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Category Archives: Education

Graduated Licensing for COPPA and CIPA

by default 2014-05-30 at 11.39.49Lately, I have been working with elementary students through our Digital Citizenship curriculum. Of course, part of this curriculum is about online safety, bullying, and other worries through social media. In continuing my research around COPPA and CIPA laws I have started to wonder about the 13 year old age limit that has been determined to be the cut off for those who are and are not able to use social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and the like. For example, Facebook states that no user may have an account or have an account made for them by an adult if they are under 13 years of age, as shown here.

Instagram also clearly states in their first term that users must be 13 years of age.

But there is no graduation to this level. There is no scaffolding or built-in support and I wonder why. For example, in Canada and other countries there is graduated licensing to drive a car. This means that a user, or the driver in this case, needs to learn along an experienced user who will guide them through the pitfalls of their learning journey.

I would argue that learning on social networks also needs this hand-holding. But I would also argue that starting to teach a child at the age of 13 is too late AND that having a child care for their account would necessitate ownership by the child of the account.by default 2014-05-30 at 11.38.05

Therefore, I propose that a system needs to be built, with COPPA and CIPA adjusting their regulations in such a way that kids can sign up with a parent or guardian, that the adults receive updates about account activity, and that this feature eventually fades out over time.  Possibly at the beginning of account activation there has to be a two-party login, where both parent and child have their own password.  It sounds complicated, and probably is, but it seems short-sighted that the age 13 is a magic, non-arbitrary number that ensures that a child is safe and has healthy online habits that are ready for social situations.

What are your thoughts?

 

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Self-regulation technique helps students focus in class

See on Scoop.ittech | design | education

Self-regulation, a philosophy of education that is moving into public schools in British Columbia and other parts of the country, helps students reduce stress that can prevent them from focusing and behaving properly in class.

Thomas Adam Johnson‘s insight:

Revving up the engine or calming down the brain – this article presents techniques for dealing with both sides of the energy spectrum with students.

See on www.cbc.ca

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Education

 

The Flight From Conversation

See on Scoop.ittech | design | education

We use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right: the Goldilocks effect.

Thomas Adam Johnson‘s insight:

Some deep advice about connectedness, loneliness, and too much technology use today.  I write a reflection about this subject here.

See on www.nytimes.com

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Education

 

Technology and Self-Control – The necessary new skill

Regarding the article, “The Flight from Conversation”, I would argue against Turkle’s (2012) endorsement that, “My students tell me about an important new skill: it involves maintaining eye contact with someone while you text someone else; it’s hard, but it can be done.”  Wouldn’t the important new skill be putting the device away and paying attention to the person with whom you are making eye contact?

Image representing Google Glass as depicted in...

But things get worse (better?).  Right now smart phone devices are only handheld; however, Google is planning to release Google Glass to the public in 2014.  Jeff Utecht just said last week at the ECIS 2013 conference that some students at Singapore American School already have it.  Wow.  Cool.  Really?

As educators, Utecht points out we need to ask ourselves, “How is this Google Glass device and ones like it going to change the way I do things in my classroom?”  Our natural responses to most new technologies is to ban it.  However, will this be the best solution for something that is so powerful and will continue to change the way we do business in school.  How do we ban something that eventually doesn’t look like Google glass, but only like a pair of reading glasses?  This will happen as technologies get smaller and smaller.  How do we ban technologies when they are planted directly into humans and are interfacing with the brain?  Utecht posits this to be around the corner as well.

How do we start to work towards this future?

Googleable and Not Googleable

As an educator, starting Monday, if you are not doing this already, stop teaching the stuff that is “Googleable” (McIntosh, 2013), “Wikipediaable”, “Wolfram-Alphaable”, “Khan Academyable”, “Youtubeable”, and “MOOCable”.  As McIntosh explains in the previous link, put a board on your wall in the classroom: “Googleable” and “Not Googleable” questions.  When students ask the former type of question, ask them to write the inquiry down on a sticky note and post it on that board.  Inform the student they need to find that answer and come back to the class with the response.  This is where the iPhone 5Ss, Galaxy S4s, HTC Ones, and dare I say, Google Glasses will come in handy.  We, as educators, can have students use these devices to our advantage.  For the other types of questions, the “Not Googleables”, let’s write those questions down too, post them on the wall, and delve into them.  They are deep.  They need conversation, guidance, and debate. 

However, I digress, the article was about the dystopian future, like the one illustrated in the movie Wall-e.  We are becoming disconnected in real life as we become connected to the ‘people cloud’.  If you have ever watched Star-Trek, we are becoming the Borg – lifeless, robot-like humans, who are getting assimilated into “the hive”.
So the bigger question is “how do we battle this?”
I would argue that my job description in the near future will turn from “tech integrator” to “tech disintegrator”.  We are adopting and adapting technology at an exponential rate.  We need to step back and start having talks about “How much is too much?” and “How do we manage these devices and the disconnections they are creating in everyday life?”  We need to model real-life connection when we are in life.  We also might need to start calling a spade a spade.  By this, I mean, we need to ask our colleagues, friends, family, and lovers to put down the device and be with us.  At the same time, we need to be ready to do the same when someone says this to us.
I love the ideas that Turkle puts forth, which are “At home, we can create sacred spaces: the kitchen, the dining room. We can make our cars “device-free zones.” We can demonstrate the value of conversation to our children. And we can do the same thing at work. There we are so busy communicating that we often don’t have time to talk to one another about what really matters. Employees asked for casual Fridays; perhaps managers should introduce conversational Thursdays.”
For those with less will-power, we can start by putting limits for ourselves on devices and internet.
Try scheduling your router:
For controlling kids devices, try something like this:
To lock your Samsung Galaxy S4 at certain times: http://www.ekoob.com/time-limit-apps-for-android-13470/
We shouldn’t need this, but some of us do.  This brings me back to my original argument, which was that the new skill is not learning how to make eye contact while testing to someone else, but it is having the will-power to put the device away while you are with your loved ones, your family, your friends, your colleagues, and having the courage to put it away when you are only with your self.
 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Education, Technology

 

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