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July 2016

June 2016

Discovering Snapchat Thriving in Primary School

I KNEW SNAPCHAT was deeply engrained in youth culture when several members of our Youth Media Team showed me their six digit Snap scores. Their self-reported activity levels were above two hours a day.

This summer, I'm watching young people under the age of 10 create Snap stories of their summertime activities. And if I'm to be of any assistance, I need to know how Snapchat's magic filters work. My initial research took me into Ukrainian labs studying facial recognition. The details are in the five minute Vox video embedded to my blog post.

+++ Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business while working with the team at YMT.fm. You can also find him on Snapchat.


My Least Successful @Sway Happened at #ELSS16

I LEARN A LOT by stumbling and I have to say that's what I took away from an afternoon session I had with 40 other educators during the 2016 e-learning summer school in Dublin. I tried to do too much and that's my fault.

I thought I might be able to compress something into an hour--a task that normally takes 110 minutes with my third level students in a lab setting. We had a BYOD environment at #ELSS16 and it just didn't work out. The lecturers in the audience needed a better introduction to Sway. They also needed keyboards to edit the Sway I had created. Things did not go smoothly. As a result, I now have a simple Sway for my blog that I'm embedding below as a work in progress.

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Listening to #elss16 Chatter h/t @jsecker @cearta @fergal

The #ELSS16 Pond

WHILE UK VOTERS were casting their ballots to leave the EU, I was listening to a gurgling pond (snapped by my Xperia phone in the photo) and conversations of lecturers on topics arising at the 2016 e-learning summer school on the Bolton Street campus of the Dublin Institute of Technology. Several of those conversations deserve deep dives into the various practices shared by third level lecturers across Ireland.

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Data Protection, Revenge Porn and Privacy #elss16

If you've done nothing wrong

THE COMPELLING DOUBLE ACT of Eoin O'Dell and Fergal Crehan during the DIT e-learning summer school (#ELSS16) should be bottled and distilled for the required viewing of all Irish educators. Both learned men explained relevant issues about protecting privacy of student records and brilliantly supported their points with regulations and case law.

While listening to their presentations, I stated thinking about revenge porn and data protection constraints that make it difficult to share information when it contains the face, voice or work of a separate party who does not consent to the use of personal data.

Revenge Porn and Privacy

It's not hard to find examples of people circulating intimate photos or videos of former partners online. "Revenge Porn" is a well-form genre of expression where images taken during a relationship are subsequently shared when it ends. I'm surprised to see NSFW "ex gf" channels on Tumblr easily pass through content filters on many third level internet connections.

Revenge Porn is classed as cyberbullying but it is not illegal unless it is persistent enough to qualify as harrassment, under Irish legislation dating from 1997.

However, if the video contains copyrighted content such as a backing track from a mainstream musician, it's possible to file a takedown notice for copyright infringement against the revenge porn clip.

Data Protection and CCTV

While the e-learning summer school was underway in Dublin, Tania McCarthy, a Clare mother, was convicted of using her 5yo son to steal clothes from Penneys. Security camera footage shows the little boy dragging a heavy bag full of stolen goods from the shop before his mother was detained and charged. Earlier CCTV footage shows she had previously used the same tactic, when €200 worth of clothes were taken.

However, Penneys cannot share the CCTV footage with other shops since Irish Data Protection laws protect the privacy of the perp. The law currently prevents retailers and even gardai from sharing images of prolific, repeat and convicted shoplifters for fear of breaching their privacy, unless the ordinary decent criminals grant their consent.

In Northern Ireland, retailers are deemed "data holders" who follow strict protocols regarding their sharing of shoplifing images "for training purposes".

+++ Bernie Goldbach attends the e-learning summer school in Dublin every year, upskilling in digital literacies.


Lusting for Sphero BB-8 #wishlist

THE NIGHT BEFORE APRIL'S ICT in Education Conference, I watched our young son engage with a miniature BB-8 built by Sphero. I think we need a little BB-8 in our home, along with the Sphero Sprk+, a 117 euro programmable robotic ball. [1]

Sphero wants to teach children the joys of coding. The Sprk+ has a gyroscope, accelerometer and LED lights that can be programmed to come on in any order. It will pair to my Android phone or to my wife's iPhone using a Bluetooth connection that has a range of 30 meters.

The Sphero community--full of people who show off their handiwork--leads interested people in teaching owners the basics of programming and lets them code a series of commands. [2]

The Sprk+ is shockproof and waterproof with a battery that lasts for 69 minutes. I can charge the battery wirelessly from its hub.

  1. Get Sprk+ for $129 and free shipping in the USA.
  2. Sphero Commnity: Let's Play!

Hands-on Visual Learning Language with @IdeaPaintIRL

Writing on the wall

ANECDOTALLY, I know people who learn visually--that's why I try to produce overhead learning material with strong visual elements. Scientifically, neuroscience tells me people learn by sketching. Watching both happen together proves the imperative of Idea Paint, a compound that transforms nearly any smooth surface into an erasable white board similar to what I used at a Drupal Camp in Limerick.

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The One Question My Father Often Asked

Geroge Goldbach in Ellwangen, Germany

IT'S HALLMARK TIME again because Father's Day is here and as I watch our lovely 8yo create a unique Father's Day card, I can hear a question my dad often asked his five sons. "What are you going to do with that?"

Dad (pictured at age 22 a few months before he met my mom for the first time) rarely challenged what his offspring did. But he did want to encourage us to consider our actions. He was more observer than judge and I will never forget his style. I'm trying to emulate his considerate approach in my own life now, stepping back from an often critical perspective that I apply to everyday interactions.

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