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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

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

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

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

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

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

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