Another Piece of the Technology in Education Conversation – Inquiry Blog #4

My father-in-law was a computer geek long before that was a thing. He was with a phone company as they were looking into delivering things other than voices through their telephone lines and was a part of the crew than installed the first, 1.5-megabyte memory system at SFU that was basically a metal rod suspended in a vat of baseball sized magnets.

Before his passing 10 years ago, he was looking into the idea of Linux and getting excited about school districts perhaps looking into that operating system and alleviating some of the financial pressures that were coming along with Microsoft and Apple. Part of this was his research into the One Laptop Per Child initiative that was coming out of MIT. He adhered to the philosophy regarding the necessity of having a tool that was internet compatible and able to operate all over the world. The biggest areas at risk of loosing out were the developing world and the poorer areas of the developed world, creating a technology austerity.

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School Library Learning Commons as Venues for Social Justice

The following is the response to a discussion prompt from LLED 467 of the UBC Teacher-Librarian Diploma. The prompt was to provide examples of social justice from online content and if of how yo might integrate it into your program.

I am submitting two examples of online content that provides examples of social justice. The first was found a couple of years ago and left quite an impact on me. The second was accidental, surprising and quite timely.

The first is a video that was released in India a year after the gang-rape of a girl on a bus in New Delhi. This incident sparked a public outcry and official reaction toward the treatment of women in Indian culture. As the father of two daughters and as a human being interested in advocating for equality, this video raises both an immediate awareness and a piece to reflect upon.

The video shows men staring at women, then having their looks reflected back at them suddenly through various reflective surfaces. It also shows their surprise and guilty reactions as they have the opportunity to see their predatory expressions turned back at them. Continue reading

The Apologist – I Prefer It This Way

I just learnt that The Apologist was the English title for Eating Crow by Jay Rayner.  I wonder why the title was changed for the American audience; if they would help in understanding the satirical humour, or to cast light on the differences between the two countries.

The novel is a bemusing look at the side of our society that wants the dark ugly things found in history to be resolved easily and cheaply, with a pat on the head and a “there-there” to quell whatever ills were, and probably still are in some way, committed against a people/culture/denomination. Continue reading

Proroguing Article

The cynic in me has long prevented me from getting too emotional regarding anything much associated with politics.  That is not to say that I suffer from political apathy, I just funnel my energies into the smaller, more local advocacy and am trying to change the world with more subtle means than by loud, resounding gestures.

A couple of days ago The Tyee gave me an article that might start me thinking back the other way:

Dinosaurs Laughed at Facebook Revolt

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All Apologies

I found this article in one of my favourite reflections of Canadiana, The Walrus.  I think it is a great read and would certainly make for some interesting discussion surrounding policies and results of our government’s practice of apologizing to groups that have been wronged in our country’s history.

“A Sorry State” by Mitch Miyagawa

If we are not alright with apologizing to make up for our past indiscretions, then what is a better approach?  After the apology, should we be concerned with the results, such as the residential school compensations?  When I have had time, these are questions that I ponder.

Miyagawa also mentions a satirical book based on this world trend, Eating Crow by Jay Rayner.  Can anyone recommend or comment on it?