Replied to Are You a YouTube Recommendation Engine for Your Students?

Long story short:  Our kids are already spending tons of time in YouTube.  If we can influence what they are watching there — a process that starts by carefully curating high-interest content connected to our curriculum — we can have a long-term impact on the role that one of the most popular digital spaces can play in their learning lives.

I love your idea and endeavour Bill. I remember trying this with my media class a few years ago. It reminds me of Silvia Rosenthal Talisano’s curation challenge.
Replied to Overlooked No More: Alan Turing, Condemned Code Breaker and Computer Visionary (

His ideas led to early versions of modern computing and helped win World War II. Yet he died as a criminal for his homosexuality.

This all makes me wonder, what do people in the secret service put on their resumes when their achievements are top secret?
Replied to trying by ayjay ayjay (Snakes and Ladders)

As Robin wrote about Craig’s project, “Craig is always making new tools, trying new things, like the SMS experiment. Like he is really TRYING. What if 10X more people were TRYING?” I want to be one of those people who is trying, too. Trying to share things I like in unexpected ways.

Alan, I think that your description of “sharing interesting things in unexpected ways” captures the development of my blog to include various aspects of the #IndieWeb.
Replied to 3 Reasons I Do Not Engage in Twitter Debates by an author (Education Week)

There are three reasons why I do not get into debates on social media. So, if you’re looking to get into one with me, please feel free to read this blog over and over again to get an understanding of why I won’t debate with you. Those three reasons I don’t debate are:

They’re rarely about common understanding—Debates on social media are rarely about finding common ground, and I always prefer to get into situations where we can learn from one another and move on with a better understanding. Many people trying to debate us are really looking to win. That’s never a good beginning to a beautiful friendship.

They make you look really crazy to onlookers—When we are in the battle, we feel like we are making tactical moves and Tweeting or posting really impressively smart comments. In our heads, we feel like J.K Rowling with her stunning comebacks. In reality, we look crazy, and it’s just not worth it.

I’m not good at them—I’m the first to admit I’m a reflective guy. I’m not a debate-club graduate, because I need time (and lots of it) to gather my thoughts, look at the research, and process my answers. Debates on social media rarely encourage that type of thinking. I’d much prefer to have someone post a comment on the blog that I can respond to.

This is an interesting reflection Peter. It captures some of the divide within EduTwitter. Although it can be a space to connect and shares, something Ian Guest captured through his research. It can also be quite toxic, a point that Stewart Riddle unpacks.

In some ways, this reminds me of a post I wrote a few years ago on ‘ideals‘:

Although it is important to dream and dream big, at some point our efforts need to turn to finding pragmatic solutions for the now. They need to be ideas and initiatives that respond to the problem at hand. Instead of calling for a revolution, our attention should be on how we can evolve education one change at a time.

My concern is that we decide who or what is our tribe then chastise those who do not agree. It feels like this is what happened recently with Greg Miller.

What I liked about your post is your comparison with blogging and Twitter. Personally, I find it a different experience to collect my thoughts on my own site (like this post), rather than just jump straight into Twitter. Although I can link this post to yours and webmentions will bring your responses back, I believe it is in the comments that a deeper discussion can be had. I find myself being much more reflective in not only taking the time to craft out my comment with various links, but I also feel more ownership and awareness of what I write and say.

In the end, we may not agree with each other on every matter, but we need spaces to carve out knowledge and understanding together. I think that this is the challenge of the #ProSocialWeb movement.

Replied to

The strangest thing was when the connections started to break without the shared sense of experience and belonging. Although that might also be on me too 🤷‍♂️
Replied to After the hype, our economy’s grim reality setting in

The future may turn out to be golden but, even if it does, the econocrats have no way of knowing that in advance – they’re just guessing – and the road between now and then looks pretty rocky.

Way too many black swans to be making such concrete predictions.
Replied to Building the Brexit party: how Nigel Farage copied Italy’s digital populists (the Guardian)

Casaleggio was far ahead of other political parties in using this data to help shape Five Star’s messaging, which he fed back to supporters through Grillo’s blog, and increasingly through social media. The very tools that were supposedly giving members control over the movement were allowing Casaleggio to exert control over them. With a thoughtfully crafted blogpost, he could intervene in the movement’s internal debates, bolstering certain positions and dampening others down.

I always wondered how Mark Zuckerberg for president would ever work, I would assume that this might be an example.
Replied to Detractors from afar by gregmiller68

Over the last few weeks St Luke’s Marsden Park found itself in the news more than usual. That can be partly explained by our appearance on ABC’s 7:30, a television program with a national profile. Overall, the story portrayed St Luke’s in a positive light; however, the assertions by Jennifer Buckingham from the Centre of Independent Studies  that, “the approach taken at St Luke’s really is an experiment” and, “there is a great risk that this experiment will fail”, could not be left unchallenged.

This is a great reflection on the journey that you have started at St Luke’s. I think that it fits with the idea of change through encouragement, rather than revolution. To me it fits with the model of change being pushed by groups like Agile Schools, where bit by bit education is progressively transformed. Is this an experiment? Maybe, but the question I have is what support and structures are put in place to support such changes. I think where things becomes undone is where we think it is just one thing that will make all the difference. I recently read The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and have been left with the reality that all we can do is inoculate ourselves against the treat of the unexpected result by spreading our investments, rather than betting on a unicorn. I wonder if this is a part of what Gert Biesta describes as the beautiful risk of education.

Having said all this, I was also left wondering (and worrying) as to what detractors wish as an outcome by making the case about experimenting in school? Does Jennifer expect you to stop everything you are doing and pivot to what someone else is doing? In some ways this reminds me of the uproar involving Johanna O’Farrell from a few years ago. Although tribes are good at building a sense of community, there are times I wonder if they really evolve the conversation? I think that this is the problem that groups like Team Human and #ProSocialWeb are trying to grapple with.

Replied to Killing Two Birds with One Stone (

Taking into account individual contexts, schools and leaders must determine the purpose of professional learning plans. Blurring the lines only causes confusion and ambiguity. Problems arise when we try and kill two birds with one stone.

This is a great post Andrea. I always found it awkward to say the least to have a coaching conversation with the same person who I set my SMART goals with. Even worse when we were all encouraged to focus on the same goals to make the process easier.
Replied to Space for More Spaces (CogDogBlog)

I still hold on to the idea that those old archaic, pre-social media constructs, a personal blog, is the main place, the home, to operate from. There are no limits or controls of corporations or data selling. What’s missing is people attending to them, we;ve been pretty much driven, led, or on our own, decided to spend most of our attention economy in the big spaces. Not to be shut in and never leave, but all the other spaces are somewhat secondary, maybe we visit often.

I’m not looking for the ideal space, to me it’s the entire internet. I wish to be above, to transcend, to hop across spaces.

I like your point Alan about spaces. I wonder what would need to happen for us all to ‘transcend’? There are times when I hope for something else to come out of such movements as the IndieWeb, especially in regards to the idea of a digital commonplace book. However, I am also mindful that this may not be for everyone. Can we then transcend, without merely morphing into somebody else’s data point? This is where I feel conflicted at the moment.
Replied to #tdc2690 #ds106 More Than Just Books (The Daily Create)

Books are wonderful, but in the digital age, the best libraries are reinventing themselves to extend beyond the book. What are some other services that could be offered or items that could be lent to ensure the vibrancy of the institution of the library?

Libraries of the future? Always open, learning organisations, with a focus on space, people and community, supporting curation and engagement through skills and games.
Replied to Super Secret Journal Posts by Tom Woodward

Let’s say someone wanted people to write down very personal, very sensitive thoughts about privilege, bias etc. They’ve turned down Google Docs as an option because they heard that people can see that. They want this even if you’ve said that writing down secrets at all is not a good idea and that writing them anywhere digital, let alone the Internet, is a very bad idea.

Tom, what is the difference between using your super secret journal posts and the usual private posts?
Replied to The IKEA Effect – Issue 126 – Dialogic Learning Weekly

I stumbled on a blog series from the University of Nottingham’s Primary Educator Network, that explores a range of pedagogical strategies.

“In every teacher’s repertoire, there are a number of specific pedagogical practices that are fundamental to almost any subject taught. They might include, for example, explaining a new concept or managing a whole-class discussion. These powerful tools, each of which depends on the honing of skills over time, have sometimes been termed core, or high-leverage practices.”

In some Sydney partner schools, they call these strategies “pedagogical moves” like a dance routine. I am busting some pedagogical shapes!

Tom, I really like your point about ‘pedagogical moves’. I wrote a post a few years ago wondering about pedagogical cocktails. I think what is interesting is that if we add too many ingredients then the subtle flavours can become lost with only the more dominant remaining. I think this is where your post on innovation compression is so important.
Replied to ABC Weekend Reads

I remembered this: the day that Christchurch kids, Maori and settler, boys and girls, came together on the streets and performed the Haka to remember two of their schoolmates killed in the Christchurch massacre in March.

It was a moving and thrilling sight. But for me the most powerful message of this spontaneous moment was the sense of this being a shared culture.

One known and owned by all the kids, all of whom have been schooled in Maori culture and history and language from a young age. It was their Haka – white and brown.

The difference between the way Australia treats its Indigenous people really stood out to me when I visited New Zealand a few years ago.
Replied to Success indicators of a professional learning model (the édu flâneuse)

I have been reflecting lately on measures of success of this model. How might we know that our approach to internal professional learning is having a positive impact? As part of the model’s implementation, we generate ongoing honest feedback from staff in order to refine the model each year, including via focus groups and anonymous surveys. For instance, in the annual staff survey, the pathway options, especially the Professional Learning Groups, were rated highly by staff. Additionally, our staff satisfaction with professional learning is above the national benchmark.

Great to hear how you have distributed the leadership for the different groups. Look forward to reading the book Deb.
Replied to The evolution of linkblogging

If you’re a blog author and you’re adding any significant commentary, the RSS feed should point back to your site.
If you’re an RSS client developer, the difference between link posts and full posts should be exposed in the UI.

I find it interesting to read about the ‘evolution’ as I am not sure I ever considered either of these scenarios. I started by experimenting with post formats and then post kinds. It makes me wonder how deliberate some of these developments are?
Replied to Toolkit: How to build a newsletter list by kylecreativemornings

An important piece to owning your content is also having a direct connection to people who want to hear from you. Although it is the oldest publishing platform on the internet, email is unquestionably reliable, you can take your list with you, and it is decentralized and untainted by algorithms and companies with hidden agendas. A newsletter is the single greatest asset you can build for yourself that pushes you to commit to the long-haul.

Truth is, it’s harder to get popular on social media than it is to grow a newsletter list of humans that are eager to receive your messages. You’ll scream so much on social media you’ll end up losing your voice, whereas with newsletters, you have to be thoughtful, clear, and useful. Aren’t all of those skills worth nurturing?

Although there is some great content shared in regards to newsletters and elsewhere in regards to curating an about me page, the idea of using a site to promote owning your content seems a little ironic to me.
Replied to

I think a podcast is a great idea. The only negative is the inability to include wider voices, but you could provide listeners a space to share Q’s and/or feedback. I like how Seth Godin does this.
Replied to No webmentions to original URLs that include emojis (BoffoSocko)

I’ve found a few instances in which will apparently fail to send a webmention (and/or fail to find a target) when the original URL contains an emoji(s). I’d suspect it’s a quirky encoding issue of some sort. I’m sure I’ve seen this issue before on Instagram where it’s probably more likely as the result of emojis in Instagram “titles” when using PESOS methods. When I subsequently remove the emoji from the permalink, and reprocess Bridgy then has no problem finding the URL and sending the webmention. So at least there’s a “fix” on the user’s side for those experiencing this issue, but only if they’re aware it exists and have the means of executing it. Example of failed webmention: (I’ll note that it’s also got a fragment # in the URL, but don’t think this is a part of the issue) Original: F0%9F%93%85-virtual-homebrew-website-club-meetup-on-may-15-2019/?replytocom=262215#respond Syndicated copy that was liked:

This issue with webmentions and emojis is the reason when I manually set each slug, because what I was finding was that my posts were not pinging. However, when I used the permalink then it worked. For example:

Rather than: