Bookmarked Tools come and go. Learning should not. And what’s a “free” edtech tool, anyway? by Lyn (
Do I need this tool? Why? How does it really support learning? What are the costs, both monetary and otherwise, of using this service? Do the rewards of use outweigh the risks? Is there a paid service I could explore that will meet my needs and better protect the privacy of my information and my students’ information? How can I inform parents/community members about our use of this tool and what mechanisms are in place for parents to opt their children out of using it? When this tool and/or its plan changes, how will we adjust? What will our plans be to make seamless transitions to other tools or strategies when the inevitable happens?
Lyn Hilt reflects on Padlet’s recent pivot to a paid subscription. She argues that if we stop and reflect on what we are doing in the classroom, there are often other options. Hilt also uses this as an opportunity to remind us what ‘free’ actually means, and it is not free as in beer. We therefore need to address some of the ethical questions around data and privacy. A point highlighted by the revelations of the ever increasing Cambridge Analytica breach.
Listened Episode 20, March 22, 2018 from
The Admins are back at it. Discussing new releases, changes, and discoveries in the Admin Console. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, special guest is CYRUS MISTRY! (I really didn't come anywhere near close to forgetting that, I just wanted to add a little...
Cyrus Mistry from Google discusses the process for bringing a new Chromebook ‘feature’ to market. He uses the example of the world facing camera. The process begins by identifying what the feature requires and then where it will go. Once developed, the next step is a series of testing. This whole process usually takes a year to achieve.
Liked Parent Responsibility for Learning with the Digital by mallee (
The ability of schools, even the most visionary, to match the learning with the digital provided outside the school walls, is impossible. Schools as public institutions controlled by government, bureaucrats, resourcing, working conditions, legislation, law, accountability requirements, inflexible organizational structures and history can never respond to the accelerating digital evolution and transformation in the same way as the highly agile digitally connected families of the world. Even if governments wanted its schools to change, or indeed to collaborate with the families.
Replied to FERPA, COPPA and the myths we tell each other (Jim Siegl)
This Sunday is Data Privacy Day., so I thought I would list some of the more “interesting” interpretations I have heard (and read) about COPPA, FERPA and how schools approve educational services. I eventually plan to write up an annotated version of this list.
Jim, this is an interesting list.

The one I hear all the time is 11:

It is an valid COPPA workaround for a vendor, in their terms, to tell a teacher that to comply with COPPA, for them to sign up the student.

Such as from Canva.

The question that I always have from abroad is the impact of COPPA etc. I was once told that we are not in America so it does not matter, yet many of the applications originate from America. That is something that has always stumped me.

Look forward to reading your annotations.


Liked PLATO and the History of Education Technology (That Wasn't) (Hack Education)
The Friendly Orange Glow is a history of PLATO – one that has long deserved to be told and that Dear does with meticulous care and detail. (The book was some three decades in the making.) But it’s also a history of why, following Sputnik, the US government came to fund educational computing. Its also – in between the lines, if you will – a history of why the locus of computing and educational computing specifically shifted to places like MIT, Xerox PARC, Stanford. The answer is not “because the technology was better” – not entirely. The answer has to do in part with funding – what changed when these educational computing efforts were no longer backed by federal money and part of Cold War era research but by venture capital. (Spoiler alert: it changes the timeline. It changes the culture. It changes the mission. It changes the technology.) And the answer has everything to do with power and ideology – with dogma.
Bookmarked Screen Time? How about Creativity Time? – Mitchel Resnick – Medium by Mitchel Resnick (Medium)
Excerpt from my book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play
Resnick discusses some of the problems with the way that we see technology. He points out that the notion of ‘technology’ encompasses more than an iPhone:

Techno-skeptics often argue that children should spend more time with crayons and watercolors, rather than tablets and laptops. But they tend to forget that crayons and watercolors were viewed as “advanced technologies” at some point in the past. We see them differently now because they’ve become integrated into the culture. Computer pioneer Alan Kay likes to say that technology is anything that was invented after you were born. For kids growing up today, laptops and mobile phones aren’t high-tech tools — they’re everyday tools, just like crayons and watercolors.

He also explains that the problem with technology is not necessarily the tool itself, but the way in which it is used. With this in mind he suggests that we try and maximise ‘creative’ time

Spending all your time on any one thing is problematic. But the most important issue with screen time is not quantity but quality. There are many ways of interacting with screens; it doesn’t make sense to treat them all the same. Time spent playing a violent video game is different from time spent texting with friends, which is different from time spent researching a report for school, which is different from time spent creating and sharing an interactive story with Scratch. Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maximize creative time.

Bookmarked Podcasting Equipment Setup and Software I use on the 10-Minute Teacher by Vicki Davis (Cool Cat Teacher Blog)
I’ve been asked about the podcasting equipment setup and software that we use on the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast. After 220 episodes in one year and over 430K downloads, we’ve settled on a configuration we like. In this post, I’ll share the setup and help you get started.
I have collected a number of posts on podcasting before, however Vicki Davis definitely adds to the perspective.

via Stephen Downes

Liked Is Technology Addictive? (Audrey Watters)
I was supposed to speak to a reporter today about iPhones and addiction, but the interview fell through. I jotted down some of my thoughts in preparation for the call, and I thought I’d post them here in case it’s a topic I decide to return to and flesh out more in the future…
Liked Digital Governance by Eylan (Eylan Ezekiel)
Through using digital tools in the cloud, governance at Larkrise Primary School has been made more effective and easier to manage. Though we’d recommend it, this is not about the technology, but about a shift in culture. There is more we could do and would love to connect with others using similar approaches.