Posted in 21st Century life, data collecting, digital footprints, facial recognition, parents and technology, personal data security, privacy

7 Articles to Help You Educate Yourself About Facial Recognition

Privacy is a big topic on this blog, and today, JULY 9, 2019, was an interesting day in the 21st Century privacy department.

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Image from PixaBay

It’s a significant day because just about every newspaper features an article about facial recognition software and how it may be misused by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department (ICE). This government agency uses the facial recognition software to go into state driver’s license databases and collect information about the faces associated with those licenses. This is accomplished without the permission of the people whose images they scan.

As a privacy-conscious person, I turn off facial recognition on Facebook, on my phone, and for my photos, but I never considered my driver’s license. I also did not think that researchers might be harvesting photos from social media, using them to test their facial recognition products.

Continue reading “7 Articles to Help You Educate Yourself About Facial Recognition”

Posted in calculating digital footprints, curating digital footprints, digital footprints, digital habits, parents and technology

You can Explore, Calculate & Curate Your Digital Footprints

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Check out this digital footprint site.

Once in a while something appears on my screen that is more than a couple of years old, in this care from 2011, but it’s still current and timely eight years later.

This Digital Footprint information and Exploration Site was created by two graduate students, Sarah Bean and Abbi Brenoel, in The Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Their website helps users examine their digital footprint profile from a variety of vantage points. Moreover, individuals who use the site can learn just how easy it is to participate in normal, everyday digital activities that multiply, many times over, those digital footprints. Continue reading “You can Explore, Calculate & Curate Your Digital Footprints”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century teaching, civility, digital footprints, digital parenting, parents and technology, personal data, privacy

Those Digital Footprints Keep Multiplying

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A student’s final project.

For years, when I taught seminars in digital citizenship to third, fourth, and fifth graders, the primary topic was always digital footprints. Oh, we discussed and worked on lots of other 21st Century connected-world issues, civility, for instance, but everything seemed to wend its way back to those always-proliferating digital footprints.

We watched and rewatched my favorite digital dossier video from the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard. The students kept diaries and also asked their parents to do so. They found an online calculator to explore and considered how their permanent digital footprints might look a few years down the road. We made a list of all the potential places that might collect digital footprints, one year creating a list that started at the ceiling, went all the way to the floor and then back up to the ceiling again.

My students were always amazed at the size of their digital dossiers which included, in addition to email, apps, social media, and websites, a range of digital markings that they never considered such as credit cards, license plates, grocery store purchases, EZ pass travel, Amazon purchases, app downloads, and so much more. So when the time came for a final project — more than half or each fifth-grade class chose to concentrate on a digital footprint topic. Two of their posters are shared here. Continue reading “Those Digital Footprints Keep Multiplying”

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital change, digital devices, digital footprints, family life, learning and the brain, parents and technology, personal voice assistants

Should Babies Learn Alexa’s Name Before Mama’s?

Check out a fascinating article, When Your Kid Tries to Say ‘Alexa’ Before Mama, in the November 27, 2017 Washington Post. Tech reporter Hayley Tsukayama describes how a young child responds to the Alexa voice assistant in his house, calling out her name before learning his mom’s. She also writes about the personal voice assistant universe and expert opinions.

51ciPnzyhQL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_I am not sure what to think and, yes, it is amusing.

Yet I keep wondering whether digital toys and devices, especially those that talk, tend to distract babies and toddlers as they go about learning words and begin to carry on a basic conversation. Babies are hard-wired to learn the language that their parents speak — the words, the pitch, the intonation — and it seems like inserting digital conversations into the equation could slow down the process, or at least not be helpful. Twenty-first Century life is becoming more complex for every age as we sail nonstop into an increasingly digital world.

Continue reading “Should Babies Learn Alexa’s Name Before Mama’s?”

Posted in 21st Century Learning, 21st Century parenting, back-to-school, digital footprints, digital parenting, digital parenting checklist, parents and technology

9 Digital Parenting Back-to-School Tips – 2016 (With Printable PDF)

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Click to download a PDF document.

What can parents and teachers do to ensure that digital kids, with their hand-held devices, connected school activities, homework, and other online activities, get off to a good start at the beginning of the school year?

Back-to-school preparation is more than school supplies, lunch boxes, and carpool arrangements. It also involves reviewing and articulating connected-life expectations with family members.

To help you consider the issues in your 21st Century child’s digital life, and your own, use this nine-item back-to-school digital parenting checklist to get started. Continue reading “9 Digital Parenting Back-to-School Tips – 2016 (With Printable PDF)”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, data collecting, digital footprints, digital life, kids and privacy, online data collecting, parents and technology, privacy

How Photos & Data Collecting Take Away Our Privacy

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A bank of computers in a data center. Via Pixabay.

Finding good resources to help young people learn and understand more about data and photo collecting is key to building strong citizens in our 21st Century digital world. We adults can also learn a lot in the process.

Interestingly, no matter how we set privacy settings (stipulating who can see our images), the sites where we post and share continually accumulate information about us  — much, but not all, gleaned from the photos themselves.  Yes, it’s about digital footprints, but it’s much bigger than that.

One article we should read is Why Photos Are The Next Big Battleground in the Fight for Privacy, over at The Next Web news site. The report is chock full of interesting information about big data and how it zeros in on our photos. It also includes sobering statistics about the number of pictures that people share in sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. It’s good information to share with the digital kids in your family or school. Continue reading “How Photos & Data Collecting Take Away Our Privacy”