Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) newsletter #90

Welcome to TL;DR Newsletter #90. TL;DR is a weekly synthesis of things you need to know about the intersection between education, technology, and literacy. Thanks for joining us.

This week’s issue is about building awareness.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for my first webinar as I continue to develop The Next School. The free webinar will be held on March 30th, 2017 at 8:00 PM (ET) and you can sign up for the webinar here. We will discuss three steps to become a digitally agile educator.

Feel free to share this with someone that you believe would benefit. Please subscribe to this newsletter if you haven’t already. Thanks!!! :)

Send me feedback or questions at You can review archives of the newsletter here or on Medium. I also share the quotes at the bottom of the newsletter on Instagram.


A fictive flight above real Mars (4:32)

A part of NASA’s High Resolution Imagine Science Experiment (HiRISE), over 50,000 high resolution images have been taken of Mars over the last 12 years. NASA makes these openly available for viewing, providing you have special 3D glasses.

Finnish filmmaker Jan Fröjdman edited these photos into a short film that pans the collection together to provide a flyover of the planet.

Very soon you may be able to travel to Mars…provided you’ve got the money is the cushions of your couch. You can prepare for this moment with the free video above.


The Senate prepares to send Internet privacy down a black hole

While you were not watching, the U.S. Senate voted to gut rules protecting Internet privacy for American citizens. For our international TL;DR readers, this vote will still need to pass the House of Representatives and get President Trump’s signature to take effect. There is still time to do something, but this is a sign of future trends.

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a set of privacy regulations that banned your Internet service providers (ISPs) from selling your browsing data without your consent. So, if you pay Comcast or AT&T for Internet service to your house or business, these companies will allowed to sell your browsing habits, Internet use, and personal data without your approval or even having to tell you. This would allow companies to develop sophisticated databases on you for a variety of purposes…all without you even knowing who they are, or what they’re doing with it.

This recent vote from the U.S. Senate not only starts the process of rolling this back, but also includes language to block the FCC from being able to pass similar rules in the future. You can read more here at the NY Times and The Verge.

These sorts of actions have chilling effects on privacy and security online. These effects ultimately work their way around the globe as we all interact in a global marketplace. If you’re in the U.S., you can get involved thanks to a tool from the EFF.

This is also a sign that we all need to be more informed users of the Internet and take steps to ensure our own privacy and security, and advocate for others that cannot.

How the Internet is saving culture, not killing it

A piece from Farhad Manjoo in The NY Times examining recent trends in culture and audience in online spaces.

Many of us originally thought that the artist and content creator would not be able to make a living due to audiences stealing their content, or distributors sucking up the majority of the profits. Manjoo paints a different picture by showing the subscriptions are up for a variety of content creators and services. Additionally, it appears that services like Patreon, which allow audiences to support content creators allows for one-to-one, monetization of artists.

For those of us that see ideas for entrepreneurship in online spaces…this is good news.

Anatomy of school bullying

Stephen Merrill in Edutopia identifying the hot spots in schools in an attempt to put an end to student bullying.

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Merrill looks at the location data as it relates to bullying incidences. It appears that the transition spaces tend to be centers of bullying activities. The results also suggest that a lot of bullying occurs in the classroom as well.

Bullying is a complex problem, and the inclusion of digital spaces makes this even more problematic. This post from Merrill provides some insight and resources as you build awareness with colleagues, students, and children.

How much do you know about cybersecurity?

This quiz from the Pew Research Center is a good first step to gauge your own awareness of the terms and topics in this area. Keep in mind, if you’re a regular reader of TL;DR, you will most likely have a good understanding of issues of privacy and security in digital spaces. As a result, you’ll do well on the quiz.

After you have completed the quiz, compare your results against the results of average Americans in this recent report on What the public knows about cybersecurity.

Newest “Sesame Street” muppet has autism: Meet Julia

For many children, Sesame Street is one of the first ways in which education and literacy enters their lives. In this context, Sesame Street has not been reticent to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges. They continue this trend by including a new muppet to the cast, Julia. Julia has autism and the show will use it to build awareness with their viewership.

As they state in the post linked above, it’s important for kids (and adults) to see what autism can look like.


WordPress releases add-on for Google Docs for Collaborative Editing

My writing process increasingly uses Google Docs. I rarely, if ever use Microsoft Office, and specifically Word for my blog posts, journal articles, and book chapters.

With the integration of Google Keep into Google Docs, and this connection with WordPress, my blogging process will most likely start with a Google Doc, and then I’ll send this out to WordPress to publish. This allows me to keep a copy of a post and then still publish online. I’ll have my students start using this process immediately.


Right time, right place, right people equals success. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people equals most of the real human history.

- Idries Shah

Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) #90

Thanks again for reading. Please feel free to share with others you believe would benefit. If you like what you see here, subscribe to get it hand-delivered to your inbox.

To review past issues please click here or on Medium. Follow along on Instagram and let me know what you think.

To send me feedback, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out ( or connect on Twitter.