Thursday, July 28, 2011

iBrain Chapter 8 - Adapt or Die

The never ending battle to upgrade.  Apple is notorious for putting out a new product then releasing a cheaper faster version a few months later.

"Hello, my name is Keith, I am an early adopter"
Some times getting the latest and greatest works out... the new ipod revolutionized mp3 players, as did the cd burner.  I spent many nights burning files with my $300 cd burner.  However, my mp3 player that hold only 64 megabytes (maybe 1 audio cd of 12 songs) didn't work.

We have all had the experience of trying to decide what to buy at the box store or just buying a new computer because ours crashed.   As a tech guru for my family, friends and colleagues I am always struck by their desire to upgrade to a newer technology rather then truly their need.

Psst... I will tell you a secret all the tech gadget companies plan on obsolescence.
When internet finally hit.. it really is not about your computer speed but your internet.  Most now only need a terminal with a fast internet connect.  Very few are gaming, video editing, or doing other cpu/memory intensive activities on the computer.

This chapter is basically a tutorial on basic computer skills from email etiquette, internet searching, to online safety.   I found it dated since most of us live in this world now.

My students have matured past some of these issues, I remember starting off having to explain about why you don't put picture with your name online.  Now if they are doing it it is on purpose or friends are doing it for them (with or without their knowledge) and they have some concept of the consequences.

* I would point out that the Natives still need to be taught online etiquette skills.  Just because they are natives does NOT mean they know how to properly do things.  Schools are notorious for having students show teacher/kids how to do something on computers.  Yes they may know how to use the tool, but may not know how to use it properly.


  1. I agree that kids need to know netiquette. I am still unsure about who needs to teach it. Parents obviously, but since that doesn't seem to be the case. Health teachers? Classroom teachers? Tech teachers? When do you start? Just another thing added on our list.

  2. I don't look as it is "extra" but just part... we do that all the time with other basic skills like working with other students. I find to many schools/teachers think technology use is the "Computer Teachers" job. This is like a teacher saying, "Well I didn't have my kids do the assignment because they need to learn to read from the Language Arts teacher"

  3. I really think that netiquette is something that EVERYONE needs to get themselves involved with. Kids at my school have computer class, but they also have Netbooks that the entire faculty is expected to integrate in one way or another. If you have expectations for online behavior, you have to teach them. To me, it's the same as telling your students not to get into a car with a stranger. Yes, we hope that someone else has told them that somewhere along the line, but on the off chance that they haven't heard it yet, you might as well give them a good finger shake while you've got their attention.

    As I can't imbed a video in a comment, I thought I'd include a link to another YouTube vid, this one entitled "Facebook Manners and You." Honestly, I've been dying to have an excuse to share this! :)

  4. I have seen that video before and laughed just as hard the last time. I have helped people just like that. You have to tell them several times, have them do it and have them do it again. Our students can be like that in any field. It's part of learning. I could tell them how to do a procedure in math, and they wouldn't know how to do it. I can have them do it once, and while some would be OK, many would still need more practice.

    What I find really challenging is trying to teach someone how to do something, like transfer pictures on to their computer from a camera, all by phone. It is not easy when you can't see, for sure, what the person you are helping can see. Sometimes you are looking at different screens.

    I also thought this section was sort of how to, and outdated as well. The book talked about the amount of storage space that was needed for hard drives and now much of what we store is out in the cloud. Even many businesses don't have their own servers anymore.

    I think what I will really take from this chapter is the need to educate our students as to internet use and etiquette. A friend had a coworker who lost his job after emailing a very inappropriate picture of a part of his body to several coworkers. What was he thinking? We also want our students to be safe and not put identifiable information and pictures out there for predators. As was also said, we cannot assume that students know how to protect themselves or that their parents will teach them how. Their parents may not know.

    I will take the advice in the password section as mine are probably too easy to hack, not that I have anything worth hacking! Using the first letters of a sentence is a great idea and one could even write the sentence somewhere without it looking like a password. So now, I will be safer also!

  5. * if you are doing a password... a trick is use Numbers and Symbols to stand for letters in the word. If a student is looking over your shoulder they won't see you hitting the shift key. Also make a saying

    I Love Summer Tech Institute can be come iLuvSTI

    notice cap/small... then add symbols


    you can also just add letter to equal what you are doing

    iLuv$t1E (for email)
    iLuv$t1G (for goodle account) etc.....

  6. Moving past the "dated" feel of this book yet again I can totally see when and where some of the netiquette ideas need to be employed. A lot of my students don't really understand why it's bad to put critical info on their Facebook page and/or USE ALL CAPS WHEN TRYING TO WRITE ME AN EMAIL.

    We don't have a computer class at my school because the thought is all of the students should already know all of this information. I think someone missed a memo, or they don't really care and needed to "trim the fat" from the budget.

    I love using numbers and symbols into my passwords however Erin, does not like it when I do that. :)

  7. I hate to take on another task, but I think digital literacy, netiquette skills, are essential. Every teacher needs to at least model, if not teach, these skills.

    I think of it as hand washing. Not the most glamorous thing to teach, but......

  8. While chapter 7 was aimed at those whose overuse of technology is having a negative affect on their lives, chapter 8 basically treats the reader like a complete technology novice. Mixed in were some good bits of advice on netiquette and I liked the stretching exercises, but for the most part everything else in the chapter is such common knowledge for anyone with computer experience that it is hard to take seriously. I can see that it could be very useful for a complete newbie for a computer. If the author thinks this is the level of experience that the typical reader will have, why is this chapter at the end of the book? I mean come on, if you don’t know what an email is then almost everything else covered in the rest of the book will probably not make a whole lot of sense either. The Medieval Helpdesk is Hilarious and basically reflect my feeling for this chapter.