US/not us

We need to have more conversations with people who are not us. Chris Gilliard, #DigPed, August 2016 1 It’s 5am. It’s dark outside, and cold inside. My daughter’s in the kitchen banging cupboard doors and making coffee. She’s up to watch the Olympics, and she wants company. Blearily we straggle out to join her and slump on the couch under blankets, trying to figure out what’s happening. Skeet shooting, what is that? Divers fall from the sky in apparently perfect synchronisation. They enter…

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Sit down

An update on being white in Australia, racist cartooning, and whether we can stop it, and step in. Update: #IndigenousDads Because things go on happening. So our leading national newspaper publishes a cartoon that makes absolutely no sense without being overtly and purposefully racist, because that’s the core of the point that it’s making: that delinquent parenting is a racial predisposition. There is no other interpretation of it because that is what the cartoon itself is intending to say. That is its whole punchline. Across…

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Stop it, step in

If you are white, you can make sure where you work, doesn’t do this, look around you and if you see something happening stop it or step in. Colleen Lavelle, Subversive Racism, Aug 2016 1 I’m sitting in the rain in my car listening to the radio, waiting for my daughter. There’s a senior corrections officer from the Northern Territory on the phone to the radio station explaining why restraints are used on “challenging prisoners”. He’s talking about Malcolm Morton,…

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Chorus of voices

The chorus not only results in a more complete understanding, but properly conceived and executed encourages more participation as well. Mike Caulfield, Choral Explanations, May 2016 This flashmob can catch you a little off guard. The song is sung with such heart. Amazing Flashmob (Library Singing) Back in May I read Mike Caulfield’s long post about the social architecture of participatory thinking. I can’t do justice to it in a snapshot, so just make a pot of tea and go read it. It’s really…

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Never let me go

In an interrogation, blows have only scant criminological significance. They are tacitly practiced and accepted, a normal measure employed against recalcitrant prisoners who are unwilling to confess. Jean Amery, ‘Torture’ The perverse bureaucracy of a well-mannered killing is cranking up so fast in Indonesia. Plastic chairs, fresh paint, name tags to sort out family members from spiritual advisers, coffins. Again. Executions are scheduled for tonight. Fourteen people, their families and loved ones are slowly sinking into this pit. They can’t save themselves from what…

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What you cannot accept

So, how can we productively guard space upon terrain where agency is constantly affronted? Sean Michael Morris, ‘The Place of Education‘, Hybrid Pedagogy July 2016 I pray you find the courage to show mercy, as one day you will no longer have the power and will be looking back at your choices and your mistakes and the decisions you have taken. Raji Sukumaran, letter to President Joko Widodo, July 2016 1 Over the last two weeks we’ve turned like sunflowers,…

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Hovering

University participation has risen spectacularly. The target of 40% participation should be comfortably met by 2025. The nation has quickly moved from an elite to a mass higher education system. The second equity target has proven more challenging, but progress is being made. The relative proportion of low-SES undergraduate students rose from 16.2% to 17.7% between 2009 and 2014. In the same period, the overall number of undergraduate low-SES students increased by 44%, while other cohorts increased by 30%. Andrew Harvey, ‘Uncapping of university…

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Content, it’s us

I’m starting to believe, more and more, that given THE INTERNETS, content should be something that gets created BY a course not BEFORE it. Dave Cormier,  ‘Content is a print concept‘, June 2016 So the narrative course ended, and while students are writing about it, I’m writing to thank two people who have shaped the way that I approach things. First of all, my edtech mentor Jonathan Rees. No, really. Last year, Jonathan wrote a short staypiece about his digital…

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Networked professionals

Ambiguity is always at the centre of an interesting experience because this causes us to question, to wonder why a thing holds our attention. – Bill Henson, Oneiroi How will the professional identity or professionalism of academics be supported, rather than eroded as the University is proletarianised? Richard Hall,  ‘On the HE White Paper‘ I can’t pin down when I started to say “professional” so much. Maybe I’m gesturing towards something that might help students think outside of the frame we place around…

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Making kin

A purpose built hospital can be an act of kindness. The politician spoke about a hospital she visited in Oslo that was built with the intention of making everyone there feel good to be a part of it. Lea McInerney, ‘Join the Gathering of Kindness in Creating a Better Healthcare System‘ A couple of months ago I was included in a two day event designed to create a better vision for Australian healthcare, that is safer for patients and offers a more…

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