Liked EdTech is Driving Me Crazy, Too by Will Richardson (Modern Learners)
Why don’t we create an app for students so they can track every time our “narrow path” narrative makes them anxious or stressed, or every time we deny them the agency to pursue learning that matters to them, or hint at their value as humans by the test scores or GPAs they get, or whenever we deny them fundamental democratic rights, or refuse to act in ways that suggest that we are the problem and not them? We could call it “Ed-mote” or some other silly Silicon Valley play on words, and the software would send DMs to superintendents and principals when an intervention is required, like an immediate two-hour play period for everyone in the school. (We could also, by the way, encourage them to track the many positives about their school experience as well.)
Bookmarked Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control? by James Bridle (the Guardian)
Technology is starting to behave in intelligent and unpredictable ways that even its creators don’t understand. As machines increasingly shape global events, how can we regain control?
In an extract from James Bridle’s new book New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future, he discusses the evolution of the machine. This includes the place of the cloud, algorithmic interactions within the stock marker, the corruption of the internet of things and incomprehensibility of machine learning. Bridle believes that we need to reimagine how we think about technology:

Our technologies are extensions of ourselves, codified in machines and infrastructures, in frameworks of knowledge and action. Computers are not here to give us all the answers, but to allow us to put new questions, in new ways, to the universe

This is a part of a few posts from Bridle going around at the moment, including a reflection on technology whistleblowers and YouTube’s response to last years exposé. Some of these ideas remind me of some of the concerns raised in Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots and Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction.

Replied to Visually indicating post types on blogs and microblogs by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
It’s been a while since I’ve actively read Om Malik‘s blog, but I noticed that he’s using graphical indicators that add some semantic detail about what each post is. It’s a design element I’ve only seen lately out of the IndieWeb community with plugins like the Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress or done manually with emoji in post titles the way Aaron Davis has done relatively religiously, particularly on his “Collect” site.
What an intriguing term Chris, ‘relatively religiously’. It reminds me of my question as to whether the IndieWeb is ‘ritualistic‘.

Personally, there were a few reasons I started my ‘Collect’ blog. One was wondering about what a ‘feed’ in a space like Micro.Blogs might actually look like. One of the things that I noticed early on was how clunky my titles looked with ‘Reply to’ etc at the start. I also had concerns about using the identical title of the post I was mentioning. I found emojis an efficient method to indicate what sort of interaction it was and that it was not my own post.

I still have concerns about emojis in urls. Although many with Micro.Blog sites have arcane urls due to the absence of a title, I like to use the title in the url. One of the catches I found early on was that this added the emoji. I subsequently paste the title in the slug when I copy it from the properties box. I would love to be able to strip this out automatically, but not sure I am at that stage yet.

Replied to A portrait of the artist as a young father (austinkleon.com)
Here are a handful of things I think I know about being a dad:
The one point that really struck me as I type this with the rest of the family fast asleep was the point about balance:

Work, children, or a social life. You may pick two at a time. (Nobody wants to hear this.)

That is a good point.

Replied to Pedagogical Activist (andreastringer.blogspot.com)

One person, one political party, one organisation cannot design a dynamic learning culture; it needs to be a collective effort. A collective review and renewal of our curriculum and assessment practises to allow organisations/schools to design, facilitate and lead dynamic learning opportunities for our students. Students, teachers and educational leaders need to have more influence and be more involved in the decision-making process. As the tweets and analogies above highlight, maybe it's time we rethink education in Australia.

  • What isn’t working in our context?
  • What is working well and how do we know this?
  • What can we learn from research, data and evidence?
  • What can we learn from other countries and contexts?
  • How could we adapt what we learn from others for our context? (not replicate)
  • How can we give all stakeholders a voice in the decision making process?
  • How can we promote and recognise educators as the 'professionals'?
  • Who is prepared to take a risk for our students' education?
  • What should we drop, retain or introduce?
I love the statement:

Let’s be pedagogical activists.

In part, this reminds me of a recent post I read about relationships and pedagogical love. I feel that we need to be committed to ongoing development, adjusting to the needs of the class and context at hand.

Bookmarked Why do we STILL have reports? by Matt Schmidt (What Ed Said)
We ditched ‘traditional reports’ at the start of last year for exactly these reasons. We have every child on a collaborative google sheets document shared with parents, teachers and Principal. Through this we have goals, evidence, feedback, learning stories, summative assessment, formative assessment, self-reflection, parent feedback……24/7 access……learning conversations available every term, sharing evenings twice a term….there’s a mid year and end of year summary as well to meet the legislative requirements for ‘reporting in plain language twice a year’ – up to parents whether it’s printed off or not…..Leaders just need to be brave enough to lead change and educate their communicate to come on the journey with them!
In this response to Edna Sackson, Matt Schmidt reflects upon the way that his school uses Google Sheets to support a more agile and flexible reporting. It is interesting to see the use of such tools to create more personalised solutions.