Yes, I understand that this blog is the home of the tech-savvy teachers, but, tech-savvy is more than fixing broken hard drives, integrating great apps in your classroom and managing your email with ease. You need to know what you and your students are trading for access to all of these amazing technologies.
In light of the NSA shenanigans, there is a heightened sense that those that use technology are leaving a significant digital footprint. I’m not talking about the obvious digital footprint, like those unfortunate photos from that conference is Las Vegas. Our engagement with websites, email, apps and the like are drawing clear pictures of our inner-world for others… at best, they are using the information to sell us more in the consumer-industrial complex, but, there may be a darker downside.
I am intrigued by Julia Angwin’s new book, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance (available in hardcover or on the Kindle platform from Amazon). She makes a compelling case that there may be much greater data mining than we ever understand by simply searching the Internet, playing games on our phones or even sending private emails.
I am only a couple chapters in, and I am hooked. We owe it to ourselves and our students to have a full picture of this. I am not convinced, yet, that it will change classroom practice for me but I do think we need to think carefully about our engagement with technology and how we ask our students to do the same.
There is an excellent excerpt on NRP’s site to get you started.