Recent events (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_celebrity_pictures_hack) are a reminder that “The Cloud” is not a safe medium in which to store sensitive information. I wonder, can we even trust the companies that create the cloud based storage that we use every day? If somebody creates a cloud-based storage system, then it is possible that they could know of a secret way to access the private information through a kind of “back door”. What stops the owners of the services from taking a peek into people’s digital vaults? I am not saying that this is what happened in the recent celebrity photo leak, but I feel that it is something that people need to consider as a possible risk to their own data.
I had always regarded gaming as either a fun pastime or an educational tool used as an adjunct to traditional classroom lessons. I had a perception that the only truly educational games were designed by programmers with specific and immediately measurable learning objectives built into the game (e.g. Mathletics). My beliefs about gaming have changed since I viewed an online lecture by McGonigal (2010) and also created my own game using Sploder. I had initially pigeon-holed Sploder as an entertaining time-waster, but then I began to think more deeply about it: How it could be used as an educational resource? Some of Bloom’s Taxonomy’s higher order thinking skills came to mind:
- Design – students could create a game as a collaborative group project or do it alone. They would make decisions about topics such as game design or the rules of the game. They could even design a marketing plan for their game.
- Evaluate – students could critically review the games made by other groups.
- Analyse – the testing phase would allow them to use problem solving skills to improve the game
There are too many possibilities to list them all. I can just imagine how engaging it would be for students to be the creators and not the consumers!
McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make bettter world [Streaming video]. Retrieved 28/08, 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world#
Sploder! Where games come true (2014). Retrieved 29/08, 2014, from http://www.sploder.com/
Here is my very rushed attempt at making a game 🙂
Can you find the easy way in to the flag checkpoint?
Click on the link to play:
I recently read an article by Noble (2013) who put forth an opinion that today’s school students need to be prepared for new varieties of jobs that do not yet exist. It seems entirely plausible when I reflect on new occupations that I have seen develop in the last few years: people are making careers out of becoming full-time bloggers and by monetising their YouTube clips. I could never have imagined these roles 15 years ago. As technology changes, so to do the skills expected of employees by employers (Howell, 2012). How can I help to prepare students for the ever-changing digital world? I intend to start by assisting students to develop a high level of digital fluency. Today’s digital natives are adept at using technology to discover information, but in order to become digitally fluent, they need to be taught to evaluate and apply that information. I also feel that it is critical for students to be taught to regard computers not just a source of information, but as a tool for creation. In my classroom I will provide opportunities for students to showcase their understanding in digital form, using mediums such as PowerPoint, blogs or Prezi presentations. There are endless possibilities with novel digital forms of expression appearing frequently.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT : digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.
Noble, A. (2013). Start Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Jobs. Retrieved 28/08, 2014, from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/technology/opinion/start-preparing-today-for-tomorrows-jobs/story-e6frgb0o-1226695812923
Cyberbullying is a significant issue that teachers need to address in this digital age, although it isn’t just restricted to school children (see http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/zelda-williams-quits-twitter-instagram-after-trolls-send-fake-photo-claiming-to-be-her-dad-robins-dead-body/story-fnjwnhzf-1227023628540 ).
With the boundary between our online lives and physical lives becoming increasingly blurred, victims don’t have the option to disconnect. Disconnection leaves them at risk of being marginalised or left out of their social network which blends seamlessly between the online and the digital world. So, what can be done for our students? Firstly, they need to be taught about respect for others (social/emotional skills) and see examples of the impact that cyberbullying can have on a victim. Strong school policies on cyberbullying must be developed and enforced with students advised specifically on what constitutes cyberbullying. The aforementioned strategies will help, but it would be naive to think that there is any prospect of eliminating the problem altogether. Teachers must, therefore, equip students with coping strategies to foster resilience should they become the target of an attack.
I intend to encourage students to do online work at school. By doing this I hope to enable discussions about appropriate online behaviour to develop naturally in the classroom and to give students a proper context in which to apply their knowledge.
Commonwealth of Australia. (2014). Cyberbullying. Retrieved 24/08, 2014, from http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/teens/how%20do%20I%20deal%20with/cyberbullying.aspx
Connectsafely.org. (2014). A Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying Retrieved 24/08, 2014, from http://www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/cyberbullying_guide.pdf
An article that ties in nicely with my reflection on week 1