Four short links: 14 January 2020

  1. The 2019 Privacy Legislation Bomb Cyclone — I know from experience in edtech that the morass of states’ legislation doesn’t make life easy for startups. Brace for more, affecting everyone. We may have passed the days when you could do something online without needing an expert opinion from a lawyer.
  2. Cross-National CCTV Footage Shows That Intervention is the Norm in Public Conflicts (PDF)It is important therefore to recognize a key distinction between the likelihood of individual intervention and the aggregate that at least someone provides help. Yet, in comparison to the vast number of studies that examine intervention from the perspective of the individual bystander, we know surprisingly little about the situational intervention likelihood—that is, the probability that at least one bystander at the emergency event intervenes. […] Using a unique cross-national video data set from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and South Africa (N = 219), we show that in nine of 10 public conflicts, at least one bystander, but typically several, will do something to help. Although the Bystander Effect means an individual may feel less likely to help, there’s a 90% chance that *someone* will help. Not guaranteed to apply in company meetings, however.
  3. Computing Education: What I Got Wrong — really interesting lessons from the trenches of changing computing education. We are much more likely to integrate CS into mathematics or science teacher programs than to have standalone CS teacher professional development—and even that will require an enormous effort. […] Even if you have classes, you might not get students taking them, or it may just be more of the same kinds of students […] Diverse participation is really hard. I still believe in the value of having students program for learning lots of different things, but I’m no longer convinced that the “hard fun” of Logo is the most useful or productive path for using the power of computing for learning. I am less interested in making things for just a few precocious students, especially if teachers hate it. I believe in making things with teachers.[…] We can try to teach everyone about computational thinking, but that won’t get as far as improving the computing to help everyone’s thinking. Fix the environment, not the people.
  4. Tech Adversaries vs. Enemies (Alex Stamos) — excellent graduation speech. It is seductive to go along with the expectations of your boss, your colleagues, your shareholders, which you must resist. It can also be seductive to put yourself on a path where you might never be faced with hard decisions that you might regret or where you are free to always criticize without taking any ethical risks on your own.