Bookmarked The Quest for the Possible: Overcoming Dubious Practices that Limit (Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research)
When the wall of old habits and customs is broken down the quest for the possible can begin.
Diane Kashin’s description of what is ‘possible’ seems in contrast to the picture of education offered by Andrew Laming and planning for learning once a term.
Bookmarked The Indieweb privacy challenge (Webmentions, silo backfeeds, and the GDPR) // Sebastian Greger by an authoran author (sebastiangreger.net)
Originally intended to showcase a privacy-centred implementation of emerging social web technologies – with the aim to present a solution not initially motivated by legal requirements, but as an example of privacy-aware interaction design – my “social backfeed” design process unveiled intricate challenges for Indieweb sites, both for privacy in general and legal compliance in particular.
As someone involved in K-12 education, I always wonder where the #IndieWeb might sit. This analysis of webmentions and privacy from Sebastian Gregor poses so many questions and things to consider. I was particularly intrigued about the questions of dragging in ‘likes and favourites’ which might be used and interpreted in different ways.

From an ethical design perspective, however, I still have a stomach ache thinking of publishing the name and image of unknowing Twitter users on an unrelated website, presenting a “like” potentially intended as a bookmark of a short tweet as a “like” for a long essay on some blog site they have never visited. Here, too, some kind of transparency/consent mechanism would be required; and while I am sorry to not have a ready solution to offer, the idea of simply warning about a backfeed in a sticky post on top of a timeline is not really something I consider sufficient. Likely, the solution for the silo backfeeds would have to come after a solution for Webmentions in general has been developed.

Just thinking about my own use, I usually use the ‘Like’ post-kind to recognise posts that I find interesting, but do not have anything to add (that would be a bookmark.) This does not mean I ‘like’ the post or agree with everything written. This is where confusion can occur.

I think this is one of those posts that I will come back to as my knowledge of webmentions and the #IndieWeb continues to grow and evolve.

Liked Andrew Laming: this is what I really meant about teachers' pay (The Sydney Morning Herald)

If the school year is grinding teachers down mentally to the point where long holidays are required, then the solution is to address what is causing the problems in school term time.

First we must offer teachers the chance to go home like the rest of us and switch off. Second, the bulk of lesson planning needs to shift out of term time, even if teachers are on-site over school holidays. That is when the pupil-free days should occur.

Third, I want principals to change culture tomorrow and be given a slice of the Gonski resources to fund the extra hours that definitively improve student outcomes.

Fourth, we need an explicit focus on the children that do not gain a year of learning in a calendar year, and not dump the responsibility solely on classroom teachers who are forced to pass the parcel.

Finally, states and territories must replace annual incremental pay rises with a genuine teacher-designed merit-based model rewarding sub-specialisation and further education.

Replied to Treading on Dreams: The Art of the #lookdown by Amy Burvall (AmusED)
Recently on a trip to Vancouver, Canada and Australia I decided to make a point of archiving some of the magnificent surfaces beneath my boots, and entitled the series #thesebootsaremadeforwalking.
It is fascinating to think about this idea Amy, having been in the middle of a conversation when you spotted your unicorn:

Amy's Canberra Unicorn

I had a similar experience with Alan Levine when I met up with him in Melbourne:


“Pick Your Lift” by cogdogblog is licensed under CC0

Having followed both of your work for some time, it was intriguing to see it all unfold serendipitously in real time.

In part I guess this falls under the wider notion of transparency, yet is somehow different. It is the context that often sits outside of the page (or post). Rather than worrying about which ‘tool’ the artist uses, it provides an insight into the life of the artist.

When I think about my own habits, I feel I am curious when it comes to the digital world, but could be more open to the physical world. For example, I recently discovered an initiative via Ian O’Byrne where trees in Melbourne are assigned an email address. To be fair, I love to go walking, but am often to busy in thought to notice the thriving world around me, let alone at my feet. This initiative at least helped call that out.

I found this the best thing about your sessions in Canberra. It is almost as if they provide ‘permission’ to somehow let go and be curious.

Maybe like Adrian Camm’s ‘permission to innovate’:

Permission to Innovate (Adrian Camm)


Permission to Innovate

Maybe you could give out literal permission to be curious cards?

Liked How your workplace is killing you by Jeff Pfeffer (bbc.com)

The evidence is unequivocal: job-related anxiety is a growing health crisis with repercussions for your mental and physical well-being.

People need to choose their employer not just for salary and promotion opportunities but on the basis of whether the job will be good for their psychological and physical health. Business leaders should measure the health of their workforce, not just profits.

Bookmarked Comments on ClassDojo controversy (code acts in education)

The educational app ClassDojo has been the target of articles in several British newspapers. The Times reported on data privacy risks raised by the offshoring of UK student data to the US company–a story The Daily Mail re-reported. The Guardian then focused on ClassDojo promoting competition in classrooms. All three pieces have generated a stream of public comments. At the current time, there are 56 comments on the Mail piece, 78 at The Times, and 162 on The Guardian. I’ve been researching and writing about ClassDojo for a couple of years, on and off, and was asked some questions by The Times and The Guardian. So the content of the articles and the comments and tweets about them raise issues and questions worth their own commentary–a response to key points of controversy that also speak to wider issues  with the current expansion of educational technology across public education, policy and practice. ClassDojo has also now released its own response and reaffirmation of its privacy policy.

Ben Williamson addresses a number of questions leveled at Class Dojo, especially in light of the current concern around data. One of the points that he makes that really stuck out was the notion of ‘sensitive data’. Often this is defined by privacy, however as Williamson explains the collection of data over time actually has the potential to turn the seemingly arbitrary into sensitive data.

ClassDojo has been dealing with privacy concerns since its inception, and it has well-rehearsed responses. Its reply to The Times was: ‘No part of our mission requires the collection of sensitive information, so we don’t collect any. … We don’t ask for or receive any other information [such as] gender, no email, no phone number, no home address.’ But this possibly misses the point. The ‘sensitive information’ contained in ClassDojo is the behavioural record built up from teachers tapping reward points into the app.

Williamson does however close with a warning, that with GDPR coming in, ‘data danger’ is quickly becoming its own genre:

The risks of ‘data-danger’ for children reported in the articles about ClassDojo doubtless need to be viewed through the wider lens of media interest in social media data misuses following the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. This presents opportunities and challenges. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness and perhaps prompt efforts to tighten up student privacy and data protection, where necessary, as GDPR comes into force. ClassDojo’s response to the controversy raised by the press confirmed it was working on GDPR compliance and would update its privacy policy accordingly. Certainly 2018 is shaping up as a year of public awareness about uses and misuses of personal data. It’s a challenge too, though, as media coverage tends to stir up overblown fears that risk obscuring the reality, and that may then easily be dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorizing. It’s important to approach ed-tech apps like ClassDojo–and all the rest–cautiously and critically, but to be careful not to get swept up in media-enhanced public outrage.