Do The Work

Do The Work
Digitally Lit #250 – 6/6/2020

Hi all, welcome to issue #250 of Digitally Literate. Each week in this newsletter, I synthesize the news of the week in education, technology, & literacy. 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

Do The Work – To ensure that we don’t fall back to sleep in a state of complacency, we need to prepare for when the protests, social media buzz, & hashtags fade. In short, we need to do the work.

To address these challenges, we are creating a learning community to support individuals as they become allies, and then eventually accomplices for anti-racist work.

Please review & identify the level you believe best suits your needs. We will create safe, brave spaces to support your learning & growth. We need facilitators…so please consider helping out with this work.


Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.


The Story Has Gotten Away From Us

Betsy Morais and Alexandria Neason with a reset of the events that have occurred over the first sixth months of 2020.

As someone who regularly builds digital content, I really appreciate the style and design of this post. The photojournalism and writing pair nicely. You’ll also notice that the background for the page slowly fades to black as you scroll down. Awesome stuff.

The Floyd Protests Show That Twitter Is Real Life

You’ll sometimes see people suggest that social media, specifically Twitter, is not “real life.”

In this post, Charlie Warzel asks whether social media is a reflection of real life.

I reached out to Doug Belshaw to try and understand this and he suggested reading this to make sense of the society of the spectacle.

Protest misinformation is riding on the success of pandemic hoaxes

Misinformation about police brutality protests is being spread by the same sources as covid-19 denial. In a normal world, instead of worrying about Antifa bus panics, we’d be more concerned about some of the memes come to life in the boogaloo movement.

The troubling results suggest what might come next.

We’re in the middle of a widespread misinformation/disinformation war. We know that critical evaluation of online information & media literacy has been a problem for decades. We now have forces that are leaning in on this weakness to put us in different worlds.

For more on this, read this report on source hacking.

Eight Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racial Justice

Some entry points on applying VPSA (Value, Problem, Solution, Action) to talk about race, racism, and racial justice.

  • Lead with Shared Values: Justice, Opportunity, Community, Equity;
  • Use Values as a Bridge, Not a Bypass;
  • Know the Counter Narratives;
  • Talk About the Systemic Obstacles to Equal Opportunity and Equal Justice;
  • Be Rigorously Solution-Oriented and Forward-Looking;
  • Consider Audience and Goals;
  • Be Explicit about the Different Causes of Racial vs. Socioeconomic Disparities;
  • Describe How Racial Bias and Discrimination Hold Us All Back.

7 Strategies Designed to Increase Student Engagement in Synchronous Online Discussions Using Video Conferencing

Caitlin Tucker with guidance on keeping it simple as you design online video discussions.

  • Provide students with an agenda and a list of discussion questions ahead of time;
  • Communicate your expectations for participation and behavior online;
  • Ask students to generate their own discussion questions;
  • Start every virtual conferencing session with an icebreaker question or a quick check-in;
  • Use the chat window strategically;
  • Host shorter sessions with fewer students;
  • Ask students to assess their participation online.


Beware of Performative Allyship

Some signs of performative allyship:

  • The post is usually simple;
  • It almost always expresses itself as outrage, disbelief, or anger “at the injustice”;
  • It refuses to acknowledge any personal responsibility for the systemic issues that provided the context for the relevant tragedy;
  • Perhaps most noticeable, it’s usually met with praise, approval, or admiration for the person expressing it.

Activism can’t begin and end with a hashtag. Here’s what you can do instead:

  • Act with your wallet;
  • Call out people in real life;
  • Inform yourself;
  • Do something that no one will ever know.



Real Gs move in silence like lasagna.

Lil Wayne

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Digitally Literate is a weekly review of the news, notes, tips, and tricks from the week that resonated with me.

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