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SilentAngel's blog

The Costly Issues of Two or More Operating Systems in a School

Thinking about how iPads create finacial and privacy issues for schools.

Protecting a child's identity, location and online history from exploitation and surveilance by Apple and it's third party apps is a huge job that falls within the responsibilites of the school. The iPad isn't designed to make the job of protecting the child easy. It is designed for single person use outside of institutional structures. The iPad is designed as a consumer product and though it is often hyped as being an educational tool, the control of this tool remains largely in the hands of Apple. That means, the inner workings, and data flow, remain largely out of the control of the educational authority. Even though the iPad is purchased to be the property of the Educational Authority, it is controlled by Apple, the proprietary company, who remains in control of how an iPad can be used, what software is allowed to be used, who can use it, and how much privacy...Read more

“In (Education), many take advantage of the ephemeral awe that the new computational tools bring — only to have it revealed later that their power was based on the tool they used and not on their own intellectual ability.”

“It is possible to claim that a (child’s) creativity is limited by the very programs that are supposed to free their imagination. … …Whenever they use a new tool provided for them by programmers, they think that they are now able to do something new and “cool.” But are they really doing anything new? Or are they simply replicating a process already conceived by the programmer who provided the tool?”

“In (Education), many take advantage of the ephemeral awe that the new computational tools bring… by using them as means to establish a new concept, style, or form — only to have it revealed later that their power was based on the tool they used and not on their own intellectual ability.”

The above quotes are taken from the introduction to "Algorithms for Visual Design Using the Processing Language" by Kostas Terzidis. I would have printed his whole introduction as it is an elequent comment about the need to understand programming in order to take personal control of the...Read more

Digtial Citizenship: More than Ethical Behavior

If Digital Citizenship is understood to be a moral education of how to behave on the Internet, - a manners guide to social media as it were, --then educators and government are doing a terrible disservice to the children.

The idea of Digital Citizenship as a route to better conduct on the web would seem to be reasonable enough. We all want to protect children from the abuses of this new technological environment. It is clear that children and adults do write and post hurtful things on the Web without understanding the repercussions of their actions. It is always reasonable to show an expectation of moral behavior and in that schools openly promote using technology, it would seem to make sense that schools teach digital citizenship. Yet as sensational as the reports of misuse and abuse by individuals to individuals are, -and they are often most repugnant - it is wrongful to suggest that the student will be safe guarded on the Internet, or even mildly prepared to...Read more

Pretending that I Can Get to the First Page of Google

93 percent of people will not search past the first page of a Google search and will either choose a link that is on that page, or re-word their search rather than looking at the second page. This is according to a SEO enhancing company who may have a vested interest in defining that number. Are you one of these single page clickers? I polled my students about this and they seemed to suggest that only 80 percent of them were a single-page-viewer-user. Then I watched them do a few searches and in that little interaction realized probably over 93 percent actually are single-page clickers, despite their protests to the contrary. But how self aware is anyone when taking note of their online activities? Actions are often just results of operand conditioning after all.
I find it kind of interesting that the SEO company tells me this information in an attempt to get me to hire them to up my page ranking. I mean

the question of...Read more

Privacy by Design

I would like to believe. I want to believe.
I think most things should be proactive, that we should work to avoid the pretense of false dichotomie, and I love the idea of transparency. But then, I don't think anyone actually worries how I am dealing with their personal data because I don't collect personal data on this site.
I can't understand how transparency will work if proprietary code is held as secret and sacrosanct. There are many cases in law that show, either with forethought or inadvertenly, individual privacy is held in contempt when seen as being in conflict with commercial or govermental concerns. And then, of course there is "complexity fatigue." So how do these 7 foundational principles enter into web practices in a real and meaningful way?
The objectives of Privacy by Design — ensuring privacy and gaining personal control over one’s information and, for organizations, gaining a sustainable competitive advantage — may be accomplished by practicing...Read more

Are We Teaching for Their Future?

Last I looked the preparations for the 21st Century Learner we're still underway 15 years into the century. Where is that entrepreneur-oriented education? Below is an excerpt from Yong Zhao's blog http://zhaolearning.com/2015/04/06/a-world-at-risk-an-imperative-for-a-p...

Excellence in Education

There is no disagreement that the world needs excellence in education but what defines excellence matters. There are two educational paradigms: employee-oriented vs. entrepreneur-oriented (Zhao, 2012). While both aim to prepare children to live successfully, the former focuses on transmitting a body of knowledge and skills predetermined to be valuable and the latter emphasizes on the developing the potential of each individual child. The former presumes that a body of knowledge and skills can be decided based on predications of

...Read more

Complexity Fatigue and Schools

"Is it possible that the population as a whole has complexity fatigue? How much energy does the average individual or family have to devote to privacy management? By this, we mean understanding the flow of personal information and the exercise of privacy rights and options. The importance of enforceable citizens’ rights in these deputizing situations remains. However, the likelihood of anyone actually acting on those rights grows fainter because of the complexity of life in an information society. What will best provide for the enforcement of privacy rights?"

from: Deputizing the Private Sector
Requiring the Collection of Personal Information by
Non-Governmental Entities for Law Enforcement or Other Purposes
by Robert Gellman, Stephanie Perrin and Jennifer Barrigar Digital Discretion Inc.
May 2015
An Independent Research Report Commissioned by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta...Read more

The voice of reason is whispering.

Maybe there are caring and intelligent people in the world. The following is from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/02/29/main-findings-teens-technology-and...

Another comprehensive insight came from Barry Chudakov, a Florida-based consultant and a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. He wrote that by 2020, “Technology will be so seamlessly integrated into our lives that it will effectively disappear. The line between self and technology is thin today; by then it will effectively vanish. We will think with, think into, and think through our smart tools but their presence and reach into our lives will be less visible. Youth will assume their minds and intentions are extended by technology, while tracking technologies will seek further incursions into behavioral monitoring and choice manipulation. Children...Read more

Commercialism in Education Micheal Apple takes a bite out of the holy fruit

It was 1992 when this was published. The ideas were ignored then, and twenty years later they echo off the big screens in the classroom, remaining unheard ghosts of intellectual freedom. The above is taken from Technological Literacy & the Curriculum – Jan 1 1992 by John Beynon(Author) Chapter 5 "Is the New Technology Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem in Education?" an essay by Educationalist, Michael W. Apple.Read more

Why are schools so sold on Apple?

It isn't hard to find an educational blogger that is awe struck by Apple products and suggests that using iPads or iMovies or any iThingy is 'awesome' educational practice. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Apple spends a lot of money on marketing and branding and public relations and their equipment is beautiful and shiny. It doesn't take much to make everything any student does look great once it's been put through the Apple template.( http://timothylee.ca/what%20do%20programs%20allow%20students%20to%20do%3F ) But is this teaching the student what we wish them to learn? How deeply researched is the premise that Apple computers increase learning? I ask every teacher I meet to show me research that shows that Apple products increase learning outcomes. Because I'd really love to know! My own research suggests that all is NOT well when students get iPads, nor is all good when they start...Read more

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