Technology in Art And Education
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Applying and Integrating Media and Technology for Learning in a Traditional or Post Modern Classroom.
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Transparency is Bunk

Transparency is Bunk | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it

image from https://twitpic.com/butjn1


Via Dimitar Poposki
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/transparencybunk

 

(Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)

 

Adapted from an impromptu rant I gave to some people interested in funding government transparency projects.

I’ve spent the past year and change working on a site, watchdog.net, that publishes government information online. In doing that, I’ve learned a lot: I’ve looked at everything from pollution records to voter registration databases and I’ve figured out a number of bureacratic tricks to get information out of the government. But I’ve also become increasingly skeptical of the transparency project in general, at least as it’s carried out in the US.

The way a typical US transparency project works is pretty simple. You find a government database, work hard to get or parse a copy, and then put it online with some nice visualizations.

The problem is that reality doesn’t live in the databases. Instead, the databases that are made available, even if grudgingly, form a kind of official cover story, a veil of lies over the real workings of government. If you visit a site like GovTrack, which publishes information on what Congresspeople are up to, you find that all of Congress’s votes are on inane items like declaring holidays and naming post offices. The real action is buried in obscure subchapters of innocuous-sounding bills and voted on under emergency provisions that let everything happen without public disclosure.

So government transparency sites end up having three possible effects. The vast majority of them simply promote these official cover stories, misleading the public about what’s really going on. The unusually cutting ones simply make plain the mindnumbing universality of waste and corruption, and thus promote apathy. And on very rare occasions you have a “success”: an extreme case is located through your work, brought to justice, and then everyone goes home thinking the problem has been solved, as the real corruption continues on as before.

In short, the generous impulses behind transparency sites end up doing more harm than good.

But this is nothing new. The whole history of the “good government” movement in the US is of “reformers” who, intentionally or otherwise, weakened the cause of democracy. They too were primarily supported by large foundations, mostly Ford and Rockefeller. They replaced democratically-elected mayors with professional city managers, which required a supermajority to overrule. They insisted on nonpartisan elections, making it difficult to organize people into political blocs. Arguing it would reduce corruption, they insisted city politicians serve without paying, ensuring the jobs were only open to the wealthy.

I worry that transparency groups may be making the same “mistake”.

These are some dark thoughts, so I want to add a helpful alternative: journalism. Investigative journalism lives up to the promise that transparency sites make. Let me give three examples: Silverstein, Taibbi, Caro.

Ken Silverstein regularly writes brilliant pieces about the influence of money in politics. And he uses these sorts of databases to do so. But the databases are always a small part of a larger picture, supplemented with interviews, documents, and even undercover investigation — he recently did a piece where he posted as a representative of the government of Turkmenistan and described how he was wined and dined by lobbyists eager to build support for that noxious regime. The story, and much more, is told in his book Turkmeniscam. (His book Washington Babylon is similarly indispensible.)

Matt Taibbi, in his book The Great Derangement, describes how Congress really works. He goes to the capitol and lays out the whole scene: the Congressmen naming post offices on the House floor, the journalists typing in the press releases they’re handed, the key actions going on behind the scenes and out of the public eye, the continual use of emergency procedures to evade disclosure laws.

And Robert Caro, in his incredible book The Power Broker (one of the very best books ever published, I’m convinced) takes on this fundamental political question of “Who’s actually responsible for what my government is doing?” For forty years, everyone in New York thought they knew the answer: power was held by the city council, the mayor, the state legislature, and the governor. After all, they run the government, right?

And for forty years, they were all wrong. Power was held — held, for the most part, absolutely, without any checks or outside influence — by one man: Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. All that time, everyone (especially the press) treated Robert Moses as merely the Parks Commissioner, a mere public servant serving his elected officials. In reality, he pulled the strings of all those elected officials.

These journalists tackled all the major questions supposedly addressed by US transparency sites — who’s buying influence? what is Congress doing? who’s in power in my neighborhood? — and not only tell a richer, more informative story, but come to strikingly different answers to the questions. In this era where investigative reporting budgets have been cut to the bone and newspapers are folding left and right, it’s fallen to nonprofits like ProPublica and the Center for Independent Media and, from a previous era, the Center for Public Integrity, to pick up the slack. They’ve been using the Internet in innovative ways to supplement good old-fashioned narrative journalism, where transparency sites are a supplement, rather than an end-in-themselves.

For too long we’ve been funding transparency projects on the model of if-we-build-it-they-will-come: that we don’t know what transparency will be useful for, but once it’s done it will lead to all sorts of exciting possibilities. Well, we’ve built it. And they haven’t come. The only success story its proponents can point to is that transparency projects have bred even more transparency projects. I’m done working on watchdog.net; I’m done hurting America. It’s time to give old-fashioned narrative journalism a try.

 

Previously: Disinfecting the Sunlight Foundation [November 2006]

April 23, 2009

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Dimitar Poposki's curator insight, March 23, 2013 2:34 PM

 

Text c-pasted from http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/transparencybunk

 

(Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)

 

Adapted from an impromptu rant I gave to some people interested in funding government transparency projects.

I’ve spent the past year and change working on a site, watchdog.net, that publishes government information online. In doing that, I’ve learned a lot: I’ve looked at everything from pollution records to voter registration databases and I’ve figured out a number of bureacratic tricks to get information out of the government. But I’ve also become increasingly skeptical of the transparency project in general, at least as it’s carried out in the US.

The way a typical US transparency project works is pretty simple. You find a government database, work hard to get or parse a copy, and then put it online with some nice visualizations.

The problem is that reality doesn’t live in the databases. Instead, the databases that are made available, even if grudgingly, form a kind of official cover story, a veil of lies over the real workings of government. If you visit a site like GovTrack, which publishes information on what Congresspeople are up to, you find that all of Congress’s votes are on inane items like declaring holidays and naming post offices. The real action is buried in obscure subchapters of innocuous-sounding bills and voted on under emergency provisions that let everything happen without public disclosure.

So government transparency sites end up having three possible effects. The vast majority of them simply promote these official cover stories, misleading the public about what’s really going on. The unusually cutting ones simply make plain the mindnumbing universality of waste and corruption, and thus promote apathy. And on very rare occasions you have a “success”: an extreme case is located through your work, brought to justice, and then everyone goes home thinking the problem has been solved, as the real corruption continues on as before.

In short, the generous impulses behind transparency sites end up doing more harm than good.

But this is nothing new. The whole history of the “good government” movement in the US is of “reformers” who, intentionally or otherwise, weakened the cause of democracy. They too were primarily supported by large foundations, mostly Ford and Rockefeller. They replaced democratically-elected mayors with professional city managers, which required a supermajority to overrule. They insisted on nonpartisan elections, making it difficult to organize people into political blocs. Arguing it would reduce corruption, they insisted city politicians serve without paying, ensuring the jobs were only open to the wealthy.

I worry that transparency groups may be making the same “mistake”.

These are some dark thoughts, so I want to add a helpful alternative: journalism. Investigative journalism lives up to the promise that transparency sites make. Let me give three examples: Silverstein, Taibbi, Caro.

Ken Silverstein regularly writes brilliant pieces about the influence of money in politics. And he uses these sorts of databases to do so. But the databases are always a small part of a larger picture, supplemented with interviews, documents, and even undercover investigation — he recently did a piece where he posted as a representative of the government of Turkmenistan and described how he was wined and dined by lobbyists eager to build support for that noxious regime. The story, and much more, is told in his book Turkmeniscam. (His book Washington Babylon is similarly indispensible.)

Matt Taibbi, in his book The Great Derangement, describes how Congress really works. He goes to the capitol and lays out the whole scene: the Congressmen naming post offices on the House floor, the journalists typing in the press releases they’re handed, the key actions going on behind the scenes and out of the public eye, the continual use of emergency procedures to evade disclosure laws.

And Robert Caro, in his incredible book The Power Broker (one of the very best books ever published, I’m convinced) takes on this fundamental political question of “Who’s actually responsible for what my government is doing?” For forty years, everyone in New York thought they knew the answer: power was held by the city council, the mayor, the state legislature, and the governor. After all, they run the government, right?

And for forty years, they were all wrong. Power was held — held, for the most part, absolutely, without any checks or outside influence — by one man: Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. All that time, everyone (especially the press) treated Robert Moses as merely the Parks Commissioner, a mere public servant serving his elected officials. In reality, he pulled the strings of all those elected officials.

These journalists tackled all the major questions supposedly addressed by US transparency sites — who’s buying influence? what is Congress doing? who’s in power in my neighborhood? — and not only tell a richer, more informative story, but come to strikingly different answers to the questions. In this era where investigative reporting budgets have been cut to the bone and newspapers are folding left and right, it’s fallen to nonprofits like ProPublica and the Center for Independent Media and, from a previous era, the Center for Public Integrity, to pick up the slack. They’ve been using the Internet in innovative ways to supplement good old-fashioned narrative journalism, where transparency sites are a supplement, rather than an end-in-themselves.

For too long we’ve been funding transparency projects on the model of if-we-build-it-they-will-come: that we don’t know what transparency will be useful for, but once it’s done it will lead to all sorts of exciting possibilities. Well, we’ve built it. And they haven’t come. The only success story its proponents can point to is that transparency projects have bred even more transparency projects. I’m done working on watchdog.net; I’m done hurting America. It’s time to give old-fashioned narrative journalism a try.

 

Previously: Disinfecting the Sunlight Foundation [November 2006]

April 23, 2009

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Kerning, and other aspects of typography explained

Kerning, and other aspects of typography explained | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Charlotte Demonque is the community manager at Fontyou, a Paris-based online co-creation platform dedicated to typography. This post originally appeared on the Fontyou blog, and has been adapted with permission.
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8 Characteristics of the Innovator's Mindset (Updated)

8 Characteristics of the Innovator's Mindset (Updated) | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
(This is an updated version of a previous post simply sharing the graphic created by Sylvia Duckworth.) Recently I explored the notion of the “Innovator’s Mindset”, and have thought a lot about thi...

Via Gust MEES
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Mrs. PH's curator insight, March 15, 2015 12:40 PM

I love everything about this.  All so true, and all so attainable.

Ian Berry's curator insight, March 15, 2015 11:36 PM

Like the article and the links Struck me that we all have an innovators mindset It's a matter of using it!

CIM Academy's curator insight, March 16, 2015 7:12 AM

Creating a culture which embraces innovation is essential and this infographic outlines some key characteristics of innovators to be aware of.

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What is the Perfect Balance of Technology in the Art Room?

What is the Perfect Balance of Technology in the Art Room? | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
A number of years ago, when my district was organizing an introduction of a 1:1 iPad program, I was asked if I was willing to give up my entire art supply budget to help fund the cost of the new technology.
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Schools offering choice in creativity - STLtoday.com

Schools offering choice in creativity - STLtoday.com | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
To inspire students, some St. Louis area art teachers have tossed out traditional curriculum for a new approach.
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Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren

Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Many teachers say the ClassDojo app helps them record classroom conduct, but critics are wary of such apps’ ramifications for data privacy and fairness.
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'Beyond words': Thornton Academy art teacher draws inspiration, wins award - Bangor Daily News

'Beyond words': Thornton Academy art teacher draws inspiration, wins award - Bangor Daily News | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The walls of the Kennebunkport home Jennifer Merry shares with her husband, John, are covered with art. From paintings, to mixed media, to cut paper, there is something to draw your attention to every surface.
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A Step-by-Step Guide to the Best Projects

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Discover a project-based learning model that motivates students to pursue knowledge and drives academic achievement.
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Loose Leaf- A Great App for Doodling and Creating Picture Collages

Loose Leaf- A Great App for Doodling and Creating Picture Collages | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
March, 2015
Loose Leaf is a great iPad app for doodling, annotating and creating photo collages. It’s regular price is $5,79 but it is now free for a limited time. Students and kids can use this app...
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Maslow Hierarchy of Needs and Social Media (Visually Illustrated)

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs and Social Media (Visually Illustrated) | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Maslow Hierarchy of Needs and Social Media (Visually Illustrated) ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning http://t.co/uPY3VSPgi3
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3 ways the brain creates meaning

3 ways the brain creates meaning | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Information designer Tom Wujec talks through three areas of the brain that help us understand words, images, feelings, connections. In this short talk from TEDU, he asks: How can we best engage our brains to help us better understand big ideas?
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The secret to insane productivity? Will power

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Omer Perchik is the founder of Any.do, a suite of life management apps for helping the modern individual get things done at work, in life, and with family.
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40 Uses For Smartphones in School | ExamTime

40 Uses For Smartphones in School | ExamTime | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Did you ever think the day would come when you read the title: 40 uses for smartphones in school. Well it's here now. Read on to see what these uses are.

Via Dennis T OConnor, Gust MEES
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Excerpt:A revolution in the classroom:Check facts: probably the most common use of all. Both students and teachers can now find facts within seconds. This can be very useful when explaining and debating topics.Take photos: mobile phones can be used as cameras to illustrate work and presentations.Make videos: similar to the last point. For example, videos can be used to record experiments and later include them in projects.Carry out tests: this is probably one of the most interesting and revolutionary uses of the mobile phone in the classroom. Students can now take quizzes and tests on their mobile phone that were created earlier by their teacher. In this way, teachers can gain valuable real-time insight into the knowledge of their students and the effectiveness of their teaching. To implement this technique now, download the ExamTime Mobile App for iOS or Android.Read the news: many teachers often include news articles as part of their teaching methods (for example, in Economics). With an endless amount of news gathering mobile applications, you can bring news and current affairs into the classroom in an instant.Dictionary: there are a multitude of dictionary applications that allow you to check the meaning of a word instantly.Translator: again, this can help with meaning and explanation of a foreign word just like the dictionary application.Click title to read more.....
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Eneritz Madariaga's curator insight, March 19, 2015 6:37 PM

Oso interesgarria ikasleen motibazioa sustatzeko!!

Zengin Çilingir Kale Anahtarcı's curator insight, March 23, 2015 7:58 PM

http://www.zengincilingir.com

Manuel Morilla Jaren's curator insight, March 30, 2015 4:41 AM

añada su visión ...

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How the iPad is changing the way we learn

How the iPad is changing the way we learn | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Can issuing students with iPads instead of textbooks make a difference to their education? Rhiannon Williams visits the Danish institutions looking to the future
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:

I love technology , but I still love books as well....

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4 Great Apps to Help Pre-schoolers with Reading

4 Great Apps to Help Pre-schoolers with Reading | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
March 16, 2015
Below is a list of four iPad apps teachers and parents can use with kids to enhance their reading skills. These apps target different areas related to improving kids reading and...
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Media and Education Merge in Latest Cousteau Venture - Wired

Media and Education Merge in Latest Cousteau Venture - Wired | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Philippe Cousteau explores the Great Barrier Reef during a recent expedition. (Image: EarthEcho) The modern environmental movement means many things to many people, but to Philippe Cousteau, it still doesn’t mean enough.
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How can we track trends in educational attainment by parental income? Hint: not with the Current Population Survey

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Chingos and Dynarski describe gaps in the data that are available to track income differences in educational attainment and the pitfalls they create for analysts, and propose how to fill those gaps.
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What is Project-Based Learning? | Definition & Examples | Articles | Noodle

What is Project-Based Learning? | Definition & Examples  | Articles | Noodle | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Project-based learning (PBL) is an approach to learning that makes a difference in the classroom. Find the definition, examples, and reasons to try it in school.
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All You Need to Know About the 'Learning Styles' Myth, in Two Minutes | WIRED

All You Need to Know About the 'Learning Styles' Myth, in Two Minutes | WIRED | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
The myth of preferred learning styles states that people learn better when they are taught in a way that matches their preferred style. Yet there is little evidence to support this claim, and plenty of reason to doubt it.
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The Creativity Mindset

The Creativity Mindset | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
I absolutely love all of the emphasis on mindsets these days. There are growth mindsets (which I discuss in The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Staff Workshop) and maker mindsets (which I discuss in The Mindset of the Maker Educator).
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Creativity in the classroom is the key to unlocking potential - The National

Creativity in the classroom is the key to unlocking potential - The National | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
The UAE will improve its innovation record even higher than 24th in the world by changing the way we teach, argues Ayoub Kazim
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A Beautiful Visual on How Technology Is Transforming 21st Century Education

A Beautiful Visual on How Technology Is Transforming 21st Century Education | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
March 14, 2015
Technology is radically transforming the education landscape.The technological innovations and digital progress that marked the last two decades have brought a massive change in the...
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Technology is rewriting the rulebook for human interaction - Phys.Org

Technology is rewriting the rulebook for human interaction - Phys.Org | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Consider the following two situations.
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10 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Finance - U.S. News & World Report (blog)

10 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Finance - U.S. News & World Report (blog) | Technology in Art And Education | Scoop.it
Teaching your children how to manage money is a very rewarding experience.
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