Reply to Aaron Davis

Replied to a post by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)

Great post Aaron. I’ll also say thanks for including me in such an illustrious list. But to the others, I’ll suggest that you’re holding out on us. The meatier list he’s hiding is at: https://readwriterespond.com/wp-links-opml.php

Throw it into a feed reader like Inoreader that will let you import or subscribe to OPML lists and then come back to thank him all over again.

👓 High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University I InsideHigherEd

Read High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University (insidehighered.com)
A sold-out housing complex for senior citizens on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus sparks a conversation about whether universities are doing enough to engage with older people.

👓 Everything Old is New Again: Adventures in the IndieWeb | Desert of My Real Life

Replied to Everything Old is New Again: Adventures in the IndieWeb by Cathie LeBlancCathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)
I’ve written about my forays into the IndieWeb movement before. I have even written about how I feel like I’m moving to a philosophy of sharing my work that is kind of old school. Last week, I had the occasion to see a perfect example of how the “new” ways that I’m working are actually the old ways.

Kudos Cathie for rolling up your sleeves and delving in like this! You’re getting some fairly solid results and have far stronger grasp of what is going on than I certainly did in my first year–not to say that I’m much better off now to be honest.

The tougher part is that some of your post seems a bit misleading to me.

The couple of microformats related lines you’re adding in your child theme like add_theme_support( ‘microformats2’ ); are in fact declaring that your theme properly supports microformats v1, v2, and microdata which it doesn’t quite. Those lines don’t actually add support (as the hook might indicate), but tell other WordPress plugins that your theme is microformats compatible which may prevent them from adding particular pieces of redundant microformats related code.

While you’ve got an h-entry in your header file, you’re closing the related </div> just after the title so that if the body of your post includes a p-summary or an e-content microformat, parsers are likely to have problems. Instead you might want to do something similar in either your content.php (or other file that adds the body of your post) or your footer.php files where you close that div in one of those two files instead of in your header.php file. If you need it the article page on the wiki has a simple example of what the final result should look like.

My favorite template for how to add microformats to a WordPress theme is David Shanske’s fork of the TwentySixteen theme. Because of GitHub’s interface and the fact that he made changes in relatively small increments, you can look at the history of his changes (start with the oldest ones and move forward) and see the highlights of what he added and removed in individual files to effect the necessary changes. (He made some other drastic changes like removing Post Formats in preference to Post Kinds as well as some other non-microformats changes, so you’ll necessarily want to skip those particular changes.) I think I learned more about WordPress Themes by going through this one example a change at a time than any of the books or tutorials I’ve ever seen.

Another tool in addition to indiewebify.me is the Pin13 parser which will parse your page and give you some indication about what it is finding (or not) and how things are being nested (or not).

If you need some help, feel free to catch one of the WordPress folks in the IndieWeb chat. I suspect that since you’ve got the fortitude to dive into the code the way you have, that you’ll be able to puzzle it out.

👓 AI Is Making It Extremely Easy for Students to Cheat | WIRED

Read AI Is Making It Extremely Easy for Students to Cheat (WIRED)
Teachers are being forced to adapt to new tools that execute homework perfectly.

The headline is a bit click-baity, but the article is pretty solid nonetheless.

There is some interesting discussion in here on how digital technology meets pedagogy. We definitely need to think about how we reframe what is happening here. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t look back at the history of the acceptance (or not) of the calculator in math classes from the 60’s onward.

Where it comes to math, some of these tools can be quite useful, but students need to have the correct and incorrect uses of these technologies explained and modeled for them. Rote cheating certainly isn’t going to help them, but if used as a general tutorial of how and why methods work, then it can be invaluable and allow them to jump much further ahead of where they might otherwise be.

I’m reminded of having told many in the past that the general concepts behind the subject of calculus are actually quite simple and relatively easy to master. The typical issue is that students in these classes may be able to do the first step of the problem which is the actual calculus, but get hung up on not having practiced the algebra enough and the 10 steps of algebra after the first step of calculus is where their stumbling block lies in getting the correct answer.

Reply to Bill Ferriter on Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now.

Replied to Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now. by Bill FerriterBill Ferriter (THE TEMPERED RADICAL)

Check it out in the stream of comments that follow this Dean Shareski tweet:

Do you see what it is?

A REAL CONVERSATION!  With some intellectual give and take.  With people expanding on one another’s thoughts.  With people offering differing viewpoints.  With a few lighthearted jokes added to the mix to make everyone smile while wrestling with an important idea.

I definitely can get behind the idea of throwing fewer “edufuzzies”, because while they’re cute, entertaining, and can lighten the mood, it’s the conversation that matters more. The tougher part is that attempting to have a substantive conversation on Twitter can be difficult because of the character limitations as well as the painful UI involved of properly threading a conversation. I also suspect that taking the conversation somewhere other than Twitter will up the level of the conversation by an order of magnitude.

I far prefer Aaron’s idea of using our own websites to communicate back and forth:

Even better Bill is if we had such conversations from the comfort of our own backyard using bridgy and webmenbtions, rather than someone else’s playground?

So I’ll post my reply to you on my own website and manually copy it across to yours and (begrudgingly) syndicate a copy into Twitter, so everyone can play along. I’m hoping that the ability to automate these sorts of conversations from site to site will improve them all around in the coming year.

👓 Something Weird is Happening on Twitter Right Now. | THE TEMPERED RADICAL

Read Something weird is happening on Twitter right now. (THE TEMPERED RADICAL)
Guys. Check it out in the stream of comments that follow this Dean Shareski tweet: I’m suspect of educators whose entire feed is a cacophony…

📺 The Pension Gamble | Watch S37 E3 | FRONTLINE | PBS

Watched The Pension Gamble from FRONTLINE
SEASON 37: EPISODE 3
FRONTLINE investigates the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions into a multi-trillion-dollar hole. Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith, and Nick Verbitsky go inside the volatile fight over pensions playing out in Kentucky, and examine the broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere.

👓 Do Scholastic Book Fairs Live Up to the Nostalgia? | The Atlantic

Read The Fleeting Magic of Scholastic Book Fairs (The Atlantic)
Years later, many adults still pine for the days their school libraries, auditoriums, and gyms transformed into pop-up bookstores.

👓 A College Student Was Told To Remove A "Fuck Nazis" Sign Because It Wasn't "Inclusive" | BuzzFeed News

Read A College Student Was Told To Remove A "Fuck Nazis" Sign Because It Wasn't "Inclusive" (BuzzFeed News)
"This email tells me the university cares more about the feelings of Nazis than the safety of their students."

👓 Hypothesis Launches App to Bring Annotation to Learning Management Systems | Hypothes.is

Read Hypothesis Launches App to Bring Annotation to Learning Management Systems by Jeremy Dean (Hypothes.is)

We are excited to announce the official launch of the Hypothesis LMS app. Thanks to the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, Hypothesis now integrates with all major LTI-compliant Learning Management Systems, including Instructure Canvas, Blackboard Learn, D2L Brightspace, Moodle, and Sakai. We will be testing other platforms, including MOOC-providers like Coursera and edX in the coming weeks and months.

With this release, Hypothesis is better prepared to support the strong adoption we already see in teaching and learning. Students and teachers are a majority of the nearly 200 thousand annotators who have created over 4.3 million annotations using Hypothesis. The new LMS integration means teachers can bring collaborative annotation in their classrooms seamlessly as a part of their normal workflow.

🎧 Episode 025 System Theories, Racism & Human Relationships: Interview with TK Coleman | Human Current

Listened to Episode 025 System Theories, Racism & Human Relationships by Haley Campbell-GrossHaley Campbell-Gross from Human Current

In this episode, Haley interviews TK Coleman to discuss how humans allow their conflicting mental models to influence the way they handle controversial topics like racism. TK also shares how understanding context and patterns within human systems ultimately empowers us to actively contribute to human progress.

I generally prefer the harder sciences among Human Current’s episodes, but even episodes on the applications in other areas are really solid. I’m glad to hear about TK Coleman’s overarching philosophy and the idea of “human beings” versus “human doings.”

Also glad to have the recommendation of General Systems Theory: Beginning With Wholes by Barbara G. Hanson as a more accessible text in comparison to Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s text. The gang at Human Current should set up an Amazon Affiliate link so that when I buy books they recommend (which happens frequently), it helps to support and underwrite their work.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

Reality is objective, but meaning is contextual.

—Barbara Hanson, General Systems Theory: Beginning with Wholes quoted within the episode

This quote is an interesting recap of a sentence in the first two paragraphs of Claude Shannon’s The Mathematical Theory of Communication.

🔖 The influence of collaboration networks on programming language acquisition by Sanjay Guruprasad | MIT

Bookmarked The influence of collaboration networks on programming language acquisition by Sanjay Guruprasad (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Many behaviors spread through social contact. However, different behaviors seem to require different degrees of social reinforcement to spread within a network. Some behaviors spread via simple contagion, where a single contact with an "activated node" is sufficient for transmission, while others require complex contagion, with reinforcement from multiple nodes to adopt the behavior. But why do some behaviors require more social reinforcement to spread than others? Here we hypothesize that learning more difficult behaviors requires more social reinforcement. We test this hypothesis by analyzing the programming language adoption of hundreds of thousands of programmers on the social coding platform Github. We show that adopting more difficult programming languages requires more reinforcement from the collaboration network. This research sheds light on the role of collaboration networks in programming language acquisition.

[Downloadable .pdf]

Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2018.; Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.; Includes bibliographical references (pages 26-28).

Advisor: César Hidalgo.

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/119085

I ran across this paper via the Human Current interview with Cesar Hidalgo. In general they studied GitHub as a learning community and the social support of people’s friends on the platform as they worked on learning new programming languages.

I think there might be some interesting takeaways for people looking at collective learning and online pedagogies as well as for communities like the IndieWeb which are trying to not only build new technologies, but help to get them into others’ hands by teaching and disseminating some generally tough technical knowledge. (In this respect, the referenced Human Current podcast episode may be a worthwhile overview.)

👓 @MozOpenLeaders – Building a Healthier Internet | fiveflames4learning.com

Read @MozOpenLeaders – Building a Healthier Internet (Five Flames 4 Learning)
I didn’t think I was that important. I’m just one small part of one small space in one small corner of the world. I never realized the work I do was helping to build a healthier interne…

Some interesting projects listed here that would be worth looking into.

Reply to ricmac on indie blogs

Replied to a post by ricmacricmac (micro.blog)

Open question: what are some cool indie blogs (by which I mean, topic-focused blogs not personal blogs)? There are a ton of excellent indie podcasts out there (e.g. literatureandhistory.com is one of my faves). Would like to get a list started of blogs like that.

I’m struggling to think of an example of a modern era indie blog, except for my own 2018 effort Blocksplain. Keen to hear other (more successful!) suggestions. Again: topic-focused blog is what I mean.

@ricmac To get things kicked off, are you thinking of something along the lines of Gretchen McCulloch’s linguistics blog All Things Linguistics? If this is the sort of thing you’re looking for, I can think of several along these lines in various areas of academia, which apparently never left the old blogosphere, if you’d like some additional ones. There are also several multi-author/contributor ones like these as well.
#WishingTechnoratiStillExisted

👓 Developing Mathematical Mindsets | American Federation of Teachers

Read Developing Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler (American Federation of Teachers)

Babies and infants love mathematics. Give babies a set of blocks, and they will build and order them, fascinated by the ways the edges line up. Children will look up at the sky and be delighted by the V formations in which birds fly. Count a set of objects with a young child and then move the objects and count them again, and they will be enchanted by the fact they still have the same number. Ask children to make patterns with colored blocks, and they will work happily making repeating patterns—one of the most mathematical of all acts. Mathematician Keith Devlin has written a range of books showing strong evidence that we are all natural mathematics users and thinkers.1 We want to see patterns in the world and to understand the rhythms of the universe. But the joy and fascination young children experience with mathematics are quickly replaced by dread and dislike when they start school mathematics and are introduced to a dry set of methods they think they just have to accept and remember.

If you think mathematics is difficult, tough, or you’re scared of it, this article will indicate why and potentially show you a way forward for yourself and your children.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The low achievers did not know less, they just did not use numbers flexibly—probably because they had been set on the wrong pathway, from an early age, of trying to memorize methods and number facts instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.  

December 15, 2018 at 08:42AM

Unfortunately for low achievers, they are often identified as struggling with math and therefore given more drill and practice—cementing their beliefs that math success means memorizing methods, not understanding and making sense of situations. They are sent down a damaging pathway that makes them cling to formal procedures, and as a result, they often face a lifetime of difficulty with mathematics.  

December 15, 2018 at 08:44AM

Notably, the brain can only compress concepts; it cannot compress rules and methods.  

December 15, 2018 at 08:44AM

Unfortunately, many classrooms focus on math facts in isolation, giving students the impression that math facts are the essence of mathematics, and, even worse, that mastering the fast recall of math facts is what it means to be a strong mathematics student. Both of these ideas are wrong, and it is critical that we remove them from classrooms, as they play a key role in creating math-anxious and disaffected students.  

This article uses the word “unfortunately quite a lot.
December 15, 2018 at 08:46AM

The hippocampus, like other brain regions, is not fixed and can grow at any time,15 but it will always be the case that some students are faster or slower when memorizing, and this has nothing to do with mathematics potential.  

December 15, 2018 at 08:53AM