Tag Archives: Diigo

Bookmark! Critical Pedagogy

The Digital Polarization Initiative

The Digital Polarization Initiative is an attempt to build student web literacy by having students participating in a broad, cross-institutional projects around issues of digital polarization. Students obtain a deeper understanding of how web technologies shape their social and political environments, and learn that taking an active and critical stance toward these technologies can improve our society as a whole.

I can’t remember how I found this site which is infuriating because what attracted me to it was a comment about its being very deliberately a wiki site in order to promote a sharing and collaborative mien rather than a hierarchical, news streaming site (or something like that). It appealed to me because it foregrounds how much relentless internet ‘now time‘ is privileged over ‘slower’ and more thoughtful, inclusive deliberation and how that is achieved.

from Diigo http://ift.tt/2gI4g8D

Bookmark! A thousand hours


Thinking about quantifying the learning student made me reflect on time on task and whether, if an accurate measurement can be taken, more time on task would correlate to greater success (with the usual caveat about defining success). I don’t think it is always a foregone conclusion although mastery of a subject or skill is often characterised by the amount of time spent engaged in it. Time, here, is the amassed amount of hours, days or years needed to become a pianist, a professor or a potter. Is it possible to make creativity correlations? Pinheiro and Cruz (2014) itemise a series of tests to measure creativity but suggest

that the phenomenon of creativity cannot be described by any of these tests alone, but only through a battery of joint measures

Mapping Creativity: Creativity Measurements Network Analysis



from Diigo http://ift.tt/TXCD9V

Bookmark! Code acts

From University of Stirling code acts blog https://codeactsineducation.wordpress.com/

New technologies of psychological surveillance, affective computing, and big data-driven psycho-informatics are being developed to conduct new forms of mood-monitoring and psychological experimentation within the classroom, supported by policy agendas that emphasize the emotional aspects of schooling.

This blog post reminded me of a recent feature in the TES about an app which records and measures pupils’ resilience by providing them with a chipped card teachers can scan to record “the desired skill or character trait”. This hegemonic practice of imposing judgement on how a student should be or feel and measuring their progress towards achieving a prescribed optimum is at the very least unsettling, at the worst, Orwellian. The emotive computing and psycho-informatics described by Williamson are based on ‘the vision of a transparent human,’ and would allow ‘students’ emotions to be data-mined and assessed in real-time for the purposes of continuous, automated school performance measurement’. The very stuff of nightmares.

from Diigo http://ift.tt/1Rlug1X

Bookmark! Our (disconnected) Selves

Nishant Shah’s fantastic podcast on our selves in an information age.

The Disconnected Subject: The Poetics and Politics of Reticence in the Age of Data Visualisation
from Diigo http://ift.tt/2lxk7V5

Link to podcast

Lee Royal, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92098065@N06/15772517159

This podcast has brought a lot of my half-acknowledged and rather dim thoughts up to the light. Shah draws a distinction between the Information self and the Data self, conceptions of the analogue and the digital human as philosophical understandings. The Information self describes a human still exercised by information overload and the Data self, a being who accepts this overwhelming multiplicity and submits to an ontology of the human as normatively overloaded, an atomised being comprising multiple datasets, in themselves ready to be analysed and measured and yet ultimately unaccountable.

This is interesting in so many ways, not least because this feeling of internet overload is something I fairly often experience and that I have put down, frankly, to age. Sadly, (or rejoicingly) I suspect this is still an element in the mix, but it is reassuring, nonetheless, to acknowledge myself as an analogue subjectivity, one who is not habituated to an unending parade of information and who wishes to resist a data self incarnation, not content to become a dot on an infographic.

I had been thinking about lurkers in online communities and I’d downloaded some papers to read when I had time. I was disturbed by Kozinets’ (2010) almost throw-away comment that the lurker leaves “electronic shadow trails” (p.34) and I was lamenting about how it is getting more and more difficult to be online without “typing oneself into being” (Lister, 2009, p.215) and acquiescing in the neoliberal project. I love the thought of lurkers patrolling liminal spaces like shades and was upset to think that watchful, reticent, idiosyncratic, unsociable or aberrant wanderings could be surveiled. We are all lurkers in interstitial spaces at times and I’m thinking here of when we hesitate on the boundaries of a new community of practice, before we make the first tentative steps across the threshold and test out our voice. The inevitable conclusion seemed to be to come offline, but Shah’s urgent message is that these selves constitute false polarities and that we can and must conceive of the human in ways other than these.

It must be in common with most people that I want to think of myself as a unique individual  🙂 rather than a set of common computational variables. Shah illustrates how much of ourselves we have in common with each other, but rejects a conception of the human as reducible to numbers, citing the ‘myth of the gene’ for his argument. I think of poetry and how it can be the perfect, succinct and numinous capture of a common feeling (thereby available for
re-cognition), yet its expression so much the creation of one subjectivity, bearing individual stamp. This seems to crystallise for me the tension between what is measurable and what is infrangible for the human. I might be happy with an automated teacher, but Shah’s description of a world in which the Invisible Boyfriend predominates is not for me!

Shah’s account of the representational and the simulated self is apposite for education in this information age where the student is now subject, not only to the power structures of the university, often devolved to the mooc platform or to the politics of access, but also to the data analytics trope. Whilst gathering data and understanding trend is important and useful, it can’t be our only measure nor the sole determinant of our agency.

Shah says

The data self infuses affective intimacies to technological protocols that simulate social orders that can no longer be fathomed or fashioned by human intentions or accidents

That is scary, and not just for education, but if we consider that learning happens as a contingent and erratic coming together of human intention and fortuitous accident, the data self is someone to be repelled, and one in an army of selves whose march should be arrested.

(This post is linked to this one.)


Public domain image

Brave browser flips search engine model round – pay for anonymous ads and no tracking
from Diigo http://ift.tt/1TFSYis


I can’t now remember how I came across this website which is worrying in case I am claiming it as my own find when really it’s not. This is interesting and invites further exploration in itself! I bookmarked it because Brave offers a new browser model that purportedly addresses the growing public concern over the way websites track us and gather our personal data. It reminded me of reading Lister this week and underlines the tension of the uneasy relationship we maintain with online Web 2.0 affordances – we want to use them and we are aware that to do so will involve some cost to us. Brave appears to offer us more choice in what that cost comprises.

Brave points of view