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03 Jul 13

The revised COPPA act went into effect on July 1, 2013. Take time to read up on and know this act.

It includes mobile devices - geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings. This is going to influence MOBILE PHONES big time as well as app makers. It says they have to have actual knowledge that they are gaining information from kids under 13. What about my under 13 child who has a mobile phone. Verizon knows the age - is this enough to trigger problems. I don't have a smartphone for him but he does have an iPad mini. So many questions here that we'll need to review and understand as part of BYOT programs, etc. The biggest issue is I doubt many app makers are compliant right now.

  • The modified rule, approved by the Commission in December 2012, widens the definition of children’s personal information to include persistent identifiers such as cookies that track a child’s activity online, as well as geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings.
  • It requires that operators of websites or online services that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13 give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information, and keep secure the information they collect from children.
03 Dec 12

"OF THE 264 Twitter accounts belonging to governments and world leaders, and the 350,289 tweets that have been sent from those accounts to their 51,990,656 followers, not a single one was sent by a Chinese leader." says the Economist in their blog about China.

In a fascinating article that accuses Chinese leaders of a sort of "state led autism" it talks about how one major social media outlet (Twitter) is ignored and blocked by the Great Firewall of China but how their news service is now not only tweeting but linking to YouTube videos (which is also blocked.) The Economist uses this as a fascinating example of how being so insular is going to harm and ultimately limit the rise of China. If you follow China and current events, whether you like Twitter or not, this is a fascinating read and one you may want to bring to your students as well.

17 Jul 12

2011 winners to show you what governments are doing in the US to collaborate and share on the web. These are the best of the best. If you are friends with a politician, you may want to share this.WE need to be more efficient and include people in the government to streamline and make things better.

17 Jul 12

In this example, the Mayor's Participation, Action and Communication Team in Richmond Virginia won a 2011 award from the US government for a citizen to government relating website. Here, citizens can put pins on a map and note what issues need to be addressed in the local area. There is also a mobile app. What a great way to involve citizens in their local area.

17 Jul 12

"The Digital Government Strategy sets out to accomplish three things:

Enable the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Operationalizing an information-centric model, we can architect our systems for interoperability and openness, modernize our content publication model, and deliver better, device-agnostic digital services at a lower cost.
Ensure that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, we seize the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
Learning from the previous transition of moving information and services online, we now have an opportunity to break free from the inefficient, costly, and fragmented practices of the past, build a sound governance structure for digital services, and do mobile “right” from the beginning.
Unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our Nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.
We must enable the public, entrepreneurs, and our own government programs to better leverage the rich wealth of federal data to pour into applications and services by ensuring that data is open and machine-readable by default."

There are specific dates including a new US government API policy that is to be rolled out by next year.

17 Jul 12

Impressively, this website has a hashtag #digitalgov to encourage and help "join the movement to make 21st century digital government." You can join the website and see how you can be a part. If you're a software company or providing services, you can be part of the innovation happening here or just reap what others decide for you. This is part of the US government open government initiative.

17 Jul 12

This initiative called "CGI" for collaborative government initiative, also proves that collaboration is in the future of everyone: public, private, education, business sectors are all part of this change. Students must learn how to collaborate. The voices of those who can will be heard and those who can't will not. This is a very scary thing for those who understand where things are heading as the digital divide may very well divide further the have and have nots. It also makes me sad for those schools in "walled gardens" who don't understand the importance of helping students connect outside their schools. Bringing Flat Classroom(r)-style collaboration is vital to every student. (Read more in my book Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds if you want to know the simple steps to do this sort of thing.)

21 Apr 12

IN this lesson plan from the New York Times, learn how to prepare a mock trial for your classroom. You can prepare one around just about any topic. This would be an excellent way to end the school year to add enthusiasm. 

21 Apr 12

If you get into mock trials as a way to learn about the judicial system, there is a national high school mock trial championship here in the United States.

21 Apr 12

A great question developed from an award winning website. You can integrate this into what you may have already been doing around the Titanic. This is a "court case" and can be used to teach about the judicial process and hold a mock trial. I love this idea.

21 Feb 12

While SOPA was going on, many of us missed that COPPA is under review. Here is an overview of the congressional testimony given on December 14, 2011 to the Congressional Privacy Caucus. One of the biggest issues is that privacy should be "opt-in" not "opt out." This means companies would be required to express consent before they collect information and to get consent from parents for younger kids. Of course, this is a great idea, just know that nothing on the Internet is free and it could mean that less is free if this goes through. Kids come first, but if the rest of us opt in- many free sites may just go away. Anyone willing to pay for Facebook?

24 Jan 12

Pay attention. US politics is changing again. "Tuesday’s State of the Union Address from U.S. President Barack Obama will include something special: crowdsourced captions and subtitles provided by everyday citizens around the world. Using new web tools from the Participatory Culture Foundation, supported by Mozilla, participants will transcribe and translate the President’s speech into dozens of languages in a matter of hours, making it more accessible to those with disabilities and in other countries across the globe. Launching “Open Election 2012″ The event marks the launch of “Open Election 2012,” a new partnership between Mozilla, PBS NEWSHOUR, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Participatory Culture Foundation."

03 Jan 12

Students are writing their own textbooks. This one by The Advanced Placement United States GovernmentElectronic Textbook created by theSt. Gregory College Preparatory School'sSenior AP Government Class 2010

With such things that can be handed down to other students, so many questions come to mind including accuracy but also whether such a tool has value in lieu of traditional textbooks. 

in list: Wikis

15 Sep 10

A contest to win $2500 for kids.

"Kids.gov is frequently asked, “How can I become the President when I grow up?” and we’re inviting kids to help answer this question by creating a poster [http://challenge.gov/GSA/44-kids-gov-how-do-i-become-president-challenge] to visually explain the process.

This is a great opportunity for children and teens to learn about the U.S. election process. Just remember that parents need to return a signed consent form [http://challenge.gov/parental_consent_form.pdf] in order to enter.

The winning entry from a kid will be featured on Kids.gov and win $2,500. We’d really appreciate it if you could help spread the word. "

30 Jan 10

Article from Terry Freedman in the United Kingdom about some new legislation and also the importance of being able to document outcomes when using social media sites with students.

14 Sep 09

I can't tell if this event will be online too, but if you're in London - it is a good one. Love the description and appreciate Terry Freedman pointing me to it:

"many authoritarian governments are now also beginning to exploit cyberspace for their own purposes; some of them appear to be succeeding in subverting the internet's democratising potential. We may have overestimated the internet's ability to bring change and underestimated the role that political, social and cultural forces play in determining how new technologies are being adopted.

Could the internet actually inhibit rather than empower civil society? Join Evgeny Morozov as he outlines the dramatically different ways in which the internet's potential can be utilised by citizens and regimes."

03 Sep 09

This is the lesson planning guide for grades PreK-6th grade for the President's speech on September 8th.

03 Sep 09

Starting on Sept 8, the US dept of education will ask students to respond to the President's Back to school challenge to create videos, up to 2 minutes in length describing steps that they will take to improve their education.

This will be the website for the Iam what I learn website.

03 Sep 09

This just in my inbox:

"On September 8, 2009 at 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), President Barack Obama will deliver a national address to the students of America. (Please note that this is a change from the originally scheduled time.) During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.

The U.S. Department of Education encourages students of all ages, teachers, and administrators to participate in this historic moment by watching the president deliver the address, which will be broadcast live on the White House Web site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/) and on C-SPAN at 12:00 p.m., ET. We also encourage educators to use this moment to help students get focused and inspired to begin the new academic year."

Take this chance to set up your school (particularly US public schools) to have President Obama encourage your kids to do well in school. It is very important. There is also a facebook discussion about this event.

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