πŸ“° Read Write Respond #060

In these strange times, I have found that some things change, while other things stay the same.Β  At work, I am still working from home which is a change, however we have still been inundated at the end of year with schools rolling their system over. It does not worry me and am always happy to help (well that is my job), what concerns me though is the dependency again and again on so few. I tried recording a series of short videos to go with the guides. However, people just feel hesitant in doing something for fear of breaking the system.

On the family front, December was again the dance between birthdays, end of year activities. This included an ad hoc kindergarten graduation. We were also blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas together, as well as catch up with some family and friends over the break. Considering the year we have had and the virus that is rampant in some parts of the globe, it feels like the small things matter even more.

Someone have all the kids a graduation balloon for finishing kindergarten

Personally, I finished reading Fiona Hardy’s How to Write the Soundtrack. I also publish a piece on creating the space to fail in part with the demise of the Global2 blogging project. In regards to listening, I dived into The Avalanches, Four Tet and Taylor Swift.


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

Education

The Power of Engaging Families

Cameron Paterson discusses going beyond the information evenings, bake sales and parent involvement in his reflection on family engagement.

Lessons Learned – Reflecting on educational equity in the COVID-19 era

Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt consider the various discussions and evidence associated education during the current pandemic to identify five narratives that have stood out.

Algorithmic Autobiographies and Fictions – How to Write With Your Digital Self

Sophie Bishop and Tanya Kant share their approach for helping learners grapple with their digital data.

Skodel – The easiest way for schools to understand student wellbeing

Skodel uses 30-second check-ins to build up a interactive picture of student wellbeing over time.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Could Be Our Standards

Michael Niehoff discusses the proposal to redesign of education around the United Nations Global Goals.

Technology

The Zoom Gaze

Autumm Caines reflects upon the rise of Zoom during the pandemic and explores some of the implications. She unpacks some of the features, assumptions, practices and power dynamics associated with the ‘Zoom Gaze’.

From Tech Critique to Ways of Living – Neil Postman Was Right, So What?

Alan Jacobs explores a new way of living that includes technology, but is not solely focused on technology. His argument is that the standard critique of technology has failed, because it has not necessarily stepped back to capture the wider picture of things.

Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine

Adrienne LaFrance makes the comparison between the nuclear threat of the doomsday machine in the 70’s and the position served by Facebook today to connect so many people.

Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI

Alex Hanna reports on Timnit Gebru’s exit from Google and the implications that this has for research into artificial intelligence.

Slack Is the Right Tool for the Wrong Way to Work

Cal Newport continues his discussion about email and productivity tools, taking a dive into the world of Slack, explaining why it is the answer for the wrong problem.

General

War on 2020

War on 2020 is a series of satirical sketches about the year produced by The Chaser and The Shovel. They cover a range of topics, including the absurdity of QAnon, Dan Andrews being labelled a dictator, the frenzied stockpiling of toilet paper and the solidarity around the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the highlight of them all was Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton’s review of 2020.

How Science Beat the Virus – COVID-19 Changed Science Forever

Ed Yong continues his reporting of the coronavirus, this time he unpacks the steps associated with getting to a point where we have a vaccine. In separate article, Yong explores what 2021 may look like.

13 Ways Music Got Us Through 2020

Drew Litowitz explores the ways in which the music world responded to the pandemic. This included Bandcamp Friday, a dearth of cover songs, quarantine pop albums, music videos created within constraint, exploration of virtual gatherings, and a growing coalition of artists and music industry professionals pushing back on steaming inequities.

Monetizing the Final Frontier – The strange new push for space privatization

Clive Thompson enters the burgeoning frontier of outer space. He explains how NASA’s funding has slowly dwindled over time and been replaced by private industry stemming from various non-government opportunities.

#IStandWithDan vs #DictatorDan: how fringe accounts gamed Twitter during Melbourne’s lockdown

James Purtill reports on the influence of social media in regards to the messaging around Melbourne’s lockdown.

Hedge School

Steve Brophy has started a newsletter designed to help people with running their own race in life, seems pertinent right now.


Read Write Respond #060

So that was December for me, how about you? As always, I hope you are well.
Bryan Mathers' sketch

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