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SilentAngel's blog

I'm not Alone

I'm not alone in my thoughts about the relationships of technology and society, and in what we all should do about it. And neither are you.

https://medium.com/backchannel/why-i-m-saying-goodbye-to-apple-google-an...

It is time that schools went completely to Linux based systems and joined the 'free' (as in freedom not price) software movement.
It is ironic and certainly it is a sad statement of how difficult it is to extricate oneself from the oligarchy of techno control that when I went to add a comment to the above article, I could not, as one needs a Facebook account. I don't have a facebook account. I don't want a facebook account. But as the 'commercial web' grows in power, the independant web is diminished. All website traffic is seen as the property of the big data players. Not because it is, or should be, but rather because they have the money...Read more

Programming in Processing


I call this one "Wandering Lines," and it is derived from a sketch by Daniel Shiftman ...I think.
It is built in Processing. And the code is very simple. I find my students (grade 7, 8, and 9) enjoy programming in Processing because it is such a visual and playful language. Of course when the ideas become more complex and the need for mathematical understanding recognized, many of my students back away from the challenge. Still quite a few do not. I believe that if a student has a reason to learn something they will, as long as that reason is powerful enough to drive them through the struggle of learning.

More...Read more

Ms. Google: Our Free Librarian

Our schools' librarian, Ms. Google, is a most remarkable librarian.
She has the most exceptional memory. She is very clean and very precise. Like the fabled Elephant, Ms. Google is said to never forget. And is she ever fast! Within a second of asking - and she always tells you how much time herself! (which would be conceited if it weren't so amazing!)- She can give me a list of over 22 million possible choices. 22 million! Isn't she amazing! My gosh I love having that much choice! How empowering it is. Not that I ever look at all of them... ( If truth be known I seldom go past the first page) But I love the incredible speed and thoroughness of her searches. I just love them and I just lover her. I almost never go anywhere else. And I never ask anyone else. Why would I? I trust her. Oh, I know she used to be a bit difficult. I don't mean she didn't deliver, but, on her first page she used to have like 30 choices. 30 choices on one page is too many isn't it? So, even...Read more

One does grow weary of the hyperbole

"Indeed, once you begin contrasting 1968 with 2008, you might even find yourself thinking that, on balance, the Web is not an engine for social activism but an engine for social passivity. You might even suggest that the Web funnels our urges for “participation” and “sharing” into politically and commercially acceptable channels – that it turns us into play-actors, make-believe elves in make-believe clans."
Nic Carr http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1119

For professional development teachers are often required to go to Symposiums about technology and education.
Looking to learn further I looked at the Symposium website when I was struck at how it highlighted the relationship between our educational system and corporate commercial enterprise. I couldn't help but wonder why all that we teachers were going to discuss at this symposium is what we're being sold by Apple and Google? There seems nothing about teaching our...Read more

3d Frankenstein

I am a fan of Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley. What a great author. Out of 23 years of straight war, "The Summer that Never Was" (1816), a night of ghost stories, Shelley, Byron and Pollidori, philosopher father and preminent feminist mother, Mary Shelley wrote a tale that still is vitally resonant today. I wrote a bible for a television series based on Frankenstein's Creature having survived in the Canadian Arctic. I built this 3d animation in Poser, PhotoShop and rendered it in Vue to assist in explaining the idea.Read more

I know we all care about kids.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010)

I just wonder how can schools require students to be on computers longer than what the Canadian Pediatrics Society recommends? What do the CPS know that the teachers don't? What do the teachers know that Pediatricians don't?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices...

The article by Cris Rowan is a bit scary and a bit sparse to be sure, however, those who have followed the growth of technology in the schools as well as the health concerns related to this growth have been aware of these issues for some time. Current viable research is supporting recent past...Read more

12 Grades a Slave

According to Wayne Grady in his book, "Technology" the "mark of a slave is obligatory submission to a higher authority."

Thinking about Slavery and schools. I wonder if in some way our modern system doesn't have the same issues of freedom and exploitation. I don't mean whippings and the racist suppression of groups of people,-- though, it is interesting to look at the recent Canadian stats on which ethnicities go to prison, and which don't.-- I mean a more general truth; that in any system, freedom from the system demands that either the system change, or, that you leave the system. We could compare a slave to being a student who doesn't have a say in attending school but must conform to a system of education that is defined by a small group of men whom they will never meet. This is not a form as visceral or brutal or disgusting as it was (and is,) but, nonetheless a form of slavery in which the individual could be expected to desire, "freedom." Yet, having resented my...Read more

The Internet Promised Us an Ocean of Ideas and Then Put Us In a Fish Bowl

Google continues to espouse rhetoric about the internet going somewhere, but there are only ten choices on the first page of a search and they are defined by Google, so as the myopic becomes the norm the promise of a great democratic forum of wonderful ideas and learning, becomes a sales showroom of the reconstructed consumerist culture. We are told there is an ocean of ideas, but we get put into a fish bowl.Read more

How Tracked is My Life?

How much do we really care about our privacy being invaded?
The following are two quotes from "A Field Study of Run-Time Location Access Disclosures on Android Smartphones." You can find many articles and research that lead to the same conclusions. The results would seem to suggest that our moral indignation does not spawn action. I would think the quotes would be similar for iPhone users.

Participant P2 in the Disclosure group shared,
“Yeah, because there are other features of the app I would want to
use, right, unless there is no use for the app I would like to
keep it even if it uses location sources.”
Participant P4 said
“So when people become so dependent on technology doing things
for them automatically they give up some of their freedom
because now you have companies who can do that and use
that technology. "

And so it seems we don't mind being tracked, at least not enough to find a different app. What...Read more

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