deborah Netolicky’s observations about evidence.

Replied to #WhyITeach by John Wigg (Mr Wigg)

I teach because I love being a child’s advocate and helping him/her realize his/her own potential.

I remember deciding that I wanted to be a teacher when I left school and although I became a teacher, my reasoning for why I wanted to teach considerably changed. I started out with an interest in History and in hindsight, probably subject knowledge and skills, yet when I finished my studies I was more interested in creating the conditions for others to wonder.

I think I teach (or am involved in education) to support others in reaching their potential, but also in engaging in interests. I remember being told once that the word essay is best understood as ‘your say’. I have never actually found a reference for this, but the lesson stuck.

Syndicated at Read Write Collect

Replied to Have we moved on from the Cambridge Analytica scandal? (My Thoughts…)

This week has been fascinating, it appears that things have begun to recover after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which then led to the #deletefacebook movement. This movement seemed to have a small, but noticeable impact for a moment on the pages that I support.

Although it is easy to ‘delete Facebook’, doing so without a replacement fails to recognise its place – positive or negative – in our life and society. I remember when I used to live in the Victorian country side being amazed by the amount of Weeping Willows growing along the open channels that carried water between the various properties. An introduced species, they actually sapped up a lot of the water. I once asked the Outdoor Education teacher I was working alongside why they did not just remove them. He explained that to simply remove them actually causes even more damage through erosion. What is needed was to plant something next to the tree that would be able to take its place and fill the same purpose. Delete Facebook was therefore never going to work without there being a replacement in its place.

The Luddbrarian suggests that what makes the current campaign different is that the data breaches allowed Trump to win. This overlooks the problem at the base of such automated solutions.

Facebook offers people an easy way to stay in touch with friends, Facebook offers people an easy way to stay on top of the news, Facebook makes it easy for people to share photos, Facebook makes it easy to plan events (and to say whether or not you’re going to the event), Facebook makes it easy to promote your new creative project, and so forth. In order to obtain these “goods” on offer from Facebook a user must deal with the “bads” of Facebook – but that is why the bribe exists and how it operates. The offer of the good is used so that people overlook the bad.

What we need is to widen our technological imagination and consider how Facebook could be better. For me, the #IndieWeb is a part of that.

Liked Facebook must be restructured. The FTC should take these 9 steps now | Barry Lynn and Matt Stoller by Barry Lynn (the Guardian)

If the next set of FTC commissioners truly are serious about making Facebook serve the interests of the American public, here is a set of actions they should begin to take on day one. Every one of these action has a strong foundation in US law and practice:

1) Impose strict privacy rules on Facebook, perhaps using Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation as a guide.

2) Spin off Facebook’s ad network. This will eliminate, in one swoop, most of the incentive that Facebook now has to amass data and to interfere and discriminate in the provision of information and news.

3) Reverse the approvals for Facebook purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram, and re-establish these as competing social networks.

4) Prohibit all future acquisitions by Facebook for at least five years.

5) Establish a system to ensure the transparency of all political communications on Facebook, similar to other major communication networks in the United States.

6) Require Facebook to adopt open and transparent standards, similar to conditions the FTC imposed on AOL Messenger in the AOL-Time Warner merger settlement in 2001.

7) Establish whether Facebook violated the 2011 consent decree and, if so, seek court sanctions.

8) Threaten to bring further legal action against Facebook unless top executives immediately agree to work with the FTC to restructure their corporation to ensure the safety and stability of our government and economy.

9) Establish whether top executives enabled, encouraged, or oversaw violations of the 2011 consent decree and, if so, pursue personal fines against them.

Liked Don’t fear complexity (Digital – Learning – Culture)

At my institution, the University of the Arts London, we see the value in uncertainty. In many of our courses it is important that our students are in a liminal state for much of the time within which they are not quite sure of what they know. This is a key aspect of the process of creativity and it’s also central to my reframing, or extension of, information literacy. Questioning our self, our motivations and methods, for seeking and validating information is our only chance of maintaining our agency within complexity. Not being afraid of being immersed in complexity requires understanding the value of uncertainty. This is all the more important where we receive information as an effect of our interactions. To ask how what we engage with has arrived in front of us and why we are comfortable with it (in the context of our identity and position) has to be central to what it means to critically evaluate.

To maintain the agency of our students (and ourselves) and not fall into the trap of assuming a ‘natural order’ which just so happens to be our current worldview we must reveal, not simplify, complexity. In tandem with this we must provide the critical tools to navigate complexity without denying it.

Replied to Uncanny EdTech (bavatuesdays)

Uncanny Learning

Although the zombie apocalypse did not occur in 2012 (as much as I am aware), many of these futures sadly seemingly are coming into fruition. From net neutrality to Web 2.0, many ‘promises’ have failed. One highlight was the mention of Wordle. The uncanny aspect is that it feels like a conversation that is needed today as much as ten years ago.
Replied to Setting up WordPress for IndieWeb use by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

This was a really helpful walk-through Chris. I agree with your point in the IndieWeb podcast that it could be compressed into half an hour, but I always thought that was the point of adjusting the playback speeds?

I just had a few thoughts / questions while watching / listening:

    I never realised that I could add all my Rel=Me links within my profile, does that mean that I do not have to go through all the rigmarole of adding them to my ‘child theme’? That definitely makes it a lot easier to setup.
    I am really interested in modifying / developing a custom post kind, but what happens when David Shanske updates the plugin? How do I set up to allow for updates and customisation? Is this some sort of ‘child theme’?
    I wonder if it were possible (maybe in the IndieWeb multisite or something) to customise the ‘Welcome’ box when you first start WordPress? Imagine if the information that is detailed in the IndieWeb plugin area could be placed there, front and centre?
Replied to An Indieweb Podcast – Episode 3: Syndication by David ShanskeDavid Shanske (David Shanske)


Show notes

Another great listen David and Chris. I have taken to using Post Editor Buttons Fork plugin to add custom code, such as embedding audio and syndicating to #IndieNews. I am happy with any other solution, especially as I imagine Gutenberg may break my buttons?

I am really interested in your work in combining Bridgy Publish and Syndicated Links. I currently use SNAP for Twitter, Flickr and Diigo, Mastodon Autoposter and Jetpack for G+. (I could never get Bridgy Publish to work, but after Chris’ recent walkthrough, I think that I need to have a second look.) I find it really tedious to remember which ones to turn on and off for each post. I really like the idea of one space to control them all if that is what you are proposing.

Replied to Blogging Q&A (freetech4teachers.com)

Richard, as always, I love your openness to not only share resources, but also your thoughts. I really enjoyed your Q&A and agree with your recommendation of Edublogs and WordPress.org. I also really liked your point about having a notebook for ideas. I must be honest, I use Trello to keep my ideas, but the point is that things come to life long before the literal blog post starts.

My only concern was your comment from Guy Kawasaki to just write great posts and people will find them. I disagree. Not because I think that I write great stuff that has not been found, but rather because I do not think that it is that simple.

I really liked a post Bill Ferriter wrote on this topic, in which he said:

Audience is a function of the content that you create, the consistency of your creation patterns, the length of time that you’ve been creating, the opportunities that you have to be in front of audiences in the real world, the relationships that you have with people who have audiences larger than you do — and, as frustrating as it may seem, serendipity.

His answer is instead to ‘Bring Your Own Audience’. As he explains:

The most powerful members of your audience are those people that you ALREADY have an intellectual relationship with. Maybe they are folks in your school that you have lunch with every day. Maybe they are buddies from other schools in your district that you meet for beers a few times a month. Maybe they are colleagues that you hang with once per year at teaching conferences around the country.

Those are the people who are the most likely to stop by your blog or respond to your Tweets and challenge your thinking — so instead of trying to build a huge audience of strangers, concentrate on building a small audience of peers.

I think that whether it be blogging in the classroom or starting a professional blog, the best thing that you could do is find a few people who you really want to share with and start there.

📓 Signals

In a reflection on engaging with the #IndieWeb, Ian O’Byrne unpacks the signals that we share online, both seen and unseen:

In a digital space, we also create and share signals. For most people, these signals are very distinct. They include tweets or posts that you share on social networks. They also include your reactions (likes, favorites, love, haha, wow, angry, sad).

Many more of your signals are unseen, or at least unseen to you. These signals include metadata, or “data about data” that tracks you as you move across the web. This metadata could be descriptive, structural, or administrative. A good way to think about this is the card catalog system in a library. You have the actual book, but then you also have information in a system about the title, abstract, author and keywords (descriptive). The card catalog system will also include information about how many pages and chapters are included in the table of contents (structural). The library will also save information about whether the book is checked out, who last checked it out, and where is it located on the stacks if it is still available (administrative).

Discussing the act of sharing online, Donelle Batty poses some questions to consider to help reflect on our own signals:

So are you in control of the story of you? Before you even start sharing life events, your opinion and the ever loved cat video, you need to consider the social spaces you are in, what settings (and personal boundaries) you are putting in place to determine who sees your content and thoughts. You see social media is a great tool for connecting with people. It is through connecting with others (be it random or deliberate) that we gain insights into peoples lives, insights that we may not have had access to before. When we gain an insight into someones life is it what we expect? Is it something that makes you feel uncomfortable or comfortable? Does it change the way you interact with them? Let’s now flip the question and ask what might the perception be of you by those who follow, friend or connect with you?

📰 Read Write Respond #028

My Month of April

At work, I have continued the development of a flexible reporting solution. A part of this has involved trying to streamline the user interface, as well as testing out various scenarios. I also went to the #EdTechTeam Summit in Canberra and presented on Ongoing Reporting.

On the family front, I have continued to feed my daughter’s pop sensibilities. (Cue 80’s synths.) She often believes she has heard a song on the radio, when in fact it was me playing it. Although, it has me doing a second take on some of the lyrics. Not young forever, especially when you listen to the radio.

Personally, I have been continuing my dive into ‘intention’, cleaning up some of my online accounts. I saved all my Evernote notes and closed the account, while I am in the process of cleaning up my Facebook site. I never knew it was so easy to delete old posts. I was also lucky enough to meet Amy Burvall in Canberra and attend a few of her sessions. Inspiring online, even more inspiring in person.

Amy Burvall and I at EdTechTeam Summit in Canberra

In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:


Here then are some of the dots that have also left me thinking …

Learning and Teaching

Quote about reporting
Quote via Hilary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard ‘Does the Old School Report Have a Future?’
Image via “Albert Einstein” by Dunechaser https://flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/567753250 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Does the old school report have a future? – Hilary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard provide some background to student reporting in Australia. One of the challenges they highlight is the difference between progress and achievement. I have a long history with reporting, one challenge not addressed in this post are the constraints put in place by the platforms and providers of the reporting packages. It would seem that ongoing reporting provides more flexibility. My question is what the future holds for biannual and ongoing reporting, especially in light of ‘Gonski 2.0?

When considering the utility and purpose of student reports, it is important to distinguish what it is exactly that teachers are asked to report. The words ‘achievement’ and ‘progress’ are often used interchangeably in student reports and conflated to mean the same thing. Indeed they are highly related concepts; it is often through tracking one’s achievements that a sense of one’s progress can be measured. However, if achievement is taken only to mean the grades, scores or marks received on summative assessment tasks, then progress often appears only to mean whether the child’s standard of achievement (their grades) is improving, maintaining or declining. Where progress is understood differently – to mean ‘increasing “proficiency” reflected in more extensive knowledge, deeper understandings and higher-level skills within a domain of learning’ (Masters, 2017) – an emphasis only on reporting achievement on summative assessments would give very little sense of a child’s progress from where they began.

Establishing a Culture of Thinking – Cameron Paterson provides a useful introduction to Ron Ritchhart’s Cultures of Thinking and the notion of documentation. Along with Silvia Tolisano and Diane Kashin, I have written about Project Zero and the routines of thinking before. I was also left thinking about the power of documentation during a recent session with Amy Burvall, where we critiqued our creative thinking. However, Cameron’s post left me wondering the place of thinking and documentation outside of the classroom?

Some simple ways to begin practicing documentation include:

  • Sharing a short video clip of documentation at the start of class or a meeting by displaying a brief clip and then asking students their thoughts about it.
  • Taking a photo of an especially powerful learning moment to revisit with students by using the classroom walls to display the documentation.
  • Jotting down a provocative or insightful quote from a student to share with the class via speech bubbles on the walls.

Editing is Everything – Dani Veven creates alternative trailers for movies. Changing the scenes, lighting and audio, she demonstrates the power of editing. Her work is a useful resource for understanding the choice of what to include and exclude, as well as understanding the tropes associated with the different genres.

I create out-of-context trailers from YouTubers’ videos and movies.

Wild About Books – Kim Yeomans has started a new blog to share books for young readers. Along with Bianca Hewes’ Instagram account @JimmyReadsBooks, Pernille Ripp’s collections and Brad Gustafson’s Championship of Booktalks, these sites are useful when looking for new titles.

The Wild about books blog is a place for me to continue to share books I have enjoyed reading as well as letting you know about author or bookish events that make reading even more fun.

Edtech

Image via Tom Woodward
Quote via Tom Woodward ‘Social Media Jujutsu’
Image via “[114/365] Waterfall” by pasukaru76 https://flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/5285725875 is licensed under CC CC0

Social Media Jujutsu – Tom Woodward reflects on the stresses of social media and shares a number of tools for mitigating the harm. This includes add-ons which hide Twitter metrics and tools which adjust your language. He also touches on some strategies, such as commenting on sites more than social media. Depending on your platform, I would recommend exploring the #IndieWeb and activating webmentions. Something Ian O’Byrne has recently jumped into. Micro.blog also offers a simple #IndieWeb entry point to claiming the web, especially in regards to RSS.

Jujutsu is a martial art focused on using your opponent’s momentum against them– clever redirection of force rather than trying to meet it directly. This seems like it might be an option for some of today’s social media woes where people are trying to continue to take advantage of the good aspects of these tools/communities while opposing some of their attempts at manipulation. There are major alternatives like Brontosaurus Mastodon but many people aren’t going to make that jump. So consider this post more of a way you might mitigate harm while continuing using tools meant to bend your mind and warp your perceptions.

Curation Tools for Teachers and Students – Kasey Bell curates a collection of curation tools. I have collected together my thoughts on various tools before, however Bell’s list goes much further. I really like her point of using different tools for different purposes. I am however left wondering about the longevity of them all and their subsequent data. Take for example, the recent closure of Storify and TodaysMeet. At least in using things like Google Sheets or blogs there are clear options for how to archive the information. I think that just as there has been a push for RSS again, I feel there is a potential to revisit blogs and their many possibilities. For example, Chris Aldrich has documented his workflow, which includes the maintenance of a modern day commonplace book.

Depending on the purpose of your curation, there are certain tools that may fit your needs better than others. This list has it all! Whether you are curating professional learning resources, planning a lesson, or creating something to share, there’s a tool that can help you do it!

The webinar must die: a friendly proposal – Bryan Alexander reflects on webinars comparing the lecture style with the more interactive videoconference. He argues the lecture style must go and is better presented as an asynchronous experience on a platform like YouTube, allowing for engagement through the comments. Another possibility is to flip the lecture presentation therefore allowing the webinar to be a discussion of the various points.

Type I webinars are a mistake in 2018, and they need to die. We can leave them behind and take our presentations and conversations to other platforms, either Type II or by flipping the webinar. Or we can re-invent, re-use, and reboot Type I. In a time where discussions are more fraught and also more needed, we should do this now.

Tools come and go. Learning should not. And what’s a “free” edtech tool, anyway? – Lyn Hilt reflects on Padlet’s recent pivot to a paid subscription. She argues that if we stop and reflect on what we are doing in the classroom, there are often other options. Hilt also uses this as an opportunity to remind us what ‘free’ actually means, and it is not free as in beer either. We therefore need to address some of the ethical questions around data and privacy. A point highlighted by the revelations of the ever increasing Cambridge Analytica breach.

Do I need this tool? Why? How does it really support learning? What are the costs, both monetary and otherwise, of using this service? Do the rewards of use outweigh the risks? Is there a paid service I could explore that will meet my needs and better protect the privacy of my information and my students’ information? How can I inform parents/community members about our use of this tool and what mechanisms are in place for parents to opt their children out of using it? When this tool and/or its plan changes, how will we adjust? What will our plans be to make seamless transitions to other tools or strategies when the inevitable happens?

Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook – It is a little disconcerting when ever Facebook seems to do something positive for the ‘user’ in response to complaints. What is worse, Zeynep Tufekci highlights how some of the changes Facebook is promising now were promised years ago too. A reminder why the history of EdTech is so important. (As a side note To keep a track of Tufekci’s reporting, I recommend signing up to her newsletter.) In other Facebook news, Alex Hern explains how companies you have never interacted with are able to target you, Tim Wu argues that we need a trustworthy platform not driven by survelliance and advertising, while David Shanske and Chris Aldrich discuss some possibilities in Episode 1 of the #IndieWeb Podcast.

At a minimum, Facebook has long needed an ombudsman’s office with real teeth and power: an institution within the company that can act as a check on its worst impulses and to protect its users. And it needs a lot more employees whose task is to keep the platform healthier. But what would truly be disruptive and innovative would be for Facebook to alter its business model. Such a change could come from within, or it could be driven by regulations on data retention and opaque, surveillance-based targeting—regulations that would make such practices less profitable or even forbidden.

Storytelling and Reflection

Quote from Tim Winton
Image via “LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 2 : Surfer” by wiredforlego https://flickr.com/photos/wiredforsound23/6870695330 is licensed under CC BY-SA

About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny – In an excerpt from a speech, Tim Winton says that it is men who need to step up and liberate boys from the culture of toxic masculinity that has come to mark Australian society. Along with Molly Ringwald’s reflections on the problematic art of John Hughes and Phil Cleary’s post on the misogynistic subculture of football, they represent a challenge for equity. It is also interesting reading these pieces alongside Kate O’Halloran’s article on the fear associated with women, exercise and sport.

What I’ve come to notice is that all these kids are rehearsing and projecting. Trying it on. Rehearsing their masculinity. Projecting their experimental versions of it. And wordlessly looking for cues the whole time. Not just from each other, but from older people around them, especially the men. Which can be heartbreaking to witness, to tell you the truth. Because the feedback they get is so damn unhelpful. If it’s well-meant it’s often feeble and half-hearted. Because good men don’t always stick their necks out and make an effort.

How to Find New Music You’ll Actually Like – Nick Douglas collects together a number of suggestions for finding new music. Whether it be best lists or review sites, there are a number of entry points provided. Some not mentioned include La Blogothèque’s, Take Away Shows and other live performances, as well as Deep Cuts guides and reviews.

Some people can dig up great music like magic, or have friends inside the industry who keep them updated. Some people are contented with their weekly Spotify Discover playlist. But if you need more ways to find music, here are 50 ideas, taken from Twitter users, my colleagues at Lifehacker’s publisher Gizmodo Media Group, and some of my own habits. Some are obvious, some bizarre, some embarrassing, but they’ve all helped people find their new favorite song, or even their favorite band.

The gardens where ideas grow – Austin Kleon discusses gardening as a metaphor for creativity, referencing artists such as Prince and Brian Eno. I have written about gardening in regards to learning before and the way in which a garden never stops growing, even if you stop caring for it. Michael Caulfield uses the metaphors of the garden and the stream to discuss the web, with the garden being rhizomatic in nature without a centralised structure, whereas the stream brings everything together. Amy Burvall considers the cycles that exist within the garden, suggesting that there is a time to grow and a time to flower. I am interested in investigating the different sorts of ideas and creativity within the garden. I wonder about the propagation of covering other artists? Is this borrowing second-rate? Where does this fit within the cycle? Or is it a reminder that we need dots to make new dots.

Many musicians who use recording technology as a compositional tool refer to their studios as gardens. It’s an interesting contrast to Motown, which was conceived as a factory, or Warhol’s studio, which was actually named The Factory.

I Read One Book 100 Times Over 10 Years… Here Are 100 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned – Ryan Holiday reflects on the impact of Marcus Aurelius’ Mediation in light of his new book, The Daily Stoic. One of the interesting points Holiday discusses is the influence of translation. This comes back to the work of Walter Benjamin and the Task of the Translator. Another idea discussed is the ability to explore a side of life that many assume is only possible through the use of drugs. He explains that this just takes effort. This reminds me of Jack Antonoff’s avoidance of drugs.

All the things that people do hallucinogens to explore, you can also do while sober as a judge. It just takes work.

Whose meeting is this? A simple checklist – Seth Godin provides a set of questions to consider. I wonder how many of the meetings I have been a part of (and led) would actually tick all these, especially the last. Doug Belshaw and Dai Barnes’ discussed the challenge of keeping meaningful notes of meetings in the 100th episode of the Tide Podcast, while Jeff Bezos believes the answer is narrative memos.

There’s one person responsible.

The time allocated matches what’s needed, not what the calendar app says.

Everyone invited is someone who needs to be there, and no key party is missing.

There’s a default step forward if someone doesn’t come.

There’s no better way to move this forward than to have this meeting.

The desired outcome is clearly stated. The organizer has described what would have to happen for the meeting to be cancelled or to stop midway. “This is what I want to happen,” and if there’s a “yes,” we’re done.

All relevant information, including analysis, is available to all in plenty of time to be reviewed in advance.

FOCUS ON … Peter Hutton and Templestowe College

Quote via Peter Hutton ‘An Education Revolution’
Image via “DC Hero Minifigs – Wave 10: Teen Titans” by levork https://flickr.com/photos/levork/4509401065 is licensed under CC BY-SA

Here is a collection of posts, videos and podcasts featuring Peter Hutton and his EdRevolution. It is easy to talk about change, however Templestowe is a school that actually seems to be shaking things up. It is interesting thinking about these ideas alongside the release of ‘Gonski 2.0’:

  • Modern Learners Podcast #37 – Revolutionizing Education Through Student Empowerment – In a school struggling for enrollments, Peter Hutton spoke about how he started the change by asking students what they enjoy. Provided there is one or two electives that students look forward to, they often have a different outlook on the curriculum-required classes. Days at Templestowe are structured around three lots of 70 minute blocks with students choosing six classes. Interestingly, without the ability to self-regulate, disruptive students are not suited to Templestowe. This culture allows the school to hire students to actually run elements of the school. Hutton is not interested in measuring everything, instead he is concerned about happiness. The secret to this change is not rolling out the TC model, but in actively negotiating your own journey.
  • What if students controlled their own learning? – Peter Hutton’s TEDTalk in which he discusses the idea of students designing their own education. This often involves the ‘yes test’: Is there an issue with time or money? Does it negatively impact on someone else? It is organised around a five year learning plan. Hutton encourages students, parents and teachers to ‘take action’ and get involved on school councils or other such spaces.
  • Peter Hutton – In this interview on the Educhange Podcast, Peter Hutton discusses his own experience of education and why he became a teacher. He explains that there are aspects that are similar to tradition schools. Students still study English and Mathematics. However, everything is negotiable, but not everything is permissible. Hutton explains that there is a Section 82 in the Victorian planning outlines that allows for personalised learning plans. Some of the other policies include the ten minute policy and that everyone is equal. Rather than focusing on what the future of jobs might be, Templestowe is interested in confident students who can embrace any change. In regards to ‘success’, they have a 95% satisfaction from parents.
  • Breaking the ruler: Melbourne school lets students choose when to learn, what to study -Jeremy Story Carter provides a profile of some of the transformative work occuring at Templestowe College
  • Drum interview: Education is broken, here’s how we can fix it – Jessica Tapp summarises the key points Peter Hutton made in an interview on ABC’s _The Drum_.
  • ‘We don’t want this to be a dirty little secret’: The school ditching the ATAR – Henrietta Cook and Timna Jacks discuss the move at Templestowe to make ATAR ‘opt-in’ rather than ‘opt-out’. This is an interesting move as it disrupts the ability for people to compare outcomes, therefore changing the conversation.
  • Swinburne University is pioneering a ‘no stress’ route to uni for year 12 students – Tim Dodd reports on the pilot between Templestowe College and Swimburne University to allow students to gain entry without an ATAR.
  • The Victorian State Education System…from the inside out and the outside in – Peter Hutton reflects on his connection with the Victorian Department of Education.
  • An Education Revolution: Templestowe College Principal Peter Hutton – Colin Klupiec and Peter Hutton discuss the rise of Templestowe College as a part of the Learning Capacity podcast. Hutton argues that often we are our own blockers when it comes to change and innovation. In regards to learning, there are only different minds and the challenge then is metacognition. Hutton argues that teachers are leaving because they are disillusioned. The big game changer though is getting principals onboard.

READ WRITE RESPOND #028

So that is April for me, how about you? As always, interested to hear.

Also, feel free to forward this on to others if you found anything of interest or maybe you want to subscribe? Otherwise, archives can be found here.

Read Write Respond Newsletter

Cover image via JustLego101.

Bookmarked Switching up my signals (W. Ian O’Byrne)

This is not easy. This is not normal. This is a bit challenging as I’m forcing myself to redirect the streams that the social networks have made super simple for me (and others) to use over time. This is not easy as general users are conditioned to the sorts of signals, environments, and features that are rolled out over time. What I’m trying to do here will not make sense to most people who I interact with. This will confuse and possibly anger some f my followers. This may also cause many users to unfollow me, or (better yet) the algorithms on the social networks will just filter me out of the discussions.

Ian O’Byrne reflects on the signals that he shares online and his efforts to reclaim them with the creation of his own digital Commonplace Book. I too have gone down this path, exploring the many possibilities of the #IndieWeb. It is not a simple solution, however there is something about engaging in what Clay describes as ‘awkward workflows’. I like how O’Byrne’s post captures some of the wicked questions that this all poses, such as how do we share and which links do we use.

📰 eLearn Update (April 2018)

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  • Google Classroom: Spiral Review on the About Tab – Alice Keeler coded a spreadsheet that allows users to keep adding to a spiral review all school year and it automatically updates the exact same Google Slides. Every hour the Google Slides changes to show a different 5 spiral review questions.
  • Google Classroom: Short Term Goal Setting – Alice Keeler suggests creating a new assignment in Google Classroom titled something like “Short-Term Goal for this week” to monitor goals. Ask students to, in the Private Comments, state their goal for the week along with their actionable plan to reach that goal.
  • Submitting Photos to Google Classroom – Alice Keeler suggests sharing images in Classroom using Google Slides to improve the workflow.
  • Filter Gmail for Google Classroom – Alice Keeler highly recommends NOT turning off notifications from Google Classroom. Instead, manage the email notifications through filters.

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Liked How firms you have never interacted with can target your Facebook by Alex Hern (the Guardian)

Facebook provides me with the ability to opt out of advertising from those companies, just by clicking a cross in the corner. All I need to do is devote some time to clicking a small button 174 times in a row and I am free from those companies – at least until the next 174 decide to upload my information.

What I cannot do is anything with real power. I cannot tell Facebook that the vast majority of these companies cannot possibly have acquired my email address legitimately; I cannot opt out of them all at once, defenestrating advertisers in their masses with a single click; and I certainly cannot request that no company be able to target me simply by uploading an easily guessable address to the site.

Replied to #rawthought: Weed or Wish: Sunday Morning Metaphors (AmusED)

what if what we thought was detrimental was really beneficial?
what if the messy was better than the perfectly manicured?
what if the foreign (or at least outside influence) was better than the domestic?

Amy, this reminds me of your post about balance and seasons. So often we focus our attention of giving student choice and action, without scaffolding to that point.

We cannot just rip the ‘weeds’ out. There must be flowers in their place for the bees. This is not about ignoring the weeds to me, but accepting then for now for the place they serve.

I think that Benjamin Doxtdator captures this in a recent post on instruction in the classroom:

There is a strong and powerful role for direct instruction and using model texts, but this must take place inside a larger liberatory project that aims to undo deficit theories of language use.

It is about the intent and sometimes that is where the wish lays waiting.