Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't Steal from a Tech Geek

Taking responsibility for your actions is very important in today's tech savy world. People who post slanderous messages on their social networking sites may not be aware of the consequences they face, like not getting that job they hoped for. The story from the Global News this morning motivated me to write this post.

You may remember the "Two Teachers, one chair" pep rally incident that ended up on YouTube and resulted in teachers losing their jobs. While the teachers did not use technology inappropriately, their actions were inappropriate and technology was used to show it.

The latest news story comes from a University student who got his laptop stolen. While turning his back in a study hall, his laptop was nabbed. Fortunately for this student, he used the web to back up his files. Following the heist, he went online to see his stored files, and he found the thief's files were on his backup server. BUSTED! Now the student is sharing a video of the thief on YouTube.

Using technology comes with responsibility. This message has been shared over and over again, and there are more and more stories that to show why we need to think before we act.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sounds Like a Broken Record

Many of my PLN colleagues will agree that we hear the same thing over and over again regarding educating stakeholders about the responsible and appropriate use of technology. And the importance of teaching Cyber Safety. Well this post is no different.

In my job, I have been speaking with students and parents about the important topic of Digital Citizenship. Lately, I read a tweet from @tomwhitby which linked to a video about SMART phones and gps tracking. The way it works is that these new phones have automatic settings to track applications created by the phone. For example, when a picture is taken and posted to Facebook, Flickr or other sharing sites, the information from that picture can be copied. I thought, "Good to know," and then on the morning news, a similar video was shown. It made me stop to think that many parents, teachers and even students do not know the implications. I found a similar video on YouTube that will help bring more awareness. The video below shows how this works.

A website called was made by a father after he found out that a picture taken by his daughter revealed the location where the picture was taken from. The website is used to warn people about the gps tracker feature on their phone.

This post is not to scare away teachers and parents on allowing students to use their phones. It is the opposite. Awareness of the changing world of technology and how things work is important along with the discussions and education with the students/children. Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety cannot be left solely to the digital natives who are risk takers and love to take pictures and post them. Adults need to get in the know about the rapid changes happening daily with our digital devices. Educate! Do not think that what you do not know won't hurt you. It just may. Once you have the open discussions about technology, as a parent and teacher, you should feel a little better about your student/child using it.