technology and education

Ursula Franklin, in The Real World of Technology wrote:

Technology is not the sum of the artifacts, of the wheels and gears, of the rails and electronic transmitters. Technology is a system. It entails far more than its individual material components. Technology involves organization, procedures, symbols, new words, equations, and, most of all, a mindset.

Being a mindset, technology then is an ideology.

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Kagan’s structures

Kagan structuresHow can we engage students in our classes? There are many great articles on the web on this topic, and perhaps one of the most prominent are the Kagan structures:  Kagan, S. & Kagan, M. Kagan Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing, 2009.

There are 5 essentials in the Kagan structure for education:
1. RallyRobin
2. Timed Pair Share
3. RoundRobin
4. RallyCoach
5. Stand Up, Hand Up Pair Up

Which one to use and when is up to the teacher’s discretion. However some great guidelines are given in Clowes, G. The Essential 5: A Starting Point for Kagan Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing. Kagan Online Magazine, Spring 2011.


privacy always

In this day and age, privacy has never been more important. There are many privacy tools online from respected organizations, first and foremost among them is EFF – the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I personally use their Privacy Badger , their https Everywhere, and Panopticlick which prevents browser fingerprinting all of which are free. EFF also has Certbot which deploys Let’s Encrypt certificates with easy-to-follow, interactive instructions based on your webserver and operating system. EFF also has a manual for self-defense or SSD [surveillance self-defence] which may be read here and which has tutorials and briefs.

I also use Avast’s VPN which is paid but well worth it, especially if you use your computer in public spaces.

However there are many other privacy tools, eg. which provides knowledge and tools to protect your privacy against global mass surveillance. This page has many of their tools and explanations.

It should be noted that many experts recommend Firefox and Tor browser over Google Chrome.


Also review Panopticlick tool and its guide on browser fingerprinting, written by Bill Hess from PixelPrivacy.  The guide provides more context about why one would want to use a tool like Panopticlick.


According to Wikipedia, AIDA is an acronym that stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. The AIDA model is widely used in marketing and advertising to describe the steps or stages that occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement or other type of marketing communication. The AIDA model proposes that advertising messages need to accomplish a number of tasks in order to move the consumer through a series of sequential steps from brand awareness through to action (purchase and consumption). The AIDA model is one of the longest serving models used in advertising, having been developed in the late nineteenth century.

The AIDA model is one of a class of models known as hierarchy of effects models. These are linear sequential models built on an assumption that consumers move through a series of cognitive (thinking) and affective (feeling) stages culminating in the ultimate purchase decision. The steps proposed by the AIDA model are as follows:

  • Awareness – The consumer becomes aware of a category, product or brand (usually through advertising)
  • Interest – The consumer becomes interested by understanding the brand’s benefits and how the brand fits with the consumer’s lifestyle
  • Desire – The consumer develops a favorable disposition towards the brand
  • Action – The consumer forms a purchase intention or actually makes a purchase

human implications of digital media

The World Economic Forum’s website has published two great articles by Yuhyun Park, Chair, infollution, ZERO Foundation. The first is about the 8 digital skills we must teach our children. Then a  a follow up entitled 8 digital skills children now need and a plan on how to teach them.

In the first article, Park encourages DQ – digital intelligence [rather than IQ].  DQ is a set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that enable individuals to face the challenges and adapt to the demands of digital life. These abilities can broadly be broken down into eight interconnected areas:


Digital identity: The ability to create and manage one’s online identity and reputation. This includes an awareness of one’s online persona and management of the short-term and long-term impact of one’s online presence.

Digital use: The ability to use digital devices and media, including the mastery of control in order to achieve a healthy balance between life online and offline.

Digital safety: The ability to manage risks online (e.g. cyberbullying, grooming, radicalization) as well as problematic content (e.g. violence and obscenity), and to avoid and limit these risks.

Digital security: The ability to detect cyber threats (e.g. hacking, scams, malware), to understand best practices and to use suitable security tools for data protection.

Digital emotional intelligence: The ability to be empathetic and build good relationships with others online.

Digital communication: The ability to communicate and collaborate with others using digital technologies and media.

Digital literacy: The ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share and create content as well as competency in computational thinking.

Digital rights: The ability to understand and uphold personal and legal rights, including the rights to privacy, intellectual property, freedom of speech and protection from hate speech.

Without them, the digital divide will continue to be exacerbated. They call it the

The challenge for educators is to move beyond thinking of IT as a tool, or “IT-enabled education platforms”. Instead, they need to think about how to nurture students’ ability and confidence to excel both online and offline in a world where digital media is ubiquitous.

These skills are:


Digital citizen identity: the ability to build and manage a healthy identity online and offline with integrity

Screen time management: the ability to manage one’s screen time, multitasking, and one’s engagement in online games and social media with self-control

Cyberbullying management: the ability to detect situations of cyberbullying and handle them wisely

Cybersecurity management: the ability to protect one’s data by creating strong passwords and to manage various cyberattacks

Privacy management: the ability to handle with discretion all personal information shared online to protect one’s and others’ privacy

Critical thinking: the ability to distinguish between true and false information, good and harmful content, and trustworthy and questionable contacts online

Digital footprints: The ability to understand the nature of digital footprints and their real-life consequences and to manage them responsibly

Digital empathy: the ability to show empathy towards one’s own and others’ needs and feelings online