📰 Read Write Respond #045

Background image via JustLego101
Another month has flown on by. My family and I have just gotten back from some time away in Vanuatu. I think it is fair to say that Google and Uber have some work to do there in regards to implementing self-driving cars. It felt like there are two maps, one plotting where to go, the other documenting the multitude of pot-holes. I must admit it was nice to stop.

In regards to work, there are always changes going on. The focus though continues to be automating the process for on-boarding schools. I wrote a longer reflection about that here. My biggest takeaway is that:

Too often the conversation around technology is around efficiency – replacing work and saving time. However, my experience with supporting schools with setting up reports, timetables and attendance, and technology in general, has me feeling it often changes things. This touches on the reality that technology is a system. In saving in once spot, it often adds to another. As always, comments welcomes.

At the same time we are also grappling with how to best support schools already on. This is especially challenging when it comes to tasks like setting up a timetable that schools may only do once a year.

Personally, I have continued reading Why We Can’t Write. I also worked on my site. This included improving the search thanks to some help from John Johnston, as well as fix up the header images. In regards to my listening, I have been really getting into Lana Del Ray, Montaigne, Charli XCX, M83 and G Flip, as well as diving into the Switched on Pop podcast. I also watched the Chernobyl miniseries.

Learning and Teaching

Children’s books are tackling dark and taboo topics. Morris Gleitzman says that’s nothing to be afraid of

Morris Gleitzman and Jo Lampert spoke as part of a panel discussing the place of literature to tackle complex topics.

Why the Periodic Table of Elements Is More Important Than Ever

Bloomberg collects together a number of essays exploring the various elements of the periodic table.

Re-imagining Education for Democracy with Stewart Riddle

Stewart Riddle discusses the issue of democracy in education in an interview with Cameron Malcher on the TER Podcast.

Learning Science: The Problem With Data, And How You Can Measure Anything

Julian Stodd provides a useful introduction to quantitative and qualitative data.

One for the books: the unlikely renaissance of libraries in the digital age

Often the discussion around the future of libraries focuses on technology and spaces, however Jane Cadzow’s deep dive uncovers the more human side of libraries throughout Australia.


The Perfect User

Cherie Lacey, Catherine Caudwell and Alex Beattie discuss the ironic templated sense of identity perpetuated by the humane technology movement.

Privacy matters because it empowers us all

Carissa Véliz pushes back on the idea that anyone can say they have ‘nothing to hide’. Whether it be attention, money, reputation or identity, she argues that we all have something worth getting at.

EdTech Resistance

Ben Williamson provides a broad survey of the different ways that people have been critically engaging with technology in education.

Apps Script Pulse

Martin Hawksey has created a site to collate different Google App Script projects.

The Psychology of Silicon Valley

Antony Funnell speaks with Katy Cook on the RN Future Tense podcast about the many influences on Silicon Valley.


Media Accounting 101: Appholes and Contracts

Craig Mod explores the agreements we make that we may not always be aware that we are making.

Misogyny, male rage and the words men use to describe Greta Thunberg

Camilla Nelson and Meg Vertigan survey the way in which males have responded to Greta Thunberg.

Kate O’Halloran made a mistake on Twitter. But admitting it wasn’t enough for trolls

Kate O’Halloran reflections on her experience of being trolled online after a mistake made on Twitter.

The Cost of Next-Day Delivery: How Amazon Escapes The Blame For Its Deadly Last Mile

Caroline O’Donovan and Ken Bensinger provide a picture of what is involved in having things delivered the next day.

Malcolm Gladwell Reaches His Tipping Point

In a review of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Talking to Strangers, Andrew Ferguson unpacks Gladwell’s pivot from rules and biases to unanswered questions.

Focus on … MIT and Jeffrey Epstein

A quote from danah boyd
Image via “BrickForge Animals” by Dunechaser https://flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/1431005928 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Justin Peters maps the history associated with MIT, the birth of the Media Lab and the choice to soil its specialness, rather than support activists like Aaron Swartz. Evgeny Morozov labels it as moral bankruptcy. Audrey Watters calls it a plutocratic horror show. James Bridle questions the ethics of the Media Lab and their history in building products to improve people’s lives, only to then pivot into market gains. Ronan Farrow reports on the steps Joi Ito and others took to conceal Epstein’s involvement with the Media Lab. Siva Vaidhyanathan argues that Epstein’s intent in donating was not whitewashing, but rather to gain access to powerful men. Anand Giridharadas outlines why he resigned as a juror for MIT’s Disobedience Award. Heather Gold reflects on the problem of gender and power. danah boyd discusses the great reckoning ahead, where we are faced with the challenge of building rather than breaking the web.

Read Write Respond #045

So that was September for me, how about you? As always, happy to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

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