Recognizing Our Liberation

Recognizing Our Liberation
Digitally Lit #245 – 5/9/2020

Hi all, welcome to issue #245 of Digitally Literate.

This week I was honored and humbled to be a recipient of the 2021 Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies Research. This is an amazing collection of scholars to be associated with.

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


Spot robot patrolling Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Not entirely excited about a future where the robots come to round up the humans and get us to keep social distancing. Read more here.


We Are a New Board Overseeing Facebook. Here’s What We’ll Decide.

As Facebook has been sharing plans for addressing hate speech, harassment, and protecting people’s safety and privacy on their network, the company has been suggesting that they would bring together an oversight board. This week the first set of members of that board was announced.

The oversight board is currently constituted of 20 people (4 co-chairs & 16 members). They indicate the following in this NY Times editorial:

The board members come from different professional, cultural and religious backgrounds and have various political viewpoints. Some of us have been publicly critical of Facebook; some of us haven’t. But all of us have training and experience that can help the board in considering the most significant content decisions facing online communities. We are all independent of Facebook. And we are all committed to freedom of expression within the framework of international norms of human rights. We will make decisions based on those principles and on the effects on Facebook users and society, without regard to the economic, political or reputational interests of the company.

It remains to be seen whether this is a step in the right direction, or just a shield for their reputation.

I’m an Investigative Journalist. These Are the Questions I Asked About the Viral “Plandemic” Video.

A 25-minute clip of an upcoming documentary featuring a well-known anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist was viewed millions of times this week on social media, before Facebook and YouTube pledged to remove copies of it from their platforms.

“Plandemic,” a 26-minute video that promises to reveal the “hidden agenda” behind the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the link above, the reporter shares the checklist they use to interrogate content.

  • Is the presentation one-sided?
  • Is there an independent pursuit of the truth?
  • Is there a careful adherence to the facts?
  • Are those accused allowed to respond?
  • Are all sources named and cited, and if not, is the reason explained?
  • Does the work claim some secret knowledge?

The profound civics lesson kids are getting from the U.S. government’s response to the covid-19 pandemic

A great piece from Nicole Mirra and Antero Garcia about youth learning and participating in democracy.

Instead of accusing our young people of lacking what it takes to maintain and carry democratic institutions into the future, it’s time we take a hard look at the contradictions between what we tell them about this country and what they see with their own eyes. This reckoning is the first step to crafting more meaningful civic education.

Seven Distance Learning Priorities to Consider Before Reopening Schools

School leaders are now weighing how and if to reopen schools in the fall or sooner.
If you are tasked with helping your institution develop a strategy for opening these documents from the CDC should be at the top of your list as you develop a plan. You can read more here.

Programs that decide to remain online should have a plan for following:

  • Ensure students have devices and internet connectivity
  • Know when to pause
  • Examine what kind of skills would be helpful for students who struggled
  • Understand how people self-motivate
  • Understand that emergency remote distance learning has a shelf life
  • Starting the school year with testing won’t help
  • Get past “falling behind”

The OER Starter Kit Workbook

The OER Starter Kit Workbook is a remix of the OER Starter Kit to include worksheets to help instructors practice the skills they need to confidently find, use, or even create open educational resources (OER).

They also include an entire set of Google Docs to expedite this journey.


Google Lens can now copy and paste handwritten notes to your computer

Google has added a very useful feature to Google Lens, its multipurpose object recognition tool. You can now copy and paste handwritten notes from your phone to your computer with Lens, though it only works if your handwriting is neat enough.

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In order to use the new feature, you need to have the latest version of Google Chrome as well as the standalone Google Lens app on Android or the Google app on iOS (where Lens can be accessed through a button next to the search bar). You’ll also need to be logged in to the same Google account on both devices.



If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together.

Lila Watson

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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. Feel free to pay attention if you’d like to check my notes. 🙂

Every Monday, Metallica has been uploading a new show to its YouTube page, recording of previous performances from around the world. So far the band has shared recordings of performances from Germany, San Francisco, Ireland, and Paris, among others.

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1 comment

  1. Aaron Davis
    May 12, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Congratulations Ian on the award.

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