Safe online – fact or fantasy

http://www.danpink.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/hogwarts-e1264722646117.jpgI came  across two things this week that can help teachers with supporting good use of online spaces.  For some teachers  effective understanding of online spaces and places in terms of good information practice is still a bit of a fantasy tale – like finding Platform 9 3/4 for Hogwarts!

So the following guide is well worthwhile distributing to your school community.

Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online,  gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world.  Net Cetera covers what parents and teachers need to know, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.

What about the big student magnet  – Google?

Google published its five privacy principles for International Data Privacy Day on the 28th January.  OK, I admit that this is the other side of the coin.

However, it is important to understand exactly what our major online tools consider as important to their product – driven by business forces – as the fact that online tools are extensions of our kids brains means educators have a responsibility to keep in touch and activate the right options for online spaces and places.

Google’s Privacy Principles are:

  1. Use information to provide our users with valuable products and services. Search history informs personalized search, but users can opt-out.
  2. Develop products that reflect strong privacy standards and practices. For example, you can chat on Google Talk “off the record” so the conversation isn’t saved.
  3. Make the collection of personal information transparent. Last year, the Google Dashboard was launched to show you what info Google is collecting on you.
  4. Give users meaningful choices to protect their privacy. You can report privacy issues related to Street View. Google often blurs faces, for example.
  5. Be a responsible steward of the information we hold. Google doesn’t sell data to other companies.

You can view the published web document on Google’s privacy principles here.

(via Google  Search Engine Watch)

Timeline yourself – your past is with you

The Dismissal, 1975

The Dismissal, 1975

A cold night in, by the fire with my MacBook and playing with online sites gave me an insight into the digital future of our students.

We often talk about ‘digital footprints’ and the importance of digital citizenship in the learning experiences of our students. Students interact with music, movies, software, and other digital content every day. In fact, now it starts before they even know what is happening, with blogs, videos, and images online right from birth, put there by doting parents and family. But for us it’s a little different. “Digital” is something new in our lifetime.

I played with AllofMe – an online tool to ‘timeline yourself’.  I didn’t find much of course, because I haven’t been online for much of my life!! unlike the kids today who in 2050 could find memories of things long forgotten – the good, the bad and the ugly of who they were and who they wanted to be.

But I got a tiny taste of how it would be for our kids – AllofMe dredged up a snippet of myself in 1975 – the year that the Australian Library Association appointed it’s first Industrial Information Officer – me!!

I’m embarrassed to think how little I knew but how audacious I was to embark on that role. I set the position up, then left to raise a family.  I have no recollection of that issue of  The Australian Library Journal now.  But I do remember my tour of significant libraries around the country which I undertook as part of my information research.  I was even a guest speaker for an AGM   in Melbourne (perhaps at the State Library?) – my first ever public engagement  in my working life.

Must have said a lot of rubbish :-)