Colin Simpson’s Ed Tech must reads of the week

Three Lenses on Lurking: Making Sense of Digital Silence from International Perspectives in Online Instruction (paywall).

The practice of reading the discussion in an on-line forum without engaging with it is sometimes referred to as “lurking.” I’ve never been a fan of the term as it casts a shadow on what can be perfectly reasonable behaviour. Kuhn et al essentially agree in this thoughtful chapter which examines lurking in on-line learning spaces – where ideally there is a greater need for students to be active participants. They offer some valuable nuance to the types of “lurker” behaviour that offer opportunities to rethink how we create welcoming spaces for students.


Aussie gov takes on trolls from Vertical Hold: Behind the Tech News podcast

Given the current government’s track record in the technology/defamation space, it’s unsurprising that the recent announcement of plans to hold social media platforms more accountable for defamation on social media platforms have a few people wondering what the end game is. Monash Uni’s Emily van der Nagel shares her thoughts on these proposed changes relating to privacy, power and moves toward “banning anonymity” (2:38 – 18:22).


Open/Technology in Education, Society and Scholarship Association Journal from OTESSA (open access). This shiny new Canadian Open Access journal comes from OTESSA, an organisation formed “with the goal to provide an inviting community to drive innovation, research, and practice in areas where either technology or openness intersect with education, research, and, more broadly, within society.” The first edition covers topics ranging across video-conferencing technologies, on-line faculty development for effective graduate supervision, and Open Educational Resources in mathematics and learning communities.


50 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them from Beginner’s Guide for WordPress

WordPress has quickly become a ubiquitous platform for blogging and web publishing and it often fills the gaps when officially sanctioned institutional education technologies can’t quite do what educators want. Skimming through this handy list for troubleshooting WordPress for beginners, I recognised at least a dozen things that I could/should do to quickly fix my own site.


Dream app for easy AI art from Wombo

A few months ago, I shared some information about VQGAN+CLIP tools that let you use AI to generate art from basic text prompts. These are great but can be complicated, so it is little surprise that there are now simple apps that let you do this in a couple of clicks. The outputs don’t go through as many iterations as the full tools do and there is speculation that the company sells the “artworks” as non-fungible tokens (the 21st century Tulip mania) but if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a fun tool that lets you download your images in seconds.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. He is also one of the leaders of the TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner