A range of different insights into the digital world for our learners in schools, colleges, universities and at home - whether they are young or old.
This is our educational consultancy weblog, featuring a range of topics of interest to professional educators. New posts are added from time to time and are assigned to different categories (labels) such as mobiles, technology and protocols as well as educators, lecturers, professors, teachers and leadership.
We hope you find the following posts both informative and thought provoking!
Explore Quantum Computing for RealDate: 31 December 2017
Over recent years there has rightly been a focus on encouraging children and young people to learn to code. This is beginning to be reflected in schools as the emphasis on coding is growing within curriculum experiences.
Of course the focus on coding is binary systems, which generate the apps running on our current computer and mobile devices. For children and young people this is an attractive option as they can find fun ways to manipulate such devices for a wide variety of activities.
The advent of quantum computing introduces a new dynamic to coding. Imaginative educators can now introduce young people to the fascinating and seminal world of quantum computing. But where to start?
Today you can explore quantum computing a couple of ways using the programming language Python, freely available and used in many schools for coding.
One option is the Quantum Toolkit in Python (QuTiP), with access to a wide range of documentation. Refer to the User Guide for installation on different platforms. and access online tutorials with IPython Notebooks.
Another option is the Quantum Information Software Kit (QISKit), with access to tutorials, documentation and the IBM Q Experience. The IBM Q Experience: Beginners Guide provides a useful online introduction and overview with examples whereas the IBM Q Experience: Full User Guide is a most comprehensive package for the keen explorer!
Could 2018 be the year when anywhere, anytime learners start exploring quantum computing for real?
Labels: educators professors teachers lecturers
Posted by Dave Jobbings at 12:26 PM
The Internet of ThingsDate: 08 June 2015
This is one of the latest buzz terms!
As new technological innovation marches forward the prospect of meaningful use of the Internet to control items becomes ever closer. Already you can remotely view content from video cameras and audio transmitters and control things like the heating. However, there is much, much more coming on stream in the next 12 months or so with everyday devices, such as a fridge(!), include Wi-Fi to hook up to your Internet router and then capable of being accessed from anywhere, anytime.
Therein lies the the issue. Connectivity is all well and good as long as it is secure. Thus, "the Internet of Things" comes with the clear need for strong passwords and encryption techniques to ensure that only authorised access is possible to devices.
A number of cases have already been reported where unauthorised access can be made to such devices because the manufacturers of technology, such as video cameras, have not made their systems secure. It is simply not acceptable that devices are released for purchase with issues such as passwords remaining from testing or to provide "backdoor" entry.
As ever, it is crucial that educators ensure that children and young people are aware of both the benefits and pitfalls of "the Internet of Things" as we enter a brave new technological world.
Labels: educators teachers lecturers
Posted by Dave Jobbings at 11:00 AM
Lessons in Digital Privacy Date: 10 May 2014
Our last post discussed the privacy issues that emerged during 2013. Just when you might of thought things were getting better, 2014 is turning out to be nightmare!
There has already been privacy issues highlighted about problems in communication protocols via mobile (iOS on iPhone was notable) but the latest Heartbleed issue has been shocking. Who would have thought that some of the basic systems to secure the integrity of digital communication could contain flaws that would make it easier to eavesdrop on communications with internet servers?
The mixed responses from some of the big names such as Google to the Heartbleed issue has illustrated the problem that company PR processes have when always trying to present a positive picture. The Heartbleed issue was bad enough but then compounded by the lack of clear information for users of companies whose server systems had been vulnerable.
Now it is even more important that educators ensure that children and young people have the requisite knowledge about how to protect themselves online. Even when your mobile or desktop is fully up-to-date with the latest software, it is so important to be careful. It is too late once your digital identity has been compromised.
Educators and parents have a responsibility to ensure anytime, anywhere learners are alert to the potential of security risks and actual breaches.
Labels: educators teachers lecturers
Posted by Dave Jobbings at 09:46 AM
Guard Your PrivacyDate: 22 December 2013
The calendar year 2013 will be remembered for the high profile of cases resulting in privacy concerns for individuals using the Internet and telecommunications to share and exchange data. This highlights why it is so important to educate young people about the nature of privacy in today's digital world.
For too long, the ease of use and potential of Internet based systems has far outweighed the disadvantages. Fortunately, 2013 has also been the year when user privacy has started to be taken more seriously by vendors of operating systems and developed of software, Apps for mobile devices, social media and websites. As a result, steps can be taken to privacy settings and ensure that some shared and exchanged data does remain more private.
While the alleged antics of the NSA in the US and GCHQ in the UK grab the headlines and illustrate how some private data can be obtained, young people are often unaware of basic steps they can take. Simple things such as ensuring passwords are strong and secure and their personal data is entered via secure websites (check the web address starts with htpps:// or the padlock is displayed). This is most important on shared computers or when accessing "free WIFI" with mobile devices.
The Consequences of sharing personal data should also be carefully considered. Some young people are becoming increasingly aware that their digital footprints locked in to social media such as Facebook and Twitter but there are other actions that should be common practice. In particular, it is essential to counter the "ease of use" argument where operating systems, software and Apps offer to remember passwords and personal details for future reference.
The key question for all educators is: Do your anytime, anywhere learners approach their privacy online with a critical eye?
Labels: educators professors teachers lecturers
Posted by Dave Jobbings at 12:35 PM
Social media - a force for good or ill?Date: 11 August 2013
Recent news in the UK about life threats, abuse and bullying comments on various social media has highlighted difficulties where new technologies are misused as a communication platform.
Over a short period of time the growth of social media has been dramatic and is a worldwide phenomenon. Older children, young people and adults have been quick to exploit the potential to share new, information and events with others. However, there are pitfalls - those who exploit the social media forums in a perverse and often blatant fashion seem to have scant regard for the impact on others. Although the legal framework covers online and off line comments, this appears to be overlooked as a result of ignorance about legal consequences or simply that the platform cannot cope with such situations.
The indirect nature of online text-based communication through social media can remove and disregard the thoughts, feelings and vulnerability of others. The international reach of social media exacerbates the issues and differences in cultural values.
This poses a challenge for education. While it is important to encourage children and young people to exploit social media technologies for good, they also need to gain a fuller awareness of their rights and responsibilities as well as those of others within our society. Sadly there will always be those who are tempted to exploit new technologies for all the wrong reasons. Education has to play its role in raising awareness of effective risk assessment strategies.
How do we ensure social media becomes a mature, safe platform and a force for good not ill?
Labels: teachers lecturers
Posted by Dave Jobbings at 15:06 PM
Apps are the futureDate: 23 August 2010
Over the past few years, access to a greater range of packages has been created on mobile phones. As ever with new technologies, these bring both advantages and disadvantages!
One of the most significant developments has been the introduction of software applications or Apps as they have become known. Many provide useful additionality to the array of functions on mobile devices, extending the range and variety of uses. The development of Apps has accelerated from fairly basic software products into quite sophisticated and useful programs. Apps have proved very popular, not least is the opportunity to tailor the range of functions and information sources readily available on the mobile.
Tablet based hardware, such as the iPad, significantly increases the educational potential of Apps with the much larger screen and depending on the device's orientation landscape or portrait formats. This software format offers designers and publishers more scope to integrate interactivity and visual impact through animation, audio and video than, say, e-books. Gradually, developers are beginning to produce educational Apps. However, the key test for good quality interactive Apps is the extent to which these interactive elements are appropriately deployed to capture interest, stimulate curiosity and generate genuine learning experiences for children and young people.
Some of the most interesting educational Apps so far appear to be designed for younger children. Leaving aside the ubiquitous array of generic applications (word processing, spreadsheets and presentation and creative art software), educational products designed specifically for young people appear rather thin on the ground at present.
For educators, it would seem that the development of Apps holds out the future for exploiting learning experiences using mobile devices, particularly the up and coming breed of tablet devices. As ever, the market for Apps is expanding quickly and this is yet another area to keep an eye on with the view of extending opportunities for anywhere, anytime learners.
Labels: educators professors mobiles teachers lecturers
Posted by Dave Jobbings at 13:42 PM
There are 6 posts with the label "lecturers"
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