October 2, 2014
Monitor your child

After reading the EFF story on ComputerCop, very bad software sold to police to distribute to citizens, I took a look at some of the parental control software available. Now ads for the software are served to me. The ads are kind of frightening.

My reaction to the software points to a more general difference in ideas of security. I’m not a parent, but most parents concern themselves with keeping their kids out of trouble. They know the better part of that has to do with their kids and not what’s out there.

I saw today that ZaReason sells a computer with children specifically in mind. It comes with a Linux distro designed for kids called Qimo. One of the pieces of software loaded is Laby which helps children to learn to program.

Granted most of the ads I’m seeing spread  FUD around social networking, and hence aimed at older kids. I suppose that in one way of thinking about security and children would suppress teaching children to program. After all if security depends on walls and gates, you don’t want to show kids how to get over them. But curiosity and ingenuity are precisely qualities children have in have in abundance. That’s why I think security will be best building upon children’s strengths. “Monitoring” in this context takes on a different flavor. Children will do best when they think of computers as tools for learning.

ELDER stands for Educational Linux Distribution Electronic Resource. It’s a great example of how parents and others can contribute to children’s learning. And it seems to me cooperation is essential for children’s security.

For older kids Howard Rheingold has an enormous production of insightful articles and videos on developing media literacy.

My sense of it is that transparent learning enhances security for our kids more than surreptitious monitoring ever will.

September 18, 2014
Learning with others

Christopher Alexander’s remarkable book, The Timeless Way of Building begins  with a trenchant exploration on quality:

To seek the timeless way we must first know the quality without a name.

2. There is a central quality which is the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building, or wilderness. This quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named.

In learning with others, knowing the quality without a name is important, but not often sought when it comes to education policy.

Read More

September 8, 2014
"If it’s true that the test measured primarily students’ ability to take a test, then, Stroup reasoned to the House Public Education Committee in June 2012, “it is rational game theory strategy to target the 72 percent.” That means more Pearson worksheets and fewer field trips, more multiple-choice literary analysis and fewer book reports, and weeks devoted to practice tests and less classroom time devoted to learning new things. In other words, logic explained exactly what was going on in Texas’ public schools."

Jason Stanford in The Texas Observer. Mute the Messenger

When Dr. Walter Stroup showed that Texas’ standardized testing regime is flawed, the testing company struck back.

September 7, 2014
"Common Core became a symbol for change itself, a magnet for every national anxiety (or conspiracy theory) involving the education system. Stories about the depravities of public education had been popping up in conservative media for years, but now critics had something tangible at which to direct their outrage."

Tim Murphy at Mother Jones. Inside the Mammoth Backlash to Common Core

How a bipartisan education reform effort became the biggest conservative bogeyman since Obamacare.

August 21, 2014
"Learning is an emotional experience, and mentorship is rooted in the intimacy of intellectual exchange. Something important passes between you, something almost sacred."

William Deresiewicz at SlateSpirit Guides

Students crave emotional mentorship from their teachers that their parents can’t give them. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

August 21, 2014
"Education should be an act of liberation."

William Deresiewicz interviewed by Lauren Davis in The Atlantic. The Ivy League, Mental Illness, and the Meaning of Life

William Deresiewicz explains how an elite education can lead to a cycle of grandiosity and depression. 

August 1, 2014
Write to Right

Ingrid Ricks author of Hippie Boy

Marjie Bowker extrodinary teacher

July 9, 2014
susangaylord.com: Book Arts Tuesday-Bookmaking with Children in Croatia

This is a guest post from Zoran Vidaković, an art teacher in a primary school in Croatia. Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has been making books with children for many years. She has also put up lots of projects, resources and videos. A Great resource! Here’s  Zoran Vidaković’s blog.

July 8, 2014
"We should be livid that we have continually insisted upon the disposability of poor and working class youth of color. We should be angry that we teach young people that ultimate forms of masculinity value brawns over brains and privilege aggression, brute force, and violence over compassion, communication, and empathy. We should be outraged that schools, in desperate need of resources, realign their curriculum and culture to meet the needs of the security industry, which donates dollars and expertise to schools. We should be furious that we’ve reduced schools to merely churning out disciplined young people who will maintain and extend the US national security state rather than critique and transform these violent relations of power."

Nicole Nguyen in The Feminist Wire. Homeland Security Goes to School

July 8, 2014
"Chuck D famously referred to hip-hop as the CNN of black America, precisely because much of the music that emerged from the culture in the late 1980s detailed with troubling acuity and precision the war zone-like conditions in which black and brown folks lived in the two decades following the out-migration of good factory jobs."

Brittney Cooper at Salon. White supremacy stripped bare: What “Do the Right Thing” tells us 25 years later 

The film the Obamas saw on their first date challenged America’s narrative of progress. It also saw into the future

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »