Bookmarked (
Mathew Ingram’s newsletter with snippets from the weird and wonderful world. He is the chief digital writer for the Columbia Journalism Review.

“Clive Thompson” in Saturation – Clive Thompson: “For more non-doomscrolling rea…” ()

Bookmarked The Linkfest (

The opposite of doomscrolling: Every week (roughly) I send you a collection of the best Internet reading I’ve found — links to culture, technology, art and science that fascinated me.

Linkfest is Clive Thompson’s newsletter of interesting tidbits from the World Wide Web. I can only imagine the time and effort that goes into something that seems so fleeting. I also like his recognition that ‘it takes a village’:

I read hundreds of blogs and news sites every week to find this stuff. Shoutout to one I relied on particularly this week — Charles Arthur’s The Overspill. Go check it out!

Source: Linkfest #15: Altruistic pigs, the “Truetown Discharge”, and the CIA’s guide to wrecking meetings by Clive Thompson

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.
Replied to Hello from Chris Beckstrom (No. 1) (I’m Chris Beckstrom)

In February I built a new synthesizer I’m calling the “Interstellar Boolean Logic Exploration Device,” or “IBLED” for short. Here’s a video.

Enjoyed the first edition Chris. I was left wondering about your ‘cool links’ and was thought maybe over time the links in my newsletter have become slightly ‘uncool’. Food for thought. Thank you.

Personally, I got a Behringer MS-1 and a Roland MS-101. My wife had promised our children that I was getting a guitar for my birthday, I convinced her to buy my a keytar instead, while I thought the MS would make a good stanley knife. In addition to this, I bought a cheap 10 track mixer. I am currently playing through the stereo, but have found the MS-1 a little volatile in regards to the volume. I was initially playing my synths straight through my guitar amp which was limiting.

Wondering if there any tricks and suggestions in regards to managing the volume/signal short of riding the faders? Also, what speakers do you use with your mixer? I fear the deeper I dive into this world, the less I know.

Replied to I’m Starting a Newsletter! (I’m Chris Beckstrom)

Expect maybe a few emails per month. In the emails I’ll tell you about blog posts, some of my recent projects, music I’ve released, videos I’ve done, some cool things I’ve found (links etc.), and other things that I used to post on social media.

I’m all signed up Chris. I am intrigued what you make of it. I too miss the interactions offered by social media.
Replied to muse-letter 27: the state of the web (

The past couple of weeks have been dominated by a couple of things: sorting out the GitHub repository for (b)log-In and messing about with music now that I have a second Behringer TD-3. I can’t be bothered with, and certainly couldn’t afford, a sports car so maybe making acid music with actual hardware is my version of a midlife crisis as I approach the big five-oh. I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time tracking drum machines and synths on eBay.

Another interesting newsletter Colin.

I was particularly taken by your discussion of newsletters and relationships.

perhaps the current failings of online interaction are partly behind the resurgence of email newsletters: people looking for a smaller, closer experience, something more contained and intimate rather than the usual mass broadcasting. As I have been saying for years, it is, or should be, about relationships not metrics.

I find that there is something in the friction of the newsletter and the longer form that is a reward if we are will to put in the time, willing to build the connection.

In regards to music, I have found myself itching to buy some new equipment to tinker with. I went a couple of times to a music store near work, as well as did some research, but have found myself wondering what tool I am after. I had a play with the Korg Minilogue and some other synths. Unsure, I have instead found myself returning to the instruments we already have, whether it be the iPad and the upright piano we were lucky enough to recently inherit (although it does need a tune.)

Bookmarked (
Following Alex Hern’s new venture, a technology newsletter with the Guardian.

That’s a long preamble to the good news that The World Is Yours* is blowing up. Specifically: I’m going to be writing the Guardian’s flagship tech news letter, TechScape, every week starting in mid-July. You can, and should, sign up here.

It will be interesting to see the difference. I have enjoyed The World Is Yours, especially the personal touch, and wonder where this fits within ‘pro’ newsletter.

📰 Read Write Respond #065

So here we are again. One week I am catching up with Richard Olsen and co for drinks in the city and then the next week we are in lock-down again. I remember reading about the hammer and the dance early on in the pandemic, where we lock-down to get on top of things and then dance with the ever changing rules and restrictions. The problem is, I do not think we are very good at dancing. Coming home from my night out, face-masks on public transport were near on non-existent. On top of that, the bar thanked me for clicking on the QR code at the door. Maybe he was just being courteous, but it did not feel like it.

In lock-down, I took our daughters for a ride. At the local reserve, there was a food truck set up with two guys selling take-away. Sadly though, there were no face-masks. I contacted the company privately raising my concern and got the following response:

Reason for not wearing face masks is none of you’re business.
I sincerely hope you were not scared.

I am not sure he quite understands how masks work. That I wear a mask for him and he and his colleague wear a mask for me. To be fair, my greater fear is not catching COVID from him, although it is a possibility, but rather that such small businesses will no longer exist if we do not all do our bit to get on top of things. Personally, I am able to work from home, so other than having to support our children with their learning, I am not impacted. Sadly, I am not sure everyone quite sees it that way.

On other matters, I have been listened to new albums by Olivia Rodrigo, Haerts and St. Vincent, but have found myself retreating to the more familiar with Estelle Caswell’s ode to gated reverb playlist. In addition to this, I have been tinkering with Google Sheets and XML, as well as started a few posts, but with jobs around the house and work at the moment, I seem to be failing with following through.

Here then are some of the posts that have had me thinking:


The Trouble with Teaching: Is Teaching a Meaningful Job?

John Danaher dives into his frustrations with teaching in a university setting, providing a provocation to reflect upon in respect to all aspects of learning and teaching.

Knitting a Healthy Social Fabric

danah boyd explores role played by schools in building the social fabric and democracy of the future.

Is De-Implementation the Best Way to Build Back Better?

Peter DeWitt reflects on the need to de-implement and take things off the plate in order to build back better.

Mapping Assessment

Ron Ritchhart provides a model for mapping assessment based on two dimensions: integration and evaluation.

On Rereading

Victor Brombert reflects upon the different forms of rereading and the uncanny experience of coming upon lost notes in the margins.


The Global Smartphone

A team of anthropologists spent a year conducting an ethnographic study in nine different countries documenting the ways in which smartphones are used by older people. The team come to the conclusion that the smartphone has come to represent the place where we live.

Pedagogy, Presence and Placemaking: a learning-as-becoming model of education.

David White talks about the issue of simply moving face-to-face learning online and the need to foster presence to help make online spaces places that foster learning.

YouTube’s kids app has a rabbit hole problem

Rebecca Heilweil takes a look at the way in which YouTube Kids and the autoplay function acts as a gateway to questionable content.

Data isn’t oil, so what is it?

Matt Locke suggests that we need more effective metaphors to help people understand the place and purpose of data in our world today.

On the temptation to nuke everything and start over

Influenced on Kin Lane’s decision to leave the past behind, Doug Belshaw reflects on the temptation to start over.


The Case for Letting People Work From Home Forever

Jaclyn Greenberg makes the case for a permanent move to working from home, while Cal Newport pushes back instead arguing for near-home locations.

Welcome Back, Darling

Kath Sullivan and Nathan Morris explore what it means to have water back in the Darling River. In contrast with the past few years of dry river beds, towns like Brewarrina, Wilcannia and Menindee have become energised once again.

In the Air Tonight’s influence, intrigue, and THAT drum break that endures 40 years on

Matt Neal reflects on the forty years since Phil Collins’ released In the Air Tonight and its ongoing legacy, especially in regards to gated reverb.

Tao of WAO

Laura Hilliger and Doug Belshaw have started a new podcast associated with their participation in We Are Open Co-op.

The Weaponization of Care

Autumm Caines discusses the way in which survelliance technology is packaged with notions of care as a way of normalising various practices.

Read Write Respond #065

So that was May for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

📰 Read Write Respond #051

Welcome back for another month. Seems kind of wrong to say ‘another’ as March felt like a roller-coaster. The quote doing the rounds at the moment is:

There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.

It would seem that this is only the beginning.

On the family front, we have been spending the month trying to find some semblance of balance. Whether it be schools (finally) closing, staying at home to flatten the curve, shopping around for the household staples or my wife’s work in responding to requirements of leadership in a time of such change, it has been a whirlwind. I think that the biggest challenge has been learning to respect and appreciate each other that bit more living all facets of life in the same space.

At work, the month started with an adjustment to a new working space. Personally speaking, I just get on with things wherever I am. However, I am not sure of placing a support team in the middle of a project space was the best move? Like doing a stand-up routine in the middle of a library, the competing expectations are always going to clash. This issue was however put on hold as we moved to an off-site model, which has been refreshing.

Personally, I started reading Paul Browning’s new book Principled. I have enjoyed thinking about the wicked problems so many leaders are currently facing and where Browning’s ideas fit within all of this. In regards to music, I have found solitude and respite in both Four Tet and Brian and Roger Eno. I have also been tinkering with the free Moog Model D app on the iPad. I started writing some notes on online learning and the challenges of supporting schools, but never found the time and space to finish these pieces. I did however manage to write my reflections on space on a more regular basis.

Here then are some of the posts that have had me thinking:


Resources For Teaching Online Due To School Closures

Kathleen Morris provides a number of topics and tools to consider if forced to move learning online. This includes how to structure online learning, what are some options for a learning hub, the different tools available to support learning experiences and some things to consider if moving online. Bianca Hewes also discusses the potential of Project Based Learning in an online environment.

This Is The Time

Dean Shareski suggests that the current crisis provides a time to stop and reflect upon the education. However, Joel Speranza argues that it is time to adapt our pedagogy, rather than rethink it. Robin DeRosa and Sean Michael Morris suggests that the transition to online learning needs to be about care, compassion and community

‘Another stinging insult’: teachers are being used as martyrs in COVID-19 agenda — EducationHQ

Steven Kolber discuses the stress the current situation places on teachers by the coronavirus pandemic. This comes on the back of schools that are already at breaking point. Although the Victorian government finally bit the bullet and closed schools, the focus now turners to childcare and kindergartens.

Seven Reasons to Geek Out on Educational Theory

John Spencer reflects on his work writing a dissertation and the new found appreciation of theory. Some of theory related posts include Jesse Stommel bibliography for ungrading and Lucinda McKnight and Narelle Wood’s discussion of the dangers of descriptive writing structures.

10 Tips For Parents Homeschooling Young Children

With so many parents being forced or deciding to keep their children home from school, Kathleen Morris shares her experiences of homeschooling. A useful post, especially alongside Austin Kleon’s reflections.


Tips and Tools for Improving your Remote Meetings and Presentations on a Budget

There has been a lot written about the various applications that allow you to connect online via video. However, Aaron Parecki addresses the various tools which can help improve the audio and visual quality of recordings.

Technological Revolutions and the Governance Gap

Tim Kastelle discusses the challenges of governance required to keep up with technological change. This touches on Jaron Lanier’s argument that AI (and technology) is more than just a tool, it is an ideology.

Webmentions with WordPress for Open Pedagogy

Chris Aldrich provides a series of posts explaining how the PressEd Conference, which focuses on WordPress, could be run using WordPress. This is also a concise introduction to the IndieWeb.

We Need A Massive Surveillance Program

Maciej Ceglowski puts forward the idea of utilise the surveillance infrastructure developed by platform capitalism to aid in the fight against coronavirus. Mark Andrejevic and Neil Selwyn explore the use of smartphone data and apps that have already been used.

Zoom Calls Aren’t as Private as You May Think. Here’s What You Should Know

With all the hype around Zoom as the solution to productivity in a time of social distancing, Allen St. John discusses some of the features and practices that people may not be fully aware of. For more information on using Zoom, Alex Kutler has created an extensive guide.


Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

Tomas Pueyo follows on from his post exploring why we need to act now and unpacks what the next 18 months could look like. However, Gideon Lichfield suggests that much of this depends on how we adapt to social distancing and the the new normal.

Coronavirus Is Serious, But Panic Is Optional

Margo Aaron breaks down the way in which the media drives panic and fear around coronavirus. In a separate post, Caroline Chen reflects on the confusion created by through poor reporting.

What Our Contagion Fables Are Really About

From Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year to José Saramago’s Blindness, Jill Lepore traces the portrayal of pandemics in literature through time. For a full list of book, Bryan Alexander has collated a list, while Cory Doctorow has shared a number of his own stories on the topic.

In a climate crisis, Beds Are Burning is making a comeback

Paul Donoughue discusses the legacy of Midnight Oil’s 1986 track, Beds are Burning. This is all part of a longer history of protest songs.

A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry – A look at the history of battle in popular culture

Bret Devereaux provides a fascinating trip through battles of the past and in fiction. This includes an exploration of Ancient Greece and the Siege of Gondor from Lord of the Rings.


By Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Providing an account of the crisis unfurling around the world, an Italian doctor reflects on the life and death decisions being made, while Craig Spencer provides a day in the life of an ER doctor.  Both highlight why social distancing is so important.

Building on this, Ed Yong explains that there are two groups of people in a pandemic: everyone involved in the medical response and those practicing social distancing. This is a point that Norman Swan elaborates on the Coronacast podcast. Accounts from the Spanish Flu pandemic provide a historical evidence about the benefits. Tomas Pueyo says the challenge is to act now (which is always really yesterday). For Yascha Mounk this means cancelling everything.

Defining what is and is not appropriate when it comes to social distancing, Kaitlyn Tiffany explores a number of questions such as whether you should cancel your dates, dinner parties, and gym sessions. Asaf Bitton explains how the current crisis is different to a ‘snow day’, while David Truss questions whether the idea of social distancing is better understood as ‘physical distancing’. Amy Hoy provides a simulation game to play with some basic rules associated with social distancing.

In regards to visuals, Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre visualise the positive impact of social distancing in an animation of matchsticks catching fire. Gregg Gonsalves the same metaphor in a still image. Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris animate the ‘Flatten the Curve‘ graph and represent the spread interupted by social distancing as a tree diagram. Brian Iselin represents the difference between infecting 2.5 people (the average) and 1.25 people.

From a literary perspective, Samuel L Jackson reads a new version of Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fk to Sleep called Stay the FK at Home, while Jessie Gaynor rewrites the opening lines to ten classic novels based on social distancing.

Read Write Respond #051

So that was March for me, how about you? I hope you and your loved ones are safe.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

Replied to Muse-letter 1: Introductions by Colin WalkerColin Walker (

I had thought about calling this something weird or funny like “Strange Love: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Myself” but wasn’t sure if people would get the reference, I hope so but you can’t never be too sure. It might also be seen as setting too tight a scope, perhaps sounding like it was all about my battle with depression and anxiety.

I want it to be more than that so eventually opted for the simple play on words “muse-letter” – I’m absolutely terrible at naming things.

I always love your thoughts and reflections. Excited about this new project Colin. Anxious about the pandemic and the side-effects. Hoping that such projects can sustain our social desires in a time of isolation.

📰 Read Write Respond #050

Welcome back for another month.

I never cease to be amazed working in such a complex project as we continue to try and muscle our way through the start of the year. One day crashes over the next as we jump from one challenge to the next. New staff. Timetables. Access. Data. Census. The biggest lesson learnt is that the reason things breakdown is often deferred. Like a back related hamstring, many of this year’s challenges eminate from last year. Although it can be easy to find blame, problems are always more complicated.

On the family front, the school year has started off OK with everyone slowly adjusting to the various changes. While at home our cooler carked it. Ironically, we have barely had a hot day since, instead it has rained quite a bit. It has been a topsy-turvy year. This mix of sun and rain has meant that the vegetable patch has been producing plenty of tomatoes and zucchinis, which the girls and I have been exploring different ways to use.

Personally speaking, I finally finished my reflection on my one word for 2020 – space.

My One Word for 2020 is Space

In regards to music, I can not get enough of Tame Impala’s new record. Although I have been listening to Caribou’s latest too. I find it interesting with music how sometimes you are not in the right space for some sounds and only appreciate them in retrospect. I have long respected Kevin Parker’s music, but it never quite clicked. The Slow Rush changed that.

Here then are some of the posts that have had me thinking:


‘We don’t mollycoddle them’: The preschools letting kids spend hours in the dirt

Lisa Clausen investigates the world of the bush kinder program and the potential for problem solving and the appreciation for the environment through outdoor learning.

Don’t ‘just Google it’: 3 ways students can get the most from searching online

Renee Morrison shares three things young people should keep in when researching online: search for more than isolated facts, slow down when looking things up online, and take control of the process rather than relying on Google.

On Deconferencing

Alan Levine responds to posts from Bryan AlexanderWill Richardson and Stephen Downes about climate change and conferences, arguing that we need better ways for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Would you like ethics with that? The possibilities and risks of (Mc)Mindfulness in schools

Christopher T. McCaw says that with the rise of mindfulness in education we need to consider: what is the type of mindfulness being taught, who decides this is what it looks like and what are the implications of this.

School as Fiction

Will Richardson claims that school is a narrative that we need to reclaim.


Sharenting, BYOD and Kids Online: 10 Digital Tips for Modern Day Parents

Troy Hunt argues that each family needs to find their own balance, but this needs to involve guiding children, managing administration duties and being mindful of the chance that anything shared could be made public.

Schools Are Pushing the Boundaries of Surveillance Technologies

Mona Wang and Geenie Gebhart discuss the increase of surveillance in schools in the name of safety.

Your Email Spam Filter Is More Aggressive Than You Realize

Angela Lashbrook discusses some of the changes associated with spam filtering. Another reminder that email is still a somewhat flawed technology.

Alec Couros was used by scammers to catfish thousands of women and he’s a victim too

Bridget Judd dives into the world of catfishing, focusing on the use and abuse of Alex Couros’ identity.

Old CSS, new CSS

Eevee provides a personal history of CSS, including discussions of browsers, XHTML, Web 2.0, Flexbox and an extensive summary of what is possible today


Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Don’t worry about kids, Malaka Gharib’s introduction to the coronavirus a fantastic introduction for everyone. Bryan Alexander also has a stab at predicting how everything may unfold.

Fatboy Slim’s dancefloor evergreens (Take 5)

Whether it be soul, disco, punk or competitive collaboration, it is interesting the different ingredients that led to the creation of You’ve Come a Long Way Baby and Norman Cook’s signature sound.

How did the last Neanderthals live?

It is interesting to read Melissa Hogenboom’s discussion of Neanderthals along side Peter Brannen’s reflection on the history of the earth.

A World Without Privacy Will Revive the Masquerade

In a world of growing surveillance, Jonathan Zittrain provides two contrasting futures: Pseudoworld and Transcriptworld.

Google redraws the borders on maps depending on who’s looking

Greg Bensinger discusses the way in which Google often gets involved in border debates through the display of different boundaries in Google Maps depending on who is viewing.

Read Write Respond #050

So that was February for me, how about you? As always, love to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

📰 Read Write Respond #049

Welcome back for another month. I hope you are well

After the break over Christmas/New Year, work has picked up where it left off last year. Every school seems to have some small change to make, which all eventually add up. Death by a thousand cuts. However, it has all been put into perspective as Australia swelters and burns.

On the home front, I have been getting out and about with my daughters, especially when I was on leave. This has included seeing Tree House at the Art Centre and going to both the Werribee and Melbourne Zoos. Zoos Victoria have actually had a big campaign focusing on bubbles not bags, this included getting to see a performance from Bubble Laboratory.

Personally, I made the most of my holidays doing various jobs around the house that had banked up over time. This meant the opportunity to listen to a number of podcasts, include Damian Cowell’s Podcast Machine. Actually Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine was my summer soundtrack. “Cartoon descriptions? How else to describe a cartoon world?

I also wrote my end of year music review:

Music of 2019 in Review, or The Year Girls Ran the World

However, I have not gotten to my usual cycle of end of year reviews. I may still get to these, along with a reflection on the current bushfire crisis.

Here then are some of the posts that have had me thinking:


Inquiry in the mist – and midst – of troubling times.

Kath Murdoch provides a number of suggestions to support teachers talking the bushfires in the classroom, including staying open to possibilities, inviting students rather than assuming a position, think conceptually and take action associated with the situation.

Autism and Behaviorism

Alfie Kohn discusses the problems associated with using behavioural modification programs when engaging with students on the autism spectrum.

Be careful with Seesaw

Sam Sherratt raises concern about introducing applications like Seesaw because they are possible, rather than purposeful.

How to choose good online content

eSafety site talks about the use of windows, mirrors and magnifying as ways of considering the content which we engage with.

Talking to youth about privacy, security, & digital spaces

Ian O’Byrne provides some concrete examples of situations you could create to teach kids about digital security/algorithms.


The case for … cities that aren’t dystopian surveillance state

Cory Doctorow discusses the idea of a smart city for people, rather than the capturing of data for the sack of surveillance.

All of YouTube, Not Just the Algorithm, is a Far-Right Propaganda Machine

Becca Lewis expands on her recent commentary on the recent research into YouTube and radicalisation, arguing that that the platform itself is the source of far-right propaganda.

Caught in the Spotlight

Chris Gilliard explores how technologies that track create different spatial experiences for users.

The Internet of Beefs

Venkatesh Rao makes the case for the ‘internet of beefs’, where the focus is on continually defending ideological position

We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.

Bruce Schneier argues that simply banning facial recognition is far too simplistic, our focus needs to be on the whole surveillance culture.


The medications that change who we are

Zaria Gorvett explores the world of ordinary medications and the way they affect our bodies and our brains.

Why you should read Machiavelli

Antony Mayfield provides some reasons why Machiavelli’s The Prince is one of the books he recommends new people managers to read.

As bushfire and holiday seasons converge, it may be time to say goodbye to the typical Australian summer holiday

David Bowman makes the case for moving peak holiday period to March or April.

Welcome to Jáchymov: the Czech town that invented the dollar

Eliot Stein digs into the history of the tiny Czech town of Jáchymov that was recently named one of Unesco’s newest World Heritage sites. He discusses the silver deposits that helped create the first ‘thalors’ some 500 years ago, as well as the radioactive metals that helped fuel the Cold War.

What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity

Janna Koretz discusses hedging your bets and finding a sense of identity outside of your career.

Read Write Respond #049

So that was January for me, how about you? As always, love to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

Liked The Dialogic Learning Weekly #156 (

Welcome to a new decade and to the first edition of the Dialogic Learning Weekly newsletter for 2020. I want to set aside some of the normal topics I share to address the bushfires here in Australia.I know many of you don’t live here in Australia but would have seen a range of media coverage over the last few months. It is important that platforms like this newsletter help share accurate information that help you understand the reality of what is happening.It has been raining here in Melbourne ov

📰 Read Write Respond #048

Welcome back for another month.

Just when you think things are busy enough, you find out you were wrong. Somehow I ended up supporting schools with finalising student reports, setting up timetables, recording of literacy data and user access. This is all fine, except when everyone wants you to help them yesterday. We ended up getting there, but there were quite a few long days without any breaks other than grabbing a quick coffee from the kitchen. I am now on leave for a few weeks over the Christmas / New Year shutdown.

On the family front, it was a busy time too. We balanced between community carols, birthday, work functions and Christmas. In between all that we managed to see Frozen II. All this has been brought into perspective as much of Australia burns through summer.

Personally, I read/listened memoirs from Ben Folds and Tim Rogers. I have also been diving into the Take5 Podcast back catalogue, including some great interviews with Damian Cowell, Warren Ellis, Brian Eno, Daniel Johns, Christine and the Queens and Dylan Lewis. Definitely one of my favourite finds for the year. In regards to music, I listened to new releases from Burial and Courtney Barnett.

I also wrote a reflection on what it means to be an educator when you no longer work within a school environment.

On Being a Teacher – A Reflection on Identity

I had a number of other pieces on the go, but they got a little lost in the wash of life. Maybe next month?

Here then are some of the other thoughts and ideas that have grabbed my attention this month:


Education Minister pushes for ‘back to basics’ approach in schools

Dan Tehan calls for a back to basics approach and learning progressions

What if Experimentation & Play Were a Daily Part of the Classroom?

Bernard Bull makes the case for more play and experimentation in education.

MIT asked teenagers what adults are missing about technology. This was the best response.

Taylor Fang provides a perspective of teen use of technology.

The PISA Illusion

Yong Zhao highlights some of the problems with PISA, including what is measured and the implied purpose of education.

Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration

The Australian Government has updated the Melbourne Declaration, with a focus on two goals: to promote excellence and equity, as well as supporting students to become confident, creative, life-long learners within the community.


The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade

Audrey Watters closes the decade with an epic provocation documenting the worst of ed-tech.

Why artists and neuroscientists aren’t OK with this new Netflix feature

Hannah Reich investigates some of the concerns associated with Netflix proposal to introduce a new variable playback option, including why people desire to speed things up, what this means for films and the impact that has on comprehension.

Kids’ YouTube as we know it is over. Good.

With the policy changes to YouTube requiring creators to classify if content is for children, Rebecca Jennings dives into the world of YouTube for children.

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy

Stuart Thompson and Charlie Warzel dig into the location data scrapped by apps and smartphones.

The sad state of personal data and infrastructure

Jestem Króliczkie unpacks the challenges associated with keeping a record of your personal data and digital traces.


History’s Largest Mining Operation Is About to Begin

In light of work by the International Seabed Authority, the United Nations group put in charge of mitigating damage on the seafloor by mining, Wil Hylton takes a dive into the depths of the ocean to uncover some of the remaining mysteries.

What we get wrong about time

Claudia Hammond explores the concepts of memory and time and explains how we forget far more than we remember.

If we each spent $200 to help prevent climate change, here’s how we could transform Australia

Responding to the findings of the Australia Talks National Survey, Nick Kilvert and the team at the ABC speak with a number of specialists to identify what they would do now in response to the climate debate.

Beneath modern Melbourne, a window opens into its ancient history

Jack Banister’s paints a picture of Melbourne’s past and the lush waterways that ran through the region.

Prince: The Story of 1999

Andrea Swensson presents a series of four podcasts celebrating the re-release of Prince’s album 1999.


Read Write Respond #048

So that was December for me, how about you? As always, love to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

Replied to by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (

Read Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-12-08 by Tom Woodward ( “Link In Bio” is a slow knife For a closed system, those kinds of open connections are deeply dangerous. If anyone on Instagram can just link to any old store on the web, how can Instagram — meaning Facebook, Instagram…

I have long enjoyed Tom Woodward’s weekly harvest, this is kind of what I attempt with my monthly review.

The limit I see with this is that it does not provide an obvious means of referencing the various links in other posts. Although it is possible to use fragmentions to link to a particular part of the text, mentions are listed against the whole text itself. The alternative might be Hypothesis, but then you lose reference to webmentions.

My solution has been to record each link as its own bookmark and then collate these. Therefore, I am able to easily link to a specific URL, while also providing a summary.

I have thought about removing the posts from my URL, but for now I just let it be.

📰 Read Write Respond #046

Welcome back for another month.

On the family front, I took my daughters to the Fairy Park just out of Geelong, our eldest had her end of year music concert, while my wife was successful in application to become assistant principal next year.

At work, I continued to balance the multiple roles of on-boarding new schools, supporting current schools and work through some of the issues associated with our workflows. The biggest challenge I find is that each party thinks you are their resource for the whole time, but we get by – just. I also attended the regional elearn meeting where I was lucky enough to touch base with Tony Richards and Kimberley Hall.

Personally, I listened to a few new albums from Elbow, Nils Frahm and Angel Olsen, but to be honest, I spent more time reading. I was inspired by something Philip Roth said, which Craig Mod quoted in his newsletter:

If you read a novel in more than two weeks you don’t read the novel really.

I am thinking that I have not really been reading then. Therefore, I wondered through Martin Lindstrom’s world of Small Data, reflected on Edward Snowden’s Permanent Record, returned to Clive Thompson’s Coders and also dived into Philip Glass’ memoir Words Without Music. With all this in mind, I have not really been doing a lot of long form writing, although I have a few drafts of things going.

Here then are the links that really stood out to me this month:


Sweeping changes to HSC and syllabus proposed by government review

Jordan Baker reports on the proposed changes put forward by Geoff Masters in the NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report. Most importantly, this raised the question as to what the purpose of curriculum is.

Sustaining School Organisational Change

Mal Lee and Roger Broadie unpack the difference between driving initial change and sustaining it for the long term.

After Babel: Designing for Community

Sean Michael Morris unpacks the challenges associated with learning in online communities.


Ben Williamson disassembles the growing world of social and emotional learning.

The Need for Transformational Learning is Long Overdue

Val Margarit discusses the six steps she uses for encouraging heutagogical learning environments.

Education before Regulation: Empowering Students to Question Their Data Privacy

Autumm Caines and Erin Glass discuss data privacy and the importance of educating students about the topic.


Is Amazon Unstoppable?

Charles Duhigg takes a deep dive into the world of Amazon, including  day one thinking, relentless improving, copying culture and the spectre of anti-trust.

The strange world of TikTok: viral videos and Chinese censorship

Anushka Asthana and Alex Hern discuss the censorship associated with social video app TikTok and its timeless algorithmic feed.

How memes got weaponized: A short history

Joan Donovan unpacks the history associated with memes.

Is Anyone Going to Get Rich off of Email Newsletters?

Kaitlyn Tiffany explores the ever evolving world of newsletters.

Social Media Has Not Destroyed a Generation

Lydia Denworth argues that although people like Jean Twenge might be right about the impact of social media on health, correlation does not always equal conclusion. More research is required to better understand some of the nuances.

Want to make a podcast? Here are five things we learnt at OzPod 2019

Kellie Riordan highlights five takeaways from the OzPod 2019 Conference.


Inside the Big Day Out

Through a 5-part series, Gemma Pick documents the history of The Big Day Out from its early beginnings in the 90s to its capitulation in 2015.

Planning for a problematic future

Edwina Stott explores the strategy of scenario planning as a way of responding to the complex, complicated and often confounding futures.

‘It’s a bit Pompeii-like’: The unexpected ‘buried blocks’ of Melbourne

Zach Hope provides a fascinating insight into the early years of Melbourne where some houses were buried in an effort to raise the swampy areas.

A million people are jailed at China’s gulags. I managed to escape. Here’s what really goes on inside

David Stavrou paints a picture of life inside of a Xinjiang ‘reeducation’ camp. This is based on a testimony provided by Sayragul Sauytbay, a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden.

Annika Smethurst: ‘Worry is my new normal’

Annika Smethurst provides a sobering account of life after the Australia Federal Police’s raids and what is on the line when reporting on the government and security.

How Science Got Sound Wrong

William Softky explains how vinyl is better than digital music.

Read Write Respond #046

So that was October for me, how about you? As always, happy to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

📰 Read Write Respond #044

Welcome to August’s edition of Read Write Respond, a newsletter of ideas and information associated with all things in and out of education, mined and curated for me and shared with you.

On the family front, we have been making the most of the nice weather to get outdoors quite a bit. This included going on a few bike rides, as well as continuing our dive into geology by looking for gold in the Brisbane Ranges. We also attended the launch of Fiona Hardy’s novel How to Make a Movie in 12 Days, which was a great event.

At work, there was a review looking at some of the processes moving forward. This led to further work around managing timetables and refining reports. In addition to this, I supported a couple of schools with setting up for Semester Two. I also attended Swinburne University for a network meeting focusing on history and the whole learner.

Personally, my focus this year has been flanarie. It has been interesting. I think I have struggled with the seemingly structurelessness of the endeavour. I have found myself starting various books, then jumping to something new before finishing. This month, I started Imagined Communities, but then found myself diving into John Warner’s Why They Can’t Write. I have also started a number of posts, but never got around to completing them. Maybe this is ok? Maybe this is normal? Maybe my expectations are the problem? I think with so much structure in my life, it sometimes feels strange to let this go in any way. Don’t know.

Musically, I have been listening to Sigur Rós’ liminal project, Taylor Swift’s continued evolution, Sleater-Kinney’s St. Vincent produced offering and Bon Iver latest.

In regards to watching, I finished Series 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale and took my children to Toy Story 4.

In regards to my writing, I posted a reflection on Dai Barnes:

Remembering Dai Barnes

Learning and Teaching

How to Innovate: Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission

Joel Speranza suggests starting change by running small measured experiments, rather than focusing on people and permission.

No, minister! Keep NAPLAN results away from student job applications

Jessica Holloway and Steven Lewis discuss the problem of conflating learning with NAPLAN performance.

Stressed-out teacher? Try these self-care tips

Grace Jennings-Edquist collates a number of self-care strategies to support teachers.

Stephen Wolfram recounts the entire history of mathematics in 90 minutes

Stephen Wolfram presents ramble through time and provides reminder of the way in which the present is built on the discoveries of the past.

From ball pits to water slides: the designer who changed children’s playgrounds for ever

Nicholas Hune-Brown explores the legacy of Eric McMillan and his revolution of playgrounds in the 1970’s.


Shame Cycles and Twitter Rage

Sherri Spelic share some tips and questions to consider when dealing with the toxic side of Twitter.

How far will digital video go?

Bryan Alexander discusses the possible future of video as a medium.

Artificial intelligence in Schools: An Ethical Storm is Brewing

Erica Southgate discusses a new report and project to support the analysis of artificial intelligence in education.

A Framework for Moderation

Ben Thompson responds to CloudFlare’s decision to terminating service for 8chan with a look into the world of moderation

Imagine if we didn’t know how to use books – notes on a digital practices framework

Dave Cormier provides a framework for learning on the internet.


‘Plastic recycling is a myth’: what really happens to your rubbish?

Oliver Franklin-Wallis discusses the current global recycling crisis.

The Hopefulness and Hopelessness of 1619

Remembering the 400 year anniversary of the arrival of African slaves in Northern America, Ibram X Kendi traces the stories of Angela and John Pory.

The History of Cities Is About How We Get to Work

Building on the idea of Marchetti’s Constant, Jonathan English discusses the role of transport in the development of the city.

The Anthropocene Is a Joke

Peter Brannen looks at our current impact on the world and where it sits with the history of the earth.

How Hillsong and other Pentecostal megachurches are redefining religion in Australia

Stephen Stockwell and Ruby Jones discusses the rise of Pentecostal churches, such as Hillsong and Planetshakers.

Focus on … DAI BARNES

On the night of Thursday 1st / Friday 2nd August 2019, Dai Barnes suddenly passed away in his sleep. Dai was one half of the TIDE podcast. He was also a champion of the people, something celebrated in the final episode of the podcast. Personally speaking, he was one of my first subscribers. Amy Burvall co ordinated a number of curations on Wakelet and Flipgrid collecting together disparate memories. There were also some longer reflections from Amy, Laura Hilliger Doug Belshaw, Tim Klapdor and Eylan Ezekiel. I will never forget him talking about a failed job interview where he found himself standing on the table like Jesus. Must admit, it has definitely left me feeling more mortal.

Read Write Respond #044

So that is August for me, how about you? As always, happy to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101