Read Open is Cancelled by A bee with a blog (Medium)
Before you read this, I want you to go and take a peek here. Stay with it until the end.
A dramatic reframing, and apparently a very much needed one. This (and the referenced article within it) are a must read.

I’ll have to think about this and revisit the broader idea a couple of times to really digest it.

Bookmarked Unsettled by Colin Woodard (Press Herald)

Triumph and tragedy in Maine's Indian country

Staff Writer Colin Woodard spent more than a year researching “Unsettled,” logging thousands of miles and more than 250 hours of interviews with some 70 sources, including past governors of Maine and the reservations, tribal elders, councilors and activists, as well as attorneys, state officials, police officers and academic experts.

This looks like a stunning long read! I love that the Press Herald bundled it up into an e-book as well. I wish more newspapers did this sort of aggregate publishing. 
 
 
Listened to The Daily: A Broken Promise on Taxes from New York Times

FedEx pledged investment in exchange for a tax cut. We look at what the company has done with a tax bill of $0 — and billions back in the bank.

Read Why We Ended Legacy Admissions at Johns Hopkins by Ron Daniels (The Atlantic)
Eliminating an unfair tradition made our university more accessible to all talented students.
I remember hearing about discussions of this, but I’m glad they’ve made an official announcement and are moving in this direction. The Atlantic is such a great venue for writing about it too!
Read Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories. (nytimes.com)
We analyzed some of the most popular social studies textbooks used in California and Texas. Here’s how political divides shape what students learn about the nation’s history.

📑 Highlights and Annotations

Conservatives have fought for schools to promote patriotism, highlight the influence of Christianity and celebrate the founding fathers. In a September speech, President Trump warned against a “radical left” that wants to “erase American history, crush religious liberty, indoctrinate our students with left-wing ideology.”

I can’t help but think here about a recent “On The Media” episode A Civilization As Great As Ours which highlighted changes in how history is taught in India. This issue obviously isn’t just relegated to populist India.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:22AM

Pearson, the publisher whose Texas textbook raises questions about the quality of Harlem Renaissance literature, said such language “adds more depth and nuance.”

If they wanted to add more “depth and nuance” wouldn’t they actually go into greater depth on the topic by adding pages instead of subtly painting it such a discouraging light?

But Texas students will read that some critics “dismissed the quality of literature produced.”

Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:27AM

Publishers are eager to please state policymakers of both parties, during a challenging time for the business. Schools are transitioning to digital materials. And with the ease of internet research, many teachers say they prefer to curate their own primary-source materials online.

Here’s where OER textbooks might help to make some change. If free materials with less input from politicians and more input from educators were available. But then this pushes the onus down to a different level with different political aspirations. I have to think that taking the politicization of these decisions at a state level would have to help.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:30AM

How Textbooks are Produced

  1. Authors, often academics, write a national version of each text.
  2. Publishers customize the books for states and large districts to meet local standards, often without input from the original authors.
  3. State or district textbook reviewers go over each book and ask publishers for further changes.
  4. Publishers revise their books and sell them to districts and schools.

This is an abominable process for history textbooks to be produced, particularly at mass scale. I get the need for broad standards, but for textbook companies to revise their books without the original authors is atrocious. Here again, individual teachers and schools should be able to pick their own texts if they’re not going to–ideally–allow their students to pick their own books.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:33AM

“The textbook companies are not gearing their textbooks toward teachers; they’re gearing their textbooks toward states,” she said.

And even at this they should be gearing them honestly and truthfully toward the students.
Annotated on January 12, 2020 at 11:39AM

Read Digital Detox 2020/1: The Problem with Digital Detoxes by Amy Collier (Digital Learning & Inquiry (DLINQ))

Every year, as DLINQ’s Digital Detox nears, I reflect critically on digital detoxes. From the start of our Digital Detox initiative, we have emphasized looking beyond mindful approaches to technology to ask difficult questions about the complex entanglements of digital technologies in social life (e.g., surveillance, hard-coded biases, misinformation). But as I observe the upswell of interest in digital detoxes more broadly, I can’t help but worry. Do digital detoxes focus on the wrong things? Do they propose that the solutions to our serious digital attention and connection challenges are temporary disconnections from technology, instead of addressing how and why digital platforms operate in the ways they do?

Some interesting and useful things to think about not only with respect to detoxes, but second and third level considerations which aren’t always considered by people.

📑 YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant

Annotated YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant by Mark Bergen (Bloomberg)
The idea was to reward video stars shorted by the system, such as those making sex education and music videos, which marquee advertisers found too risqué to endorse.  
This is an interesting concept. Too often, too many people are “shorted by the system”.

🎧 The Daily: Why Did New York’s Most Selective Public High School Admit Only 7 Black Students? | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Why Did New York’s Most Selective Public High School Admit Only 7 Black Students? from New York Times

The latest admissions numbers at Stuyvesant High School offer a stark picture of the persistent racial divide in America’s largest school system.

Perhaps the problem is more systemic than the small band-aid they’re offering as a means of fixing it?

🔖 Racial Equity Institute

Bookmarked Racial Equity Institute (racialequityinstitute.com)
We are an alliance of trainers, organizers, and institutional leaders who have devoted ourselves to the work of creating racially equitable organizations and systems. We help individuals develop tools to challenge patterns of power and grow equity. Join us today.

📺 IndieWebCamp keynote: Connecting the World: Intentions and Realities with Maha Bali | YouTube

Watched IndieWebCamp keynote: Connecting the World: Intentions and Realities by Maha BaliMaha Bali from YouTube

Link to slides in my blogpost

There are many things that matter that we don’t always see from an individual perspective. We also simultaneously need to be careful of attempting to only see things in the aggregate.

Originally bookmarked to watch on September 28, 2018 at 09:17AM. Missed the live stream due to time zone differential.

👓 Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias | HackedEducation

Read Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias by Audrey WattersAudrey Watters (Hack Education)
This is the transcript of the talk I gave this afternoon at a CUNY event on "The Labor of Open"
Interesting to hear that Audrey has now also removed the Creative Commons license from her website now as well as having disabled comments and the ability to annotate using Genius and Hypothes.is. I’m all for this and happy to support her decision despite the fact that it means that it’s potentially more difficult and circuitous to share and comment on some of her excellent work. I’m sad that we’re in a place that people on the web would attack, target, and otherwise bully people into needing to take such steps, but I’m glad that there are ways, means, and tools for blocking out these bad actors. While I might have otherwise reposted and annotated her piece directly, I’ll respect her wishes and her digital sovereignty and just quote a few interesting phrases instead. This being said, you’re far better off reading the original directly anyway.

While reading this I was initially worried that it was a general rehash of some of her earlier work and thoughts which I’ve read several times in various incarnations. However, the end provided a fantastic thesis about unseen labor which should be more widely disseminated.

almost all the illustrations in this series – and there are 50 of these in all – involve “work” (or the outsourcing and obscuring of work). Let’s look at a few of these (and as we do so, think about how work is depicted – whose labor is valued, whose labor is mechanized, who works for whom, and so on.

What do machines free us from? Not drudgery – not everyone’s drudgery, at least. Not war. Not imperialism. Not gendered expectations of beauty. Not gendered expectations of heroism. Not gendered divisions of labor. Not class-based expectations of servitude. Not class-based expectations of leisure.

And so similarly, what is the digital supposed to liberate us from? What is rendered (further) invisible when we move from the mechanical to the digital, when we cannot see the levers and the wires and the pulleys.

As I look back upon the massive wealth compiled by digital social companies for what is generally a middling sort of job that they’re not paying nearly as much attention to as they ought (Facebook, Twitter, et al.) and the recent mad rush to comply with GDPR, I’m even more struck by what she’s saying here. All this value they have “created” isn’t really created by them directly, it’s done by the “invisible labor” of billions of people and then merely captured by their systems, which they’re using to actively disadvantage us in myriad ways.

I suppose a lot of it all boils down to the fact that we’re all slowly losing our humanity when we fail to exercise it and see the humanity and value in others.

The bigger problem Watters doesn’t address is that with the advent of this digital revolution, we’re sadly able to more easily and quickly marginalize, devalue, and shut out others than we were before. If we don’t wake up to our reality, our old prejudices are going to destroy us. Digital gives us the ability to scale these problems up at a staggering pace compared with the early 1900’s.

A simple and solid example can be seen in the way Facebook has been misused and abused in Sri Lanka lately. Rumors and innuendo have been able to be spread in a country unchecked by Facebook (primarily through apathy) resulting in the deaths of countless people. Facebook doesn’t even have a handle on their own scale problems to prevent these issues which are akin to allowing invading conquistadores from Spain the ability to bring guns, germs, and steel into the New World to decimate untold millions of innocent indigenous peoples. Haven’t we learned our lessons from history? Or are we so intent on bringing them into the digital domain? Cathy O’Neil and others would certainly say we’re doing exactly this with “weapons of math destruction.”

👓 Designing for Equity: Growth, Slack, and Abundance (NOT Grit, Deficits, and Scarcity) | Canvas Community

Read Designing for Equity: Growth, Slack, and Abunda... by Laura Gibbs (Canvas Community)
Inspired by Gregory Beyrer's post about equity and his "Summer of Canvas" plus it being the Fourth of July holiday, I am re-posting below an blog post from another blog: 10 Ways to Give Your Students the Gift of Slack. I've changed the title (a lot of people thought I meant Slack-the-app), and I've updated it with some links to Canvas Community spaces in which some of these same ideas have come up. I hope this is something that will promote more discussion and more blog posts; it's my opinion that designing-for-equity is both a pedagogical and a civic duty, and it is not just about technology or about online courses: it is about the future of public education in this country.
The cartoon that came along with this post was particularly poignant.