Liked Google’s Reach into Classrooms (via NYT) by Kevin Hodgson
I am right now in the midst of teaching my sixth graders in a Digital Life unit, where we discuss and explore issues of privacy, identity, choices, and the ways corporations like Google are using our browsing histories and data to target us with advertising. You won’t find mention of that state of the modern day technology world in Be Internet Awesome.
Bookmarked Situating Student Hacking by Doug Levin (k12cybersecure.com)
When a student does cross the line, schools should consider long and hard whether the most appropriate response is to expel the student and criminalize that behavior versus viewing it as a unique teaching moment and a chance to shore up internal security practices. (Many organizations, in fact, pay good money for penetration testing services and/or offer bug bounties as part of their security compliance programs). Given the emphasis on STEM careers and the importance of computer science for the broader economy, it would seem that we’d want to embrace and channel the energies of those who show an interest and facility in computer operations…even when it may be in unanticipated ways.
Doug Levin reflects upon the state of hacking schools today. He provides a case study of a student from Michigan who through his own curiousity found various holes in his school’s structure, which he used to circumvent security and prank other classes. Although the easy option can be to make an example of such students, Levin argues that more proactive measures most be taken by districts in protecting data and security. For in the end digital security is a leadership issue.

Penalties and disciplinary actions for students who violate acceptable use policies are established, but what of the consequences to school districts. At what point could district leadership be considered negligent? What obligation do schools have to be forthright with their communities about their digital security shortcomings? How might schools react differently to these incidents, in ways that are more proactive and even humane? These are hard questions, no doubt, but given the frequency of ‘students hacking their schools’ incidents, I believe it is time we more forthrightly address this complicated issue.

It is interesting to consider this alongside Mal Lee and Roger Broadie’s work on digital trust.

Liked Always Read the Terms by Doug Levin (edtechstrategies.com)
Amidst all the conversations about the importance of imparting information literacy and ‘digital citizenship’ skills to students, isn’t it time that we help them turn a more critical eye to the intellectual property and privacy provisions of commercial terms of service?
Listened IRL Podcast Episode 9: Digital Overload from irlpodcast.org
Recent reports estimate that over 50% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. Veronica Belmont investigates the impact of growing up online.What does it mean to grow up online? We investigate how the www is changing our bodies and our brains. A college student shares his experience at rehab for Internet addiction. Bestselling author Nir Eyal breaks down what apps borrow from gambling technology. Writer Heather Schwedel talks about taking a cue from Kanye and breaking up with Twitter. And blogger Joshua Cousins talks about the Internet as a lifeline, in the wake of recent natural disasters.
Veronica Belmont brings together a number of perspectives on digital life. From a critique of the naive advice to ‘just turn off’ to a comparison of habit vs addition, this podcast is not about easy answers, but rather about developing a better understanding.
Liked Four Moves (Four Moves)
The Four Moves blog is maintained by Mike Caulfield, who has been helping teachers integrate digital citizenship skills into the classroom for over 10 years. It is based on research conducted by Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, which found that students lack knowledge of basic web techniques for verification and source assessment, which puts them at the mercy of misinformation.