Digital Footprint

In learning path 10 “where does your digital footprint come from” I watched this, 

which reminded me of my greatest fear about social media.  Phones that can take pictures and videos allowing anyone to capture images of people when they are not even aware of it and post it to the internet.  One such video came up on my facebook page of a girl picking her nose on the underground.  What disturbs me the most is not what she was doing (although strange that you should do that in public) but that someone took a video of her and then advertised it on the internet to be shared amongst millions.  Why would you do that?  More recently, a friend of mine took a photo when she was in the bus of two ladies sitting in front of her (back of their heads). These ladies had very distinctive haircuts and a colourful fashion sense.  She uploaded that photo to her facebook page with a sarcastic comment.  Again, why would you do that?  When I see someone aiming a phone in my direction, although they might just be watching a movie, reading a text or checking their Facebook page, I will physically turn around so my face can not be seen. I find this a real invasion of privacy that people feel they can take your photo and splash it all over the internet without your consent.  It makes me wonder should we speak out or stay silent?

As for the “Rate My Teacher” sites, i’m glad i’m going to teach Early Childhood 😉


Ted talk by Conrad Wolfram

I enjoyed accessing and watching the Ted talk by Conrad Wolfram in the week 5 learning path.

In particular, his story about his daughter who likes to make laptops out of paper.  He told her that this was something he never did.   When asked by her father (Conrad Wolfram), “Why do you think I didn’t make laptops out of paper when I was your age?”  Her reply was “no paper”.  This story highlights the fact that our world is changing and we need to change and teach our children what is relevant to them now and when they go out into the workplace.

We have and are continually moving to a paperless society.  For example, from the use of cash and cheques to credit cards, from using textbooks in class to downloadable applications or software to computers, from picture books, novels and non-fiction books to eBooks.

Homework by Svadilfari, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  Svadilfari 

Conrad Wolfram tells us from his ted talk that we should leave the computation of math to computers.  While I have to agree with him that a lot of school math remains in school and is not something that a majority of us will use in our real world lives,  I’m having a hard time believing that it is good that we allow computers to calculate everything for us such as this addition slide rule I found on his website.  See this demo below:

Addition Slide Rule from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project by George Beck

(Browse other topics available here).

Does this mean that one day we will not need to teach certain core academic knowledge of math such as mental math for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division?  I do always reach for my phone (calculator) to make calculations!

I can see the benefits in Wolfram Demonstration Project, where the learning occurs because the children are interacting, engaging, visualising and exploring math concepts.


Early Childhood ICT resource the “Bee-Bot”

In a world where ICTs are a major focus in curriculums not only in Australia but worldwide I have fallen upon the “Bee-Bot” a couple of times while I have been browsing the internet.  It is a programmable floor robot that has won several awards; Educational Resources Award 2006 in the Primary ICT category, BETT Award for Early Years and Primary Hardware and The Gold Award at Practical Pre-School Awards Ceremony.  So it must be good right?

This resource is also available FREE from iTunes for the iPhone/iPad but it has limited functionality and you would probably have to upgrade the app to increase the complexity, progression and to add more functions.  It enables children to improve their skills in directional language, Literacy, Mathematics and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.  I like the way you can use it for language and numeracy activities where children have to solve problems in a fun way.  For example you could program the Bee-Bot so the children discover spelling words using the alphabet mat.  The down side to this ICT is that you have to purchase the hardware.  What do you see as the advantages or disadvantages to this resource?

Please view this video to learn more about the Bee-Bot: