Education Innovation and Cognitive Artifacts

Must read from Mr. Brent Kaneft (our Head of School at Wilson Hall, where I am a teacher)…

Wise Integration: Sea Squirts, Tech Bans, and Cognitive Artifacts (Summer Series) | Brent Kaneft – Intrepid ED News:

So the strange paradox of innovation is that every innovation has the potential to be an existential threat to the physical, social, spiritual, and cognitive development of humans. The allure is the convenience (our brains are always looking to save energy!) and the potentiality innovation offers, but the human cost can be staggering, either immediately or slowly, like the impact of mold secretly growing behind an attractive wallpaper. To return to Tristan Harris’s point: machines are improving as humans downgrade in various ways. As professional educators, we have to ask whether innovation will prove detrimental to the fundamental qualities we want to develop in our students.

The Digital Dark Age

Another reason you should be writing in your own space on your blog and notebooks…

Shining a Light on the Digital Dark Age – Long Now:

A false sense of security persists surrounding digitized documents: because an infinite number of identical copies can be made of any original, most of us believe that our electronic files have an indefinite shelf life and unlimited retrieval opportunities. In fact, preserving the world’s online content is an increasing concern, particularly as file formats (and the hardware and software used to run them) become scarce, inaccessible, or antiquated, technologies evolve, and data decays. Without constant maintenance and management, most digital information will be lost in just a few decades. Our modern records are far from permanent.

Arc 1.0

I’m excited to see the “1.0” launch of the browser Arc. I’ve been using Arc as my main browser (along with Safari and some Chrome sparingly) on my MacBook, and I have to say… it’s impressive.

Browsers seemingly slipped from the “wow” factor of the internet about 15 years ago after Google finally launched Chrome despite the best efforts of Firefox, Brave, Opera etc to get the mainstream about browsing again. Apps took their place as the way to access the web for most people, and as our main screen sizes shrunk, so did our attention for interesting browser features. 

However, I do think we’re at an inflection point and we’ll see interest around concepts such as Arc that will move us away from a centralized app-based future of the web towards further democratization and decentralization of what the internet should mean. 

Way to go, Browser Company!

Arc from The Browser Company:

A browser that doesn’t just meet your needs — it anticipates them.

Also, if you head over to the credits page, you can find me there as a long-time tester in the pre-launch phases!

Why Paper Notes Are (Sometimes) Better

I have no papers that I typed at Mullins High School in 1992-1996. I have a nice collection of hand-written ones.

I have very few (very very few to be precise) of my papers or notes that I typed at Wofford College in 1996-2000 unless I printed those out. Even then, the hand-written notes far outweigh the typed papers and that’s not just because of volume.

I have a few of the papers I typed in Graduate School at Yale University from 2000-2003 but they are in terrible formatting shape. I still have all of my paper notes. I still have the paper notes that colleagues and Professors passed on to me and that I made a copy of either in my own hand or by paying $.10 a copy on the printer if I wasn’t at the Yale Art Gallery where I had unlimited printing abilities.

Take notes. Use paper. Your future self will thank you.

The Season

You puzzled me with refraction, your mysterious guise,

(bending your hair in light, like corn under windy skies).

A shimmering illusion, a trick of the dawn’s early gleam,

causing me to look the wrong way, lost in a dream.

Your essence, like an underground stream, flowed unseen,

for your root cause, I plowed the field, yet it remained pristine.

In earth’s quiet wisdom, the truth lay untold,

my furrowed brow mirrored the furrowed fold.

You spoke to me from heaven, from the vast cerulean expanse,

(and I looked down) in the soil, seeking your dance.

Your voice in the wind rustling the autumn leaves,

in the silence of the winter, in the spring that deceives.

In the bounty of summer, under the sun’s searing gaze,

your riddles whispered in the crackle of the maize.

You answered me in riddles and caused me to drive onto the rocks,

like a wayward vessel tossed by the unyielding equinox.

But in the turned earth, in the seed’s silent plea,

I found your truth, in the cycles of a bountiful tree.

Roots deep in the Pee Dee, branches reaching for the light,

You puzzled, spoke and answered, in the day and in the night.

In the seasons’ eternal riddle, in the plow’s steadfast toil,

I found you not in heaven, but in the humble soil.

Happy Aphelion, Earthlings!

I always love working with my students to help them realize the really interesting nature of the Earth’s tilt (and wobble) and how it directly impacts our seasons rather than proximity to the Sun!

When Is Aphelion 2023 and What It Means – The New York Times:

But don’t expect any relief from summer. Seasons on Earth are the product of changes in the amount of direct sunlight as the planet tilts toward and away from the sun — not its orbital path. It would take a much greater swing, so that the amount of received sunlight dropped significantly, in order to notice the difference.

Baby H’s Arrival Date

Merianna and I are excited to let you know that Baby H (name to be disclosed later) will be joining our family on August 1, 2023!

We’re looking forward to meeting this new little human very soon!

Start Your Own Blog

Even Facebook gets it…

Meta unspools Threads – The Verge:

It’s an almost unthinkable reversal from Meta’s extremely lucrative walled-garden strategy, which it has employed for its entire history as a company. But Mosseri told me that decentralization is the future of social networks — even if it means that someday a disgruntled Threads user will be able to take the following they build in the app to another network, never to return.