Replied to A Writing Space of One’s Own (Reflecting Allowed)

The editor of a book I contributed to asked all of us contributors to send photos of our writing spaces. I usually write on my phone. I write my syllabi, my blog, entire book chapters and articles …

Thank you Maha for sharing your unprivileged writing process. To often the reality seems to go unrecognised. I too sneak moments to jot down points. It would be nice to fit in time for ‘deep work‘, but it isn’t always possible.
Replied to Innovation in schools (the édu flâneuse)

For me, innovation in education is about interrogating where voice, power and agency reside. It is worth asking: who has power and influence? Who has control of measures, expectations, systems, norms and processes? Who has autonomy, voice and ownership? And what can we each do, now, that is productive and meaningful for our students?

Deborah, I really like your discussion of innovation and ecosystems:

An ecosystem is a complex community of interconnected organisms in which each part, no matter how seemingly small, has an active, agentic part to play in the community. There are constant interdependent relationships and influences. The notion of an ecosystem of education resonates with Bob Garmston and Bruce Wellman’s third Adaptive Schools underlying principle of what they call ‘nonlinear dynamical’ systems: that tiny events create major disturbances. This principle reflects the way change often happens. The little things we change or do can have unexpected, chaotic, incremental effects that are difficult to quantify or not immediately noticeable.

Working as one of those ‘little things’ that come into the school it can be easy to bring in a script when arriving at a new school. The problem is that each school is made up of many other ‘little things’. I have therefore found it more useful to gauge as much about the school’s context as quickly as possible and then re-framing my message to fit.

Tom Critchlow describes this as ‘client ethnographies‘:

Every time you’re on-site with a client’s organization you’re studying the people, the behaviours, the motivations. You’re asking questions of as many people as you can.

While Doug Belshaw talks about the dangers of dead metaphors and failed frameworks:

So although it takes time, effort, and resources, you’ve got to put in the hard yards to see an innovation through all three of those stages outlined by Jisc. Although the temptation is to nail things down initially, the opposite is actually the best way forward. Take people on a journey and get them to invest in what’s at stake. Embrace the ambiguity.

Although it can be a challenge to find the time and resources, without it change is often frustrating to say the least.

Replied to Sweeping changes to HSC and syllabus proposed by government review (The Sydney Morning Herald)

The report proposed reducing more than 170 senior-level courses to a “limited set of rigorous, high-quality, advanced courses”. Vocational and academic subjects would slowly be brought closer so that eventually every course would mix theory and application.

HSC students would also have to complete a single major project, which would allow the development and assessment of skills such as gathering and analysing, as well as so-called general capabilities such as team work and communication.

It is interesting to consider the proposed changes in the NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report against other curriculum frameworks, like New Zealand. It also reminds me of a comment someone once made to me that curriculum is the best guess for tomorrow. I was also intrigued by Marten Koomen’s take, especially highlighting Masters’ Rasch over Reckase. It makes me rethink the use of ‘crowded curriculum‘.
Replied to Facebook confirms data sharing with Chinese companies (U.S.)

Facebook allowed Apple and other device makers to have “deep” access to users’ personal data without their consent, according to the Times.

The Times said Facebook allowed companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after it had declared it would no longer share the information with outsiders.

Archibong said the data was only shared with device makers in order to improve Facebook users’ access to the information. “These partners signed agreements that prevented people’s Facebook information from being used for any other purpose than to recreate Facebook-like experiences.”

I am confused as to why Facebook would need to provide an authentic dataset for third-party development? Why wouldn’t they develop a de-identified dataset for this purpose?
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I have not really searched through my archive. However, I have found that the RSS feed provided by Granary provides Tweets even if they no longer exist.
Replied to Creating your own content curation community in WordPress (MASHe)

Recently I’ve been experimenting with a content curation site for the Google Apps Script community (see Apps Script Pulse – Sharing Google Apps Script community content). In this post I want to sha…

I really like Apps Script Pulse. I always wonder where IndieWeb and things like webmentions and post kinds fit with all of this. In some ways it reminds me of the collation of posts for IndieNews, which utilises ‘Syndication-of‘.
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Thank you Marten for the link to this, it is intriguing to think how the models we build upon can morph into the natural way of being as if there are no other alternatives.
Replied to Angry people

I get to choose my disposition. I can feel empathy for people that give themselves less choice than I have. I can move on after these interactions without feeling bad, if I know that I handled things as best as I could with the resources and experience that I have… and I need to remember that this applies to them too. They did they best they could, given their experiences and circumstances. I don’t choose to look back on this experience with anger. I’m not upset that I didn’t handle it better. I don’t pretend that it didn’t have an effect on me or I probably wouldn’t be writing about it now. But I will meet more angry people in my life, and I believe that I’m more resilient and more prepared for that time, thanks to this experience.

David, I really like your point about choosing your disposition. In my current role, I support a number of schools across the state of Victoria. This is often by phone and screen sharing. Often when the call gets to me, the person on the other end can be quite tense and frustrated, having already spent some time trying to fix something or get it to work. It is therefore important to listen and empathise with the struggles at the other end.

Although this is different from the situation you touch upon, both situations capture the challenge of communication in an online world. I find this a little easier when I have had the chance to meet the people who I maybe supporting in person. However, this is not always possible when schools are so geographically disparate.

Replied to WordPress en Micropub by Frank Meeuwsen, auteur op Digging the Digital

This is the third article in a series in which I want to explain how you can use the various IndieWeb plugins with a WordPress site. Such as being able to log in to other sites with your own domain name, respond to other sites with your own blog and post new articles with other applications.

In this article you will learn how you can publish with a plugin very easily from other places on your own site. This is done via Micropub.

Great introduction Frank. My only frustration with Micropub clients is that they never seem to marry with how I want to write/publish my posts. I sometimes wonder about the possibility of a build your own micropub client?
Replied to Publish button pangs

Let the pangs come. I want to be hesitant before hitting publish. I want to feel the pressure to do well, to not make careless mistakes, and to look things over one more time. These pangs are a badge of honour that I wear as a blogger.

This touches on Clive Thompson’s argument for the power of public:

Many people have told me that they feel the dynamic kick in with even a tiny handful of viewers. I’d argue that the cognitive shift in going from an audience of zero (talking to yourself) to an audience of 10 (a few friends or random strangers checking out your online post) is so big that it’s actually huger than going from 10 people to a million.

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Congratulations Share and good luck. I sometimes look up ladders and wonder where I see my “self”
Replied to Donotpay adds a feature that waits on hold for you, and now I’m ready to subscribe (Boing Boing)

Donotpay started as a project to help people automatically fight parking tickets, before its then-teenaged creator, the UK-born Stanford computer science undergrad Joshua Browder expanded it to hel…

I am with you Cory, as soon as this comes to Android.
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Some light summer reading?
Replied to The definitive guide to every Big Day Out line-up ever (Double J)

The full history of the Big Day Out

I only went to two Big Day Outs. First in 1999 and then again in 2000.

My highlights from 1999 was The Living End. I also remember being both amused by Marilyn Manson, but also a little bit disappointed at the same time.

In 2000, I remember Dave Grohl winding up the crowd waiting for Nine Inch Nails, being amazed by Primal Screams walls of sound (did they have five guitars? Felt like it), and Paul Dempsey asking us why we were watching Something for Kate, rather than Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Replied to Confidence and Competence

Confidence feeds competence, which feeds confidence…

I really like your point about competence feeding confidence feeding competence, but I feel like you are missing an aspect to your story. To me, confidence and competence come from having a mentor or model, someone who instills a sense of confidence to stretch your competence. I think this is one of the challenges when we talk about developing educational leaders for tomorrow, it can be hard to build both confidence and competence when venturing into the unknown.
Replied to Sustaining School Organisational Change | The Digital Evolution of Schooling

The challenge of sustaining while simultaneously also evolving the organisational change is an art few have clearly mastered.

It is a markedly different art to that of making the initial change.

While the theory is important the sustaining, and the opportune revitalisation of the core change is an art that requires a macro understanding of whole school change and a recognition that this very much a political exercise. Sometimes it is small p political, but in mostly it is likely capital p political.

Ultimately it is about orchestrating electoral acceptability, governments winning and retaining office and the executive decision makers securing personal ‘wins’; an imperative rarely mentioned in the school or even the general change literature.

System change is an intriguing beast. So much energy is given to getting the change off the ground. Maintaining change seems to be something different altogether. For example, so much effort was put into getting schools eSmart. However, it is unclear what it means to sustain this. I really like Dave Cormier’s call to move past the working with the willing.
Replied to How IBM’s Technology Powered the Holocaust (

It’s not difficult to see the relevance of this episode today. Should Microsoft-owned GitHub provide software to ICE for possible use in the agency’s state-sanctioned persecution of immigrants and asylum seekers? Should Twitter allow Donald Trump to incite terrorism on their service? Should Google provide AI to the Pentagon for the potential development of deadlier weapons? And Christ, where do you even start with Facebook? Palantir, Apple, and Amazon have also been criticized recently for allowing unethical usage of their technology and platforms. “It’s just business” and the belief in the neutrality of technology (and technology platforms) have combined to produce a shield that contemporary companies use to protect themselves from activists’ ethical criticisms. And increasingly, the customers and employees of these companies aren’t buying it because they don’t want history to repeat itself.
According to a book by human rights journalist Edwin Black, Hitler needed logistical help in carrying out the genocide of Europe

I wonder about the technology behind China’s social credit system and the links there. It would seem that what is different is that a lot of this technology is designed by the state for the state?