Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Spurious Correlations tags: weekly rajive data openuptru tru research correlation causation ‘free to develop a hothouse plant that bore little resemblance to anything that grew in the natural soil’ “Protected from the harsh winds of the markets, legal educatorswere free to develop a hothouse plant that bore little resemblance toanything that grew in the natural soil of law practice. The hothousewalls are falling, leaving law schools to cope with markets.”1Larry RibsteinPracticing Theory: Legal Education for the 21st Century tags: law legal education weekly tweet Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

#openupTRU – Simpler WordPress Writing POC

I’ve had a number of requests to simplify WordPress, to make it more Tumblr like. I get that. It was mentioned again while I was at Thompson Rivers University and that inspired me to get it done. WordPress has a lot more complexity than Tumblr and that allows you to do a lot more. Doing complex things often requires tools with some complexity. The thing that interests me is when and how you make that complexity visible.1 So could we do something more Tumblr like in WordPress? There are certainly ways to completely re-write the dashboard and to set up user roles that only have limited kinds of access. That seems a bit heavy-handed to me and I don’t want to wall this stuff off. I simply want to make things very accessible to inexperienced users. The full re-write is also somewhat beyond what I have the time to do. I could take the time but in “innovation” land time is energy lost and I must ride the mixed-metaphor wave of getting stuff done fast. So in the time honored spirit of throwing stuff together with duct tape, I offer this for consideration. WordPress does have a simplified authoring view. Really. You can activate it using the ‘Press This’ bookmarklet and despite a slick revamp in WP 4.2 virtually no […]

#OpenEd15 – Now what?

Here’s what #OpenEd15 has me thinking I/we need to do at VCU. We ought to do a survey of current open-content and align it with high drop/withdraw/fail courses. We ought to fill gaps there with stuff that we (ALT Lab, professors, students) make. We ought to have multi-modal direct-instruction-media creation challenges. I want to do it like an Iron Chef challenge. I have tried and failed to sustain something similar in the past. It could be moving it from lesson plan to direct instruction media might make it easier. No doubt the hardest part will be the human element. We ought to have a larger VA partnership around accessibility. Seeing everything that UBC does makes me realize how far we have to go. I want to consider replacing OLE (our current attempt to get people comfortable with teaching online) with something very much like what we did with faculty for the VCU Bike Race Book. So we’ll pick a particular topic to unite the courses (say Richmond and Race). We’ll offer some standard professional development and drop in times but the real deal will be having a specific focus for faculty and to teach a group of one hour pass/fail courses online. I’ve become more and more convinced that it has to be live with students to create the need […]


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Obfuscation. A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest | We Make Money Not Art “Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest is an important and straight to the point book that reminds us that, ultimately, we’re up against intimidating asymmetries of power and knowledge. Stronger actors -whether they are corporations, governmental bodies or influential people- have better tools at their disposal if they want to hide something. What we have is obfuscation. It might require time, money, efforts, attention but it gives us some leverage as well as some measures of resistance and dignity. “ tags: weekly sociology How the CIA encouraged citizens under occupation to sabotage their workplaces during World War II. I cannot believe this is real. The CIA’s WWII Guide to Sowing Office Dysfunction Perfectly Describes Your Toxic Workplace https://t.co/Qd9U6yyhDk https://t.co/fFmzQJv8es tags: #fav weekly Resist and Thrive — Medium “Approaching your work with thoughtfulness at the core is challenging. You’re going against the grain. Your tools of measurement are very different from your peers. It’s easy to doubt yourself?—?I do it all the time.” tags: weekly measurement Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Blurry Reflections – WP JSON API, Angular, & Images

I had a conversation with a professor from the School of Art yesterday that ended up someplace fun for me. The focus was on how technology might help art educators reflect on their work in a visual way. It took me a while to get that she really wanted something outside the norm but we got there eventually. One of the ideas that came up was taking the featured image from the last 30 posts and applying a blur to it (I had this DS106 assignment in mind). With bit of CSS and a new plugin (Better Rest API Featured Images Plugin1) I was able to repurpose the Angular template I used for counting links in about 5 minutes. I also made another version that tries to overlay all the images in one spot. Both need some tender loving CSS care and some additional focus to make sure they’re really capturing the right data but they’re examples that start to open the door to really different ways we can start to look at work in the digital realm. These abstractions can lead to reflection that wouldn’t necessarily be apparent from viewing the images in non-abstract form. You can see I tend towards black and white images. A number of my posts don’t seem to have featured images. (I’ll have to […]

Photography – Week 100

This should have been something more impressive given it’s week 100 but life intervenes. I do think I’ll have some unique stuff coming up as I hit Open Ed and get to visit Brian Lamb at TRU. 


Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

Designing Journalism for Discovery and Engagement — The Local News Lab — Medium “Later in his commentary Ragusea touches on transparency: “just trust me I know what I’m talking about doesn’t work anymore, even if you are trustworthy and you do know what you’re talking about,” he says. “It’s like math problems in school: it is not enough to get the right answer you have to show your work.” Since at least 2011 in journalism developer circles show your work has been a mantra, and it is slowly spreading to other parts of the newsroom. Ragusea argues that Thompson’s idea of discovery is important not because “people enjoy watching their hero sleuth chase down a mystery” but because nobody will believe you anymore when you “report a bunch of facts, even if you explain where you got them from. You have to show how you got them.” Show, don’t tell. It’s writing 101 and it is the basic idea of active versus passive transparency. I like putting the emphasis on active transparency, in part, because it reinforces the idea of journalism as a process not a product.” tags: weekly journalism active tweet How to Protect Your Personal Data—and Humanity—From the Government – The Atlantic ” There are so many ghosts in our machines—their locations so hidden, their methods so ingenious, […]

Community Engaged Learning – Stackoverflow Version

We have two faculty learning communities exploring how technology and the Internet might change how community engaged learning can work. I’ve attended a few meetings and one of the key things I take away from the conversations is that I have a slightly different view of community. It did get me thinking about giving back to the community that’s been helping out so much as I’ve tried to tackle more technical challenges. I’ve learned many things from Stackoverflow so I thought I’d make some effort to contribute some answers. I’ve attempted to comment on things there before but you need 100 reputation points before you can do that. So I needed to actually answer things. Given I’ve been writing on the Internet for a large number of years you’d think I’d have more confidence but the structure of Stackoverflow (and the whole Stack Exchange community) is a bit different. I’m used to just posting what I think or what I managed to get to work. It doesn’t feel quite the same as “this is the answer.” There’s also some angry nerd stuff that goes on at times that I’m not a big fan of. As I’ve gone a little deeper the experience has been pretty positive. While I’ve answered some questions in Stackoverflow, I’ve ended up participating more in a […]