Every subject is a little bit different, so the method of teaching creativity in journalism doesn't map perfectly to other disciplines, but quite a few bits of advice travel well. For example, "one of the most basic things we do in journalism education is to expose students to a wide range of journalism." This way, they know what has already been done, they have a source of inspiration to draw from, and they learn what counts as a good idea. These are tools you can use anywhere. Also this: "an interview may be dull or an interviewee pull out, events may be cancelled or underwhelm, a dataset is limited, or fails to show the pattern we were expecting... [but] we still find a story to tell." It's about learning to work with what the data give you, and again, this is advice that works in any discipline.
Welcome to the world of synthetic media. This is the subject of this month's issue of Component, the second issue of this magazine produced by Samsung (the first issue covered edge computing). While on the one hand we've probably reached the limit of how much media any of us can consume, "the adoption of new technologies based around artificial intelligence (AI) and synthetic media will further democratize the ability for creators to make highly engaging and interactive content at a much lower cost." To the extent that this is true (and why wouldn't it be?) this will push the cost of media down another two orders of magnitude. Including educational media. (We should be clear that this is produced by Samsung as advertising content, not objective journalism (but this is not an ad in OLDaily and I get nothing for posting this)).
This article focuses entirely on two families, so it should not be taken as in any way representative. Overall, in Ottawa, " about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online." But there are interesting tidbits that fill out and give complexion to the story of learning from home during the pandemic. In one case, being online offered an escape from being bullied at school. In another, there's "the 'chill' morning routine, compared to the stress of physically getting to school." Nobody thought that the sudden pivot to online learning would be perfect. But getting 'mixed reviews' is far better than the disaster it could have been.
This is the first issue of the The Turtle Island Journal of Indigenous Health (TIJIH), and as the product of graduate students and community members associated with the University of Toronto, it will be of interest to educators. I found three articles to comment on:
Dana Hickey's exploration of Indigenous epistemologies, worldviews and theories of power. Readers of Foucault will be familiar with the relation between power and knowledge. This paper explores an Indigenous conception of power as including discussions of "sacred power sources, the abuse of power, Indigenous women, language, and knowledge, each of which are held together by the common prominent theme: relationships."
Amy Shawanda on Baawaajige, exploring dreams as academic references. This article remined me of research involving Julian of Norwich, a 14th century mystic who wrote of her visions in Revelations of Divine Love. This article treats dreams "as a valid source of knowledge for Indigenous students and
scholars" and provides advice on how to cite them.
Joshua Manitowabi on rearticulating Indigenous control of education. This article is useful as a history of educational policies related to indigenous education in Canada. It also looks at the need to decolonize education, and specifically, "raising awareness of overt and hidden racist ideology, cultivating respect for and inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, having high expectations for Indigenous students."
You can download the full issue (82 page PDF) or each of the articles individually.
From the 'corporate ethics' department, I just want to note that Apple is paying $113 million to settle a state investigation over its practice of deliberately slowing older phones. They say it was to save battery life, but the obvious effect is to get people to buy new phones. Apple previously settled a $500 million class action lawsuit over this in early 2020, but this particular lawsuit turned on the fact that they did not inform consumers about the batteries or the throttling. See also the Verge, TechCrunch.
Marissa Mayer's newest company, Sunshine, launched this week with a product called Contacts. Here's the premise: "Sunshine improves your contacts using intelligent algorithms, your email data, public sources and more." Now this doesn't seem like much, but it has the potential to be much more, not because the company can sell your information (they could, but they promise up and down that they won't) but getting the basics of your personal network right serves as a linchpin for a number of smart services. For a simple example, consider content recommendations. These can be greatly improved by looking at what your contacts find interesting and have been reading.
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