Liked Considering the Post-COVID Classroom by wiobyrnewiobyrne (wiobyrne.com)

As we deal with the current situation, we not only need to consider F2F, online, and hyflex education, we need to think about what pedagogy could and/or should look like in a post-pandemic system.

As we deal with the current situation, we not only need to consider F2F, online, and hyflex education, we need to think about what pedagogy could and/or should look like in a post-pandemic system.
Replied to Interrogating Our Stuckness by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

We Are Not Living in a Simulation, We Are Living In the Past

L. M. Sacasas with an essay on the premise that life online is lived in the past.

The essay is organized into seven points.

  • On the internet, we are always living in the past – There is no present online, there is only recreation and memorialization of events of the past.
  • On the internet, all actions are inscriptions. We steadily create digital versions of events to create documented reservoirs legible to humans and machines.
  • On the internet, there is no present, only variously organized fragments of the past – We spend time, and effort looking busy by endlessly re-interpreting, reshuffling, recombining, and rearranging the past.
  • On the internet, fighting about what has happened is far easier than imagining what could happen – We fight about the past, and because our fights are documented online, there is no resolution…only more conflict and overwhelming/silencing/canceling others.
  • On the internet, action doesn’t build the future, it only feeds the digital archives of the past – I’ve written about this as digital breadcrumbs as we look to the trail we’ve created, as opposed to looking forward.
  • Because on the internet we live in the past, the future is not lived, it is programmed – As we spend time documenting and digitizing our past, these data points are scooped up, aggregated, and form the structure that dictates future actions.
  • On the internet, the past is a black hole sucking the future into itself – Our capacity to live in the present and imagine the future deteriorates as attention, energy, and creativity are devoured.

Two things are sticking out for me. First, I’m thinking about some of the focus in last week’s issue of DL in which we discussed reading and time for reflection and how this impact the way we think, interact and make sense of the world.

Second, it makes me wonder why I continue to write this newsletter. ┐_(ツ)_┌━☆゚.*・。゚

Ian, I was left thinking about L. M. Sacasas’ argument that life online is lived in the past.

On the one hand, I am left thinking about my breadcrumbs as possibly leading to slow hunches. The thought that ideas for the future are produced from pieces over time.

On the flipside of this, I was also left thinking about the way in which we have become content machines.

Like yourself, this all makes me wonder about why I do what I do? Why make it public? And why publish my newsletter? I think that I actually like the habit and find it a useful exercise in regards to taking stock of things, but maybe I am just fooling myself. I have long given up on taking much notice of the ‘clicks’. In general, I only POSSE now days when I feel there is purpose.

Anyway, I best get back to the past.

Liked The Metaverse and the Future of the Internet | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O’Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

The problem I have with the metaverse, and “everything changing” is a concern about trust and third parties in a distributed system. Up to this point, it seems like most of the solutions we’re seeing in terms of blockchain, distributed ledges, the metaverse, NFTS, and crypto are trying to solve current problems using newer solutions. For now, I don’t see the solution to the problem and the introduction of blockchain and “what comes next” as being better than the current solution.

What is exciting is decentralizing power and decision-making as we think about the possibilities. Add a dash of transparency in the model…and count me in.

Replied to Why Can’t We Agree On What’s True? | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O’Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

Blaming social media or the Internet for what people choose to say is not looking at the root of the problem. It’s like blaming soapboxes for the people standing on them.

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest threats to humanity. With fewer and fewer people getting educated, these mass misinformation and disinformation campaigns easily influence a growing population.

Education is no longer important for individual success, education is critical for the success of society and humanity as a whole.

This is an intriguing piece Ian. Personally, I am reminded of my own education, and Stanley Fish’s idea of interpretative communities. Although we may use the same words, the meaning is something different.
Replied to Start Often F*@k Achievements by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

SOFA stands for Start Often Finish rArely or Start Often F*@k Achievements

SOFA is the name of a hacker/art collective, and also the name of the principle upon which the club was founded. The point of SOFA club is to start as many things as possible as you have the ability, interest, and capacity to, with no regard or goal whatsoever for finishing those projects.

Ian, I am intrigued by the SOFA principle. It has me thinking about Adrian Camm’s discussion of ‘permission to innovate’ and the permission to fail forward. I wonder if the other part to starting often is celebrating the failures? This has me thinking about something I wrote once:

Sometimes success is not about whether an initiative continues to have a meaningful impact or falls on the wayside, rather it is about whether we learn from our failures, whether we reflect on what worked and what we could improve in the future. Just as learning is a lifelong goal, so to should success be. Instead of considering it as something achievable and able to be quantified, I believe that it is best considered as a target, an ideal to which we aim and aspire. Actually hitting the target is only one part of the goal, what is just as important is what that target is and how we go about trying to hit it.

Bookmarked Co-constructing Digital Futures: Parents and Children becoming Thoughtful, Connected, and Critical Users of Digital Technologies (wip.mitpress.mit.edu)

As researchers and parents we understand the need to build digital literacy and engagement through the digital world, but that this is counterbalanced by giving up privacy and leaving a data trail. By early adolescence, our children are internalizing acceptable internet use. Parents and teachers need to be part of the conversation with them that shapes their understanding on these concepts. This chapter presents key findings from four case studies that examined how parents and children might understand, navigate, and become more reflective about the trends, forces, and tensions around privacy, security, and algorithms in their lives and the activities in which they engage on screens.

W. Ian O’Byrne, Kristen Turner, Kathleen A. Paciga and Elizabeth Stevens share findings based on case studies stemming from their own digital parenting. The focus was on how we might empower children to advocate for their own rights, rather than focusing the conversation around fear and harm.

As literacy researchers, we are parents with, perhaps, more knowledge about how algorithms and privacy work in a digital world, and we sit at an interesting intersection (Garcia et al., 2014). In this writing, we propose a more collaborative approach than what has typically been adopted when thinking about children and technology. Rather than framing the problem as technology doing harm to children, we suggest that we can empower children to advocate for their own rights in an age of screentime (Turner et al., 2017).

The four themes/strategies they shared are:

  • Find an Approach Point
  • Provide Media Mentorship
  • Address Concerns Head-on
  • Use Language that Empowers

In the end, the authors argue that, “conversations about privacy, security, and the nature of algorithms need to start early and be ongoing.”

My take-away from the piece is that it is able make the most of the opportunities when they may arise.

“wiobyrne” in Creativity is Subtraction – Digitally Literate ()

Bookmarked Memoir and the Creative Process | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O'Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

The truth is that I’m absolutely fine. I needed to come to terms with some skeletons in the closet. The funny thing about skeletons in the closet is that when you don’t deal with them…they not only stick around, but they start lifting weights and getting stronger.

I’m fine. If I wasn’t…I wouldn’t have written that post.

Thank you Ian for your openness and honesty. I like your point about ‘the skeleton’s doing weights’. I was left thinking about comment about being a facsimile.

While talking with a friend after my last post, we both agreed that I’m not truly myself in my writing in these spaces. I’m a facsimile of what I think others want to see from me.

This had me thinking again about Chris Wejr’s post about not always being able to share who you are.

I was going to write another post about the importance of sharing who we are… and I still believe this is important;  however, it is much easier for people with a life that is more acceptable in society.

Although blogging allows you to step-away from the templated self of social media, there is still the contraints of society. As Edward Snowden touches on in his newsletter:

From the blue checks to the red pills, we all want to be free to speak as ourselves, and to be recorded as ourselves, without fear of persecution, and we all want to be able to decide what that freedom means, to ourselves and to our communities, however defined. My family back home in the States, along with many of my friends in the States and in Europe, are lucky enough to now be going around unmasked, but millions — mostly in the world’s poorer countries — have no such privilege. It’s here that the analogy with speech freedoms comes into starkest relief: until the air is clear for all, it’s clear for none.

I was also thinking about your point about speaking to an audience.

Identify one person that you know would value or connect with your words or content. Find one specific person that your message would resonate with. Your words and content should be directed specifically to them.

What then does th being truly yourself means for your audience?

Liked Computational Thinking for the Educator & Researcher | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O’Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

This week I presented a session at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Conference (TLTCon) 2021. TLTCon is a free, fully online conference designed to bring together expertise from educational institutions across the region, spotlight teaching excellence, and provide a space for idea sharing and networking. My session was titled Computational Thinking in the Disciplines:… Continue reading →

Bookmarked Repurpose & Reshare Your Talks on Social Media | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O'Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

Part of my job involves regularly giving a talk on a specific topic. This may be at a conference, a local workshop, or in class. These talks are often limited to the participants in attendance. I spend a lot of time building the presentation. Why should my ideas be limited to the people that decide… Continue reading →

Ian O’Byrne discusses some of the strategies he uses for repurposing content created for particular presentations to share with a wider audience. Although I have blogged about presentations in the past, I am not sure I have done enougb work for adjusting to the new context(s).

With O’Byrne’s reference to an essential idea, I was left thinking again about Peter Skillen’s wondering about the limits of a tweet. I also wonder about automating some of these processes while presenting as Alan Levine has documented.

Replied to Writing Myself Into Existence | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O’Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

In her book, The Art of Memoir, Karr shares “an incomplete checklist to stave off dread” as a way that she approaches the process. From this, I culled the following guidance.

  • Find your voice – Write what you know. Be yourself. This is a challenge and one that I struggle with up to this day. Hence the point of this post, even with the amount that I’ve already written.
  • Inner conflict drives the story – We often struggle with two opposing motivations in our heads. These may be based on beliefs, needs, or the viewpoints of others. Try to unpack that in your writing.
  • Use the tools of the trade – Show as opposed to telling as you fill your writing with sensory language, metaphors, images, and details. From a blogging perspective, embed multimodal content (links, images, figures, GIFs, video).
  • Go meta – Meta means about the thing itself. Seeing the situation from a higher perspective instead of from within the situation, like being self-aware. Consider the impact of your actions and writing, as opposed to simply acting it out.
  • Tell all parts of the story – Find the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Readers expect to find each of these pieces as they engage and connect. From a blogging perspective, this will mean that you may need to chunk content.
  • Revise, revise, revise – The first draft is almost always crap. Commit yourself to constantly improving your writing to make every word count.
  • Strive for honesty, not truth – Don’t lie to your audience. Don’t lie to yourself. Dishonesty and performative actions will stick out for all to see. If you have trauma, neglect, or sorrow to contend with, be a human and reckon with it.
Ian, I really enjoyed this reflection. I really enjoy writing my short reflections associated with my newsletter, however I usually struggle with the balance of what to share. I particularly like Mary Karr’s message to ‘strive for honesty’:

Strive for honesty, not truth – Don’t lie to your audience. Don’t lie to yourself. Dishonesty and performative actions will stick out for all to see. If you have trauma, neglect, or sorrow to contend with, be a human and reckon with it.

I have also been thinking about identity and memoir while digging into the work of Beau Miles.

Replied to My Ratio of Signal to Noise | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O’Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

I’ve experimented with some IndieWeb philosophies and tools on this site, but mostly on my breadcrumbs website. I love the IndieWeb philosophy of owning your own platforms and believe in using these philosophies to show your work. The problem is that my social network exhaust and the links, short posts, and content that I shared on my breadcrumbs website was…well…exhausting.

I really enjoyed your assessment of where you are currently at. I have wondered lately about my commitment to capturing my breadcrumbs lately and can really relate to your point about it being exhausting. I wonder if something like Roam is any less exhausting? I am left thinking that with so many of these various approaches, collecting the dots and ideas is just hard work?
Bookmarked Bots, Disruptors, and Frictionless Interactions by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O'Byrne)

The bot can act as a guide on the side and assist with some resources that may help. The bot can recognize the prior achievement of the learner and adjust the level of support it provides. The bot can provide realtime assurance by walking through the assignment with the learner, and either collecting the assignment, providing feedback and a chance to resubmit, or granting an extension of the deadline if things get too pressing.

Ian O’Byrne talks about the place of bots in making our learning experiences frictionless. As he explains, this potentially frees teachers from the trivial.

Done well, the use of bots in education offers an opportunity to free up the instructor while offering better scaffolding for learners. Educators can be freed up from the traditional frustrations of data collection, report filing, and administrative tasks.

Technology provides the starting point, but we cannot lose high touch when we move to high tech. Culture and professional development for learners, instructors, and support staff are even more important.

This reminds me of Bill Ferriter’s argument that technology makes learning more doable. I guess the question then becomes what sort of learning is supported and made more doable. Maybe sometimes friction actually serves a purpose?

Replied to Courage to Continue by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

Kevin Roose on Clubhouse, the invitation-only social audio app. Clubhouse has been super hot over the last couple of months.

Ian, I really enjoyed Kevin Roose’s thoughts on Clubhouse, especially the quote you shared:

Every successful social network has a life cycle that goes something like: Wow, this app sure is addictive! Look at all the funny and exciting ways people are using it! Oh, look, I can get my news and political commentary here, too! This is going to empower dissidents, promote free speech and topple authoritarian regimes! Hmm, why are trolls and racists getting millions of followers? And where did all these conspiracy theories come from? This platform should really hire some moderators and fix its algorithms. Wow, this place is a cesspool, I’m deleting my account.

I must admit that I have not been invited to the platform and have no intention on using it if I was. What I do not get is how this innovative technology is different from Voxer or Discourse? I guess I may never know. For now, I will just stick to listening to podcasts.

I hope you are safe.

Aaron

Bookmarked Teaching in the Time of COVID by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O'Byrne)

As we are disrupted and try to adapt to the changes wrought by the coronavirus we need to use this as an opportunity to examine the inequalities that existed before. This is a time to re-examine most aspects of our lives and think about how we could or should do things differently.

Ian O’Byrne reflects on teaching in higher education during the time of COVID. He suggests

  • Focusing on what one needs to know
  • Focus on knowledge, skills, dispositions
  • Chunk course content.
  • Treat it Like a Morning Show
  • Don’t rely on lecture
  • Block Classes
  • Use Breaks
  • Take time together
  • Provide just in time supports
Replied to Before You Post That Hot Take by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O’Byrne)

I understand your rationale for wanting to post that hot take. You’re excited, upset, and want attention. It is a normal human reaction to want to exhale, scream, or preach.

I often have those same feelings. I’m a digitally native scholar. I think of about 25 things a day that I want to tweet, write, or comment. Several times a day I write, revise, write, revise, and then ultimately delete messages that I’d like to send.

I ultimately delete these messages because I’ve learned (and continue to learn) the hard lesson that nothing good happens when my ego and emotion take control. I feel the same way when I watch friends and family post something online and think to myself…that’s not going to age well.

I’d urge you to focus on first doing the work yourself before you move to the local context. Read up. Problematize your perspectives. Question your assumptions and biases. Listen to others.

I have thought about this for a while Ian. I wrote a piece a few years ago about the problems of sharing.

A step beyond sharing a tweet is posting a comment. I am not sure if it is the effort involved or the process behind it, but I have always valued a comment more than a tweet. In recent times, this has included posting comments from my own site (where applicable) or pasting in.

However, I much prefer how you capture it so much better.

My current workflow involves composing on my own site before syndicating elsewhere. Not ideal, but I find this friction builds in the space for reflection that does not necessarily exist when engaging via an app.

Replied to Shocked, but not surprised by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.

Thousands invaded the highest centers of power, and the first thing they did was take selfies and videos. They were making content as spoils to take back to the digital empires where they dwell.

Members of the mob also used a site called Dlive to livestream while they rampaged.

A coup with no plot, no end to achieve, no plan but to pose.

Ian, I have been been thinking about the Gram piece and wondering if sharing events is in fact fuelling things, even more so from abroad.

I was left thinking of something Chris Gilliard ironically tweeted:

Replied to Residue of Learning by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O’Byrne)

We need to ask questions as learning institutions create plans that hinge on new data collection or adopt new technologies. What data will be collected? How will this data be used? How will this be protected? How will it be shared?

Ian, I feel that one of the problems is that it is not always clear what data is even being shared. I remember reflecting on this problem in the past in regards to the analytics that are provided. I imagine a world where students might own their data and attach to whatever application via APIs, something like Solid. However, I assume that even this would produce exhaust data in the form of logs and so forth.
Replied to Taming the Digital Dragon by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O’Byrne)

Don’t slay the digital dragon. Hug the digital dragon.

It is all about perspective. We can stand one foot outside of the washing machine and look in at the torment of the spin cycle. Or we can sit inside with the clothes, suds, and water as the contents are thrashed about.

I really like your point about ‘noticing and naming‘ Ian. It reminds me of a piece I wrote a few years ago about becoming more informed. I think that the challenge with this is that it is an ongoing practice. This is the challenge with accreditation programs like eSmart, where people think that once they have completed their audit that they are done.
Replied to How To Write a Blog Post by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O’Byrne)

I’m honestly making it up as I go along. I look at the work of colleagues and friends online and think about what could, or should I do with this space. And then…I go do it. I wish there was some master plan…but…nope, it’s just me.

Ian, i really liked your point about blogging that you are ‘making it up as you go’.

Another post I would recommend on the topic of writing is Kathleen Morris’ 12 tips for maintaining momentum.