Kauffmann said that France has never officially embraced big tech in schools, which makes the project easier, and that the public generally is skeptic towards monopolies and the abuse of private data. The country is thus undergoing a cultural shift in the digital education sector, promoting the use of free, open, and interoperable code, data, and content, referred to as “digital commons”. This approach encompasses not only free licenses but also community involvement and governance.

How France Adopts An Open Source-Based Education Strategy – Free of Big Tech · Dataetisk Tænkehandletank

Found via a boost from @FourthWorld@mastodon.online might be an exciting move from France. Back in 2014-15 when I was working with Ian Stuart on the Glow Scotland reboot, we talked a lot about OpenSource and, AFAIR, talked to someone who came over from Paris to show us an open source solution they were using there at the time.

I just saw What is Digital Literacy? A guest blog from Andy McLaughlin, University of Aberdeen – DigiLearn and a pointer to the discussion on LinkedIn.

But what do we do there – if we go open source or other methods are we giving our young people the skills to enter the workplace .

Ian Gibson

Ian and John, I’d love to hear your take on the idea that Big Tech’s “efficiency agenda” has been the biggest hindrance to digital skill development.

Andy McLaughlin

There is a lot of interesting ideas popping up in the conversation. I joined in, although I don’t really have a clear idea as to where I stand. Quite quickly I reached LinkedIn’s maximum character limit, so though I’d post here and link in there, POSSE style. Here are the rather ragged thoughts I wanted to post:

Of course in Scotland we have access to an Open Source product in the form of WordPress 😉 But I doubt there is much awareness of Open Source generally among my colleagues. As a primary teacher, I need to get my head round hundreds of experiences and outcomes, leaving little time for the reading, never mind the thinking needed in this area.

Open Source is involved in many work places. Some even owned by ‘Big Tech’. Unfortunately Open Source and open technologies (RSS for example) do not have an army of paid and unpaid evangelists in the same way as ‘Big Tech’.

I am not suggesting we should abandon Big Tech, but we should be able to think about the implication

I recently quoted this:

warning parents that although they think they are giving their children access to the internet, they are really giving the internet access to their children.

BBC World Service – The Documentary Podcast, Assignment: Ireland’s phone-free town

Could we replace parents by educators, children by pupils and internet by ‘Big Tech’.

Not sure I fully grok Big Tech’s “efficiency agenda” but to my mind it might be jumping into using tech too far from the base metal? Just a few (20) years ago, I’d start teaching pupils some basic text editing, a wee bit about the difference between bitmap and vector image software before moving on to more complex tools. I think I’d rather see a pupil ‘misusing’ powerPoint or Keynote to make their own creative images than cycling through possibilities in a more sophisticated tool.

I am also open to the idea that a bit of friction in your toolkit might mean to spending a bit more time thinking.

Liked One More Reason #ChatGPT Seems Like a Sweetheart by Maha BaliMaha Bali (blog.mahabali.me)

This ChatGPT thing, quite apart from all the other AI writing tools, is disturbingly addictive and… likeable? I had tried before with you.com/chat to make it say mean and biased things, but it wouldn’t. And this surprised me because if it trained on internet data, the internet is full of stuff like that, right? So…

An interesting experience with chatGPT.

Who trained you to be so sensitive and polite and politically correct?

I couldn’t be angry with it, because it was such a sweetheart about not giving me what I wanted.

Interesting & scary thread for those at BETT and other education events. Linked abstracts worth a peek.

 Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex by Walter Vannini (Aeon)

Coding is seen as fun and glamorous, but that’s a sales pitch. In reality, it’s complicated, both technically and ethically

It’s better to admit that coding is complicated, technically and ethically. Computers, at the moment, can only execute orders, to varying degrees of sophistication. So it’s up to the developer to be clear: the machine does what you say, not what you mean. More and more ‘decisions’ are being entrusted to software, including life-or-death ones: think self-driving cars; think semi-autonomous weapons; think Facebook and Google making inferences about your marital, psychological or physical status, before selling it to the highest bidder. Yet it’s rarely in the interests of companies and governments to encourage us to probe what’s going on beneath these processes.

Clear well explained short and powerful article. via both Scripting News and Memex 1.1.

Perhaps we need another term for the coding like activity than can be a lot of fun for folk that have the skills that Walter Vannini explains coders need. I have a lot of fun dabbling in AppleScript, bash and JavaScript without the discipline and study necessary to be a coder.

Kids in school can have this sort of fun too, perhaps helping in maths and in skills like problem solving, working together and practical skills. Scratch and micro:bits can be a a lot of fun in a primary classroom.

Bookmarked Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching (theguardian.com)
The government has ordered schools in England not to use resources from organisations which have expressed a desire to end capitalism. Department for Education (DfE) guidance issued on Thursday for school leaders and teachers involved in setting the relationship, sex and health curriculum categorised anti-capitalism as an “extreme political stance” and equated it with opposition to freedom of speech, antisemitism and endorsement of illegal activity.

Words fail

Replied to a tweet by Athole (twitter.com)
Definitely part of it. But I think it’s also the culture of these digital tools. Free to use for teachers. And they offer and promise a lot. But, ethically, this is incredibly problematic. Says the man currently tweeting on an iPhone! Feels like there was more open source before

Personally I like open source & I like paying for software (hopefully I pay for FOSS by using, bug reporting & sharing). I’ve no problem tweeting from an iPhone I paid for. More problematic ‬Is how I “pay for” twitter.

Liked Read Write Review – Voices from the Village in 2017 by Aaron Davis (Read Write Respond)
Maybe there were some things that I would have changed, however considering the current state of things, I was again pretty lucky this year. Personally, our children have continued to grow up. The youngest has progressed from learning how to climb the ladder to get on the trampoline to now utilisin...

A great read and review of Aaron’s year. Just following the links from his newspaper will take some time, but it will be well spent. Aaron’s take and his pull quotes make fascinating reading.