Our Bad Laws Make Us Criminals

Lawrence Lessig has been fighting the copyright fight for a while now and often says that "outdated copyright laws have turned our kids into criminals". If you're not familiar with Lessig and his thoughts on the law and copyright, this 9 minute video will help catch you up to speed.


So since our laws just don't address the reality of 2012 and the digital world of sharing we enjoy, most of us carry on and don't feel the slight bit guilty for a remix video or image modification. But beyond copyright, our laws continue to create unreasonable and unrealistic parameters and ignore the realities of a digital age.

Under FIPPA, it is an offence to store or allow access to personal information outside of Canada unless it is authorized by the individual the information is about. 1

See the problem? Consider the plethora of sites that most of our best teachers are using. Be it blogs, wikis or other sites, the current environment consists of small pieces loosely joined. Even when districts attempt to host clone applications and services, there's no way they can keep up with the variety of new services and tools available for students. Certainly it's … Read the rest

Understanding Lurkers

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:04 am

Almost, but not quite a follow up to my last post about stages, this snippet from Spark’s latest podcast sheds some interesting light on why people choose to lurk rather than participate. If you’re one of those who tries to persuade others to invest in social networks and embrace them, perhaps this might help, or maybe you would challenge the premise. Either way, it’s a worthwhile 3 minutes.
GatorRead the rest

Academic Stages

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:16 pm

As I begin another class with pre-service teachers I was asked for the very first time, “Does my blog have to be public?” I didn’t give a choice. It would be great to have a discussion around the benefits and issues around public sharing but given the time constraints of the class (specifically this term as it’s only over a 6 week period), it’s difficult to provide students with enough information in a short time to make an informed decision.  To be honest, I never really thought much about doing it any other way. In my zeal to have my students experience the joys of networked learning and prepare for a world where ideas and sharing should be and hopefully will be more transparent, it seems logical.

Ever since the day I wrote my first blog post and received a comment, I knew that learning in public had huge potential.  That was over 4 years ago. Today I’m one of those who has embraced a lifestyle of learning that is founded on transparency and connectedness. I’ve wondered many times how and when learning should be private.  My … Read the rest

EdTech Posse 5.4 Grumpy Old Digital Residents

We missed Rick and Alec but welcomed back Heather Ross and Kyle Lichtenwald as we talk about digital safety and identity, digital residents and digital tourists. I was able to elaborate further on the debacle of the other night’s presentation. I actually don’t show up until about 15 minutes into the conversation. I was busy eating donuts. Thanks to Rob for the quick turn around.… Read the rest

The Continuing Saga

This post was last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 07:36 am

I had one of the strangest events of my professional career on Tuesday night. Coming back from 10 days in Europe I checked my calender to see I was schedule to speak at a Parent night at a high school in a neigbouring district.  I remember being asked a few months early about speaking as part of a 3 person lineup on Internet Safety. I was very up front with the organizer stating that I don’t spend a great deal of time on the dangers and lures of the internet but rather how to leverage online spaces for positive purposes. I acknowledge dangers but also utilize many research studies that debunk common beliefs about internet safety.

So spend part of Tuesday revamping and cleaning up a few previous presentations to fit into the 20 minute time slot I was given. I was called that afternoon to confirm my appearance with the school counselor and a local police officer. About 30 parents showed up which is pretty typical. While I recall being told about the scheme set up to test kids willingness to add friends in Facebook, I didn’t … Read the rest