Archive for January, 2012

Assignment no.3 of Coetail course 2

Digital Footprint


In this fast running tech savvy world, it’s high time that we start managing our digital footprint and this is a topic of great interest to me since even I have started working on it by making it a point to check the photos I am tagged in and the comments which I am posting. Our behavior on social networking sites gives the other person a picture of the real us! As an educator, we can post or write about our interests and what is it that we would like our students to imbibe. Our student‘s work can also be displayed on our profile to make it apparent that what exactly are we teaching and how much the child is grasping.

As job recruiting moves online, so does job screening. In fact, managing our e-reputation or professional image online, can be beneficial. It is a fact that just because we aren’t searching for a job means we can be careless with our online professionalism.  Our reputation transcends our personal and online interactions. For example, if I am sharing a name with that of a criminal, it is obvious that I don’t want potential employers to confuse the two of us. So it is better to create a profile which is individually only ours and hence it is a good way to eliminate confusion.

Research have shown that 90% of recruiters hiring managers have visited a potential candidates profile on a social network as part of the screening process and a whopping 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on content found in his/her social networking profiles.

Hence I would conclude that having a profile that is unique and not shared by any other person and if our profile would depict what we actually are and even our likes and dislikes, it will definitely be beneficial for us.

As children enter their teenage years they begin participating more and more in online environments. As educators, it is our duty to help children engage effectively in online environments and this can be done by helping students in managing their digital footprint and that too in a positive way.

Well, the question that whether or not teenagers use their real names online arises in our mind very often but another question which pops up in my mind is “if we don’t take ownership of our digital identity then who will?”

Teaching students the lessons of responsibility and accountability early on can result in a future payoff of giving them a name they can proudly stand behind. If we teach a student to automatically think about what their online behavior and words say about what they represent and remind them that their words leave a digital footprint, how might this change how they interact? It can be then very powerful for students to begin developing their identity at this stage of their life and extremely impactful if educators along with parents’ guide and support children in doing this.

Branding our identities has become more and more important in the digital age. We can teach students to celebrate themselves and their beliefs so that this digital footprint represents a picture of someone they are proud to be and for this purpose, as educators, we can assign a no. of fun and engaging activities that students can do, or away from, school depending on what sites are blocked in their particular schools. Students using Facebook and twitter can generate Status clouds that recap what their message has been over a period of time. In their profiles they should also add their interests and passions to actually display a real picture of them.

Hence, digital footprint can be favorable and unfavorable for us, depending upon how we make it.




Assignment 2 of Coetail Course 2

This is my AES, New Delhi

 what is our obligations as educators?


Obligation is a big word to talk about. Obligation is a strong word in this sentence because it means having to do something as a result of a commitment you have made or a duty you have to fulfill. I would like to enlighten my thoughts about our obligation as educators. What is our moral, ethical and professional obligation as school teachers to prepare students for the world as it is and will be, rather than what was. Students should understand the power of using technology for some productive work within their limits. Using technology for something which is of no use, particularly for their age, is a mere waste of time and even technology. Online devices or any other tool made available to us is not just for searching content or blindly jotting notes down, they should be for creating and communicating new ideas. The main responsibility of a teacher is to be a facilitator rather than being just a teacher. He should communicate with students in such a way that the students are encouraged to learn and understand more and not take studies as a burden.  The book by Doug Johnson’s “The Classroom Teacher’s Survival Guide to Technology” explains this. This book describes certain guidelines that I will definitely use to make the best use of available technology. This book has taught be some practical tips such as including the most up-to-date technologies in my classroom and making their effective use and managing “disruptive technologies (innovation that helps the students to create and communicate new ideas)” in the classroom, etc. which I can use to engage my students and make my classroom a place where both me and my students will enjoy learning.

(Copyright Criminal)

 Now where as iTunes, Podcast and their fair use is concerned, it is needed that we become aware about the copyright laws while downloading songs.  I Tunes are licensed for individual use only and not for public use. I would like to state various examples here when the music is used for a public purpose rather than personal: during school assemblies, during school functions, dance shows, etc. Even the example of DJ’s will fit in here appropriately. This has been written about by Bob Moffett which also provides suggestions for avoiding potential copyright problems.

 We have to start understanding and respecting copyright which is a problem for many. This is a serious topic which needs utmost attention. As an educator,I use accurate and practical guidelines when using and re-using media in student’s technology related projects. Many examples can be quoted regarding the violation of copyright laws ,one of them being that a man was arrested for copyright violation in Taiwan after he was caught selling photocopied Oxford University Press books online.

I do not think I would say that technology can be blamed for teaching a child how to cheat. Technology has given the child a way of copying and pasting. Children are getting used to copying homework (cheating) or assignments given to them from the internet that sometimes education seems pointless to me. In doing this, children are not solely responsible. Many websites such as Slader and Cramster etc. are available which makes it even easier for a child to indulge in this sort of cheating. Students should be made to understand that there is no use of this sort of “learning”. They are ultimately learning nothing. When this happens, the whole purpose of coming to school, learning something new and creating something new is killed.

Copyright wars also clue us into an upcoming fight over the destiny of general purpose computers. There are various methods such as encryption in which certain algorithms are used by which the data can be made unreadable to others and hence copyright violation can be controlled to some extent. Even a known programming language such as UNIX does not have its content encrypted. Another solution which came up was WIPO which made it illegal to extract secrets from unlocking programs. But then another question which comes up in my mind is that someone who is well verse in the field of computer and technology can easily break encryption or the ones supplied by WIPO. Well, I should definitely put forward the point that copyright wars are just a very small version of a long coming war on computation.

With time and better understanding, we can solve the problem of copyright law violation. A strong dedication, honesty and sincerity will definitely make us achieve the goal. Being a concerned citizen, I will start inculcating these laws in my students as well as people around me. I know I cannot make a big difference to the society as a whole but I can do my bit at least.





Assignment 1 of Coetail Course 2



Copyright man

     Many people view copyright laws as restrictions on what they can do with someone else’s creative work and hence I would like to quote Kenneth Crewe’s point that copyright law “promotes creativity and publication, while inhibiting research and learning (cited in Dickinson, Dennis; “Copyright Dilemma: The need for local policy,” Library issues, vol. 16, no.4; March 1996, p.1.). In long term, however, the purpose of copyright law is to promote learning and creativity. By granting the copyright holder exclusive rights over a work for a limited period of time, the system fosters the long-term dissemination of new intellectual works for society on a whole.

In my opinion, the copyright laws actually need a rethinking. There are many people who want to share their work and there are many who do not want any kind of interference in their work. Hence it is very difficult to demarcate. Different countries are making changes in their copyright law.

In ‘Something Borrowed’ the play’ Frozen’ portrayed the life of a psychiatrist Lewis and after realizing that the script of the play had a story written about her, she felt robbed and violated in some peculiar way. According to me, it was the same feeling as if someone had stolen a part of her life. Words belong to the person who wrote them. After that, whatever Lewis did was absolutely right and she had all the rights to sue the play writers and directors.

This can also be very interestingly learnt from Lawrence Lessing’s Re-examining the Remix. In his talking we can see that how left can learn from the right when it comes to sharing and remixing contents. He considers himself on the left but repeatedly looks to the right; as it is people on this camp that appear to be interesting in supporting remix culture. I think it is a great video, extremely informative like most of his videos that is a needed reform in our intellectual property laws. It is really shocking that the kids who reformed a recreated movie clip are named as criminals. Though the music industry no longer actually carries out this law suit, but it doesn’t make the act any less illegal.

However, whereas my class is concerned, I have always encouraged my students to work upon their own creation rather that pondering upon others creation. Someone else’s work can always be taken as a point of reference. It can be easily explained to them that when something has been created on our own, we can amend and make changes in it pretty easily. A child can be made to understand this by stating that how would he feel if his work is being shared by someone else also it would be a good idea to include this in the school curriculum.

Copyright laws secures for the creator of a creative effort the exclusive right to control who can make copies , or make work derived from the original work. But according to creative commons website there are many people who want to share their knowledge and creativity with the world. Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

The most recent example can be stated of Wikipedia, the free online information service to shut down for 24 hours in protest against proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation, the New York post reported. Founder Jimmy Wales believes the planned legislation poses a threat to the future of the Web, and is backed by Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. (GOOG), while Hollywood film studios back the legislation because they say it protects intellectual property and jobs, the newspaper said.






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