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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Transforming Africa

Transforming Africa

As many of you know I have been keeping an eye on what is happening in Africa when it comes to Internet connect and how it is and is going to radically change the landscape there. Africa just help the transform Africa Summit. There have been some great articles written on what was discussed at the summit. I thought I would just share some information via news reports and quotes that have me shaking my head in excitement. Rwanda recently signed a $140 million (£87 million) deal with Korea Telecom, which will see the company deliver 4G LTE internet to 95 percent of citizens within three years. Despite 5,000km of fibre-optic cable already being laid in the country, only 8.3 percent of the Rwanda’s 12 million citizens are currently connected to the internet. The government is hoping that the rollout of 4G, which kicks off this week, will change this. (wired UK) Nsengimana demoed the new 4G in action. In a side-by-side test, it reached speeds 90Mbps, while the 3G network managed just 0.5Mbps. For education, he said, this means the difference between being able to study texts online and enabling students to access multimedia and participate fully in online classrooms. (wired UK)(Bold by me) “They should adopt a leapfrogging approach,” he said. “They should take advantage of broadband, because they are not impeded by legacy industries.” (wired UK) Last year, 40 tablet computers were delivered to the children of two remote Ethiopian villages. The villagers were 100 percent illiterate—the kids had never seen road signs, product labels, or printed material of any kind. Within weeks, they were singing their ABCs, picked up from the English-language learning software installed on the tablets. Within five months, some kid figured out that the tablets had built-in cameras—they had been disabled for ethical reasons—and hacked the Android operating system to activate them. (reason.com) One Laptop Per Child considered the Ethiopian kids’ hack a success. “The kids had completely customized the desktop—so every kids’ [sic] tablet looked different. We had installed software to prevent them from doing that,” a contrite Ed McNierney, OLPC’s chief technology officer, told the MIT Technology Review. “And the fact that they worked around it was clearly the kind of creativity, the kind of inquiry, the kind of discovery that we think is essential to learning.” On Oct. 1, LAUSD pronounced its ed tech experiment temporarily out of control and admitted that several schools were...

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Online Community Manager: A New Position in Education

The more I talk to administrators, present to school boards, and persuade educators that we can no longer ignore social-networks the more I am understanding that what schools/districts need is a new position. Now I’m sure in this current state of economy we find ourselves in that this won’t happen for a lot of schools, but I do believe private schools and those who are in highly competitive areas (like here in Bangkok) can not ignore this position any longer. The Position is called an Online Community Manager and it’s not a new position. In fact the Wikipedia article about the position has been around since August 2008, so don’t think what I’m proposing here is a new position….it’s just new to education. At the recent EARCOS Leadership Conference (Conference for International and Overseas Leaders) I had two packed sessions talking about how schools need to start moving into these spaces. I believe the sessions were packed as leaders understand where their community is getting more and more information from about their schools and they are trying to understand how to engage a community in a new social-networked world. I believe there are two reasons this position and schools in general need to have someone managing their online communities: 1) Protect their identity: Private international schools have a large transient population which means there are always new families looking for the right school. More and more people are relying on the Internet and reviews from others who already go to the school. I’m sure the same hold true for most private schools in other parts of the world. Schools need to be in these social-network places so that they can control what prospective families are being told. 2) Engage their community: I think this goes for all schools today. More and more we’re expecting information to find us and want to spend less and less time searching for or going to one more place to get the information we seek. Therefore, schools need to start engaging their school community where they are and stop expecting them to come to where you’re at….that’s a change we’re seeing on the Internet in large part to social-networks such as Facebook where you can “Like” something and have new information show up in your news feed (finally mass adopting of RSS). According to Jeremiah Owyang there are four tenets of the community manager: Community Advocate Brand Evangelist Savvy Communication Skills, Shapes...

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Changing journalism classes in high school

Two recent articles and other observations have me thinking about the need to restructure journalism programs or school newspaper programs in our high schools. Some interesting ideas and developments lately that if I was a journalist teacher I’d be sharing and discussing with my students. First from Mashable comes 8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist which include: Entrepreneurial and Business Savvy Programmer Open-minded Experimenter Multimedia Storyteller The Social Journalist and Community Builder Blogger and Curator Multi-skilled Fundamental Journalism Skills It’s a great read for any student who is thinking of journalism as a career. Then today on my iPhone I read about AOL braking away from Time Warner to become their own company once again and focus on creating content on the web via their web portals. The AP article talks about how AOL hired Tim Armstrong, a former Google advertising executive, as CEO as it looks at the future of making money on free content. The article ends with this paragraph: The company plans to fill many of its Web sites with inexpensive material produced by freelancers paid by the post. This week it said it had hired New York Times reporter Saul Hansell to oversee part of that content-generation effort. So AOL will be looking to hire freelance journalist who understand how to create a community and blogging….see Mashable’s list above. Now let’s throw one more thing into the mix and that’s the skills we teach kids around writing. I share this in many of my presentations, the fact that the writing process is changing due to the Internet. Not so much the whole process (although I do think a Word processor does change that as well) but the fact that you no longer have an introductory paragraph when writing an article. These days due to RSS you get a sentence. Case in point, the RSS feed from the Seattle Times: As a journalist today you get one sentence to hook a reader and make them click through to visit the website to finish reading the article. Of course that’s where the ads are and how newspapers are trying to make their money. No longer do you get a paragraph to fit the 5 Ws of writing…now you get a sentence. Now one paragraph to hook your reader….one sentence. I just wonder how many high school journalism classes around the globe are helping student to not only...

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"I'm not like my dad, I don't have a web site."

Robert Scoble started a Friendfeed discussion with the following: How generations change: my son, tonight, after seeing something new from Google told the team “I’m not like my dad, I don’t have a web site.” It’s a statement from a 15 year old that I think captures how this generation sees the web. It’s not a place of static webpages or information, but  rather a place to communicate, keep in touch, play, and create for your own. The discussion has some pretty good take aways. Making websites is time consuming and, in my opinion, not necessary if you simply need a place to publish to the web, talk with friends and get yourself out there. – Brandon Titus It is time consuming and no longer serves the needs for most of the Internet generation. Sure there are still webpages out there, but blogs or blog like sites are becoming the norm. I left my first comment on The Seattle Times website the other day. Think about that….a newspaper where you can interact with others reading the same article. This is nothing new of course as my dad does the same thing. Every morning during the summer harvest he starts every day at 4am at the local coffee shop. My dad and the rest of the “the boys” talk about the news, the neighborhood, politics, and their lives. We’ve always talked about what’s happening…now we can just do it from places like Bangkok, Thailand. It took me back to how I found my doctor. She’s #1 on Yelp but yet had never been there. The world is changing and it no longer is only about having a website. – Robert Scoble I would agree….today it’s about having a facebook page, it’s about having a Twitter account, it’s about having places that allows others to connect with you, find you, communicate with you. The static web is slowly fading away. Sounds like the teenager asked by Don Tapscott (“Wikinomics”) about why she was not using email to communicate with friends. Reply: “Hmm … email. That would be the sort of thing you’d use to send a thank you letter … to your friend’s … parents!” – John W Lewis What is e-mail used for? How is its use changing? Our generation (first web generation) cling to e-mail as our communication vehicle. We ask “What’s your e-mail address?” while this generation just...

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