Nice to see this newsletter pop into my inbox infrequently. Always interesting links, ideas and poems.
This link, might be fun for schools.
The tree in our front yard starts turning yellow in late August. By the end of September, it has shed almost all of its leaves, leaving a dusting of golden...
Sometimes I think that authentic tasks are based on the tastes and whims of the educated elite. Is a literary podcast really authentic for a 15-year-old? Are hipster food trucks really the most efficient way to learn about business? As Doug Lemov once said, it’s our role to find the shortest path to learning.
Rebecca Birch powerfully critiques podcasting and other authentic projects used in the classroom. She is writing specifically about the secondary English classroom, I can really comment on that. It did make me think about podcasting in the primary classroom though.
Podcasting has been one of my favourite classroom activities for years.
As a teacher, do I really have the real-world skills to teach interviewing, sound editing, research and the mechanics of discursive writing, on top of critically analysing a text? If I had both the time and expertise then maybe I could justify this choice. Usually, with a task like this, the crafting of the assessment itself happens through many hours of student struggle outside the classroom. It’s difficult to justify the opportunity cost.
I certainly don’t have those real-world skills. I have podcasted a bit though.
Earlier this week I tweeted from our school account:
Brilliant literacy session for the biggies today, class showed iron concentration, talking, listening and editing for flow. Working on expression and talking for an audience. pic.twitter.com/lITqLE1LNx
— Banton Primary (@Banton_Pr) December 2, 2022
When I observed my class being completely absorbed in writing scripts for their podcast. Getting primary pupils to edit their writing and think about making their oral communication effective is sometimes tricky for me. Audience, or perceived audience, can make a difference. For Scottish primary teachers at least the activity of podcasting covers a large number of the experiences we are supposed to supply to our pupils.
I don’t think a podcast needs to take so much of the classes time that it would be detrimental. Especially as it give the pupils a chance to practise so many of the skills we are trying to teach.
Had I spent several weeks teaching visual design, sound production or video production skills, those students would have been several weeks further away from their ambition to undertake tertiary study.
In the primary class at least we don’t need to spend those weeks. Audio podcasting is a lot simpler than video. We are not aiming for a professional grade BBC podcast. We are trying to give our class motivation to practise their talking, listening, reading and writing. Communication with their peers and an audience. For me simple podcasting provides a great opportunity for that.
When we talk about “the algorithm,” we might be conflating recommender systems with online surveillance, monopolization, and the digital platforms’ takeover of all of our leisure time—in other words, with the entire extractive technology industry of the twenty-first century. Bucher told me that the idea of the algorithm is “a proxy for technology, and people’s relationships to the machine.” It has become a metaphor for the ultimate digital Other, a representation of all of our uneasiness with online life.
Our idea of algorithm is mixed up with other types of manipulation.
I set about trying to find a kid-friendly search engine that enabled exploration, while still protecting her from the toxicity of the greater modern web. And, guess what? I failed.
If my kids want to search for dinosaurs, they should be presented with educational and otherwise appropriate websites to help them learn about dinosaurs; not a full page of ads for dinosaurs before they see the actual search results
I do not see much discussion of this from within education, I wonder why not?
Why is a manufacturer allowed to create an inherently distracting live video which takes over 2/3 of the screen which the driver relies on for all vehicle information?
“Passenger Play”, Another tech billionaire at work?
The nitwit founder of Facebook has created the worst, most damaging website in the world. And we’re just supposed to accept it.
Americans represent only about 10 percent of Facebook’s users, but nearly 85 percent of the efforts that the company has put toward stemming the spread of misinformation has been focused on the U.S.
Scoundrel seems a mite gentle given the content of the article.
THE DEAD GUILLEMOT SOCIETY: From The Province Of The Cat by George Gunn. Dunnet Beach is the most northerly beach on the Scottish mainland. It stretches for roughly three miles in a North-North-Eas…
A moving piece.
Read: This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan 📚 ★★★☆☆
Three chapters, opium, caffeine, and mescaline. The opium one was recycled from some time ago, it would have been interesting to read more about the opiate crisis in modern times in the USA and the drug companies.
The coffee chapter was quite fascinating, given it is the one of the three I use. The social/political aspects were an interesting introduction to the area.
The mescaline chapter dug into some Native American/American Indian information and ideas. Including that some prefer the name Indian to Native American. I found this and the surrounding politics of mescaline more interesting that the effects of the drug.
A jewel in your head? Toad, you've put one in mine, a tiny radiance in a dark place.
Read: Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby ★★☆☆☆ 📚too much driving and gun fighting for me. I should have read the blurb🤣 I can see some folk loving it, as it is exciting and tight.