Has Your Child Grown Up With Google? Check Out This Article

Ever so often adults are reminded that the world where we grew up is dramatically different from the world where our 21st Century children live, learn, and grow. What is new and different for parents and educators is merely routine to digital kids.

Over at the TeachThought blog I discovered an interesting article about the dramatic life changes that have occurred during the first 16 years of Google’s existence (dramatic to adults, that is). The author uses Google as a yardstick to measure the ways the world has changed during those 16 years, Click on the box below to read the whole article.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 8.57.37 PM

Continue reading

Top Secret Rosies: Female Mathematicians During World War II

MV5BNDU2NzEyNjI0NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODcwNjI2MjE@-1._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_AL_With so many STEM-in-the-curriculum discussions and the urgency to encourage 21st Century girls and young women to take more interest in science and technology, it’s exciting to discover a resource that shares a story about women and some amazing mathematical achievements.

Check out Top Secret Rosies a video about the women, recruited by the United States Army during World War II, who worked on a top-secret mathematics project. The women, all of whom possessed strong math skills, were recommended by their college professors and travelled to Philadelphia to do the complex ballistics calculations that were required to aim weapons more accurately.

Continue reading

Don’t Be Afraid of Device-free Times in Your Family!

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 8.36.54 PMMy March 2011 post, Five Tech-free Times for Families, discussed the importance of planning family time-out activities away from digital devices. Time away from screens, I noted, provides family members with opportunities to communicate with one another and enjoy activities that do not require technology (playing outside, eating together, reading, enjoying a game).

Device-free times also help kids and adults become more aware of the people around them, and without screens good conversation is much easier. Many people have kept journals of their device-free activities, and often they note how much easier it is to talk more with people, try new activities, even sit around and relax.

If you missed College Kids Giving Up Their Cellphones: The Incredible Tale of the Maryland Women’s Team, it’s a great resource to read now and share with the young people in your family.             Continue reading

ENIAC: The First U.S. Computer and How Women Made It Work

ENIAC 6People — young and old — enjoy learning about the first computer in the United States, ENIAC, booted up in 1946. Every 21st Century learner needs to know about this amazing machine and the story of the first programmers.

A few weeks ago I visited Philadelphia and had a special opportunity to visit ENIAC. This huge, old-fashioned computer is owned by the Smithsonian Institution  (read this article), but parts of it are still housed in a building at the University of Pennsylvania, almost exactly where it was originally set up. ENIAC could be  programmed to do extensive calculations much faster than humans could calculate.

The letters in ENIAC stand for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.                             Continue reading

Privacy 2015 Part III: Pew Privacy Report Shows Adults’ Concern About Personal Info

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.08.04 PMA privacy report, just issued by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, addresses the views of American adults, now that the country is two years past the disclosure of digital world “information collecting” by the National Security Agency (NSA).

FT_15.01.15_privacy_personalInfoOne especially interesting finding of the report is that 91% of the adults surveyed believe they have lost control of their personal information (how it’s collected and how it is used). A majority of survey respondents also indicated that they would like more control over advertisers’ access to and uses of personal information. Read more about the report.

Often we do not think about the many digital footprints that adults leave behind in the digital world — digital footprints that give companies access to more information. Yet, as I work with children in the K-12 world, it is not uncommon for them to wonder aloud about the privacy of their parents. My students, as they learn about their own personal information dos and don’ts, also apply these lessons to the digital profiles of the adults in their lives. Continue reading