Literature

As part of my final Portfolio requirements, I needed to write a few academic papers. These articles provided me the opportunity to think about issues and write the research I found on them. The topics were unrelated to each other but say something about the issues I’ve been paying attention to the last 2 years and why they are important things for us to consider. They include MOOCs and whether they are a possible substitute for our current educational system, Data collection and why it’s important to understand how much information we put out every time we use the internet, and the age gap in technology and how important it is that we record life stories online to share with our families before they are lost.

Here are introductions/abstracts of the articles and links to access them.

High School MOOCs and Educators

High School MOOCs and Educators

High School MOOCs and Educators – Why teachers are still important and class sizes should stay small:

Excerpt from the introduction:

 With the age of the internet and new technologies coming about every year, many people have been curious about the direction that education will take in the future, especially when focusing on secondary education. Some have speculated that public “brick and mortar” schools will disappear and be replaced by MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – offering online courses built by professionals and being used by massive numbers of students all at once with all work being graded automatically. While MOOCs hold great potential, there are large flaws which make them ill-suited to replace the current educational system as a whole. Those flaws are first, that the massive student-to-teacher ratio does not provide the average high school student with the attention, accountability, and motivation that he/she needs from an educator. Second, that the “One program fits all” mentality inherent in MOOCs does not account for students with disabilities, accelerated students, or specific learning styles and assumes that all students learn the exact same way. Third, that the role of the educator in a MOOC is almost non-existent, leaving the students with, once again, a lack of accountability and motivation as well as lacking a clear method for ensuring subject matter competency. Though MOOCs are wonderful tools and provide excellent resources, they should not be considered as a replacement for the current educational system as a whole.

 

Wait, How Much Data Do They Collect?

Wait, How Much Data Do They Collect?

Wait, How Much Data Do They Collect? – Recognizing the extent to which companies and governments access the personal data of customers and citizens:

Excerpt from the introduction:

Thanks to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the people of the United States of America have been fortunate enough to live in a society where they can depend on the freedom of privacy. There is, however, a great misunderstanding concerning how little privacy is actually present where the internet is concerned. The amount of information that governments collect about their citizens and that businesses collect about their customers is often overlooked. Every day, people scattered all over the world use the internet for storing and retrieving information and it is staggering how quickly they forget that all that information is accessible whether they want it to be or not. Everything typed in a web browser is stored on a server. Every status update is saved long after someone has changed their status. Deleted tweets may be removed from an account, but hosting companies maintain data long after it has been “deleted.” In an era where data collection is automated, people need to be conscious of their digital footprint as well as the hidden breadcrumbs of information dropped through simple internet use. The more data people give, the less data they control. Losing control of that data provides businesses and governments with information that allows them to make calculated judgments about their customers and citizens. Governments have access to metadata and use it constantly to make calculations about people that might be a threat. This opens many questions about governmental ethics and the privacy that people are, or should be, entitled to. Understanding how data is collected helps people to make better judgments about their internet use.

Technology Bridging the Age Gap through Story Sharing

Technology Bridging the Age Gap through Story Sharing

Technology Bridging the Age Gap through Story Sharing – How technology can bring people together through sharing life stories:

Excerpt from the introduction:

Technology is an ever present, ever changing part of life. It changes so rapidly and can be so intimidating that it is often feared and avoided, particularly by older generations. Yet with advancements of digital tools and online services, learning to use technology to improve family communication and share personal memories and experiences has never been easier. Immortality is not attainable in the physical sense, however even after death, memories and experiences can be shared, thereby allowing a legacy to live on. Sharing one’s life stories while still alive helps to encourage feedback from others that can help bring to light forgotten elements and see different sides of the story. Sharing information online can provide multiple people with the stories and artifacts that might otherwise have been confined to a single individual. Technology can help to bridge the generation gap that so many people feel disconnects them from their family members, but they must learn to utilize the tools available in order to do so.

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