Internet of Things: HowStuffWorks explains…

I’ve been hearing about the internet of things for quite a while now, and though I had some idea of what was meant by it, I thought I would look it up to see if my assumptions were correct. Where did I go? To those smart people at Howstuffworks, who made this very informative (and a little terrifying, I won’t lie) video on the subject:
http://snagplayer.video.howstuffworks.com/814747/snag-it-player.htm?auto=no

What do you think? Is it exciting to think about your living room knowing your mood/diet plan/schedule? Or is it kind of terrifying to think about how we are being reduced to constant streams of data being fed into the devices around us, especially since this data will most probably come to roost in the gaping maw of the corporations who sell us such devices in the first place?

These issues, which encompass both futurist ideas and issue of digital citizenship, should be talked about with the younger generation: the potential and the pitfalls to our privacy are enormous and will be felt the most keenly by this upcoming generation. Sparking an ongoing discussion in our classes on these topics is the first place to start!

Digital Natives, Yet Strangers to the Web

This is a very salient article on the need to integrate digital citizenship skills in the curriculum. I have been thinking about this for a long time, even made a schedule of ways we could do this, but Mr. Loewy, the teacher featured in this article, has designed a whole curriculum.

This isn’t a new idea, and in fact, we have some very good Canadian initiatives to bridge the gap like the OSAPAC Digital Citizenship page, Common Sense Media and Social Smarts.

But if there is one take away from this article is that even though youth spend a lot of their time online, does not necessarily mean they are Digitally literate. I will conclude with this quote from Danah Boyd (also quoted in the article):

Teens will not become critical contributors to this [Internet] ecosystem simply because they were born in an age when these technologies were pervasive.

Neither teens nor adults are monolithic, and there is no magical relation between skills and age. Whether in school or in informal settings, youth need opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to engage with temporary technology effectively and meaningfully. Becoming literate in a networked age requires hard work, regardless of age.- Danah Boyd

Today’s schools are focusing on boosting kids’ technological proficiency and warning them about the perils of the web. But something critical is missing from this education.

Source: www.theatlantic.com

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Teen charged after using teacher’s admin password to access school computer

This is a cautionary tale:  a good reminder to be careful with our passwords and our computers. I think we forget that there is sensitive information on our computers – we leave our screens for a second with a confidential email open and anyone can see it.

He’s been charged with trespassing on his school’s computer system after snooping away an administrative password and swapping a teacher’s desktop wallpaper with an image of two men kissing.

Source: nakedsecurity.sophos.com

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The NFB’s Seven Digital deadly Sins

How come I never knew about this? The NFB did a series called The Seven Digital Deadly Sins. I was expecting the usual fare of young people talking about their experiences online (which is totally valid, mind you). What I got was Gary Shteyngart talking about how he is now 87% digital content and relegates his social media to his Dachsund, or Josie Long talking about how she has given up having boyfriend for Twitter.

It is a beautifully designed website with interactive quizzes, articles and hilarious, darkly funny (and wonderfully brief- all of them last for about 2:25 minutes) videos about our digital sinning. Check it out!

Source: sins.nfb.ca

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