πŸ“° Read Write Respond #052

Cover for April's newsletter of ideas and information associated with all things education, mined and curated for me and shared with you.
Welcome back for another month and what a month it was.

On the family front, a lot has happened. We celebrated a birthday and Easter together. Although it was strange not to catch up with the extended family for both events as we usually would. We have been trying to make the most of our time at home by helping Ms4 adjust to life without training wheels. With Term 2 starting, Ms9 has taken to learning from home with gusto. She has relished the opportunities to work at her place in her space. I think that the only challenge we have had is negotiating our space when we all need to be on a call.

No Distance Biscuits Cooked

In regards to work, it feels like everything is on the fly at the moment. The hardest thing is that everyone wants answers to help support schools, but nobody wants to do the heavy lifting associated with digging into the problem and providing constructive feedback. This has led to multiple communications going out, which is not ideal. On top of that, the vendor provided some critical information which meant I had to personally ring every school. Although school staff were patient and accommodating considering everything currently going on, it was a massive task that pushed me to the limit.

Personally, I feel I have lost my voice. Both literally, spending hours on the phone or in a video call is exhausting, but also metaphorically. Work is strangely alienating working away from colleagues and the office. It definitely has its positives, but also its challenges. Although I continued my sporadic reflections on space, I failed to find the time and mental space to bring together any extended thoughts and ideas. This has led me to wonder if I need to worry less about long form posts and work on wikis. Maybe Austin Kleon would say it just about keeping on going.

My soundtrack for this month has included Ed O’Brien and Thundercat. However, I have found particular solace in TISM. Although some my turn the Stoics, I have found something about Damian Cowell’s perspective which has helped keep me grounded. I have also been dipping in and out of Paul Browning’s book Principled, while I managed to watch Onward and The Mandalorian.

With time we all become more experienced, but a critical event waits for no-one. It is sometimes best to prepare for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised by the reality. Instead of a flash of panic, you will be more controlled if you have a plan to tackle the difficulty. Paul Browning β€˜Principled’
Image via “A Brief History of Hollywood” by Profound Whatever https://flickr.com/photos/hoyvinmayvin/10078627485 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Quote via Paul Browning https://compellingleadership.com.au/books/

Here then are some of the posts that have had me thinking:


A Manifesto Against EdTechΒ© During an Emergency Online Pivot

Rolin Moe argues that now is not the time to introduce a plethora of techniques and tools and instead encourages educators to engage with whatever is at hand.

9 Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen

Anya Kamenetz provides nine possible options for how reopening might look in American schools. This is interesting to consider as the debate about moving back to onsite learn heats up in Australia.

The Unproductive Debate of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning

Zach Groshell suggests that our focus in the turn to online learning should be the various forms of interaction and directions provided.

Don’t let a crisis define the brief

Ewan McIntosh says we should not be restricted by the brief we are given by the coronavirus and instead rewrite it. We need to be proactive about defining the new normal.

Online Learning Resources for people moving online in a hurry

There have also been a range of other resources released, including a new Project Zero hub, a collection of maker cards from Dyson, free access to MUSE and Dr. Seuss read over Dr. Dre Beats.


Challenge Set! Structuring Their (Screen) Time

Corrie Barclay reflects on structuring screentime in the home by providingΒ  challenges and projects for his children to complete.

A Very Short Free Course In EFFECTIVE Educational Video Creation

Joel Speranza has put together a series of instructional videos that unpacks his process of creating instructional videos.

Digital Spring Cleaning

Aaron Parecki provides a run-down of some digital spring cleaning we should consider, such as deleting unused apps and reviewing passwords.

The Authoritarian Trade-Off

Jathan Sadowski argues that in the search for a technical answer for the spread of the coronavirus companies with vested interests will step in with short term solutions which have long term gains.

Teens Are Addicted to Socializing, Not Screens – Screenagers in the time of coronavirus

danah boyd explains that what teens crave is social interactions, not another Zoom class.


On Letting Go of Certainty in a Story That Never Ends – Finding Communion in the Fairy Tales We Tell

Rebecca Solnit reflects on the uncertainty associated with the current crisis and the solace she has found in fairy tales.

Public Thinker: Tressie McMillan Cottom on Writing in One’s Own Voice

John Warner speaks with Tressie McMillan Cottom about writing, identity and the challenge of higher education reform.

The Pandemic Isn’t a Black Swan but a Portent of a More Fragile Global System

Bernard Avishai explores the argument that the current pandemic is a random event.

Why London’s National Theatre Is Hooking Online Viewers

Daniel Pollack-PelznerΒ reflects on the pivot of plays online. He explains how such mediated experiences are different from the feeling of being their in the theatre.

Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing

Ed Yong summarises the challenges associated with the current crisis into six parts: the virus, the disease, the research, the experts, the messaging, the information, the numbers and the narrative.

Why it will be so hard to return to β€˜normal’

Brandon Ambrosino explains that there is nothing normal about the word β€˜normal’. Although as Doug Belshaw highlights, looking back can provide moment for moving forward.

Read Write Respond #052

So that was April for me, how about you? As always, love to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch

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