Bookmarked Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? by Johann Hari (the Guardian)
It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed – and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can’t create meaning out of your work. Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs – who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated – started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments.
In this extract from Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach.
Bookmarked Researching Your Own Practice: The Discipline of Noticing by CEM (eDirector's News)
One of the key ideas in Mason's book involves the pitfalls of teachers acting by routine only. Professionals become professionals, he acknowledges, by developing perceptions and skills, and by ‘routinising’ them. But Mason says that routines also deaden us. When things seem familiar and we react according to pattern or habit, we may not really be seeing what’s there. That means that we may not be doing as well as we might. The art of noticing is to keep open to new perceptions while standing on the base of skills, routines, and knowledge that enables us to function as well as we do. The discipline of noticing is to keep such noticing productive, and this is at the core of Mason’s agenda.
A short summary of Researching Your Own Practice: The Discipline of Noticing by John Mason
Bookmarked Google Maps’s Moat (Justin O’Beirne)
Google has gathered so much data, in so many areas, that it’s now crunching it together and creating features that Apple can’t make—surrounding Google Maps with a moat of time
Justin O’Beirne discusses the addition of ‘Areas of Interests’ to Google Maps. He wonders if others, such as Apple, can possibly keep up. The challenge is that these AOIs aren’t collected—they’re created. And Apple appears to be missing the ingredients to create AOIs at the same quality, coverage, and scale as Google.

O'Beirne's table demonstrating the difference between Google and Apple

Google’s is in fact making data out of data:

Google’s buildings are byproducts of its Satellite/Aerial imagery. And some of Google’s places are byproducts of its Street View imagery.

For a different take on Google Earth’s 3D imagery, watch this video from the [Nat and Friends]:

https://youtu.be/suo_aUTUpps

Bookmarked My favourite inquiry journeys of 2017.... (Kath Murdoch)
Using an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning is multi-faceted. At its heart, inquiry is a stance – it’s about how we talk to kids and how we think about learning. It is also about how we plan and the contexts we both recognise and create in which powerful inquiry can thrive. These contexts can be highly personal (one child’s investigation into their passion) and they can also be shared contexts that bring learners together under a common question. These shared inquiries form a powerful ‘backbone’ of the primary classroom.
Kath Murdoch stops and reflects on twelve inquiry projects that she has helped with in 2017. They include such questions as:

  1. HOW CAN WE DESIGN FOR OUR WELLBEING?
  2. WHAT MAKES A HEALTHY HABITAT?
  3. HOW CAN WE TEACH OTHERS ABOUT THIS SPECIAL PLACE?
  4. WHY DO PEOPLE PLAY?
  5. CAN WE CREATE OUR OWN RESTAURANT?
  6. BIN CHICKENS: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
  7. LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS…WOULD YOU BUY THAT? WHY?
  8. WHY ARE MUSEUMS IMPORTANT – AND CAN WE CURATE OUR OWN?
  9. WHAT’S MY STORY – WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
  10. WHAT’S REALLY ON YOUR PLATE?
  11. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ADAPT?
  12. WHY IS MUSIC IMPORTANT?

She pulls out some of the key aspects that went across all the different inquiries:

For the most part, the inquiries:

were authentic! Kids investigating something for a real purpose – with a genuine high-stakes outcome (often known from the outset)
were integrative. The journeys described allowed a range of learning areas to be meaningfully connected
involved experts from outside the school – this meant kids having to communicate with people in various fields
were shared – the learning gained from the inquiries went beyond the classroom and was shared with the wider community in some way
were emergent – these inquiries could not be planned in detail. The authentic nature of the journey meant that teachers and learners had to think on their feet and plan as the inquiry unfolded.
got kids out of the classroom visiting restaurants, going to the museum, the local nature reserve…many of these inquiries depended on experience beyond the classroom walls.
were often ‘design’ focussed.

This is not a list of questions and/or units to roll out, but rather a source of inspiration. Along with her post on ten practices of an inquiry teacher, they provide some guidance going into the new year.

Bookmarked Facial recognition's ominous rise: are we going too far too fast? (The Sydney Morning Herald)
This style of technology isn't new, but the method of its use - and the kinds of people wielding it - is.
This is a strange article documenting the rise of NEC. In it, Ben Grubb provides a range of examples, including Crown Casino tracking VIPs and Westfield estimating age, gender and mood. On the one hand it can be read as both being positive – which you would assume as the author’s expenses to iEXPO2017 were paid for by NEC – in that we can now do all these things with technology, but at the same time it asks the question as to whether we should? It reminds me in part of post discussing –Hitachi’s use of cameras to improve student life at Curtin University. My question is probably, “why would you?”.
Bookmarked Should Your Class Or Student Blogs Be Public Or Private? by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)
A dilemma that faces many educators new blogging is the question of whether they should be publishing their students’ information and work online. They might wonder if their class or student blogs should be public for anyone to see, or private for a limited audience (or no one) to view.
Kathleen Morris unpacks the benefits of both private and public blogs. She provides a number of arguments with evidence to support. This is particularly pertinent to schools and educators.

Edublogs on Private vs Public

Personally, when I supported classroom blogs they were closed as I was not comfortable that everyone who needed to be was fully aware of the consequences. I think though that Kin Lane’s advice on APIs can be applied, approach everything as if it is public even if it is not.

Bookmarked API Life Cycle Basics: Documentation (apievangelist.com)
API documentation should not be static. It should always be driven from OpenAPI, JSON Schema, and other pipeline artifacts. Documentation should be part of the CI/CD build process, and published as part of an API portal life cycle as mentioned above. API documentation should exist for ALL APIs that are deployed within an organization, and used to drive conversations across development as well as business groups–making sure the details of API design are always in as plain language as possible.
Kin Lane as the API Evangelist on the importance of documentation, this is a part of his work on API Basics
Bookmarked I Started the Media Men List (The Cut)
Last year, I wrote that women just recounting their experiences of sexism did not seem like enough. I wanted action, legislation, measurable markers of change. Now I think that the task at hand might be more rudimentary than I assumed: The experience of making the spreadsheet has shown me that it is still explosive, radical, and productively dangerous for women to say what we mean. But this doesn’t mean that I’ve lowered my hopes. Like a lot of feminists, I think about how women can build power, help one another, and work toward justice. But it is less common for us to examine the ways we might wield the power we already have. Among the most potent of these powers is the knowledge of our own experiences. The women who used the spreadsheet, and who spread it to others, used this power in a special way, and I’m thankful to all of them.
Moira Donegan recounts her experience of producing the anonymous Shitty Media Men Google Spreadsheet. This is a reminder of the way in which power and privilege so often outweigh the supposed potential of technology.

Via Hack Education Weekly Newsletter

Bookmarked White, Male, And Convincing Myself I Am Doing Good With Technology (kinlane.com)
Technology is a trip. Web technology is a delusion-ally virtual trip. It really seems to have many of us by the balls (pun intended), and working us like a puppet. I still perform this act on a daily basis via API Evangelist. Why? Because it makes me money! Of course, I’m always working to minimize the bullshit. Something I’m continuing to do by eliminating the mission driven rhetoric, but I just can’t quit API Evangelist. I’ve assumed this persona, and can’t seem to shake it. As I keep working to understand the beast I’ve created, I will continue to tell the story here on the blog.
Kin Lane reflects on the addictive nature of technology and the way in which he has convinced himself over time that he is actually doing good. This touches on the some of the ideas around ‘automating inequality’.