20 Tech Tips in the Mathematics Classroom – Teacher Information, Robots and iPad Apps
Desmos – online graphing calculating system www.desmos.com
Desmos provides a range of questions and challenges associated with graphing (see Dan Meyer for more http://blog.mrmeyer.com/)
Graphing Stories – handouts, videos and stories associated with graphs www.graphingstories.com
Which One Doesn’t Belong – find a reason why each one does not belong wodb.ca/index.html
It is not about the answer, but about the discussion. The next step to Which One Doesn’t Belong is getting students to make their own
What Can You Do With That? #WCYDWT https://blog.mrmeyer.com/2010/teaching-wcydwt-introduction/
Visual Patterns http://visualpatterns.org
Between 2 Numbers – If this then what www.between2numbers.com
Three Act Maths by Dan Meyer https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jXSt_CoDzyDFeJimZxnhgwOVsWkTQEsfqouLWNNC6Z4/pub?output=html
101 Questions – pose questions based on a provocation www.101qs.com
Youcubed – a collect of tasks that could be used as starters www.youcubed.org
WolframAlpha – a space to ask computational questions www.wolframalpha.com
My Month of July
LinkedIn recently reminded me that it has been two years in my current position. I was shocked, time has flown. As I touched on recently, it has been a whirlwind of an experience as is the nature I imagine of working within a transformational project. The biggest lesson learnt is that in a lean environment (or at least an attempt at a lean environment) you sometimes get stuck doing what needs to be done, rather than what you may prefer to be doing, which in my case is working with teachers and schools. I am currently working on refining a scale-able implementation process associated with student reporting.
At home, the common cold came back, again. I swear we had overcome it for this season, but no. Also, new term and new song for my daughter’s school. So I think I am up to 20+ listens of Try Everything from Zootopia. Another great growth mindset anthem. Might also say something about the algorithms at play.
I am learning through practice that the easiest way to learn something is to watch and copy somebody else. Scary how quickly our youngest picks everything up. Understanding Mal Lee and Roger Broadie’s point about the young being digitally proficient by the age of three.
I attended DigiCon18. Although I went to some interesting sessions and sparktalks, what was great were the conversations in-between. This included discussing the Ultranet with Rachel Crellin, the pedagogy associated to ongoing reporting with Chris Harte, connected learning with Jenny Ashby, parenting and partnerships with Lucas Johnson, implementing the Digital Technologies curriculum with Darrel Branson, purpose and leadership with Riss Leung and direct instruction with Richard Olsen.
In other areas, I have been listening to Amy Shark, Florence and the Machine, DJ Shadow, The National and Guy Pearce. I started reading Adam Greenfield’s Radical Technologies. I also updated my site, moving back to ZenPress and adding in a new series of header images developed by JustLego101.
In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:
Here then are some of the thoughts that have also left me thinking …
Learning and Teaching
Teaching Game Design with Bill Cohen (TER Podcast): Cameron Malcher interviews Bill Cohen about game-design through play-based learning. Cohen goes beyond the usual coding and computer-aided approaches to focusing on ‘low-tech’ games. This included engaging with board games and outdoor games. This play-based approach focuses on developing clear metalanguage, feedback for mastery and working with an iterative design process. This reminds me in part of Amy Burvall’s notion of ‘rigorous whimsy‘ and BreakoutEDU. Some resources Cohen shared include Boardgame Geek and Lady Blackbird, while in a seperate post, Clare Rafferty shared a list of games associated with History. For a different take on games, in a recent episode of the IRL Podcast, Veronica Belmont and Ashley Carman take a look at gamification in everyday life. Some examples of this include notifications on smartphones, likes and retweets on Twitter or the endorsements on Linkedin.
If there is one thing that I have learnt as a teacher is that nothing leaches out fun more than dropping a layer of education over the top of it – Bill Cohen
Encountering harmful discourses in the classroom: Ian O’Byrne discusses the challenges of engaging in harmful discourses. He provides some ways to responding, as well as a number of ways to be proactive. This touches on what danah boyd describes as the weaponisation of worldviews.
Howard C. Stevenson from Penn’s Graduate School of Education indicates three steps to address these harmful discourses as they enter your classroom.
- Start with you – Process your own feelings, and address your own vulnerabilities before entering the classroom. Develop a support system with your colleagues.
Practice – Classroom reactions usually happen in a split second. Prepare yourself for these instances by role-playing with colleagues in your building, or online with your PLN.
- After an incident – Resist the urge to condemn the action or content. First try to understand the motivation if is disseminated through your classroom or building. Allow the school’s code of conduct to address instances where students actively spread this information. Strongly explain to students that these harmful discourses and the messages being spread about individuals and groups are not accepted. You will not accept the silencing of voices.
- Keep talking – After these events, the best course of action is to keep talking. Difficult discussions will often ensue, but children and adults alike need to be able to process their feelings and reactions. This is an opportunity to shut down and be silent, or engage and promote change.
How well do we ‘face up to’ racism?: Anna Del Conte provides some take-aways from a course on racism. Some of the activities included what racism is, a timeline of diversity in Australia and listening to stories. Another resource I am reminded of is Dan Haesler’s interview with Stan Grant. In part this stemmed from Grant’s speech addressing racism.
Multiculturalism is not an outcome but a process. Racism may not be deliberate BUT anti-racism is always deliberate.
Can Reading Make You Happier?: Ceridewn Dovey takes a look at bibliotherapy and the act of reading as a cure. Some argue that readers are more empathetic, while others suggest that it provides pleasure, whatever the particular outcome maybe, reading has shown to provide many health benefits. As Kin Lane suggests, when in doubt, read a book. Zat Rana suggests that this reading is not about being right or wrong, but rather about being open new ideas and lessons.
So even if you don’t agree that reading fiction makes us treat others better, it is a way of treating ourselves better. Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers. “Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines,” the author Jeanette Winterson has written. “What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination.”
Historic Tale Construction Kit – Bayeux: This site allows users to recreate the Bayeux Tapestry. Clearly this is a great resource for history students, but it is also an interesting approach to storytelling.
Two German students originally wrote the Historic Tale Construction Kit, with Flash. Sadly, their work isn’t available anymore, only remembered. This new application is a tribute, but also an attempt to revive the old medieval meme, with code and availability that won’t get lost.
Webmentions: Enabling Better Communication on the Internet: Chris Aldrich provides an introduction to webmentions. This includes unpacking the specification, the notion of mentions, the idea of kinds and way in which sites are potentially able to connect two-ways. This continues Aldrich’s efforts to document the IndieWeb, which has included a thorough overview of the IndieWeb, the future of feed readers and reimagining academic research. This introduction is different to Aaron Parecki’s guide to sending your first webmentions or breakdown of the oAuth standard.
Breaking down the walls between the internet’s many social silos, Webmentions offer a new level of freedom for web interactions.
Twenty Years of Edtech: Martin Weller looks back at twenty years of EdTech, highlighting the various moments that have stood out across the journey. This brings together many of the pieces that he has written for his 25 years of EdTech series that he has written to celebrate 25 years of ALT. As he points out in his introduction, we are not very good at looking back. This post then offers an opportunity to stop and do so in a structured manner. Another interesting take on history is Ben Francis’ post on the Firefox OS.
What has changed, what remains the same, and what general patterns can be discerned from the past twenty years in the fast-changing field of edtech?
Learning To Code By Writing Code Poems: Murat Kemaldar discusses the connections between coding and poetry. He re-imagines the various rules and constructs in a more human form. This continues a conversation started between Darrel Branson, Tony Richards and Ian Guest on Episode 234 of the Ed Tech Team Podcast about whether everyone should learn poetry and coding. This is also something Royan Lee shares.
18 best practices for working with data in Google Sheets: Ben Collins provides a guide for working with data in Google Sheets. Some of the useful steps that stood out were documenting the steps you take, adding an index column for sorting and referencing, creating named ranges for your datasets and telling the story of one row to check the data. This is all in preparation for his new course on data analysis. Another tip I picked up from Jay Atwood has been to import data, if moving from Excel to Sheets, rather than simply copying and pasting.
This article describes 18 best practices for working with data in Google Sheets, including examples and screenshots to illustrate each concept in action.
Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags: Cory Doctorow provides a commentary on the current state of affairs involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Rather than blame the citizens of the web, he argues that the fault exists with the mechanics in the garage and the corruption that they have engaged with. The question that seems to remain is if this is so and we still want our car fixed, where do we go? Doctorow has also recorded a reading of the article.
It’s fashionable to treat the dysfunctions of social media as the result of the naivete of early technologists, who failed to foresee these outcomes. The truth is that the ability to build Facebook-like services is relatively common. What was rare was the moral recklessness necessary to go through with it.
How the Blog Broke the Web: Amy Hoy reflects on the early days of publishing on the web, where people would handcraft pages and connect them using a contents page. This was superseded by Moveable Type and the chronological blog, subsequently killing off the non-diariest. I was not really engaged in the web back then so it is hard to comment as Jeremey Keith, Duncan Stephen and Kicks Condor have, but it does remind me of the current debates around blogging. I think that all these spaces are forever changing and developing. Sometimes this is based on wholesale changes, but usually people have their own particular reason. Maybe some people will drop off with Gutenberg, but then again sometimes these things have their day.
Movable Type didn’t just kill off blog customization. It (and its competitors) actively killed other forms of web production.
Are We Listening?: Jose Picardo argues that the question about whether we should have more or less technology in schools misses the point. What matters is how it is used. For example, those who argue for more knowledge often fail to put the effort into actually understanding how technology is used in education. This comes back to the importance of why and having a framework to guide you. For a different perspective on technology in the classroom, read David Perry’s thread.
The very teachers who read William and nod vigorously about the need to know stuff before you can understand or do stuff in the context of curriculum are unable to draw parallels between their dismissal of digital technology and their own lack of knowledge about it. Rather than finding virtuosity and pride in learning about how what technology works best and in what context—so as to be able to discern the best tool for particular tasks—we seem happy to eschew whole new toolkits on the dodgy grounds of ignorance and misconception.
Storytelling and Reflection
Throwing Our Own Ideas Under the Bus: Ross Cooper discusses the idea of putting your worst foot forward taken from Adam Grant’s book Originals. This involves trusting the idea at hand and starting with reasons why it might fail. Cooper suggests that this can be useful as it disarms the audience, critique involves effort, helps to build trust and leaves audience with a more favourable assessment. He also looks at this alongside Simon Sinek’s concept of ‘start with why’, highlighting the reason why and the challenges that might be faced. I wonder if the challenge in focusing on the why and why not is about finding balance? This reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s discussion of Generous Orthodoxy.
As an elementary school principal, here’s the approach I’ve been taking with change: “Here’s what we’re doing, here’s why we’re doing it, and here are some of the ways I will support you!” Now I’ll be toying around with the idea of also proactively addressing the elephants in the room. Furthermore, we should allow for teachers and staff to respectfully and honestly discuss these obstacles, as opposed to us trying to sweep them under the rug. After all, flaws will be talked about in one way or another, and critical conversation that gives everyone a voice is preferred to potential venting in the faculty room.
The future will be dockless: could a city really run on ‘floating transport’?: Alex Hern discusses the rise of floating transport, something that I touched on recently with the demise of oBike in Melbourne. Hern captures a number of stories from around the world of hope for efficiency, but also issues associated with shared spaces. I am taken by Hern’s closing remarks concerning reliability over flexibility. This leaves me thinking that sometimes what is required is community and sometimes that involves patience. What is the cost to the public/private transport industry when everyone relies on private personal transport models like Bird or Uber?
Ultimately, floating transport is going to have to learn another lesson that conventional transportation bodies have taken to heart: flexible may be fun, but cities run on reliable.
i am sorry: Pernille Ripe reflects on life as a connected educator. She discusses the stress, anxieties and perceived responsibilities that come with being an educelebrity. Although we often talk about the technicalities associated with being (digitally) literate, what is sometimes overlooked are the social consequences. This is something that Austin Kleon also recently reflected upon.
So it is time for me to step back a bit. To do less work publicly, to share less, to not be so immediately available. To be just Pernille, the person who doesn’t have all of the answers necessarily. That only creates something because she cannot help it. That gives all of her when she is in a public space, but then steps back when she is private.
Facebook’s Push for Facial Recognition Prompts Privacy Alarms: Natasha Singer discusses Facebook’s continual push for facial recognition. She traces some of the history associated with Facebook’s push into this area, including various roadblocks such as GDPR. She also looks at some of the patent applications. This made me wonder how many patents actually come to fruition and how many are a form of indirect marketing? Elsewhere, Doug Levin explains why facial recognition has no place in schools, especially the way Curtin University is using it.
Cameras near checkout counters could capture shoppers’ faces, match them with their social networking profiles and then send purchase confirmation messages to their phones.
The anti-cottonwool schools where kids stare down risk in favour of nature play: This article from the ABC discusses a couple of schools in Western Australia that have reduced the rules on outdoor play. This reminds me of Narissa Leung’s use of old bricks and Adrian Camm’s use of odd material to engage with play.
Mr Smith said whereas students would previously come to the office complaining of injury, they are now too busy to make a fuss. “Students are becoming more resilient and getting on with it.” The school has just three rules — no stacking milk creates, no walking on the large wooden spools and no tying rope to yourself.
The Dangers of Distracted Parenting: Erika Christakis discusses the challenges of parenting in a digital age. This all comes down to distractions and as I have touched on before, this is not always digital. I really like danah boyd’s strategy for dealing with this, that is to say why you are using a device. This openness offers a useful point of reflection. I think that the conclusion to this article says it all though, “put down your damned phone.”
Parents should give themselves permission to back off from the suffocating pressure to be all things to all people. Put your kid in a playpen, already! Ditch that soccer-game appearance if you feel like it. Your kid will be fine. But when you are with your child, put down your damned phone.
FOCUS ON … SPACE
I was recently challenged on the place of space in regards to learning. I recorded a microcast on the topic, but I haven’t had the chance to put all my thoughts together. In the interim, I have collected together a number of posts on the topic. If you have any others to add to the mix, I would love to read them.
- Imagining Different Learning Spaces: Jon Corripo provided his suggestions for redesigning a classroom space which again sparked my imagination.
- Flexible Seating: What’s the Point?: Chris Wejr reflects on his experiences in reviewing flexible learning spaces. This includes the reasons to re-design, as well as a series of thoughts associated with the process of re-imagining.
- Why I Hate Classroom Themes: Emily Fintelman reflects on classroom themes and wonders what impact they are really having on learning. She suggests that our focus should be on how spaces are structured and strategies that can be used to give students more voice.
- Flexible Classrooms: Research Is Scarce, But Promising: What is interesting about this report is that rather than discussing furniture in isolation, it is considered as a part of a wider conversation about learning and environment. The impact of flexible spaces though can be almost incidental at times, as is with the case of Maths. This speaks of agency as much as it does of the chairs in the classroom.
- Adding the Learning Back to Space: A reflection on an outdoor learning space and the potential of technology to increase learning and engagement.
- Benefits of Flexible Learning Spaces #1 Teaching in Teams: Stephen Rowe explains that teachers working in teams is a significant benefit that arises from teaching in an open learning space.
- Designing Learning Spaces – putting the cart before the horse: June Wall and Jonathon Mascorella define learning environments as a set of physical and digital locations, context and cultures in which students learn.
- Learning Space Design Inspiration: Steve Brophy collects together a number of ideas and inspirations associated with learning spaces.
- Beanbags in Space: Matt Esterman suggests that what most teachers want is a more shiny version of what they have, because they are not trained as designers (usually) and are so often hemmed in by the expectations of current reality.
- Inquiry, noticing and the changing seasons… A tribute to the late Frank Ryan: Kath Murdoch reflects on the potential of the environment associated with inquiry.
- Coalescent Spaces: Dave White considers the impact of digital technologies on the creation of coalescent learning spaces.
- Seeing Spaces: Bret Victor reimagines the makerspace built around tinkering and argues that it is in ‘seeing’ that we are able to make this a science.
- Communities, Networks and Connected Learning with Google: Technology enables us to easily develop digital communities and networks inside and outside of the classroom. The reality though is that connected learning is as much about creating spaces for learning and building on that.
READ WRITE RESPOND #031
So that is July for me, how about you? As always, interested to hear.
Cover image via JustLego101.
Even superheros need partnerships now and then
Research says that quality professional learning is situated in context. Partnerships can help support this.
Types of partnerships might include other schools, parents, the wider community, industry, external education services and tertiary institutions
Ways to initiate partnerships: Google it, make a phone call, chat to leadership, contact central office, connect with a PLN and go to social media.
Robert Roe: We all have stories to tell
Robert Roe: We are more involved in education than we always appear, how then may we capture this journey over time?
Libby Downey: sharing her journey to digital portfolios
Libby Downes: It is useful to develop your own permission forms to address the questions of your particular context
Libby Downes: On the diff between free and paid SeeSaw incl activity, rolling over of data and analytics
Sharing the power and importance of being enthusiastic
If you are going to run lunchtime code clubs let it evolve. Set basic standards, such as creating, constructing and being nice.
40 years in 26 minutes
We have always been integrating technology, whether it be codifying data i.e. the alphabet
Weaving machines were programmed with cards
Been improving computer literacy of teachers since 1982!
ACEC conference in 1983 with a session on … artificial intelligence
Back in the 90’s, kids could save shopper dockets to get computers
In 1995 CSF was released
Typing labs came back with computer labs
In the 2000’s we had the Smartbooad war
Now you can buy Commodore64’s again. Are we back at the beginning?
Every time I found something that I did not understand with coding, I thought how would a six year old understand it
The something missing in the coding space is storytelling
We need a more radically diverse group to solve the big problems
Even the biggest problems in the world are tiny problems stacked together
How do you cross the chasm between the easy examples of algorithms to a world of real algorithms
Discussing the way in which YouTube videos are actually being designed by algorithms
True learning is grounded in action, this is particularly challenging when it comes to technology
We can jam 300000 transistors in the tip of a pen, but we do not know how a computer works anymore
While computers are magical, they are not made of magic, they are made of logic
Computers as: content creators, linkers, scenographers and gear gurus
There’s hundreds of computers in every single home
There is a lot of diff kinds of data: behavioral, incidental, demographic, derived, aggregated
Computers are no closer to being human, they just have new ways of processing the data
The greatest thing for students is being a part of the process
What are we good at versus what computers are good at
The next big thing in computer education will be small data and storytelling
The world of technology is full of suitcase words that need to be unpacked
The metaphors that we use to describe the internet are quite important
Technology is built on our humanity
Imagine what being computer literate meant in the age of the combustion engine?
People uses technology
Notes captured with Noterlive
Sometimes you need to just follow the journey and stop worrying about the outcome
Indigenous teachers are the canary in the goldmine measuring the state of indigenous education
Twitter is often where you find your kindred spirits
In giving a voice to IndigenousX https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/series/indigenousx Guardian Australia became the leading indigenous voice in Australian media
In Australia, we did not have beasts of burden to cart around to develop the need for the wheel
IndigenousX stands for indigenous excellence – celebrating the specialised skillsets
There is a long history of associating racism with the humanities, but so much actually stems from science
The failure of indigenous students is a failure of the system
Our science and tech is so much more advanced than what is available in many remote communities
Notes captured with Noterlive
Tetris everlasting, in education we always have things
Discussing Generation Z http://generationz.com.au
Emotional Agility: 1) Emotions ar data not directions 2) emotions are not good or bad – they just are 3) enotions pass 4) courage is fear walking
We need to focus on ‘unGoogleable’ questions
Google Earth School https://earth.nullschool.net and the See Think Wonder protocol http://www.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03c_Core_routines/SeeThinkWonder/SeeThinkWonder_Routine.html
Learning should be about the whole of life, not just work
We need depth in sikos, but also connections across
Like normal growth, learning growth is not linear
We can’t literally see ‘learning’ rather it is something that happens in the brain. Instead it is about knowledge, mindsets, skillsets and toolsets
Notes captured with Noterlive
Starting off proceedings with the announcement that the national conference is coming in 2020.
There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ … There is always a deeper context at play
The question that drives many learners is: “what opportunities will you provide me today?”
With technology, my class had to change as I had to change. Change is personal.
Be the teacher you needed when you were younger?
Just because the test is digital, it does not mean that it is any different
Remembering the time before tablets when we fought over the clickers
What is important is about thinking about what resources you have and how you can use them
Do we give students the opportunity to truly tell their stories? What does it mean to connect as whole people?
Be an advocate for all
Why does the ‘learning’ begin when the homework ends?
How can school teach responsibility, rather than block every digital opportunity?
Notes captured with Noterlive
My Month of June
I moved departments and subsequently desks. It is interesting how the space you work can influence you. It has provided me a totally different perspective on the project, as well as feel more at home as I was the only one in my old team bridging the gap between the learning, teaching and the central management system. In my new team everyone is involved in integrating with the system, it is therefore helpful in developing a more systemic view.
In regards to the family, our youngest continues to excel with swimming. It seems like the centre questions her age every second week, assuming that she is ready to move up. In part this is confidence, as well as having an older influence around.
The oldest one has turned into a walking karaoke machine, pumping out song after song. She has also continued to develop her own songs on keyboard, mashing up her practice tunes with her own hook lines. Only three chords away from being a star!
Personally, I have been reading James Bridle’s new book New Dark Age. I have also been listening to the latest offerings from Father John Misty, The Presets, Soulwax and Snow Patrol, as well as way too much Baby Shark.
In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:
- Being Analogue: Often we talk about ‘being digital’ but what does this imply in reverse? What might it mean in today’s day and age to be analogue?
Is Sharing Caring? – A Reflection on Comments and Social Media: What does it mean to be caring in online spaces and how is this related to sharing?
Technology, Transformation and a Complex System: A reflection on changing positions within a complex system.
Read Write Interview – Telling the Story of My Domain: Alan Levine recently put out a request for stories about domains as a part of the Ontario Extend project.
Here then are some of the thoughts that have also left me thinking …
Learning and Teaching
Digital Portfolios and Content: Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano unpacks a number of questions and considerations associated with digital portfolios. This includes being open to authentic audiences, reimagining the idea of branding, creating a consistent habit and ethically using content. In a separate post, Diane Kashin reflects upon the interpretative nature of documentation. It can be so easy to discuss the use of technology to support the process, however this is often to no avail without pedagogy and a purpose.
Don’t create content for content sake. The content of your digital portfolio needs to be seen as an attempt in learning, evidence of learning, the process of learning, and/or growth in learning.
Lessons from the Screenplay: In this YouTube channel, Michael Tucker breaks down the art of film and scriptwriting. A useful resource for exploring various techniques associated with storytelling. Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Amazon also provide some other useful resources associated with films and storytelling.
With Lessons from the Screenplay, I make videos that analyse movie scripts to examine exactly how and why they are so good at telling their stories. Part educational series and part love letter to awesome films, Lessons from the Screenplay aims to be a fun way to learn more about your favourite films and help us all become better storytellers.
Using Picture Books With Older Students – A How-to Guide: Pernille Ripp provides a detailed guide to using picture books in any classroom. This includes choosing the right picture book, how to display them, their place in supporting fluency and how they can be used as introductory texts. This is all a part of knowing yourself as a reader. I too have used picture books in the past to support teaching comprehension.
Which book I choose to share depends on the lesson. I treat it much like a short story in what I want students to get out of it so it has to suit the very purpose we are trying to understand. I introduce the concept by sharing a story and then I ask my students to come as close as they can to the rocking chair in our corner. Once settled, whether on the floor, on balls or on chairs, I read it aloud. We stop and talk throughout as needed but not on every page, it should not take more than 10 minutes at most to get through an average size picture book. If it is a brand new concept I may just have students listen, while other times they might engage in a turn-and-talk. I have an easel right next to me and at times we write our thoughts on that. Sometimes we make an anchor chart, it really just depends on the purpose of the lesson. Often a picture book is used as one type of media on a topic and we can then branch into excerpts from text, video, or audio that relates to the topic.
Effort and Achievement Charts: Emily Fintelmen reflects on the co-construction of charts and culture in the classroom. This approach offers an opportunity to unpack various myths, such as whether a silent classroom constitutes a good classroom. Maria Popova provides a lengthier introduction to the concept of growth mindset, while I have written about effort and encouragement in the past.
Once we have determined what effort looks like, we map out what kind of achievement we would expect to get out of it using real scenarios.
Learning in and with Nature: The Pedagogy of Place: Diane Kashin discusses her interest in nature as a space to learn and play. She shares the story of collecting beach glass on the shores of Lake Huron. This reminds me of Alan Levine’s reflection on ‘106‘ and Amy Burvall’s focus on looking down. Kashin’s story of collecting that which was once rubbish reminds me of Shaun Tan’s picture book The Lost Thing. Kath Murdoch also shares a series of ideas and activities for noticing nature.
From the beach as place to the forest as place, what is important is the meaning making. Cumming and Nash (2015) discovered that not only do children develop a sense of place from their experiences learning in the forest, they also form an emotional attachment to place that contributes to place meaning. Place meaning can help to explain why people may be drawn to particular places. Place meaning helps to support the development of place identity, and to promote a sense of belonging. I am grateful for the opportunity this summer to experience the beach and the forest. It is my hope that children will be given the gifts of these places too.
Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control?: In an extract from James Bridle’s new book New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future, he discusses the evolution of the machine. This includes the place of the cloud, algorithmic interactions within the stock marker, the corruption of the internet of things and incomprehensibility of machine learning. It is one of a few posts from Bridle going around at the moment, including a reflection on technology whistleblowers and YouTube’s response to last years exposé. Some of these ideas remind me of some of the concerns raised in Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots and Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction.
Our technologies are extensions of ourselves, codified in machines and infrastructures, in frameworks of knowledge and action. Computers are not here to give us all the answers, but to allow us to put new questions, in new ways, to the universe.
GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button: Paul Ford unpacks Microsoft’s purchase of Github. This includes an account of the history of both companies. Dave Winer shares a number of points to consider associated with the acquisition. Louis-Philippe Véronneau and Doug Belshaw suggest that it might be a good opportunity to move to other platforms, such as GitLab. I wonder what this might mean for Github in education? It is interesting to reread Ben Halpern’s predictions for Github from a few years ago. He thought it would be Google or Facebook, wrong. For those new to GitHub, read Jon Udell’s post from a few years ago.
GitHub represents a big Undo button for Microsoft, too. For many years, Microsoft officially hated open source software. The company was Steve Ballmer turning bright colors, sweating through his shirt, and screaming like a Visigoth. But after many years of ritual humiliation in the realms of search, mapping, and especially mobile, Microsoft apparently accepted that the 1990s were over. In came Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, who not only likes poetry and has a kind of Obama-esque air of imperturbable capability, but who also has the luxury of reclining Smaug-like atop the MSFT cash hoard and buying such things as LinkedIn Corp. Microsoft knows it’s burned a lot of villages with its hot, hot breath, which leads to veiled apologies in press releases. “I’m not asking for your trust,” wrote Nat Friedman, the new CEO of GitHub who’s an open source leader and Microsoft developer, on a GitHub-hosted web page when the deal was announced, “but I’m committed to earning it.”
How (and Why) Ed-Tech Companies Are Tracking Students’ Feelings: Benjamin Herold takes a dive into the rise of edtech to measure the ‘whole’ student, with a particular focus on wellbeing. Something that Martin E. P. Seligman has discussed about in regards to Facebook. Having recently been a part of demonstration of SEQTA, I understand Ben Williamson’s point that this “could have real consequences.” The concern is that not all consequences are good. Will Richardson shares his concern that we have forgotten about learning and the actual lives of the students. Providing his own take on the matter, Bernard Bull has started a seven-part series looking at the impact of AI on education, while Neil Selwyn asks the question, “who does the automated system tell the teacher to help first – the struggling girl who rarely attends school and is predicted to fail, or a high-flying ‘top of the class’ boy?” Selwyn also explains why teachers will never be replaced.
For years, there’s been a movement to personalize student learning based on each child’s academic strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Now, some experts believe such efforts shouldn’t be limited to determining how well individual kids spell or subtract. To be effective, the thinking goes, schools also need to know when students are distracted, whether they’re willing to embrace new challenges, and if they can control their impulses and empathize with the emotions of those around them. To describe this constellation of traits and abilities, education experts use a host of often-overlapping terms, such as social-emotional skills, non-cognitive abilities, character traits, and executive functions.
Hacking the ISTE18 Smart Badge: Doug Levin reflects on the introduction of ‘smart badges’ at ISTE. Really just a Bluetooth tracking device that then allowed vendors (and anyone for that matter) to collect data on attendees. Levin hacked a badge to unpack their use. He explains that with little effort they could be used by anybody to track somebody. Audrey Watters suggests that, “ISTE has helped here to normalize surveillance as part of the ed-tech experience. She suggests that it is only time that this results in abuse. Gary Stager concern is the “denaturing of educational computing’s powerful potential.” Mike Crowley wonders why in a post-GDPR world attendees are not asked for consent, while David Golumbia wonders if we really know what personal data is? If this is the future, then maybe Levin’s ‘must-have’ guide will be an important read for everyone.
There are three points about the risks of what ISTE deployed at their conference to know: (1) the ‘smart badge’ is a really effective locator beacon, transmitting signals that are trivial to intercept and read, (2) you can’t turn it off, and (3) most people I spoke to had no idea how it worked. (I freaked out more than a few people by telling them what their badge number was by reading it from my phone. Most of those incidents ended up with ‘smart badges’ being removed and destroyed.)
How to Fight Amazon: Robinson Meyer unpacks the story of Lina Khan and her investigation into Amazon and the antitrust movement. This stems from a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” Khan wrote in the Yale Law Review. Although Meyer focuses on Amazon, this has ramifications for all the platform monopolies. It is also increasingly having an influence on education. Mike Caulfield puts forward another response, arguing that rather than worrying about the Walmarts and Amazons, we should use the money saved to fund an organisation that supports your aims.
When a company has such power, Khan believes, it will almost inevitably wield that power far and wide, distorting not just the market itself, but the whole of American life. With sufficient power, companies can commission studies, rewrite regulations, bulldoze neighborhoods, and impoverish education and welfare systems by securing billions in sweetheart tax cuts. When a company comes to monopolize a market—when it grows so big that it can threaten other industries just by entering them—it ceases to be merely a company. It becomes an institution so powerful that it can rule over people like a government.
Storytelling and Reflection
Your ABC: Value, Investment and Return for the Community: In response to the recent call to sell the ABC, Michelle Guthrie presents a speech explaining the value of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in today’s world. I must be honest, I don’t listen to ABC radio as much as I used to, however I follow a number of podcasts, such as RN Future Tense, and often turn to their website as a first port of call for news. In a time when there is a lot of discussion about the ownership of core infrastructure, it seems strange to sell the ABC. I wonder if this is a reflection of the changes to the media landscape that my nostalgia is overlooking?
What price do you put on public trust in an independent, commercial-free news organisation at a time of fragmentation and disruption? As the Prime Minister himself noted at the Liberal Party council meeting, it is difficult to establish the facts in a disputed media landscape full of echo chambers and “fake news” outlets.
Are You Blithely Unaware of How Educational Research Impacts You?: Peter DeWitt reflects on the place of research within education. He makes a comparison with the Devil Wears Prada and the way we assume fashion changes and trends. I find this interesting as both fashion and research are often outside of the reach people and pedagogues. This is epitomised by the story of Aaron Swartz who died campaigning against research hidden by paywalls. Is it possible for all educators to feasibly have access to research or is this another example of have’s or have not’s?
There are teachers and leaders who believe that researchers have little to do with their classroom practice, but the reality is that what researchers do has a direct effect on everything that happens in the classroom. We may think that we work in silent protest to research but the reality is that it all trickles down into our little casual corner called our classrooms and schools. And we should stop being blithely unaware of it all.
How Informal Learning Gets Misunderstood (And Misinterpreted): David Price responds to the criticism that creativity is dependant on a cache of knowledge. Referring to his experiences with Musical Futures, Price explains that it is creativity and passion which lead to an interest in knowledge and theory, not vice versa. Something he also discusses in his book Open. This reminds me of a post from Amy Burvall who also discusses the importance of having dots to construct ideas. Interestingly, Brian Eno suggests that such ‘dots’ can grow out of shit. Reflecting on the growing trend to ban devices, Mal Lee and Roger Broadie suggest that banning will have no impact on students digital learning and will instead have a detrimental effect on agency within schools.
The inconvenient truth is that students don’t need ‘experts’ the way they used to. Knowledge is ubiquitous. Any teacher that thinks that they don’t need to change as a result of this truth is doing their students a disservice. Make no mistake: the real learning revolution has already happened, it just doesn’t involve those of us who teach. Because they real revolution is in the phenomenal growth in informal and social learning — as practised by the Beatles and, now, all of us.
Team Human: Don’t have to look like a refugee: Douglas Rushkoff reflects on the current crisis involving children been taken off their parents. He suggests that it is less about politics (or the Bible), and more about propaganda with the creation of dehumanising images of children in cages. Rushkoff’s answer is to focus on the intimacy of the sounds. Bill Fitzgerald wonders how much of this is spoken about at events such as ISTE? It can be easy to think, ‘that is America’, but Australia is no better. Whether it be the stolen generation or detention centres, Australia has had its own examples of abuse.
Forget the reality — that Mexicans are actually emigrating from the US back to Mexico: there’s a net decrease. That more immigrants come from China and India than the south. The only way to understand the Trump administration’s proposed wall is as a safety play for global warming. Instead of admitting there’s an environmental crisis underway and reducing carbon emissions, just accept the inevitable climate crisis, and barricade the nation from the inevitable flow of refugees from the south. Whatever we’re doing now is simply priming the American public for the inhumanity to come.
The 12-month turnaround: How the dumpers drove oBike out of town: I remember when I first saw an oBike in action, a guy rolled up to a train station and dumped it near the on ramp. In this article from The Age, Simone Fox Koob reflects on their rise and fall in Melbourne. The dockless bike share scheme is managed by a mobile app. After concerns were raised around Uber, I was sceptical of the data collected by the company. I feel the disruption may have gone too far and caused the creative revolt. It will be interesting to see how competitors respond and what – if any – changes they make.
FOCUS ON … Why Domains
Alan Levine put out a call for reflections on ‘why domains’. This touches on many of the ideas associated with Domain of One’s Own and the #IndieWeb. Although Levine has had a go at collecting together the various responses, I decided to create a list of my own.
- Interviewing CogDogBlog.com: Alan Levine provides the back story to ‘cog’ (interest in bikes), ‘dog’ (interest in dogs). He also unpacks the numerous hallways and secret chambers that make up CogDogBlog.
The Story of My Domain: Chris Aldrich explains the meaning behind ‘BoffoSocko’ and the ways he uses his site as a commonplace book. He also shares his belief in the #IndieWeb and the ability for everyone to self-publish.
Interviewing my Digital Domains: Ian O’Byrne shares his interest and focus on documenting his learning openly online. This exercise has evolved through many iterations. Associated with this, Chris Aldrich wrote a post build around the use of Hypothesis to capture and curate highlights and marginalia. A post which Ian annotated in response.
Interviewing My Domain: Tom Woodward provides the stories and choices associated with his domains. He suggests that the biggest challenge with maintaining your own domain is sustaining it over time.
Why Domain: John Stewart discusses the association between domains and being found on the web. Although you can write a book or publish an article, a domain allows us to be found on the web.
Interviewing Your Domain for @ontarioextend: Todd Conaway considers the power publishing to the web as a way of engaging with authentic audiences. He also shares his journey from Dreamweaver to WordPress.
Interviewing my Domain: Colin Madland shares the freedom and flexibility associated with having a domain. What comes through with Colin’s reflections is the crossover between purpose and process.
Interviewing my Domain: Sandy Brown Jensen shares her domain journey associated with DS106. For Sandy, a domain offers a way to talk back to the world
A Kingdom of One’s Own?: John Johnston discusses his journey AOL to his own site. This has come to include his blogs, various web experiments and custom shortcuts to other sites.
We’re All Richer – A #WhyDomain Post: Terry Greene argues that we are all richer in having each other. Associated with this, he suggests that it can be good to have a purpose, such as DS106 or Ontario Extend, to stay active.
“Why Domains” Responses For The Folks Of Ontario Extend: Tim Clarke explains that the motivation for his domain is to make it, host it, know how it works and how to build it. This subsequently allows for a kind of info-environmentalism.
READ WRITE RESPOND #030
So that is June for me, how about you? As always, interested to hear.
Cover image via JustLego101.
In some notes on the topic of empathy and belonging, Paterson discusses the way in which the focus is on celebrating the strengths, rather than focusing too much on deficits:
At a time of increased conformity and standardisation in education, I like to offer the Reggio Emilia approach as a different path of possibility. One of Reggio’s key aims is to look at what children can do, rather than what they can’t. In Reggio Emilia schools, children with disabilities receive first priority and full mainstreaming under Italian law. Instead of being labelled “children with special needs” they are labelled “children with special rights.” Every child is seen in terms of the resources and potential they bring, rather than what’s missing.
- Introducing Google Maps Platform – Google are simplifying their18 individual APIs into three core products—Maps, Routes and Places, to make it easier for develops to find, explore and add new features to your apps and sites.
- Introducing Google AI – Google will reorganise their focus on research to focus on AI. These channels will continue to showcase the breadth of Google research, innovation and publications, in addition to a lot more new and exciting content to come.
- The State of the Web at Google I/O 2018 – Malte Ubl and Ben Galbraith catalog some of our recent efforts to help the web continue to thrive, including Service Worker and AMP.
- SUBJECT: Write emails faster with Smart Compose in Gmail – From your greeting to your closing (and common phrases in between), Smart Compose suggests complete sentences in your emails so that you can draft them with ease. Because it operates in the background, you can write an email like you normally would, and Smart Compose will offer suggestions as you type. When you see a suggestion that you like, click the “tab” button to use it.
- Google Lens: real-time answers to questions about the world around you – Google announced that Lens will now be available directly in the camera app on supported devices from LGE, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, HMD/Nokia, Transsion, TCL, OnePlus, BQ, Asus, and of course the Google Pixel.
- The new Google News: AI meets human intelligence – Google are rolling out the new Google News, which uses artificial intelligence to surface the best journalism ‘for you’ froim around the world.
- Chromebooks are ready for your next coding project – Google are making it possible for users to code on Chromebooks by running Linux inside a virtual machine.
- Work offline in the new Gmail – People using the new Gmail in a Chrome browser (v61 or higher) can now search, write, delete, and archive up to 90 days of messages, even when they’re offline.
- Google I/O 2018: Solving problems with AI for everyone – Sundar Pichai discusses the power and potential of AI.
- Now students can create their own VR tours – Tour Creator enables students, teachers, and anyone with a story to tell, to make a VR tour using imagery from Google Street View or their own 360 photos, as well as publish them to Poly, Google’s library of 3D content.
- Define rules to handle Gmail confidential mode messages – As a G Suite admin, you can define rules to handle confidential mode messages sent from consumer users to G Suite users in your domain. Confidential mode is currently unavailable for G Suite.
- 6 ways Quizzes in Google Forms are getting smarter – Google has released six new features based on valuable feedback from teachers and designed to help educators continue using Quizzes in Google Forms in creative ways. A lot of this revolves around the use of AI.
- 100 things we announced at I/O ‘18 – Google provide an extensive summary of all the announcements assocaited with I/O 18.
- Our preparations for Europe’s new data protection law – Google discuss the new GDPR laws.
- Export all your G Suite data in one step – In line with GDPR requirements, Google are introducing data export for admins, a new feature to make it even easier to export and download a copy of an organisations data securely.
- Automatic Photography with Google Clips – Google demonstrate how they combine the objective, semantic content of photographs with subjective human preferences to build the AI behind Google Clips.
- Gmail will now remind you to respond – The new Gmail will now “nudge” users to reply to emails they may have missed and to follow up on emails for which they haven’t received a response.
- Gmail will now remind you to respond – The new Gmail will now “nudge” users to reply to emails they may have missed and to follow up on emails for which they haven’t received a response.
- .app is now open for general registration – Google announced the newest top-level domain (TLD) from Google Registry.
- It’s spring cleaning time for Blogger – In preparation for some coming updates, Google are making some changes to Blogger, including more flexibility in sharing with Google+, the removal of the ‘Next Blog’ button and removal of third party gadgets.
- Making Admin Quarantine easier, quicker, and safer – In response to feedback, Google are making it easier to see why emails have been quarantined directly in the Admin Quarantine interface. This information will make it quicker to review emails and easier to identify the right action.
- Introducing YouTube Premium – YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium and will include the addition of YouTube Music, which allows for the features associated with YouTube Red in a standalone music app.
- Evolving Chrome’s security indicators – Since Google will soon start marking all HTTP pages as “not secure”, they will take step further towards removing Chrome’s positive security indicators so that the default unmarked state is secure.
- YouTube Music, a new music streaming service, is coming soon to Australia. – YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else – all simply organised and personalised. For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place.
- White color brushes and Bluetooth conferencing with the latest Jamboard release – Google have continued to add new features to Jamboard including white colour brushes and bluetooth connectivity.
- Google Photos now has a Favorites feature – Chris Welch reports on the addition of a ‘favourite’ function within Google Photos.
- Self-diagnose ICS-related issues with improved Google Calendar audit logs – To help better investigate situations when events are changed, Google have added new information to the audit logs associated with Calendar.
- Expanding Braille support in Google Sheets – As part of Google’s ongoing effort to make their products more accessible, they are expanding support for Sheets on Windows computers via the latest versions of the JAWS and NVDA screen readers.
- Admin preview for Google Sites automatic conversion tool – Google is introducing a tool that makes it fast and easy to move a site created in classic Sites to the new Google Sites interface. This will be available to admins from May 22nd, and will start to become available to end users who own eligible sites on June 19th.
- See what the world is searching for with the updated Google Trends – Gavri Smith discusses some of the changes to the revamped Trends, including the addition of severl Google News Initiatives.
- More tools for homeschoolers – Google will start allowing G Suite for Education applications from homeschool co-ops
- Updates to Hangouts Meet home screen and screensaver on in-room displays – Google have added some new features to the Hangouts Meet TV display, such as a more informative home screen, screensaver, and custom wallpapers, to quickly orient users.
- Changes to embedded content on classic Google Sites – Google are upgrading how HTML boxes work on classic Sites. This is designed to improve performance and security, but may also change the look and feel of some embedded elements.
- Migrating all G Suite domains from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Meet – Google are enabling Hangouts Meet for all G Suite domains that are automatically upgrading on Google’s recommended schedule.
- Copy a site in the new Google Sites – Google are making it possible to copy a site created in the new Google Sites.
- Migrating all G Suite domains from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Meet – Google are progressively moving GSuite uses away from class Hangouts to Hangouts Meet.
- Introducing Machine Learning Practica – Google are making their interactive course, Learn with Google AI, available for the public.
- Built-in protections and controls for Team Drives – Google have added the ability for users* to modify the settings for any Team Drive to specify whether the files in that Team Drive can be: Shared with users who are not in their domain; Shared with users who are not members of the Team Drive or Downloaded, copied; or printed by commenters and viewers.
- Kaizena Now Offers Rubrics to Go With Voice Comments on Google Docs – Rubrics are now available in Kaizena! While skills let you rate students on specific skills that they demonstrate on their work, rubrics allow you to group sets of skills
- Making it even easier to join meetings from more third-party clients – With this launch, people using Google Calendar clients that don’t display meeting instructions natively (e.g., Samsung S Planner) no longer need to go to Google Calendar on the web to join their meetings.
- Creating AR Experiences for I/O: Our Process – Google discuss a number of additions to AI associated with I/O, including Just a Line app and multiplayer Light Board game.
- Include a message when changing meeting details in Google Calendar – Going forward, when you change or delete an existing meeting, you’ll see a dialog box where you can enter a message for other guests of the meeting.
- Bring abstract concepts to life with AR expeditions – Google announce the release of Expeditions AR and the ability to create your own expeditions.
- New insights in Google Docs Activity dashboard – In just a few clicks, users can pick recipients, customize, and send a follow-up email with the link to the file
- Introducing the Data Studio Community Connector Codelab – Community Connectors for Data Studio let you build connectors to any internet-accessible data source using Google Apps Script.
- 7 Google Drive Tips – Alice Keeler summarises a range of tips and tricks with Google Drive.
- A Clearer Google Docs Revision History View – Tom Woodward shares a screencast documenting how to use named versions to organise revision history.
- SketchUp on Chromebooks! – Jake Miller provides a short introduction to Sketchup and the news that it is now available via the web.
- The “Just Add Wikipedia In the Omnibar” Trick – Mike Caulfield explains how to add Wikipedia to the omnibar to support fact-checking.
- Google and the Rise of the Digital Well-Being – Arielle Pardes argues that Google says “digital wellness” is now part of the company’s ethos, but not once during the Google I/O keynote did anyone mention “privacy.”
- Chromebooks as Tools for Creativity – In this EdTechTeam webinar, Chris Moore, Austin Houp and Amanda Taylor share the ways in which they engage with creativity using Chromebooks.
- Russia-linked Facebook Ads Targeted a Sketchy Chrome Extension at Teen Girls – Issie Lapowsky discusses the use of a Chrome Extension to collect data and send out messages through Facebook.
- Google’s Big AI Advance Is… Script Theory? – Mike Caulfield explains that after years of sucking up all our data Google’s big AI advance is… Script Theory. Which requires none of this.
- Google’s ‘deceitful’ AI assistant to identify itself as a robot during calls – Alex Hern reports that Google’s AI assistant will identify itself as a robot when calling up businesses on behalf of human users following accusations that the technology was deceitful and unethical.
- Side-stepping Google – Dave Winer shares his idea of a route-around for accessing HTTP sets in Chrome.
- (Auto)complete fail: how search suggestions keep catching Google out – With the latest report outlining how Google are inadvertently comprimising the identify of rape victims, Alex Hern documents some of the other incidents over time where search has gone wrong.
- Five Options for Creating Animated Videos on Your Chromebook – Richard Byrne details five options for animations on the Chromebook, including Toontastic, Powtoon and MySimpleShow.
- The Guardian view on digitising culture: make manuscripts more illuminating – The Guardian reports that there are now tens of thousands of once unique documents which have been digitised and placed online for anyone to access all around the world, and this is a vast, democratising wonder.
- More Google Apps Script Coding – Alice Keeler provides a guide to creating a Google Apps Script that works with Docs.
- A Quick Google Docs Formatting Tip – Richard Byrne provides a short tutorial on the ‘clear formatting’ function in Docs that is often overlooked by many users.
- Hyperdocs Literacy Task Boards and Flipgrid Reading Circles – Laura Dennis shares with Vicki Davis the way in which she uses Hyperdocs to support literacy by providing students with a range of options, therefore allowing for more differentiation.
- 4 Tricks For When You Copy and Paste Off the Internet – Alice Keeler shares some tricks when copying content from the web, such as CTRL+SHIFT+V to paste without formatting or using format painter to copy particular formatting.
- CheckMark Now Works in Google Slides! – Chris Craft announces the addition of the CheckMark add-on to Google Slides.
- Slides for Interactive Assessment – Justin Brickbichler shows how to use Slides to quickly create a set of test cards for students to use to prepare for testing.
- Use These Two Google Slides Add-ons to Create Audio Slideshows – Richard Byrne provides a simple workflow for using the Audio Player for Slides Add-on to create presentations containing audio using Google Slides.
- Google Slides: Same Slides, Multiple Classes – Alice Keeler suggests using ‘Named Versions’ to use slides across multiple classes and days.
- Google Slides: Frayer Model – Alice Keeler shares a template for creating a Frayer Model with a range of multi-media objects.
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Google Slides – Emma Cottier shares a range of tips and tricks associated with creating clear presentations.
- How to Embed Your Slideshows Into Your Blog – Richard Byrne explains how to embed presentations within a blog.
- Kasey Bell’s 8 Great Ways to use Google Slides – Kasey Bell shares a number of tips and add-ons assocaited with Slides on Vicki Davis’ podcast..
- Beyond Presentations: Customize Google Slides to any Dimension – Andy Losik says that customizing slide size is just another way a lot of creativity can be fostered through Google Slides.
- 25 Things You Didn’t Know Google Slides Could Do – Kasey Bell shares some tricks that help you create interactive learning experiences, create images and eBooks, insert audio, charts, and diagrams, as well as, easy stop motion animation.
- Google Forms: Subscribe to Changes – Alice Keeler explains how to subscribe to new responses to forms, rather than having to check all of the time.
- Google Forms: Creating a Branching Quiz – Alice Keeler provides a guide for creating branching quizzes (and forms)
- If Google Forms Can Google It… It’s Obsolete – Alice Keeler reflects on the new updates to Google Forms and uses this to think about the way we use technology.
- 7 Google Forms Hacks Teachers Need to Know – Shawn Beard provides a guide to seven aspects to Google Forms that everyone should know, including the ability to limit responses or extend responses using add-ons.
- A Complete Video Guide to Google Forms – Alice Keeler provides a range of short tutorials for using Google Forms.
- Try These Google Forms Options to Organize Responses – Richard Byrne documents a number of add-ons and options to organise Google Forms.
- What the world’s richest man can teach us about averages – Ben Collins explains how to generate mode, mean and median with Google Sheets.
- More Google Apps Script Coding – Alice Keeler provides a guide to creating a Google Apps Script that works with Docs.
- Google Sheets: Add Page Breaks – Alice Keeler demonstrates how you can custom set your page breaks.
- How to create and interpret a Scatterplot in Google Sheets – Ben Collins takes a look at scatterplots, the data they use and ways in which this can be interpreted.
- GDPR compliance in Google Apps Script and G Suite Add-ons: Should you be concerned? – Martin Hawksey and Steven Webster unpack the implications of GDPR on Google Apps Script.
- GDPR compliance in Google Apps Script and G Suite Add-ons: Your add-on uses personal data – 12 steps to take now – Martin Hawksey and Steven Webster provide a number of steps to take around the use of Google Apps Script.
- G Suite Pro Tips: how to sync one spreadsheet to another in Google Sheets – Joanna Smith demonstrates how with Sheets users are able to combine data into one spreadsheet to create a single source of truth.
- How to Automate Google Sheets With Macros—No Coding Required – Matthew Guay demonstrates how to make a macro in Sheets and explains how it can be used as a way of creating custom shortcuts.
- Google Sheets: Fill Down Square – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to use the fill down square in Google Sheets to copy and paste faster.
- How to Place Videos Side-by-Side in a Google Sites Page – Richard Byrne provides a short tutoral demonstrating how to resize videos in order to place them side-by-side in Google Sites.
- How to Include a Flickr Slideshow in Google Sites – Richard Byrne explains how to embed a Flickr album in Google Sites.
- Google Classroom: Control 1 Return to Gmail – Alice Keeler shares her workflow in regards to managing Classroom and notifications.
- Google Classroom: Archive Your Class For the Summer – Alice Keeler shares some tips for archiving old classrooms and subsequently reviewing the content for the new year.
- Google’s Quickdraw – More Cultural Dominance in Machine Learning (a kind of AI) – Maha Bali shares some of the cultural biases built into the AI assocaited with Quickdraw.
- Insane, shocking, outrageous: Developers react to changes in Google Maps API – Ishveena Singh discusses changes to Google Maps APIs, including pay-as-you-go and the requirement of a valid key to use them.
- A Google Maps and Earth Activity for Art Classes – Richard Byrne demonstrates the potential for Google Earth to support learners in developing a deeper understanding of the context associated with art by mapping where a piece is housed, where it was created, where the artist lived, and the places that inspired the artist.
- How to Add Points of Interest to Virtual Reality Tours in Google’s Tour Creator – Richard Byrne provides a tutorial that shows you how to include featured points of interest within each scene in your tour.
- 360 View of You: A Global Collaboration Project – Edward Dougherty discusses 360 View of You, a global collaboration project designed for students and teachers to share a snapshot of what life is like for them at their school.
- Using G Suite for Education to Capture the Whole Learner – Michael Mohammed shares the use of Drive, Slides and Keep to create a student portfolio.
- Practical Pointers for YouTube – Tony Vincent has curated a number of pointers to support all aspects of YouTube.
- The Edublogger’s Guide To Global Collaboration – Edublogs have created a new guide for breaking down different entry points for connected classrooms with lots of tips and ideas
- Three Ways to Keep Track of Students’ Blog Entries – Richard Byrne provides three strategies for keeping track of student blogs.
- Google’s Got Our Kids – Joanne Petr explores Google’s entry into education through GSuite and advergames, such as Interland, arguing that by starting early they have a grip on the future.
- I’m excited to outsource every difficult conversation to my Google Assistant – Casey Johnston provides some other uses for Google Duplex, such as “Tell my landlord I’ll send the rent uhhh next week” or “Break up with my boyfriend”
- Google Certified Educator Level 2 Challenge Tasks – Kasey Bell provides a number of activities to prepare for the Google certification program.
- Welcome to the Google Extended Universe – Paris Martineau reports on Google’s host of new plans and products, most of which appear to be designed to work in tandem, silently sharing your data, habits, and preferences from one app to another.
- Did Google Duplex just pass the Turing Test? – Lance Ulanoff explains that eventually, we’ll have our Duplex voices call each other, handling pleasantries and making plans, which Google Assistant can then drop in our Google Calendar.
- Google’s AI sounds like a human on the phone — should we be worried? – James Vincent suggests we need to have a conversation about all this, before the robots start doing the talking for us.
- Ok Google, What Does it All Mean: A no-bullshit guide to Google I/O 2018 – The team from The Outline make sense of the Google I/O.
- Google sells the future, powered by your personal data – Ben Popken discusses the data that Google collects and reflects on what changes might be brought about by GDPR.
- Should our machines sound human? – Jason Kottke collects together a number of perspectives on Google’s new AI called Duplex, which allows Assistant to make calls and book appointments for you.
- A dozen Google employees quit over military drone project – Ron Amadeo reports on the controversial program, called “Project Maven,” that sees Google applying its usual machine-learning and image-recognition expertise to millions of hours of drone footage collected by the military.
- What Google isn’t telling us about its AI demo – … discusses two point in response to Duplex. was it staged and is it secure?
- 10 Essential G Suite Skills – Alice Keeler provides an update to the basics associated with GSuite, including the new look and feel.
- Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code Of Conduct – Kate Conger reports that Google has removed the phrase “don’t be evil” from the core part of its code of conduct.
- Putting the theory of big data into practice – on a massive scale! – Future Tense speak with Adam Greenfield about Google’s Sidewalk Labs exploring the possibilities of a smart city in Toronto.
- Google Report Reveals State of K-12 Computer Science Education – Authored by Paulo Blikstein, assistant professor of education and (by courtesy) computer science at Stanford, the report — Pre-College Computer Science Education: A Survey of the Field — was commissioned by Google to shine a light on where CS education stands today and where it needs to go.
- How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google – Scott Shane, Cade Metz and Daisuke Wakabayashi report on Google’s internal concerns with Google’s contract with the Pentagon and what that might mean for the organisation’s work with artificial intelligence.
- Google plan for data-driven ‘smart city’ sparks privacy, democracy concerns – Antony Funnell explores Google’s venture into creating a model smart city – creating a neighbourhood “from the internet up” – in Toronto and some of the feedback on it.
My Month of May
This month I realised the limitations to using a priority matrix to organise my work. It was not capturing the different facets of my work, such as reporting, online portal, attendance and timetable. I am still organising my work around priorities, I have just taken to representing this in a spreadsheet, therefore allowing me to filter it in various ways. I still am not quite settled on this, but it will do for now
In regards to other aspects of work I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Hilary Hollingsworth on ACER’s work on reporting. I have also been helping some schools with the implementation of various administrative applications focusing on interviews and excursions. The more I do the more I realise how much of what is ‘transformative’ is built upon a raft of invisible parts that build to make the complex systems, which we so easily take for granted.
On the family front, my girls have taken to belting out duets together, even in the middle of the shops. Although the youngest one cannot keep up with every word of every line, she gives it a go. In general, it is fascinating watching them learn together.
Personally, I have found myself spending more time bookmarking and collecting my thoughts, rather than crafting long forms. It was interesting to read Doug Belshaw reflect upon this with his own writing. I think that Ian O’Byrne captures this best when he explains the interrelated nature of the different spaces.
In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:
- Finding the Tools to Sing – A Reflection on Big B Blogging: I started writing this post a few months ago in response to Tom Critchlow’s post, but did not get around to finishing it, subsequently my initial notes have lay waiting. I was reminded of it by recent posts from Jim Groom and Alan Levine reflecting on the purpose of blogging. Here then is my contribution to the conversation.
Sharing Data is Easy with QUERY: There are many challenges to sharing specific data in Google Sheets, some of these can be overcome using the QUERY formula.
Here then are some of the thoughts and ideas that have also left me thinking:
Learning and Teaching
21 simple design elements that will make any School Assessment Task sheet accessible: Haley Tancredi, Jill Willis, Kelli McGraw and Linda Graham reflect on the assessment task sheet so common in the secondary classroom. Responding to the challenge of accessibility, they collect together a number of elements to support all students. This list is organised around visuals, clarity and directions.
Access can be made easier or more difficult depending on the way the assessment task is presented; both in terms of visual presentation and in terms of the language used. The number and type of procedures required can also differentially affect students’ successful completion of the task. This approach to analysis helped us to produce a list of recommended design elements that will be useful to teachers as they plan and write up their assessment tasks.
Civix Releases New Online Media Literacy Videos: Mike Caulfield shares a series of videos summarising his work on Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers. Although it only touches on the basics, it still provides a useful introduction to the ‘Four Moves’ approach. Caulfield has also started a project associated with local newspapers that is worth checking out.
As I say — it’s the internet — you’re not stuck with that one story that comes to you. By going out and actively choosing a better story you will not only filter out false stories but also see the variety of ways an event is being covered.
When words won’t suffice: behavior as communication: Benjamin Doxtdator unpacks behaviour in the classroom. He touches on knowing your child, student choices and systemic inequalities. This is a useful post to read and critically reflect upon various practices and pedagogies. I think that it all starts with the language that we choose. Chris Friend also considers the influence of language in regards to learning management systems and assessment. In regards to behaviour, Riss Leung compares dog training with her classroom experiences.
Just as I try (and sometimes fail) to de-center myself when addressing student misbehavior, I try to de-center myself when I write. The vast majority of the students that I teach won’t be racially profiled in a behavior policy or by the police and that’s why I think it is especially important for me to seek out literature that reflects on those systemic injustices.
Learning for learning’s sake: Austin Kleon responds to the challenge associated with ‘learning for learning’s sake’. He suggests that we need to invest in hobbies and curiosity, just as much as we focus on ‘return on investment’. This reminds me of Amy Burvall’s point that “in order to connect dots, one must first have the dots”. Thinking about luck, Janice Kaplan discusses the importance of engaging with curiosity. Diane Kashen suggests we need more messy play.
Setting aside the importance of hobbies and the amateur spirit, what worries me the most is this faulty idea that you should only spend time learning about things if they have a definite “ROI.” Creative people are curious people, and part of being a creative person is allowing yourself the freedom to let your curiosity lead you down strange, divergent paths. You just cannot predict how what you learn will end up “paying off” later.Who’s to say what is and what isn’t professional development? (An audited calligraphy class winds up changing the design of computers, etc.)
Forget the checkout: what about the plastic clogging supermarket aisles?: Nicola Heath reports on the current plastic crisis in Australia. Although every state has agreed to ban single use bags, the real problem that needs to be addressed is in the aisles and aisles of pre-packaged food. Although the impact of plastics on our ocean has been well reported, it seems that there is a significant impact on our fresh water lakes too. Studies have found microplastics in drinking water, beer and honey. I wonder if the solution starts with school and education?
Some, like the Greens, argue manufacturers and retailers need to take more responsibility for the lifecycle of their packaging. “Product stewardship” and extended producer responsibility (EPR) requires manufacturers to factor the disposal of packaging into its design and production.
The Brick Wall: When I taught robotics I would show my students a video involving the use of a simple Lego kit in a science laboratory as a point of inspiration. The Brick Wall takes these possibilities to a whole new level, providing a collection of videos useful for thinking about what is possible in regards to programming, Lego and robotics. Some other series and collections that I have stumbled upon lately include the New York Times’ podcast Caliphate, which explores the world of ISIS, as well as Amy Burvall’s creativity vlogs as a part of the #LDvid30 project.
Better visions of ourselves: Human futures, user data, & The Selfish Ledger: Ian O’Byrne reflects on the internal video produced by Google Project X focusing on speculative design the notion of a ledger that does not actually belong to the user, but managed by some grand AI. Although this was designed as a case of ‘what if’, it is a reminder of what could happen. It therefore provides a useful provocation, especially in light of Cambridge Analytica and GDPR. O’Byrne suggests that this is an opportunity to take ownership of our ledger, something in part captured by the #IndieWeb movement. Not sure what this means for our digitally proficient three year olds. Douglas Rushkoff makes the case for including less on the ledger, not more.
I think there is a reasoned response to technopanic. Perhaps a sense of techno agency is necessary. Now more than ever, faster than ever, technology is driving change. The future is an unknown, and that scares us. However, we can overcome these fears and utilize these new technologies to better equip ourselves and steer us in a positive direction.
How an Algorithmic World Can Be Undermined: danah boyd continues her investigation of algorithms and the way in which our data is being manipulated. She did this at re:publica 2018. This is very much a wicked problem with no clear answer. The Data & Society Research Institute have also published a primer on the topic. I wonder if it starts by being aware of the systemic nature of it all? Alternatively, Jamie Williams and Lena Gunn provide five questions to consider when using algorithms. Om Malik highlights the focus of algorithms focus on most over best. Jim Groom also presented at re:publica 2018 on Domain of One’s Own and Edupunk.
It’s not necessarily their [technologies] intentions but the structure and configuration that causes the pain
Truth in an age of truthiness: when bot-fueled PsyOps meet internet spam: Kris Shaffer continues his work in regards to bots, unpacking the way in which our attention is hijacked through attempts to influence and advertise. It is important to appreciate the mechanics behind these things for they are the same mechanics that those on social media engage with each and every day. One of the points that Shaffer (and Mike Caulfield) make is that whether something is true or not, continual viewing will make such ideas more familiar and strangely closer to the truth.
Harald D. Lasswell wrote that the function of propaganda is to reduce the material cost of power. On a social-media platform, that cost-reduction comes in many forms. By their very existence, the platforms already reduce both the labor and the capital required to access both information and an audience. Automated accounts further reduce the cost of power, for those who know how to game the algorithm and evade detection long enough to carry out a campaign.
Email Is Dangerous: Quinn Norton takes a dive into the mechanics of email. She continues to remind us how everything is broken, Norton gives a history of email and many of its inherent flaws. This comes on the back of the latest discovery of bugs associated with supposed encrypted email.
Email has changed since then, but not much. Most of what’s changed in the last 45 years is email clients—the software we use to access email. They’ve clumsily bolted on new functionality onto the old email, without fixing any of the underlying protocols to support that functionality.
Programming with Scratch – An educator guide: Anthony Speranza provides an introduction to Scratch. An often underrated application, Scratch provides an insight into some of the ways that the web works, particularly in regards to ‘blocks’. Sometimes it feels as if you are not really coding unless you are working with some form of language. The problem is that this is not how the world works. More often than not it is about building on the ideas (and snippets) of others. Look at WordPress’ move to Gutenberg. In addition to this, we interact with ‘blocks’ each and everyday in the applications and sites that we use. One only needs to use something like Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles to start realising that inherent complexity within the web. For more insight into Scratch, listen to Gary Stager on the Modern Learners podcast.
Scratch is a graphical programming language and online community where users can program and share interactive media such as stories, games and animations. Whilst it is targeted at 8 to 16 year olds, anyone of any age can write a program in Scratch.
The platform patrons: How Facebook and Google became two of the biggest funders of journalism in the world: Mathew Ingram reports on the increasing influence of platforms on the news industry. Google has been really pushing into journalism lately, with the further investment of News Lab and the Digital News Initiative, as well as the ability to subscribe using your Google account. This in part seems to be in response to Facebook’s problems. It is interesting considering this alongside discussions of the history of news and the long association with advertising.
Both Google and Facebook may argue—and may even believe—that they simply want to help increase the supply of quality journalism in the world. But the fact remains that they are not just disinterested observers. They are multibillion-dollar entities that compete directly with media companies for the attention of users, and for the wallets of every advertising company that used to help support the business model of journalism. Their funding and assistance can’t be disentangled from their conflicted interests, no matter how much they wish it could.
Storytelling and Reflection
What We Talk About When We Talk About Digital Capabilities: In a keynote at the UCISA Digital Capabilities event at Warwick University, Donna Lanclos unpacks the effect of analytics and the problems of profiling when trying to identify improvements. A skills approach is an issue when decisions get made on your behalf based on the results of a preconceived checklist. Lanclos suggests that we need to go beyond the inherent judgments of contained within metaphors and deficit models, and instead start with context.
The history of Anthropology tells us that categorizing people is lesser than understanding them. Colonial practices were all about the describing and categorizing, and ultimately, controlling and exploiting. It was in service of empire, and anthropology facilitated that work. It shouldn’t any more, and it doesn’t have to now. You don’t need to compile a typology of students or staff. You need to engage with them.
Citizen of Apple, State of Lego: Julian Stodd explores the evolving idea of ‘citizenship’. Whereas it was defined by geography and culture in the past, Stodd wonders if in the future it will be subscription based. Rather than depending on the state and taxes to provide societies infrastructures, we now rely on the various multi-national platforms, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google. This reminds me of the conversation that was had recently around being a citizen of the #IndieWeb. If states lose their sway, I wonder if this opens up other alternatives? This is something Aral Balkan touches upon. I wonder what this means for rituals or habits.
Imagine a future state, one of multiple citizenships, so i can be a Citizen of the UK, a Citizen of Apple, and a Citizen of Lego, not traversing physical borders to move from one to the other, but rather conceptual, or internalised ones. Each providing real utility, it’s own type of ‘space’, and each giving us it’s own component of culture. Perhaps in this model, ‘Culture’ becomes a meta entity that we each construct, through a combination of our geolocation within space, and our subscriptions online.
School is One Spoke in the Wheel of Learning & Why This is a Critical Insight for the Future of Education: Bernard Bull reflects on what people need to stay current in a job, shift to a similar job, develop skills that transfer to work environments, move into leadership within one’s field, or make a full career shift. To support this, he provides a series of questions to consider. I wonder where the second wave of MOOCs sits within all of this?
If we are looking at learning across the lifetime today, we need to think beyond the teacher/student and schooling constructs. Education is already larger than that. This is no different from recognizing that health and wellness is about so much more than a patient/doctor interaction. These professionals do and will continue to play a valuable role, but limiting many of our conversations about education to these formal contexts is inadequate for the challenges and opportunities of our age. In fact, it has always been inadequate. Formal education has a role to play today and in the future, but it is one of many spokes in the lifelong learning wheel.
The risks of treating ‘academic innovation’ as a discipline: Rolin Moe argues that we need to recognise the often negative history associated with ‘innovation’ in the way that we use it. If we don’t do this we risk the word being simply an emotive tool. This touches upon Audrey Watters message to respect history, rather than live in the ever present that so many try to perpetuate.
Negotiating the future we want with the history we have is vital in order to determine the best structure to support the development of an inventive network for creating research-backed, criticism-engaged and outside-the-box approaches to the future of education. The energy behind what we today call academic innovation needs to be put toward problematizing and unraveling the causes of the obstacles facing the practice of educating people of competence and character, rather than focusing on the promotion of near-future technologies and their effect on symptomatic issues.
12 tips for great speaking: Steve Wheeler provides some useful tips and reflections on the art of the keynote. They include use humour, minimal text, engage with your audience, don’t speak too quickly, repeat key points and only stick to three of them. In part, this reminds me of Presentation Zen and the idea of a minimalist slidedeck, while Emma Cottier also wrote an interesting post share a range of tips and tricks associated with Google Slides. Although not necessarily about ‘keynotes’, Andrew Denton recently shared some tips for a better conversation that I think relate to this conversation, including be respectful and empathise with the interviewee (or audience).
If you are lucky enough to be invited to address an audience of your peers at a conference, a lot will depend on what you say and the manner in which you say it. You want your speech to be memorable, inspiring and thought provoking. You’ll also need to be convincing if you want to put your arguments across effectively. So I’ll share some of the top tips I recommend for keynote speakers.
Burden of Proof: Malcolm Gladwell wonders how much ‘proof’ we need in order to do something about CTE, a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries. Gladwell’s focuses on Owen Thomas and his suicide in 2010. In regards to the question of breaking point, there was no reference of Aaron Hernandez, whose case involves murder and suicide. I wonder how long until this becomes a case in AFL?
Sometimes proof is just another word for letting people suffer.
Gonski review reveals another grand plan to overhaul education: but do we really need it?: Glenn Savage has written, recorded and been interviewed about the new Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. He raises a number of questions, including whether the new report addresses the question of inequality, is ‘personalised teaching’ worth the money and investment, is the educational sector exhausted by continual reform agendas and do the recommendations really address what is happening in the classroom? In other spaces, both Andrea Stringer and Deborah Netolicky have highlighted the potential in providing more time for teachers to collaborate. Greg Miller argues that we need to wrestle with how to assess the capabilities, rather than continue to work where the next silver bullet for literacy and numeracy is. Peter Hutton shares concerns about testing the capabilities. Gabrielle Stroud sees it as the industrial model of accountability rebadged, where a teacher’s relationship with their students is trumped by a test. Netolicky also raises concern about the lack of trust for teachers. Darcy Moore describes the whole affair as a never-ending rebuilding of The Windmill. Ann Caro rues the missed opportunity associated with equitable funding of education in Australia with this clear change in direction.
We need to (once again) question whether the contemporary reform fever does any more than treat symptoms while deeper structural conditions continue to ensure, as the original Gonski report put it, unacceptable links between young people’s socioeconomic backgrounds and levels of achievement. We need to be careful not to stray too far from where the first Gonski report started out. That is: addressing inequalities in Australian schooling through re-distributive funding.
t’s time to be honest with parents about NAPLAN: your child’s report is misleading, here’s how: It was that time of year again, when the whole nation stops for NAPLAN. There has been a range of posts shared. One that stood out was from Nicole Mockler She summarises Margaret Wu’s work around the limitations to NAPLAN in regards to statistical testing. Moving forward, Mockler suggests that NAPLAN should become a sample based test (like PISA) and is better suited as a tool for system wide analysis. To me, there is a strange balance, for on the one hand many agree that NAPLAN is flawed, yet again and again we return to it as a source of ‘truth’.
At the national level, however, the story is different. What NAPLAN is good for, and indeed what it was originally designed for, is to provide a national snapshot of student ability, and conducting comparisons between different groups (for example, students with a language background other than English and students from English-speaking backgrounds) on a national level.
This is important data to have. It tells us where support and resources are needed in particular. But we could collect the data we need this by using a rigorous sampling method, where a smaller number of children are tested (a sample) rather than having every student in every school sit tests every few years. This a move that would be a lot more cost effective, both financially and in terms of other costs to our education system.
FOCUS ON … GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). Adopted on 14 April 2016, it became enforceable on 25 May 2018. Here then is a collection of posts exploring what it all means. Although not exhaustive, it provides a starting point:
- What is the GDPR Privacy Law and Why Should You Care?: Harry Guinness summarises the eight rules associated with GDPR and what they mean for those outside of the EU.
- LA Times among US-based news sites blocking EU users due to GDPR: Alex Hern on the threat that GDPR could ‘Balkinise’ the web, with a range of sites closing off access to EU visitors.
- Facebook and Google targeted as first GDPR complaints filed: Alex Hern reports on Noyb’s test of the new regulations. The case being tested is whether the processing of data for targeted advertising can be argued to be necessary for the fulfilment of a contract to provide services such as social networking or instant messaging.
- The Ultimate Guide to WordPress and GDPR Compliance – Everything You Need to Know – The team at WPBeginner provide a guide for making WordPress compliant, including plugins that store or process data like contact forms, analytics, email marketing, online store and membership sites.
- No one’s ready for GDPR: Sarah Jeong explains why nobody is actually ready. Part of the problem is how companies are set up, and part of it is that “personal information” is a wishy-washy category.
- Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now?: Sebastian Gregor explains that GDPR is no deadline, it is a process. Now that it is here, lets engage in ever broadening debates on how to treat the personal data of human beings
- Privacy: David Shanske reflects on privacy, the IndieWeb and webmentions. He also added an extended response to a WordPress forum on GDPR.
- 13 things to know about the GDPR: M.J. Kelly breaks down the rights associated with GDPR with a focus on what this all means for Mozilla.
- Good enough, the EU’s data protection regulation and what CryptoKitties can tell us about the future of art:Angela Daly discusses what GDPR might mean for Australia with Antony Funnell on the Future Tense podcast.
- Doctor, I think I have GDPR fatigue:Jordan Erica Webber, Alex Hern and Dr Rachel Birch explore GDPR and its consequences for the health sector.
- GDPR and the marketer’s dilemma: Seth Godin argues that GDPR will create an actual market, where getting permission to send messages to a user requires that marketers make a compelling proposition.
- GDPR will pop the adtech bubble: Doc Searls discusses what he sees as the eminent demise of ‘adtech’ and what will be left afterwards.
- Comments on ClassDojo controversy: Ben Williamson addresses a number of questions leveled at Class Dojo, especially in light of the current concern around data. One of the points that he makes that really stuck out was the notion of ‘sensitive data’. Often this is defined by privacy, however as Williamson explains the collection of data over time actually has the potential to turn the seemingly arbitrary into sensitive data.
- Notes from Understanding the General Data Protection Regulation course: Doug Belshaw shares a series of reflections based on his participation in an online course designed to unpack GDPR.
- There Will be Blood – GDPR and EdTech: Eylan Ezekiel discusses GDPR, making the comparison between data and oil.
- I am a data factory (and so are you): Nicholas Carr reflects on the metaphors that we use and demonstrates some of the flaws, particularly when they are used against us inadvertently. Although not explicitly about GDPR, it has ramifications for the way we talk about it.
READ WRITE RESPOND #029
So that is May 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, for those concerned about privacy and sharing thier email address, archives can be found here.
Cover image via JustLego101.
Neartopias are not utopias. They have problems. They have to have problems because problems are what drive plots. And on another level problems are just interesting in a way that non-problems are not. They also aren’t post-scarcity Star Treks, or visions of a perfect 6030 A.D. They are “near”-utopias both in the sense that they lack perfection and in that they seem near-enough to be achievable.
Neartopias also have blindspots. Each neartopia pulls from cultural assumptions that will be eventually — like all things — be revealed as problematic. The Golden Age of sci-fi produced some neartopias, for instance, but had a relationship with technological progress and industry, for example, that was — well, let’s say underdeveloped.source
I read it, everything we believe is already ideological because we are necessarily social (for example, through language). Saying this, however, does not imply that any position held is necessarily right or wrong, rather that within the ontological and epistemological assumptions of any belief system ideology invariable precedes consciousness. For this reason, I don’t mind being called ideological (of course I am) or suggesting that others are ideological (of course they are).source
Bernard Bull adds his own take on ideology:
I’ve come across this countless times in education, with any number of stakeholders declaring that the problem with education is ideology. If only we focused on scientific and evidence-based practice, then education would be in great shape. Only that statement represents an ideology
French Marxist Louis Althusser argued in his paper Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses that there is no beyond or outside within which we can exist. Instead, we are always already interpellated, called into existence.
Thus ideology hails or interpellates individuals as subjects. As ideology is eternal, I must now suppress the temporal form in which I have presented the functioning of ideology, and say: ideology has always-already interpellated individuals as subjects, which amounts to making it clear that individuals are always-already interpellated by ideology as subjects, which necessarily leads us to one last proposition: individuals are always-already subjects. Hence individuals are ‘abstract’ with respect to the subjects which they always already are. This proposition might seem paradoxical. source
Adding to this, Althusser highlights that there is no point outside of ideology:
What thus seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it. That is why those who are in ideology believe themselves by definition outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the practical
denial of the ideological character of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, “I am ideological.” Source
Coming from a different perspective, Michael Foucault discusses the challenges of identity in Archaeology of Knowledge where he states:
Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.
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?
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.
In regards to my writing, here was my month in posts:
- Secret, Safe and Informed: A Reflection on Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and the Collection of Data – There have been a lot of discussions lately about Facebook, social media and connected society in light of the Cambridge Analytica revelations.
- It Takes a Family – A Reflection on Support Networks that Make Leadership Possible – Life can get busy, when this occurs, should leaders stand aside or do we need to stop and recognise that sometimes leadership involves the support of wider support networks?
- Literacy, Fluency and Plurality: A Reflection on Digital Literacies – Responding to Holly Clark, I explain why I cringe when the concept of digital literacy is replaced with fluency, subsequently overlooking the plurality of digital literacies.
Here then are some of the dots that have also left me thinking …
Learning and Teaching
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.
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
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
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.
Cover image via JustLego101.
- Smarter sharing of files with updated Google Drive Access checker – Google Drive makes it easy to share files through Gmail, Calendar, and other apps with a feature called “Access checker.” When you send an email, calendar invite, or other communication that includes a Drive file, Access checker automatically looks to see if the people you’re sending the message to have permissions to view the file. If they don’t, Access checker asks if you want to change the permissions before you share the file.
- FIDO Alliance and W3C Achieve Major Standards Milestone in Global Effort Towards Simpler, Stronger Authentication on the Web – The FIDO2 specifications collectively enable users to authenticate easily to online services with desktop or mobile devices with phishing-resistant security.
- Introducing new choices for parents to further customize YouTube Kids – We are excited to announce that throughout the year, we will be rolling out three new options in YouTube Kids: collections by trusted partners and YouTube Kids, parent approved content and improved search-off control for an even more contained experience
- More improvements to user management in the Admin console – The new user list view lets you view users in all or some organizational units (OUs), search for and filter users, and take actions on specific users. You can:
- Test your knowledge of natural wonders in Google Earth – In a multiple choice quiz, Atlas Obscura takes you to some of the most beautiful—and intriguing—places on the planet. Know where Morning Glory Pool is? Or the hot springs of Dallol? See how well you know your planet, and explore these places in Google Earth.
- Display your organization’s brand in the Google bar – Google will soon show your domain’s logo next to a user’s picture (or initials or avatar) at the top of many G Suite services, like Calendar and Drive.
- See people’s profile information in new cards in G Suite apps – Google added new person information cards that appear inside your G Suite apps on the web, like Google+ and Calendar, when relevant.
- More information, faster removals, more people – an update on what we’re doing to enforce YouTube’s Community Guidelines – The YouTube team provide an update to their effort to enforce guidelines. They outline the statistics and explain the place of human reviewers associated with monitoring videos.
- With new security and intelligent features, the new Gmail means business – Google are introducing a new approach to information protection: Gmail confidential mode. This makes it possible to protect sensitive content in your emails by creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages.
- Stay composed: here’s a quick rundown of the new Gmail – Google has released a range of updated to Gmail, including the ability to snooze messages, directly access other apps, such as Calendar, nudge users with reminders, smart replies for quick responses and a confidential mode that applies restrictions on messages sent out.
- Think macro: record actions in Google Sheets to skip repetitive work – Google have updated Sheets adding a way to record macros in the cloud to automate repetitive tasks, as well as more formatting options.
- Add custom links to the navigation bar in the new Google Sites – You can use this new custom link creator to add an item in the navigation bar.
- Additional details on new macro recorder and formatting options in Google Sheets – Sheets now allows users to group rows or columns, add checkboxes to lists and custom paper sizes for printing.
- Improved user management in the Admin console – Google are updating the interface you use when you manage your organization’s users in the Admin console. These changes will make it easier to find and control user information and settings.
- Group users into multiple directories in G Suite – Google is making it possible for G Suite admins to cluster users in separate directories with custom visibility rules for each organizational unit (OU)
- Google Fonts launches Korean support – The Google Fonts catalog now includes Korean web fonts for designers and developers working with the nation’s unique Hangul writing system.
- Preserving endangered wonders of the world, for generations to come – Google Arts & Culture has partnered with CyArk to open up access to their virtual wonders and share their stories with everyone.
- Use your favorite password manager with Android Oreo – With the new autofill services in Oreo, password managers can access only the information that’s required in order to autofill apps, making your data more secure.
- New in Google Slides: linking in Docs, guides and rulers, and improved commenting – Google has introduced several features in Google Slides on the web to make it easier to create, collaborate on, and share presentations. This includes the ability to insert into Docs and the addition of a ruler for more precise design.
- G Suite Enterprise for Education is Now Available – G Suite Enterprise for Education is generally available to educational institutions in the United States, and is coming to more countries soon. Additionally, new tools—such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP), security key management and enforcement, and Gmail S/MIME—will start rolling out to all G Suite for Education users over the next few months.
- Get more control over chart data labels in Google Sheets – Google is adding new features to help the charts you create in Google Sheets better represent the data they contain. These features include showing total data labels for stacked charts and controlling where data labels are placed.
- Making high quality video efficient – By analyzing aggregated playback statistics, and correspondingly altering the bitrates for various resolutions, Google has worked out how to stream higher quality video to more users.
- Video is everywhere – helping brands find their audience in the era of convergence – Google announces the addition of television size screens to the YouTube advertising platform.
- Inside The New Google Podcasts Strategy That Could Double Audiences Worldwide – Steve Pratt unpacks Google’s new podcasting strategy that completely reimagines how people find and listen to shows, with a particular focus on AI and Google Assistant.
- Emoji Your Drive to Create Visual Interest – Beth Mossholder explains some of the benefits of using emojis with folders and titles in Google.
- Microsoft claims to make Chrome safer with new extension – Peter Bright reports that Chrome already provides effective protection against malicious sites, but Microsoft believes it can do a better job. It has released a Chrome plugin, Windows Defender Browser Protection, that brings its own anti-phishing protection to Google’s browser.
- 5 things you can do with Chrome Browser to increase employee productivity – Philippe Rivard highlights five features of Chrome in the workplace, including syncing across devices, safe browsing, blocking of intrusive ads, deploying a standardised homepage and pre-install apps and extensions.
- Time to celebrate the 2018 Google Play Award nominees – Purnima Kochikar summarises the nominees for the 2018 Google Play Awards.
- ReCall Study Time – An Extension to Get You Back on Task – Richard Byrne discusses a a Chrome extension designed to help you stop wasting time on social media sites and get back on task.
- Yes, Kinder CAN Use Chromebooks! – Kasey Bell provides a review of Christine Pinto’s new book on using Chromebooks in the early years.
- Cultivating Chromebook Creativity in Schools – Jonathan Wylie provides an extensive collection of applications available on a Chromebook to support creativity in schools.
- 5 Steps to a Podcast Using Soundtrap – Alice Keeler provides a basic workflow for recording a collaborative podcast on the web using Soundtrap.
- 18 Free Image Sites and Tools for Schools – Eric Curts provides a long list of sites and add-ons to find free images to use when working with GSuite.
- 3 Screencastify Features You (Probably) Didn’t Know About – Jake Miller provides guidance on three useful features assocaited with Screencastify, including the ability to adjust the webcam on the screen, activate various cursor effects and switch tabs while recording.
- The Getting Started Guide for Touchscreen Chromebooks in the Classroom – Tom Mullaney introduces a number of possibilities to draw and annotate using the new touchscreen Chromebooks.
- Fast Advanced Google Search – Richard Byrne discusses a Chrome extension that puts a shortcut to the advanced search tools right next to the URL field in Chrome.
- 16 Curation Tools for Teachers and Students – Depending on the purpose of your curation, there are certain tools that may fit your needs better than others. Kasey Bell summarises sixteen options.
- Monet was here: Masterpieces and inspirations come to Google Arts & Culture – To mark the opening of the Monet and Architecture exhibition in London, you can now explore a selection of these works from the National Gallery, and see a stirring retrospective of Monet’s paintings from 17 more museums around the world, online on Google Arts & Culture.
- Visualizing the #MeToo movement using Google Trends – In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Google created Me Too Rising, a visualization of the global #MeToo movement through Google Trends data.
- How Google autocomplete works in Search – In this post, Danny Sullivan explains when, where and how autocomplete works.
- Dimensions – An Academic Research Engine – Richard Byrne discusses Dimensions. a search engine focused on helping users discover research publications including clinical study reports.
- It’s surprisingly easy to make government records public on Google Books – Steven Melendez reports that anyone can ask that a book scanned as part of Google Books be reviewed to determine if it’s in the public domain.
- Podcasts are the new black: Chips with Everything podcast – Alex Hern looks at why tech platforms like Google are so eager to master the podcast industry. He speaks with Caroline Crampton and Steve Pratt to gain a deeper insight.
- Google’s Plan to Make Audio a First-Class Citizen – Steve Pratt explains how Google’s new podcast strategy is designed to make audio a first-class citizen, alongside the text, image, and video results you are used to seeing.
- Google’s New Way to Find Your Next Favorite Podcast – Steve Pratt reflects on what he hopes Audio SEO will and won’t be.
- Google’s Plan To Deliver The Right Audio At The Right Time – Steve Pratt considers the context-based possibilities that Google may offer, such as content for driving verses content for sitting in the lounge room.
- Instant Translation, Lookahead Scrubbing, and More: The Future of Google Podcasts – Steve Pratt imagines a situation where Google’s Speech-to-Text AI’s translate the text assocaited with podcasts and searches within this content too.
- CollabEssay: Why Open 30 Docs When You Can Open One? – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to use a collaborative presentation to make the feedback process easier and then split this up into seperate Google Docs for each individual student.
- Amazing Add-Ons for Google Docs – GTT052 – Matt Miller and Kasey Bell investigate a number of Docs add-ons, such as Kaizena, Read&Write and Easy Bib.
- Using the CheckMark Extension for Chrome to Reimagine Classroom Feedback Practices – Bill Ferriter explains demonstrates how CheckMark makes it possible to add common comments to Google Docs by highlighting and then clicking one button.
- DriveMail: When Students Do Not Have Email – Alice Keeler coded the ability to create a Google Doc per student on your roster and to push comments to their document like email.
- Google Tasks – A Very Simple Task Management App – Richard Byrne digs deeper into Google’s new task management app on iOS and Android.
- How to Backup your Gmail Inbox to another Gmail Account – Amit Agarwal describes how to use Download Gmail add-on automatically to save a copy of your Gmail emails and file attachments to your Google Drive. Users can then use the Drive client to backup the files saved in Drive to your local Windows PC or Mac.
- A First Look at the NEW Gmail – GTT053 – Matt Miller and Kasey Bell go through all the new changes associated with Gmail.
- Filter Gmail for Google Classroom – Alice Keeler highly recommends NOT turning off notifications from Google Classroom. Instead, manage the email notifications through filters.
- Event details now supported by Calendar Interop – Now, G Suite admins can opt in to sharing event details when users use Calendar’s Find a Time or Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant.
- CollabEssay: Why Open 30 Docs When You Can Open One? – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to use a collaborative presentation to make the feedback process easier and then split this up into seperate Google Docs for each individual student.
- Better Feedback with Google Slides Commenting – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to comment on specific text in a Slides.
- Student collaboration in shared Google Slides – Matt Miller provides a video unpacks collaborating with Google Slides
- Google Slides: Create Random Slides – Alice Keeler has developed a script for creating Google Slides presentation that will randomly choose a subset of your list.
- Baby’s First Podcast Studio: Google Slides – Joshua Howard suggests Google Slides and Screencastify as a way of creating a basic ‘podcast’ with students.
- Create a low-cost, printed school yearbook with Google Slides – Jennifer Scott discusses her Slides Yearbook project that involves creating a yearbook in Slides.
- Doing more with Google Forms – GTT049 – Matt and Kasey again tackle Google Forms but this time focus on add-ons.
- How to Create a Custom Google Forms Theme – Richard Byrne provides a series of screenshots to support the creation of custom Google Forms themes.
- Enable These Google Forms Settings to Save Time When Making Quizzes – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to set your Forms preferences so that you always have a point value assigned to your questions and made every question required.
- How to Automatically Issue Certificates When Students Pass a Quiz in Google Forms – Richard Byrne shows how to use Certify’em to automatically issue certificates to students when they pass a quiz in Google Forms.
- Advanced Techniques with the Google Sheets Query Function – Ben Collins walks through the advanced syntax and use cases of the super powerful QUERY function in Google Sheets
- Translate in Google Sheets – Jake Miller provides an introduction to translater formula using Google Sheets
- Google Sheets: Check Multiple Checkboxes At The Same Time – Alice Keeler demonstrates how to use spacebar to select multiple checkboxes in Sheets.
- Checkboxes () are now available in Google Sheets! Here’s three ways you can use them. – Ben Collins provides some possible uses of the new checkbox option in Google Sheets, including creating dynamic charts, creating a to-do list, as well as show and hide information on a test or similar such document.
- Tab-Level Edit Rights in Google Sheets – Jake Miller provides a short tutorial for how to adjust tab-level access rights in Google Sheets.
- Google Sheets: Spreadsheet Settings – Alice Keeler unpacks the various settings associated with each spreadsheet in Sheets.
- Google Sheets: Sort a Range – Alice Keeler explains how to sort a range as opposed to sorting a whole sheet.
- Google Apps Script Patterns: Google Analytics in Google Add-ons and Apps Script projects – Martin Hawksey shows some patterns you can use for using Google Analytics client side in HTMLService and server side with any Google Apps Script code you are running in the backend.
- Google Sheets Add-Ons – GTT050 – Matt Miller and Kasey Bell investigate a number of Sheets add-ons.
- How to Convert Old Google Sites to New Google Sites – Richard Byrne provides a guide to moving from old to new Sites.
- A Replacement for the Deprecated “Announcements” Element in Google Sites – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to import Blogger posts into Google Sites.
- New to New Google Sites? 5 Features You Should Know How To Use – Richard Byrne discusses five features of new Sites that everyone should know about, including favicons, custom headers and video from Google Drive.
- How to Embed Flipgrid Topics Into Google Sites – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to include Flipgrid in your Google Site.
- Designing Beautiful Google Sites – Chris Betcher provides some tips for creating beautiful Sites. This includes a discussion of linerisation, an important element in responsive design.
- 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.
- 18 Tips: Google Drawing Tips Sheets – Alice Keeler has created two graphics collecting a number of tips and tricks associated with Google Drawings.
- Making Learning Transparent – Finding, Making, and Using Transparent Images for Learning – Eric Curts explores all things transparent when working with Google.
- Shellebrating Christmas Island’s extraordinary nature with Street View and Google Earth – on Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, you can explore Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ unique wildlife, dazzling ocean vistas and lush rainforests, including the grand finale of the red crab migration—the spawning.
- How we explored the whole wide world with Google Earth in the past year – To celebrate the past year of whizzing around the globe, Gopal Shah provides a look at what made Google Earth go round over the last 365 days.
- Take your own journey: Experience one of Parks Canada’s breathtaking destinations with new Google Street View imagery – As a result of the long-term collaboration between two iconic organizations – Google and Parks Canada – virtual visitors can explore mountain-top vistas, meandering ocean-side trails, and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Simple Ways to Integrate AI in the Classroom – Kasey Bell discusses some different possibilities with incorperating Google Assistant in the classroom, including building with AI or telling an interactive story.
- 5 Features of OneNote That You Won’t Find in Google Keep – Richard Byrne documents five things OneNote can do that Google Keep can’t.
- 4 Ways to Use Google Keep for Feedback and Assessment – Kasey Bell provides four ways to use Google Keep to provide feedback, including badges, a stored comment or a Bitmoji.
- An Update on Our 2018 Priorities – Susan Wojcicki discusses some of the work that YouTube is doing to support users, such as transparent communication and different ways to engage.
- How to Quickly Create a Livestream on YouTube – Richard Byrne steps through how to create a livestream on YouTube right from your laptop just like you can on a mobile phone.
- 5 Ways to Use YouTube Live in School – Richard Byrne outlines five uses of for YouTube Live in School.
- Tube – A Distraction-free Way to Search and Watch YouTube – Richard Byrne introduces Tube, a new tool providing a minimalist view of YouTube.
- YouTube’s Plan to Clean Up the Mess That Made It Rich – Lucas Shaw and Mark Bergen unpack YouTube’s history and how it go to where it did, they also unpack how it plans to address the current crisis around polarisation. One of the challenges is that YouTube still seems commited to a long term solution of improving the technology so that humans can train the algorithms.
- A Replacement for the Deprecated “Announcements” Element in Google Sites – Richard Byrne demonstrates how to import Blogger posts into Google Sites.
- Blogging Q&A – Richard Byrne provides a Q&A addressing a range of questions associated with blogging, including which platforms to use, how to maintain momentum and reach new audiences.
- (Cerf)ing the Internet: meet the man who helped build it – In an interview with Vint Cerf – one of the early developers of the web – Elizabeth Leoni and Cerf discuss some of his work at Google.
- Making it work: Google and Walmart fund innovators in workforce development – Through Grow with Google, Google has made a major commitment to helping people access skills and opportunity in the new economy. Through these initiatives, they are joining forces with leading social innovators to fuel the pursuit of a more equitable and efficient labor market.
- Teaching and Learning Webinar: K2CanToo – Lisa Thumann leads a conversation with three teachers – Janet Burnett, Susan Stewart and Mia Leonard – exploring activities for 4-8 year-old students.
- 10 ways Google tools can make the end of the year ROCK – Matt Miller provides a number of reflective activities associted with GSuite for the end of year.
- Googley Poem Projects for National Poetry Month (or any time of year) – Eric Curts collects together a number of poetry activities using GSuite for Vicki Davis’ 10 Minute Teacher Podcast