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Category Archives: Broadband

This week seems to be all about STEM (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) education.

First I joined other members of the STEM Education Coalition in meetings with administration officials about budget issues and proposals for a STEM Master Teacher Corps.

Later I was one of several invited guests observing sessions of the Discovery Education Siemens STEM Institute. Fifty fabulous Institute Fellows, STEM teachers from around the country were creating projects, learning about cool new resources, and participating in lively workshops.

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Today I’ve got a tale of two social media lessons – one that went extremely well and one that didn’t. Both taught critical, but accidental, lessons about media literacy.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote recently about a class of fourth graders in Brookline, Massachusetts. The students read Dr. Seuss’s book, The Lorax, and were thrilled to hear it’s going to be made into a major Hollywood movie — but crushed to learn that the movie seemed to ignore the book’s central message about protecting nature.

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Today (January 26) is Data Privacy Day. Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), it “promotes awareness about the many ways personal information is collected, stored, used, and shared, and education about privacy practices that will enable individuals to protect their personal information.”

As several of the speakers said during the Facebook Live event this morning, every day should be data privacy (and security) day. This is a particularly timely thought, coming the same week as Google changed its Privacy Policy and footware e-tailer Zappos suffered a major data breach.

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Today (January 18th) Wikipedia and several other popular internet sites are going dark to show their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) now under consideration by the House of Representatives, and to its sister bill, the Protect IP Act in the Senate.

The bills are attempts to give law enforcement and copyright holders new tools to stop piracy and theft of intellectual property like movies, music, and computer programs. Opponents fear that the proposed remedies will be an undue burden on them and will fundamentally change the open culture of the Internet.

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Wednesday, February 1st will be the inaugural Digital Learning Day. Conceived by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Digital Learning Day is the “culminating event of a year-round national awareness campaign to improve teaching and learning for all children” through the practical and effective use of digital technologies. Highlighting the many roles media and digital technology can play in improving learning comes at a particularly opportune time, given two recent negative articles about educational technology in the New York Times.

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While most kids in most situations are making the right choices, there are subgroups who are at greater risk of bad experiences. New research puts lower numbers on sexting and other dangerous acts. Guest blog post at iKeepSafe.

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Very interesting discussion today at the Kids, Privacy, and Online Drama event, part of @Microsoft: Conversations on Online Safety, cohosted by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), and held at Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, DC.

Researcher danah boyd said something that particularly struck a nerve with me. She and her colleague Alice Marwick found that while adults talk about ‘“bullying,” teens are more likely to refer to the resultant skirmishes and their digital traces as “drama.”’ There’s more to it than that, of course, (and their paper, The Drama!

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Our Shared Responsibility. As explained by the National Cyber Security Alliance, “no individual, business, or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use. We need to understand that individual actions have a collective impact and when we use the Internet safely we make it more secure for everyone.”

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Are you one of the 40 million people who’ve watched one of the Did You Know? (Shift Happens) videos? If so, you’ll know why they’re so popular and you can probably imagine using it as part of a thought-provoking activity in a faculty meeting or professional development seminar.

Scott McLeod, J.D. , Ph. D., an associate professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky, a former winner of a Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award, and the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), had those thoughts and so he again collaborated with Karl Fisch (who started the Did You Know?

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We’ve recently been in several meetings about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, most recently when Tony Williams spoke to the National Association for Media Literacy Education conference in Philadelphia. Under this initiative families living in Comcast service areas that have children in the federal free lunch program are eligible to receive deeply discounted broadband service, a computer at a reduced price, and free training.

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