Netflix's "The Circle" is my seventh layer of hell, and I can't stop watching it

Not to be confused with that painfully mediocre Dave Eggers novel, Netflix's new reality show The Circle is basically the IRL version that Black Mirror episode where Bryce Dallas Howard obsessively ranks everything on social media to the point of extreme isolation. Read the rest

How to catch a subterranean catfish using mentos, eggs, and Coca-cola

While I was familiar with the internet art of catfishing, I was not aware of the practice of catching catfish by hand, which is apparently called "noodling." Then I saw this video. And now I question what I've been doing with my life (moreso than usual).

I don't know what this is, or why it works. But I'm honestly surprised I never did this when I was in middle school. And somewhat disappointed with myself.

Image via Michael Coghlan/Flickr Read the rest

'Ghostfish: Catfished By A Ghost' is a masterful dark comedy in five minutes

This quirky short film was made in just 48 hours, and was named a national runner-up in The HP 48Hours Filmmaking competition. Read the rest

When identity thieves targeted beloved open course teachers, Facebook sided with the crooks

Your account has been disabled for pretending to be someone else.

Teachers don't go into education to get rich. It's a great job, the rewards are awesome and although they're not financial, they are of value. They are socially valuable. It's why teachers are one of the "professional" people allowed to verify your passport photograph, to qualify that it really is a picture of you. Society recognises that they're more likely to value the long rigorous process of acquiring that trust above jeopardising it to earn a quick kick-back. We even trust them with our children.

And then you get open teachers, who make their classes available online for free, for any learner regardless of their ability to pay or personal circumstance. Open teachers naturally earn this trust, this social capital, very publicly and because they're often teaching at scale they potentially earn this social capital at scale too. It means they and people like them are great people to impersonate in order to steal, from the people who trust them (all of us).

It isn't just teachers who are "Catfished" (the process of having your online identity hijacked). It can happen to anyone of us but what's worrying is when someone as trusted, high profile and digitally literate as an open teacher is Catfished, and try as they might, can just do nothing about it, then what are the rest of us meant to do when it happens to us (assuming we ever find out)?

Alan Levine made my open classes possible and anyone in open education knows Alan as the open teacher's teacher, the go-to-guy for teachers as well as students. Read the rest