Replied to Luxuries Become Essential (

If cellphones were a species, would this be a symbiotic relationship or would we would be the hosts in a parasitic relationship where the phones benefited more from us than we benefit from them?

As much as mobile phones are essential (as I write this response on one), I wonder if they are sustainable? Do we need new ones all the time? Could we do more in regards to materials?

On a side note, are the plethora internet of things that fill every gap in our life with data essential? It was interesting reading about decarbonising as a possible approach to sustainability of environment and our privacy.

Replied to 8 key pieces of research for teachers – Issue 141 – Dialogic Learning Weekly (

This article by Ryan Holiday takes a radical look at changing our phone habits – just one of many technology-centric rituals we need to keep in check.

You want to use it. Just grab it and alleviate the boredom or discomfort. Might as well check the headlines instead of struggling to type words on a blank screen. And why stay in this tense argument with your spouse when you can see what’s new on Instagram? “Hey, sorry buddy, I can’t play dinosaurs right now — I have to answer this email.”

A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone – When I used these strategies, I finally took back my life by Ryan Holiday.

What did you think of Ryan’s suggested strategies? Have you tried any? What have been the results?

I found Ryan Holiday’s list interesting. For example, I scrapped alerts long ago, yet I have found myself subsequently checking for updates. I think the benefit is that this is at least on my terms. These posts are a useful provocation to at least stop and reflect.

I was intrigued by another post recently discussing the humane technology movement and the point that although they are pushing against platform capitalism, they are still very much in favour of the templated self.

Liked Your phone is a crimewave in your pocket, and it’s all the fault of greedy carriers and complicit regulators (Boing Boing)

Insider attackscell-site simulatorsSIM-swap attacksthriving markets in super-cheap, fine-grained location datarobocallsfictitious coverage maps, and more: does the fact that all this terrible shit keeps happening, and only gets worse, mean that mobile companies and the FCC just don’t give a fuck if your mobile phone is a crime wave you carry around with you on your pocket?

Bookmarked Building trust helps the most in keeping our kids safe online (

When we see media stories about children who have been exploited or suffered abuse as a result of engaging with the online world – all parents shudder. These stories provoke our worst fears and elevate our concern about the dangers of the internet.

Dan Donahoo responds to the recent hype around the banning of mobile phones in schools. Rather than focusing on safety designs and managing screen time, he suggests that we need to build trusting relationships with our children. He provides three strategies to support this:

  1. Be inquisitive about your child’s digital life
  2. Be a part of your child’s digital life
  3. Model the behaviours you expect

This reminds me of a post from danah boyd discussing the fear of digital addiction. She suggests:

  1. Verbalize what you’re doing with your phone
  2. Create a household contract

There is no reason why the same could not apply in the classroom. I wonder if Matt Esterman’s notion of ‘Toolographies‘ supports this in that it helps fosters a more digitally informed citizen.

Listened TER #137 – Banning Mobile Phones in Schools with Dr Michael Carr-Gregg – 07 July 2019 from Teachers’ Education Review

Cameron Malcher speaks with Dr Michael Carr-Gregg about the Victorian government’s decision to ban mobile phones from 2020. Carr-Gregg discusses some of the issues associated with cybersafety in and out of the classroom. He also makes mention of eSmart Curriculum and Digital Licenses as useful resources to support tackling some of these issues.
Bookmarked Banning mobile phones in schools: beneficial or risky? Here’s what the evidence says by Neil Selwyn (The Conversation)

Banning mobile phones in school may seem sensible, but research and similar moves elsewhere suggest a blanket ban may introduce some problems.

Neil Selwyn unpacks the evidence associated with banning mobile phones. He suggests that banning overlooks the immediate measures to deal with cybersafety, ignores the digital distraction associated with all devices, ignores the benefits and misses the opportunity for a conversation. This is in response to the Victorian Government’s announcement that mobile phones will be banned in schools from 2020 in Victoria.

There has been some other interesting responses to this announcement on Twitter, including:

In an extended piece associated with The Project, Jane Caro questions the support that schools will be given and negative culture it creates. She also wonders if staff will also put their devices away too?

Personally, my issues with smartphones is the sustainability of the materials – a point Selwyn touches on elsewhere – and what Kin Lane describes as the ‘sentinelization of APIs‘.

Liked Foldable displays are going to make the future pretty amazing by Doug Belshaw (Thought Shrapnel)

Of course, foldable displays won’t be limited to devices we carry in our pockets. We’re going to see them pretty much everywhere — round our wrists, as part of our clothes, and eventually as ‘wallpaper’ in our houses. Eventually there won’t be a surface on the planet that won’t also potentially be a screen.

Bookmarked Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone – Member Feature Stories – Medium by Jake Knapp (Medium)

If your phone gets in the way of whoever and whatever is important to you, don’t accept the compromise. Take matters into your own hands and design the phone you want.

Jake Knapp discusses his efforts to regain his attention by removing apps and notifications from his smartphone. Here are his seven steps:

  1. Decide WHY you want more attention.
  2. Set expectations.
  3. Delete social media apps.
  4. Delete news apps.
  5. Delete streaming video apps and games.
  6. Remove web browsers.
  7. Delete email and other “productivity” messaging apps.

The thing that bugs me is why it is the responsibility of the user to consciously choose to turn off distractions? Imagine if when setting up our devices we were asked which ‘distractions’ we want activated? I agree with Geert Lovink that sadly this is a battle we have lost, so the question is what now.

Replied to Digital Literacies and the Skinner Box by W. Ian O’Byrne (

The systems and algorithms serve up short content, and study the discrete movements you make with this content. Did you immediately scroll past, or click on the link? Did you replay the content? Did you like or comment on the content? Did one color, or deign element keep you in the app, and allow the platform to collect more data? Do you like certain color schemes, transitions, or audio cues…all of this is modified to best serve you. All of this is collected and aggregated by the thousands or millions. The goal is to keep you in the environment and keep collecting your data.

Ian, I really enjoyed this post unpacking the association between Skinner, digital devices and literacy. It reminded of Doug Belshaw’s discussion of literacies and the need talk about the critical and constructive as much as the cognitive and communicative. I also enjoyed your discussion of the ‘digital black boxes‘.

Both of these pieces managed to capture something that has left me feeling uneasy of late. I am not adverse to devices and technology, but wonder where the conversation is associated with it all? That was the point in my post on being informed. The latest ‘black box’ is the introduction of the smart speaker into the classroom. The discussion seems to be about what it might afford, with little consideration of any other implications.

My wondering is whether turning off the behavioral aspects is enough or if the devices are in fact tainted to the core? This is something that I touched on in my response to Dai Barnes.

Bookmarked What the Times got wrong about kids and phones by Anya Kamenetz (Columbia Journalism Review)

Journalism can hand-wring, divide parents from each other, and cast technology as the heart of darkness. Or it can help shed light on a serious issue that I know lots of families are struggling to get right.

Anya Kamenetz pushes back on the digital ‘addiction’ perpetuated by the New York Times. Firstly, it is hyperbole that no one would give their child small doses of crack cocaine:

The parent who compares digital media to “crack cocaine” allows his kids to use it regularly, which is probably not what he would do with crack cocaine. (He also uses software to track his children online.)

Also, it is not productive to perpetuate extremes as they are not sustainable. For more on Kamenetz work watch her conversation with Mimi Ito.

Replied to INTERTEXTrEVOLUTION by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (

I had to go back to my Nexus 5x when my Pixel 2 broke on a recent trip. When I replaced it (had to take Pixel 2 XL) realized nothing in pixel lined justified the $600 price increase from the Nexus line.
Nexus 5X might be the last great phone

I really like Douglas Rushkoff’s point that the best mobile phone is the one you have. I still use my Nexus 6P and am happy with it.
Liked “And she turned round to me and said…” (Literacies on Svbtle)

I feel we’re knee-deep in developments happening around the area that can broadly considered ‘notification literacy’. There’s an element of technical understanding involved here, but on a social level it could be construed as walking the line between hypocrisy and protecting one’s own interests.

Replied to Episode 21 – Banning Mobile Phones in School by adamprocter (
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Overcast
Why banning mobile phones in a school is not really a positive move as this TES article seems to suggest…

Hey Adam,

It feels like there has been so much written about phones lately. I have been sitting with my thoughts for a while and decided to let them go.

Would love any thoughts. Really feel like I am missing something or maybe it is just complicated.


Liked Phone Numbers Were Never Meant as ID. Now We’re All At Risk (WIRED)

So if you’re looking for an alternative to the phone number, start with something more easily replaceable. Hardjono suggests, for example, that smartphones could generate unique identifiers by combing a user’s phone number and the IMEI device ID number assigned to every smartphone. That number would be valid for the life of the device, and would naturally change whenever you got a new phone. If you needed to change it for whatever reason, you could do so with relative ease. Under that system, you could continue to give out their phone number without worrying about what else it might affect.

Replied to

After a single decade little more remains in our pockets and purses than the snacks, the breath mints and the lip-balm.

Adam Greenfield ‘Radical Technologies’

Liked [INSIGHT] An Alternative To Banning Mobile Phones in School by Jocelyn Brewer (Cut Through Coaching & Consulting)

By changing the approach, and importantly changing our language around technology we reframe the conversation and the connection with have with young people. If we want them to reach out to trusted adults, seek support and report incidents of cyber hate, bullying or violent extremism then we must take time to build meaningful programs that address the skills required. There is no quick fix. There are no apps or software programs that can take away all the risks and insert these skills into peer groups. We need to invest time and energy to developing authentic programs that address the complex interaction between the online and the offline worlds and our relationships within them. These are human problems, which need considered human solutions.

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…