Privacy

Privacy

I need to start checking myself when this question comes up during presentations and trainings. At some point someone always asks about privacy. In many cases they don’t even know…..I think anyway…..that they are asking a privacy question. The questions usually are posed as: “If I put something in Google Drive is it safe?” “If I put something in Google Drive can anyone see it?” “Is it secure?” “Can someone hack in and get my stuff?” I’m finding the more I’m asked questions like this, the harder time I’m having keeping my frustrations in check….to the point I had to apologize to teachers a few weeks ago for getting a little too passionate about the topic. So here’s what I believe…it’s my belief so take it as that. “If I put something in Google Drive is it safe?” As safe as anything you are probably going to put on the Internet! This is a good graph that shows how secure Google is compared to other online storage sites. Can someone hack in? Yep…..if they get your info they can get in…but people can also break into your house….and people do….I’d like to see research of house break-ins verses accounts hacked in the US…that would be a fun comparison. So you tell me what’s more secure….your images backed up to a site like Flickr.com or the external hard drive sitting next to your computer? “If I put something in Google Drive can anyone see it?” Well….no…not anyone……but yes…..Google can see it. Here’s the thing….by using their service you allow them to see your stuff. This goes for anything on the Internet, not just Google. Can your bank see how much money you have? Yes. Can your credit card track your spending? Yes. Our Love Hate Relationship With Technology Here’s the thing that I tell everyone at the end of the day: You have to trust somebody! You do…that’s it. Who you trust is personal but you have to trust someone and the issue right now is we don’t know who to trust. I trust my bank to keep my data safe. I trust Google to use my information wisely. I trust mint.com with all of my financial data. Now…you might not trust these places and that’s fine…..but you have to trust someone. Target is a perfect example. We all trusted Target with our credit card information until that trust was broken. Once that...

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Facebook Page vs Subscribe for Educators

Facebook Page vs Subscribe for Educators

  Recently Facebook launched the ability to allow people to subscribe to your Facebook Profile if you so choose to turn on the functionality. As an educator I don’t think it is a good idea and I’m fearful of what this means if educators don’t understand what the Subscribe function will do.Basically Subscribe will allow any Facebook User to follow you without you knowing it or your approval making it very easy for students to subscribe to their teacher’s updates. Much like following someone on Twitter.  Facebook also allows you to control who sees your updates…the problem is one small click and that update meant for family and friends becomes viewable to subscribers. Also….it doesn’t control all aspects of your profile. For example, if you change your profile picture everyone, friends, family, and subscribers see it. There is no way to have one profile picture for family and friend and another for those who subscribe to your updates. So that picture of you and the family on vacation, or you and your new born, or you at that party with Mr. Jones everyone now sees.  Facebook Pages are still the way to go for educators. They are a completely separate site…..there is no cross over from a Facebook Page to a Facebook Profile allowing educators the ability to have their friends in one spot and their students in another keeping a safe separation between the two. Just wanted to throw it out there and think before you turn on the subscribe option in...

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Who Chooses the Communication Tool?

   by Florian SEROUSSI Over this past school year my wife and I have slowly been watching a change in the way her Middle School students communicate with her. It has me thinking that we no longer get to decide the communication tool for a conversation.  It started back in September when my wife received an e-mail from Facebook via a student. My wife is not friends with any students on Facebook but that didn’t and hasn’t stopped them from sending her messages about school. The first time it happened we laughed and my wife was a bit freaked out. But over the course of the year it’s been happenings more and more. Kids, who are always on Facebook, and using it like e-mail decided it was OK to contact their school counselor that way…and is it? A counselors role is to be available to their students in time of need and crisis. Do we really care how they contact their counselor? What program or method they use? I sure don’t and even though at first it freaked my wife out she’s coming to terms with the fact that this is e-mail for the kids, this is how they have decided to communicate and we no longer control the communication tools. Then a couple weeks ago…on a Sunday….she gets a text message from a students (our school directory lists cell phone numbers of admin and counselors). Now, forgetting your homework for the weekend and texting your counselor about it on Sunday night really does not qualify as a crisis, but the fact remains that this student decided that was the communication tool they were going to use. Are we going to see more of this as well? Time will tell. All of this has me thinking about schools and what are the communication tools we set up and are they the right tools? Do our schools need a Facebook profile so that students and increasingly parents can contact the school in that way? I keep thinking about all the places I carry on conversations. Some initiated by me, in which I choose the tool, but most by others. Some conversations are in Twitter, some on Facebook, others in text messages, and yet others in e-mails. Sometimes a conversation crosses platforms other times it stays in the original form factor.  So the question becomes should every counselor be required to...

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Want to Win a Prize?

OK….so the title made you click and read this post…and that’s what I’m hoping will happen with our student body. I got a brillant…stupid idea the other day to see if I could engage the student community in using Facebook and FourSquare to promote our up coming Softball Spirit Night (I’m Asst. Coach to boys varsity softball….we play softball instead of baseball at school…so don’t judge me!) I’m sure there are going to be people that read this and think I’m insane, think I’m putting kids in danger, or a host of other reasons why this might not work…but I do have to say on this one I actually got it approved through the school admin and our very switched on Atheltic Director is in full support. (In full disclosure our Dean of Students, Dennis Harter did my job before me…and our Atheltic Director Andy Vaughen is a COETAIL graduate and a huge user of technology in both Atheltics and Physical Education) Here’s the plan: Spirit Night is this coming Friday as the softball team takes on the International School of Kuala Lumpur.  I first made a special on the school’s FourSquare page (see this post about using FourSquare at our school) that you can see in the image above that outlines how to win a prize if you attend Spirit Night.  Basically kids have to do two things. 1. They have to check-in on FourSquare between 7-8pm (during the game) 2. They have to post on their Facebook Page a status that reads “I’m at Spirit Night are you?” Monday morning the first 10 students to come to my office and show me that they accomplished the two things above in the time frame win a prize donated by our PTA via our Athletic Director.  Next step….how do I get the word out to kids? Sure I could have put it in the bulletin that not every student reads, but instead I decided that using the network fully would be an interesting test. So I found 5 very active ISB Facebook groups, joined them and posted a message outlining the details of the compitition to get this in front of kids and get them talking about it. That’s it…we’ll see what happens tomorrow night…I’m excited to see if this works…or it might be a total flop as kids will look at this and think “There goes Mr. U...

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A 5 country brain dump

I find myself sitting here in Kota Kinabaul, Malaysisa reflecting on what has been a 5 country, I don’t know how many presentation, month. From Bahrain to Iowa with Asia and Australia in between, it’s been an amazing month of travel and I find myself thinking and reflecting on all I’ve been talking about and learning along the way. So here’s my brain dump of themes that keep emerging for me: The future is mobile Whether in the heartland of America, or the deserts of the Middle East and Africa, moble phones are the future of connectivity. We’re also seeing this with Apple’s iPad and the ability to connect to a 3G connection. My guess….every mobile device in 3 years will have the built in ability to connect via a celluar network. We’re already doing this, but it will just become part of the hardware of every mobile device. What this will do to/for places like Africa and a large part of the developing word I can only imagine…….but it excites me. Society expects us to be connected I’ve been preaching this everywhere this month as it came out of the TED Talk I did back in September. i think we need to stop making excuses for all of us spending to much time connected and just realize this is now the world we live in. Once we own this fact then we can start having some deep discussions around how do we teach in this new society, how do we communicate, and how do we live in a world that is constantly connected? We continue to have conversations about being “balanced” and I agree that we need to find ways to get off the computer and get reconnected with nature. But balance in the term of 50/50 is not going to happen and it hasn’t been that way for a long time. TVs are in our homes, gaming systems have been around now for 30 years, and we all have a cell phone or soon will. We are now in a time where being connected is the norm and being disconnected is not. We need to make this shift in our thinking. We need to consiously think about disconnecting, taking trips with no connective devices, which goes again societies rules right now and that’s what makes it difficult. A goal of every family should be to take 1...

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