Bookmarked Looking beyond code to make the future work for everyone (Google)
Moving beyond code and intensive degrees to these constant, lightweight and ubiquitous forms of education will take resources and experimentation. But that effort should help close today’s skills gaps, while making sure future skills gaps don’t open. That’s part of the reason Google has invested $1 billion over five years to help find new approaches to connect people to opportunities at work and help small and medium businesses everywhere grow in the digital economy. We should make sure that the next generation of jobs are good jobs, in every sense. Rather than thinking of education as the opening act, we need to make sure it’s a constant, natural and simple act across life—with lightweight, flexible courses, skills and programs available to everyone.
Sundar Pichai talks about supporting on-going education. In part this is about education, but it is also about digital literacies. I was particularly taken by the statement about creating jobs for the future:

We should make sure that the next generation of jobs are good jobs, in every sense.

I am not sure what good jobs exactly refers to or are. Good for whom and for what?

Bookmarked Aggregator ― A WordPress Plugin (Kris Shaffer)
I've created a WordPress plugin called Aggregator, which will allow WordPress users ― bloggers, teachers, and students alike ― to collect their own annotations, annotations on a topic of interest, or annotations from/about a class, and present them in a page or post on the WordPress platform. It's easy to install, easy to use, and (I hope) will be of value to students, scholars, teachers, and writers.
This is an interesting approach to collecting comments and contributions from around the web.
Bookmarked Screen Time? How about Creativity Time? – Mitchel Resnick – Medium by Mitchel Resnick (Medium)
Excerpt from my book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play
Resnick discusses some of the problems with the way that we see technology. He points out that the notion of ‘technology’ encompasses more than an iPhone:

Techno-skeptics often argue that children should spend more time with crayons and watercolors, rather than tablets and laptops. But they tend to forget that crayons and watercolors were viewed as “advanced technologies” at some point in the past. We see them differently now because they’ve become integrated into the culture. Computer pioneer Alan Kay likes to say that technology is anything that was invented after you were born. For kids growing up today, laptops and mobile phones aren’t high-tech tools — they’re everyday tools, just like crayons and watercolors.

He also explains that the problem with technology is not necessarily the tool itself, but the way in which it is used. With this in mind he suggests that we try and maximise ‘creative’ time

Spending all your time on any one thing is problematic. But the most important issue with screen time is not quantity but quality. There are many ways of interacting with screens; it doesn’t make sense to treat them all the same. Time spent playing a violent video game is different from time spent texting with friends, which is different from time spent researching a report for school, which is different from time spent creating and sharing an interactive story with Scratch. Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maximize creative time.

Bookmarked Factors that Influence Parental Views About Online Safety (Leif Rask)
In the end, it is up to you whether you believe that risks exist on the internet and whether they affect you. Personally, I hope that you will take a moment to understand how the internet works, and the risks involved for you and your children. I also hope that you will help your children to understand internet safety so that they are better prepared when you’re not around. I can’t tell you what to think and what to decide. I hope that you make an informed decision, a decision that helps your children lead safer lives.
Leif Rask provides a useful provocation in regards to online safety. It reminds me in part of watching Mr. Robot or Zeynep Tufekci’s work. My only concern is that it does not necessarily provide any sort of alternative. Maybe that would be a separate post? The hard thing is that there is no ‘informed’ choice that is magically the ‘right’ choice. I choose a self-hosted version of WordPress, is that worse than Rask’s choice to use I realise that I may open myself up to more risks needing to manage my site, but the lessons learnt in doing this are priceless?
Bookmarked Why I Follow Those Whom I Follow (and Why I Unfollow Those Whom I Once Followed) (
Why do you follow or unfollow? Have you even ever thought about it?
Kevin offers an interesting reflection on following. I am particularly taken by Algot’s personal approach. I have reflected here, but basically I have cut back to those I have had some sort of interaction with.
Bookmarked Feed reader developers -- here's an easy way to differentiate your service and have your users love you even more (
There are whole new areas of technology waiting for you to add this feature!
Dave Winer makes the case for subscribing to OPML files within feed readers. This was one of the reasons I moved to Inoreader. However, he suggests that Feedly also supports this functionality, maybe it is a paid feature?
Bookmarked Common Sense Media Misses the Mark on COPPA (Jim Siegl)
Schools should think of COPPA as a subset of their overall privacy responsibilities. I would argue that schools should prioritize overall privacy for students of all ages, and compliance with FERPA. There are few cases where paying attention to this would not also aid in the schools’ role in vendors’ COPPA compliance.
Bookmarked Professional Development Gets Personal : Stager-to-Go (
Gary Stager provides a series of tips for PD success in a recent article for the Hello World magazine:

Ask participants to take off their teacher hats
and put on their learner hats!
Expect the impossible, and your students will
surprise you.
Whimsy, beauty, playfulness, and mystery are
powerful contexts for learning.
Focus on powerful ideas, not step-by-step
Offer maximum choice in projects and processes.
Establish an absence of coercion. Operate under
the assumption that your students want to be
there. “Nothing beautiful can ever be forced.”
– Xenophon
Supply sufficient materials and time, quality
work takes time and you don’t want people
waiting around for materials.
Papert teaches us that the best learning results
from hard fun.
Less us, more them. Provide a minute or two of
instruction, suggest a prompt or challenge, and
then shut up. The more agency one can bestow
upon learners, the more they will accomplish.

Bookmarked 16 Best Alternatives to the WordPress Jetpack Plugin (WPBeginner)
Are you looking for the best alternatives to the Jetpack plugin for WordPress? Check out these best alternatives to the WordPress Jetpack plugin.
The team at WPBeginner provide a useful reflection on Jetpack:

Like all things in life, Jetpack plugin comes with its own advantages and disadvantages that you need to keep in mind when choosing Jetpack alternatives.

### Pros of Using Jetpack Plugin

These are the advantages of using Jetpack plugin on your WordPress website.

  • One plugin to rule them all. You get all essential features in one easy to manage package.
  • Jetpack is highly optimized for performance with Automattic’s (company behind Jetpack and powerful infrastructure running in the background.
  • It has a nicer user interface than your typical WordPress plugins.

### Cons of Using Jetpack Plugin

Following are the disadvantages of using WordPress Jetpack plugin on your website.

  • Using Jetpack requires you to create a account.
  • The Jetpack core is free but many of its features require a paid subscription.
  • It has limited email functionality. You cannot email your subscribers without publishing a blog post.
  • Your website becomes dependent on one plugin which makes it harder to replace in the future.