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Tim's blog

10 Tech Rules For Schools

10 Rules that schools should consider when developing their educational technologies.
The magazine, "Education and Technolgoy" written by Timothy Lee is available for download at sidebar in .pdf format. It is a magazine for educators, parents and administrators promoting a democratic, safe, and sustainable technological infrastructure for schools.Read more

BOY MEETS GIRL

BOY MEETS GIRL is a feature film romantic comedy written by Timothy Lee, and Douglas Bagot,
You can watch it by clicking on this link:
http://aws-website-bmgmovie-1liku.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/
The movie stars: Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Kevin Macdonald (Kids In The Hall) Joe Montagna (CSI) and Kate Nelligan (Prince of Tides).
The Reviews are available at IMBD and speak to the writing of the film. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169639/reviewsRead more

Student Work

My grade 9 and grade 7 media students are learning to make 3d photo-realistic animations using the physics engine in Blender. The video below was made by a grade 7 student.

Remember, there is no glass bowl, nor is there any cloth, nor is there a room. It is all modelled in the software environment.
Impressive? My hope is that through this process the student will gain an understanding of how media is created and how to create it. By practicing in the 3d digital environment I believe they will gain greater spatial awareness and mathematical understandings. Certainly at an advanced level this type of modelling and animation demands an understanding of code and mathimatical formula. There is so much that is crazy good about this. Not to mention that the physics engine allows them to virtually test different materials and designs for real world...Read more

SUING GOOGLE

So this article, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/09/16/New-Mexico-sues-Google-Twitte...
and others suggest that Google is still using surveillance to track and data-profile students under the age of 13. Yet, though Google is being sued by many states in America, the schools using Google tools and Google search engines and Google docs and Google for Education seem not to be paying attention.

How does the school justify the signing up of students for Google products without parental authorization?

School authorities seem to shy away from answering questions about technology and surveillance in their classrooms. In Canada it is bad form to sue schools but as awareness of how student data is collected and stored grows, questions will certainly become more difficult to ignore.
It is...Read more

  • Sep 17 2018

Why is Google allowed to data-mine Students in Public Schools?

Decision makers who have agreed to the surveillance of their students by a private corporations are hesitant to talk about it.

When we talk about Google services we like to believe we are getting something for free, but really we are trading our students’ privacy for Googles’ services. Schools that knowingly trade student and staff privacy should recognize that this practice present major ethical and legal questions.

Schools must ask, how they can allow access for Google to put students under surveillance and condone the selling of their private behaviors to unidentified ‘third parties?’ We really need to ask, “How the child’s life will be affected by their school-sanctioned profiling and the ongoing modification of their behaviors?”
These question are not philosophical. By law schools teach students about The Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms. Reading...Read more

Unhappiness, iPhones and Generation I

...students who didn’t bring their phones to the classroom scored a full letter-grade higher on a test of the material presented than those who brought their phones. It didn’t matter whether the students who had their phones used them or not: All of them scored equally poorly.

from: How smartphones hijack our minds http://www.roughtype.com/?p=8248

Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything— ...recent research suggests that screen time, in particular social-media use, does indeed cause unhappiness.

from: Have Smartphones destroyed a Generation? https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-...Read more

Tim Lee presents at The Cybera Summit 2017 Banff Centre Alberta

I'm speaking about Tech and Education at the Cybera Summit. http://www.cybera.ca/cyber-summit-2017/home/

Examining the tensions that exist between private and public interests, curriculum objectives and technological literacy, security and ease of use, this presentation identifies the effects of commercialized technologies upon education and offers relevant suggestions for a sustainable, more secure, more democratic and healthier technological learning environment.

The type of computers a school purchases, the operating system it promotes, the software a school provides, the websites they frequent, and the extraneous devices they allow, all form the educational environment that shapes the experience and understanding of the child.

The Internet and computer hardware and software do not always function in accord with the public interest. Companies like Facebook and Google make income through...Read more

  • Nov 2 2017

15 years later and still the same. No proof computers actually work.

The article is long and dull and old, but, I read it fully in the hopes that it might tell me if the computer in the classroom (make that the computer in the student's hands) is actually assisting in making the student more intelligent. It seems it simply doesn't. Well that was then, this is now.....

Conclusion

As this analysis shows, the use of computers in the classroom may not play a significant role in explaining reading ability. Thus, dedicating large amounts of federal tax dollars to the purchase of computer hardware, software, and teacher training could crowd out other worthwhile Education expenditures on, for example, new textbooks, music programs, vocational Education, and the arts. This report does not suggest that there is no place for computers in the classroom. It does, however, demonstrate that computers may not have the effect on academic achievement in reading that some might expect, even when they are used by well-trained instructors

...Read more

Surveillance Capitalism and Human Will

Anyone who appears to be against the great machine of technology is open to be seen as a Luddite, or worse. It is challenging to be articulate in one's own defense when there is so much propaganda and so little understanding of how technology really works, and how the largest, most profitable and politically powerful corporations are effecting human behavior. I found some solace in the the following words taken from an article by Harvard Professor Shoshana Zuboff:

Hannah Arendt once observed that indignation is the natural human response to that which degrades human dignity. The bare facts of surveillance capitalism necessarily arouse my indignation because they demean human dignity. The future of this narrative will depend upon the indignant scholars and journalists drawn to this frontier project, indignant elected officials and policy makers who understand that their authority originates in the foundational values of democratic communities, and indignant

...Read more

I'm on! I'm on!!!

Forgive the movie trailer but sometimes I feel just like she does. - Bad carpel tunnel that.
I wrote this movie, Carver's Gate, A.K.A. DreamBreaker, with Douglas Bagot. Hard to believe that a sci-fi's plot of gaming addiction and the desire to be 'always on' has already turned into the norm of our society.

But it seems that most people are Always On. According to a new PEW study, 36 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 see themselves as "almost constantly" on the internet.
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/08/one-fifth-of-americans-r...
Of course you'd not need a study to grasp the fact that many people are always on if you looked at a highschool. It would...Read more

Painting

"Aina" Acrylic on board - 48 by 48 inches.
I should re-do the photo of this painting as the painting is vastly superior in its coloring. But as so few people actually comes to this blog I will instead spend the time making more paintings.Read more

Technological Literacy and the Curriculum

I am reading Technological Literacy and the Curriculum edited by John Beynon and Hughie Mackay, circa 1990. Spoiler alert! 25 years later and nothing seems to have changed. It would seem that Daniel Chandler's essay, "The Purpose of the Computer in the Classroom" with its closing statement was a warning not heeded.

"....whether it is actually possible to counteract the bias of such a dominant technology. Unless we can, the purpose of the computer in the classroom may not be that which teachers choose for it."

25 years later and the insightful content of these fine essays have little affected the educational system's blithe love affair with technology. Pity.Read more

  • Jul 27 2015

How Does Technology Affect Schools, Part I

"We can't ignore the social implications of our technical progress."Douglas Engelbart

The study of Technology and Technological Media is perhaps a subject more suited to Social Studies than Science. Though computerized technology runs on mathematical formulas, algorithms made up of binary code, the ubiquitous network of computerized systems that we use has become the infrastructure by which our world is run. Technology is therefore a socio-economic and cultural structure as well as a machine of engineering. It is imperative for the student to be educated in the workings of technology so that they may be prepared for the experiences of their future.

The digital technology with which we are dealing has already, is still and will continue, to alter the old infrastructure of our world, changing it forever in many obvious and many hidden ways. We do not see the workings of this computerized infrastructure, as they are largely invisible, performed...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

Interview with Mona Knudslien & Joe Bower

Brian Mason and I were very interested in learning what it was like when Joe decided to give up grading students so we went to Red Deer and interviewed him. I think this video worth watching largely because it shows the intelligent sensitivity of both Joe and his Principal, Mona Knudslien. Very fine and caring people who want the best for their students.

The Stalker is in the Machine

Controlling outside influences upon our students when they are supposedly in the safety of their public school isn't as straight forward as discussing whether a company's logo should be on the gymnasium wall, or whether soft drinks are being distributed from a machine, because the corporate logo is already in our classroom. It is on our students' computers and it is present on every page of the new textbook that is the Internet, which we provide to our students and demand they use. Corporate logos are placed upon the TV monitors in our classrooms, advertising movies to our students as part of the default function built into Apple TV, --a flagrant sales device designed to be difficult or impossible to remove, constantly reminding the open young minds of our children that the store is always open, that we can consume with the click of a button!-- Advertisements are played out to our students in nearly every transaction they make upon the Internet through adds on Google and Youtube,...Read more