Learning How to Learn
Digitally Lit #217 – 10/5/2019
Hi all, my name is Ian O’Byrne and welcome to issue #217 of Digitally Literate.
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This week I posted the following:
- Shape of My Story – This is the fourth make from my Revolutionary Poets Society class. Come join us.
- What questions do parents ask teachers about media & technology? – What questions do parents ask teachers & school admins about technology? Our research group is examining questions parents have about tech use by their children.
Leaked audio was published from one of Mark Zuckerberg’s private all-staff meetings held over the summer.
In the audio, you’ll hear Zuckerberg speaking on a variety of topics from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up his company to his plans to compete with TikTok, the Chinese social network that exploded in popularity over the last year.
The full transcript is available here.
This is important as it is the closest that we’ve gotten to some unvarnished insight into Zuckerberg and his ethos for the company.
In previous issues of this newsletter, I’ve asked whether there should be limits to freedoms of speech as we engage and connect in digital spaces.
In this New York Times op-ed, Andrew Marantz writes that “noxious speech is causing tangible harm.” He cites the ideologically motivated killings in Charlottesville and El Paso and warns that something must be done to prevent extremist speech from continuing to inspire violence.
Robby Soave indicates in Reason that some of the violence highlighted in the piece doesn’t entirely hold up if you look at the data.
Today the U.S. has greater protections for free speech and less violence. The Supreme Court has recognized increasingly fewer exceptions to the First Amendment over the last several decades. The result has not been an increase in violence: The violent crime rate has plummeted since the early 1990s.
If the argument is that free speech protections must be curbed in order to stave off an epidemic of violence, then the argument should be heartily rejected. Domestically, our capacity for free speech has increased, but violence has not.
The more ubiquitous technology becomes in our lives, the more we think that it has to be everywhere. In this same line of thinking, we also believe this tired trope that “libraries will no longer matter.”
If we listen to youth…we’ll understand that they see things differently.
Yet much of the glitz may be just that—glitz. Survey data and experts suggest that students generally appreciate libraries most for their simple, traditional offerings: a quiet place to study or collaborate on a group project, the ability to print research papers, and access to books. Notably, many students say they like relying on librarians to help them track down hard-to-find texts or navigate scholarly journal databases. “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers,” as the writer Neil Gaiman once said. “A librarian can bring you back the right one.”
So-called digital natives still crave opportunities to use libraries as libraries, and many actively seek out physical texts —92percent of the college students surveyed in a 2015 study, for example, said they preferred paper books to electronic versions
An interview with journalist Manoush Zomorodi and the informal experiment in which she had thousands of volunteers agree to give boredom a try by reducing their screen time & becoming more intentional about their use of technology.
This work indicates the need to teach the nuances of when and how to use technology…and leave space for some boredom.
Watch Zomorodi’s TED Talk here.
Oakley identifies some key principles educators can use to help demystify the learning process.
- The Hiker Brain vs. The Race Car Brain – Toggling between focused and diffused thinking.
- Chains and Chunks – Thinking through identification of chains in learning…as opposed to chunks.
- The Power of Metaphor – Neural reuse, and assimilation/accommodation in learning.
- The Problem of Procrastination – Toggling between focus and relax in cognitive activity.
- Expanding Possibilities – Teach how to learn to open up possibilities.
Google has now given us an option to set search and location data to automatically disappear after a certain time. We should all use it.
Most of Google’s new privacy controls are in a web tool called My Activity.
Once you get into the tool and click on Activity Controls, you will see an option called Web & App Activity. Click Manage Activity and then the button under the calendar icon. Here, you can set your activity history on several Google products to automatically erase itself after three months or after 18 months. This data includes searches made on Google.com, voice requests made with Google Assistant, destinations that you looked up on Maps and searches in Google’s Play app store.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Digitally Literate is a synthesis of the cool stuff I find as I surf, skim, & scan the Internet each week. I take notes of everything that piques my interest, and then pull together the important stuff here in a weekly digest.