Be Better

Be Better
Digitally Lit #256 – 7/25/2020

Hi all, welcome to issue #256 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

Next week I’m helping facilitate our professional development for the Infusing Computing project. This was to be held F2F at The Citadel with about 300 teachers from North & South Carolina. We are moving this to a virtual PD with a mix of Hopin, Canvas, and digital badges to support participants. I put together this post on four levels of real world home classrooms to help prepare for the event.

I’ll have one more issue next week, and then I’m going on a social media detox for a month. I’m calling it Aug-Ghosted. I think next month is going to be really hard for a number of reasons. I’ll offer the challenge to you all as well…if you’d like to join me. More info to come.


BANE OUTTAKES (wear a mask edition)

Bane is a little behind the times and tries to figure out why masks stopped being cool and tough.

While on the topic of masks, this post explains the different types of masks, and where/when they should be worn. I didn’t even think about wearing an accessible, deaf-friendly face mask.

Thanks to Jeremy Yanofsky for making sure I didn’t miss this video. Make sure you check out his EngageShow on YouTube for some great guidance in game based learning.


CDC statement on opening schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement this week which is watered down and likely politically driven. Thanks to this thread from Julia Marcus, there is a lot of guidance to keep you (and others) safe over the coming months.

In Defense of Our Teachers

Two narratives are starting to form as we prepare for the opening of the academic years in K-12 and higher ed.

It seems like K-12 school leaders are looking to pin the blame on teachers if schools don’t open, or if/when the coronavirus flares up with openings. In higher ed, it seems like the blame will be placed on the shoulders of students. We we discussed in last week’s issue, it seems like the prevailing guidance is that students should promise good habits and behaviors while on campus.

When it comes to the daunting question of reopening schools, America’s educators deserve a plan, not a trap.

Teaching Isn’t About Managing Behavior

Chris Emdin on reaching students where they really are.

The best teachers don’t just keep teaching. Instead, they use their pedagogy as protest: They disrupt teaching norms that harm vulnerable students. In my years in the classroom since 2001, I’ve learned something about how to do this. I call it reality pedagogy, because it’s about reaching students where they really are, making sure that their lives and backgrounds are reflected in the curriculum and in classroom conversations.

Disinformation campaigns are murky blends of truth, lies and sincere beliefs – lessons from the pandemic

Kate Starbird on how the COVID-19 pandemic has spawned an infodemic, a vast and complicated mix of information, misinformation and disinformation.

…disinformation does serve an agenda, it is often camouflaged in facts and advanced by innocent and often well-meaning individuals

A Flipped Learning Flow for Blended or Online Classes

Caitlin Tucker on using video to create a complete learning experience for students.

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While you’re thinking about supporting learners, this virtual bookroom by Clare Landrigan is genius.


Make your own chili oil

In one of the YouTube travel shows that I watch, the hosts waxed eloquently about the hot chili oil served at a restaurant. This led me to finally deal with the hot peppers I’m growing in my backyard.

My current garlic chili oil is more garlic than chili…but in a couple of weeks it should be great.



When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

Paulo Coelho

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

This post was the appropriate amount of whimsy that I needed this week.

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