Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Digital Footprint

I teach people to think about, discover, care about and reduce their environmental footprint, but today we learned about your digital footprint. It is basically saying that what ever you put on the internet will pretty much always be there and this can eventually come back to haunt you. What's even worse is someone else can even put up something about you, such as a not so flattering photo and this can sometimes be viewed by people you don't want viewing it such as college recruiters or potential employers. This is a concern I have with Facebook as many friends will take photos that are absolutely fine within that group setting, but not so fine when published/tagged and shared with the world.

According to Canadian Marketing Blog, adults can be classified into 4 groups:
1. Concerned & Careful (21% of online adults)
2. Worried by the Wayside (18%)
3. Confident Creatives (17%)
4. Unfazed and inactive (43%)

Kim Komando, wrote in the article 'Your online reputation can hurt you' people should assess their online footprint, then remove the negative and promote the positive. So immediately I typed my name in Google and then did it again with my name in "quotation marks". There were a few people with the same name including a female toddler who I don't think anyone will confuse me with. More articles about me popped up than I expected, however, to my pleasant surprise they were all good. I found an old website I created back in university and also a newspaper article written about me in the Bangkok Post. However, these were all positive things.

The key is not to be afraid of what is on the net but to manage it and make sure anyone trying to view information on you will find a lot of things, but all positive things. I should be highlighting my 2 blogs, my wiki, the newspaper write ups.

As I become more aware of this issue, I hope I can help my students think about their digital footprint. Again they should not fear this, but just be smart and responsible about their actions. Don't upload videos or photos that could be seen in a negative way. Don't write nasty and tasteless comments. Finally, do not join up with social groups you do not actually believe it. Students might find it funny to join up with a 'hate' group, but not realize that later in life someone might ask them about this. In a related topic, the interent can unfortunately be used in negative ways such as cyber bullying. Students also need to be educated about this topic.

Tech'n While Your Down

I've experienced some really cool and new (for me at least) advantages in using technology recently. You see normally I am a very outgoing and active guy. It's quite hard for me to sit still and relax, but I've been forced to. A while back I busted me ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my knee. This required reconstructive surgery, whereby the take a piece of your hamstring tendon and use it for your ACL. So I had the surgery and was laid up at home for about two weeks. I later returned to work, but eventually my leg became infected. Long story short, I'm back in the hospital. I've been here for 2 weeks and have at least 2 more to go to clear everything up. Needless to say, I've missed a lot of school. However, I have not been totally out of the loop. Thanks to techonogy I have been able to stay in touch even while I lay in a hospital bed all along. Let me list the different things I have been using lately.
  1. Skype - to attend my Environmental Stewardship class when we had a guest speaker.
  2. Live feed - to attend the Technology Masters course.
  3. Chat lines - to chat while attend the Technology course.
  4. Wiki - this is actually the Env. class project. It has struggled a bit, but is building.
  5. Blog - to make Green Panther updates.
  6. Email - to communicate with the sub and students.
  7. JING - this was the coolest by far.
The JING site at allows you to capture clips and make movies on your screen. This is not like iMovie or MovieMaker. It is like when you are learning a Google application and there is a video showing you what to type, click, where to navigate, etc. So instead of typing out line after line of instructions, make a short video to show them rather then tell them. My class is struggling with their project and Wiki, so I made a video to show them how to do it then I email them the link. HOW COOL!!! Here is the link to the instructional project video I made for them.

Although I have spent many hours playing with this stuff and working though errors it has been fun. However, for me to continue using a product it does have to save me time; not take it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Project Sketch

Travel guide for tourists who care

How many times have you met tourists who came to Thailand and wanted to see the elephants, only to be overwhelmed with a feel of guilt afterwards because they get the sense they supported something they are not proud of? Whether, its elephants, monkeys or even people there are a lot of great things to see in Thailand, but often animals or people get exploited and these are not the things we want to support. Our travel guide will help travelers determine where they want to spend their money and what causes the want to support. ISB students will try their best to determine which companies are eco friendly, socially responsible, for animal rights, and are helping the community and all that other good stuff.

Students will be in groups and each group will research a region of Thailand (North, South, North East, Central). They will try to find what tourism exists; especially sustainable tourism. Then students will devise a set of criteria/rankings for sustainable tourism. It might be a kind of star system for each criteria. For example;

Animal rights

Community development

Environmental responsible

Socially responsible

Overall rating:

Elephant Nature Park

Once the information is determined, students will display information on a wiki including rankings, videos, pictures, recommendations, links, contacts, and what you can do to help.

This information will initially be open to the ISB community, and is the basis of the project, but it has potential to grow. If successful, it can be open up to a larger audience. Other travelers can upload their information about what they thought of the sites they visited and it becomes a site for the world to use. As well, there is potential to work with travel agents to get information and give information. If this could support more of the good work that is happening in Thailand and help that industry grow, more of the ‘not-so-nice’ tourism might change their ways.

What are the students gaining from this project?

This project will incorporate Blooms higher orders of learning (including the newer version which includes using technology). For example, students will:

  • Analyze – Students examine a lot of data they find about different things to do it Thailand. Then they must validate their findings and will eventually 'mash' much of the data into one source.
  • Evaluate – students make judgments about each organization/company they research, then assess and recommend where they fit in the criteria. Students will be networking and collaborating, thus having to evaluate the skills of the contributors.
  • Create – Students will imagine and design the criteria sheet themselves. Students will create a wiki and publish information.

This project also meets the following STUDENT NETS STANDARDS:

1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

This project should start in April, 2009. If you are an outsider that would like to contribute, please leave a message.