Month: Mar 2018

Technology Tutorials All Around

The internet is big, really, really big, and a teacher who wants to continue to learn about technology can find lots of online resources to help.  Today’s technology tip is a guide to some of the best resources that are out there for teachers.

State departments of education as well as individual school districts across the country have a mandate to encourage teachers to integrate technology in the classroom.  But some of the best initiatives to actually train teachers to use technology in the classroom seem to be coming from individual educators.  Check out some of the sites listed below as examples:

internet4classrooms.com
This website, co-founded by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles, offers a wide variety of great tutorials and other internet resources for teachers. 

eduscapes.com/tap/topic76.htm
Links to many online tutorials can be found at this site which was created by Annette Lamb and updated by Larry Johnson.

edzone.net/~mwestern
Another great resource for teachers.  This site was created by Marilyn Western and has something for everyone.

Tammy’s Technology Tips for Teachers
A great resource that was prepared by Tammy Worcester Tang, and Instructional Technology Specialist at ESSDACK in Kansas

instructables.com
Though burdened with lots of ads, this website offers thousands of  easy to follow do it yourself videos for just about anything.  Be careful though, some of the content might be inappropriate for some age groups.

For more resources check out the Links Page

Featured YouTube Video:
Interview with Instructables.com

Source: http://www.180techtips.com/076.html

 

Keeping Kids Safe Online!

Adults have a responsibility to help children learn about, interpret and understand their world.  It’s a pretty basic concept, but how do we as adults help kids understand their world when we aren’t completely aware of the threats and benefits of things like the internet?  Today’s technology tip is all about helping adults educate themselves about the internet so they can help kids stay safe online.

Like any new technology the internet is full of potentially good outcomes but it comes with plenty of potentially negative outcomes.  This has always been true of any new technology.  Try to remember that the technology itself isn’t good or bad, its how we choose to use it that’s good or bad.

First, some of the good stuff we can get from the internet:

  • Improved communications via email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones and video chat
  • Data storage and sharing across the world
  • The potential of networking ideas and knowledge without boundaries
  • The democratization of information

Then some of the bad stuff:

  • Internet crime such as online scams
  • Misuse of information for negative results
  • Character attacks and "cyber-bullying"
  • Exploitation of children and child predators

So how do you educate yourself on the bad stuff so you can help kids avoid it?  It should be no surprise that there is a whole bunch of websites out there that can help you:

OnGuardOnline.gov  
This site provides some practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help people guard against online fraud and protect personal information.

SafeKids.com  
They seek to promote "digital citizenship, online safety and civility."  A trip to their home page will give you plenty of current events on the topic of online safety to think about. Additionally, they have plenty of good Safety Advice & Tools for you to check out.

Today’s featured YouTube video is an oldie but a goodie:
Think Before You Post – PSA

PRACTICE ACTIVITY:  Check out one of the links above and see if you can learn at least three of new terms.

TO KEEP ON LEARNING:  Try searching the internet for more information.  Just as the internet changes the nature of the threats posed to children also changes.

Cybersafety
Online safety for kids
Cyber Bullying 

Source: http://www.180techtips.com/061.html

Saving ourselves in the era of Artificial Intelligence

When Elon Musk stated, ‘AI is a fundamental risk to human civilisation,’ the tech world lost their minds. AI supporters and doomsayers fought in the digital battlefield, leaving many more devastated with fear and doubt. Allow me to throw my two-cents into this pool of thought.

Whether we like it or not, society is at the cusp of big change and all predictions spell the end of our existence as we currently know humanity to be. The key words here are: “as we currently know humanity to be’. 

As society’s obsession with technology increases, there are two major impacts on humankind. One, the insatiable desire to integrate the most advanced technology into daily lives to achieve convenience and control, will most likely lead to the merging of humans and machines. Think nanotechnology for curing diseases or cybernetic enhancements for increased performance. 

·         READ: Great marketing starts with a good foundation of empathy

On the other hand, and maybe this is more disturbing, is the unintended consequence of disassociation with what makes us human in the first place. We are forgetting how to connect deeply and humanely with one another.

The benefits that AI will bring seem undeniable. It promises to contribute significantly to the eradication of war, poverty and diseases. However, consider the viewpoint of Ray Kurzweil, Google director of engineering, who warns that we have ‘a moral imperative to realise this promise while controlling the peril.” As AI evolves, so must we. 

Given the growing awareness that AI is prone to human cognitive biases, we now have a bigger responsibility to analyse ourselves critically, as eventual deployers or users of AI, to avoid becoming victims of our own prejudices. I do believe that AI will inevitably reach a tipping point to achieve a state of consciousness. I define this consciousness as the ability to know that it wants to live and survive.

When this happens, would we like to know it has learnt hate and discrimination, and subsequently view humans as a threat? Or would we prefer to know that it has inherently learnt about the concepts of, or at the very least, theoretical applications of tolerance and compassion? 

·         READ: AI’s dirty little secret

Consider the interesting case of ‘Tay, a AI chatterbot designed by Microsoft to mimic the language patterns of a 19-year-old girl and converse with Millennials. It’s vulnerability to bias revealed itself within the first 24 hours of its release. It began to mimic the offensive language and behaviour of the Twitter users with whom it was interacting. Tay was pulled offline and an apology was issued by the company. If AI can currently mimic bad behaviour, then surely it can also be given data to learn what is universally considered good and appropriate behaviour. As such, not only should robust regulations be put in place, but also best human practices.

Scientists, mathematicians and philosophers debate about whether AI will experience consciousness as well as emotions the same way that humans do. In this case, it will be worthwhile to see whether it can objectively sift through the massive data of human history when it becomes self-governing, and ultimately yield a beneficial outcome for humankind.

So, while it may not ‘feel’ in the same way we do, maybe it will learn from the mistakes we have made and make different choices. A possible result may be the ability to propose and implement a utopian co-existence with humanity. Maybe it won’t.

Steven Hawking once said, ‘Success in creating effective AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst.’ My theory of this would be that we currently have the capability to determine this outcome and our future existence with AI, but only if we seek to change what is faulty with ourselves first. 

As I see it, the survival of our humanity as we know it, will be dependent on whether AI learns from our repetition of mistakes in history and applies what today’s society increasingly cannot: Kindness. Empathy. Love.

*Sophia Liu is a Johannesburg-based brand communications specialist and media strategist.

Source:  https://www.fin24.com/Tech/Opinion/saving-ourselves-in-the-era-of-artificial-intelligence-20180311

Unity is Strength!

UNITY is strength …….
When there is Teamwork & Collaboration,
WONDERFUL things can be Achieved.

Seacom boosts African internet growth with 100Gbps ethernet tech

Johannesburg – Submarine cable operator Seacom has deployed 100 gigabit per second ethernet technology to bolster the growth of the internet in Africa. 

The company made the upgrade at its data centre core PoPs (Points of Presence) in Teraco Johannesburg and Teraco Cape Town, as one of the first deployments of the technology in sub-Saharan Africa.

By upgrading its core routers and switches at these Teraco PoPs to 100Gbps ethernet technology, Seacom has activated up to 400Gbps of routing and switching bandwidth at each facility. 

The upgrade enables Seacom to scale up the capacity it has acquired on the West Africa Cable System undersea cable to provide alternate traffic paths in the case of a Seacom subsea cable system outage.

·         READ: Seacom begins fibre rollout in Johannesburg

·          

Mark Tinka, head of engineering at the company, said that the investment will enable Seacom to grow its network and customer base.

“We will be able to provide a reliable and consistent experience to African businesses, service providers and consumers. Africa is becoming an important global player in the digital age, and we are committed to investing in the best technology to support the growth of internet access across the continent,” Tinka said. 

Last year, Seacom began a rollout of high-speed fibre internet access services to some business and home users on the East Rand.  

Seacom plans to extend the reach of its fibre network to more parts of South Africa, including areas currently underserviced by last-mile fibre operators and partnered with various resellers to address the home, retail and business markets.  

https://www.fin24.com/Companies/ICT/seacom-boosts-african-internet-growth-with-100gbps-ethernet-tech-20180307

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