Replied to Wellbeing When You Gotta Be Online

So, obviously, one of the most important thing to maintain wellbeing is to actually get offline a bit!!! But for highly social extroverts like myself and my kid, you need to also socialize w folks, and now that’s mainly going to be online… and you also honestly need to figure out ways to make work stuff work for you when you can… because a good online work meeting can help with wellbeing too. It makes all the difference.

So here are my tips for managing wellbeing when you’ve gotta be online

This is a really useful list Maha, thank you for sharing. I guess care for each other is what matters.
Liked ‘All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace’: Care and the Cybernetic University (Hack Education)

I don’t mean here that we should refuse online education, to be clear. I would rather faculty and students and staff be online than dead. I care. But what I do mean is that we need to resist this impulse to have the machines dictate what we do, the shape and place of how we teach and trust and love. We need to do a better job caring for one another — emotionally, sure, but also politically. We need to recognize how disproportionate affective labor already is in our institutions, how disproportionate that work will be in the future. We need to agitate for space and compensation for it, not outsource care to analytics, AI, and surveillance.

We must refuse to be watched over, to have students and staff watched over by machines of purported loving grace. We must put our bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels and make the machines stop.

Replied to Care Is Not a Fad: Care Beyond COVID-19 (Reflecting Allowed)

How do we deal with stress of maintaining rigor and high expectations of learners when teachers and learners alike have cognitive overload influencing their ability to function at their best? Shouldn’t our priorities shift, and then we will learn that we should center our values ANYWAY, not just in times of crisis? Aren’t our relationships with each other the most valuable thing we can offer, when we know that so much other stuff can be learned without human contact? And in relationships, isn’t listening to another person’s needs an important expression of care? Can a critical maternal approach to care also factor in a mother’s role in nurturing autonomy and agency, rather than overprotective care? Can institutions as a whole focus their practices on promoting autonomy and agency rather than making paternalistic decisions on their behalf?

Maha, I really like your point about not getting lost in the ‘new normal’ and using this time to discuss the world we want beyond the crisis. In some ways it reminds me of something Gary Stager wrote:

So, there is reason to celebrate (briefly), but then you must act! Use this time to remake schooling in a way that’s more humane, creative, meaningful, and learner-centered. This is your moment!

In the absence of compelling models of what’s possible, the forces of darkness will fill the void. Each of us needs to create models of possibility.

Care needs to be central.

Replied to Twisted intentions (David White)

Many of us are concerned that technology is being proposed as the ‘solution’ to care-at-scale. With terms such as ‘personalisation’ and ‘predictive analytics’ often being used in a way which implies that the tech can take the strain as long as we feed it enough data. This is why the subject of care-at-scale within education is so important to discuss. Especially where it risks becoming a technologically supported institutionalised asset which we have to then build safe, human-centred, spaces of authentic care outside of (or to hide from it).

I think it’s fair to say that myself and Bonnie are not convinced that open pedagogy can help to scale care, or even if ‘scaling care’ is a valid idea. What we are sure of is that this is a discussion that needs to take place, especially in education systems where, despite the promise of technology, the burden of care is often with overworked members of staff in precarious roles.

This is a really interesting provocation David. It reminds me of the argument that technology is never neutral, I guess we can add “and it doesn’t care”
Bookmarked People don’t change (Seth’s Blog)

The hard part, then, isn’t the changing it.

It’s the wanting it.

I was recently told to be mindful of the phases that people are in when adjusting to change. The focus was on Tuckman’s stages of group development. The problem though, as Seth Godin explains, is that this overlooks whether people actually want to change. Dave Cormier captures this by arguing that the first principle of learning is care.
Bookmarked Learning’s first principle – the most important thing i learned this year by dave dave (davecormier.com)

Student separate into two categories… those that care and those that don’t care.

Simon Sinek suggests starting with why, while Brad Gustafson suggests starting with people. Dave Cormier suggests that what matters is if we even care. If we don’t have that then we are a bit lost.

Marginalia

The problem with threatening people is that in order for it to continue to work, you have to continue to threaten them

If we’re trying to encourage people to care about their work, about their world, is it practical to have it only work when someone is threatening them?

Once we jointly answer questions like “why would people care about this” and “how does this support people starting to care about this for the first time” and “will this stop people who care now from caring”, we have a place to work from.

I’m in this business because i think i might be able to help, here and there, with trying to build a culture of thinkers.

Liked Tread Softly (Freeing the Angel)

When children are tiny, they are reliant on the gentle nurturing of adults. They need us to play with them, to give them lots of warmth and attention and love. As they grow older we can be a bit tougher on them, show them how to stand up in the world that they live in, and help them succeed. But when they are tiny we need to handle them gently. And they are only tiny for a very short while. So maybe we should all tread softly, lest we tread upon their dreams.