Digital Footprint New Media literacies Privacy

Privacy Settings – So boring?!

Have you ever wondered about what is behind “Yes, I agree” when you sign up for a new application or website? Let’s be honest, how often have you read the Terms of Use, the Privacy Settings or Data Collection and Copyright Policy of e.g. social media applications? I have never been a big fan of long legal documents. At the same time

How does that make me able to proactively manage my digital identity and property? The New Digital Citizenship – Empower Proactive Digital Learner

Connectivism Course 2 Digital Footprint Privacy

Offline = Online – Does it really matter?

When I checked the verbs “to mob” (mobbing) and “to bully” in a online dictionary, I got very strong verbs in German that I haven’t used for years in my active vocabulary: belästigen, anpöbeln, tyrannisieren, schikanieren, einschüchtern, piesacken, drangsalieren, etc. Thinking about those verbs and about my experiences as a teacher, the connection to the article “Bullying” Has Little Resonance with Teenagers came in my mind and the following quote of a person who commented:

Technology is not to blame. Bullying has been in existence since there was civilization. Technology has escalated and changed how bullying occurs.

I agree bullying happened / is happening in the offline world as much as it is happening in the online world – then called cyberbullying (German / English). You can observe the same kind of actions (to bully – belästigen, anpöbeln, tyrannisieren, schikanieren, einschüchtern, piesacken, drangsalieren), just in different environments and with different impacts.

This week’s questions were:

Who’s responsibility is it to teach students to be safe online? Who’s job is it to teach these skills? When and where should we be having these conversations with students? Are we taking this seriously?

Cyberbullying has to be taught but in my opinion it doesn’t start with kindergarten or school and in the first row it doesn’t have anything to do with “cyber/being online”.

I had a situation in Grade 3 last week. There is student A who is always late. When he came in the classroom, another student B said: “Finally!” with a very derogative voice. There it starts already. I asked student B to think about what he just said and how student A might feel to hear something like that. Children no matter what age need to get aware and be aware that words and actions can hurt another person. As adults, as parents, as friends, as teachers we need to model how to feel empathy for somebody. (“Bullying” Has Little Resonance with Teenagers)

Photo Credit: Kevin (blahoblaho) via Flickr

It also reminded me of a unit in Grade 1 called “Use your words” where the students learn a strategy to deal with conflicts. It’s called STOP – TALK – WALK – HELP and gives children a tool to say NO to something, to ask WHY somebody is doing something, to have the courage to walk away and to ask for help. And again children no matter what age need to get the self confidence to stand for their own whenever they feel to be in a wrong situation. As adults, as parents, as friends, as teachers we need to get involved into strategies so we can again model for the children.

Does the strategy STOP – TALK – WALK – HELP would help for cyberbullying as well? Will a teenager be able to say STOP when he or she gets bombarded with mean or even worse text messages? Will he or she be confident enough to ask for reasons? Will he or she be strong enough to ignore or ask for help? It’s probably something you can learn no matter what age but the earlier the better. And again – as adults, as parents, as friends, as teachers we need to encourage our children.

Growing up in a small village, being a daughter of an unpopular teacher, being a teenager at that time let me experience how it is to live with gossip around me (and our family). Students of my father talked behind my back and in a very direct way as well. Since then I hate gossiping and it’s hard for me to stand people who a big gossiper. And again, the article “Bullying” Has Little Resonance with Teenagers came in my mind, because it says:

I hear teens’ dramas reflected in their stories about how their parents fight – with each other, with their friends and family and colleagues, and with them. What teens are doing is more coarse, more direct, and more explicit. But they’re witnessing adult dramas all around them and what they tend to see isn’t pretty. Parents talking smack about work colleagues or bosses. Parents fighting with each other or ostracizing their family members over disagreements. And it’s not just parents…Teens are seeing fights and dramas all over the media. Celebrity fights and dramas aren’t just in their face; they’re glorified! And even if MTV comments on domestic abuse after airing Jersey Shore, the way that the housemates treat each other sets a standard for what’s societally acceptable. Teens are seeing drama everywhere – they’re seeing it as a legitimate part of adult society that can often lead to notoriety.

And again – as adults, as parents, as friends, as teachers we model an integer life with communication skills which let us treat each other with respect.
We are ALL responsible whenever a situation comes up.
When children grow up and experience the world around them in a very safe and loving environment offline, don’t you think their behavior and their experiences will be similar online?


Course 2 Digital Footprint New Media literacies Privacy

The chaos of Copy & Paste

Tad not drinking wine

Photo Credit: ekai via Compfight cc

Reading about plagiarism and copyright this week made me realize how huge and important (!) this topic is. You can inquirer into this topic from many different perspectives: location where you are in the world, from the perspective of the students, the teachers, the bloggers, from the perspective of the kind of media (article online, movie, blog, image, comic, … endless).

First of all we as teachers need to know about copyright and plagiarism. Working at a PYP school and not having any books for teaching (which I really like) makes it difficult to have resources and of course we get them through the internet. Wikipedia says about Fair Use:

In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.

I was happy to read the word teaching, but what about In United States copyright law?  Germany seems to be always kind of stricter. Reading the wording of the law I’m realizing that I’m not a lawyer and I’m not used to read laws. Meaning it is complicated. Said very simple: § 53 Urheberrechtsgesetz (UrhG) allows us to copy for the use during lessons. There are different interpretations (using something during the lesson or saving something on the computer) written on the German website lo-recht (Recht und digitale Medien): Vervielfältigungen für Unterricht und Prüfungen. But … I have to admit that the article is quite old and I still feel quite confused. Therefore – my German colleagues (working at a German school): Please let me know more. How do you handle those issues? Thx. We need to know as teachers, for us and as important for getting the students aware.

At the moment Grade 5 at our school is working on their exhibition topics. In German the students are inquiring into a ecosystem which is related to their Central Idea. Right in time I heard about compfight, a flickr search engine, which gives you the code for attaching the caption. I also realized that Google allows you find pictures with certain usage rights (Advanced Search). Very helpful for the students is as well EasyBib: A Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Generator.

In the context of the students writing their pieces for their exhibition as well as in the context of myself writing blog entries, the website was very informative and surprising for me. There are 10 types of plagiarism and I’m wondering now how much remix and mashup my students do?! And what about myself? I’m reading several websites/articles and recently I started to write down the source. Then I try to build my opinion, combine it with my own experience, ask new (or old) questions – what am I doing?

Last but not least the readings this week made me think about licensing own work. It feels good to know more about Flickr and Creative Commons which allows you to license your work easily if you want to share it. I don’t have to share and contribute so much at the moment, but I told a friend about it who is an artist and she was very happy to hear about it. Let’s spread the word! That is also part of all this with Coetail.

And how about 3D plagiarism? Today at the Maker Munich there was a talk about: Piracy hoch drei: Öffnet die 3D-Technologie wirklich die Büchse der Pandora?  – in English something like:

Piracy power three: Does the 3D technology really opens the Pandora’s Box?

I’m living in such a exciting and interesting time!



Course 2 Digital Footprint Privacy

Do you freely express yourself on the Internet?

If it's on the Internet, it isn't private.
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey via Compfight cc

While reading and understanding the article for this week (Don’t overestimate privacy of online information & Beware: the internet could own your future) my Grade 4 came in my mind which inquires into the Human Rights at the moment. In particular I was reminded of impressive pictures of William T. Ayton who painted a picture for each Human Right. (First time that I asked an artist whether I can use his pictures – Thanks for replying so quickly, Mr. Ayton! – Check out his website!)

Photo Credit: William T. Ayton via U.D.H.R.

Article 12 (U.D.H. R. – picture of Ayton):

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12.)


One interesting question for me is the following:

Do we just have to adapt and accept the fact that there seems to be less and less privacy online? 

The control over who has access to my pictures, to my information, to my location and so on seems not existing anymore. I try to understand the privacy setting f.e. of Facebook and and it gives me a good and kind of safe feeling but a rest of distrust is always there. I feel like that there isn’t the possibility to control my privacy online anymore. But in my opinion to just give up is too easy although I’m not sure whether I have a chance.
I found information about a Post-Privacy-Movement which believes and is convinced that we are living in a time without any privacy. Really?
On the other hand there seem to be a lot initiatives which try to protect privacy like Me & My Shadow campaign, like a German initiative against the change of the data retention laws (Stopp! die Vorratsdatenspeicherung – German/English), like the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and of course there are many technical inventions which try to protect privacy (f.e. TOR).

All that reading led me to another interesting question:

How is “The Right to Privacy” and “The right of Freedom of expression” related to each other?

Photo Credit: William T. Ayton via U.D.H.R.

Article 19 (U.D.H. R. – picture of Ayton):

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19)

Living in Germany luckily I haven’t experience the feeling that I can’t express freely my opinions. But it’s definitely a different story in other countries in the world like f.e. China and North Korea. And maybe I don’t have to go so far.

I found a quite new (2012) Global Survey on Internet Privacy and Freedom of Expression done by UNESCO. They say that the Internet lets us rethink about our understanding of privacy because compared to the pre-internet-time:

  • the Internet can collect way more different kind of personal information (DNA information, facial recognition, finger scanning, etc.).
  • the Internet can locate our personal information (unique IP addresses, RFID, bar codes, etc.).
  • the Internet and new technologies can analyse personal information and use them for different purpose.
  • there is way more commercial and government related use and analyses of our data.

Even though there might be a common definition of privacy it seems that it exist a very different understanding of the concept of privacy depending on country and also government. Therefor the relationship between both rights is very complex as well.