Replied to Chris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

I’ve switched over to David Shanske’s IndieWeb-friendly fork of the TwentySixteen Theme tonight. Liking it a lot so far. Can’t wait to see what little surprises I run across under the hood and how we can potentially make it better for the community.

Really interested Chris in what David Shanske’s theme might have to offer. Having spent some time lately trying to get my head around the ‘motor under the hood’, I am wondering about the difference between David’s approach to fork the 2016 theme, compared to your approach of creating a child. Is there simply fors and againsts for both? Or is one more ideal? Just wondering as per usual.
Replied to Storify Bites the Dust. If You Have WordPress, You Don’t Need Another Third Party Clown Service (CogDogBlog)

There are two kinds of people or organizations that create things for the web. One is looking to make money or fame and cares not what happens once they get either (or none and go back to flipping burgers). The other has an understanding and care for the history and future of the web, and makes every effort to make archived content live on, to not leave trails of dead links. Storify is Type 1. After getting enough of a value based on the free labor of grunts like you and me who built content in it, they got bought by Adobe, and swept up into some enterprise product

Thank you Alan for your investigation into alternatives to Storify. By chance, I had gone down a similar rabbit hole wondering how I could store a set of Tweets. I was under the impression that being embedded if the original tweet were deleted then they would not show up in the blog. It was for this reason that I explored pasting the text. I am assuming from your discussion(s) that this is not the case?

I still like the idea of using TAGS to collect the links, but rather than pasting the text:

The book traces the changing focus of the history of second wave feminism over the 20th/21st centuries. Providing essays situated in each of the three ‘Acts’. I’m live tweeting Fraser’s overview of the history and spirit of the wave
“Second wave feminism came out of the New Left after WW2.

Act1 – Began life as an insurrectionary force that challenged male domination in state organised capitalist societies”

Act2 – the feminist imagination turned from redistribution of power/economy to recognition of difference – identity/cultural politics dominated

Act3 – still unfolding but we are seeing the reinvigoration of feminist and other emancipatory forces to demand that the runaway markets be subjected to democratic control

A user could just paste the URLs:

http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940413626082455552
http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940414094946873344
http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940414496564166661
http://twitter.com/DrNomyn/statuses/940414918280429568

Will continue to think about this, especially as I do not always want the parent tweet necessarily embedded. I also have to investigate your Storify Embeddable Link Extractor, but it looks to be a great tool for all situations.

Replied to What the New York Times doesn’t get about Teachers Promoting Tech. (bigtechcoach.com)

Teachers aren’t in it for the money! Every teacher I know spends hundreds and hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to make up for the shortfalls of declining budgets and underprivileged kids. Many of those free T-shirts end up in the school counselors office for the kids that comes to school underdressed because of family situations out of the school’s control. Those free pencils and pens? Teachers slip them quietly to the kid that comes to school each day in part to get out of the homeless shelter they live in. Those rare instances when a teacher earns a piece of equipment or free software- it doesn’t go to them, it goes to the school. And the gift card I received? It was redeemed within an hour. . . to buy a book on how to teach coding to every kid in every classroom.

Interesting reflection Keith. I understand what you are saying about teachers ‘not being in it for the money’. I wonder though if this misses a wider point. The increasing influence of private providers in education, both at a school and policy level. I too am a ‘Certified Innovator’ and have presented for the EdTechTeam, but I do not badge my participation on my blog. That is my choice. I am happy to disclose (https://readwriterespond.com/2016/08/how-are-you-disclosing/), but see no need or benefit in plastering this on my front page to the web, especially when such badges lack any layer of credentialing associated with Open Badges.
Replied to The Propaganda behind Personalised Learning (Long View on Education)

So what do we do? Educate ourselves. Follow critical educators on Twitter, read books that expose corporate interests, and support the work of people like Audrey Watters who act as independent journalists.

Another thought provoking read Benjamin. I really like your call for people to educate. I am also intrigued by your four filters:

  • Funding
  • Expertise
  • Ideology
  • Flak

I think that they provide a useful framework to get started. I just wonder about the entry point for many teachers who are already a part of the ‘learning machine’? I agree about supporting those like Watters and mobilising. I wonder if this is a part of what Howard Stevenson and Alison Gilliland describe as a ‘democratic professionalism’.

My question and concern is whether a structural systemic knowledge is enough? I really like Ben Williamson’s approach focusing on the assemblage:

In this broad sense, a data assemblage includes: (1) particular modes of thinking, theories and ideologies; (2) forms of knowledge such as manuals and textbooks; (3) financial aspects such as business models, investment and philanthropy; (4) the political economy of government policy; (5) the materiality of computers, networks, databases and analytics software packages; (6) specific skilled practices, techniques and behaviours of data scientists; (7) organizations and institutions that collect, broker or use data; (8) particular sites, locations and spaces; and (9) marketplaces for data, its derivative products, its analysts and its software.source

An example of this is his work around ClassDojo. What I think is useful about this approach is that it incorporates skills into the wider critical discussion. For me, that is a part of my interest in Google’s GSuite. That is also, in part, what drives me to do my ‘eLearn Update’ newsletter. I just wonder if there is a limit to dialogue from the outside?

Apologies if this is a complete misreading Benjamin.

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.

Replied to Is Your School a “Rules First” or a “Relationships First” Community?

My priority was obedience first and relationships later, not realizing that obedience — or the lack thereof — was a direct reflection of the state of the relationship that I had with each individual student. The kids who misbehaved the most were the ones that I’d done nothing to get to know and appreciate and value and celebrate.

Although I wonder if it is more complicated than this dialectic, I agree that an approach on rules and discipline misses the point. I wrote about this a few years back. One of the interesting point that was made to me was the place of rules and discipline within learning, the structures associated with the way things are done. At the very least, this is a question that all teachers should reflect upon as it often raises so many questions to consider.
Replied to OPML files for categories within WordPress’s Links Manager by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

Last week I wrote about creating my following page and a related OPML file which one could put into a feed reader to subscribe to the list itself instead of importing it. I haven’t heard anyone mention it (yet), but I suspect that like I, some may be disappointed that some feed readers that allow …

I love discovering simple tricks that WordPress allows you to do simply with the URL. For example, adding ?=random to the end of a WP blog will produce a random post.

Chris Aldrich’s provides another:

So in general, for WordPress sites one can append ?link_cat=[category id] (with or with out the brackets) to the main URL for the OPML file typically found at http://www.example.com/wp-links-opml.php.

When we talk about coding it small tricks like this which excite me because it feels as if they touch on the way that the web works, as much as the outcome at hand.

Replied to Just discover I had a Goodreads account, started and abandon… by john john (John's World Wide Wall Display)

Just discover I had a Goodreads account, started and abandoned in 2010. I’ve be finding that I am not recalling the titles of books I read on kindle and thinking about making some tracking notes. I’ll give this another go.
Like this: Like Loading…

John, I originally tried to use GoodReads, interested in what opportunities it might offer my students, but I found myself simply publishing my reviews to my own blog. I have never done that thing where I share with the world where I am up to with my reading either.

In regards to highlights and notes, I haven’t used clipping.io to capture my thoughts. Never heard of it, sadly. Instead I used to copy the highlights associated with each book to a Doc. Now with the update that Mariana mentioned you can add them to your Diigo collection. Only done this with one book so far. I like the idea of it, just frustrated that it is not a service that is more open. I guess Clipping.io was that service and they have closed it. What I like about highlights and digital texts in general is the ability to go back and search. I agree that paper maybe better for memory, but I find the ability to easily trawl texts priceless.

Like Alan, I feel like I regularly stumble upon forgotten services, worse is when you are still paying for them.

Replied to Filtering with dates in the QUERY function – Ben Collins (Ben Collins)

Working with dates in the Query function in Google Sheets can be tricky. This tutorial shows you the correct syntax and examples.

This year I have been creating a monthly summary of posts and updates associated with all things GSuite. It occurred to me after nine months that I should really be storing all the links in some sort of database. My question is how to automate the process of turning that into a monthly post.
I have been getting on the GAS and am thinking that QUERY might be a part of my solution. I am therefore trying to get everything working in Sheets first. I have followed your guide to QUERY, even adding in two dynamic selectors (is that what they are called?) that I got from your work on VLOOKUPS. My question is filtering by dates. I have followed your instructions for filtering between two dates:

 =QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,”select C, B where B > date ‘”&TEXT(A1,”yyyy-mm-dd”)&”‘ and B <= date ‘”&TEXT(B1,”yyyy-mm-dd”)&”‘”,1)

But fear that I maybe limited as I have recorded my dates using DD-MM-YYYY. Sheets recognises this as a date as a formatted the cells as ‘DATES’. My spreadsheet settings have also been changed to ‘Australia’. I am wondering if you have any thoughts or suggestions on this? Here is a link to my sheet.

Replied to It might be a little way off yet, but … (Marginal Notes)

Whilst seeking examples of projects created with Scalar, I also came across a similar offering, Omeka. Whilst they may not produce the exact look I was after, I think they might be able to replicate some of the functionality. I’ve only had a quick look and need to read and think through the IP issues, ethical issues and the workload that taking this direction might generate. However, reality quickly kicks in and I return to some of the issues discussed earlier. I’m obliged to ask myself, what’s the purpose of the thesis? It’s not an ebook, it’s a piece of work presented for assessment in partial fulfilment for the award of Doctor of Philosophy. Weighed against that are, for me, two things: reducing the online, multimodal, hyperlinked realm that has provided the setting for my study to a static pile of papers somehow seems to lessen the work; thesis-lite! And there’s also the thought that adding some of the aforementioned enhancements might just make it more useful in a broader scholarly environment. Perhaps making it of value to a larger audience than a thesis might usually enjoy? Undergraduates interested in sociomateriality. Masters students considering digital ethnography. Doctoral researchers wishing to build arguments for and against post-qualitative research.

Ian, I really like the idea of developing a digital thesis. One of the concerns and questions I would have about your work is that longevity of the data and reference. I see potential of such plugins as Amber and sites like Internet Archive to create a historical reference point.