A Facebook Like⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

Facebook was the key to the entire campaign, Wigmore explained. A Facebook ‘like’, he said, was their most “potent weapon”. “Because using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert. And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”

from: Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media | Politics | The Guardian

Carole Cadwalladr’s article in today’s Observer, is both fascinating and frightening. The technology used by Cambridge Analytics is incredibly  powerful the use it has ben put too worrying. Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s comms director in the quote above doesn’t have a Facebook account quoted in the same article:

It is creepy! It’s really creepy! It’s why I’m not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ What’s scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.

Featured image on this post created with a wee AppleScript Makes auto complete google search gifs.

Medium

Keeping going…⤴

from

A year ago I wrote this.

https://staffrm.io/@lenabellina/05CwLBnsxL

I am copying it in full at the bottom of this post because it is quite heavily referenced below.

It is one of my most read pieces of writing and was reblogged by the Mighty. It got a huge number of shares and comments on various platforms. Almost all were positive and the post seemed to strike a chord with many. The one that touched the deepest nerve was “wow, you slept til 5.15! Lucky you!” That was, for me, what I think is referred to as a trigger and I had to fight hard not to rise to it.

Today, a year on and I am in a similar but very different place.
Some of the actual stuff in the list has shifted. I have changed job, partly because of things related to number 1 and I am back in school, now as Head of Secondary. I am not putting myself in for the music festival this year. But much of the “stuff” and pressures are the same. The workload at school is immense. We have huge staffing pressures, massive issues with pupil mental health and further cuts and changes ahead. The personal financial pressures have not eased and neither has my husband’s situation.
The words “what else can go wrong?” have been a mantra but so have the words “we’ve survived before!”.
But the significant change has come in my outlook.
I have worked really hard to keep the mind tricks at bay. I have used writing as a way to keep my feelings in check. I have written an awful lot!
I am much better at not catastrophizing, (although at 8am when Steve informed me that his back had gone, there was a momentary relapse).
Over the summer I read a number of key books and more recently I have read “Frazzled” by Ruby Wax.
In the autumn, I did an online mindfulness course through FutureLearn. I have learnt amazing stuff about the brain and the relationship between body and soul.
I have engaged with educators who have helped me to realise that authenticity and a focus on wellbeing are not separate from raising attainment and closing gaps. Things like this keep me going: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/this-town-adopted-trauma-informed-care-and-saw-a-decrease-in-crime-and-suspension-rates-20170222?utm_content=bufferafceb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I have found a tribe of likeminded educational souls and I feel supported, even though many of the tribe members are not in close geographical proximity.

I still fight the chimps, the demons, the internal voices that try and win from time to time. But on the whole I am winning. And you can too. It takes a bit of work but it is worth it. For those around you. For those you teach who will know when you are being authentic and will trust and learn from you because of it. But above all, for you.

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

I usually sleep well but today I have woken at 5.15 and can’t sleep.
There is fierce raging activity in my head that consists of a series of worries.
1. Something happened at work last week and I am worried that, although I know that I did the right thing, others may not see it like that.
2. I have to run a working party today with a range of colleagues and I fear that they won’t like me and that they will realise I don’t know what I am talking about.
3. When the meeting is over I will have to write it up and produce notes and actions but I have not put any time in my diary to do this.
4. I have training to deliver on Monday and Thursday next week and feel as per 2 but also haven’t planned the training yet.
5. I have entered a singing competition in 3 weeks and do not know any of the songs yet.
6. My daughter is still unwell after flu and has stopped eating properly.
7. My husband may have to stop working which may leave me with sole financial responsibility. And my cleaner has left.
8. I have woken up too early and will be exhausted today but have arranged to take my kids to see a live stream Shakespeare for three hours tonight but am now worried that I will go beyond exhaustion because of it.
I could actually continue with more but 8 is probably enough.
What to do? Give up? Ring the doctor? On paper, these things may seem trivial, over dramatic, irrational. But they feel very real.
But I can manage them. Because I have before. A useful exercise that I discovered before Christmas is to write them down, name them as feelings/ worries and then force myself to counteract them with what I KNOW.
So
1. I have lots of evidence of what really happened and I need to hold to that.
2. It is not about them liking me. I have done huge research, I have a plan, agenda and a clear vision which is to work with the team to improve outcomes for children.
3. I will write detailed notes in the meeting.
4. I have PowerPoints I can adapt and experience and ideas. It is not about me but about what my audience needs.
5. I can record the songs and listen to them as I drive.
6. I can’t control her or her eating.
7. We only a have to get through 2 years and things will improve. I do need a new cleaner, though.
8.  University days. Frequent nights of 4 hours sleep. Baby days- ditto. Did I die? Nope.
Our minds can be devious and feelings and worries play tricks. But by getting them out, ordering them and challenging them, we can get through them.
Solution focus; we have within us the skills and experience to solve problems and face challenges.
Happy Thursday.


The Big Pedal 20th – 31st March 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Big Pedal is our UK wide inter-school scooting and cycling challenge, where schools compete to try to get the largest percentage of pupils, staff and parents travelling to school by two wheels.

the-big-pedal

 

Details:

This year’s challenge will be running from March 20th – 31st. It is open to primary and secondary schools who register and then log their data each day.  Schools with the highest participation win great prizes.

Schools can choose to enter a 1 or 5 day challenge where their best day or best 5 days out of the two weeks count. On the final day of the challenge we encourage schools to run a Superhero Day, where pupils dress themselves and their bikes as superheroes.

This year’s theme is Around the World in 10 Days and schools will track their progress on a wall chart – register using the link below –  learning about the countries and cities they pass through along the way.

Information and registration is at http://bigpedal.org.uk/.

The value:

We see the challenge as a great way to get whole school communities excited about active travel and to impact school traffic issues.

 

Red Nose Day 24th March 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

https://www.rednoseday.com/schools

Red Nose Day is back on Friday 24th March 2017. Thousands of schools across the country will be getting involved and making their laugh matter.

Comic Relief has designed lots of learning resources and fundraising activities for teachers in nursery, primary and secondary schools.

There are  films, assemblies, learning resources, tutor time activities and an interactive story to make Red Nose Day come to life in the classroom.

How is your school getting involved?

To get involved go to www.rednoseday.com/schools and order your free fundraising pack.

Follow @rednosedaysch for fundraising tips, ideas and lots of fun!

 

The Big Bang Fair Scotland⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

the-big-bang-logo

Location: Perth College UHI

Date: Tuesday 13 Jun, 2017

The Big Bang Near Me programme plays a vital role in inspiring the UK’s future scientists and engineers at a regional, local and school level. We encourage more people to take these subjects, as well as celebrating young people’s achievements in science and engineering through displaying their STEM projects and letting them talk with engineers and scientists, face to face.

The UK needs many more scientists and engineers and equipping young people with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths is key to their future employability. Students attending a Near Me fair really enjoy themselves too – with nine out of ten rating the event they attended as “good” or “very good”.

Zones will include:

  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Food and Drink
  • Science and Maths
  • Career Zone – Companies to provide careers advise in their sector.
  • 15 minute presentation slots available to address small groups of young people.

There will also be a chance to experience a selection of STEM challenges available to schools including the ‘turbo charged’ National Final of the Bloodhound Scotland Rocket Car Challenge and Scottish Big Bang Competition final.

If you would like to attend this event please contact Energy Skills Partnership at info@esp-scotland.ac.uk

 

 

Apps for Good Scottish Event⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

apps_for_good_logo_version_2

Apps for Good is an education movement that is powering a generation to change their world with technology. We partner with teachers in schools and learning centres to deliver our course to young people from 8 -18 years of age. Students work together as teams to find real issues they care about and learn how to solve them using technology. Since 2010 Apps for Good has been delivered to over 75,000 students in more than 1,500 schools across the UK and internationally.

Join us to celebrate the next generation of Scotland’s tech entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday 15th March, over 100 students from across Scotland will travel to Edinburgh’s Quincentenary Conference Centre to participate in Apps for Good’s first ever Scottish event.

The event will bring together the next generation of digital talent in Scotland under one roof in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre for a day of networking and workshops. Teams of young people are working together and creating apps to tackle the problems & issues which matter most to them, and the event will provide them with the opportunity to engage directly with a range of invited guests, and the other participating Scottish schools.

We’re inviting you to join the Marketplace part of the event from 2pm – 4pm, giving you the opportunity to walk around the room and meet the young people who have been working on their app ideas. The students will be keen to practice their pitch and listen to any feedback and advice that you may have. You will also be able to cast your vote in our People’s Choice Award which will allow us to recognise the top three teams.

We would love to see you there to celebrate all of our students’ hard work!

Our first ever Scottish event has been made possible after being awarded a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, who have provided Apps for Good with support to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

Sign up via Eventbrite here

Rummaging in the cyber past⤴

from @ blethers



I retired over 11 years ago. After all these years of teaching English I found I was missing the discipline of writing - for when I set essays, particularly to senior classes, I tended to write one myself. It was something I liked to do, to contribute to the discussion, as well as believing you shouldn't ask people to do something you weren't prepared to do yourself. At the time, blogging was pretty new - and it was really the only shared form of communication, the first step in what we learned to call Social Media. My sons were already blogging. I was seduced.

And it was in that first year of blogging that I began to meet people outwith my own circle (there - Blogger doesn't like "outwith" any more than it ever did), several of whom were (another new word at the time) edubloggers. Some of them were Scots, so that I met them physically in Glasgow ("You're Blethers, aren't you?"); some were much further away. And one of the more distant edubloggers I also met, and it's a good story.

I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but it was in November 2006 that I blogged about my input into the classroom work of Anne Davis - allowing her to use my photos as a classroom resource for creative writing, commenting on some of the pupils' work, thoroughly enjoying that little bit of teaching again. Three months later, we met - in San Francisco - thanks to Ewan's social engineering. We were on a month's tour of our American friends, one of whom had just dropped us off at our SF hotel. The cases had just appeared, when the phone rang. You don't expect anyone to phone you in a strange city - but it was Anne, also in town for a conference. Could we meet for dinner?  And we did, and you can read a short blog post about it, though it doesn't mention my recording a podcast for her pupils.

But I must tear myself away from this nostalgic wandering among the archives. The reason I'm doing it appears in the photo at the top: Anne sent me this book that she and a colleague, Ewa McGrail,  have written (and it costs a fortune to send a book from the USA) and it has the most lovely dedication on the front page and several references to me, all wonderfully flattering, scattered throughout the text. I'm delighted to get it, and to relive that time - which in many ways feels like another life. Even this blog post, full of links that take ages to find because I keep reading what I'm rummaging among, reminds me of that era.

Now, of course, it's all short-form communications. Social media rules, and the most unlikely people turn up on Facebook. Blogging is much less of a thing. And yet ... I find myself returning to blethers when I want to say something longer than a sentence, or something that I haven't got a proper photo for (because Blipfoto seems to have turned into my regular blog spot, in a strange way - maybe because of the interest of photographers). And when I was reading the book this morning, and reflecting on how I'd celebrate its arrival, I thought about children's writing and the joy of having it read by more than just the classroom teacher - to say nothing about having comments added by outsiders.

Children - and we've been talking primary school pupils throughout this - still love to have their best work displayed on the classroom wall. There is a place for this sort of controlled online interaction - on the much bigger wall, as it were, of the internet. This book, Student Blogs, seems to me to cover so many of the areas that might worry the cautious teacher - everything from accessing photos to Creative Commons and beyond - as to encourage any teacher to have a go.

Unless, of course, no-one can write more than 140 characters at a time these days. Just like The President ...

Rummaging in the cyber past⤴

from @ blethers



I retired over 11 years ago. After all these years of teaching English I found I was missing the discipline of writing - for when I set essays, particularly to senior classes, I tended to write one myself. It was something I liked to do, to contribute to the discussion, as well as believing you shouldn't ask people to do something you weren't prepared to do yourself. At the time, blogging was pretty new - and it was really the only shared form of communication, the first step in what we learned to call Social Media. My sons were already blogging. I was seduced.

And it was in that first year of blogging that I began to meet people outwith my own circle (there - Blogger doesn't like "outwith" any more than it ever did), several of whom were (another new word at the time) edubloggers. Some of them were Scots, so that I met them physically in Glasgow ("You're Blethers, aren't you?"); some were much further away. And one of the more distant edubloggers I also met, and it's a good story.

I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but it was in November 2006 that I blogged about my input into the classroom work of Anne Davis - allowing her to use my photos as a classroom resource for creative writing, commenting on some of the pupils' work, thoroughly enjoying that little bit of teaching again. Three months later, we met - in San Francisco - thanks to Ewan's social engineering. We were on a month's tour of our American friends, one of whom had just dropped us off at our SF hotel. The cases had just appeared, when the phone rang. You don't expect anyone to phone you in a strange city - but it was Anne, also in town for a conference. Could we meet for dinner?  And we did, and you can read a short blog post about it, though it doesn't mention my recording a podcast for her pupils.

But I must tear myself away from this nostalgic wandering among the archives. The reason I'm doing it appears in the photo at the top: Anne sent me this book that she and a colleague, Ewa McGrail,  have written (and it costs a fortune to send a book from the USA) and it has the most lovely dedication on the front page and several references to me, all wonderfully flattering, scattered throughout the text. I'm delighted to get it, and to relive that time - which in many ways feels like another life. Even this blog post, full of links that take ages to find because I keep reading what I'm rummaging among, reminds me of that era.

Now, of course, it's all short-form communications. Social media rules, and the most unlikely people turn up on Facebook. Blogging is much less of a thing. And yet ... I find myself returning to blethers when I want to say something longer than a sentence, or something that I haven't got a proper photo for (because Blipfoto seems to have turned into my regular blog spot, in a strange way - maybe because of the interest of photographers). And when I was reading the book this morning, and reflecting on how I'd celebrate its arrival, I thought about children's writing and the joy of having it read by more than just the classroom teacher - to say nothing about having comments added by outsiders.

Children - and we've been talking primary school pupils throughout this - still love to have their best work displayed on the classroom wall. There is a place for this sort of controlled online interaction - on the much bigger wall, as it were, of the internet. This book, Student Blogs, seems to me to cover so many of the areas that might worry the cautious teacher - everything from accessing photos to Creative Commons and beyond - as to encourage any teacher to have a go.

Unless, of course, no-one can write more than 140 characters at a time these days. Just like The President ...

Professional Learning Programme: The Enterprising Practitioner⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Are you Looking for creative ways to develop children and young people’s learning about the world of work?Scot Enterprising Schools

Enterprising attitudes and skills such as generating ideas, creative problem solving, being pro-active and tenacious and taking responsibility, help to support our young people to cope with, and indeed succeed, in our increasingly dynamic wold of work. Scotland’s Enterprising Schools have developed a free online professional learning programme – The Enterprising Practitioner to help you have a better understanding of enterprise education and how you can help young people develop an enterprising mind set.

The three module programme aims to give you a brief introduction to this broad area:

Module 1 introduces you to the wider context of enterprise in education and the key stakeholders who can help you. Module 2 reviews key teaching approaches commonly used by practitioners to help support enterprising learning and Module 3 has a focus on self-employment and entrepreneurship and aims to bust many of the myths surrounding this area.

Each module is supported by an activity pack designed to challenge you to reflect on each area and consider your own practice and that of your school.