A Personal Data Dashboard

One of the challenges with administrative applications and social media sites is the lack of control and awareness that users have about the collection of their data. One ideas that has been discussed to counter this is the idea of a personal dashboard where users are able to turn aspects on and off. This builds upon the ideas around [[Personal APIs]].

A personal data dashboard of sorts where you could explore what providing access to certain data (or not) would cost you.  For example, if you do choose to prevent Twitter or Google from tracking your location, what do you give up?  In many ways, the dashboard would be a space where you could make informed decisions about what you decide to share.  We noted that something like this would have to be run by a third-party independent of the major social media silos in order to ensure that when Facebook or Google say they have locked down access to your information, that can be independently verified. source

To support this concept, Bryan Mathers created a sketch.

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Digitizing the School Administration

There is so much written about the digitalisation of education. However, it is often forgotten that much of this relies on an administrative foundation. Mal Lee and Roger Broadie capture this and emphasise the importance of such platforms to continually support the organisational vision.

Do your utmost to take charge of the school’s digitized administration and communication, and adopt solutions that advance the creation of the desired ecosystem and culture, understanding that at times the school will be obliged to use the mandated systems.
Set the goal of providing your staff and clients with a digitized administration at least on par with the best SME offerings, that continually reduces their workload while simultaneously improving the intuitively, efficiency, effectiveness, economies and productivity. source

One of the challenges is that many of these applications bring with them a particular way of working, a certain [[templated self]]. Jim Groom discusses the idea of the next generation LMS, which provides the means for informed digital consent in regards to data surveillance.


Three-Pronged Solution to Education

Michael Niehoff provides an explanation for a three-pronged solution to improving education. This includes a focus on inquiry, career-readiness and the integration of technology.

We need to combine the best of project-based learning, career technical education and career readiness, and the best available digital tools and resources. I should be superintendent of the western world right? OK, until then, can we work towards collaboratively calling out the three areas driving it all. How complicated is this? It’s not. PBL, CTE/Career Readiness and Tech really do cover it all. Let’s do this. source

It is interesting reading this alongside Eric Sheninger’s discussion of capabilities verses skills. This all leaves me wondering about the prospect of [[Open Badges]] to support such changes.

The Garden and the Stream

Michael Caulfield uses the metaphors of the garden and the stream to discuss the web. The garden is rhizomatic in nature without a centralised structure, whereas the stream brings everything together. As Caulfield explains,

The Garden is the web as topology. The web as space. It’s the integrative web, the iterative web, the web as an arrangement and rearrangement of things to one another.
The Stream is a newer metaphor with old roots. We can think of the”event stream” of programming, the “lifestream” proposed by researchers in the 1990s. More recently, the term stream has been applied to the never ending parade of twitter, news alerts, and Facebook feeds. source

Audrey Watters builds on this metaphor to compare LMS and Domain of One’s Own.


[[Naming, Building, Breaking and Knowing the Web]]

[[Why ‘A Domain of One’s Own’ Matters]]

Re-Decentralised Web

Fake news. Algorithmically created content. Siloed hubs. The challenge currently faced is being human. A part of all of this is the need for a decentralised web. As Doug Belshaw explains,

We need to re-decentralise the Web. I wrote a few years ago about the dangers of newsfeeds that are algorithmically-curated by advertising-fuelled multinational tech companies. What we need to do is quickly replace our reliance on the likes of Facebook and Twitter before politicians think that direct digital democracy through these platforms would be a good idea. source

This is something that Michael Caulfield captures in his discussion of [[the garden and the stream]].

Digital Identity vs. Digital Citizenship

Bon Stewart reflects on the contradiction associated with digital identity and citizenship.

Digital identity, as a practice, operates counter to the collaboration and cooperation that need to be part of digital citizenship. source

Although not quite the same, this reminds me of the contradiction that Gert Biesta touches upon in his notion of a good education.

What Does it Mean to be Digital Literate?

Doug Belshaw responds to the question as to the biggest mistake when it comes to digital literacies. After pointing out that they are plural, context-dependent and socially-negotiated, he explains that it is not something that one necessarily becomes.

There is no stance from which you could call someone ‘digitally literate’, because (as Allan Martin has pointed out), it is a condition, not a threshold. There is no test you could devise to say whether someone was ‘digitally literate’, except maybe at a very particular snapshot in time, for a very defined purpose, in a certain context. source

I have elaborated on Belshaw’s book here.

Leadership: Flat-Footed or Future Focused?

David Culberhouse discusses the need to be proactive as a leader or else actions will be pushed on you.

In the end, the worst stance is to be flat-footed and motionless, when change and disruption comes a calling, determined to pull the rug out from under you, to have the future forced upon you.  Rather, we need leaders drenched in awareness, connecting dots, searching for signals, willing to intentionally design our way forward in a much more proactive manner. source

Leadership Like Rock Climbing

Paul Browning discusses the challenges associated with leadership. In particular, he focuses on responding to the unknown.

Leadership is a bit like rock climbing (my son took me indoor climbing over Easter). When you look up the cliff face looks formidable, unachieveable. Half way up your arms begin to shake, particularly if you are using the wrong technique. If you look down your courage can falter and you think you can’t push on any further.But like rock climbing, leadership is a skill, that with practise, can be improved. You only get better at it when you are faced with a new over-hang, new hold, or new rock face.Good leaders will assess each challenge. Have I seen this before? What did I learn last time? Should I tackle this a bit differently? Who can I ask for advice? And if I make a mistake, what is the worst that is going to happen? I’ll have to apologise, adjust my strategy and give it another go.Rock climbers, like leaders never get any better by looking at the cliff. They can learn by watching others, but the real learning happens when you hook on and give it a go. source

This reminds me of the work of David Culberhouse around embracing the VUCA.

Care in Educational Social Spaces

There has been a lot written about the potential of social media. However, there is just as much discussed around the limitations of such spaces and the ease to with which we can confirm our biases. One aspect that has arisen over time is the place and power of tribes and with this some negative attributes, such as trolling. In a recent post, Marten Koomen wonders about the place of care in such spaces.

Many educators approach education from an ethic of care and are particularly prone to bullying. As Noddings (2003) explains, a person who engages others from an ethic of care “is not seeking the answer but the involvement” (p. 176). Care is of primary importance in education. It is through an ethic of care that new insights and understandings become possible. When involvement is inauthentic and hostile, those engaging can experience toxicity and distress. Of course, those who approach life from an ethic of care still need to reason, but this reasoning needs to proceed with an empathy for different perspectives. It requires moral development (Gilligan, 1977; Kohlberg, 1971; Murphy & Gilligan, 1980). source

It is interesting to consider this alongside Michael Caulfield’s discussion of technology designed to meet a demand and whether spaces such as Twitter are designed to support and sabotage a culture of care?