Replied to Experiential Learning and AI: Redefining Education Through Immersive Experiences by New community features for Google Chat and an update on Currents (

This powerful convergence of experiential learning philosophy and AI technology promises to reshape education in the coming decades. As AI continues advancing, understanding its applications in creating immersive, data-driven experiential learning environments is crucial. However, a lot more discussion is necessary as we explore the profound implications this convergence could have for individuals, educational systems, and humanity at large.

Source: Experiential Learning and AI: Redefining Education Through Immersive Experiences | Dr. Ian O’Byrne by Ian O’Byrne

I remember being in a discussion about devices a few years ago (probably ten) and I asked the presenter about the pedagogy underpinning the technology. I was told that technology is pedagogically agnostic. This has always lingered with me. On the one hand, I can understand the point, that technology makes learning more doable, but there is also a part of me that feels like an application that actively promotes surveillance clearly says something about the type of learning occurring in the classroom. In regards to things such as chatbots, I can appreciate the argument that it makes the learning more doable, but, as people like Dan Meyer highlight, are we happy with this learning? For me, this is why the Modern Learning Canvas has really stayed with me as a way of thinking about technological change. Too often it feels like the conversation around technology is in isolation, whereas the canvas invites you to think about all the different facets.

Replied to The Feature is a “Dumpster Fire” by wiobyrne (

Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #397. Your go-to source for insightful content on education, technology, and the digital landscape.
This week I posted the following: Experiential Learning and Its Synergy with Artificial Intelligence – Anna CohenMiller sent me a request to get my thoughts abou…

As this technology advances, consumers will face new decisions about the products they purchase and the level of AI integration they are comfortable with. Just as we currently evaluate the specifications of a new smartphone before upgrading, we will need to understand the capabilities and potential implications of these emerging AI components. Do we want devices that can learn our preferences and habits? That can engage in open-ended dialogue? That can autonomously generate content alongside us?

The line between convenient digital assistant and autonomous artificial intelligence is blurring. Navigating this new landscape will require diligence from both companies and consumers to separate substantive technological breakthroughs from empty marketing claims. We must think critically about the roles we want AI to play in our lives and products.

Source: The Feature is a “Dumpster Fire” by Ian O’Byrne

I love how this newsletter starts out with Microsoft’s announcements, only to then for Recall to be recalled. I was left thinking about your points regarding comfort levels and thinking critically regarding the emerging AI components. For me, this reminds me of Doug Belshaw’s eight essential elements of digital literacies. Reviewing the list, I feel that I see a lot more dabbling with what is creatively possible and how to cognitively work through various challenges, but outside of my feed I am not seeing much critical conversations or setting up of cultural expectations. This makes me wonder if their is some sort of hierarchy of change in regards to the elements?

Bookmarked The Case for Running AI/ML Models Locally by New community features for Google Chat and an update on Currents (

Will running AI/ML models locally be the right choice for everyone? Probably not.

Cloud services offer unbeatable convenience and scalability. But for learners, tinkerers, privacy/security sticklers, and those looking to optimize costs, going the local route is an intriguing option worth considering. The hands-on experience could pay major dividends in understanding how to develop and deploy AI effectively.

The Case for Running AI/ML Models Locally by Ian O’Byrne

I am really intrigued by Ian O’Byrne’s export of his blog to markdown and development of his own local AI/ML models. Another example of becoming ever informed in a changing world.

Liked (
  • Cultivate Empathy: Empathy is the cornerstone of turning towards each other. It allows us to understand the feelings and experiences of others without judgment or defensiveness. To cultivate empathy, we must be willing to sit with discomfort and open ourselves up to the experiences of others.
  • Practice Active Listening: Active listening involves fully focusing on, understanding, responding to, and then remembering what is being said by another person. This means putting aside our own agendas or preconceived notions in order to truly hear what someone else is saying.
  • Embrace Vulnerability: Vulnerability can be scary because it involves exposing parts of ourselves that we often hide for fear of rejection or judgment. However, it’s through vulnerability that we create genuine connections with others.
  • Acknowledge and Validate Feelings: Validating someone’s feelings doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with them. It simply means acknowledging their feelings and letting them know that their feelings make sense.
  • Prioritize Connection Over Being Right: One of the key elements of turning towards each other is choosing connection over being right. This entails putting aside our need to win arguments or prove points, and instead focus on understanding the other person’s perspective.
  • Transitioning from Turning on Each Other to Turning Towards Each Other by Ian O’Byrne

    Bookmarked Most Big Ideas Have Loud Critics by wiobyrne (

    Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #395. Your go-to source for insightful content on education, technology, and the digital landscape.

    In Digitally Literate newsletter 395, Ian O’Byrne reflects upon the promotion of AI platforms being ‘open-sourced’ even when they are keeping some parts for themselves:

    “Open source” is supposed to mean that everyone can see and use all the parts of the AI model, just like sharing games where everyone can see, use, and understand all its parts. But some companies say their AI models are open-source even when they aren’t sharing everything. This continues to confuse, dislocate, and disrupt individuals.

    Most Big Ideas Have Loud Critics by Ian O’Byrne

    This reminds me in part about Google and Android. Maybe it is all a part of the same story.

    Replied to Considering the Post-COVID Classroom by wiobyrnewiobyrne (

    Each week I write a love letter to the Internet. You can subscribe here. Spoiler alert!!! It’s not all good.

    I really like your description of your newsletters as a ‘love letter to the internet’. I am not exactly sure what description I would give to mine. It sometimes feels like a habit without purpose at times.
    Liked Considering the Post-COVID Classroom by wiobyrnewiobyrne (

    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 (

    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 (

    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 (

    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 (

    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.