On the wire – politics, banking, digital citizenship, wikipedia and more

Turkey vs Twitter – Draconian measure to silence the scandal

Keywords; Politics, Government, social media, security, twitter, democracy, freedom of speech


The future on NZ banking + Video

Keywords: Business, employment, commerce, ATM, Bitcoins, banking


Who determines the value of a sources?

Keywords: Education, digital citizenship, validity, wikipedia, opinion piece, literacy


IT goes DIY – the sidelining of the IT department

Keywords: Business, employment, BYOD, tablet, Cloud computing, teleworking


Ray ban and oakley frames for google glass

Keywords – home leisure, wearable, convergence, smart technologies


Anonymity apps on the rise

Keywords: privacy, anonymity, business, security, digital citizenship


NZ Cyber law change articles

Keywords: Digital Citizenship, safety, cybersafety, politics, government, legal

1. Judges warn cyber-bully law may flood the courts


2. Microsoft opposes cyber law channge


Smartphone overuse may ‘damage’ eyes

Keywords: Smartphone, health, safety, damage, over-use, digital citizenship
Opticians say people are so addicted to things like smart phones there’s increasing risk of damaging their eyes.


Preschoolers health put at risk

keywords: preschool, education, digital citizenship, technology, health


Science education – Tablets replace books as Collegiate goes hi-tech

This is an interesting article I have just found in the local paper. A well regarded school is shifting from textbook into eBooks. The preferred option, even though it is a BYOD program, is iPads. The functionality of interactive media wins over the traditional mediums.


The iPads do lend themselves very well to science. My daughter uses her iPad all the time, particularly to record demonstrations and experiments in class. When the videos and images are then linked to science reports developd in pages, you have a very comprehensive product.



On the Wire – Wearable technology, digital citizenship, games, and 3D printers

This weeks On the wire round up of articles includes 3D printers, digital citizenship, games, addiction and Wearable technologies

Google Glass – Wearable technology – 3 articles

Keywords: Wearable, Technology, Privacy, security, safety, digital citizenship

‘I was attacked for wearing Google Glass’


All wrapped up in wearable devices


Glass bar clash part of San Francisco tech wars

UK spies ‘intercepted webcam images’

Keywords: Privacy, security, integrity, policy, government, politics

British spy agency GCHQ intercepted webcam images from millions of Yahoo users around the world, according to a report in the Guardian.


Yahoo users’ webcam privacy breached by British spies – Guardian



Robots whirr into elderly health care

Keywords: robotics, AI, Health, Home, Leisure, Reliability, Integrity


Retailers urged to ride the online wave

Keywords: Business, employment, commerce, home, leisure, online, retail


Family Memories lost as backup fails

Keywords: digital citizenship, security, reliability, integrity


App offers new way to learn Maori

Keywords: Language, education, learning, school, app, mobile learning


Endgame for online addicts

keywords: Health, Pyschological, gaming, addiction, internet addiction, medical


Virgin Media rolls out porn filters

Keywords: Filtering, censorship, internet, digital citizenship, cybersafety, integrity, reliability, freedom, choice

Virgin Media has turned on a filtering system to help parents stop children seeing inappropriate material online.


Energy firm cyber-defence ‘too weak’

Keywords: Security, reliability, integrity, infrastructure, politics, government, safety, cyber-attacks

Power companies are being refused insurance cover for cyber-attacks due to inadequate defences, the BBC learns.


Top Tablets Revealed

Keyword:tablet, ipad, education, ibooks, learning, mobile, review and comparision


Tablets replace books as Collegiate goes hi-tech

Keyword:tablet, ipad, education, ibooks, learning, mobile, review and comparision


Printers capable of making guns

keywords: Security, safety, control, politic, regulation, weapons, 3D printers


Kiwis go online to research health problems

Keywords: health, reliability, accuracy, integrity, security, safety


Bitcoin owners find safe place for digital currency

Keywords: Business, employment, commerce, finance, security, safety, digital citizenship, bit coins


On the wire – digital citizenship, ethics, and more – articles

North Korea imitates Apple’s Mac OSX

Keywords: Ethics, digital citizenship, piracy, integrity, intellectual property

North Korea has upgraded the operating system used in the country – and it bears a striking resemblance to Apple’s Mac OSX platform.

Read more:

Google Search altered to avoid fine

Keywords: Google, search engines, ethics, business, employment, commerce, politics

Google promises to make “significant” changes to how rivals appear in search results in an attempt to avoid a multi-billion euro fine.

Read more:

YouTube starts auditing video views

Keywords: Social media, video, accuracy, reliability, trends, statistics

The video-sharing website YouTube says it is starting to “audit” the number of views a video has received.

Read more:

Pupils expelled in hacking scandal

Keywords: education, digital citizenship, security, policy, ethics, hacking

Eleven pupils who hacked teachers’ computers and changed their grades have been expelled from a school in California.

Read more:

Call center sends staff home

Keywords: teleworking, business, employment, connectivity

Call center sends workers home to telework, rather than converge on center


Smartphones taking over pre-schoolers basic skills

Keywords: Education , preschool, smart phones, digital literacy, AVG research, new Zealand, Trends

Interesting research by AVG comparing preschoolers digital and “real world” abilities. It does make the flawed assumption that digital skills are not “real world”.


Westpac trials Google Glass app for NZ – Business – NZ Herald News

Keywords: Business, employment, commerce, banking, wearable technology


Bugs money: Software sleuths cash in

Keywords: Business, employment, software development, reliability, integrity, security, safety

All software has bugs in it and now more and more people are cashing in on programmes that reward them for uncovering security vulnerabilities.

Read more:

Arabic suffix leads net name rollout

Keywords: Internet, digital divide, communication, ethics, digital citizenship, policy, standards, politics, government

A new net address written in Arabic script is the first to go live in what will be a huge wave of new suffixes to be launched over the coming months.

Read more:

Have laptop, will travel – and earn

Keywords: Teleworking, business, employment, travel, commerce, communication


School gives an iPad to every pupil

Keywords: Education, learning, schools, computing, BYOD, integration

Government funding and fund raising are enabling this small school to deliver ipad mini’s to each student


Making The Most Of ICT – What The Research Tells Us

Keywords: Education, learning, research, ICT, schools, John Hattie, benefit
Steve Moss looks at what the educational research says about how to maximise the impact of ICT on learning.

read more:

IT Articles –

Recent IT Articles – these relate to a variety of current issues and topics in IT – This especially suits the ITGS teacher.

Untangling the complicated web

Keywords: Internet, WWW, explanation


Tennis coaching gets a smart racquet

Keywords: Sports, technology, convergence, leisure, entertainment, health

Futuristic data-related tennis equipment may be about to change the face of the sport in the way that metal and carbon racquets once did.


The driverless car

Keywords: Business, employment, AI, home, leisure, transport

The driverless car may promise an accident-free motoring future, but Adam Gopnik raises a few moral caveats from the backseat.

Read more:

Money lenders checking social media profiles of potential customers – National – NZ Herald News

Keywords: Business, employment, commerce, social media, privacy


Pack your laptop, we’re off to $chool – Aucklander – The Aucklander News

Keywords: Education, tablet, laptop, BYOD, Cost, schools


The future of work… office not required – Life & Style – NZ Herald News

Keywords: business, employment, teleworking, home office, SOHO


In the news today

Here are a selection of interesting articles on education, technology and digital citizenship:

New Zealand Herald

Defence force highlights social network dangers – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10870096 – This is a Digital citizenship basic concept, look after yourself by not posting information that can potentially put you at risk. For these guys it could be life and limb at risk

Dotcom’s shut down good for studios – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10870142 This another DC related post, this time for respecting and protecting intellectual property. The big studios are reporting they are better off now Dotocom’s Megaupload is Mega closed.

New MOE figures show its true – Kids struggling at maths – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10870138 – Basic arthimatic skills are suffering. This is a bit of a powder keg, but its actually very healthy to take a critical eye and look at what we do. We expect our kids to be reflective, we need to model this.

BBC News

US state (south Dakota) to arm teachers – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21722377 This is sad. This isn’t how you fix a problem, by introducing more of the problem into the system. The answer isn’t peace through superior firepower.

Web based brain for robots goes live – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21714191 – This is both cool and alarming at the same time. The opening paragraph explains it

Robots confused about what they encounter in the world of humans can now get help online. European scientists have turned on the first part of a web-based database of information to help them cope. Called Rapyuta, the online “brain” describes objects robots have met and can also carry out complicated computation on behalf of a robot.

I will keep this in mind next time I encounter a robot on the street.


Your new boss is a robot – http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/8399881/Your-new-boss-is-a-robot  – This robot being developed by MIT is learning to run a factory and give orders to artifical co-workers – this is an interesting topic and links with the interesting BBC article abot the web based brain for robots

3D printing revolution: Rethinking form – http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/8394655/3D-printing-revolution-Rethinking-form  – Fascinating article and the example of use are amazing – 3D printing is becoming affordable for the classroom and schools. This is a trend to watch.



News Corp unveils new tablet for schools – http://tvnz.co.nz/technology-news/corp-unveils-new-tablet-schools-5362867 – Interesting – an android powered tablet for schools, particularly secondary schools. “digital innovation to transform teaching and learning” hum

3 News

Beer Goggles to raise awareness of drink-driving – http://www.3news.co.nz/Beer-goggles-to-raise-awareness-of-drink-driving/tabid/423/articleID/289563/Default.aspx – This a driver education tactic by Auckland transport. I like it and its worth doing. I use a similar concept with my senior IT students when we are looking at accessibility and disability with computers – earplugs, glasses, think gloves you name it we try it.






OMG… Please do not do this.

I have just had this article past to me by a colleague in the US –
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/texas-republican-party-2012-platform-education_n_1632097.html. When I first saw it and read it I though this was a joke, but unfortunately it is not, this is the education manifesto of the Repulican party, in the Very republican state of Texas.

The key points of the article, once you have moved past the headline grabbing aspects of sex education and absitance are as follows;

  • corporal punishment is effective
  •  the party opposes mandatory pre-school and kindergarten, saying parents are “best suited to train their children in their early development.”
  • they oppose the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” — a curriculum which strives to encourage critical thinking — arguing that it might challenge “student’s fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.” – Quote “ We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-BasedEducation (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challengingthe student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
  • encouragement of legislation that prevents “non-citizens unlawfully present in the United States” from enrolling in public schools
  • Controversial theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind
  • Textbook reviews – Until such time as all texts are required to be approved by the SBOE (state board of education), each ISD that uses non-SBOE approved instructional materials must verify them as factually and historically correct. Also the ISD board must hold a public hearing on such materials, protect citizen’s right of petition and require compliancewith TEC and legislative intent. Local ISD boards must maintain the same standards as the SBOE.
  • Traditional Principles in Education – We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, includingthe Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings
  • School Health Care – We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools. We support the parents’ right to choose, without penalty, which medications are administered to their minor children. We oppose medical clinics on school property except higher education and health care for students without parental consent
  • State Board of Education (SBOE) – We believe that the SBOE should continue to be an elected body consisting of fifteen members. Their responsibilities must include:……. and  Maintaining sole authority over all curricula content and the state adoption of all educational materials.This process must include public hearings

I have to be honest, I find this very scary. As an educator what they are proposing contradicts educational theory and practice the world over. It challenges freedom of information a core element of the American constitution.

We do not want our students to engage in higher order thinkings skills – analysis, evaluation and creativity – as this may challenge their “fixed beliefs”. If teaching the students to think challenges “fixed beliefs” then you have to wonder what they are. If teaching them to think challenges parental authority, what is this authority based on?

I struggle to with a return to corporal punishment as a method of maintaining discipline in the classroom? How does inflicting pain and humiliation to a young person help them to learn? How does it improve their learning outcomes? How does this role model acceptable and appropriate behavior by saying it is acceptable to beat people for infractions, does this mean that the same principle will be applied out side of the school? Perhaps in the home or the workplace?

Is this a curriculum of indoctrination perhaps worthy of 1960’s communist systems? Blind acceptance of policy and fixed belief is the core of many of the terrorist organizations plaguing the world today, these organizations indoctrinate by suppressing questioning, focusing on drilling/reinforcement of core concepts/principles/beliefs and using physical and mental deprivation and abuse to condition their members.

Hole in the wall computer. Video

This is a BBC clip about the hole in the wall experiment – This is about a computer made available to the young people in Gurjola. Professor Sugata Mitra of Newcastle University is setting up a ‘hole in the wall’ experiment to explore the impact of access to computers on learning.

Watch the video – its quite amazing. I love the fact that the computer is in English and the students are still able to navigate and use the computer. – http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/17461332.

I suspect that we take for granted the access to such technologies. The young lady who is the center of the article has been teaching her father to read and write. Education is the key, its opens opportunities and more.

This is a useful article for ITGS education.

Reggio Emilia Philosophy

I have long valued and used a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Tasks of short or long duration where the emphasis is on constructing the knowledge, process, product or understanding is core. Students develop ownership of the concepts, ideas, product or knowledge. Learning is practical, hands on, multi-sensory, collaborative experience. There must be engagement of the learners and they must be motivated to learn. To do this the tasks have relevance to them as learners and are set contextually. There is transparency and clarity in assessment and where possible the students help to develop and administer this.  They often involve a digital medium, but the medium is isn’t ever the focus, the journey is everything.

My personal underlying education philosophy matches quite nicely to what I see in the Reggio Emilia Philosophy often used in primary and early years education.

Consider the following explanatory statement about Reggio Emilia

  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

As an education philiosophy it allows the teacher flexibility to seize the teachable moment. It encourages problem solving and project based learning. It does not restrict solutions to being text based but celebrates expression and communication in its many different and varied forms. It is multi-sensory  – Visual, auditory,  kinaesthetic, tactile  and potentially olfactory and even taste. Its collaborative and because students have a degree of control it is motivating, engaging, relevant and contextual.

This is not a bad teaching philosophy to have.

Resources and sites:









Infographic – Games and Education

This is an interesting Infographic looking at Games and education. I found the post here – http://www.knewton.com/gamification-education/

I think we are going to see the use of games in a learning context increase. If we consider the importance of feedback in learning,the level of engagement that games provide the users, the opportunities for genuine learning that these tools provide us, it will be no surprise to see them appearing more and more often in a classroom near to us. here are some links from the info graphic and a couple of my favorites:





Gamification of Education

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media