Replied to 5 Useful, Free Photo Apps for Teachers and Students (Primary Tech)

In this post, I’m going to share five apps to do with photography and images that I’ve been exploring lately.

I feel like these could be useful to help teachers and/or students overcome certain obstacles … or just have fun being creative.

This is an interesting collection of apps Kathleen. I think that what you use often comes down to which platform you are on.

I have collected some options and alternatives to Google Drawings, but these are usually web-based (although what is ‘the web’ when a Chromebook can run Android apps.)

In regards to Adobe, I wonder if the ‘school managed accounts’ can be used beyond just Adobe Spark?

Bookmarked The 7 Habits: Begin With the End in Mind | The Art of Manliness (The Art of Manliness)

Instead of thinking of mission statements as just a list of ideals, Covey suggests thinking of them like a constitution for a government. Back in my law school days when I wrote legal memos for attorneys, I’d have to lay out the law that governed the case I was writing about. Every time I did so, I had to make, at least in passing, a reference to the U.S. Constitution because the Constitution is the source of all law in the United States. Even if it was a state issue, I referenced the U.S. Constitution (Article 10, baby). With every legal decision, I turned to the Constitution first.

Brett and Kate McKay discuss Covey’s habit of ‘Starting with the end in mind’ and what this might mean for the individual.

They map out three steps to creating your own mission statements:

  • Step 1: Block off uninterrupted time
  • Step 2: Prioritize your roles in life
  • Step 3: Define the purpose of each role

The authors explain that this is about process as much as it is about product. For me it is about intent.

This is a useful resource alongside Adrian Camm’s steps to developing a learning vision.

Replied to Vic budget 2018 (danielbowen.com)

Essendon and Watergardens DDA, business cases for Broadmeadows/Pakenham, improvements Kananook and Seaford $16m — I’m a bit surprised Watergardens needs major works given it was only built in 2002. Does it suffer from capacity problems?

Dan, I wonder if the changes to Watergardens relates to issues around accessibility. It is currently built around steps and lifts. When the lifts break, as they seem to, it can be a problem.

This issue is only amplified by the capacity on the Sunbury line. I would imagine that this is only going to increase with the development of land between Caroline Springs and Melton. Really they are in need of ramps similar to Sunshine Station.

Bookmarked 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan – Wikipedia (en.m.wikipedia.org)

The 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan was a road and rail transport plan for Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia, instituted by Henry Bolte’s state government. Most prominently, the plan recommended the provision of an extensive freeway network, much of which has since been built.

The Victorian Government has announced the development of a tram to Rowville. I have long followed these on and off again project, having grown up in the outer suburbs. I remember talking to someone about the electrification of the Melton line, I did not realise that such plans were proposed 50 years ago:

1969 Rail Proposal

It is intriguing to think about this about what it might look like in the future. Some talk about fluidity of public transport in the future, will this put a stop to things such as train lines. Time will tell.

Listened Caliphate from nytimes.com

A new audio series following Rukmini Callimachi as she reports on the Islamic State and the fall of Mosul. Times subscribers get early access to each episode. This series includes disturbing language and scenes of graphic violence.

A series investigating the promiseS of ISIS and those who volunteer to fight in places like Syria. What is amazing is the place of social media within all of this.
re:publica 2018 – danah boyd: Opening Keynote: How an Algorithmic World Can Be Undermined

How is it that its not necessarily [technologies] intentions, but the structuring configuration that causes the pain

danah boyd continues her investigation of algorithms and the way in which our data is being manipulated. This is very much a wicked problem with no clear answer. Data & Society have also published a primer on the topic. I wonder if it starts by being aware of the systemic nature of it all? Alternatively, Jamie Williams and Lena Gunn provide five questions to consider when using algorithms.

via Jenny Mackness and Ian O’Byrne.

Bookmarked I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t by Sarah Jeong (The Verge)

Facebook had replaced much of the emotional labor of social networking that consumed previous generations. We have forgotten (or perhaps never noticed) how many hours our parents spent keeping their address books up to date, knocking on doors to make sure everyone in the neighborhood was invited to the weekend BBQ, doing the rounds of phone calls with relatives, clipping out interesting newspaper articles and mailing them to a friend, putting together the cards for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, and more. We don’t think about what it’s like to carefully file business cards alphabetically in a Rolodex. People spent a lot of time on these sorts of things, once, because the less of that work you did, the less of a social network you had.

Sarah Jeong reflects on leaving Facebook. One of the things that stood out from her discussion was the habits that we have lost or forgotten. This touched on the ‘templated’ nature of platforms such as Facebook. It also reminds me of Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad and what is lost with new technology. What has seemingly been lost is the ability to converse and maintain deep social connections.
Listened Gonski 2.0 – what would these changes mean? from ABC Radio

The Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools discusses a model that gives children personalised teaching based on their ability and achievements, rather than grouping children together according to their age.

On Focus, Nadia sets out to find out exactly what personalised learning is, how it works and what its benefits – or shortcomings – might be.

She speaks to Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research, who outlines the shortcomings in our current system and the alarming decline in the performance of 15-year-olds compared to students in other countries.

Dr Glenn Savage, senior lecturer in Public Policy and Sociology of Education at the University of Western Australia agrees that while there is a definite decline in the achievement of Australian students compared to their international peers, he is more sceptical about the recommendations made in Gonski 2.0.

He says there are better things to be spending our education dollars on than another big overhaul of the Australian education system.

He also believes several changes over the past few years have not helped stem the decline and we still have not tackled the issues of inequitable access to education funding that were identified by the first Gonski report.

Glenn Savage and Geoff Masters talk with Nadia Mitsopoulos about the new Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. Some of the points discussed include:

  • Does the new report addresses the question of inequality?
  • Is ‘personalised teaching’ worth the money and investment?
  • Is the educational sector exhausted by continual reform agendas?
  • Do the recommendations really address what is happening in the classroom?

Glenn Savage also summarised his thoughts in a post on The Conversation. While Geoff Masters (and Ray Adams) published a post in the ACER Newsletter addressing the question of ‘inequality’ arguing that recent findings have found that equity and fairness are often more important.

In an ‘equitable’ school system, students’ special needs and unequal socioeconomic backgrounds are recognised and resources (for example, teaching expertise) are distributed unequally in an attempt to redress disadvantage due to personal and social circumstances. Here again, ‘equity’ is achieved by prioritising fairness over equality.source

Checked into
I attended a day recently looking into ongoing reporting. It included a presentation from Hilary Hollingsworth from ACER discussing her work with the Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation. She discussed their focus on exploring new thinking relating to communicating growth, as well as possible alternatives to traditional reporting. ACER’s areas of interest are the existing policies, existing electronic systems, existing practices, the alignment with teaching and learning, what works and what stakeholders actually need. The method involves a desk review, collection of artefacts and scoping commerical tools. The intent is to design a map of possibilities, rather than a single ideal reporting solution.
Liked A Study of 1 Million Teenagers Reveals This Much Screen Time a Day Leads to the Happiest Kids (Inc.com)

The key is to not just say, but do. Offer more attractive alternatives. And don’t just encourage other activities; actually get involved. Do things your kids like to do. Take them places they like to go. Help them learn a sport. Help them learn to play an instrument.

Make it easy for friends to visit, and for them to visit friends — in real life, not virtually.

Via Glen Cochrane
Bookmarked Forget the checkout: what about the plastic clogging supermarket aisles? (ABC News)

Some, like the Greens, argue manufacturers and retailers need to take more responsibility for the lifecycle of their packaging. “Product stewardship” and extended producer responsibility (EPR) requires manufacturers to factor the disposal of packaging into its design and production.

Other solutions to the waste crisis include charging more to dump waste in landfill or offering subsidies to increase the capacity of the local recycling sector.

A better option is to consume less plastic. “Precycling” minimises waste by reducing consumption. In practice this means packing your shopping in reusable bags, using a reusable cup for your takeaway coffee, buying items free from packaging — and putting a whole apple in our kids’ lunchboxes.

Nicola Heath reports on the current plastic crisis in Australia. Although every state has agreed to ban single use bags, the real problem that needs to be addressed is in the aisles and aisles of pre-packaged food. Although the impact of plastics on our ocean has been well reported, it seems that there is a significant impact on our fresh water lakes too. Studies have found microplastics in drinking water, beer and honey. I wonder if the solution starts with school?
Listened TER #111 – Learning and Wellbeing with Helen Street – 29 April 2018 from Teachers’ Education Review

Links and notes coming soon! Timecodes: 00:00:00 Opening Credits 00:01:31 Intro 00:02:28 NAPLAN in the news 00:15:04 Feature Introduction 00:16:32 Off Campus – Dan Haesler 00:18:44 Dr Helen S…

Cameron Malcher provides a useful summary of the recent discussions of NAPLAN in the news:

Bookmarked Citizen of Apple, State of Lego (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

Imagine a future state, one of multiple citizenships, so i can be a Citizen of the UK, a Citizen of Apple, and a Citizen of Lego, not traversing physical borders to move from one to the other, but rather conceptual, or internalised ones. Each providing real utility, it’s own type of ‘space’, and each giving us it’s own component of culture. Perhaps in this model, ‘Culture’ becomes a meta entity that we each construct, through a combination of our geolocation within space, and our subscriptions online.

Julian Stodd explores the evolving idea of ‘citizenship’. Whereas it was defined by geography and culture in the past, Stodd wonders if in the future it will be subscription based. Rather than depending on the state and taxes to provide societies infrastructures, we now rely on the various multi-national platforms, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google. This reminds me of the conversation that was had recently around being a citizen of the #IndieWeb. If states lose their sway, I wonder if this upon up other alternatives? This is something Aral Balkan touches upon. I also wonder what this means for rituals?
Liked Meme Histories – Learning the Web So We Can Make It Better by dave dave (davecormier.com)

I believe that people sometimes need to learn to work building their objectives on the fly given what they’ve been confronted with. So how do I design activities that allow for people to learn to persist through that uncertainty and still be willing to accept half answers when that’s as far as they will get?

Meme histories. That’s how.

Liked To work for society, data scientists need a hippocratic oath with teeth (WIRED UK)

The first question is, are the algorithms that we deploy going to improve the human processes that they are replacing? Far too often we have algorithms that are thrown in with the assumptions that they’re going to work perfectly, because after all they’re algorithms, but they actually end up working much worse than the system that they’re replacing. For example in Australia they implemented an algorithm that sent a bunch of ridiculously threatening letters to people saying that they had defrauded the Australian Government. That’s a great example where they actually just never tested it to make sure it worked.

The second question is to ask, for whom is the algorithm failing? We need to be asking, “Does it fail more often for women than for men? Does it fail more often for minorities than for whites? Does it fail more often for old people than for young people?” Every single class should get a question and an answer. The big example I have for this one is the facial recognition software that the MIT Media Lab found worked muchbetter for white men than black women. That is a no-brainer test that every single facial recognition software company should have done and it’s embarrassing that they didn’t do it.

The third category of question is simply, is this working for society? Are we tracking the mistakes of the system? Are we inputting these mistakes back into the algorithm so that it’ll work better? Is it causing some other third unintended consequence? Is it destroying democracy? Is it making people worse off?