Replied to A warning to my readers (austinkleon.com)
I love meeting my readers, but I am so aware that the person who writes the books that they read is the best version of me — the most hopeful, the most helpful version of me. In my day-to-day life, I am as confused, and stupid, and pessimistic as anybody. As Wendell Berry puts it, “I am a man as crude as any…”
It seems ironic commenting on this post, but anyway.

Austin you might like the comment from John Banville about being two different people: the writer and the person.

Replied to Visually indicating post types on blogs and microblogs by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
It’s been a while since I’ve actively read Om Malik‘s blog, but I noticed that he’s using graphical indicators that add some semantic detail about what each post is. It’s a design element I’ve only seen lately out of the IndieWeb community with plugins like the Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress or done manually with emoji in post titles the way Aaron Davis has done relatively religiously, particularly on his “Collect” site.
What an intriguing term Chris, ‘relatively religiously’. It reminds me of my question as to whether the IndieWeb is ‘ritualistic‘.

Personally, there were a few reasons I started my ‘Collect’ blog. One was wondering about what a ‘feed’ in a space like Micro.Blogs might actually look like. One of the things that I noticed early on was how clunky my titles looked with ‘Reply to’ etc at the start. I also had concerns about using the identical title of the post I was mentioning. I found emojis an efficient method to indicate what sort of interaction it was and that it was not my own post.

I still have concerns about emojis in urls. Although many with Micro.Blog sites have arcane urls due to the absence of a title, I like to use the title in the url. One of the catches I found early on was that this added the emoji. I subsequently paste the title in the slug when I copy it from the properties box. I would love to be able to strip this out automatically, but not sure I am at that stage yet.

Replied to A portrait of the artist as a young father (austinkleon.com)
Here are a handful of things I think I know about being a dad:
The one point that really struck me as I type this with the rest of the family fast asleep was the point about balance:

Work, children, or a social life. You may pick two at a time. (Nobody wants to hear this.)

That is a good point.

Replied to Pedagogical Activist (andreastringer.blogspot.com)

One person, one political party, one organisation cannot design a dynamic learning culture; it needs to be a collective effort. A collective review and renewal of our curriculum and assessment practises to allow organisations/schools to design, facilitate and lead dynamic learning opportunities for our students. Students, teachers and educational leaders need to have more influence and be more involved in the decision-making process. As the tweets and analogies above highlight, maybe it's time we rethink education in Australia.

  • What isn’t working in our context?
  • What is working well and how do we know this?
  • What can we learn from research, data and evidence?
  • What can we learn from other countries and contexts?
  • How could we adapt what we learn from others for our context? (not replicate)
  • How can we give all stakeholders a voice in the decision making process?
  • How can we promote and recognise educators as the 'professionals'?
  • Who is prepared to take a risk for our students' education?
  • What should we drop, retain or introduce?
I love the statement:

Let’s be pedagogical activists.

In part, this reminds me of a recent post I read about relationships and pedagogical love. I feel that we need to be committed to ongoing development, adjusting to the needs of the class and context at hand.

Replied to Update on #IndieWeb WordPress UX Research (jgregorymcverry.com)
For the past two months I have started the data collection to help understand the IndieWeb user base and how we can help onboarding people through WordPress.
Sorry, I have been meaning to get back to you in regards to your research. Happy to help out with any surveys or anything, just not sure about the logistics.
Replied to The educational blogosphere (bluyonder.wordpress.com)
What impresses me most about the blogosphere is just how generous people are with their time and ideas. Their intent is never about personal gain but how small contributions can lead to transformational change. We can all make a difference somewhere through our circle of influence
I enjoyed Seth Godin’s recent podcast reflection on the different iterations of his blog. He too had an overarching intent, which yourself list as ‘transformation’, but what interested me where the various changes in directions he has taken based on the contexts of the time.

I wonder Greg how your blog has developed? Are any ‘changes’ that stand out to you? Has your practice over ten years always been the same? Would love to know.

Replied to Plug and play studio (austinkleon.com)
So, for about a $150 investment, I can have all my old microphones, bass guitar, and keyboard plugged in at all times, and all you have to do is plug in an iPad (or an iPhone!), fire up Garageband, select the inputs, and go. I’ll often make a drum pattern with the built-in sequencer, then record myself singing and playing my old Yamaha piano through the MIDI input. It’s fun to do the basic tracks, unplug the iPad, then sit on the couch with headphones and do the mixing.
I remember getting a Creative soundcard for my desktop computer that had a single line in and line out. I would use this to record snippets to build tracks. How far technology has come.

I watched a documentary (I think that it involved Trent Reznor) and they were discussing the temperamental nature of early sampling where the computer (think it was an Apple) would sometimes just crash and they would need to wait hours for it to process again.

Replied to A Classroom Romance | Hybrid Pedagogy by Laura Witherington (Hybrid Pedagogy)

Joannne Lipman in “The Fine Art of Tough Love” describes principles she learned from her music teacher Jerry Kupchynsky, or “Mr. K.” The steps in her roadmap to success include:

  • Banish Empty Praise
  • Set Expectations High
  • Articulate clear goals — and goal posts along the way
  • Failure Isn’t Defeat
  • Say thank you

While these may sound like obvious practices, it’s the attitude that makes or breaks their instructional implementation. None of these steps addresses the actual student. These are steps that could be taken by an alienated expert. If these are the principles of tough love, they are missing the love. And the love is almost always excluded from those who claim to practice tough love. My rejoinder to them is to try plain love, without the adjective “tough.” Why not just love? Just loving the students refocuses the teacher’s efforts onto the students.

This reminds me of the Finnish idea of ‘Pedagogical Love‘:

In the same way, ‘pedagogical love would rather aim at the discovery of pupils’ strengths and interests and act based on these to strengthen students’ self-esteem and self-image as active learners’.

Replied to Doug Belshaw on Mastodon (Mastodon)
I don’t really pay much attention to the ‘format’ of a newsletter, I am more interested in the person and the story told. I love the personal nature of Laura Hilliger’s rambling reflections and the structured collections provided by Ian O’Byrne. I am sometimes sceptical of newsletters which are really means of summary and self-promotion. I think that Austin Kleon is someone who gets that balance right.