Category Archives: online safety

Saving the Internet, One ISP at a Time…

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Since my last post on the Net Neutrality debate, there have been some developments that are positive. On August 1st, the FCC punished ComCast for illegally blocking Internet content. For the full story, see the SavetheInternet site, and particularly this post on the historic FCC decision. An excerpt:

In a landmark decision, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein approved a bipartisan “enforcement order” that would require Comcast to stop blocking and publicly disclose its methods for manipulating Internet traffic.

Tests by the Associated Press and others showed that Comcast blocked users’ legal peer-to-peer transmissions by sending fake signals that cut off the connection between file-sharers. Today’s decision follows a months-long FCC investigation, launched in response to a complaint from Free Press and Public Knowledge urging the federal agency to stop Comcast’s blocking.

More detailed information on the FCC decision can also be found here. This is good news, also for education. However, heavy filtering of Internet content is still common practice in many schools. Unfortunately, the FCC can’t help us there …

And as stated here , “This victory is monumental. But the fight to safeguard Net Neutrality is far from over.”

Image Credit: http://www.savetheinternet.com

APEC Cyber Academy 2008 Contest!!

I am still involved in the APEC Cyber Academy project, and it is time for another round of the International Online Contest. We have designed lots of new content, including a module on online safety and online etiquette that all students need to pass before being able to participate in the learning modules. The specifics are described below. We are especially looking for teams from North America and Europe, and hope that you will join us!

APEC Cyber Academy &
APEC International Online Contest

February 17, 2008 ~ April 19, 2008

APEC Cyber Academy (ACA, http://linc.hinet.net/apec/) is an international networked learning environment designed specifically for K-12 students. The primary goal of ACA is to provide learner-centric, collaborative, ICT, and international learning experiences to K-12 students and teachers around the world. Launched in 2002, ACA is currently hosted by the APEC Digital Content Production Center (APEC CPC) under auspices of APEC/EDNET and the Ministry of Education of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan). With its outstanding networked learning environment and high quality digital content, ACA has already attracted many international users. As of April 2007, ACA has over 15,000 registered learners from various corners of the world.

ACA hosts an annual, international, online contest. The nine-week event for 2008 will start on February 17 and end on April 19. The contest is composed of three programs: the International Networked Collaborative Learning Program (NCLP), the International Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Cyber Camp, and the International Journalists. The first two programs, NCLP and ICT Cyber Camp, are associated with team projects and will only accept group entries. In contrast, International Journalists pertains to personal efforts and accepts individual entries only.

For more details about the online contest programs, please visit the APEC Cyber Academy at http://linc.hinet.net/apec/ or e-mail: linc@mail.nutn.edu.tw
 

International Networked Collaborative Learning Program

There are eight independent learning projects in the networked collaborative learning program: (a) Money: Currency, Purchasing Power and Investment, (b) Mallrats, (c) Food Pyramid and Food Labels, (d) Bacteria, Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance, (e) A Day in Our School, (f) Newspapers, (g) Holidays and Vacations, and (h) Weather and Natural Disasters. To participate in one of these projects, students need to form teams of 5 to 20, take part in weekly learning activities, complete assignments collaboratively, and communicate with their distant learning partners through ACA’s communication tools.

 

International ICT Cyber Camp

This virtual camping program focuses on learning both ICT and problem-solving skills. Participants need to form teams of 4 students for entering the cyber camp. The ICT Cyber Camp is composed of a sequence of four learning modules, which are Game Tent, Expo, iHunter, and Camp Fire Party. The program is designed with advanced and interactive technologies such as games and 3D virtual learning worlds.

 

International Journalists

Students are welcome to play the role of local correspondents for their classes or schools. After being authorized as a residential journalist by ACA, the qualified journalists are encouraged to try their best with digital storytelling, using technology to tell stories about their local communities respectively.

Evaluation 

For the Networked Collaborative Learning Program and ICT Cyber Camp, the performance of each team will be evaluated based on an evaluation rubric (see Rubric handout). The winning teams will be awarded a group certificate of merit from the Ministry of Education, Taiwan.

The performance of journalists will be evaluated based on its own program rubric. The winning journalists will be awarded a certificate of merit from the Ministry of Education, Taiwan.

And finally…

ACA will host an awards gala and conference for the contest participants in Taiwan around October, 2008. Selected winning teams will be invited to attend the event. Traveling cost will be covered by Ministry of Education for invited overseas team representatives.

Image Credits: APEC (http://linc.hinet.net/apec/)

NECC, Day 5, ‘With Power Comes Responsibility: Online Awareness, Ethics, and Safety’

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 Got to this session late, very well attended, so this is an important issue for many (a detailed outline of the presentation and links can be found here. Mark Wagner is talking about inappropriate content, inappropriate sharing, and threats and cyberbullying (MY COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS).   

Another perspective (NICE, I’M GLAD HE MENTIONED THESE, ALTHOUGH HE DIDN’T GO INTO MUCH DETAIL):

  • Citizen journalism

  • Citizen police work

  • Threats, suicides, and risky behavior are often reported.

  • Sting operations online

  • “MySpace is safer for teens than predators”

Students do have 1st Amendment rights. Parody is protected. We cannot control students, we can educate them.

Lack of understanding:

  • Fear of the unknown

  • Vilification of technologies by adults who don’t know the technologies

  • DOPA did nothing for adults or kids, but put more work on schools and libraries (http://www.saveyourspace.com) (MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT THIS E.G. HERE AND HERE)

  • Potential for rebellion and destruction of trust

  • Potential

 Legal protections:

Safety tips for students:

  • Don’t share identifying or personal information (privacy for kids is different than it was for us).

  • Do not share provocative images (according to Wagner this is getting better because kids knows parents and schools are looking)

  • Beware of grooming.

  • Consider the consequences and the future.

  • Talk with parents, teachers, or other trusted adults.

Tips for educators:

  • Move computer into shared spaces

  • Watch for alt+tab and alt+F4

  • Check history (is it suspiciously blank?)

  • Beware of reluctance to be candid

Educate yourself:

  • Your kids know more than the news

  • Ask your kids if they’ve been harrassed

  • Ask if they use more than one social network site
    (from Magid and Collier’s MySpace Unraveled)

  • Kids will react strongly to canceled accounts

  • Read the MySpace Terms of Use and Safety Tips

  • Report violations

  • Know the people in your child’s lists

  • View their friends’ profiles

  • Monitor and filter if necessary 

http://blogsafety.com

http://socialshield.com

http://theparentsedge.com

Bottom line:

  • communicate with students, parents, other educators, IT, the police

  • confront students who are behaving in irresponsible, inappropriate, or unsafe ways. Do not look the other way.

Take aways:

  • We cannot control students, we can educate them.

  • “Wouldn’t you rather know?”

  • This was a nicely balanced, straight-up presentation, intended to educate, not scare people. It was good to see so many people attended. Wagner also provided a link to a wiki with lots of resources

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