Daily Archives: July 20, 2006

Presentation by Greg Gebhart.
Works @ Moana College in Melbourne and part-time for NetAlert. Netalert established in 1999. Can be booked for schools. Broadband and dialup converge by 2008 - latest study said that very few kids access from a bedroom. Predators can lure someone in 7 or 8 minutes before they can be in a private chat and exposed to something undesirable. Chat windows open - 10 - but one girl had 730 or so names on her buddy list. 89 % of access is at home, not at school. Some kids playing a lot of dangerous games. Girls more likely to use chat technology - wireless networking is making online access easier. Used Netstumbler in hotel room and found 33 unsecured wireless points. Touched on the practice of wardriving and then ipods and podcastirg technologies. A risk factor is inappropriate material as podcasts (suicide, mutilation, bodcasts) - trading of inappropriate material that isn't part of the school network. Camera phones where images are uploaded to the net - children don't understand the consequences. A simple technique is to downgrade the image so that is not of use for child pornographers. Porn generates ten times the revenue that eBay does. Sophisicated scams targetting banking log ons, gambling - phishing. Very cleverly designed websites that capitalise or misspelt domain names. The issue of cyber-bullying is growing - bullying webpages, now a court case involving a teacher being bullied by students. Showed us the site called RateMyTeachers.com - a form of cyber bullying. 65% of Cyberbullies are girls. Walked us through MySpace and Bebo - so much personal information out there. We need to educate our kids as to what is appropriate to post online. Greg then showed us some case studies then a video from the US called "Predator". Good news is that over 80% of kids have only known friends and family members on their lists. Warning signs are kids who are "glued' to the screen because they are scared of losing their new friend or missing out on conversation. Great to be at a session that was super informative but advocated education, not banning stuff.

Peter's session is on the use of within in the classroom - a quick and dirty way of web authoring but a great way of enabling collaboration. Showed us Wikipedia, then Uncyclopedia, a wiki where you can spin a yarn. His presentation was authored on a wiki - Waraku Education Wikispace. It can only be edited by other Wikispaces members. The ads can be removed by a quick e-mail to the administrators and ask because if a wiki is for education, the ads can be removed. He then showed us a wiki he has used on the Grant High School Moodle site. He explained that Grant's stuff is all externally hosted on an outside server because of some many problems with the department's serve that blocked or was unfriendly to things like forum e-mails etc. Peter also showed how the history function works within a wiki and then he fielded some ideas from the audience on additional ideas for wiki use. the showed us examples from Bill Kerr (Africa game) and Leigh Blackall (TALO Swapmeet).

Derek Wenmoth, Director eLearning CORE Education Ltd Christchurch NEW ZEALAND with his keynote was titled," Thinking Digitally". He started by relating a story about his father-in-law who was confronted by a group of youths who disappeared quickly after a few words. Derek's son suggested to his grandfather that he should have taken a photo of these guys using his mobile phone camera. This is an example of digital thinking. Also related the story of the high frequency sound used for keeping teenagers away from malls called Teen Buzz, which has been reinvented as a ringtone that adults can't hear! Quoted Nicholas Negroponte " Thinking in terms of Bits, not Atoms!" He talked about the change in tools from when he started teaching in the 70's. Then tools were Analog, Now tools are Digital, Next tools are Connected.

Our schools may not may changed but our kids have. Talked about the concept of "hypertext" minds and " attentional deployment." It is now an important skill to be able to shift attention from one task to another. Talked about synchronous tools (IM, Skype etc.) and asynchronous tools (blogs). He showed us his daughter's blog. He also talked about My Space - he points out as educators, we can't afford to just say, "Well, that's their problem." Derek posed the question," What would happen in Australia if the Internet fell over tomorrow." Well, our banking would grind to a halt but would it make any difference to schools?

Showed us his OLE continuum diagram to demonstrate the pedagogical charge needed in schools. He then started to talk about the different components needed in schools for a school based OLE - LMS (Moodle was his example), management of student identity but while schools set up their system to contain everything, students are off setting up their own blogs, ELGG's etc. See his diagram here. The problem now is not access to information but how to sort through that information.