Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) newsletter #96

Welcome to issue #96 of TL;DR. This is a weekly synthesis of things you need to know about education, technology, and literacy. Feel free to share with someone that you believe would benefit. Subscribe to this newsletter if you haven’t already.

This week’s issue is all about finding your focus & control.

Please get in touch with me 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.


NASA: Cassini’s first fantastic dive past Saturn

On April 26, 2017, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its first ever dive through the gap between Saturn and its rings. The resultant video is formed by stitching together photos from the imaging cameras on the spacecraft.



Audrey Watters this week sent out a post about her intent to block the use of web annotation tools like Hypothesis and Genius. I’ve talked a lot about the use of these annotation tools in the past. I also use Hypothesis in my classes to have students read and discuss texts embedded in the texts. I’m intrigued by Watters’ desire to actively block these activities. The result has been a lot of discussion online for those of us that create and share content online.

I definitely recommend reviewing these responses from Kevin Hodgson, Maha Bali, and Doug Belshaw.

Someone hit the Internet with a massive Google Doc phishing attack

This week a massive phishing attack occurred online as links to a Google Doc appeared to come from someone they know. These links to a Google Doc were in fact malicious attempts to hijack your account. Because many of us use Google Mail as a key link in our online systems, this is very problematic.

Google says that they have addressed the problem and that it affected fewer than 0.1% of gMail users. If you believe you were affected, it’s a good time to change your password, and turn on two-factor authentication. It’s also worth reviewing the post to see what extra steps you need to follow to get rid of that Google Doc.

Finally, this is a good reminder that we cannot trust every thing we click on while online. Even if it comes from a colleague or student.

The future of jobs and job training

A report from the Pew Research Center on the future of jobs, training, and education. The future of jobs is an uncertain topic as we look to advances in automation and technologies.

The experts surveyed as part of this research suggest that we will be able to adjust to this disruption despite needing a broader array of education and skill-building programs to meet new demands.

The full report is available here. I would also suggest reviewing a group of sharable quotes pulled from the research.

You might want to also check out this piece from Fast Company on “5 things to do right now to still be employable in a decade.”

A mindset shift to continue supporting the most frustrating kids

This post in MindShift examines teaching strategies that can be used to help support the most challenging students. These are the students that are the perpetual roadblock to anything you want to do in your classroom. Sometimes this is even confrontational.

The mindset focuses around several questions:

  • What’s the actual challenge here?
  • What can I do to change this?
  • What’s next?

I routinely dealt with students like this while teaching in middle and high school. I also have to guide educators as they try to connect with students that need support. This is a good reflective piece to identify possible next steps.

Therapists are using Dungeons & Dragons to get kids to open up

A post in Kotaku sharing the work of therapists and table top gaming groups like theWheelhouse Workshop and The Bodhana Group.

This goes beyond traditional efforts to help kids open up through the use of tabletop games and peer/adult mentors. What follows is some anecdotal evidence of children with specific social or cognitive disabilities also benefitting from the experience. Definitely a great read for those of you that love tabletop games.


Coffee vanilla cream ale

I brew beer. I first started during my first year teaching 8th grade. I was taught/apprenticed by a friend of mine that was also teaching 8th grade in my building. I brewed my own beer for family birthdays. I even brewed a beer to serve at my wedding.

I like the research and process involved. Plus, fresh beer that you brewed tastes even better.

I stopped brewing beer over the last six years as we’ve been moving and transitioning to a new institution. Last month a friend gave me this kit and asked if I knew anything about brewing beer. :)

I modified the cream ale a bit. I wanted to make a coffee vanilla cream ale like this one from Ballast Point. I added a full vanilla bean and some of the cold brew that I talk about here on TL;DR.

Last night we cracked open one of the first bottles of my own beer in a long time. The taste and carbonation are great. Good smooth vanilla flavor. Not a lot of coffee flavor at all. In future batches, I’ll add more coffee in the process. The end result is great, and I’m planning on my next batch in the next week or so. I’m thinking of either a saison or belgian. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Feel free to stop by for a beer if you’re nearby.


Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own ears.

- Laird Hamilton

Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) #96

Thanks again for reading. I really appreciate it…and the feedback.

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