TODAY’S THOUGHT

AS OF TODAY MAY 10, 2009 I WILL NO LONGER BE USING THIS SITE. ALL ANNOUNCEMENTS, HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS, ETC. WILL BE POSTED AT MY NEW SITE:

http://www.lahaiseslair.com

I APOLOGIZE FOR ANY CONFUSION.

I THINK ONCE YOU GET THERE YOU WILL SEE HOW MUCH MORE USER FRIENDLY IT IS.


Paige Lahaise

Privacy Policies

As part of my ISTE Certification, I had the opportunity to explore various options related to Digital Citizenship (one of the seven ISTE Standards for students). One of the options I chose was to review the privacy policies of a few of the websites I use.

The number one resource in my tech toolbelt is Google, so that was an obvious place to start. Next, while I don’t use Facebook I know there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the site so I decided to see what that was all about. My recent professional goal is to be less of a passive participant with my Twitter PLN (@LahaisePaige) and be more actively engaged. Since I have been using this application much more frequently I decided that it might be helpful to know their policies; so the final site I reviewed was Twitter.

How many of you have ever actually read a privacy policy? I supposed I should have taken heed when I saw the South Park HumancentiPad episode in 2011, but like most everyone else I just merrily click “I agree” without weighing the ramifications. And, if this 2017 study is to be believed, a whopping 97% of people do the same thing. Honestly, I just assume every site, app, etc. has full rights to everything about me, including the option to take possession of my firstborn. Truthfully, what I found wasn’t all that shocking and for the most part, lived up to my predictions (except the giving up my firstborn).

One shocking bit of information I read came from Twitter’s policy which states they retain “Log Data” about you, even if you DO NOT create an account. This data “includes information such as your IP address, browser type, operating system, the referring web page, pages visited, location, your mobile carrier, device information (including device and application IDs), search terms, and cookie information.” So simply by visiting the Twitter profile of someone else the company has some pretty powerful information about you. And while you can create a profile using a pseudonym (something that is allowed-see the first check), they will still retain all of this information in their Log Data.

Twitter also tracks you no matter what device you are using: “we may also associate your account with browsers or devices other than those you use to log into Twitter (or associate your logged-out device or browser with other browsers or devices). We do this to operate and personalize our services. For example, if you visit websites with sports content on your laptop, we may show you sports-related ads on Twitter for Android.”

I think what was most surprising in my research related to the “shadow profile” controversy surrounding Facebook. Because I don’t use Facebook I guess I don’t pay as much attention to their news as I should, so when a colleague told me about this I was rather shocked. I laughed and said decided to scour their privacy policy with a “fine-tooth comb”, certain I would find something that would allude to this as being acceptable under their terms. Of course I wasn’t able to find verbiage to support this disturbing practice, however, I did find Facebook’s policy to be the least user-friendly of the three. Meaning, it might be there in legal speak and I just overlooked it.

Google’s Privacy Policy was the most comprehensive and the easiest to understand. They have really done a good job letting their customers know what to expect in regards to data they can use and how you can adjust that in your settings. At first when I read: “Google also collects information about you from publicly accessible sources. For example, if your name appears in your local newspaper, Google’s Search engine may index that article and display it to other people if they search for your name” my thought was “Wow, that’s pretty far-reaching”. However, as I look at it again the practice makes sense. I mean, how else would you be able to stalk someone on the Internet? 😜

So what’s the bottom line with all of this? Money! My conclusion is that it’s all about the ads. All three companies are money making machines and what better way to make money than to target their ads. Gone are the good ol’ days of waiting for Neilson to provide marketers with information, it’s now much more instantaneous and focused. What you read, Tweet, search for, like, respond to, etc., are all used to better target ads for your “personal enjoyment”. Hmmm, no wonder we have become a society of materialism. So the next time you automatically click “agree” to that apps privacy policy I would encourage you to take a few minutes and actually read what you are agreeing to; you never know, it just might be your first born!

My First ISTE Trip – 2018

It’s been several weeks since ISTE 2018 and I finally find myself in a place where I can share my experience. Not only was this my first ISTE conference, but I was also fortunate enough to be a presenter and a student in the first ISTE Certification program! All of which has been so overwhelming, I am not even sure how to put it in writing. So, I will try by chunking it out…

ISTE Certification

I had the unbelievable honor to be chosen as one of the 30 lucky people to attend this inaugural class. We all gathered early Saturday morning (the day before ISTE officially began). My four colleagues and I were in a room with two amazing facilitators and 25 other phenomenal participants. We went through an information-packed day, and I can say that we were all pretty drained at the end. There are two online modules to complete and we each have a portfolio due in February.

I have now finished the online modules and I learned so much that I will be posting those thoughts separately.

The Conference & Exhibitor Floor

Before heading to Chicago a colleague warned me that it would feel like being at Disneyland. When he said that I thought “oh sure, I’ve been to Disneyland so many times, whatever”! Little did I know how correct his statement was. The expo hall was so amazing (I regret not taking any pictures!), it actually almost felt like being at a circus. There were so many banners and contraptions flying overhead I could have amused myself for hours just looking at those.

Knowing that I might become overwhelmed I spent some time preparing so I knew the exact vendors I wanted to “hit”. My first stop was Microsoft. Their purchase of Flipgrid raised a flag in my mind that they are trying to become a larger presence in the education world, so I wanted to see what they might be offering. Honestly, their booth was the best thing I “saw” at ISTE. There I got to see the collaboration that has happened between Microsoft and BBC. There is so much there that I won’t even begin to describe it, just click on over for yourself and see the plethora of amazing things that are offered for free.

Unfortunately, when it came to seeing presentations I was rather thwarted. I was only able to attend three presentations (besides those that my LAUSD colleagues presented). There were far too many people and the rooms were not large enough to accommodate everyone. The few sessions I was able to attend were only because I waited outside the rooms for an hour or more. That was disappointing. However, I was able to see my favorite Ed Tech “mentors”: Vicki Davis, Kasey BellMatt Miller, and Eric Curtis. 

Here is their amazing, packed with resources, presentation.

Presenting

This is what really made the whole trip incredible. In January 2018 I began what is literally my dream job of being a technology coach with LAUSD. My #ISTE2018 presentation was a collaborative effort with four other coaches and myself sharing what we do, based on the ISTE standards. We practiced over and over again and I think it was a very successful presentation. We were in a small room, but it was full of people and when it came to the Q & A section we had some really good questions. In fact, we were finally asked to leave because the next session needed to set-up. Presenting was truly the highlight of my career, and has inspired me to present at other conferences (fingers crossed for CUE Spring, 2019)

Final Thoughts

Overall I was disappointed with the lack of access to sessions (and don’t get me started on the terrible food and very unfriendly workers at the conference center), but, being part of the new ISTE Educator Certification and presenting made it all worthwhile.

I would love to hear from others about their #ISTE2018 experiences. Maybe you had better luck with the sessions?

Welcome Back

Looking at the date of my last post makes me cringe. I cannot believe it has been 5 years since my last post, which wasn’t really a post but actually a re-post from someone.

I began this blog in order to be a model for my students. Each of my students has been set-up with their own blog since 2009 and I thought it would be a good idea to model all the things I wanted them to be doing (you know those things we now call the ISTE standards). However, the workload of teaching AP English classes, honors classes, no conference period, etc., etc., proved to be too much for my blogging life.

Why now? I am wrapping up this school year as a new Educational Technology Facilitator. My DREAM job! Really. It’s the job I envisioned 20 years ago when I began teaching. Finally, my school district caught up with my dream and here I am. Now that I don’t have student blogs to grade I can put a bit more energy into my own blog. When I began this blog in 2009 I had a vision for what it would be. Now it’s time to make that a reality too.

Welcome to Paige’s Prose 2.0.

Attitude

From one of my favorite educational blogs comes a post about Attitude. I’ve copied the list below for a daily reminder to myself. I anticipate an extra challenging year coming up and maybe these reminders will keep me focused.

Is there anything you do to stay positive that isn’t on Vicki’s list?

  • My attitude will not depend upon whether other teachers do their job.
  • My attitude will not depend upon whether administrators are doing their job.
  • My attitude will not depend upon whether everything is fair around me – life isn’t fair. It never will be.
  • I will influence MY attitude. My attitude will be positive and encouraging. I will make no excuses and will not perpetuate negativity.
  • In my classroom, my attitude determines my student’s altitude and ultimately their aptitude for my subject. My attitude is important and I will protect it.
  • If my attitude stinks, my students are not old enough to get rid of their depends. Because I love my students, I will do whatever it takes to keep and maintain my positive attitude even if it means distancing myself from colleagues.
  • Nothing good comes out of a bad attitude – they stink.
  • I will do what it takes to be a noble teacher – ANYWAY.
  • I will surround myself with positive people, encouraging books, and avoid whiners.
  • Even when truly tough things are happening, I will do my best to close my door and provide the most positive environment I can for my students. This only depends upon me and my attitude.
  • I will work hard to stay rested and healthy so I have every chance of staying positive in tough times.
  • I will encourage other educators to see the big picture instead of dwelling on the injustices that will happen.
  • If I depend upon anything or anyone it will be my God, my family, and my closest friends and even then, I will know there are times and things I don’t understand that I have to leave at the front door of my school so I can teach.
  • My smile depends upon nothing and I will give it freely as I will also give my love, energy, time, and knowledge.
  • My students depend on me and I’ll never forget the honor and privilege I have to be given the opportunity to teach them.

Searching Google

I recently read an article (I’m sorry I don’t have the link handy) whereby a study was done that showed graduating high school students have no idea how to effectively search information. Part of the problem is that many teachers don’t know how to search. Here’s a great post that not only gives some tips for searching with Google but also a bunch of other Google uses. I use Google extensively and am always shocked when people pay for services that Google freely offrers for free.