Replied to AI, algorithmic decision making, ethics and the under-representation of women in tech (Radio National)
Ethical principles for algorithmic decision making; more women in the tech industry; inclusion in AI and design - these of all issues of increasing significance in the future.
This was an important episode addressing the ethical questions that need to be considered in regards to algorithmic decision making, as well as gender equity within edtech. My only question was the voices chosen.

I wonder if there was an opportunity to have a female voice to discuss the topic. Whether it be Audrey Watters, Cathy O’Neil or danah boyd. Maybe choosing an ‘equitable’ voice could be construed as token. However, I fear that continually hearing from males perpetuates the issue at hand.

Replied to Finally! Simple Blog to Blog conversations in WordPress. by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
IndieWeb and Webmentions plugin for WordPress FTW! I don’t think I’d used it before or really seen it happening in the wild, but Khurt Williams used his website to reply to one of my posts via Webmention. I was then able to write my reply directly within the comments section of my original post...
I was wondering how I was meant to facilitate a threaded comment. Wondering Chris, is that with the Threaded Comment plugin? I remember seeing it listed as ‘optional’. Can’t remember if I installed it.

I still want to know how to bake more code into my responses/posts etc. Is it something that you handcraft or put into the theme?

I remember when I thought I had my head around WordPress and blogging. Then I found the IndieWeb and realised I had sold myself a lie.

Replied to How to tell the good mental health apps from the bad (Radio National)
In part two of our look at the relationship between depression and digital technology we ask how can you to tell the good mental health apps from the bad? Harvard Medical School researchers estimate there are more than 10,000 on the market, but only a fraction have been scientifically evaluated. We also explore the use of online tracking technology for relapse prediction.
The power of applications to provide feedback and extend our capacity and capabilities seems a worthy task. The question though is at what cost. I like the app evaluation model provided by the American Psychiatric Society, but am concerned about the tendency to turn to the ‘easy’ option. This is epitomised to me by Martin Seligman and the potential of Facebook to support positive education:

Along with creative developments in gaming, Facebook seems like a natural for measuring flourishing. Facebook has the audience, the capacity, and is building apps (applications) that speak to the development and measurement of well-being worldwide. Can well-being be monitored on a daily basis all over the world? Here’s a beginning: Mark Slee counted the occurrences of the term laid off in Facebook every day and graphed the count against the number of layoffs worldwide. Sure enough, they moved in lockstep. Not thrilling, you might think. But now consider the five elements of well-being: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment. Each element has a lexicon; an extensive vocabulary. For example, the English language has only about eighty words to describe positive emotion. (You can determine this by going to a thesaurus for a word such as joy and then looking up all the related words, and then counting the synonyms of all those related words, eventually circling back to the core of eighty.) The hypermassive Facebook database could be accessed daily for a count of positive emotion words—words that signal meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment—as a first approximation to well-being in a given nation or as a function of some major event. It is not only measuring well-being that Facebook and its cousins can do, but increasing well-being as well. “We have a new application: goals.com,” Mark continued. “In this app, people record their goals and their progress toward their goals.” I commented on Facebook’s possibilities for instilling well-being: “As it stands now, Facebook may actually be building four of the elements of well-being: positive emotion, engagement (sharing all those photos of good events), positive relationships (the heart of what ‘friends’ are all about), and now accomplishment. All to the good. The fifth element of well-being, however, needs work, and in the narcissistic environment of Facebook, this work is urgent, and that is belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than the self—the element of meaning. Facebook could indeed help to build meaning in the lives of the five hundred million users. Think about it, Mark.”

I have written about Facebook elsewhere and do not want to go into that here. I wonder though if there could be a means of collecting and collating such responses, while still holding onto the data? Is this one of the compromises to the ‘internet of things’?

Replied to #Ascilite17 by Greg Thompson (drbeardface.net)
Stiegler argues, the double potential of technology is that it also has the potential to deliver what he terms “singularisation”. One of the ways of thinking about this is to consider how it is that culture can interrupt (or catch up) with the ultrarapid technological change that students, schools and school personnel are increasingly contending with.
The history of personalisation, automation and machine learning is something that cannot be spoken about enough. EdTech seems to have a habit of seemingly surpressing many of these aspects in the desire for simplicity. People like Audrey Watters, Ben Williamson, Naomi Barnes and yourself do a good job of at least maintaining an alternate dialogue.

What I find interesting is that in placing hope with ‘big data’ we embrace a particular approach to data and identity. Firstly, it seems based on the premise of collecting coapieus amounts of data. Secondly, it depends on a rigid foundation of personal data collection.

A part of my current position involves aligning schools with SIF compliance. Along with APIs, such standards seem to be assumed. This world is far from simple and it consequences are not always clear.

I am intrigued with the idea of a ‘politics of technics’ and ‘singularisation’ wondering what that might actually mean in practice for the classroom teacher? School principal? EdTech coach? System leader? Researcher? Is it about identifying other possibilities? As I read Jenny Mackness’ recent words about changes in ‘learning and teaching’, I wonder if this is a part of it? At the very least we need different and divergent stories and I don’t know that we hear enough of them.

Replied to October 6, 2017 by Clive (Clive Thompson)
The story of why I’m @pomeranian99
Clive, I was intrigued by the story of how you came to your username. I had a similar story of confusion in choosing ‘mrkrndvs’. As an educator, many misinterpret it as ‘Mr Krndvs’ but soon get tongue tide. It is in fact my name without vowels, which is not so obvious as I do not go by my first name.

I was signing up for a Hotmail account sometime in the early 00’s and somewhere in the terms and conditions I misread that you would have to pay for a proper name. I therefore came up with ‘mrkrndvs’ as an alternative. I assume in hindsight that the ‘cost’ was probably in reference to purchasing a custom domain

Thankfully, I have long forgotten the other iterations of online usernames I used in those halcyon days. I do get pressure now and then to take on a more ‘professional’ username, but for me it is a part of the story of who I am. I feel that I have come to fit it overtime.

Replied to How to strive and thrive by using fuzzy goals and mental models (transformative learning)
What do you do when the end goal is not as clear? The answer is fuzzy goals
Goal setting is such an interesting topic. Smart goals seems to be a lot of people’s default. I have reflected before on the need to be open when developing pedagogical practices:

More than just SMART, the purpose of goals are to provide focus. A useful guide is the How Might We question, as it incorporate the what, the when and who in a succinct manner. In addition to this, I have found the Modern Learning Canvas useful in regards identifying particular points of innovation.

This is something Vivian Robinson touches on in Student-Centred Leadership:

When goals involve new challenges, how can you possibly know if it is achievable, if it is realistic, and how long it will take you to achieve it? In the absence of such knowledge, it may be better to set a learning goal or a broader performance goal that expresses your shared commitments and helps keep you focused.

The problem in a world driven by data and accountability, we are often uncomfortable with embracing the wicked and fussyness of the unknown.

Replied to A microcast about microcasts by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
I’ve wanted to create a podcast for a long time, but the effort involved just seemed like too much. So using my own website, I thought I’d see what I could come up with in under an hour in terms of creation and posting. Here’s the first “episode” of my microcast which I’ve conceived of, ...
I loved the depth of reflection that you provide Chris, connecting it with the past and considering all the different elements. I think that I need to give the idea some more consideration. I opened up Voxer and recorded a short note while cooking tea. Forgot all the contextual elements. Had to finish it as the hamburgers needed flipping.
Replied to Creating a personal Learning Board of Directors (transformative learning)
What if instead of being the sum of the five people we spend the most time, we set up a Learning Board of Directors. A deliberate choice of people who inspire us, provide feedback, clarity and encouragement, who are interested in our growth and development and won’t shy away from the tough conversations. Some of the Learning Board members you may not know but their guidance from afar is through intellectual inspiration and advice in the form of blogs, podcasts or videos. Below is the list that I came up with.
Another thought provoking post Steve. It reminds me in part of Cameron Paterson’s call to find people who scare you, as well as Tom Barrett’s creative council.

A few questions that I was left wondering is whether the board of directors changes over time? And needs to change? Does having a ‘board of directors’ involve creating the conditions to properly embrace these guides and mentors? And do those on the board always choose to be there or do we choose them? Such an interesting idea. I am left reflecting on staff meetings where gathering together does not always guarantee anything is actually achieved.

Replied to Revealing a heavy heart and awakening through fear and dialogue (transformative learning)
I learnt that I’m not afraid of public speaking. I actually enjoy speaking in public. I’m afraid of the feeling of being judged in public. I’m afraid of letting go and not being in control.
This is a great reflection. I could not agree more about the realisation that it is about the critique, more than the actual performance. I refer to it as being comfortable in your own skin. Take for example Gary Stager. He shared his limited preparation associated with a recent TEDTalk:

I wrote the talk an hour before showtime and delivered it with no monitor or timer in front of me. I’m sure that the performance suffers, but that the message may manage to be worthwhile nonetheless. I hope you or some teenagers find it interesting.

This is in contrast to someone like Amy Burvall, who felt that the TED format, something critiqued on method as much as content, required something different:

Usually when I give keynotes, I don’t really make a script per se…I know what I’m talking about and prefer to speak naturally and let my slides, which are very visual, guide me. But TED-style talks are different…they are timed and must be precise, therefore requiring a script. Every word counts – like a poem. The trick is, you want to practice that bad boy till it’s part of you, like a tattoo, but still come off sounding like it’s the first time you’ve ever said it.

She even went to the length of creating an animated version to thoroughly prepare:

Thanks Steve for sharing. It definitely challenges me to push myself beyond my usual comfort zone.

Replied to IndieWeb: The Book (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
I'm going to write a book about the IndieWeb geared toward helping non-developers more easily own their online identities and content.
I know that I have provided my perspective already, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about it of late. There are so many elements that just feel so foreign. Take for example H-Cards.

I feel like I have been reading so much about them. As much as I think I get it, that it is a layer to a site that provides additional machine readable information, there is also a part of me that feels really lost. I am ok with that, but I feel that it is a point of confusion that needs to be resolved as the IndieWeb grows and develops. I assume when I retrieve the post properties in a ‘reply’ that this is calling on information located in the H-Cards? The question that I am left perplexed by is where exactly do I add all of this information?

Do I add it to the Theme Header file? If so, I presume that I would need to create a child theme. I must admit that this is an area that I still need to explore.

I noticed on your main site that you have your information in the margins on the right-hand side. Can it just be added to the HTML editor? What happens with a theme like ZenPress which does not have a space like that allocated on the front page? I presume that the H information needs to be on the front? Or can it be on an about page, like your Rel=”me” information.

Also, what happens in regards to posts and the h-entry? Just as I add a closing callout to my newsletter at the end of each post, partly inspired by Alan Levine, just with less humour, is it possible to bake the basic H information into each post?

Although there is plenty of information, I feel that much of it is written in a way that makes it a step learning curve for anyone trying to pick it up. Maybe there are prerequisite skills needed to engage in the IndieWeb. I am not sure, but that is certainly what I am wondering at the moment.