Creativity is Subtraction


We improve the quality of what we are doing by reducing the quantity of what we shouldn’t be doing.

This week some of my recent research in screentime was posted. Our chapter, Co-constructing Digital Futures, is now available for #OpenReview as part of the @mitpress Works in Progress program. I worked with the brilliant Katie Paciga, Elizabeth Stevens, and Kristen Turner as we talked with our children about privacy, security, and algorithms as they use tech.

This is being published through MIT Press and they’re using an open peer review process. You can create an account and give us feedback unit October 5. Please read and comment!

Thank you to Sheri Edwards for the cover photo in this issue.

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Here at Digitally Literate, we love deepfakes.

Digital artist Jarkan, the same talented hand behind turning Millie Bobby Brown into Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger, has dipped into the world of James Bond for their latest piece.


Understanding cancel culture: Normative and unequal sanctioning

Cancel culture is a phenomenon where individuals transgressing norms are called out and ostracized on social media and other venues by members of the public. While its effects are decried by some and its existence denied by others, the processes that shape cancel culture are misunderstood.

This literature review by Hervé Saint-Louis explores how cancel culture affects people unequally by looking at the phenomenon known as the Karens.

The piece argues that cancellation can only occur if participating third parties with oversight over transgressing individuals perform sanctions.

A review of frameworks as a starting point for anti-racism content development

As content creators and learning designers, how do we start to think about and approach race and racism in our work? How do we do this individually and when working with program teams?

One possible opportunity is the Design for Diversity™ (D4D) framework. It is not specific to education or digital learning content, but the D4D framework contains tools and guided critical thinking exercises to undertake when starting work to help with “illuminating cultural and racial biases within your design, ideation, and creative processes.”

After EI, DI?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to perceive, use, understand and manage emotions.

The DQ Institute is working on the Digital Intelligence Quotient which offers an encompassing framework for thinking about digital citizenship, digital creativity and digital competitiveness.

What might digital intelligence (DI) look like, and how might we develop it?

OER and Teaching Through the Rearview Mirror

Ray Schroeder with a paragraph that has been stuck in my mind like an earworm. I will be stealing this for future discussions.

Are you and your colleagues teaching through the windshield or the rearview mirror? What steps are you taking to bring new materials and fresh experiences to your classes? Will your teaching hold up through five years? Who is leading the charge to make your curriculum relevant to tomorrow?

Want to Be a World-Class Problem Solver? Science Says the Trick Is to Embrace the Subtraction Habit

New research shows that removing rather than adding elements to a problematic idea, product, or process is often better–but first you have to remember to take that approach.

Changes that were more effective than additive changes.

Try it. The next time you try to solve a problem or improve a situation, think about how less could be more


Scan Your LEGO With This App to Figure Out What to Build

A new app, called Brickit, available for download in the app store, will scan your LEGOs to create an inventory of your collection. This includes counting the total number of bricks, as well as sorting them by size.

All you have to do is spread your LEGOs out on a flat surface and take a photograph, and the app will suggest different figures you can build using the bricks in your collection, including step-by-step directions.



Creativity is subtraction.

Austin Kleon

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Facebook tests prompts that ask users if they’re worried a friend is ‘becoming an extremist.’ What could go wrong?!?!

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