📰 Read Write Respond #081

Welcome back to another month.

With a series of structural changes going on at work, I was asked how I felt about my job. I explained to my manager that I felt that a lot of what we do is thankless. This is not to say that schools are not thankful, but rather it feels like a large amount of our time is spent doing what feels like other people’s work. For example, this month, another buggy upgrade was pushed into production by the technical team without adequate testing or documentation. This meant that a large amount of my time was spent trying to figure out what was happening with all the problems raised by schools to raise with the technical team to fix.

On the home front, our yard redesign has somehow been completed even with the ridiculous amounts of rain that we have had. I remember raising concerns about flooding when we went to Albury, however it feels like things have only stepped up since then. It feels like a new record seems to be broken each week at the moment. Although it is hard to capture something that is so widespread, however I feel like the video of the Woolshed Falls near Beechworth summed it up for me.

Personally, I managed to go to two concerts this month, Montaigne and Art of Fighting. Associated with this, I dived into the work of Daði Freyr and Montgomery. In addition to this, I have been listening to new albums from Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift on repeat with my daughters. In regards to reading, I purchased a two month subscription to Audible. I got halfway through Miriam Margolyes’s reading of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House and gave up. Instead, I then turned to Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. I was also reminded about the fragility of my digital identity when I was hit with a handful of WordPress errors and reminded how important it is to have structured backups.

Here then are some of the dots I have been connecting together:


“Let Them Leave Well”

Andrea Stringer shares some thoughts on teacher retention.

The Two Definitions of Zettelkasten

Chris Aldrich talks about what we talk about when we talk about zettelkasten.

Why Learn to Read?

Deborah Brandt explains that learning to read has meant many things over time.


Running Twitter Isn’t Rocket Science. It’s Harder

For me, Clive Thompson captures things best, explaining how working with all the variables to land a rocket is still a far cry from the complexity of grappling with 400 million Twitter users.

Blockchain’s real world problem

Ryan Barrett reflects upon the the potential of the blockchain and the importance of human trust.

The GIF Is on Its Deathbed

Kaitlyn Tiffany reflects on the demise of GIFs.


Why Are the Kids So Sad?

Malcolm Harris explores why children today are so sad. Hint, maybe because we all are.

You’re learning a lot, but is it valuable?

Oliver Quinlan reflects on productive learning in response to new situations as opposed to learning to cope with a dysfunctional workplace.

It’s Gotten Awkward to Wear a Mask

Katherine Wu reports on the tendency to discard mask wearing as a bad memory, instead seeking out a sense of supposed normalcy.

Bruno Latour showed us how to think with the things of the world, respecting their right to exist and act on their own terms

Stephen Muecke reflects on Bruno Latour’s life and legacy.

More Proof That This Really Is the End of History

Francis Fukuyama applies his thesis that history ends with the prevalence of democray to today.

Read Write Respond #081

So that was October for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

📰 Read Write Respond #080

Another month and another change to the team at work. Why is it that everyone seems to have had such amazing lives? The new manager at work ran a 10 hour charity music conference in his spare time. I am often happy if I have done the washing and got food on the table, I clearly need to work harder on my pitch.

On the family front, we went on our first holiday post-COVID to country Victoria. It was interesting returning to various places with children. I think it is fair to say wine tasting and children do not always match.

Personally, I finally got around to loading Linux on my old Macbook Pro and Chromebook. Other than the ability to run music applications, I am pretty happy and not missing a think. I continued my dive back into books listening to Thomas More’s Utopia, Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I also nostalgically binged The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. (Was this really made for children?) In regards to music, Montaigne’s Making It has been on repeat.

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


The Tricky Ethics of Being a Teacher on TikTok

Amelia Tate considers the place of TikTok in the classroom. She discusses the trend of content created about and even with students.

The Enduring Allure of Choose Your Own Adventure Books

Leslie Jamison dives back into the world of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series.

Unbeaching the whale – The education revolution failed — and so did its way of thinking

Dean Ashenden reflects on the failure of Gonski and the education revolution.

Timetable Absurdity

Cameron Paterson discusses the way in which schools are still held hostage by the timetable.

I want, I wish, I hope, I dream

David Truss shares an activity where he creates a portrait wall with a want, a wish, a hope or a dream underneath it.


After Self-Hosting My Email for Twenty-Three Years, I have Thrown In the Towel. The Oligopoloy has Won.

Carlos Fenollosa reflects on the demise of self-hosted email. One of the main reasons he argues for the failure is the crude blacklisting of large swaths of email, rather than a penalty process.

We Spoke With the Last Person Standing in the Floppy Disk Business

Niek Hilkmann and Thomas Walskaar interview Tom Persky about the dying art of maintaining floppy disks.

Interoperable Facebook

Cory Doctorow unpacks how an interoperable Facebook might work.

Tech Fear-Mongering Isn’t New—But It’s Time to Break the Cycle

Jason Feifer provides insight into Amy Orben’s four-step Sisyphean cycle of technology panics.

We need to deal with data privacy in our classrooms

Bonnie Stewart reflects upon the online learning with the return to the classroom in a post-COVID world.

AI’s dark arts come into their own

Alex Hern discusses the dark-side to the magic of artificial intelligence.


Electric Bike, Stupid Love of My Life

Craig Mod shares his passion for electric bikes.

After Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Indigenous Australia can’t be expected to shut up. Our sorry business is without end

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, Stan Grant considers legacy of colonisation for indigenous people around the world.

Music on the brain: Listening can influence our brain’s activity

Abdullah Iqbal unpacks some of the research into the benefits of music on the brain.

Ark Head

In order to survived the battered psyche, Venkatesh Rao explains that way have resorted to the ‘ark head’ mental model. This involves giving up on solving the world’s ills and simply hiding in our ark.

The credibility of science is damaged when universities brag about themselves

Adrian Lenardic and Johnny Seales argue that the rewarding of attention economy has corrupted scientific research.

Florence Nightingale Was Born 197 Years Ago, and Her Infographics Were Better Than Most of the Internet’s

Celebrating the birth of , Cara Giaimo discusses Florence Nightingale’s impact in regards to the spread of ideas, not just as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’.

Read Write Respond #080

So that was September for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers


📰 Read Write Respond #079

Life certainly has a way of teaching you lessons. Personally, I have been a literally quieter this month, as I lost my voice. This is a bit of a problem when working in support. In part I returned from illness earlier than I probably should have and subsequently copped something on the rebound. What was interesting is that I had a dry irritating cough which meant I was unable to sit down for long without having a coughing fit. Actually, I could not even look down. This meant that as much as I wanted, I was unable to do any work. One of the positives was that I was that I felt best when walking and not talking.

The winner of the walking was the dog that we are currently dog-sitting. I have not lived with a dog since I was a child. It has definitely given me a different perspective on things. Firstly, I cannot believe how many people seem to throw away their fast food fries. Secondly, I cannot remember being so conscious of poo and whether we have been overfeeding. The other interesting thing was how much more exercise we have done as there is someone else involved.

On the Work front, I have been spending time trying to get to the bottom of ongoing issues. This led to using Google Sheets to create a template for filtering errors by school making it easier to email out issues.

Personally, with all my walking I have really dived back into books, listening to Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet and Dirt Music, Christos Tsiolkas’ Barracuda, as well as Dave Eggers’ The Every. I also watched The Umbrella Academy, Squid Game and the latest Predator instalment, Prey. While in regards to music, I enjoyed Stella Donnelly’s Flood and Hot Chip’s Freakout/Release.

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


Essential Tools for Teaching?

Miguel Guhlin reflects on the process of selecting the right tool for teaching.

Should we be wary of so-called coaches? (Life Matters)

Hilary Harper speaks with Dr Sean O’Connor and Carly Dober about the different iterations of coaching.

The education minister’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea*

Alison Bedford and Naomi Barnes respond to the proposal to produce centralised planning resources as a means alleviating pressure.

How to Make Notes and Write

Dan Allosso provides a guide to how to make notes and carve them into ideas.

What Can Students Do?

Cameron Paterson shares examples of where his students have co-constructed assessment criteria, self-assessed their work, written their own report comments and taught their own lessons.


What Adults Don’t Get About Teens and Digital Life

Emily Weinstein and Carrie James talk about teaching teens to build personal agency, anticipating and discussing different dilemmas before they arise, and encouraging collective agency where groups respond to challenges together.

Curious About 3D Printing? Here Are Some Tips Before You Dive In

Kenneth R. Rosen provides some tips to consider before starting your own foray into 3D printing.

The approaching tsunami of addictive AI-created content will overwhelm us

Charles Arthur maps the evolution of AI-created content until now and ponders where it might be heading.

These 3D models take you inside the shattered ruins of some of Ukraine’s cultural treasures

Emmanuel Durand is capturing the war in Ukraine in a new way, capturing 3D models of various heritage sites as a means of documenting the impact.


‘They said it was impossible’: how medieval carpenters are rebuilding Notre Dame

Kim Willsher discusses the importance of the Guédelon project in regards to the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Wherefore the Cover Song? (Pretty Much Pop)

Pretty Much Pop podcast team speak with Prof. P.D. Magnus about various aspects associated with cover songs.

Kayaking the sickest urban river in Australia

Beau Miles traverses the Cook River in Sydney, providing an insight into the health of our urban rivers.

To Support Salman Rushdie, Just Read Him

In response to Salman Rushdie’s stabbing, Randy Boyagoda argues that the best way we can respond is to read his work.

A vision of life beyond burnout

Jonathan Malesic suggests that the answer for burnout relates to moving dignity back to the individual rather than being dependent on work.

Read Write Respond #079

So that was August for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

📰 Read Write Respond #078

Welcome back to another month. I feel like it has had a bit of everything, catching up with family visiting from interstate, eldest daughter managing to go on her first school camp in three years, as well as being being thrust into health and safety protocols.

On the Work front, I feel like I have spent much of my time trying to get to the bottom of a range of new defects that have come with a recent upgrade. I am always intrigued how aspects of the application that have not been fixed or improved are impacted.

Personally, I binged quite a bit this month, including The 100, Stranger Things, Birdman, Moon Knight and The Gray Man. I also listened to Tom Tilley’s memoir Speaking in Tongues. In regards to music, I enjoyed listening to Sam Prekop and John McEntire’s modular album Sons Of.

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

Self-Assessing Creative Problem Solving

Wouter Groeneveld discusses his development of the Creative Programming Problem Solving Test (CPPST), a self-assessment test for programmers that measures more than just divergent thinking.

If You’re Not Paying for the Product, You Are… Possibly Just Consuming Goodwill for Free

Troy Hunt posits that sometimes we are simply consuming goodwill.

Weary, old, a little broken, but not letting go of the dream: edtech in the 21st Century

Jon Dron shares his thoughts on how to help the edtech community find its soul again.

Four Tet on His 155-Hour Spotify Playlist, the Coolest Thing on Streaming

Kieran Hebden discusses his epic Spotify playlist, an artefact for listeners to explore.

Rewilding Cities

Clive Thompson thinks about the idea of monocropping and the impact of rewilding beyond just nature.

Read Write Respond #078

So that was July for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

Background image via “Lego Stranger Things (fx)” by decypher the code is licensed under CC BY-SA

📰 Read Write Respond #077

So another month passes. For me, someone ran into the back of my car. Sometimes life just happens, I guess. When I initially inquired about getting a loan car, I was told that I would need to travel to the airport to collect it. Unwilling to do this, we managed to get through most of the month with just one car. Although I did end up finding a loan car closer to home, it definitely made me think about our dependence on a vehicle differently.

On other matters, we continued to venture out more and more, step by step. We rejoined the Melbourne Zoo, ventured to a few country markets and ate out a bit more, including in Chinatown in the CBD. (Apparently exploring Chinatown was on Ms 6’s bucket list.) This is definitely not a return to normal, but maybe this is the new normal? Still not sure how I feel about going on a big holiday, but it feels like I am more and more in the minority.

At work, we survived the rush associated with biannual academic reporting, even as some people were on leave. In addition to that, I have continued doing my usual day-to-day stuff, such as testing improvements, responding to support calls and developing various guides. In amongst all of this, somebody thought we needed Office 365, so we have been learning about the benefits of collaborative software, even if we have been using

Personally, I finally found out what I was missing in regards to Hamilton, (although only my wife was lucky enough to see it on stage.) I also joined in the Minefield’s not quite a bookclub reading (or listening to) Jane Austen’s Emma. In regards to music, I enjoyed the thought that TISM are returning.

Foolishly, about 20 years ago, I said that the only way that TISM would ever reappear would be if the Fair Work Commission decided to raise the minimum wage. I thought I was pretty safe there. Because, as if anyone’s going to give those bloody battlers a decent go.

Then I got a phone call at 10am this morning. They said, ‘It’s happened’ and, shamefully, here we are.

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


Does a quiet classroom quietly harm children?

Richard Wells goes beyond the well-meaning quiet classroom and puts out the challenges to consider allocating time for students to practice ‘working with others’.

Teachers the fall guys for a failing system

Jenny Gore and Nicole Mockler suggest that most reporting on education overlooks the systemic challenges of inequity in our communities. They argue that what is needed is investment in teaching and an effort to raise the status across the board.

The Case for Making Classrooms Phone-Free

Tyler Rablin unpacks his decision to make his classroom phone-free.

‘The Waste Land’, a Century On

Barry Spurr celebrates 100 years since the release of TS Eliot’s poem The Waste Land.

Why A Good Idea Takes 13 Years To Arrive

Clive Thompson reflects upon the importance of slow hunches. Wonder how this works in the classroom?


How the Internet Turned Us Into Content Machines

Kyle Chayka explores the way in which the internet has turned us into content machines.

Is Google Dying? Or Did the Web Grow Up?

Charlie Warzel takes a dive into the current status of Google Search.

The Good Web

Ethan Zuckerman highlights is the need to be open for alternative options when it comes to making the good web..

Online Abortion Pill Provider Hey Jane Used Tracking Tools That Sent Visitor Data to Meta, Google, and Others

Jon Keegan and Dara Kerr use Blacklight privacy inspector to demonstrate the data collected by trackers on abortion sites. Another example of the way in which insight and awareness can be produced from the crumbs we leave.

The Modern QR Code Life

Wouter Groeneveld discusses his experience of the new normal associated with the use of QR codes and smartphones for viewing menus.


Persephone’s secret – The Eleusinian Mysteries and the making of the modern economy (Eat This)

Jeremy Cherfas speaks with Scott Reynolds Nelson provide a history from the perspective of wheat.

Ten Ways Billionaires Avoid Taxes on an Epic Scale

Paul Kiel provides a summary of ten ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes.

Planting trees isn’t enough. Here’s why we need tiny man-made forests

Hannah Lewis explores the use of the Miyawaki method to rewild the world.

Collapse of the modern Liberal Party

Mike Seccombe traces Liberal Party back to John Howard’s remaking of Menzies’ party and how it was transformed again by the voters targeted from a distance who became members.


A website/app which provides a combination of sounds, visuals and serendipity.

Read Write Respond #077

So that was June for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

Cover image via “DSC_3604” by Joachim S. Müller is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

📰 Read Write Respond #076

Welcome back to another month of global change and disruption, just glad to see Clive Palmer’s freedom posters have at least disappeared again and Biloela family allowed to return to central Queensland.

At home, there was finally some action in regards to fixing up our yard. We inherited a few issues when we purchased the property, such as a water tank on a lean. A part of me felt guilty in getting somebody else to do the work. My home, my problem, or something like that. I had done what I could in cleaning things up. However, I soon realised that sometimes there is a reason that you get somebody with the skills and tools to do the job. I am pretty sure it would have taken me months to achieve what a few guys and an excavator achieved in a few days.

On the family front, our youngest had to stay home for a few days two weeks running with a lingering cough. All of her RATs came back negative and her energy levels were normal. I was supporting a teacher who pointed out that in some ways lockdown was easier as we did not have to worry about all the coughs and sneezes meaning that everyone could simply battle on. Guess this is all a part of the new normal.

At work, focus turned to supporting the setup of academic reports. However, as seems to be the way, nothing ever quite goes to plan as we were inundated with requests for attendance data associated with a government audit. On further investigation it was discovered that there were some who were already aware of the requirement, they just forgot to pass this information on. I never cease to be surprised by the way in which one hand fails to speak with another. With so much outside of our control, it feels frustrating when something in our control is overlooked. In between all this, I continued creating guides to fill gaps in our instruction, as well as develop some spreadsheets and scripts to help automate practices.

Personally, I went on a journey with Patrick White’s Voss. I listened to new albums form The Smile, Florence and the Machine, Arcade Fire and Hatchie. I finished watching The Vikings. My daughters and I also went to Fiona Hardy’s book launch for How to Tackle Your Dreams at Readings’ Kids. In a Post-COVID world, they were in awe of all the books. Guess it is not the same as buying online.

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


A Culture of Thinking for Teachers

Cameron Paterson unpacks his learnings associated with leading difficult pedagogical change in schools.

Zombie Data with J. Clutterbuck and R. Daliri-Ngamatua (TER Podcast)

Jennifer Clutterbuck and Rafaan Daliri-Ngametua discuss the idea of zombie data, that excessive excessive, purposeless and redundant data.

The only question you need to ask about education technology

Dan Meyer discusses his simple rubric for evaluating edtech, “What happens to wrong answers?”

A Behind The Scenes Look At How I Create A Technical Video Course

Ben Collins methodically breaks down his process for creating a technical video course.

10 steps to running an event I’d want to attend

Doug Belshaw shares ten steps associated with running an event.


We Need to Take Back Our Privacy

Zeynep Tufekci highlights the limits associated with de-anonymised data and calls for collective change through law.

Does data science need a Hippocratic oath? (Future Tense)

Antony Funnell speaks with Kate Eichhorn and Kate Mannell about digital forgetting and whether data science needs a Hippocratic oath?

Tracking Exposed: Demanding That the Gods Explain Themselves

Cory Doctorow discusses Tracking Exposed, a collective of designers using adversarial interoperability to go beyond the guessing game of algospeak to provide a more concrete understanding of algorithms and content moderation.

The Many-Worlds Theory, Explained

John Gribbin takes a dive into the history of the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI).


Permanent Pandemic – Will COVID Controls Keep Controlling Us?

Justin E.H. Smith questions whether the controls brought in during COVID will in fact keep controlling us long after the threat has passed.

Plastic Recycling Doesn’t Work and Will Never Work

Judith Enck Jan Dell explains why recycling plastic is a ruse.

Why the parkrun practice initiative will encourage more GPs to engage in social prescription

Kate O’Halloran explores the parkrun phenomon and the way in which it is helping change people’s lives.

The secret world beneath our feet is mind-blowing – and the key to our planet’s future

George Monbiot discusses the world beneath our feet and the possible futures for farming.

Read Write Respond #076

So that was May for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

Background for cover image via “One Percent” by the great 8 https://flickr.com/photos/great8/6820722517 is licensed under CC BY

📰 Read Write Respond #075

Welcome back to another month.

Even though we had Easter and the school holidays, we were still conservative as a family about getting out and about, sticking to a few country drives and visits to friends.

On the work front, there was a return to being on-site three days a week. Even though my job is to largely provide virtual/phone support to schools across the state, it is argued that being together is more conducive to collaboration. However, this is also reliant on having the right space for such collaboration to occur. With the new normal being more fluid, adjustments are required. For example, a few days back we had an internal meeting where the organiser either forgot to, or was unable to, book a meeting room, therefore there were five people spread across an open work space speaking with a couple of colleagues on another level virtually. It just seems a bit absurd at times.

Personally, I have written a few posts on my blog, including a review of Clinton Walker’s book Stranded: The Secret History Of Australian Independent Music, a submission to DLTV associated with the Classroom of the Future and a summary of my responses to Cyber Security & Awareness – Primary Years (CSER MOOC) which I finally finished. In addition to Stranded, I also (re)read Franz Kafka’s The Trial. I must say it is an intriguing exercise rereading texts you grew up with in a new light. I also listened to Daniel Johns’ FutureNever, his continued break from the past.

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


Climate Game

Financial Times have created a game to educate users on the challenges required to keep global warming to 1.5C.

Going Rogue: Teachers Designing their Own Conferences as a Transgressive Act

Philippa Nicoll Antipas explores how we might do a conference for teacher professional learning and development from the ground on up.

What should ‘digital literacy’ look like in an age of algorithms and AI?

Neil Selwyn argues that we need to reframe our discussion of digital literacies to focus on algorithmic literacy.

It’s Time to Give Feedback Another Chance. Here Are 3 Ways to Get It Right

Peter DeWitt shares some reflections on feedback.

7 Things to Do Before You Start Your PhD

Kimberly Hirsh provides a list of things to do before starting a PhD.

Learning Synths

Ableton provide a playground space that serves as an online synthesiser, as well as a teaching tool.


Elderblog Sutra: 13

Venkatesh Rao reflects upon Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and what that might mean for the future.


Elan Kiderman Ullendorff shares a tool for finding random Substack newsletters.

Web3 Is Going Just Great

Molly White has created a site collating examples of how Web3 is not going as well as suggested.

Books Become Games

Justin Smith reflects upon the way in which the the publishing of books has become a game.

Fairlight CMI – the Sound You’ve Never Heard Of

James Vyver explores the development of Fairlight in the 1980’s, a musical instrument that involved access to an extensive sound library, a multi-track sequencer and a sampler.


Liz Wiseman on Standing Out at Work

Liz Wiseman talks about the way in which impact players look to how they can make a difference, rather than just play a roll.

Pop Music’s Nostalgia Obsession

Kevin Townsend, Shirley Li, Spencer Kornhaber, and Hannah Giorgis talk about the place of nostalgia in modern music and the way in which steaming allows us to easily fill our listening with more of the same.

Chocolate—the world’s most seductive treat and its dark shadow

Annabelle Quince leads a conversation into the history of chocolate and its relationship with child labour.

How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff

Zachary Crockett explains how Ikea tricks shoppers into buying more.

The 9 Biggest Myths About Nonfiction Trade Publishing, Debunked

Summer Brennan debunks nine myths associated with publishing.

Read Write Respond #075

So that was April for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

📰 Read Write Respond #074

Welcome back to another month of the new normal. This month feels like it has had a bit of everything. It started with a visit from my father, who I had not seen since for a few years. While it ended with COVID. In addition to a whole lot of prizes and freebies, my wife brought COVID home from a conference she attended. Somehow my daughters and I managed to escape by isolating, even if everyone suggested we all just get it together as it is inevitable. No thanks. I am sure my time will come, but not this day (or month).

On the work front, I finally finished end of year activities. I also found a whole heap of tasks and incidents that had become lost in triage. As the organisation grows and morphs, some old groups are merged and made obsolete. The problem is that changing a name does not magically change a habit meaning that these incidents remain unresolved and unaccounted for. The funniest thing I find about working with technology is the human variability. So much time is spent managing the product, making sure that everything is right and correct, but this can sometimes be at the expense of clear processes and procedures.

Personally, I finally got around to writing my reflection on my top albums from last year. I read John Hirst’s The Shortest History of Europe and Richard Glover’s memoir Flesh Wounds. I also binged quite a bit, including Altered Carbon, The Witcher, Don’t Look Up, ABC series What is Music.

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


Key concepts for leading professional learning

Deborah Netolicky shares her thoughts on the key concepts associated with professional learning, including holonmy, a holding environment, meaningful collaboration and semantic space.

Belonging is inconvenient

Dave White unpacks the differences between independent, communal and networked learning, and how this is more than being face-to-face or online.

Waiting for Gonski with Tom Greenwell and Chris Bonnor

Cameron Malcher speaks with Tom Greenwell and Chris Bonnor about Australia’s long history of failed educational reform.

Rare Thoughts on Writing From Cormac McCarthy in This Unlikely Interview

Cormac McCarthy reflects upon the notion of inspiration when writing, as well as purpose of audience.

Google Magic

Ben Williamson pulls the curtain back on the magic associated with Google’s new Google Classroom feature ‘Practice Set’, which provides adaptive learning technology.


Are We Measuring Our Lives in All the Wrong Ways?

In an interview with Ezra Klein, C. Thi Nguyen discusses how Twitter gamifies communication.

“My Own Little Fiefdom”: Why Some Famous Novelists Are All About Substack

Adrienne Westenfeld discusses the way in which some novelists, such as George Saunders, Salman Rushdie and Chuck Palahniuk, have turned to Substack as a means of serializing fiction, teaching the craft of writing and generally engaging with readers.

Building a Digital Homestead, Bit by Brick

In a meditation on the architecture of blogging, Tom Critchlow wonders about pathways, archives and iterations.

A systemic (not individual) approach to content moderation

Cory Doctorow unpacks the idea of focusing on systemic speech acts as an answer for content management.


Forgetting, not memory, moves us forward

Antony Funnell explores the importance of forgetting when it comes to memory.

How To Make A Book Come To Life

Steve Brophy reflects upon the technical aspects associated with producing a book, including purchasing an ISBN, selecting art for the cover and choosing a platform to publish the book.

Our holiday from history is over

John Naughton wonders if the situation in Ukraine is history repeating and whether our post-1946 holiday is over.

Why We Listen to Music With Lyrics We Don’t Understand

Romano Santos explains that our appreciation of music goes beyond just the lyrics with meaning coming in many different ways.

Exploring the deep sea

Kerry Howell discusses the history associated with mapping our oceans.

Read Write Respond #074

So that was March for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

📰 Read Write Respond #073

I would like to say that it was a strange month, but every month feels strange at the moment.

At work, the end of year process has continued even if it is no longer the end of the year. The process of cleaning up data would be enough to keep me busy, but alas the return of schools also meant the return of support requests. With over 300 schools to support now, I am amazed that I still manage to stumble upon novel issues, but I do. I guess that is the joy of an ever growing project where there is always some new addition to stretch things that bit further.

On the family front, the return to school has brought its own anxieties. The government supply of rapid antigen tests has alleviated that to a degree, but the threat is still there. In addition to school, the children have returned to their extracurricular activities. The youngest is even trying out tennis. It almost feels like some kind of normality, except when you read the number of cases and they are just the ones we are aware of.

Personally, I finally got around to writing a post about my one word for 2022, memories. I think that I have added to my stress levels during the pandemic by setting unrealistic expectations on myself. Therefore, I am going to dedicate to letting my mind just wonder. I am hoping that will be more forgiving. Other than that, I listened to a lot of Methyl Ethel, in between reading David Malouf’s Johnno and Alice Pung’s Unpolished Gem. I also watched Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary on the Vietnam War, the Daredevil series before it was taken off Netflix and Suits.

Other than that, here are some of the posts that have had me thinking:


Using Thinking Routines: 10 Ways You Can Die

Ron Ritchhart provides a list of ways to help thinking routines to succeed. This includes using thinking routines in your own learning, respecting that thinking leads to learning, and appreciating that they are a part of a larger agenda.

Who should read aloud in class?

Alex Quigley questions the practice of popcorn reading and instead focus on more fluent reading strategies.

How to explain an idea: a mega post

Mark Pollard unpacks the idea of an idea by demonstrating how to unpack an idea.

66 Event Design Questions

Melissa Emler provides a series of questions to consider when planning an educational event.

Learn with We Are Open Co-op

The We Are Open Co-op have collected together their various resources in one place, whether it be templates, online courses or episodes of the podcast.


How to avoid sharing bad information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In light of the Invasion of Ukraine, Abby Ohlheiser shares strategies for how to avoid sharing bad information.

Lessons in Self-Hosting Your Own Personal Cloud

Ernie Smith discusses the challenges associated with hosting your own cloud.

What It’s Like To Stop Using Google Search

Clive Thompson reflects upon his move away from using Google as his primary search engine.

How Spotify may have just quietly changed podcasts forever

Alex Hern explains the significance of Spotify’s acquisition of Chartable and Podsights on their goal to become the YouTube for podcasts.


In Praising of “Listening Through” (Every Album By Your Favorite Artist)

Kevin Smokler discusses his process for returning to a favourite artists full catalogue like returning to a long lost friend.

Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla – why we’ve got the Vikings wrong

With the release of Vikings: Valhalla, Luke Walpole reflects upon our understanding of Vikings.

AFLW’s Kirsten McLeod wants to raise awareness about the ongoing symptoms of concussion

Kate O’Halloran reports on Kirsten McLeod’s challenges with concussion, explaining how it serves as yet another point of inequity associated with AFLW.

What gambling firms don’t want you to know – and how they keep you hooked

Rob Davies discusses the dark nudges used by betting companies tempt and manipulate users.

Read Write Respond #073

So that was February for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

📰 Read Write Respond #072

A thinking activity I like to use is to give an answer and then come up with the question. This month it feels like I have been the answer for far too many questions. Whether it be calling out problematic workflows, sorting out integration concerns, identifying access issues, fixing up spreadsheets, the answer for each seems to be me. In part it it has left me feeling like a failure in that I have not adequately built the capacity of others to sort things out, but sometimes in life when we find someone who can get things done we just go to them.

Sadly, as I started back at work in the second week of January, I did not have a much a break over Christmas. Just enough time to get a few things done around the house, such as fixing the shower. As well as catching up with a some friends. I had forgotten how much I missed in catch up with people in person. The mixed blessing is that my family and I subsequently stayed around home for much of the school holidays even though we were not in lockdown.

Personally, I have continued reading Proust’s Rembrance of Things Past, while I have been listening to The Weeknd and The Wombats. I have also been watching a lot, including Eternals, Tolkien, The Punisher and various documentaries on WWII and tanks.

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


Why Wordle Works, According to Desmos Lesson Developers

Approaching Wordle from the perspective of learning and teaching, Dan Meyer summarises the ingredients that have helped make it work so well.

5 strategies for reading complex texts

Rather than simply relying on simpler texts, Alex Quigley discusses some strategies for supporting students with grappling with more difficult texts.

How to Build the Perfect Castle

Epic History TV walks through many of the different variables in the process of building the perfect castle.


The History of the School Bell

Audrey Watters pushes back on the idea of the factory model in regards to the history of the school bell.

AI Won’t Steal Your Job, But It’ll Sure Make It Suck

Whether it be food delivery drivers working for a phantom boss or Amazon workers unable to stop for the toilet, Clive Thompson provides examples of the way in which AI has made some jobs suck.


The Fellowship of the Rockers

Ann Powers uses Get Back to reflect upon the myth of ‘band guys’.

On Songwriting

Through a series of posts, Kevin Hodgson explores his process of songwriting.

Monks, a polymath and an invention made by two people at the same time. It’s all in the history of the index

Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Julie Street discuss Dennis Duncan research into the index.

The Problem With ‘No Regrets’

Arthur Brooks explains that the challenge with regret is to acknowledge the past and use it for learning and improvement.

Read Write Respond #072

So that was January for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well, especially during this latest wave.

Image by Bryan Mathers

Inspired by the eruption of the volcano in Tonga, cover image via “Sheffield LEGO fest 2006: Volcano” by aldisley is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND