Bookmarked Tesla: The brilliant company that may meet a spectacular end (The New Daily)
Elon Musk has a beautiful vision for Tesla: Shift the world to clean-powered vehicles, and do it with giant charisma and cool factor. What other car company would call their fast-acceleration option “ludicrous mode,” and their eco-mode “chill mode”? What other car company is launching the fastest production car ever? What other car company installs a disco mode that makes the car dance?! Tesla is brilliant at making their cars extremely desirable. If I could find $100,000 and a place to charge it, I’d get one of their Model S sedans in a heartbeat.
While at the Canberra #EdTechTeam Summit, Amy Burvall introduced the activity of creating a playlist that represented somebody. This was about using the meaning within the songs, rather than understanding the actual person. My table chose Elon Musk. Another participant chose Bowie’s Star Man, I suggested The Smith’s Stop Me If You Think You Have Heard This One Before. I think this captures what Watters describes as the myth of Musk. On the one hand you cannot help be amazed, but on the flipside, these stories are full of unfulfilled promises.
Bookmarked My White Male Spreadsheet by Kin Lane (kinlane.com)
Nobody ever told me there were hidden columns in the spreadsheet. Once I begun spending more time outside of my comfort zone, beyond where all spreadsheets were the same, and started looking over the shoulder of my partners spreadsheet, and other friends, I started noticing they had different columns, or entirely different spreadsheets. I had never noticed the male harassment column until I started watching my partners spreadsheet on a regular basis. I never really considered the calculations she had to make walking home from the bar after a conference, or how she would receive entirely different responses for exact same criticism about technology. I could say something and nobody would feel the need to tell me I was wrong, but if she said the same thing, 20 dudes would come out of the woodwork to let her know how out of line she was. She had a bunch of columns in her spreadsheet that I had never seen before.
This is an interesting take on perspective. We all have many data-sets and formulas that we are a part of. However, we often have little influence over them. Maybe this is best put by appropriating the words of Louis Althusser,

We are all already within a spreadsheet

Bookmarked Welcome to Workload High School (EDUWELLS)
Proposal: Changing your high school structures to match the thinking of Finland, New Zealand, Ken Robinson, and many others will halve your class sizes and stress levels.
Richard Wells reflects upon the structures of high school and potential of projects to shake this up. He provides a series of ideas to support this:

It’s easier implemented as a full school and not in a seperate programme.

Teachers design a menu of interdisciplinary projects based around themes or phenomenon that have a focus on key existing curriculum.

All non-teaching / personal time slots are simultaneous for all. This means all teachers, rooms and resources are timetabled for simultaneous use, meaning each teacher shares the load and you have smaller student numbers to monitor on either a project and mentor group.

Consider Zoning groups of classrooms into Project zones. The usual 5 teachers from 5 rooms are timetabled into the zone to each mentor their smaller number of students.

All teachers take on a general academic mentoring group to focus on learning and project progress.

Teachers share the planning and monitoring of projects which makes the measuring of progress more palatable than traditional standardised teaching and marking.

Projects can be designed generically enough around a theme or phenomenon that they can be simultaneously offered to different age groups with appropriate expectations for outcomes. This can save teacher workload.

Bookmarked We are Missing the Point about Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, etc. (Baekdal)
Imagine if Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, would that solve this problem? No, because then the politicians would just use some other data and find some other tools ... and keep on telling different voters different things. The only way to actually solve this is to regulate the politicians. The politicians are the ones who shouldn't be allowed to do this.
Thomas Baekdal argues that current issues associated with Facebook are far more systemic. He provides three points of change:

Firstly, publishers need to rethink the entire ad model of the internet, and shift it to a 1st party data model rather than the 3rd party model that exists today.

Secondly, publishers need to change the way they report these stories, because, today, your Facebook-centric focus is out of tune with the real problem.

Thirdly, the tech industry needs to change.

Bookmarked Personalized precision education and intimate data analytics (code acts in education)
Precision education represents a shift from the collection of assessment-type data about educational outcomes, to the generation of data about the intimate interior details of students’ genetic make-up, their psychological characteristics, and their neural functioning.
Ben Williamson breaks down the idea of precision through the use of data and how it might apply to education.
Bookmarked I Read One Book 100 Times Over 10 Years… Here Are 100 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned by Ryan Holiday (Medium)
All the things that people do hallucinogens to explore, you can also do while sober as a judge. It just takes work.
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:

All we have now are translations of translations — no original writing from his hand survives. It all could have been arranged in an entirely different format originally (Did all the books have titles originally — as the first two do? Are those titles made up? Were they all numbered originally? Or were even the breaks between thoughts added in by a later translator?)

This comes back to the work of Walter Benjamin and the Task of the Translator.

Another idea that he discusses 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:

Drugs spin certain wheels in your head that are already spinning


Holiday also discusses habits and stoicism in a post outlining 13 habits to do every day.

Bookmarked Wild About Books by Kim Yeomans (wildaboutbooks.global2.vic.edu.au)
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.
Kim Yeomans has started a new blog to share books for young readers. Along with Bianca Hewes’ Instagram account @Jimmy_Reads_Books and Pernille Ripp’s collections, these sites are useful resources when looking for new titles.
Bookmarked Open Web Stories – for DMLL @ Coventry (Reflecting Allowed)
On the open web, we implicitly consent to more than I think we mean to.
Maha Bali reflects on her open education story. This involves responding to three questions:

  • What does the open web mean to you?
  • Why should we care about the open web?
  • Who are you?

She talks about the challenges of doing a PhD remotely, participation in MOOCs such as Rhizo14 and the creation of Virtually Connecting. She also shares some of the limits to open education, especially in regards to those who are vulnerable.

Bookmarked Does the old school report have a future? (Australian Council for Educational Research - ACER)
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.
Hilary Hollingsworth and Jonathan Heard provide some background to student reporting in Australia. One of the challenges that 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 of biannual and ongoing reporting?