Replied to Microcast- Back In class by john john (John's World Wide Wall Display)

Some rather belated thoughts on returning to classroom teaching.

This is an interesting reflection John. Going back into the classroom is something that I aspire to do one day, but I fear how much muscle memory I may have lost. My saving grace is that my wife is a teacher and she keeps me grounded … Or at least tries.
Replied to Virtually the same? by Matthew Esterman (Medium)

What kind of learning experience can ‘other’ realities provide that our physical realities don’t?
What effects will (dramatically) reduced cost and much more prolific access to VR equipment mean for schools?
What professional learning will be required for teachers, parents and students to fully utilise these kinds of technologies?
How do we ensure that we don’t just create a new method of information consumption but critical thinking, collaboration and creativity?

I have written about VR before, from the perspective of Google Cardboard. Some ideas that I thought of were as a means of supporting vocabulary, real life learning, telling stories and sparking curiosity. It is an interesting space.
Replied to HEWN, No. 259 (Tinyletter)

The question of whose story gets told is always an interesting one, I suppose, particularly in science and technology. And I can’t help but wonder not only what happened to Crowder but what’s going to happen to the (education) technologists of today. How will they be remembered? (And what are the archival materials we’ll turn to to study them?)

This is a really important point Audrey. I have been spending time collecting and curating what updates and information from Google and Hapara, two platforms that are at the core of our learning strategy. So often ‘updates’ come in the form of a revision of support material. There are no dates or details, just how tos. Even if they try to tell a story, this is often quite disparate.
Replied to The Do’s and Don’ts of Google Slides – EdTechTeam (EdTechTeam)

A User Guide for students using Google Slides. Help your students get the most out of Google Slides as a powerful publishing and presentation tool. Easy to follow guide showcasing the features of Google Slides to promote top notch designs that help students thrive and be successful in their learning.

I have been noticing more and more that there has been a change of quality when it comes to adding images to slides. I was happy with my workflow in creating various graphics, but have found images added lately to be pixelated. Is this about the quality of the source image or Slides?
Replied to 🎧 ‘The Daily’: Can Facebook Be Fixed? | The New York Times by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)

I’m coming much closer to calling it quits on Facebook. I’ve outlined a plan for extracting myself and just need to begin implementation. I’ve even got a potential scalable plan for family/friends who would like to leave as well.

My Facebook account has lay dormant for a year or so. I feel that leaving would not be so hard, however I really want a workable archive. I really like what Jonathon LaCour did. Just feel that all that parsing is Generation 1 and that is not me. I wonder if this is an #IndieWeb opportunity? To develop a meaningful extraction plan that includes keeping a working archive?

I am also mindful that simply leaving is only one part of the puzzle.

Replied to The Edublogger’s Guide To Podcasting by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)

This guide helps teachers and students learn how to consume and create their own podcasts.

This is a thorough guide Kathleen. I think that podcasts offer so much potential. I have written before about creating podcasts with Edublogs, as well as collected together a number of resources and reflections.

One of the challenges I have faced of late is creating using a Chromebook. I love Audacity, but this is not an option. I wonder if the addition of Android apps will alleviate this. Interestingly, it is easier to edit video on a Chromebook, than audio.

A development that I have engaged lately is the idea of microcasts. I think that as a model, it offers a different entry point. In some ways Flipgrid captures some of this.

Another useful tool is Jon Udell’s work around clipping video and audio. This then allows you to embed snippets, therefore offering yet another entry point.

Replied to Freshly Brewed Thoughts: March 30, 2018 (mailchi.mp)

I’m supporting Thought Shrapnel on Patreon and I have to say, I’m inspired by Doug’s use of the platform. I updated my own Patreon page a bit and have started sharing things just for patrons.

I find this move to Patreon interesting. I have unpacked it elsewhere. I am wondering about the impact that this has on the open web? Am I allowed to share something that is for a privileged audience?
Replied to Issue #119 of the TL;DR Newsletter – rethinking the simple bare necessities. (mailchi.mp)

My concern is not Google, Facebook, and others that I give my data…my concern is the unseen/unknown companies that buy my data. Also, keep in mind that your biggest concern (in the U.S.) should be your Internet Service Provider (ISP). They’re sucking up your data, watching your searching/browsing habits, connecting this to your billing info, and selling/giving this off to everyone.

This is such an interesting topic Ian. I too have touched upon it in my newsletter. I agree with your point that there are bigger, dirtier parties at play within this area, I am just concerned about excluding the FANGS from the discussion.

I also wonder what ‘informed consent’ looks like in the future? I think improvements to the Terms and Conditions is only the beginning. It has me returning to Doug Belshaw’s elements:


“The 8 Essential Elements of Digital Literacies #digilit” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

To be ‘informed’ surely is about having a deeper understanding of the way that technology and literacies work?

Replied to 12 ‘Lesson Hacks’ to Nurture Inquiry (Kath Murdoch)

Inquiry classrooms (and inquiry teachers) are constructed day by day, session by session. Being conscious of the choreography of our teaching and the degree to which it amplifies or diminishes inquiry is a powerful way to build culture over time. These ‘hacks’ are simple but by making one change, we can gain insights to which we have been previously blind.

Great post Kath. I think that for some the idea of Inquiry can be so daunting, there are however so many starting points. Your use of the work ‘hack’ reminds me of a quote from a RN Future Tense podcast from a few years ago looking at civic hacking:

Hacker culture is about doing clever, creative things with technology; basically coming up with ways to apply our technical skills for the benefit of society.

I am also reminded of hearing Will Richardson talking about changing 10% at a time. Although he was talking about becoming a ‘connected educator’, the same premise applies here. If a teacher were to apply all 12 hacks, I think that they would be well on the way to changing the whole of their classroom.

Image via “Stormtroopers Training: Theory” by Pedro Vezini https://flickr.com/photos/pedrovezini/5450412111 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Quote via Kath Murdoch ‘‘12 ‘Lesson Hacks’ to Nurture Inquiry’’
Replied to Digg Shrugg by Alan LevineAlan Levine (CogDogBlog)

Born as the bastard child of Google Reader, Digg’s own spawn came into being June 26, 2013 as a ray of hope for the RSS fanatics, aiming to offer the same feature set as the dead Google parent.

Digg Reader lived a placid life, not quite firmly connected with it’s parent’s products (whatever they are) but performed a yeoman’s service for the dwindling few who believed in the choice of news and information sources, rather than sucking up to the hose of some algorithm.

But Digg Reader’s health was failing as many noticed the dwindling reliability and upkeep of the mobile app. It’s death was mercifully quick, it did not suffer long, yet left most wondering in its wake why it was even sick.

I totally get your point about feed readers not actually holding our information as such, I think that Inoreader takes this a step further with the ability to subscribe to feeds which can easily be stored in WordPress. Maybe there is a potential of a linksplot?
Replied to @mrkrndvs I’ve really been interested in the collection/curation I see from you & @chrisaldrich – I’m in the process of figuring out how to build up a WordPress site to serve as the by wiobyrnewiobyrne (Scholar Social)

@mrkrndvs I’ve really been interested in the collection/curation I see from you &
@chrisaldrich – I’m in the process of figuring out how to build up a WordPress site to serve as the “commonplace book” on the WordPress site, keep it simple, and have it pump into my weekly newsletter. Any links/guida…

I agree with @ChrisAldrich about post kind plugins. Although I have more variants than the kinds provided, they offer a really good starting point.

Clint Lalonde Also wrote about the use of MailPoet To curate his newsletter. It doesn’t suit me at this point in time, but might suit you. Also, I think MailChimp allows you to collate via blog posts too? I assume that is what @dajbelshaw is doing with Thought Shrapnel.

Replied to Typing Tips: The How and Why of Teaching Students Keyboarding Skills (Primary Tech)

There are so many great games and online tools designed for younger students. Once students begin recognising the alphabet, I think they can begin learning to type. This can complement your teaching of traditional writing and literacy.

Some schools of thought suggest that typing might be the new cursive. So instead of investing time in teaching students how to join their writing in middle primary school, perhaps there could be more of a focus on improving keyboarding skills.

Interesting post Kathleen.

It feels like we spend so much time debating handwriting sometimes that we forget about typing. I really like how you compare the different applications in a concise fashion.

You might be interested in this post from Catherine Gatt, in which she reflects on the development associated with learning to type.

Replied to Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones [Updated] (Ars Technica)

If you granted permission to read contacts during Facebook’s installation on Android a few versions ago—specifically before Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)—that permission also granted Facebook access to call and message logs by default. The permission structure was changed in the Android API in version 16. But Android applications could bypass this change if they were written to earlier versions of the API, so Facebook API could continue to gain access to call and SMS data by specifying an earlier Android SDK version. Google deprecated version 4.0 of the Android API in October 2017—the point at which the latest call metadata in Facebook users’ data was found. Apple iOS has never allowed silent access to call data.

Isn’t WhatsApp built on access to your contacts? And isn’t it owned by Facebook?
Replied to On the Need for Phone Free Classrooms by Pernille Ripp (pernillesripp.com)

I know that I have pushed the use of phones in our classrooms before on this blog, how I have written about using them purposefully, but I will no longer subscribe to the notion that when kids use their phones it is only because they are bored. It is too easy to say that if teachers just created relevant and engaging lessons then no child would use their phones improperly in our rooms. That’s not it, all of us with devices have had our attention spans rewired to constantly seek stimulus. To instantly seek something other than what we are doing. To constantly seek something different even if what we are doing is actually interesting. And not because what we seek out is so much better, look at most people’s Snapchat streaks and you will see irrelevant images of tables and floors and half faces simply to keep a streak alive. It is not that our students are leaving our teaching behind at all times because they are bored, it is more because many of us, adults and children alike, have lost the ability to focus on anything for a longer period of time.

Pernille, you might be interested in a Douglas Rushkoff’s recent reflection at the beginning of a Team Human episode. He wonders why is it so easy for people to lose sight of the design and purpose behind these platforms? He argues that other than teaching media, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) should never be used by schools. I think that this crosses over to the smartphone debate.
Replied to Feature Suggestion: Media field to include in reply contexts · Issue #157 · dshanske/indieweb-post-kinds (GitHub)

GitHub is where people build software. More than 27 million people use GitHub to discover, fork, and contribute to over 80 million projects.

I think that this would be a useful addition. Although it is easy enough to use HTML tag;

It is just another thing to consider. Thinking about the ‘user’, anytime that such steps can be baked in is a good thing.

Replied to Three steps to develop a system to take control of your passwords by Ian O’Byrne (W. Ian O’Byrne)

There are several things we need to assume as we work with digital tools.

You will be hacked
You may have already been hacked and don’t know it
You will have to change your passwords quickly when you are hacked
You will most likely have to change passwords often
One the first steps in discussing privacy and security in online spaces usually involves your passwords. The challenge is that far too many of us have a…

Ian, I was recently caught up in a civil debate about password management. The question was why I did not simply store my passwords in Google. I said that it was my choice not to, but then got caught out not really having a reason why I did not store them within the browser.

I was wondering where that sat with your discussion of passwords and ‘security’. I raised the concern that storing passwords in Google was a lot of eggs to put in the one basket, but then isn’t that what happens with LastPass etc…

I am sure I am missing something here, just thought I would ask.

Replied to Is your School an X or Why School? (EDUWELLS)

Students and schools focussed on why they exist develop stronger engagement in all activities and this results in making achievement in what we do much easier.

I really enjoyed Sinek’s book.

One of the interesting points that I found was that ‘why’ is not necessarily something that you just sit around and decide. It involves culture and therefore action. In some respect it reminds me of trust. You cannot necessarily create ‘trust’, instead you put in place the conditions for trust to prosper. I think that the challenge we face is creating the conditions for why to prosper. I think that your book goes some way to doing this. However, I imagine that it will always be based on context and involve idiosyncrasies.

Replied to Digg is going to kill Digg Reader; what should we do now? by Bryan Alexander (Bryan Alexander)

Over to you, dear readers. Which way forward for RSS, both in the big picture and in the practical sense of which reader to try?

I am using Inoreader and love the ability subscribe to a feed. I therefore store my OPML on my site. This allows me to add and delete feeds, as well as maintain a permanent backup. The only catch I have found is that the feed does not seem to auto-refresh, so if you delete a link from your blog and therfore your OPML, then you need to remove it from Inoreader too.

I am keeping an eye on Aaron Parecki’s #Indieweb Reader too.

Replied to The myths we live by, limitless tools & silent study (Quinlearning)

Faced with limitless possibilities, creativity can really struggle. But there’s no reason why we have to use all these possibilities. In fact, a lot of what I learned about visual artists when I was at school was how they often seek to restrict themselves. The George Fitzgerald interview linked above really got me thinking, as rather than just showing off all his music equipment, he really gets into why he uses a room full of ageing 70s and 80s electronics when he could emulate it all in a laptop. It all comes down to restrictions. He takes each limited piece of equipment and finds the few ways in which it can do something special, then repeatedly uses these to create music that sounds unique.

It has been interesting to see the transition in soft synths Oliver. The interview with George FitzGerald reminded me a short clip involving Jack Antonoff. He too restricts himself to original equipment:

Antonoff condenses months of creativity into eight minutes. It left me think about how much learning is assumed to get to a point of understanding the technology to get to a point of control. I remember when I was young, I had a Roland G707. I would use a cassette player to record tape after tape of tweeking with the various sounds. There was something about the physicality of it that was never matched when I moved onto Fruity Loops.

Replied to Dear IndieWeb, it may be time to start considering the user, not just the technical spec (Oatmeal)

SO, whereas “[e]ach generation is expected to lower barriers for adoption successively for the next generation” I wonder if it is maybe time to update some of the tooling from generation 1 and 2 to be more compatible with generations 3 and 4?

Eli, I imagine that it is more complicated than just turning attention to the user. I am not a programmer. I have not done any technical training. All my knowledge is self-taught. I may not know what all the errors mean, but I can at least debug to a degree. My actually occupation is the delivery of a sector-wide LMS. I am a teacher whose job it is to make connections between the technical and the pedagogical. My experience is that this comes down to storytelling.

I feel that what is needed are more people in-between the divide of Gen 1 & 2 vs. 3 & 4. People who are living it, asking questions and identifying the various points of confusion. I think this is what will take the #IndieWeb from a hipster-web to a “demonstratably better web