Great Lesson on Net Neutrality from Burger King!

If you you don’t really understand the idea of fairness that are a significant part of net neutrality, you will after watching this wonderful video, WHOPPER® Neutralitycourtesy of Burger King.

Happy Safer Internet Day 2015!

Today, February 10th 2015, is Safer Internet Day.

The good things that happen in the connected world make us safer and more secure because they demonstrate that people are using the Internet well. We all need to think about the “One Good Things.” that make the connected world a better place.

Please encourage your children and students to think about “one good thing” that the Internet has brought to each of their lives.

Read Third Grade Good Things for Safer Internet Day 2015.

Project Eavesdrop: NPR’s Story About Our Unintentional Sharing

detective-2

Picture courtesy of Ollie Olarte on Flickr. Click to visit his site.

Just what can our Internet activity tell about us, and who can find the information? What do we unintentionally share? We tell our children not to share specifics kinds of personal information, but much of that information is somewhere — in the digital ether — a result of our various digital footprints, searches, apps settings, and smartphone connections, and waiting to be discovered.

Given the news about the massive amount of data collected by the National Security Agency, NPR reporter Steve Henn set out to find out how much of our data “seeps” out, potentially allowing others to learn all kinds of personal information about a person. Henn used himself as a test subject.

He called his story Project Eavesdrop, and NPR featured a radio report and posted the story online during the second week of June 2014 (a time when so many of us, busy with the end of the school year or the beginning of summer activities, missed this story).   Continue reading

Amaze Digital Kids with Internet Statistics!

Royal PingdomDo you wish you could amaze the digital kids in your life with trivia or fun facts about the connected world?

For the past couple of years the Royal Pingdom site has posted a yearly overview of Internet statistics. The post, Internet 2012 in Numbers, shares some interesting figures, and they will indeed help you amaze the digital natives in your life. Moreover these statistics can serve as excellent conversation starters and provide good context to help connected learners understand more about the size and scope of the digital world that they take for granted.

Here’s a sampling from the 2012 post. By the end or the year the Internet featured:

  • 425 million active Gmail users
  • 635 million web sites
  • 51 new web sites added during the year
  • 246 million domain name registrations
  • 2.4 billion Internet users and 565 million of them are in China
  • 175 million of Tweets per day
  • 40.5 years as the average age of a Facebook user
  • 4 billion hours watched on YouTube per month

Check out the many other stats and some nifty graphs. Remember, though, that the statistics are from 2012. Royal Pingdom has also compiled numbers for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, so you can have some fun comparing and contrasting the numbers from year to year (and watching them grow). The site has not posted statistics for 2013 – at least not yet.

1981: A Quaint View of the Connected World to Come

You will want to watch and smile over this video of a 1981 San Francisco area television report describing the early use of online media. Illustrating how far we have come in the connected world, it’ a great video to share with the digital kids in your family! Charming and quaint and posted over at Wimp.com.  Enjoy!

N.B This video requires Adobe Flash so the video does not work on an iPhone or iPad.

San Fran Internet Video

Visit Wimp.com to watch the video.

If So Many Adults Use Online Video – Imagine How Many Kids Use It?

Check out the video below that explains the results of a survey about how adults use video online. The Pew Internet and American Life Project conducted the survey in July 2013.

According to the report, “Over the past four years, the percent of American adult Internet users who upload or post videos online has doubled from 14% in 2009 to 31% today.”  Read the full report and look at the graphics.  Nearly eight and ten adults use video on the web in some way, with the youngest group, ages 18-29 doing the most.

Can you imagine what 21st Century adolescent and pre-adolescent learners must be doing with video?  Parents who have not taken the time to learn a bit about the ways their digital children use video will be at a disadvantage. Moreover, it will be difficult for adults to ascertain the amount of screen time their children are getting.

 

E-mail, Scandals, and Digital Footprints — AGAIN!

One of the digital citizenship posters made by my students a year or two ago.

On a fairly regular basis a public scandal occurs, and these days just about every one of them reminds us of how ignorant people are about the transparency of their digital footprints.

If reading about the most recent scandal doesn’t convince you of how easily accessible digital footprints can be, then this November 17, 2012 Washington Post article should. In The FBI’s Long Reach Into Digital Lives, reporters Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima describe how easily the FBI gets into an individual’s e-mails and how accessing one account leads to exploring the accounts of other people who have sent or received e-mails.

Interesting Quote from the Post Article

Investigators with a warrant to search a house for drugs can seize evidence of another crime… But the warrant does not allow them to barge into the house next door… But what are the comparable boundaries online? Does a warrant to search an e-mail account expose the communications of anyone who exchanged messages with the target?

Scandals arising from common digital mistakes can provide opportunities for adults and children to participate in family conversations, learning more about their online and networked world. However, if you do not want to talk about the scandal, that’s fine — talk about the lack of privacy that everyone experiences today. Children who make mistakes have no protection as they  explore the digital world, because what they do can easily become public and embarrassing. In any past era their common and developmentally appropriate errors would mostly remain private, but with today’s speedy and electronic communication tools, that’s less and less likely.

We are not trying to scare children, but we are trying hard to make common sense second nature.
Continue reading