Open Learning is on the table and in a MOOC for the next three weeks. Perfect timing as we had graduation yesterday and will have Entrance Ceremony in early April.

Economics are much more important than we give them credit for. The interface with politics is especially fraught, especially these days. But the quest for Economic Dignity is something we all need to consider. My father taught economics in high school and a big supporter of unions. I remember his strike as a small child. Now my daughter is considering whether to strike as a grad student. Seems it happens more often than most think. (Democracy Journal)

Neat study on how kids interact with robots for learning. (MIT). Also neat is that the article is in plain English, making it great content for my classes. The author even makes a Spearman’S Correlation understandable. Spoiler: The more the kids related to the robots socially, the more they learned.

We have a new project in my zemi next year, and I am getting cranked. Raspberry Pi (appropriate for just after pi day), is a small computer that costs about $40. Our zemi has book money every year, but last year I spent it on 4 of those, with kits to build lots of different stuff. I have never tried it before with students, but last year the 3D printer was a success, so onward and upward. Sony also uses these little computers to help around the factory. Pretty good recommendation. (Forbes)

Interactive Fiction took a great leap forward with Bandersnatch on Netflix. The multiple-path (Choose-your-own-adventure) story took a few experiments they did with short animations last year, to a whole new level. And now they seem to be doubling down on that commitment. Can’t wait. I will be using a tool for writing IF called Twine, the same tool they used before they developed a new tool that works with video. (Variety)

All you Talking Heads fans out there, this is a must listen from a musician from Benin. Great adaptation of Once in a lifetime, by Kidjo. She does the whole album if you like that one. Check out her rendition of Summertime. (BoingBoing). Speaking of music, I knew that Shazam will find a song playing on the speakers, but I discovered that

As the police killed Eric Garner in Staten Island for selling cigarettes, they did not consider people filming them, as they were the early days of citizen surveillance. But beware. There are consequences. Read about Ramsey Orta. Most whistleblowers end up regretting it, so we have to celebrate their courage. (Watch these movies). Also, being on a jury can have some long-term consequences when the system is screwed up. You can’t fix the conviction, even after the broken law has been turned over. Long read at Slate. Guilty.

My brain goes too fast sometimes. To slow it down I watch some Netflix and play spider solitaire at the same time. I read a lot of Ian Bogost  (pretty much everything with games in the title, starting with his best and most theoretical, Persuasive Games). He created a game called Cow Clicker as a joke. All you do is click on cows. Turns out, it has become popular. Kind of like my solution for a slower brain. Anyway, get the skinny on these kind of worthless attention-sucking games. (AVClub). Do you dare click the cookie?

Beware, the internet knows more about you than your spouse. Take it seriously, this is Scientific American. Here is another one more specifically about Google. (Axios). Check out what happens in 1 minute on the Internet..

A list of tools for “instructional coaches” (I think she means teacher trainers, but with tech thrown in.) Here is some good presentation software that goes beyond powerpoint. The blog is rich with this kind of post; laden with jargon, lots of tools, and connections to sponsored content. Some posts are better than others. (Class Tech Tips).

Google Docs are becoming a standard part of education in the US. Here are 7 ways to use it for writing for bilingual students. The teacher also talks about RSS feeds as sources for writing prompts. On the other hand, I guess Google Docs are becoming popular in grade school classrooms as a way to pass notes. Rock on for all except control freaks.

Over at Moodle I am helping (a little, with feedback) on a new social network for teachers. It is a federated network (kind of like franchising for restaurants) so there is no central computer where all the data is kept. The first I heard of this was a Twitter replacement I have been using for a couple of years, Mastodon. Here is how to get started on Mastodon. I will let you know when Moodle.net is ready.

Any developers out there might be interested in a great tool, recommended by Nik Peachey. Raptivity. Especially good for language teaching as it focuses on interactions.

A look at teaching and using data to make the classroom culture more focused on learning than grades. Two parts.

Another conference this summer, which might combine well with EuroCall in Belgium, is the Conference on Games.

Read about professional development in CALL. Daniel Mills is in there.

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