Digitally Literate #233

To The Renegades
Digitally Lit #233 – 2/15/2020**

Hi all, welcome to issue #233 of Digitally Literate.

I posted and shared the following this week:

  • Happy Safer Internet Day – I’m continuing to blog for the Screentime Research Group. This is primarily for parents and educators as they think about living & learning in an age of screentime. You’ll see distilled posts that come from this newsletter. If you’d like to blog for the group…send me a note.
  • Web Literate Educator – I have been slowing revising the open educational resource (OER) for the technology classes I teach. You can follow along here on the Google Site.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Feel free to reach out and let me know what you think of this work at


My Analog Journal YouTube Channel

I love to have music playing in the background as I cook, work, and (sometimes) when I teach. I’m looking for music that I can play in the background and (hopefully) doesn’t contain expletives.

This YouTube channel is a rare gem in the wild in which they explore rare groovesin themed playlists every month. Their coffee break sessions (CBS) offer an exploration of African Grooves, Jazz from the USSR, and Japanese Funk & Soul.

You can learn more, and support this work on their Patreon page.


If you could use VR to see a dead loved one again one more time, would you want to?

You knew this use of tech was coming.

If you could use virtual reality (VR) to see a dead loved one again one more time, would you want to?

This raises questions about our framing of death in future contexts. I think we’d find ourselves in a perpetual loop of looking for answers from artificially intelligent versions of loved ones long gone.

What We Want Doesn’t Always Make Us Happy

Facebook is designed to make you anxious, depressed and dissatisfied, three states of mind that make you more vulnerable to advertising and other forms of behavioral manipulation. Small wonder, then, that people who quit using Facebook report higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of depression and anxiety [pdf].

The post also examines the disconnect between happiness and utility in looking at the value of money. People usually predict that the things they say they’d pay money for would also boost their happiness — but not always.

Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell

Companies are increasingly using automated systems to select who gets ahead and who gets eliminated from pools of applicants. For jobseekers, this can mean a series of bizarre, time-consuming tasks demanded by companies who have not shown any meaningful consideration of them.

The Original Renegade

TikTok was introduced in the United States only a year and a half ago. Norms, particularly around credit and attribution, are still being established. One of the more popular pieces of content on the network involves dancers who perform and share their choreography with others online.

Most of these dancers identify as Dubsmashers. This means, in essence, that they use the Dubsmash app and other short-form social video apps, like Funimate, ‎Likee and Triller, to document choreography to songs they love. They then post (or cross-post) the videos to Instagram, where they can reach a wider audience.

For Dubsmashers, and those in the Instagram dance community, it’s common courtesy to tag the handles of dance creators and musicians, and use hashtags to track the evolution of a dance.

This piece by Taylor Lorenz shares the challenges that occur as a creator’s content becomes popular online, and then is ultimately co-opted by the TikTok masses.

The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025

This report from JISC is the result of an experts meeting exploring assessment in universities and colleges and how technology could be used to help address some of the problems and opportunities.

JISC (formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee) is a not-for-profit) that is focused on providing relevant and useful advice for higher ed and beyond.

The report sets five targets for the next five years to progress assessment towards being more authentic, accessible, appropriately automated, continuous and secure.

  • Authentic: Assessments designed to prepare students for what they do next, using technology they will use in their careers
  • Accessible: Assessments designed with an accessibility-first principle
  • Appropriately automated: A balance found of automated and human marking to deliver maximum benefit to students
  • Continuous: Assessment data used to explore opportunities for continuous assessment to improve the learning experience
  • Secure: Authoring detection & biometric authentication adopted for identification & remote proctoring


Chrome Ad Highlighter

Google recently pushed a change to the way it displays search results, further blurring the line between ads and genuine results. This lightweight Chrome extension makes sure the difference remains crystal clear.



Unless the mass of workers are to be blind cogs and pinions in the apparatus they employ, they must have some understanding of the physical and social facts behind and ahead of the material and appliances with which they are dealing.

John Dewey

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Digitally Literate is a weekly review of the news, notes, tips, and tricks from the week that resonated with me. I leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs as I read online. Some of this I share on my social networks…much more I do not. At the end of the week, I review my notes and write up this newsletter.

I really enjoyed this video on the birth and evolution of metal. The content and quality of the Trash Theory YouTube channel is excellent if you’re looking to learn more about music.

Feel free to connect at or on the social network of your choice.

1 comment

  1. Aaron Davis
    March 3, 2020 at 6:05 am

    Aaron Davis liked this article on

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