All my former university hosted sites are gone. We built up a WPMU instance at Keene in 2010, and the lack of broad adoption meant when I left in 2013 we shut it down. I ran some wiki on university servers here and at Keene, and those are gone too. All my self-hosted sites are corrupted from hacks or transfer errors in imports. Go back into this blog and you’ll find sparse posting schedule for some years between 2010 and 2012 and it’s because those posts got nuked in a 2012 hack. I had to go out to the Wayback Machine and reconstruct the important ones by hand.
Hi. I’m Dan Meyer. I taught high school math to students who didn’t like high school math. I have advocated for better math instruction here and on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday With Rachel Ray, and TED.com. I earned my doctorate from Stanford University in math education and I’m currently the Chief Academic Officer at Desmos where I explore the future of math, technology, and learning. I have worked with teachers internationally and in all fifty United States. I was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future. I live in Oakland, CA.
As its contemporary proliferation shows, innovation has never quite lost its association with redemption and salvation, even if it is no longer used to signify their false promises.
This essay explores the individualistic, market-based ideology of “innovation” as it circulates from the English-speaking first world to the so-called third world, where it supplements, when it does not replace, what was once more exclusively called “development.” I am referring principally to projects that often go under the name of “social innovation” (or, relatedly, “social entrepreneurship”), which Stanford University’s Business School defines as “a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions” (Stanford Graduate School of Business)
For most of its history, the word has been synonymous with false prophecy and dissent: initially, it was linked to deceitful promises of deliverance, either from divine judgment or more temporal forms of punishment. For centuries, this was the most common usage of this term. The charge of innovation warned against either the possibility or the wisdom of remaking the world, and disciplined those “fickle changelings and poor discontents,” as the King says in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, grasping at “hurly-burly innovation.” Religious and political leaders tarred self-styled prophets or rebels as heretical “innovators.”
As Lepore (2014) has argued about its close cousin, “disruption,” innovation can be thought of as a secular discourse of economic and personal deliverance.
One undergoes development to achieve development; innovation, in turn, is the pursuit of innovation, and as soon as one innovates, the innovation thus created soon ceases to be an innovation. This wearying semantic circle helps evacuate the processes of its power dynamics, of winners and losers.
my point is to emphasize the political work that “innovation” as a concept does: it depoliticizes the resource scarcity that makes it seem necessary in the first place by treating the private market as a neutral arbiter or helpful partner rather than an exploiter, and it does so by disavowing the power of a Western subject through the supposed humility and democratic patina of its rhetoric.
Innovation, in its modern meaning, is about revolutionizing “process” and technique: this often leaves outcomes unexamined and unquestioned.
Max Weber argued that capitalism in its ascendancy reimagined profit-seeking activities, which might once have been described as avaricious or vulgar as a virtuous “ethos” (2001, 16-17). Capitalism’s challenge to tradition, Weber argued, demanded some justification; reframing business as a calling or a vocation could help provide one.
The TED Talk, with which we began, is in its crude way the most expressive genre of this contemporary version of the entrepreneurial romance.
The throat-clearing self-seriousness, the ritualistic gestures of humility, the promise to the audience of transformative change without inconvenient political consequences, and the faith in technology as a social leveler all perform the TED Talk’s ego-ideal of social “innovation.”
When we consider innovation’s religious origins in false prophecy, its current orthodoxy in the discourse of technological evangelism—and, more broadly, in analog versions of social innovation—is often a nearly literal example of Rayvon Fouché’s argument that the formerly colonized, “once attended to by bibles and missionaries, now receive the proselytizing efforts of computer scientists wielding integrated circuits in the digital age” (2012, 62).
In the full transcript of his speech to the Garma festival, the author says the country can make itself stronger by saying yes to the Uluru statement
The Uluru statement contained a contention and two proposals: that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people never ceded sovereignty over what is now Australia; that Indigenous people should be given a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament; and that a Makarrata commission, using the Yolngu word for coming together after a struggle, should be established to perform the role of a truth and justice commission, and to explore options for a national agreement.
Central to Flanagan’s change is a reimagining of Australian nationalism and storytelling.
And as I boarded flight after flight, making my way slowly northwards, I wondered what joins us over such a vast expanse, what connects wintry worlds with tropical? What finally joins us as people into this idea that we call Australia?
And the answer is story. The story of us as a nation. The story of us as Australia and as being Australian.source
In some ways this reminds me of Tim Winton’s reimagination of masculinity. I wonder though if notions of ‘nationalism’ and ‘masculinity’ have always been somewhat fragmented and broken?
The world is being undone before us. History is once more moving, and it is moving to fragmentation on the basis of concocted differences, toward the destruction of democracy using not coups and guns to entrench autocracies and dictators, but the ballot box and social media. The bonfire of our vanities is fully loaded with the fuel of growing inequality, fear, and division
We see gay and transgender people being once more scapegoated, and we see race and religion used to divide. We see truth everywhere denied. Duterte. Orbán. Erdoğan. Putin. Democracy is withering in Poland. Slovakia. Cambodia. Once great nations are lost in division that with each passing day grows more intractable. The chaos of Brexit. The catastrophe of Trump’s white nationalism.
My warning is this: if we here in Australia do not reimagine ourselves we will be undone too.source
A part of reimagining the stories we tell is a recognition of past transgressions.
I hope one day someone finds an Indigenous word to describe the unique nature of this enduring tragedy, this eternity of crimes, crimes that continue and that continue to deform us all, black and white, a word particular to our national tragedy’s own epic lineaments of suffering, resistance and endurance, a word such as the Holocaust is to the Jewish tragedy, as the Holodomor is to the Ukrainian tragedy.source
The challenge we have is that whether we choose to recognise our cultural past or not, it is written in the land all around us.
It is in the Indigenous languages I hear all around me here, each a different way of divining the universe, unique and irreplaceable. It is in the cosmology and wisdom of traditional communities; it remains artfully written over much of our landscape in the fire-shaped patterning of bush, scrub and grassland; it stares back at us from the great rock paintings of the past and the extraordinary Indigenous art of today, from the films of Warwick Thornton to the paintings of Emily Kame Kngwarreye to the dance of Stephen Page, to the exquisite beauty of Michael Long holding the ball out to Carlton in the 1993 grand final, daring anyone to be better, as a grand final became wholly about his time, and his place, and his magnificent wonder.
And in that strange frozen moment of pure motion, as Australia thrilled as a man seemed to move at once backward and forward in time in defiance of time and space, it is possible to see also that our great struggle as a nation has always been to find ourselves in each other – the white in the black, the black in the white.source
A true ‘commonwealth’ is one built around mutual recognition.
Commonwealth is an old middle English word that derives from an older word, commonweal, which was understood as a general good that was shared, a common well-being. It suggests a mutuality and shared strength. It evokes relationships, the idea of a common inheritance. It is, you could argue, the counterpoint to the Yolngu word for selfishness, for lack of kinship. Commonwealth is kinship.
It is to a completed commonwealth that I wish to belong. A commonwealth not just of states but more fundamentally a commonwealth of kin, a commonwealth of the Dreaming, of 60,000 years of civilisation. That’s the land I want to walk to, and it’s time we began the journey along the path Indigenous Australia has with grace shown us. To tomorrow. To hope.source
Discipline–specific literacies (literacies that are specifically needed in a discipline, for example, by an historian or a lawyer, in order for them to work effectively in their fields) have been the focus of much research. Content area specialists build knowledge in their field. They use ‘invisible’ and important literacies that go beyond traditional writing text, spelling, punctuation and other conventional literacies. These include other modes (such as collaboration or demonstration) or semiotics (signs, marks) present in different subject areas.
Women must say no when the AFL refuses to play fair, as tennis players did in the 1970s
I think humans are meant to freestyle; living by too many sets of rules closes you off to new possibilities. Conversely, having guiding principles, and treating them as a kind of living document, could be helpful.
Hi! I’m [halfsheet Post-It]
I believe the world is [no more than three regular Post-Its]
I make money by [halfsheet Post-It]
My employers are [no more than three halfsheet Post-Its]
My key work skills are [no more than three regular Post-Its]
My key personal attributes are [no more than three regular Post-Its]
My key lifestyle risks are [three regular Post-Its]
My key work risks are [three regular Post-Its]
Risks parking lot
Above all, to be successful, I need to [three regular Post-Its]
My key next steps are [three regular Post-Its]
This continues on from a past post reimagining the traditional resume, instead focusing on what you are proud of.
I wish there was a place where I could read the story of a person. Everybody’s journey is so different and beautiful; each one leads to who we are. It would be the anti-LinkedIn. And because you wouldn’t “engage with brands”, it would be the anti-Facebook, too. Instead, it would be a record of the beauty and diversity of humanity, and a thing to point to when someone asks, “who are you?”
I am also reminded of Doug Belshaw’s thoughts on emojis, identity and trust.
Some tracking scripts may be harmless. But others are designed to recognize I.P. addresses and embed cookies that collect information prized by advertisers.
Google’s DoubleClick ad trackers, for instance, are commonly found on school pages that host YouTube videos, like the Community Website Introduction video on a school site in Massapequa, on New York’s Long Island. The trackers tee up videos containing advertising on the school page, once its own video finishes playing.
I have reflected upon this topic elsewhere.
TC is not the solution for how we provide quality learning and teaching. The staff at TC will tell you that it is the best approach for their learning community. Schools like this become an example of what can be done and what’s possible. We cannot extract the intellectual rigour, analysis and innovative practice from TC – they’ve learned the work by doing the work. What the rest of us can extract is that change can and is happening so let’s take control of our learning.