robertogreco + discussion   67

Why Equity Has Been a Conservative Force in American Education—And How That Could Change - Next Gen Learning in Action - Education Week
"By Jal Mehta, an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the co-director of the Deeper Learning Dozen

Over the past 15 years, at least since the passage of No Child Left Behind, equity has been more of a conservative than a liberating force in American education.

It started with good intentions. The idea was that some students, particularly students of color and poor students, historically had been ill-served by our school system. When Ted Kennedy and George Miller joined their Republican colleagues in supporting No Child Left Behind, they did so out of a belief that it was a continuation of the civil rights movement—a way to use federal power to support an equity agenda.

But that's not how it played out. The consequence of holding everyone accountable to low level tests in reading and math, without building any of the supporting structures, climate, or culture that would enable those results, is that schools serving disadvantaged students narrowed the curriculum and focused disproportionately on test prep, whereas more advantaged public schools and private schools had flexibility to continue offering a richer and more holistic educational approach.

Even as the legal requirements for NCLB have ended, the mindset has persisted. Urban schools and districts continue to be run in more authoritarian ways than their suburban counterparts, and students in disadvantaged schools continue to be more subject to test-driven pressures. When we run institutes at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on "deeper learning," we tend to attract folks from more privileged public schools and private schools here and abroad. In contrast, when we offer institutes on data-driven instruction or school turnarounds, we tend to attract people serving students of color in high-poverty public schools.

The consequence is that equity has become, more often than not, a conservative force in American public education. The effort to close achievement gaps has in practice doubled down on the century-old industrial model of schooling, leaving in place all of the essential elements of its grammar: teaching as transmission, batch processing of students, conventional assessments, tracking and leveling, and all of the rest. Anything that moves away from those assumptions—like project-based learning, problem-based learning, interdisciplinary learning, authentic assessment, or constructivist pedagogy—is seen as "risky;" something that is "OK for the privileged kids" but somehow distracts from the real work of closing achievement gaps on state-sponsored tests.

I've come to think that the reality is close to the opposite. The existing system, for all of its warts, works well enough for the privileged kids. They know how to play the "game of school," and thus they learn what they need to learn to get the grades and credentials they need to head to college and beyond. It is the kids who are disaffected from school who are most in need of a new approach. For them, finding a way to make school more relevant, more student-centered, more connected to their purposes and passions, is not a luxury but a requirement. Ironically, the more we double down on closing achievement gaps within the existing grammar of schooling, the more difficult we make it for ourselves to transform schooling into a more purposeful, relevant, and engaging institution.

There is an alternative, well-developed in some circles, but just recently entering broader reform discussions.

Equity as liberation.

This approach has entered the mainstream education space over the past five years from places like the National Equity Project and equityXdesign. The roots of it are old, drawing on Paulo Freire's ideas of "problem-posing" education and education as a force for liberation, and they run through the writings of folks like Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Pedro Noguera, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Theresa Perry, and many others. The idea here is that equity is a lens, a way of seeing how power is distributed, whose voices are being heard, which ideas are being represented, and whose interests are being served. It relies more heavily on what Shane Safir calls "street data" (the lived experiences of students in schools) than "satellite data" (test scores). It sees diversity as an asset—where our different lived experiences and funds of knowledge create rich opportunities for mutual learning—which is a profoundly different stance from the deficit approaches that have become standard in these discussions. It takes seriously the idea that education should liberate, meaning create ways for students to take agency to transform their lives and the world around them.

Taking this stance also implies a different way of working. Fundamentally, many gap-closing approaches take a fundamentally old-style command and control orientation for granted. What is to be known is determined by the district or the state. Students don't know this knowledge when they start. Teachers don't know how to deliver this knowledge. The solution is tighter implementation chains—from districts into the heads of teachers and then into the heads of students. This prescription is compounded by urgency; we are told that students have no time to lose so vertical hierarchies are the most efficient way to get things done.

A better approach would start with a different set of assumptions. There is lots of knowledge in the system, held by both teachers and students. This knowledge is also more heterogeneous than what is known by the district: Older teachers may have wisdom about teaching practice, younger teachers may have learned non-Western history in college, and students may know things about their neighborhoods and communities that are invisible to teachers and administrators. Good leadership would tap into these centers of knowledge and connect and build upon them in ways that are likely to lead to mutual learning for everyone.

It also would imply a different approach to change. Much of the traditional literature assumes that the leader is the hero, the members of the organization are the resistance, and the central challenge is to achieve "buy-in" via "change management." A liberatory design approach, by contrast, assumes that teachers and students would like to develop engaging, meaningful learning experiences, and that the problem is not them but the institutional structures and culture of schools that constrains them. Such an approach would foreground the lived experiences of students and teachers and invite them to help redesign schools in ways that are more purposeful and humane. Rather than act on students, teachers, and communities, we would work with them.

Liberatory design would also create an attractive symmetry between adult learning and student learning. If we want classrooms where students are seen as capable meaning-makers and teachers are facilitators of that learning, then districts need to treat teachers as capable meaning-makers and themselves as facilitators of teacher learning. Taking this point seriously would require districts to rethink many of their assumptions, large and small, spurring a shift from a bureaucratic to a professional mode of social organization.

Engaging with the lived experiences of students would also force us to think harder about whether students' full selves are welcomed into schools. This is relevant for all students, but particularly for students of color. One of my favorite ethnographies of schooling is Angela Valenzuela's Subtractive Schooling, which shows in excruciating detail the ways in which the mostly Mexican-American students in her research have to forego critical parts of themselves to show up in school. Ta-Nehisi Coates' memoir similarly recounts how his inquisitive stance was not welcome in Baltimore schools that repressed questions and rewarded compliance.

We could create schools that reverse this cycle; many in the sector already have. They start from what should be an uncontroversial idea—that students learn best when they feel affirmed, recognized, and welcomed into the spaces in which they are learning. Diversifying the curriculum does not mean lessening the rigor of that curriculum; rather, it potentially enables more students to do rigorous work by creating subjects worth investing in. And when we do that, ironically, we have a much better chance of closing conventional achievement gaps, because we have created welcoming, inclusive spaces where students can do their best work.

Equity can be either a conservative or a liberating force. Which one is it in your school?"
equity  achievementgap  education  policy  jalmehta  via:derek  2019  liberation  conservatism  curriculum  nclb  rttt  intentions  civilrights  testing  standardizedtesting  reading  math  schools  schoolclimate  testprep  inequality  authoritarianism  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  publicschools  privateschools  data  poverty  us  transmission  interdisciplinary  constructivism  pedagogy  credentials  paulofreire  pedronoguera  jeffduncan-andrade  glorialadson-billings  theresaperry  power  shanesharif  experience  diversity  discussion  agency  horizontality  leadership  communities  change  management  institutions  culture  schoolculture  liberatorydesign  ta-nehisicoates  baltimore  compliance  curiosity  inquiry  rigor 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
Fred Moten’s Radical Critique of the Present | The New Yorker
“He is drawn to in-between states: rather than accepting straightforward answers, he seeks out new dissonances.”



““I like to read, and I like to be involved in reading,” he said. “And for me, writing is part of what it is to be involved in reading.””



“For Moten, blackness is something “fugitive,” as he puts it—an ongoing refusal of standards imposed from elsewhere. In “Stolen Life,” he writes, “Fugitivity, then, is a desire for and a spirit of escape and transgression of the proper and the proposed. It’s a desire for the outside, for a playing or being outside, an outlaw edge proper to the now always already improper voice or instrument.” In this spirit, Moten works to connect subjects that our preconceptions may have led us to think had little relation. One also finds a certain uncompromising attitude—a conviction that the truest engagement with a subject will overcome any difficulties of terminology. “I think that writing in general, you know, is a constant disruption of the means of semantic production, all the time,” he told me. “And I don’t see any reason to try to avoid that. I’d rather see a reason to try to accentuate that. But I try to accentuate that not in the interest of obfuscation but in the interest of precision.””



““The Undercommons” lays out a radical critique of the present. Hope, they write, “has been deployed against us in ever more perverted and reduced form by the Clinton-Obama axis for much of the last twenty years.” One essay considers our lives as a flawed system of credit and debit, another explores a kind of technocratic coercion that Moten and Harney simply call “policy.” “The Undercommons” has become well known, especially, for its criticism of academia. “It cannot be denied that the university is a place of refuge, and it cannot be accepted that the university is a place of enlightenment,” Moten and Harney write. They lament the focus on grading and other deadening forms of regulation, asking, in effect: Why is it so hard to have new discussions in a place that is ostensibly designed to foster them?

They suggest alternatives: to gather with friends and talk about whatever you want to talk about, to have a barbecue or a dance—all forms of unrestricted sociality that they slyly call “study.”
We are committed to the idea that study is what you do with other people. It’s talking and walking around with other people, working, dancing, suffering, some irreducible convergence of all three, held under the name of speculative practice. The notion of a rehearsal—being in a kind of workshop, playing in a band, in a jam session, or old men sitting on a porch, or people working together in a factory—there are these various modes of activity. The point of calling it “study” is to mark that the incessant and irreversible intellectuality of these activities is already present.




“Moten’s poetry, which was a finalist for a National Book Award, in 2014, has a good deal in common with his critical work. In it, he gathers the sources running through his head and transforms them into something musical, driven by the material of language itself. “



“And he’s still trying to figure out how to teach a good class, he said. He wasn’t sure that it was possible under the current conditions. “You just have to get together with people and try to do something different,” he said. “You know, I really believe that. But I also recognize how truly difficult that is to do.””
2018  fredmoten  davidwallace  poetry  fugitivity  betweenness  liminality  dissonance  reading  howweread  fugitives  blackness  undercommons  education  highereducation  highered  stefanoharney  sociality  study  learning  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  howweteach  pedagogy  criticalpedagogy  grades  grading  conversation  discussion 
may 2018 by robertogreco
What is the Right Size for a Group Conversation? | Psychology Today
"Conversations are funny things.

If you have ever attended a large gathering of old friends and relatives whom you have not seen for a while, you may have gone home disappointed that you only got to speak to some of the people you had hoped to reconnect with. Similarly, you have probably noticed that when the gang from the office goes out for drinks after work on Friday afternoon, the large after-work crowd invariably splits up into smaller conversations.

Is there a natural limit to the size of the group that can sustain a meaningful conversation? Recent studies conducted by Jamie Krems and Steve Neuberg of Arizona State University and Robin Dunbar of Oxford University suggest that this may in fact be the case.

In their first study, they approached groups of two or more students engaged in conversations in public areas of a university campus. They asked the conversationalists to report what they had been talking about just before the researcher interrupted them. They found that there were rarely more than four people involved in a conversation at any one time, but what was perhaps even more interesting, they also found that if people were gossiping about another person who was not present, the size of the group averaged about one fewer person in size than if the group was discussing some other sort of topic.

In a second study, they analyzed the conversations in 10 different plays by William Shakespeare. Scholars have long been aware that the conversational patterns in Shakespearean plays accurately reflect the dynamics of real-life social interactions — which is one of the reasons their appeal has endured over time. If this is the case, it would be interesting to find out if Shakespeare applied the “maximum size of a conversation” rule to the characters in his plays. Krems and her colleagues discovered that no conversations in any of the plays they analyzed ever involved more than five characters, and they replicated the effect that scenes in which characters were discussing absent others had on average one less individual involved in the conversation.

So, what is so special about the number four (plus or minus one) when it comes to conversations?

Krems, Dunbar, & Neuberg propose that the size of our conversations is restricted by our “mentalizing constraints,” or the limits on the cognitive demands that we can handle in our interactions with others.

This is all related to what psychologists call our “Theory of Mind,” which is the ability to understand that other people do not necessarily know or intend the same things that we ourselves do; having a functioning theory of mind is essential for successfully managing social life. If two people are engaged in conversation, each must understand what his or her partner intends and what each person understands about the other’s state of mind.

This gets more complicated as you add people to the conversation. If you have three people (or stooges) in a conversation, Moe must understand what Larry understands about Moe and what Curly understands about Moe, but also what Larry and Curly understand about each other. Add a fourth or fifth person to the mix and you have increased the complexity enormously. Thus, it appears that when you move beyond four or five people in a conversation, it simply gets too mentally taxing for most people to sustain a prolonged conversation.

And there is a reason why talking about an absent person makes things even more difficult. In this type of talk, you must also be able to reflect on the understanding, intentions, and feelings of the absent person, which cuts back on the number of people we can manage in real time during the conversation. The data analyses in the two studies I have described indicated that this explanation was more plausible than other possible explanations for this phenomenon.

Certainly, other situational factors such as the arrangement of furniture can influence the ease of conversations. For example, although side-by-side seating connotes intimacy, it does not seem to be the preferred arrangement for talking. Studies have shown that side-by-side seating on a couch inhibits conversation in otherwise sociable people, and individuals only choose a side-by-side position for conversation when it was not possible to arrange a face-to-face conversation at a distance of less than 5 and ½ feet.

In other words, if it is good conversation that you are after at the next party that you attend, stay away from the couches.

The fascinating finding that our mentalizing capacity limits the size of our conversations has many implications. If individuals differ from each other in mentalizing capacity, it is possible that having the ability to juggle larger conversation sizes is one component of having good social skills — something with an obvious payoff. Krems and her colleagues also suggest that reading fiction may help us to expand our mentalizing capacity by exercising the ability to follow conversations in literature.

A silver lining for English majors after all?"
groups  groupsize  conversation  2017  shakespeare  robindunbar  jamiekrems  steveneuberg  discussion  sfsh 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Boris Anthony 🕸 📚 on Twitter: "Debate = Finite game Purpose is to overcome. One winner, one loser Discussion = Infinite game Purpose is to accommodate. No winner, no loser"
"Debate = Finite game
Purpose is to overcome. One winner, one loser
Discussion = Infinite game
Purpose is to accommodate. No winner, no loser

In debate, opponents seek to turn the other into one of them—thus destroying the other—by arguing rationales & perceptions.

In discussion, participants seek to combine and expand each other into something greater by sharing rationales & perceptions."
conversation  debate  discussion  borisanthony  2017  competition  collaboration  cooperation  listening  sharing  perception  unfinished  infinite  finite 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Pookleblinky on Twitter: "This is what an average page of the Talmud looks like. https://t.co/V6JHEVczuK"
"This is what an average page of the Talmud looks like. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4_953lWcAA-AIW.jpg
There's a lot going on here, and all of it is interesting.
That text in the center is the mishnah. The mishnah is a transcription of much older oral Torah.
The mishnah was an oral tradition for centuries before it was finally written down.
The text surrounding it is the gemara. The gemara is commentary, centuries later, on that mishna. Which is itself commentary.
The gemara is, importantly, an argumentative commentary. It's a transcript of arguments over centuries.
The gemara is 6,000 pages of history, arguments, excruciatingly nitpicky discussions, and anecdotes.
Each nugget of mishna is surrounded by centuries of arguments over what it means.
Those arguments range wildly. For instance, in one tractate the mishna discusses a unit of measurement.
Over the following centuries, that unit transformed from about a tablespoon into a wheelbarrow worth of stuff.
That transformation is recorded, as people got confused and argued over what on earth it meant at various times.
Each argument presented in the surrounding gemara, comes from a lineage of thought. You can trace that lineage through centuriese
You can follow Rabbi Akiva's thought over the course of his life, and see how many times he was quoted later on, for instance.
You can watch two schools of thought, butt heads in ever more smartass arguments, over centuries.
Sometimes there's reconciliation, one school of thought accepts that another was right. Other times, the arguments continue.
The arguments build on each other. You can watch an argument get settled. Centuries later, that agreement is argued.
The ensuing argument ends nitpicking the original in excruciating detail until it makes sense to enough people.
Layers of commentary upon commentary upon commentary. A millennium later, Rashi added his own.
The Talmud was, essentially, the Internet before people had electricity.
There were correspondences written, indexes where you could locate every mention of Rab Johanan etc.
Subjects ranged from torturous arguments over etymology, to hilarious anecdotes, to daily images of life.3
The Talmud was Usenet before people knew about electricity.
There's even a tractate, Pirke Avot, that's so eclectic there's a thousand-year old joke about citing it if unsure of a source.
In other words, the Talmud is a good example of user interface. It accreted organically, organized itself organically.
Its rough edges were worn away with centuries, it became as intuitive a way of representing discussion as one could get.
The Talmud was, until Usenet, the world's best interface for representing vast discussions. Version controlled, too.
It's been around for so long that its influence permeated western culture.
It helped make "commentary upon commentary" seem intuitive. It would have used hyperlinks if it could have.
And, thousands of years later, we reinvent that wheel, badly. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5AEuYgW8AEWwiH.jpg [https://twitter.com/pookleblinky/status/833171129279852545 ]
We have tried to scale the user interface of the Talmud a few orders of magnitude.
The result: infinite chains of quote RT's with the word "THREAD" and "this."
Tumblr discussions that zoom in microscopically until the first several layers of commentary are invisible.
Any sufficiently advanced commentary model contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of the Talmud
Usenet came closest, followed by irc .txt logs.
Another interesting thing is that the Talmud is 6,000 pages. You can read all of it, a page a day, in 7 years.
If you look at oral traditions around the world, this was about average.
There's probably something like Dunbar's Number, concerning the max size of an oral tradition.
The Mahabharata is about 1.8 million words. 200,000 verses.
The Iliad alone was about 200,000 words. It was an oral tradition for centuries after Homer.
The Talmud is estimated at about 2 million words, of which the mishna alone are about the same range as any other oral tradition.
Assuming there is a limit to how large an oral tradition can be, even after transcription, let's call it 2 million words worth.
2 million words of argument and commentary before things get too confusingly vast for normal humans to keep up.
I'm sure that there's a relationship between dunbar's number and max size of oral tradition.
And that this relationship affects how internet communities fracture and insulate themselves as they scale relentlessly upwards"
oraltradition  talmud  comments  tumblr  annotation  marginalia  conversation  gemara  iliad  mahabharata  internet  web  online  dunbar  commentary  comment  commenting  discussion  history  2017 
february 2017 by robertogreco
In Conversation With Eike König – iGNANT.de
"‘Hort’ is an old German word for Kindergarten. What does the word’s meaning say about the values of the collective, and what would you say have been its keys to success?

Yes, ‘Hort’ is a super old word for the place kids go after school. Where I grew up, in Frankfurt – where the Green party was founded – there were lots of independently-organised ‘Horts’. I think the idea of this free space is really interesting, because our lives seem to be so well organised, really structured. You go to school, you sit your exams, you go to uni, you graduate, you start working… you follow this linear path, try to organize your life around this structure, although life is actually constantly in flux, in motion – there are no real moments of graduation, only constructed ones. Having a degree doesn’t really signify anything. It’s just an example of one of the anchors to which we attach ourselves. Of course, we need goals, but these goals don’t give us (a) any satisfaction, because the process is permanent, and (b) they don’t guarantee any success. They don’t have a meaning for me. I studied, but I didn’t complete my course. I dropped out close to the end because I was offered a job as the art director for this label. You don’t get offers like that every day. For my parents, that decision was a little harder to swallow. They told me, “You can’t just not finish something.” They were scared I’d never make anything of myself.

But today it doesn’t work like that. I don’t care if someone hasn’t finished their degree. I’m interested in their personality, and what that person does, and how they share their work with me. And I always looked for a place where I could just be, and keep learning, and make mistakes – sure, you have to keep the business running, but learning and development is such an important part of life. And simply to exercise the skills I already have – that gets tired after a while. After a year, it gets really boring. It just keeps you in my comfort zone, to only use the strategies I already have to become successful. In a traditionally agency context, mistakes are avoided. But actually, for the sake of development, it’s the most important motor. To have the courage to try new things. Sometimes they work, others they don’t. To have the room to be able to take risks is super important to me.

So I thought to myself, why don’t I open my own ‘Hort’, a kind of place where older children – so not-quite adults – can go ‘after school’ – after uni. A safe space where kids from different backgrounds come together, feel safe, start to play, play with the highest level of creative energy possible, socialize, learn, grow, do things together: At its core, I find this idea really beautiful, really positive as a way to be together.

Earlier, we did a lot of playful projects, and today we work on more conceptual stuff, but when we get a brief, we don’t try to take the easiest path, the path we’ve already taken, but we look at the individual circumstances surrounding each brief, and we ask what we can learn from it too. This path always takes more energy, needs more discussion with our clients. Clients often expect ideas or concepts they’ve already seen before, or can picture in their minds. When someone says, “Nothing that you see in our portfolio will be like the concept you get,” you need to trust them. I prefer the path of the new: Let’s think differently about it and try to convey our position. So ‘Hort’ is a good idea. It’s also a nice name, has nice phonetics, and no other really clear meaning for others. Americans wouldn’t know what Hort is, say, though in Spanish it’s related to horticulture – landscape gardening, growing – there’s a lot of positive in there. All of us in the office can relate to that."



"As well as being the founder and creative director of Hort, you’re a Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Arts in Offenbach. What kinds of things are your students teaching you these days?

The role of the teacher has changed from being the professor-as-keeper-of-all-knowledge – the one that knows better than everyone else, and decides between right and wrong. Formerly, education was about repeating what others have already done. I was always a bit sceptical about this model, because the things we know and don’t yet know don’t necessarily impact on truth or falsehood – they are simply part of our biographies, the things we have taken to be true. But those things will be different for the person standing next to me.

Everything that I experienced during my studies and that I was critical of – I try to do those things differently. Today I teach in a University of the Arts – so there are separate disciplines, but they all run parallel to fine arts: painting, sculpture, etc. I’m in this warehouse section of the school, together with the painters and sculptors and the electronic artists and spacial designers. I have a very close-knit relationship with my colleagues in these fields, and I want to offer a research- and development-based approach to my teaching in design, graphics and illustration. I’m really intrigued by this apparent distinction between practical art and fine art. There’s a really interesting overlap between the disciplines.

I want to help my students to probe into this. Each of them is distinctly individual. No-one works like I do, and that’s important – I don’t want clones of myself. Of course they’ll be influenced by me as their teacher, but I try to focus on imparting and discussing ideas as opposed to the formal elements. My students include classic graphic designers, classic illustrators, but also those who do drawing, photography, painting – it’s super diverse, just like in the [Hort] office. Everyone is following the questions they’re personally interested in. I only provide space to do this, guide the group with questions – and draw upon my network to provide them with opportunities like showing their work in a gallery in Düsseldorf, or travelling to Tokyo to exchange their work with artists there, or bring in artists for talks, and introduce them to people to share their portfolio. Not to say, “this is my knowledge base and I will now impart it to you.” Working in this way is exciting, because everyone’s doing their own thing, developing along their own path side by side. We spend most of our time talking, actually. Which is a total inspiration for me too. I learn so much from our discourse.

And it keeps me young! If you work with young people, you can’t grow old. Pokémon Go? Five of my students had it. So of course I needed to see what it was, to keep up to date. I have one class where we just speak about contemporary graphic design. We don’t make anything – we just spend the whole lesson talking about things we’ve seen that inspire us. I want these students to develop their own interests – not to copy what others have done, but to find a form that relates to them, and develop a self-confidence to work on things that might not get 1000 likes on Tumblr, but actually mean something to them. Not to be pushed into the direction of self-promotion, but to find themselves first. You don’t need 1000 likes. Create something that’s relevant and interesting in real life. My teaching focus is on developing the personalities of my students, not on passing on knowledge. It’s super exciting. This daily work with people – whether my students or my colleagues at the office – is my biggest inspiration."
eikekönig  design  education  learning  howwelearn  hort  graphicdesign  art  graphics  berlin  via:jarrettfuller  teaching  howweteach  unschooling  dropouts  deschooling  play  youth  tumblr  socialmedia  discussion  conversation  interviews 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Apple and Star Wars together explain why much of the world around you looks the way it does - Quartz
"One of the most effective critiques of the totalizing approach to urban design—the Darth-design of cities, if you will—was architecture critic, activist, and theorist Jane Jacobs. Towards the end of her bestselling 1962 critique of mid-century urban design, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs recounts the number and diversity of the neighbors in the building where she worked. She reports:
“The floor of the building in which this book is being written is occupied also by a health club with a gym, a firm of ecclesiastical decorators, an insurgent Democratic party reform club, a Liberal party political club, a music society, an accordionists’ association, a retired importer who sells maté by mail, a man who sells paper and who also takes care of shipping the maté, a dental laboratory, a studio for watercolor lessons, and a maker of costume jewelry. Among the tenants who were here and gone shortly before I came in, were a man who rented out tuxedos, a union local and a Haitian dance troupe. There is no place for the likes of us in new construction. And the last thing we need is new construction.”

And added, in a forceful footnote: “No, the last thing we need is some paternalist weighing whether we are sufficiently noncontroversial to be admitted to subsidized quarters in a Utopian dream city.”

That there is little room for controversy or discord in the Death Star—amongst its legion of same-suited stormtroopers, say—may go without saying. But what of Apple?

It is clear, first of all, that the company’s success—for all the apparent imperiousness of Jobs—relied, and likely relies still, on discussion, disagreement, and diversity. Jobs himself was famously a stickler for regular “no-holds-barred” meetings in which, while his own leadership had to remain unchallenged, no other presumptions or suppositions were sacred. (Pixar’s irrepressible Alvy Ray Smith would be one of the only employees to challenge Jobs’ control of a whiteboard, part of a duel with Jobs in which dry-erase markers, presumably, stood in for sabers.)

Like the products themselves, however, Apple’s core identity relies on keeping disagreement and discord behind a tightly controlled façade. And sometimes even a tightly controlled interior; one of Jobs’ least successful management interventions on his return to Apple was a short-lived attempt to have all his many thousand employees wear the same, black, custom Issey Miyake clothing. To Jobs’ credit, he quickly withdrew the proposal—but it lived on in the many hundred black turtlenecks Miyake crafted for Jobs’ own, resulting use.

No, if there is something disturbing in the design of Apple’s own apparent Death Star, it is not so much in the company’s clearly successful internal operations, nor in its beautifully singular product range. Rather, it lies in the runaway result of this success; the way in which so many of our interactions with the world, and with each other, are now filtered through the efforts of a single, well-designed and Apple-authored interface.

And beyond well-intentioned, we might even say essential. Particularly given the disorder and predictable unpredictability of complex technological systems, we all crave, and need order. The first Star Wars shoot was so plagued with technical difficulties (and the related derision of the unionized British workforce on the Pinewood Studio lot) that more than one cast member observed that George Lucas appeared far more sympathetic to the authority and order of the Empire than the ragtag Rebel Alliance. Apple has thrived above all in the last two decades by offering the particular beauty that lies in order, organization, and simplicity, and in the predictable delight that results when something technical, unexpectedly, just works."



"We might start inside. A recent profile of Sir Jony Ive in the New Yorker by Ian Parker, “The Shape of Things to Come,” shifts seamlessly from the discussion of consumer objects to that of architecture. Ive, it is suggested, sees himself as an architect too. He finds it, he says, “a curious thing” that in design “we tend to compartmentalize, based on physical scale.” He is reported to assert that he has (in Parker’s words) “taught Foster’s architects something about the geometry of corners,” introducing a seamless, curved detail between wall and floor that now runs throughout the building’s interior.
Yet this detail, and its future life, points to what is in fact one of the main differences between design at the scale of consumer electronics, and that at the scale of architecture and the city.

Apple’s great success as a consumer-focused company is rooted in the one power a consumer has above all: choice. Apple’s products are ubiquitous, above all, because they are far better than what they compete with, a quality that comes precisely from the tight control that Apple exerts on them and their design. But, at the point we don’t like our device, we can—and will—buy a different and better one—from Apple, or from some as-yet-unimaginable competitor.

Yet it is in the nature of architecture that it offers no such choice—the more so the bigger it gets. We can, if we are lucky, sell a house we don’t like. But we can’t sell or dispose of the terrible building across the road. And architecture involves many more people than those who design it, or even pay for it. Myself, I keep thinking of the cleaning staff of the new Apple headquarters; it is for these people, above all, that the usual, clunky detail of wall-meeting-floor exists, with a skirting board to hide the edge of the floor-wax, and catch and disguise the dirt that escapes the polishers. One hopes a special, super-functional polishing device has been designed for them, that will seamlessly clean and feather the floor-wax as it slowly curves into the wall—but one fears that it has not. One thinks as well of Apple’s desk-bound employees, who, so as to preserve the clean lines of the building’s exterior, will not be able to open windows in their offices—despite the Bay Area’s preposterously perfect climate. (“That would just allow people to screw things up,” Jobs apparently declared.)

But here is where the design of products and buildings is most different. The particular conundrum solved by the best teams of architects and city-builders (including all of us as citizens) is how to balance a whole set of competing demands, physical, environmental, and social, against each other—including the demands of the powerful against the needs, and rights, of the powerless.

As we attempt to design 21st-century cities for an increasing landscape of uncertainty, this is an important lesson to remember. Instead of single, grand projects, the staying-power of a city depends on a million connections between its inhabitants, and the natural and technological systems that sustain them. Cities designed tabula rasa, as Jane Jacobs cogently characterized it a generation ago, lack this robust resilience. Instead, their monumental visions of order turn out to hide brittleness, fragility, and frequent catastrophe. Even the most seemingly ordered long-lived city-grid—Manhattan, Barcelona, even San Francisco—simply allows us to better negotiate what is, in reality, a riot of real-world diversity.

It is in this light, perhaps, that one might also examine Apple’s greatest points of corporate difficulty: the interface between the company’s tightly designed and integrated products, and the public software ecosystems it has developed in service of them, the App Store and the Mac App Store. To this architect, these places read a bit like a modernist cityscape; beautiful, elegant, even nice to visit—but very difficult to live in. Like such cities they are also—at least in the case of the Mac App Store—increasingly abandoned, as is usual, by those who can afford to leave.

And yet it is not really Apple that is entirely to blame. The revolution in architecture today—one where the world of screens and devices and the common infrastructure of our cities merge, overlap and combine—is much larger than even the enormous, careful company.

In an awkwardly received, hauntingly prescient diatribe while presenting the Oscar for Best Director in 1979, Francis Ford Coppola declared, “We’re on the eve of something that’s going to make the Industrial Revolution look like a small out-of-town tryout.” What Coppola saw was our world today: “a communications revolution that’s about movies and art and music and digital electronics and satellites, but above all, human talent.”

Steve Jobs’ Apple set out to help create this world—and has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams of the future. George Lucas hired Pixar’s founders, originally, to use technology to make the production of culture easier for himself and a cadre of directors. But Lucas’s digital editing system was quickly eclipsed by Apple’s own, far cheaper, Final Cut Pro—and then, of course, by the iPhones that put high-quality filmmaking and editing into all of our hands. In this, and much else, Apple has helped author a world much like that of Lucas’s far-off galaxy; where all of us are connected, and can tap into vast reserves of invisible power through the device we hold in our hands.

But as Apple’s reach extends into the city and world, into the public sphere as well as the private screen, we should do well to remember these hard-learned lessons of control and openness, hardness and softness, brittleness and resilience. After all, the only thing one can say for certain about a Death Star is that it unexpectedly explodes right before the ending."
apple  starwars  georgelucas  architecture  cities  design  stevejobs  nicholasdemonchaux  history  siliconvalley  filmmaking  urbanism  urbanplanning  control  predicatability  fragility  resilience  unpredicatability  hackers  hackability  jonyive  janejacobs  discussion  disagreement  friction  discord  serendipity  authority  cupertino  pixar  canon  openness  hardness  softness  brittleness  isolation  uncertainty 
december 2015 by robertogreco
climate science and public scrutiny - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
Eric Holthaus writes in Slate about a new climate study led by James Hansen that argues that we are likely to see ocean levels rising higher and far more quickly than has been expected. To say that the study is frightening is to master understatement.

But right now I just want to call attention to how the study is being presented to the world:
One necessary note of caution: Hansen’s study comes via a non-traditional publishing decision by its authors. The study will be published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an open-access “discussion” journal, and will not have formal peer-review prior to its appearance online later this week. The complete discussion draft circulated to journalists was 66 pages long, and included more than 300 references. The peer-review will take place in real-time, with responses to the work by other scientists also published online. Hansen said this publishing timeline was necessary to make the work public as soon as possible before global negotiators meet in Paris later this year. Still, the lack of traditional peer review and the fact that this study’s results go far beyond what’s been previously published will likely bring increased scrutiny. On Twitter, Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist whose work focuses on Greenland and the Arctic, was skeptical of such enormous rates of near-term sea level rise, though she defended Hansen’s decision to publish in a non-traditional way.


It’s interesting that Holthaus says that this decision calls for “a note of caution”: we need to be careful before placing any trust in studies that haven’t been peer-reviewed. And that’s true — but not the primary lesson to be taken from the decision Hansen and his co-authors have made.

Hansen et al. are saying that having their conclusions — and the data from which they drew those conclusions — evaluated in as ruthlessly public a way as possible is infinitely more important than keeping any possible errors secret or achieving maximal prestige through publishing in a Big Journal. They are saying: What we believe we have discovered matters enormously, and therefore we want to expose everything we have done to the most rigorous possible scrutiny. That means opening their work to the world and saying: Go at it. When Holthaus says that this decision “will likely bring increased scrutiny” — well, yes. Precisely the point. Feature, not bug.

So whatever you think about what’s happening to our climate — and therefore to “our common home” — I don't see how you can’t applaud the way Hansen and his co-authors are handling the presentation of their work. This is science done in the most ethically responsible, and most ethically urgent, way imaginable. Every scholar ought to pay close attention to how this scholarship is being put before the world — and everyone who shares “our common home” ought to pay attention to how the ongoing public peer-review plays out."
scrutiny  alanjacobs  science  climatechange  urgency  review  2015  ericholthaus  jameshansen  discussion  debate  ethics 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS
"GRACE LEE BOGGS: Well, I had no idea what I was gonna do after I got my degree in philosophy in 1940. But what I did know was at that time, if you were a Chinese-American, even department stores wouldn't hire you. They'd come right out and say, "We don't hire Orientals." And so the idea of my getting a job teaching in a university and so forth was really ridiculous. And I went to Chicago and I got a job in the philosophy library there for $10 a week, And so I found a little old Jewish woman right near the university who took pity on me and said I could stay in her basement rent-free. The only obstacle was that I had to face down a barricade of rats in order to get into her basement. And at that time, in the black communities, they were beginning to protest and struggle against rat-infested housing. So I joined one of the tenants' organizations and thereby came in touch with the black community for the first time in my life.

BILL MOYERS: One of her first heroes in that community was A. Philip Randolph, the charismatic labor leader who had won a long struggle to organize black railroad porters. In the 1930s. on the eve of World War II, Randolph was furious that blacks were being turned away from good paying jobs in the booming defense plants.

When he took his argument to F.D.R., the president was sympathetic but reluctant to act. Proclaiming that quote 'power is the active principle of only the organized masses,' Randolph called for a huge march on Washington to shame the president. It worked. F.D.R. backed down and signed an order banning discrimination in the defense industry. All over America blacks moved from the countryside into the cities to take up jobs — the first time in 400 years — says Grace Lee Boggs, that black men could bring home a regular paycheck.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: And when I saw what a movement could do, I said, "Boy, that's what I wanna do with my life."

GRACE LEE BOGGS: It was just amazing. I mean, how you have to take advantage of a crisis in the system and in the government and also press to meet the needs of the people who are struggling for dignity. I mean, that's very tricky.

BILL MOYERS: It does take moral force to make political decisions possible.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Yeah. and I think that too much of our emphasis on struggle has simply been in terms of confrontation and not enough recognition of how much spiritual and moral force is involved in the people who are struggling.

BILL MOYERS: Well, that's true. But power never gives up anything voluntarily. People have to ask for it. They have to demand it. They have-to--

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Well, you know as Douglas said, "Power yields nothing without a struggle." But how one struggles I think is now a very challenging question.

BILL MOYERS: She would learn a lot more about struggle from the man she married in 1952 — Jimmy Boggs, a radical activist, organizer, and writer. They couldn't have been outwardly more different — he was a black man, an auto worker and she was a Chinese-American, college educated philosopher — but they were kindred spirits, and their marriage lasted four decades until his death.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I think that I owe a great deal of my rootedness to Jimmy because he learned to write and become a writer because in his illiterate community nobody could read and write. He picked cotton, and then went to work in Detroit. He saw himself as having been part of one epoch, the agriculture epoch, and now the industrial epoch, and now the post-industrial epoch. I think that's a very important part of what we need in this country, is that sense that we have lived through so many stages, and that we are entering into a new stage where we could create something completely different. Jimmy had that feeling. "



"BILL MOYERS: And you think that this question of work was at the heart of what happened-- or it was part of what happened in Detroit that summer?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I don't think it's that they were conscious of it, but I thought-- what I saw happen was that young people who recognized that working in the factory was what had allowed their parents to buy a house, to raise a family, to get married, to send their kids to school, that was eroding. They felt that-- no one cares anymore.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: And what we tried to do is explain that a rebellion is righteous, because it's the protest by a people against injustice, because of unrighteous situation, but it's not enough. You have to go beyond rebellion. And it was amazing, a turning point in my life, because until that time, I had not made a distinction between a rebellion and revolution. And it forced us to begin thinking, what does a revolution mean? How does it relate to evolution?"



"BILL MOYERS: The conundrum for me is this; The war in Vietnam continued another seven years after Martin Luther King's great speech at Riverside here in New York City on April 4th, 1967. His moral argument did not take hold with the powers-that-be.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I don't expect moral arguments to take hold with the powers-that-be. They are in their positions of power. They are part of the system. They are part of the problem.

BILL MOYERS: Then do moral arguments have any force if they--

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Of course they do.

BILL MOYERS: If they can be so heedlessly ignored?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I think because we depend too much on the government to do it. I think we're not looking sufficiently at what is happening at the grassroots in the country. We have not emphasized sufficiently the cultural revolution that we have to make among ourselves in order to force the government to do differently. Things do not start with governments--

BILL MOYERS: But wars do.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: There's big changes--

BILL MOYERS: Wars do. Wars do.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Wars do. But positive changes leaps forward in the evolution of human kind, do not start with governments. I think that's what the Civil Rights Movement taught us.

BILL MOYERS: But Martin Luther King was ignored then on the war. In fact, the last few years of his life, as he was moving beyond the protest in the South, and the end of official segregation, he was largely ignored if not ridiculed for his position on economic equality. Upon doing something about poverty. And, in fact, many civil rights leaders, as you remember, Grace, condemned him for mixing foreign policy with civil rights. They said; That's not what we should be about.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: But see, what I hear in what you're saying is a separation of the anti-war speech of the peace trajectory, from the other things that Martin said. He was talking about a radical revolution of values. And that radical revolution of values has not been pursued in the last forty years. The consumerism, and materialism, has gotten worse. The militarism has continued, while people are going around, you know just using their credit cards. All that's been taking place. And so, would he have continued to challenge those? I think he would. But on the whole, our society has not been challenging those, except in small pockets.

BILL MOYERS: He said that the three triplets of society in America were; Racism, consumerism or materialism and militarism. And you're saying those haven't changed.

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I'm saying that not only have those not changed, but people have isolated the struggles against each of these from the other. They have not seen that they're part of one whole of a radical revolution of values that we all must undergo. "



"BILL MOYERS: Yes, but where is the sign of the movement today?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I believe that we are at the point now, in the United States, where a movement is beginning to emerge. I think that the calamity, the quagmire of the Iraq war, the outsourcing of jobs, the drop-out of young people from the education system, the monstrous growth of the prison-industrial complex, the planetary emergency, which we are engulfed at the present moment, is demanding that instead of just complaining about these things, instead of just protesting about these things, we begin to look for, and hope for, another way of living. And I think that's where the movement -- I see a movement beginning to emerge, 'cause I see hope beginning to trump despair.

BILL MOYERS: Where do you see the signs of it?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I see the signs in the various small groups that are emerging all over the place to try and regain our humanity in very practical ways. For example in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will Allen, who is a former basketball player has purchased two and a half acres of land, with five greenhouses on it, and he is beginning to grow food, healthy food for his community. And communities are growing up around that idea. I mean, that's a huge change in the way that we think of the city. I mean, the things we have to restore are so elemental. Not just food, and not just healthy food, but a different way of relating to time and history and to the earth.

BILL MOYERS: And a garden does that for you?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Yes. A garden does all sorts of things. It helps young people to relate to the Earth in a different way. It helps them to relate to their elders in a different way. It helps them to think of time in a different way.

BILL MOYERS: How so?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Well, if we just press a button, and you think that's the key to reality, you're in a hell of a mess of a human being."



"BILL MOYERS: You know, a lot of young people out there would agree with your analysis. With your diagnosis. And then they will say; What can I do that's practical? How do I make the difference that Grace Lee Boggs is taking about. What would you be doing?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I would say do something local. Do something real, however, small. And don't diss the political things, but understand their limitations.

BILL MOYERS: Don't 'diss' them?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Disrespect them.

BILL MOYERS: Disrespect them?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: Understand their … [more]
via:jackcheng  2007  graceleeboggs  activism  gardens  gardening  civilrightsmovement  us  prisonindustrialcomplex  education  climatechange  protest  change  revolution  democracy  struggle  rebellion  racism  socialism  occupation  riots  righteousness  injustice  justice  martinlutherkingjr  jimmyboggs  aphiliprandolph  detroit  evolution  changemaking  consumerism  materialism  militarism  vietnamwar  morality  power  grassroots  war  economics  poverty  government  systemsthinking  values  christianity  philosophy  karlmarx  marxism  humanevolution  society  labor  local  politics  discussion  leadership  mlk 
june 2015 by robertogreco
FutureEverything 2015: Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie on Vimeo
"From New York Times R&D Labs, Alexis Lloyd and Matt Boggie talk about our possible media futures, following the early days of the web - where growth was propelled forward by those making their own spaces online - to the present, where social platforms are starting to close down, tightening the possibilities whilst our dependency on them is increasing. Explaining how internet users are in fact participatory creators, not just consumers, Alexis and Matt ask where playing with news media can allow for a new means of expression and commentary by audiences."
public  media  internet  web  online  walledgardens  participation  participatory  2015  facebook  snapchat  open  openness  alexisloyd  mattboggie  publishing  blogs  blogging  history  audience  creativity  content  expression  socialnetworks  sociamedia  onlinemedia  appropriation  remixing  critique  connection  consumption  creation  sharing  participatoryculture  collage  engagement  tv  television  film  art  games  gaming  videogames  twitch  performance  social  discussion  conversation  meaningmaking  vine  twitter  commentary  news  commenting  reuse  community  culturecreation  latoyapeterson  communication  nytimes  agneschang  netowrkedculture  nytimesr&dlabs  bots  quips  nytlabs  compendium  storytelling  decentralization  meshnetworking  peertopeer  ows  occupywallstreet  firechat  censorship  tor  bittorrent  security  neutrality  privacy  iot  internetofthings  surveillance  networkedcitizenship  localnetworks  networks  hertziantribes  behavior  communities  context  empowerment  agency  maelstrom  p2p  cookieswapping  information  policy  infrastructure  technology  remixculture 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Lost Art of Talk | CTQ
"One Friday two years ago, our school had an unusually long lock-down drill. A lock-down is a drill, similar to fire and tornado drills, where teachers and students go through the steps they would take in the event of an active shooter or a hostage situation.

We have these drills about once a month. I’m lucky to have a classroom in our 75-year-old building that is attached to a long, narrow closet. After my students hustled in and sat down, I turned off the light, and because the drill went on longer than normal, the kids started telling stories. The moment took on a summer-camp feel. We were sitting cross-legged in a small, tight circle in the dark.

There was 100% engagement around the circle. No side-bar conversations. No one was checking cell phones. After one kid told a story, there would be laughter or questions or a small moment of lull, until another kid said, “Yeah that reminds me about once in fourth grade…,” and we were off again, a “real or imagined narrative” rolling out naturally, first-draft fresh.

“We should do this every Friday,” somebody said.

“Can we?” another student asked.

“I like that idea,” I said. It felt subversive, but I knew I could defend this practice in the scope of my curriculum.

I teach creative writing at a large urban school, but anyone who teaches anything anywhere on the planet could do this activity. Oral Tradition Friday (which has morphed into just Oral Friday, with all the attendant high school snickers and winks) hits every speaking and listening standard for social studies and science classrooms as well. Oral Friday has been going on now in my freshman and sophomore classes for two years, and it is, by far, the most successful, engaging lesson I “teach” all week long.

Professional Growth Fridays in my junior and senior classes developed along the same pattern. One Friday, I had assigned a very technical, informational article about how writers select a point of view from which to write a story. My students had annotated the text and were prepared to discuss it. But the weather was perfect and little birds were begging us to come outside. So I told my students to leave everything in the classroom including their painstakingly annotated margins, and we went outside, sat in a circle and discussed point of view. Specifically, we talked about how the article applied to their own writing choices. Now, we do this every Friday. One student is elected to find an article about the professional or technical side of writing, distribute it to the class, and lead the discussion as it applies to their work.

When I was growing up as the youngest child in a family of five, we always ate dinner together and seemingly— although my memory may have taken a few instances and extrapolated them into an every dinner staple—afterwards we had what my father dubbed “roundtables.” I don’t remember many of the topics, which tended to center around current events, University of Kentucky basketball, the weather – we were farmers— but I remember the feelings it gave me: the feeling of struggling to figure out how to say what I wanted to say and the more important feeling of being taken seriously by an adult when I talked.

Talking to students is a powerful instructional tool, but allowing students to talk is an even more powerful one. Make your classroom a place where students can talk about ideas, practice the art of spoken persuasion or storytelling, or inquiry. I have elected Fridays as the day we talk because Fridays, as every educator knows, holds magical powers. The weekend stands within reach. The sun shines a little brighter. Use the charming force of that day to initiate learning that doesn’t appear to be learning."
conversation  discussion  talk  pedagogy  2015  lizprather  learning  teaching  howweteach  writing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
I don’t know what to do, you guys | Fredrik deBoer
[See also the notes in this bookmark, which reference this article at one point: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:13419c858fc0 ]

"So, to state the obvious: Jon Chait is a jerk who somehow manages to be both condescending and wounded in his piece on political correctness. He gets the basic nature of language policing wrong, and his solutions are wrong, and he’s a centrist Democrat scold who is just as eager to shut people out of the debate as the people he criticizes. That’s true.

Here are some things that are also true.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman — smart, well-meaning, passionate — literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word “disabled.” Not repeatedly. Not with malice. Not because of privilege. She used the word once and was excoriated for it. She never came back. I watched that happen.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete who tried to fit organizing meetings around classes and his ridiculous practice schedule (for which he received a scholarship worth a quarter of tuition), be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences. He wasn’t a homophobe, or transphobic, or a misogynist. It turns out that 20 year olds from rural South Carolina aren’t born with an innate understanding of the intersectionality playbook. But those were the terms deployed against him, those and worse. So that was it; he was gone.

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran who had served three tours and had become an outspoken critic of our presence there, be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to “man up” and speak out about the war. Because apparently we have to pretend that we don’t know how metaphorical language works or else we’re bad people. I watched his eyes glaze over as this woman with $300 shoes berated him. I saw that. Myself.

These things aren’t hypothetical. This isn’t some thought experiment. This is where I live, where I have lived. These and many, many more depressing stories of good people pushed out and marginalized in left-wing circles because they didn’t use the proper set of social and class signals to satisfy the world of intersectional politics. So you’ll forgive me when I roll my eyes at the army of media liberals, stuffed into their narrow enclaves, responding to Chait by insisting that there is no problem here and that anyone who says there is should be considered the enemy.

By the way: in these incidents, and dozens and dozens of more like it, which I have witnessed as a 30-hour-a-week antiwar activist for three years and as a blogger for the last seven and as a grad student for the past six, the culprits overwhelmingly were not women of color. That’s always how this conversation goes down: if you say, hey, we appear to have a real problem with how we talk to other people, we are losing potential allies left and right, then the response is always “stop lecturing women of color.” But these codes aren’t enforced by women of color, in the overwhelming majority of the time. They’re enforced by the children of privilege. I know. I live here. I am on campus. I have been in the activist meetings and the lefty coffee houses. My perspective goes beyond the same 200 people who write the entire Cool Kid Progressive Media.

Amanda Taub says political correctness “doesn’t exist.” To which I can only ask, how would you know? I don’t understand where she gets that certainty. Is Traub under the impression that the Vox offices represents the breadth of left-wing culture? I read dozens of tweets and hot take after hot take, insisting that there’s no problem here, and it’s coming overwhelmingly from people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Well, listen, you guys: I don’t know what to do. I am out of ideas. I am willing to listen to suggestions. What do I do, when I see so many good, impressionable young people run screaming from left-wing politics because they are excoriated the first second they step mildly out of line? Megan Garber, you have any suggestions for me, when I meet some 20 year old who got caught in a Twitter storm and determined that she never wanted to set foot in that culture again? I’m all ears. If I’m not allowed to ever say, hey, you know, there’s more productive, more inclusive ways to argue here, then I don’t know what the fuck I am supposed to do or say. Hey, Alex Pareene. I get it. You can write this kind of piece in your sleep. You will always find work writing pieces like that. It’s easy and it’s fun and you can tell jokes and those same 200 media jerks will give you a thousand pats on the back for it. Do you have any advice for me, here, on campus? Do you know what I’m supposed to say to some shellshocked 19 year old from Terra Haute who, I’m very sorry to say, hasn’t had a decade to absorb bell hooks? Can you maybe do me a favor, and instead of writing a piece designed to get you yet-more retweets from Weird Twitter, tell me how to reach these potential allies when I know that they’re going to get burned terribly for just being typical clumsy kids? Since you’re telling me that if I say a word against people who go nuclear at the slightest provocation, I’m just one of the Jon Chaits, please inform me how I can act as an educator and an ally and a friend. Because I am out of fucking ideas.

I know, writing these words, exactly how this will go down. I know Weird Twitter will hoot and the same pack of self-absorbed media liberals will herp de derp about it. I know I’ll get read the intersectionality riot act, even though everyone I’m criticizing here is white, educated, and privileged. I know nobody will bother to say, boy, maybe I don’t actually understand the entire world of left-wing politics because I went to Sarah Lawrence. I know that. But Christ, I wish people would think outside of their social circle for 5 minutes.

Jon Chait is an asshole. He’s wrong. I don’t want these kids to be more like Jon Chait. I sure as hell don’t want them to be less left-wing. I want them to be more left-wing. I want a left that can win, and there’s no way I can have that when the actually-existing left sheds potential allies at an impossible rate. But the prohibition against ever telling anyone to be friendlier and more forgiving is so powerful and calcified it’s a permanent feature of today’s progressivism. And I’m left as this sad old 33 year old teacher who no longer has the slightest fucking idea what to say to the many brilliant, passionate young people whose only crime is not already being perfect."

[also posted here: http://qz.com/335941/im-fed-up-with-political-correctness-and-the-idea-that-everyone-should-already-be-perfect/ ]
freddiedeboer  politics  politicalcorrectness  discourse  2015  culture  pc  jonathanchait  liberalism  liberals  amandataub  megangarber  alexpareene  left  patriarchy  marginaalization  weirdtwitter  gender  race  ableism  racism  sexism  homophobia  inclusion  exclusion  intersectionalpolitics  progressivism  debate  discussion  prohibition  allies  kindness  empathy  inlcusivity  inclusivity 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Grand Rounds: The Beast of the Block (H/T to Audrey Watters)
[This URL links to the comment by Audrey Watters:

"I have a bunch of thoughts here:

1) I support people's decision to block, even if it means they're avoiding disagreements. Like I said in my post, social media is intellectual and emotional work, work we do for free. People should not feel compelled to engage with people, whether they agree or disagree. I think it's unfair to demand others pay attention to us by hopping, un-beckoned, into their feeds. I think it's unfair to demand that people respond to us online. I think it's unfair to @-mention people to bring them into an argument or discussion they weren't in. To do this often involves power and privilege in ways that is unexamined. You say you poke. I get it. I poke. But we need to recognize that constantly being poked is exhausting. Emotionally exhausting.

2) I definitely support Diane Ravitch's decision to block you or me or anyone she chooses to. She has over 100K followers on Twitter, on an unverified account. Verified accounts give users tools to handle the incredible amount of messages that one receives when one has a high number of followers. (I have less than a third of the number, and I tell you, it is overwhelming.) If she needs to take measures to make her feed tolerable, so be it. I have also tussled with her online; she hasn't blocked me, but we don't follow each other and I try not to @-mention her. (I subtweet or use her name, not her handle.) It's not that I don't want to engage with her. It's that I don't really see the point of doing so on Twitter.

3) I don't think you're a troll. I've told you that before. But I do think you can be a sea lion. (http://wondermark.com/1k62/ ) "If I see a comment wander by the I disagree with, agree with, wonder about, want to poke at, I'll poke. If someone doesn't want to get poked at for something they said on Twitter, I'm continue to wonder why they said it on Twitter." -- that's pretty classic sea lioning. And I think we all need to be aware of these sorts of interjections and interactions. (You write that you don't know why you were blocked. Maybe it was something other than what you said. Maybe it was how you said it? How often you said it? I don't know, but it seems like it's worth a little introspection.) We presume a lot when we jump into people's mentions unannounced. We can still preach and advocate online without @-mentioning people we disagree when we do so."

[Below are some related tweets that I made prior to seeing Audrey's replies, which are much better than what I said. I had never hear the term ‘sea lion’ before and that's specifically what I was getting at:

“From 2012: “unleashing a temporary tweetmob on people to discourage dissent… gums up the conversational works” http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/why-you-shouldnt-retweet-the-haters/254300/
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/560903816116051969

"That post is about retweets, but I think the same applies for .@ replies.
[image of person with bat in hand, gang of buddies just behind]"
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/560904364651343872

"To be more clear, I’m referring especially to the bit that includes the phrase “reasonable disagreement.” https://pic.twitter.com/xA6j6ZzFRd "
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/560908340247543808

"and especially with RTs + .@ replies that *initiate* an interaction instead of an individual reply in good faith of beginning a conversation"
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/560910624826204160 ]

[Also for comparison (via: https://twitter.com/mpershan/status/560882491205373952 and https://twitter.com/mpershan/status/560882582163050498 ):

“On gentle pushback.”
http://ryanbrazell.net/on-gentle-pushback/

and “I don’t know what to do, you guys” or “I’m fed up with political correctness, and the idea that everyone should already be perfect”
http://fredrikdeboer.com/2015/01/29/i-dont-know-what-to-do-you-guys/
http://qz.com/335941/im-fed-up-with-political-correctness-and-the-idea-that-everyone-should-already-be-perfect/ ]

[These two also relate:
“Ask Not For Whom The Bell Trolls; It Trolls for Thee.” (Lindy West and her troll)
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/545/if-you-dont-have-anything-nice-to-say-say-it-in-all-caps?act=1

“Win of the Day: Woman Defeats Twitter Troll With Words, Kindness on MLK Day”
http://thedailywh.at/2015/01/win-day-woman-defeats-twitter-troll-words-kindness-mlk-day/

“The Newsroom: Santorum on Gay Rights” (Clip from Season 1 Episode 6 via https://twitter.com/jonathanzhou_/status/560844926615703552 )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBnk2aKsIQA ]
audreywatters  comments  twitter  replies  socialmedia  blocking  2015  sealions  interjection  interaction  dianravitch  discussion  argument  dissent  harassment  civility  tone  subtweets  disagreement  privilege  engagement  freddiedeboer  trolls  thenewsroom  lindywest  ijeomaoluo  ryanbrazell 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Pastry Box Project: Jason Santa Maria
"When I want to find out more about my own work, I ask a question. When someone asks me to look at their work, I ask a question. It’s a silly thing to say, but it took me years to do that. 

It’s silly because it’s probably obvious to you, or to anyone who’s thought about it for a moment: If you want to get a better understanding of something, asking a question is infinitely more useful than making a statement. 

It took me years to get there because I fell into the same trap many young designers do when in a critique—I tried to participate by offering answers. 

Answers are appealing, of course, as is the idea of a charismatic leader who has pockets full of them. But of all the work I’ve done, the projects I consider most successful were accomplished by teamwork. Answers shouldn’t come from one single person, no matter how skilled they may be. Instead, they come as a result of discussion among peers. 

Asking questions is at the heart of collaboration, more so than any project management software or process. And if you want to truly collaborate, I’ve found you need to allow yourself to be someone without the answers."
questions  listening  collaboration  2014  askingquestions  curiosity  answers  leadership  criticism  howwework  tcsnmy  design  teamwork  discussion  conversation  questionasking 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Mastering the Art of Sparking Connections
"1. People are the key ingredients.

2. The more varied the group, the more valuable the connections and outcome.

3. To foster a spirit of improvisation, create a comfortable environment.

4. We value discussion over presentation

5. Each camp is a series of small and loosely-joined events.

6. We value intimacy over publicity.

7. Productive discussions happen more easily with thoughtful, informed facilitation.

8. End — don't start — with a trust fall.

9. The better the planning, the smoother and more spontaneous the outcome.

10. We value experimentation and evolution over perfection.



How Spark Camp Will Evolve"
events  sparkcamp  amandamichel  andypergam  mattthompson  amywebb  planning  values  diversity  improvisation  comfort  conferences  discussion  conversation  howto  loosely-joined  intimacy  publicity  facilitation  eventplanning  unconferences  experimentation  perfection  trust  inclusion  conferenceplanning  accessibility  inclusivity  inlcusivity 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Social media, research and museums — a concrete example | iCHSTM 2013 blog
I’m not suggesting that this short exchange of tweets is particularly unique or mindbreaking. We didn’t go deep into the subject and we stopped after short number of turns. But it is typical of how social media can be used for professional purposes. In fact, over the last couple of years, I have had several conversations of this kind each month with a wide range of Twitter users, both researchers and curators and other kinds of professionals — some shorter, some longer. Discussions with Rebekah Higgitt (@beckyfh) sometimes extend over 15-25 turns with up to a handfull of interlocutors.
Social media allow for instant discussion: Within a few minutes Jaipreet, Nathaniel, David and I were engaged in a conversation about a neglected topic (the representation of smell) in the history of STM and STM museums.
Social media increase the chances of contacts between researchers and curators considerably: The four of us have never met before, and chances are low we would have had this discussion in a coffee break between conference sessions.
You don’t need to travel to meet: You can discuss at length with many people without any travel costs and minimal carbon footprint.
It’s informal: You can have a beer or take a bath while discussing serious matters.
Twitter breaks down hierarchies: It doesn’t matter who’s a senior professor and who’s a PhD candidate –the best argument creates responses, generates discussion, and increases the number of followers. It also makes turn-taking easier, and breaks down the all too common male domination in seminar discussions.
Social media nivellate cultural and linguistic barriers: It doesn’t matter if you speak with a strong accent or master the intricacies of English grammar.
Twitter isn’t built for bullshit: The 140 character limit forces you to sharpen and focus your argument.
internet  twitter  people  museums  thomassöderqvist  socialmedia  research  informal  informality  professionaldevelopment  discussion  howwework  via:tealtan 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Welcome to MAP-it | MAP-it
"MAP-it is a tool for participatory cartography and conversation. It's a low-tech mapping tool that allows you to debrief past projects, manage current ones and plan future activities. It´s a hands-on tool, an open and extendible set of icons that allows participants to make their thoughts explicit in a visual way, in the form of a map. The visual character of mapping allows participants from different backgrounds to discuss projects on equal grounds. Moreover, the mapping´s structure encourages to not only share positive experiences, but also leads to critique and debate. Communication is opened up and details come to surface using the various MAP-it elements."
mapping  projectmanagement  documentation  cartography  maps  communication  conversation  discussion  visualization 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Subject, Theory, Practice: An Architecture of Creative Engagement on Vimeo
“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” José Ortega y Gasset

A 'manifesto' for the curious architect/designer/artist in search of depth, but in love with plenty, in the saturated world of the 21st Century.

"In a world where grazing is the norm, in which the bitesize is the ideal that conflates ease of consumption with value, where yoghurts are increased in sales price by being reduced in size and packaged like medicines, downed in one gulp; in a world where choice is a democratic obligation that obliterates enjoyment, forced on consumers through the constant tasting, buying and trying of ever more gadgets; a world in which thoughts, concepts -entire lives- are fragmented into the instantaneous nothings of tweets and profile updates; it is in this world, where students of architecture graze Dezeen dot com and ArchDaily, hoovering up images in random succession with no method of differentiation or judgement, where architects -like everyone else- follow the dictum ‘what does not fit on the screen, won’t be seen’, where attentions rarely span longer than a minute, and architectural theory online has found the same formula as Danone’s Actimel (concepts downed in one gulp, delivered in no longer than 300 words!), conflating relevance with ease of consumption; it is in this world of exponentially multiplying inputs that we find ourselves looking at our work and asking ‘what is theory, and what is practice?’, and finding that whilst we yearn for the Modernist certainties of a body of work, of a lifelong ‘project’ in the context of a broader epoch-long ‘shared project’ on the one hand, and the ideas against which these projects can be critically tested on the other; we are actually embedded in an era in which any such oppositions, any such certainties have collapsed, and in which it is our duty –without nostalgia, but with bright eyes and bushy tails untainted by irony- to look for new relationships that can generate meaning, in a substantial manner, over the course of a professional life.

This film is a short section through this process from May 2012."

This montage film is based on a lecture delivered by Madam Studio in May of 2012 at Gent Sint-Lucas Hogeschool Voor Wetenschap & Kunst.

A Madam Studio Production by Adam Nathaniel Furman and Marco Ginex

[via: https://twitter.com/a_small_lab/status/310914404038348800 ]
via:chrisberthelsen  joséortegaygasset  theory  architecture  cv  media  dezeen  archdaily  practice  nostalgia  actimel  marcoginex  2013  tcsnmy  understanding  iteration  darkmatter  certainty  postmodernism  modernism  philosophy  relationships  context  meaningmaking  meaning  lifelongproject  lcproject  openstudioproject  relevance  consumption  canon  streams  internet  filtering  audiencesofone  film  adamnathanielfurman  creativity  bricolage  consumerism  unschooling  deschooling  education  lifelonglearning  curation  curating  blogs  discourse  thinking  soundbites  eyecandy  order  chaos  messiness  ephemerality  ephemeral  grandnarratives  storytelling  hierarchies  hierarchy  authority  rebellion  criticism  frameofdebate  robertventuri  taste  aura  highbrow  lowbrow  waywards  narrative  anarchism  anarchy  feedback  feedbackloops  substance  values  self  thewho  thewhat  authenticity  fiction  discussion  openended  openendedstories  process  open-ended 
march 2013 by robertogreco
In defense of open source innovation and polite disagreement | hello.
"One dynamic that happens in a lot of idealist communities: we praise our opponents who make even a small step in our direction, but we attack our own mercilessly when they make even a small step away from us. It’s counter-productive.

I don’t know what MakerBot will do regarding the Replicator 2′s licenses and source material, but if they do something I disagree with, I will talk to them in the same tone that I’d expect them to address me in if I did something they disagreed with. I won’t call them names.

So: if you’ve got an objection to what MakerBot or anyone in your own community does, speak up. But do it politely. Before you say anything, phrase it as if you had the person you’re addressing in front of you. Check the language with your grandmother, if you need to. If she tells you you’re being impolite, listen to her. She’s probably right. She changed your diaper once, you know. She knows when your poo stinks."
counterproductivepractices  civility  respect  discussion  debate  attack  praise  criticism  brepettis  replicator2  tomigoe  idealism  opensource  disagreement  2012  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
How to Kill a Troll - Incisive.nu
"When it comes to actually changing minds, I think we’re stuck with love.

Recognizing the humanity of people who do awful things is one of the core challenges of being human. (We have enough trouble recognizing it even in people who are like us.) But it’s the only way out. Even when the worst trolls are beyond visible redemption, the way we handle them is visible to so many others who are still capable of feeling empathy or recognizing pain or changing their minds.

As Dr. King put it:
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

That’s from a sermon I reread every few weeks. I’ll probably be reading for the rest of my life as a part of my struggle with my own deep-rooted anger.

There’s a segment of This American Life that illustrates the dynamic perfectly. It’s about John Smid, a man who used to run an “ex-gay” Christian ministry—called, paradoxically, Love In Action—and the activist whose willingness to be human, vulnerable, and rational gradually led Smid to understand the harm he was doing. The activist never talks about love, but that’s what this is. And it’s exactly what King was talking about:

While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community.

I have tremendous empathy for people who want to skewer and shame their attackers. I catch myself falling into it even though I know it’s an obscene waste of energy and time. It is utterly unfair that the targets of hatred and meanness and violence are nearly always the only ones who can break the cycle of mutually assured hostility. And it’s not the responsibility of the victims of this crap to act with grace.

I doubt that I’ll ever have much empathy for people who talk about women as “stupid whores,” or who try to shut us up with violence or threats of violence.

But my best shot in fraught discussions is try to remember that actions rooted in love are the most practical tool we have. It’s a position of extraordinary resilience, too, because it doesn’t rely on the back and forth of an exchange of blows. It’s steady, unexpected, and weirdly difficult to defend against—the rhetorical equivalent of stepping inside someone’s guard. And it can’t be faked.

Love is not all we need. But combined with civic firmness from platform-makers, drastically better law enforcement for actions that cross legal boundaries, and the simple rejection of vileness by the people who genuinely know better, it’s our best shot at evolving beyond this troglodytic bullshit.

This is how that MLK sermon ends:
Throw us in jail and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory.

Internet, I love you. Let’s try."
erinkissane  love  mindchanges  discussion  trolls  mlk  2012  wisdom  change  makingchange  canon  hate  misogyny  sexism  harassment  thisamericanlife  martinlutherkingjr  mindchanging 
july 2012 by robertogreco
russell davies: On mending, mice and seams
"I've been writing a lot in googledocs recently… I wrote a longish piece about something, shared it with a bunch of colleagues and they swarmed all over it with really smart suggestions and improvements. It was brilliant…

…They weren't meddling, they were mending. I think it's something to do with the openness of it and the way that people can agree with each other. If one person says a sentence doesn't work - it's just their opinion, if a few do then it goes beyond personal and becomes fact.

Which talk of mending led me to notice this video when it raced past my social windscreen:

This is also about mending. Mending that celebrates the seams…

In essence - "Broken pieces are bonded and the line of the repair is decorated with gold".

Wouldn't this be a great way to represent editing and collaboration? - to show the seams, to illustrate how much writing is a communal process. And maybe it could be an inspiration for networked writing - how would you decorate these seams on the web?"
cowriting  editing  discussion  conversation  online  web  netwrokedwriting  collaborative  collaboration  annegalloway  mattjones  openness  googledocs  writing  collaborativewriting  mending  seamlessness  seams  2012  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
Comments Off - Matt Gemmell
"The argument against comments:

1. They’re for a tiny minority. …

2. You should never read the bottom half of the internet. …

3. Comments encourage *unconsidered responses*. …

4. Comments allow anonymity and separation of your words from your identity. …

5. Comments create a burden of moderation on the blog owner."

"If you read something here, and want to reply, please do one of the following, in order of preference:

1. Write a response on your own blog.

2. Reply on Twitter.

3. Email. I discourage this (I get a lot of email, and I think that the vast majority of replies to published articles should themselves be public), but it’s available as an option"
commentsoff  mattgemmell  discussion  engagement  commenting  blogging  2011  blogs  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
How One Kitchen Table in Brooklyn Became a School for Coders - Steven Heller - Technology - The Atlantic
""We modeled it after our ideal teaching environment," Pitaru says about the genesis, "which means we only take as many students as can fit around our kitchen table (a maximum of five, because the small number is ideal for group-thinking). The seating arrangement is important, as we all get to talk and look at each other rather than face a big projection on a wall."…

Participants are FIFO or first-come-first-serve. As for instructors "We love having guest instructors mainly because it allows us to become students and learn something new," Pitaru says…

Pitaru was recently contacted by someone who wants to open a Kitchen-Table-Coders in London. "Trademarking doesn't worry me," he says. "I'll be flattered if due to our efforts, more kitchen tables are used for learning code, and happy to help anyone who wishes to do so.""

[See also: http://kitchentablecoders.com/ ]
hacking  iphone  processing  workshops  stevenheller  davidnolen  amitpitaru  kitchentablecoders  deschooling  unschooling  discussion  conversation  groupsize  tcsnmy  pedagogy  teaching  development  roundtable  learning  coding  slow  humanscale  small  brooklyn  nyc  education  lcproject  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Claire Warwick's Blog: Inaugural lecture
"One of the great assets of the digital, and what it encourages and enables is multiple voices entering into a dialogue and creating new knowledge out of conversation and discussion."

"I was lucky enough to be taught by some of the greatest international authorities yet it was never assumed that their voice in the conversation was necessarily more important than mine. Far more important than who was talking was the quality of thought expressed and the nature of knowledge that emerged from the dialogue, and I think that's quite right."

"DH is…a collaborative field. We have to learn to work together and understand the different languages that are spoken by different partners in the dialogue: geeks, humanities scholars, information professionals, technical support people & indeed the public. In that sense, therefore, the voice of the DH scholar is of use as an interpreter between different languages & cultures. But interpreters cannot, but the nature of their job, exist in isolation."
information  mediadiversity  communication  diversity  complexity  email  affordances  gender  curating  curations  digitaldiversity  publicengagement  blogging  blogs  mentorships  mentoring  community  collaboration  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  socialization  media  context  understanding  meaningmaking  meaning  makingmeaning  hierarchy  dialogue  dialog  knowledge  lectures  2012  digital  discussion  conversation  learning  digitalhumanities  ethnography  education  teaching  academia  clairewarwick  mentorship  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
A bit about Dodo in English | Dodo ry
"Dodo is an environmental organisation for urban folk which relies on the power of knowledge and argument. Dodo is about talking and doing. It organises public events, discussion groups, projects and more. Dodo brings together people from different backgrounds to exchange expertise, experiences and ideas. We work out ideas and then we work on some of them to carry out experiments that might improve things.

Dodo has a flexible and open ethos which makes it easy for talk to lead to action. Many of its important projects started out as ideas or visions developed in small discussion groups. The offspring of Dodo include the wind power company Lumituuli Ltd, Manombo Rain Forest Conservation Project and Dodona Combo Discussion Forum Project."
finland  actionminded  dodo  discussion  argument  knowledge  community  doing  events  projectideas  exchange  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
Why the Facebook Group My Students Created for Themselves is Better than the Discussion Forum I Created for Them. « Douchy’s Weblog
"While at first, the control-freak in me wanted to send them all back to the “official class discussion forum”,  The advantages of the Facebook group have become increasingly compelling and I’m wondering whether it’s time to let the forum I created go the way of cassette tapes and typewriters.  Why is a Facebook group better? For one thing, Facebook is a digital home for many students.  So a group based there is comfortable to them – it’s on their virtual turf. Because of this, the Facebook group is even more of a desire path than my discussion forum is.

Some other advantages of the Facebook group over the discussion board I created are: …"
facebook  teaching  interaction  learning  collaboration  students  2011  ict  lms  studentcentered  discussion  forums  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
IAmA 15 year old who unschools, AmA : IAmA
"I just got back from Grace's Not Back To School Camp where I spent one week with a group of other kids who are also unschooling, a great majority of these kids are unbelievably smart and directed.

My personal history is that I went to public school from preschool to grade 8, where although my grades were top notch, but I was so depressed that I couldn't keep it up. I stopped feeling interested in anything. Eventually I got my parents to take the book seriously and let me drop out for a while. Since then my mental health has grown leaps and bounds, I have rediscovered my love for marine biology, made friends across the country, and become a more mellow person in general. I love life now.

I really hope I didn't make a small spelling mistake that I missed in proofreading this, just to have everyone judge my method of schooling based on it.

TL;DR: I don't go to school, I teach myself. I went from a depressed shell of a kid to someone who loves life and is less scared of the future."
unschooling  deschooling  reddit  education  schooling  schools  schooliness  glvo  experience  alternative  homeschool  gracellewellyn  notbacktoschoolcamp  learning  freedom  discussion  2011  via:lizettegreco  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
Boston Review — Richard Nash and Matt Runkle: Revaluing the Book [Bit about preferences, maligning, and extrapolations applies broadly]
"It has been a fascinating phenomenon in the discussion around publishing how adversarial people get around other people’s choices. So if someone says “I like an ebook,” a person will respond “Ohhh, I can’t believe—how can you do that?” It’s like that obnoxious person who you don’t want to go out to dinner with anymore because they can’t just order what they want, they have to comment on what you’re eating as well. What’s been epidemic in this discussion is that when both camps talk about their own preferences, they have to malign other people’s preferences too, and make grandiose extrapolations about the consequences of other people’s preferences for their own. If they like printed books, they should be buying the damn things instead of whining about other people’s preferred mode of reading. So I’m tremendously optimistic about the future of the book as an object. I think the worst years of the book as an object have been the last 50 years."
future  books  literature  publishing  vision  perspective  via:frankchimero  richardnash  mattrunkle  via:ayjay  preferences  defensiveness  offense  attack  discussion  politics  2011  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Doors of Perception weblog: In Praise of the Feral: Update on Xskool
"Convention centres are expensive, filled with hard surfaces, and - unless you're in the convention business - somewhere else than the subjects discussed in them. Being separated from the thing itself, they tend to foster groupthink - and abstract groupthink at that.

A feral encounter, in contrast, is one that has changed from being domesticated, to untamed. It brings people into contact with the lived reality of a situation. It is guided by its context - not by an agenda, and not by a curriculum.

In preparing for the challenges ahead we need more of the latter kinds of encounter.

This is the main conclusion so far from the xskool story…

The xskool opportunity is real, and pressing. Every design school in the world could use its support. All that's missing is a framework and resources to make it happen as a distributed service."
johnthackara  education  xskool  feral  untamed  unschooling  deschooling  learning  context  2011  design  designeducation  lcproject  discussion  conversation  facilitators  events  community  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Creator Of TED Aims To Reinvent Conferences Once Again | Co. Design
"The format may or may not work -- most likely it will depend on the delicate chemistry between the pairing -- but in some ways, Wurman’s “conversation-over-presentation” approach seems in keeping with a current trend toward applying collaborative inquiry and discussion to today’s big issues and challenges. Of late, various types of innovation salons and conversational events have been popping up: Recently, Seth Goldenberg (a Bruce Mau Design alumni) launched the “IDEAS Salon,” initially in Rhode Island in April with a follow-up Silicon Valley event this fall. Instead of giving presentations, the high-level guests joined together to grapple with weighty questions; Goldenberg wanted to get away from what he dubs “the sage on stage” model used at TED and other conferences, in favor of a more conversational format. Similarly, the design firm Method has been hosting a series of salons in New York to explore big ideas in a more open and freewheeling manner."
education  ted  conferences  dialogue  saulwurman  2011  www.www  improvisation  vulnerability  sageonthestage  conversation  collaboration  collaborativeinquiry  discussion  tedtalks  tcsnmy  classideas  dialog  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
leading and learning: Let's celebrate those few creative teachers -and even fewer creative schools. They are the future.
"If teachers have in their minds the need to develop their class as a learning community of scientists and artists then during the year, as skills develop, greater responsibility can be passed over to students…

The success of any class will depend on the expectations, attitudes and skills the students bring with them ; what they are able to do with minimal assistance.

If the school has a clear vision of the attributes they would like their students to achieve then there will be a continual growth  of  independent learning  competencies from year to year.   Schools that achieve such growth in quality learning usually have spent considerable time developing a set of shared teaching and learning beliefs  that all teachers agree with and see purpose in. Underpinning such beliefs are assumptions about how students learn and the need to create the conditions for every learner to grow towards their innate potential."
tcsnmy  teaching  leadership  administration  toshare  schools  schoolculture  newzealand  progressive  art  science  learning  emergentcurriculum  relationships  growth  unschooling  deschooling  sharedvalues  sharedbeliefs  howchildrenlearn  discussion  management  whatmatters  customization  control  bestpractices  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Lurking is Not a Static State ~ Stephen's Web
"Adding to some of the recent discussion on lurking in online learning, Sahana Chattopadhyay questions the "pejorative connotations" of lurking and points to Wenger, White and Smith's concept of "legitimate peripheral participation... a crucial process by which communities offer learning opportunities to those on the periphery." Valuable lurking behaviours include active lurking, where they "may take something from the community and pass it along to others using different channels," and network building through the creation of commonality. This points to the key role of lurking. "By virtue of being distant from the core of the activities, they may spread themselves thinly across multiple communities and are in the key position to know what is happening where." Good post, well researched."

[Summary of this article: http://idreflections.blogspot.com/2011/07/lurking-is-not-static-state.html ]
lurking  stephendownes  community  communities  online  peripheralparticipation  behavior  networks  commonality  discussion  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
ZURB – How Design Teamwork Crushes Bureaucracy
"People who can’t communicate w/ each other get stuck making complicated ‘stuff’ to make up for it. Frustration turns into PowerPoints, complicated charts, & lots of meetings…requires layers upon layers of management to keep organized…weighs companies down…creates no direct value to customers. This is why there are so many lame products in the world. There’s not a wireframe or chart or design method that is going to save you if you can’t look your team members in the eye."

"Our teamwork made up for the lack of ‘stuff’ other companies would use because we:

Shared a clear goal that we all understood…Worked physically close to each other & stayed connected by IM and phone when we didn’t…Shared feedback w/ each other & from customers out in the open every day, which builds confidence in arguing & makes new conversations really easy to beginStayed together through thick and thin to build trust in one another"
teamwork  teams  administration  management  tcsnmy  toshare  bureaucracy  organizations  goals  purpose  community  communication  collegiality  feedback  constructivecriticism  argument  arguing  discussion  proximity  powerpoint  irrationalcomplexity  rules  control  missingthepoint  trust  2011  zurb  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Implementing Harkness - Jodi's school docs
"Day One - An introduction to a new discussion method

Day Two - How you read and write is just as important as how you speak and listen

Day Three - Preparing a more formal demonstration discussion

Brief interlude - Meet my classroom

Day Four - Introducing discussion tracking"
via:lukeneff  discussion  education  teaching  pedagogy  debriefing  reflection  writing  english  reading  classideas  huma8  conversation  facilitating  tcsnmy  harkness  seminar  seminarmethod  harknesstable  jodirice  2007  harknessmethod  harknesstables  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Squishy Not Slick - Squishy Not Slick
"Squishy Teaching =

Spontaneous - Unique - Particular - Tailored - Entangled - Mixed together - Woven - Patched - Organic - Rebel Forces - Poetic - Ambiguous - Emotional - Non-linear - Non-sequenced - Inquisitive - Inextricably-linked - Constructivist - Experiential - Holistic - Democratizing - Authentic - Collaborative - Adaptive - Complicated - Contextual - Relational

Slick Teaching =

Mass produced - Psychologically manipulative - Planned years in advance - Manufactured - Imperial - Hegemonic - Afraid - Spreadsheeted - Shallow - Narcotizing - Cauterizing - Anti-intellectual - Uncritical - Uncreative - Emotionless - Scripted - Juking the stats - Dropout factories - Assembly-lined"
lukeneff  teaching  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  squishy  slick  frankchimero  pedagogy  holisticapproach  holistic  constructivism  democratic  ambiguity  audiencesofone  individualization  emotions  empathy  authenticity  spontaneity  collaboration  collaborative  adaptability  adaptive  context  contextual  relationships  meaning  sensemaking  meaningmaking  meaningfulness  dialogue  discussion  dialog  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Antilunchism (Ftrain.com)
"The structure of the City encourages exactly this sort of interaction, but culturally it feels weird to just drop in on folks. Maybe it feels like that because people are not my native medium—so in order to fake being good at people I have some rules. For instance, I try to have questions. I ask, How are your kids? Who are you suing? What are you up to with the iPad? I assume that everyone's time is worth more than my own, because they are in their office and what the hell am I doing. So far no one seems unhappy I stopped by, and I'm pretty good at telling when people are unhappy with me, because I am a very anxious person. Usually they just put me to work, like at the office in midtown, or show me a PowerPoint. People always have PowerPoints they would like to share. I also make sure to leave."
cities  dropins  meetings  lunchism  paulford  nyc  people  introverts  conversation  offices  work  discussion  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Tools for Teaching - Preparing to Teach the Large Lecture Course
"Be clear about what can reasonably be accomplished by lecturing. Research shows that lecturing is as effective as other instructional methods,such as discussion, in transmitting information but less effective in promoting independent thought or developing students' thinking skills (Bligh, 1971). In addition to presenting facts, try to share complex intellectual analyses, synthesize several ideas, clarify controversial issues, or compare and contrast different points of view"
teaching  tips  howto  learning  lecturing  lectures  via:adamgreenfield  presentations  criticalthinking  problemsolving  informationtransmission  independentthought  highereducation  highered  discussion  conversation  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
John Francis walks the Earth | Video on TED.com
"And so I realized that I had a responsibility to more than just me, and that I was going to have to change. You know, we can do it. I was going to have to change. And I was afraid to change, because I was so used to the guy who only just walked. I was so used to that person that I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t know who I would be if I changed. But I know I needed to. I know I needed to change, because it would be the only way that I could be here today. And I know that a lot of times we find ourselves in this wonderful place where we’ve gotten to, but there’s another place for us to go. And we kind of have to leave behind the security of who we’ve become, and go to the place of who we are becoming. And so, I want to encourage you to go to that next place, to let yourself out of any prison that you might find yourself in, as comfortable as it may be, because we have to do something now."
environment  walking  sustainability  ted  change  johnfrancis  yearoff  growth  self  identity  gamechanging  cv  earthday  responsibility  earth  communication  listening  talking  thinking  reflection  learning  conversation  perspective  banjo  music  ashland  oregon  cascadia  porttownsend  washingtonstate  storytelling  writing  classideas  education  pedagogy  teaching  tcsnmy  discussion  socraticmethod  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Rob Neyer Joins SB Nation, Becomes Part Of 'Us' Not 'Them' - SBNation.com
"I've never thought of myself as a member of us rather than them.

I've got a lot of passions, and generally I won't bore you with them. But the passion I indulge almost every day of my life is good writing. I crave it, and when I find it, I treasure it. I surround myself with books full of good writing, and I can't get through the day without scribbling down a brilliant sentence or delightful word in a thick journal that's always close at hand.

Also, it's my business. I'm one of the lucky few who gets paid to indulge his first love.

Where the good writing comes from, though, is irrelevant. All that matters is the writing.

You're paid to write? I know lots of professional writers who either never learned to write well, or have forgotten. You work for a famous website or newspaper? The big boys don't have a monopoly on good writing, let alone facts."
writing  media  blogging  journalism  sports  commenting  via:jessebrand  robneyer  conversation  discussion  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » You’d Be Right To Wonder
"What I learned through that was the importance of making things — but it’s not just the made-thing but the making-of-the-thing, if you follow. In the *making you’re also doing a kind of thinking. Making is part of the “conversation” — it’s part of the yammering, but with a good dose of hammering. If you’re not also making — you’re sort of, well..basically you’re not doing much at all. You’ve only done a *rough sketch of an idea if you’ve only talked about it and didn’t do the iteration through making, then back to thinking and through again to talking and discussing and sharing all the degrees of *material — idea, discussions, conversations, make some props, bring those to the discussion, *repeat."
julianbleecker  making  make  doing  do  tcsnmy  lcproject  rapidprototyping  prototyping  iteration  thinking  designfiction  action  actionminded  glvo  cv  reflection  discussion  conversation  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Back into the Digital Breach: Help Me Out! | Beyond School
"10. I’m a talker. Listen to me for ten minutes & I’ll show you I understand more than the test scores show — & I’ll be way more interesting when doing it.9. I’m an artist…8. I’m a clown. Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert do history the way I’d like to.…7. I’m a musician…6. I’m interested in film-making…5. I’m a poet / rapper / songwriter…4. I’m a gamer. Let me imagine video games about this stuff & write business pitches explaining how they would help students learn Chinese history through gaming.3. I’m into business. Let me create business plans selling historical tours to China (or other ideas)…2. I’m a creative writer, not an academic essay writer…1. I’m a journalist. Let me write feature articles about stuff that interests me in a magazine or newspaper forma…

If you’re none of the above? Talk to me."

[see also: http://hoc10s2.wikispaces.com/Tech+Page ]
clayburell  teaching  projectbasedlearning  expression  writing  alternative  learning  history  video  videogames  film  filmmaking  fiction  classideas  learningstyles  entrepreneurship  music  art  drawing  conversation  discussion  pbl  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
OK Do | Research Through Practice – Monitor MEMEX Founder Boy Vereecken on Oeuvre and Design Education
"Q: What kinds of methods do you use in your teaching?

The methods are very much influenced by the fact that instead of giving classes or assignments, I have appointments with the Master students in the course of their final projects. The meetings are based on guiding and reflection.<br />
I usually introduce the students to design research through my own research-based projects. …discussion certainly plays an important role in workshops.

Q: This brings to my mind the phrase “doing research by design”, which points out research being part of the design process.

I definitely consider that an applicable approach. In the context of design, the tendency is to conceive research and execution as separate entities. Students tend to be done with the research part when moving on to working with visual means. The main aim of the platform is to encourage students to integrate research more profoundly into their practice."
education  research  teaching  design  learning  lcproject  openstudio  glvo  workshops  modeling  teacherasmasterlearner  teacherascollaborator  discussion  conversation  memex  okdo  aaltouniversity  boyvereecken  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Parenting: Is Amy Chua right when she explains "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" in an op/ed in the Wall Street Journal? - Quora
See also: http://shanghaiist.com/2011/01/10/tales_of_a_chinese_daughter_on_the.php AND http://bettymingliu.com/2011/01/parents-like-amy-chua-are-the-reason-why-asian-americans-like-me-are-in-therapy/ all via http://twitter.com/alfiekohn/status/26291670614016000

Still haven'y (yet!) seen anyone consider the difference in effectiveness/side-effects between being a "Chinese mother" in Asia and being a "Chinese mother" in less diverse areas. Does it make a difference to the child if he/she sees peers who are subjected to significantly different parenting approaches, as opposed to being 'the norm'?
parenting  education  amychua  children  chinese  culture  discussion  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Community and Context: Thoughts on Closing Comments - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic
"I don't want to rule out ever turning off comments again, but I do know that we'd execute very differently. Oddly, I'm heartened that we've developed enough of a reputation as an open and good place to talk about technology that the inability to interact on the site is perceived as an "epic fail," as one reader told me. We are a community now; certain rules have emerged.

And here's the other lesson I learned, which may be more generalizable. I'm an experimenter and so are many of the staffers here at The Atlantic. We've been tremendously lucky that most of the things we've tried have worked. But you don't always experiment for the good times. You need to have things not work sometimes. There's nothing like a (very) public learning experience to focus the mind on the things that matter for your site."
community  commenting  alexismadrigal  theatlantic  online  blogging  transparency  jaronlanier  wikileaks  tinkering  failure  experimentation  learning  trust  interaction  discussion  jayrosen  patricklaforge  internet  web  2010  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
more than 95 theses — A quote from Kenneth Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941)
"Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before.You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally’s assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress.

It is from this ‘unending conversation’ that the materials of your drama arise."
conversation  perspective  opposition  discussion  kennethburke  academia  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Escape from Thunderdome « Snarkmarket [One of three Snarkmarket posts on Marc Ambinder's "I Am a Blogger No Longer". Links within and a great comment thread too.]
"Ambinder totally made the right choice…because…blogging in a Thunderdome of criticism is a really bad idea…it erodes the soul, &…it’s probably not something that a person should do.

There’s a line of thinking that says the whole point of blogging is to…engage with The People Out There. (Especially Perhaps If They Are Vehement Critics.) I think that line of thinking is wrong…a blog at its best is a dinner party, & if you're the guy who shouts me down whenever I rise to speak, who questions my very motives for throwing this party in the first place: you are not invited.

Now, happily, it’s a special kind of dinner party. Anyone can listen in, & the front door is ajar…there’s probably always an extra place set, Elijah-style. But even so: it’s a space that belongs to its authors, & they set its rules. Maybe that’s easier said than done when you’re blogging about the Tea Party…but I don’t know. There’s a red delete button next to every comment…and it’s pretty easy to click."
robinsloan  blogging  marcambinder  snarkmarket  manners  netiquette  conversation  politics  discussion  argument  etiquette  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
TodaysMeet
"TodaysMeet helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in realtime.

Encourage the room to use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and use that feedback to tailor your presentation, sharpen your points, and address audience needs."
backchannel  twitter  onlinetoolkit  classideas  conferences  meetings  teaching  presentations  discussion  collaboration  communication  technology  chatroom  backchanneling  todaysmeet  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Why Tenure is Unsustainable and Indefensible - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com [pary of a discussion looking at multiple sides of the issue: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/7/19/what-if-college-tenure-dies]
"If you were the C.E.O. of a company and the board of directors said: “We want this to be the best company of its kind in the world. Hire the best people you can find and pay them whatever is required.” Would you offer anybody a contract with these terms: lifetime employment, no possibility of dismissal, regardless of performance? If you did, your company would fail and you would be looking for a new job. Why should academia be any different from every other profession?"
academia  education  highered  tenure  discussion  innovation  prediction  learning  policy  colleges  universities  economics  money  security 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » Nervous Writing / Well-Trained Teachers
"Last week when I told this story, a tech director raised her hand and said “You know, I think it’s interesting that your son is nervous about sharing his writing. Does he ever get nervous about his writing for school?” I thought for a second and said “Um, no…you know you’re right. He hardly thinks twice about that stuff.” She said “I’m guessing he’d be more motivated to work on his Percy Jackson story to make it good than he is his homework.” And ever since I’ve been wondering why we can’t instill a healthy nervousness every now and then into our writing process, now that we have these ready made audiences (or at least easily found audiences). All it would take is a willingness on our parts to let kids write about the things they truly love from time to time and connect that to an audience larger than the classroom. Shouldn’t be too hard these days…"
fanfiction  education  willrichardson  writing  apprehension  children  audience  importance  authenticity  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  learning  anonymity  sharing  criticism  constructivecriticism  discussion  schools  teaching 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Slow IT | The Fifth Conference
"Slow doesn’t necessarily mean being slow in the literal sense of the word. Slow is about doing things with the right timing, the right concentration, the right approach...using good quality materials or resources, & if necessary, taking your time. & it also refers to the way we consume, or eat: slow eaters take their time to savor the meal, to experience the flavors...Consider the difference in eating culture between US & Italy. Dinner in US is one-hour business. Therefore when Americans spend time in Italy they really suffer. First they have to wait until about 9:00 for dinner & then they have to stay put at the table for hours...highlights a cultural clash between Anglo Saxon world, which is all about speed & a ‘just do it’ attitude, versus Rhineland model which is more contemplative & reflective. Not that the one is better than the other of course. Anglo Saxon approach tends to be more dynamic & innovative while in the Rhineland model we can get stuck in endless discussions."

[via: http://liftlab.com/think/laurent/2010/05/21/slow-it-did-we-actually-even-%E2%80%98think%E2%80%99-today/ ]
slow  slowfood  education  learning  slowit  rontolido  schools  schooling  deschooling  unschooling  food  culture  society  reflection  realtime  technology  time  slowness  sloweducation  attention  discussion  conversation 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The National Paideia Center
"The National Paideia Center improves the ability of adults and students to think and communicate so that each might be good citizens, earn a decent living, and lead a good life.

...Paideia teachers use three instructional techniques: 1. didactic instruction for increasing students’ factual recall, 2. intellectual coaching for developing students’ literacy skills, and 3. seminar dialogue to strengthen students’ conceptual understanding.

In Paideia classrooms, all students are involved in a wide range of academic work and social practices needed to achieve the following objectives: * to become good citizens, * to earn a decent living, * and to lead a good life.

Paideia classrooms feature seminar dialogue to teach [Phillips Middle School students engaged in an intellectual dialogue during a Paideia Seminar.] critical and creative thinking. Paideia schools are built on the idea that public schooling is preparation for becoming educated over the course of one’s life time."

[See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paideia_Proposal AND http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paideia ]
paideia  education  teaching  learning  pedagogy  socraticmethod  literature  seminarmethod  discussion  connversation  criticalthinking  citizenship 
march 2010 by robertogreco
voiceofsandiego.org - A School Where You Shouldn't Raise Your Hand
"Muir has changed the way it looks at learning. It pulled teachers out of the limelight. It let kids drive the discussions. And it focused on individualized projects that pull from different subjects, such as having students study their personal heroes and making websites about them.

Three years ago, the K-12 magnet school in Clairemont turned to an educational philosophy called Paideia, a relatively rare approach that emphasizes freewheeling seminars, personalized projects and critical thinking. Lectures are frowned on. Nobody has the one right answer. Muir's immediate goal was to get students more engaged in class, but the method has a broader aim -- to teach kids to think, read and write critically all their lives."
paideia  seminarmethod  teaching  conversation  discussion  sandiego  projectbasedlearning  criticalthinking  magnetschools  pbl 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Keep Your Identity Small
"I think what religion and politics have in common is that they become part of people's identity, and people can never have a fruitful argument about something that's part of their identity. By definition they're partisan. ... Most people reading this will already be fairly tolerant. But there is a step beyond thinking of yourself as x but tolerating y: not even to consider yourself an x. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you."

[Related: http://docs.freebsd.org/cgi/getmsg.cgi?fetch=506636+0+/usr/local/www/db/text/1999/freebsd-hackers/19991003.freebsd-hackers ]
culture  science  politics  religion  paulgraham  identity  psychology  conversation  communication  personality  argument  discussion  thinking  online  bias  conflict  debate 
september 2009 by robertogreco
When Computers Leave Classrooms, So Does Boredom - Chronicle.com
"discourage professors from using PowerPoint...often lean on [it]...as a crutch rather than using it as a creative tool. Class time should be reserved for discussion...especially now that students can download lectures online & find libraries of information on Web. When students reflect on college years later in life, they're going to remember challenging debates & talks with their professors. Lively interactions are what teaching is all about...but those give-and-takes are discouraged by preset collections of slides...The least boring teaching methods were found [via a survey of students] to be seminars, practical sessions & group discussions."...biggest resistance to Mr. Bowen's ideas has come from students...a few have been thrown off by the new system...used to being spoon-fed material that is going to be quote unquote on test...have been socialized to view educational process as essentially passive. The only way we're going to stop that is by radically refiguring the classroom"
education  presentations  powerpoint  teaching  academia  learning  engagement  discussion  seminars  interaction  lecture  technology  tcsnmy  lcproject 
july 2009 by robertogreco
This Blog Sits at the: Issac Mizrahi on Metro North
"wonderful piece of advertising...certain emotional tonality that distinguishes it from most fashion advertising I've ever seen...has a narrative verve...But...semantics of the narrative have been withheld from us. So the fun of the ad is figuring out what's up." + comment: "There's a meta-story here, as well. In his post, Grant highlighted the Paper Monster graffiti detail, riffed a few hypotheses on what it might mean & then the actual PaperMonster wrote in clarifying that the graffito was one of his tags. So the Mizrahi ad has now become, at least for the several people involved in this interaction, a platform for dialogue & a "place where people are meeting." As with the best viral marketing, the distinctions between the realms of media & "life" have dissolved & we are left with a multiplicity of forces exerting influence on each other. Advertising in the age of the critically literate consumer & the internet has the opportunity to create this mechanism & the chance to exploit it."
advertising  isaacmizrahi  fashion  grantmccracken  internet  medialiteracy  literacy  viral  marketing  dialogue  discussion  metastories  graffiti  conversation  meaning  storytelling  understanding  dialog 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Is (constructive) conversation moving offline?
"We certainly haven’t found a more efficient answer to bullies and trolls than disappearance, taking conversations private to stop exposing them. It is both understandable and a shame, much value getting confined in emails while it could become searchable. We need more solutions to make online conversation more civilized, while keeping the liberty of tone, diversity and genuineness that characterized the early days of the web."
conversation  online  discussion  trolls  society  etiquette  laurenthaug 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Thoughts on Assessment | blog of proximal development
"students had turned to community of peers to request feedback...none...asked me...didn’t see me as contributor in community...associated me w/ corrections & grades. At this stage, they were not ready for corrections yet...simply interested in having conversations about ideas...needed somebody to talk to & as teacher, I was not at top of list...we don’t spend enough time providing feedback for students & most of what teachers consider teaching & assessment consists of marking/correcting student work...does not engage students in rich interactive processes of talking about work & ideas. Initially, my role as teacher was limited to first presenting material (& initiating conversations) & marking work. I was absent from that rich part...in the middle where students continued classroom conversations online by brainstorming on blogs, requesting & providing feedback & engaging in conversations about...key ideas...Instead of engaging with them, I just waited for them to submit their work."
konradglogowski  teaching  grades  learning  assessment  engagement  community  blogs  peers  tcsnmy  grading  discussion  conversation  hierarchy  pedagogy  democracy  dialogue  teacheraspeer  teacherascollaborator  collaboration  dialog 
february 2009 by robertogreco
How are you coping with collapse-anxiety? - Boing Boing
"Like everyone, I'm starting to freak out a little about the state of the economy. Many of my good friends are out of work -- and some of them have been out of work for a longer period than I would have thought possible. It seems like every day, I pass another closed store or cafe on my way to the office. And of course, the suggestion file here at Boing Boing is full of stories of the collapsing property bubble in Dubai, the implosion of the South Chinese manufacturing cities, and a million indicators, large and small, of a crisis that is global, deep and worsening.
2009  economics  collapse  crisis  dystopia  banking  finance  corydoctorow  discussion  boingboing  fear  anxiety  society  optimism  pessimism 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Blogging died in 1882 « Learn Online
"We were all then convinced that it was necessary for us to speak, write, and print as quickly as possible and as much as possible, and that it was all wanted for the good of humanity. And thousands of us, contradicting and abusing one another, all printed and wrote - teaching others. And without noticing that we knew nothing, and that to the simplest of life’s questions: What is good and what is evil? we did not know how to reply, we all talked at the same time, not listening to one another, sometimes seconding and praising one another in order to be seconded and praised in turn, sometimes getting angry with one another - just as in a lunatic asylum." - Leo Tolstoy: A Confession. 1882

[pair with: http://radar.oreilly.com/2006/10/homophily-in-social-software.html ]
tolstoy  quotes  blogging  echochambers  forums  socialmedia  slow  conversation  discussion  1882  listening  philosophy  writing  wisdom 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Studywiz Spark » Studywiz Spark Mobile
"Studywiz Spark is the first and only Dynamic Learnspace with a dedicated mobile learning interface designed specifically the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, Asus EeePC and other handheld devices.

Students can access Studywiz Spark Mobile to take tests, access real time information, check their calendars and even join in class discussion groups, increasing the opportunities for learning in their safe, personalized Dynamic Learnspace. Parents can also keep up to date with their child’s school life by accessing reports and viewing assignments anytime, anywhere."
mobile  iphone  ipodtouch  schools  education  vle  calendar  messaging  testing  assessment  polling  discussion  chat  rss 
january 2009 by robertogreco
LibraryThing | Catalog your books online
"Enter what you're reading or your whole library—it's an easy, library-quality catalog. LibraryThing also connects you with people who read the same things."
books  onlinetoolkit  learning  discussion  cataloging  librarything  socialsoftware  collaboration  socialnetworking  libraries  catalog  folksonomy  organization  tagging  tags  database  reading  community  social  online  literature  web 
july 2008 by robertogreco
How to Disagree
"If we’re all going to be disagreeing more, we should be careful to do it well...Most readers can tell difference between mere name-calling & carefully reasoned refutation, but...intermediate stages...here’s an attempt at a disagreement hierarchy."
writing  arguments  communication  language  howto  paulgraham  blogging  psychology  debate  dialog  discourse  discussion  internet  web  logic  netiquette  etiquette  conflict  conversation  culture  philosophy  argument  dialogue 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Internet-bob Info Page
"English (USA) The Internet-BOB list started as a spinoff of the Bridgestone Owner's Bunch, a club for owners of Bridgestone Bicycles. Bridgestone hasn't made bicycles for almost a decade now, but this list continues as a place for people who liked the Br
bikes  discussion 
december 2007 by robertogreco
OLPC | MetaFilter
"Seen any OLPC news stories for christmas??"
olpc  discussion 
december 2007 by robertogreco

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