Tag Archives: 7th Grade

Kids chose the #Gumdrop SoftShell for their 11″ Macbook Airs. @The_School #edtech

 

After determining there were too many student laptops with dented corners due to inefficient coverage from the last model purchased, I spent months searching Google and Amazon for other always-on covers to put on our middle school 1:1 laptops. The most recent cases which students helped protoype were:

The overall winner chosen by the students was the Gumdrop Softshell! Students will be able to personalize their cases with metallic Sharpies and stickers.

Here’s a Pinterest board where I’ve gathered most of my research from four years of exploring 11″ Macbook Air covers: https://www.pinterest.com/specialkrb/macbook-air-11-cases. Last week, I overheard that The School will be purchasing Apple’s Macbook for next year’s incoming 3rd graders, 6th graders, and faculty. The dimensions of the MacBook Air differ from the MacBook, so we’ll be in need of an entirely different case come September. Back to the drawing board…

 

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Link to this year’s version of the Responsible Use Policy I ask middle school students to sign. #edchat #edtech


Welcome back! It’s the beginning of another year and thus time for me to review our school’s Responsible Use Policy (RUP) with each of my students before they can use their assigned school devices. It provided yet another opportunity to stress that we should strive to use technology academically, creatively, and responsibly especially as everything we do is public, permanent, and traceable. This year, I wanted to innovate the language a little to reflect changing attitudes and uses, so I asked my colleagues for input and included them in this new and improved RUP. Enjoy!

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The School’s Responsible Use Policy

The School’s students will use its technology facilities in the spirit of The School’s code of conduct and in a responsible and legal manner following the rules listed below. I understand that failure to follow these rules when using The School’s technology, whether at The School or off-campus, will result in suspension of my technology privileges and/or additional disciplinary action.

Respect

  • I will use The School’s devices with consideration and respect for others and myself.
  • I will remember that school devices are the property of the The School and should be treated with care.
  • I will not eat food or drink beverages while working on the computers.
  • I will be responsible for my device’s whereabouts at all times. If I am not using my device I will return it to my charging cabinet.
  • I will think before I print to avoid wasting ink, paper, and resources.

Communication

  • I will use electronic mail only for school-related purposes. I will never use abusive or profane language in public or private messages.
  • I will not access my personal accounts, sites, or messages from any school computer without permission.
  • I will think before I send an email. I will not spam the community or share chain letters.

Safety

  • I will ask a teacher for permission before I download or install anything from the internet.
  • I will keep my network and electronic mail account passwords private and I will not log in with others’ usernames or passwords.
  • I will not use devices assigned to other people unless directed by a teacher.
  • If my device is not in the cabinet, I will communicate with: 
    1) My Advisor 2) Security 3) Ms. Nicholson 4) Ms. Blumberg

Internet/Social Media

  • I will make wise choices, because everything I do online is public, permanent, and traceable.
  • I will avoid inappropriate websites. I will visit teacher-approved sites and apps when given permission at appropriate times.
  • I will not illegally copy or download software or media (games, songs, images, videos…)
  • I will T.H.I.N.K. before I post to academic and social sites. 
    T – is it true
    H – is it helpful
    I – is it inspiring
    N – is it necessary
    K – is it kind?

__________________________________ Student Name (Print)

__________________________________ Student Signature

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Facebook valued at $270 billion? NewsCorp buying MySpace for $580 million was sooo 10 years ago. #edchat

Illustration by Jordan Awan

There’s a terrific piece in the current @NewYorker, Facebook Should Pay All of Us by Tim Wu. In it, Wu writes:

Facebook is […] widely assumed to have more data than anyone else. That data is useful for advertising, which is Facebook’s main source of revenue. But the data is also an asset. The two-hundred-and-seventy-billion-dollar valuation of Facebook, which made a profit of three billion dollars last year, is based on some faith that piling up all of that data has value in and of itself. It’s like a virtual Fort Knox—with a gold mine attached to it. One reason Mark Zuckerberg is so rich is that the stock market assumes that, at some point, he’ll figure out a new way to extract profit from all the data he’s accumulated about us.

…For the most valuable innovation at the heart of Facebook was probably not the social network (Friendster thought of that) so much as the creation of a tool that convinced hundreds of millions of people to hand over so much personal data for so little in return. As such, Facebook is a company fundamentally driven by an arbitrage opportunity—namely, the difference between how much Facebook gets, and what it costs to simply provide people with a place to socialize. That’s an arbitrage system that might evaporate in a world of rational payments. If we were smart about the accounting, we’d be asking Facebook to pay us.

Since NewsCorp bought MySpace for $580 million dollars in 2005, I have had so many conversations with students, parents, teachers, friends, family, and strangers about what I imagined NewsCorp was buying. Data. An ocean of freely shared data about its users from its users: Who are you? Who do you know? What do you do? Specifically, what are your likes and dislikes for bands, songs, cars, jeans, sodas, shampoos, computers, magazines, pizza toppings, television channels, narcotics, candidates, Friends characters? Where do you shop, hang out, watch movies? People freely and willingly uploaded any and all personal information and preferences to MySpace, and NewsCorps hoped to sift through swells of big data for advertising and internet marketing purposes. Six years later, NewsCorps sold MySpace for $35 million dollars in 2011. Ruh roh.

For almost two decades, I’ve working mainly with middle school students and teachers. During my time at The School at Columbia University, Don Buckley (Director of Innovation from 2006-2013) asked Cristina Martinez (our Systems Administrator) to set up an internal social network using Elgg back in like 2007 or 2008. To demonstrate that a social network is EMPTY until people populate it with information, we start every school year with a blank social network after archiving the previous year’s work. I constantly reinforce that everything posted online is either public or less public, so if you want something to be private, you should never upload it. Below are links to some posts I’ve written detailing specific annual curricular projects I’ve led using this in-house space, The Social Network:

  1. Creating social networking profiles with 6th graders:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/in-6th-grade-life-skills-making-digital-profiles-on-our-in-house-elgg-social-network/
  2. Social networking etiquette and other life lessons:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/social-networking-etiquette-and-other/
  3. 7th graders creating faux profiles of Great Mathematicians:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/social-networking-with-great-mathematicians/
  4. 8th graders creating faux profiles of the Founding Fathers:  https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/foundingfathers/

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