Bookmarked NAPLAN's writing test is 'bizarre' but here's how kids can get top marks (ABC News)
Last October, Dr Perelman was commissioned to conduct a review of ACARA's planned automated essay-scoring known as "robot marking". His review was critical, sparked concern among education ministers, and finally led to the scrapping of the plan.
I love the addition of a guide how to game the test. I remember a friend doing something similar during VCE, where he intentionally focused on learning words to really refine his writing. Might have been different, but seems a long way from Orwell’s idea of the English language.
Bookmarked Tools come and go. Learning should not. And what’s a “free” edtech tool, anyway? by Lyn (lynhilt.com)
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?
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. 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.
Bookmarked Books on the History of Education Technology by Audrey Watters (The Histories of Education Technology)
I have created a page that lists some of the titles. It does not include works of sociology or guides on instructional design. It also does not include "books from history," that is books written by notable historical figures in the field.
Bookmarked Beyond Champions and Pirates by Benjamin Doxtdator (Long View on Education)
If we’re serious about making schools better, then we can’t concede the topics of equity and social justice to the neoconservatives while re-shaping schooling to make it even more congenial to the structures that make people increasingly precarious. Makers and entrepreneurs aren’t the answer to the questions we have about equity. We’re not all pawns in some power struggle between the neoconservative and neoliberal movements, between the Champions and Pirates, as if there has only been one game in town, a match to which we must all buy tickets and watch.
Benjamin Doxtdator takes a look at Teach Like a Champion and Teach Like a Pirate. He questions the place of equity within all of this. In a second post, Doxtdator focuses on empowerment and its history. He continues his look at the work of Couros, Juliani and Spencer.

The concept of empowerment has more radical roots. In The Will to Empower (1999), Barbara Cruikshank argues that we can distinguish two different uses of ‘empowerment’: “the left uses empowerment to generate political resistance; the right, to produce rational economic and entrepreneurial actors.” I think the educators that I just surveyed complicate this left/right division since Robinson, Ferriter, and Richardson definitely occupy an identifiable strand of progressivism. Nonetheless, it’s a progressivism divorced from a call for political resistance

Bookmarked How to Find New Music You'll Actually Like (Lifehacker)
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.
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.
Bookmarked The webinar must die: a friendly proposal by Bryan Alexander (Bryan Alexander)
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.
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.
Bookmarked Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook (WIRED)
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.
It is a little disconcerting when Facebook ever seems to do something positive for the ‘user’ in response to complaints. What is worse, Tufekci highlights how some of the changes they are promising now were promised years ago.

But the backlash wouldn’t die down. Attempting to respond to the growing outrage, Facebook announced changes. “It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find”, the company announced without a hint of irony—or any other kind of hint—that Zuckerberg had promised to do just that in the “coming few weeks” eight full years ago. On the company blog, Facebook’s chief privacy editor wrote that instead of being “spread across nearly 20 different screens” (why were they ever spread all over the place?), the controls would now finally be in one place.

Sadly, this has nothing to do with users or community:

As far as I can tell, not once in his apology tour was Zuckerberg asked what on earth he means when he refers to Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users as “a community” or “the Facebook community.” A community is a set of people with reciprocal rights, powers, and responsibilities. If Facebook really were a community, Zuckerberg would not be able to make so many statements about unilateral decisions he has made—often, as he boasts in many interviews, in defiance of Facebook’s shareholders and various factions of the company’s workforce. Zuckerberg’s decisions are final, since he controls all the voting stock in Facebook, and always will until he decides not to—it’s just the way he has structured the company.

Tim Wu argues that we need to replace Facebook with a trustworthy platform not driven by survelliance and advertising:

If today’s privacy scandals lead us merely to install Facebook as a regulated monopolist, insulated from competition, we will have failed completely. The world does not need an established church of social media.

Bookmarked Google Forms: Pre-Fill an Answer by Alice Keeler (Teacher Tech)
Notice in this peer evaluation Form below that the students would enter the names of their peers and the project title. This has a high probability of messy data. As a teacher, you will want to sort and filter the peer evaluation results by each student’s project. For this, you will want each students name and project title spelled exactly the same.
This is another great example of the power of the URL. I love the possibilities of this, especially when combined with Google Sheets to provide a means of managing variables. Keeler also provides templates to work from.
Bookmarked Cambridge Analytica Part 2: The Lessons We Need To Learn About Social Media And Propaganda - New Matilda (New Matilda)
In the second of a two part series, Michael Brull looks at the scandal that is wiping billions of dollars in value off the world’s richest company… and it’s about much more than just social media and data mining. British news program on Channel 4 has exposed Cambridge Analytica and Facebook for what has becomeMore
Michael Brull looks at the scandal that is wiping billions of dollars in value off the world’s richest company… and it’s about much more than just social media and data mining. One of the things that stood out was how we even know what we know about Cambridge Analytica:

The reason we know about Cambridge Analytica is because of some British investigative reporters posing as Sri Lankans hoping to recruit them for a campaign. That is, our information about what other organisations like Cambridge Analytica do is fragmentary. We don’t know if the Clinton campaign acted similarly. We don’t know how they affected campaigning in Australia. We don’t know if they harvested data on Australians, or sold that data to Australian politicians, or their electoral campaigns.

The reality is, there is no way of truly knowing who is spending what when the information being generated is inserted into the bloodstream of the internet.