Teaching Filtering Skills More Important Than Ever!

(Thank you everyone for your concern! We are all safe in Bangkok this evening with Government imposed curfew on the city) I’m not sure what the news is like about the Bangkok protests outside of Thailand. But inside of Thailand is has been sporadic at best. Leaving people wanting to know and turning to constantly updated streams of information such as Facebook and Twitter. Twitter has made it big within our school community. Many teachers, students, and parents have been following different hash tags or lists. Popular Twitter hash tags have been #bangkok #redshirts #redshirt #thaicrisis. Here’s the issue…..everyone has an opinion and both sides have been using Twitter and the people following the stream there as a way to have their voice heard. I don’t think that’s a bad things, but are we teaching people that these live streams of information need to be filtered? I wonder how many people in Bangkok took the time to actually look at who was tweeting what, and understood their agenda. For as much good information there was in the stream there was propaganda from both sides. Whether we like it or not as a global society we have come to expect this type of live stream when events are happening. Whether it’s an earthquake in Haiti or protests in Bangkok, we want to know what’s going on NOW and we don’t want to wait……we have become a nearly now society. There are two things that concern me: 1) What concerned me the most is the length at which citizen journalists would good to to get the story. Putting themselves in harms way, getting shot at, and in some cases actually dieing for being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Is nearly now news worth this? Yet it happens and continues to happen as people run around the city trying to get pictures of burning building and putting themselves in harms way. 2) Secondly were the tweets from people outside of Thailand who clearly were not informed on what had been happening over the past 7 weeks or so here in Bangkok and felt the need to add their 2cents to the stream, making it even more confusing on what the actual truth was. Then there is the mainstream media. The CNNs and BBCs of the world who are trying to capture and tell the story the best they can...

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New City, New School, New Computer

Well we made it to Bangkok without much of a fuss. Cats traveled well and we’re slowly settling into our new house in our new city. ISB is about 30 minutes outside of the city center making our view a little different from Shanghai. Shanghai Bangkok The view is not the only thing different. Last night’s low of 81F and today’s high of 90F just about did me in. The wife of course is loving it and we constantly fight over A/Cs being on or off. So today we compromised and bought a fan. Although we have situated our bed so the A/C is blowing directly on me and not on her. 🙂 The new house is bare as we await our shipment from Shanghai to arrive (a 20ft container) full of “beautiful carpets and furniture” (direct quote from wife). It was nice though to turn on my laptop and find out that ISB installed a wireless system in teacher housing over the summer. So every teacher has wireless in their house that runs off of the school’s network. Last night I found myself reading through blogs and e-mails and skipping over links that I knew were blocked…that is blocked in China. It was great when I clicked on an edublogs.org and a wordpress.com link and they both loaded. I have some retraining to do of my clicking fingers. 🙂 Lastly I went to school today and picked up my new school issued computer. Yep, a new Mac Book with 4GB of Ram. The last time I had a Mac was 9 years ago running 8.xx OS. I’ve been secretly wanting a Mac for the past couple of years so I’m looking forward to putting this thing through the test in the next couple of weeks. But first I need help from all you Mac users out there. What free software do I need? My first three are already on: FirefoxSkypeTwhirl (Firefox and Skype came preloaded from the school…we’ll work on Twhirl for next year 😉 ) So I’m busy tonight putting in all my Firefox extentions. The onces I can’t live without. But what I need from the community is the other great stuff that makes a Mac…well a Mac. What I’m looking for in particular at this moment: FTP client (free)Software that allows me to share my desktop via web cam But I’ll take anything that will...

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