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FCC votes to kill net neutrality

FCC Votes to Kill Net Neutrality, Capping a Year of Endless Bullshit

https://gizmodo.com/fcc-votes-to-kill-net-neutrality-capping-a-year-of-end-1821257779

In a 3-2 vote along party lines, the Republican-led commission decided to eliminate the current net neutrality rules and remove the shackles that prevent ISPs from blocking online content, slowing a competitor’s website, or charging you extra just to access YouTube. (You can read the dissenting opinions here.) It paves the way for an ISP free-for-all, baby, and you can bet telecom executives have plenty of lucrative plans in mind that we haven’t even considered.

 

FCC and netneutrality

https://hackernoon.com/more-than-a-million-pro-repeal-net-neutrality-comments-were-likely-faked-e9f0e3ed36a6

Jeff Kao Data Scientist, Software Engineer, Language Nerd, Biglaw Refugee. jeffykao.com

More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked

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The Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites.

The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services.

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FCC chairman defends net neutrality repeal plan

“All we are simply doing is putting engineers and entrepreneurs, instead of bureaucrats and lawyers, back in charge of the internet,” Pai said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,”

Pai on Tuesday confirmed his plan to fully dismantle the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which were approved by the FCC’s previous Democratic majority in 2015. His order would remove bans on blocking and throttling web traffic and allow internet service providers to charge for internet “fast lanes” to consumers. The move sparked a barrage of criticism from Democrats and public interest groups who call it a giveaway to big telecom companies.

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What Everyone Gets Wrong in the Debate Over Net Neutrality

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06.23.14TIME OF PUBLICATION: 6:30 AM.

The only trouble is that, here in the year 2014, complaints about a fast-lane don’t make much sense. Today, privileged companies—including Google, Facebook, and Netflix—already benefit from what are essentially internet fast lanes, and this has been the case for years. Such web giants—and others—now have direct connections to big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon, and they run dedicated computer servers deep inside these ISPs. In technical lingo, these are known as “peering connections” and “content delivery servers,” and they’re a vital part of the way the internet works.

in today’s world, they don’t address the real issue with the country’s ISPs, and if we spend too much time worried about fast lanes, we could hurt the net’s progress rather than help it.

The real issue is that the Comcasts and Verizons are becoming too big and too powerful. Because every web company has no choice but to go through these ISPs, the Comcasts and the Verizons may eventually have too much freedom to decide how much companies must pay for fast speeds.

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FAKE AMERICANS ARE INFLUENCING THE DEBATE OVER NET NEUTRALITY, SAYS NEW YORK’S ATTORNEY GENERAL

http://www.newsweek.com/bots-influencing-debate-over-net-neutrality-says-new-york-attorney-general-719454
An analysis of the millions of comments conducted by the data company Gravwell in October found that just 17.4 percent of the comments to the FCC on the net neutrality rules came from real people.
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Finley, K. (2017, November 22). Here’s How the End of Net Neutrality Will Change the Internet. WIRED. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/heres-how-the-end-of-net-neutrality-will-change-the-internet/
Because many internet services for mobile devices include limits on data use, the changes will be visible there first. In one dramatic scenario, internet services would begin to resemble cable-TV packages, where subscriptions could be limited to a few dozen sites and services. Or, for big spenders, a few hundred. Fortunately, that’s not a likely scenario. Instead, expect a gradual shift towards subscriptions that provide unlimited access to certain preferred providers while charging extra for everything else.
Even Verizon’s “unlimited” plans impose limits. The company’s cheapest unlimited mobile plan limits video streaming quality to 480p resolution, which is DVD quality, on phones and 720p resolution, the lower tier of HD quality, on tablets. Customers can upgrade to a more expensive plan that enables 720p resolution on phones and 1080p on tablets, but the higher quality 4K video standard is effectively forbidden.
Meanwhile, Comcast customers in 28 states face 1 terabyte data caps. Going over that limit costs subscribers as much as an additional $50 a month. As 4K televisions become more common, more households may hit the limit. That could prompt some to stick with a traditional pay-TV package from Comcast.
Republican FCC Chair Ajit Pai argues that Federal Trade Commission will be able to protect consumers and small business from abuses by internet providers once the agency’s current rules are off the books. But that’s not clear.
The good news is the internet won’t change overnight, if it all. Blake Reid, a clinical professor at Colorado Law, says the big broadband providers will wait to see how the inevitable legal challenges to the new FCC order shakeout. They’ll probably keep an eye on 2018 and even 2020 elections as well.

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more on netneutrality in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=netneutrality

Badgr Credly for school microcredentialing

Hello Rayan,
I am familiar with Badgr and Credly, but cannot speak to the ease (or difficulty) of implementation. Here are some resources that might be helpful.
Comparison tools and platform lists
Write-ups by other institutions or systems:

Kevin Kelly, EdD

Lecturer Faculty, Department of Equity, Leadership Studies & Instructional Technologies

San Francisco State University
Email: kkelly@sfsu.edu
Phone: 415.794.5327

We are exploring the very same topic.  We have been using Credly for the past year or so to give badges to faculty who complete courses in a 3 course series we developed for effective online teaching.

That said, we are a Canvas school and, as we explore our own pilot program, are looking at Badgr’s badging solution (which is free to use, at least for Canvas, maybe all though?) as well as their Pathway’s solution for stacking badges and providing a view of that badge path for participants.

It’s is all very early stage but those are the two platforms and vendors we have focused our time currently.

John Kinsella
Instructional Systems Consultant
ITS – STELAR: St. Thomas E-Learning and Research
(651) 962-7839
jrkinsella@stthomas.edu
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https://support.suitable.co/hc/en-us

https://support.suitable.co/hc/en-us/articles/115000780372-Achievements-Badges-

mostly working with undergrads.

the emphasis (strong side) is the streamlining of the different offices and activities on campus

levels of proficiency is very much geared toward undergrads

aspects of gamification, but no peer support credit/badge

U of Pittsburgh – OCC outside the class curriculum
Monclair U (NJ second largest):
U of Wyoming: after level 3, career coach does storytelling appointment.

pilot is $5K and institutional can vary between $10-15K

segmenting capabilities.

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more on Credly in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=credly

badges in Washington State

Digital Badges Initiative to Support Professional Development in Washington State

By Rhea Kelly 07/11/18

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/07/11/digital-badges-initiative-to-support-professional-development-in-washington-state.aspx

The Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) is teaming up with software development company Concentric Sky on a digital badging initiative that will use Badgr digital badges to document professional development accomplishments of faculty, administrators and staff across the system’s 34 institutions.

Each college will be able to implement badging as well as guided pathways within their courses or programs, particularly for co-curricular activities that typically aren’t represented on transcripts. Examples of such programs include internships, community service and museum activities.

he platform is certified compliant with version 2.0 of the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Open Badges Specification. With Badgr Pathways, badges from Badgr or any other Open Badges compliant platform can be stacked to create “learning pathways” that are shareable across institutions.

As part of the four-year project, SBCTC will also contribute to the Badgr open source project.

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more on microcredentialing in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=microcredentialing

protect from robocallers

https://www.facebook.com/techinsider/videos/1012559098942446/

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spoofing” and is a common, illegal tactic to get people to answer robocalls, which are illegal in the U.S. unless you have asked to be put on a call list.

Robocalls are the top complaint at the Federal Communications Commission, with more than 4.5 million in 2017, up from 3.4 million in 2016.

One way to cut down on unwanted calls is to put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

net neutrality and education

3 Ways a Net Neutrality Repeal Might Impact Universities

The impending change in internet regulations could be detrimental to the quality of education students receive.
Meghan Bogardus Cortez , Jan 11, 2018
https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/01/3-ways-net-neutrality-repeal-might-impact-universities

1. Technology that Increases Access Hits the Slow Lane

Innovations in videoconferencing and lecture capture technologies have allowed universities to provide flexible learning experiences to students no matter their location. However, if internet service providers are allowed to create “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” of access, experts worry these learning experiences will be in jeopardy.
“slow lanes” of internet access could make it difficult for students to access cloud software or applications without hitting data caps.

2. Inhibit Ability to Research and Access Materials

a 40-page commentary to the FCC explaining how a repeal would hurt universities, eCampus News reports.

“Institutions of higher education and libraries depend upon an open internet to carry out their educational and civic missions, and to serve their communities,” reads the commentary.

“almost everything” relies on the internet in higher education. Students use it for research, to take courses and turn in assignments while faculty use it for research and to create lesson plans. Roberts says his library needs it to archive and preserve materials. Slower internet could inhibit research and access to library resources.

3. Increased Costs Without Increased Educational Experiences

high cost of attending a university might see a bump without net neutrality.
slower internet access would actually degrade the quality of education offered for a higher cost.

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more on net neutrality and education in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=net+neutrality

corporate monopoly or public control net neutrality

Net Neutrality is just the beginning

Interview with Victor Pickard

Victor Pickard, associate professor of communication at the University Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School, whose research focuses on internet policy and the political economy of media.

https://www.academia.edu/35305972/Net_Neutrality_Is_Just_the_Beginning

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/11/net-neutrality-fcc-ajit-pai-monopoly

with each new victory for the American telecommunications oligopoly, that digital optimism fades further from view.

Definition:

Net neutrality protections are essentially safeguards that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from interfering with the internet. Net neutrality gives the FCC the regulatory authority to prevent ISPs like Comcast and Verizon from slowing down or blocking certain types of content. It also prevents them from offering what’s known as paid prioritization, where an ISP could let particular websites or content creators pay more for faster streaming and download times. With paid prioritization an ISP could shake down a company like Netflix or an individual website owner, coercing them to pay more in order to be in the fast lane.

Net neutrality often gets treated as a sort of technocratic squabble over ownership and control of internet pipes. But in fact it speaks to a core social contract between government, corporations, and the public. What it really comes down to is, how can members of the public obtain information and services, and express ourselves creatively and politically, without interference from massive corporations?

Should we think of the internet as a good, a service, an infrastructure, or something else?

It’s all of the above.

The internet has been radically privatized. It wasn’t inevitable, but through policy decisions over the years, the internet has become increasingly commodified. Meanwhile it’s really difficult to imagine living in modern society without fast internet services — it’s no longer a luxury but a necessity for everything ranging from education to health to livelihood. The “digital divide” is a phrase that sounds like it’s from the 1990s, but it’s still very relevant. Somewhere around one fifth of American households don’t have access to wireline broadband services. It’s a social problem. We should be thinking about the internet as a public service and subsidizing it to make sure that everyone has access.

In your recent book on media democracy, you discuss the rise of what you call “corporate libertarianism.” What is corporate libertarianism and how does it relate to net neutrality?

Corporate libertarianism is an ideological project that has origins at a core moment in the 1940s. It sees corporations as having individual freedoms, like those in the First Amendment, which they can use to shield themselves from public interest oversight and regulation. It’s also often connected to this assumption that the government should never intervene in markets, and media markets in particular. (My note: Milton Friedman)

Of course, this is a libertarian mythology — the government is always involved. The question ought to be how it should be involved. Under corporate libertarianism it’s assumed that the government should only be involved in ways that enhance profit maximization for communication oligopolies.

There are clear dangers associated with vertical integration, where the company that owns the pipes is able to control the dissemination of information, and able to set the terms by which we access that information.
There have been cases like this already. In 2005, the company Telus, which is the second largest telecommunications company in Canada, began blocking access to a server that hosted a website that supported a labor strike against Telus.

Net neutrality is just one part of the story. What other regulations, policies and interventions could resist corporate control of the internet?

Roughly half of Americans live in communities that have access to only one ISP.  My note: Ha Ha Ha, “pick me, pick me,” as Dori from “Finding Nemo” will say… Charter, whatever they will rename themselves again, is the crass example in Central MN.

Strategies to contain and confront monopolies:

  • break them up, and to prevent monopolies and oligopolies from happening in the first place by blocking mergers and acquisitions.
  • if we’re not going to outright nationalize them then we want to heavily regulate them, and enforce some kind of social contract where they’re compelled to provide a public service in exchange for the right to operate.
  • create public alternatives, like municipal wireless networks that can circumvent and compete with corporate monopolies. There’s a growing number of these publicly owned and governed internet infrastructures, and building more is crucial.

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more on #netNeutrality in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=netneutrality

trends mobile devices

Report: Google Gaining in U.S. Classrooms, Apple’s iOS Slipping

By Richard Chang 06/21/17

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/06/21/report-google-gaining-in-u.s.-classrooms-apples-ios-slipping.aspx

some of the findings in Kahoot!’s first-ever EdTrends Report :
Google is gaining a stronghold in United States classrooms, with Chrome OS expanding its presence on school computers, while Apple’s iOS has been on the decline since the first quarter of 2015 among students and teachers.

Chromebook had the highest number of users among teachers (44 percent) and students (46 percent), when they were asked about their top devices used. Google’s Productivity Suite (G Suite or Classroom) was the most widely used productivity suite in U.S. classrooms, with 57 percent saying they used it, compared to 23 percent saying they used Microsoft Office 365.

a majority of educators (more than 60 percent) said the purpose of adopting education technology was to increase student productivity and efficiency. Their key educational priorities for 2017-18 are “to improve student learning and outcomes” (88 percent), and to “better leverage available time and motivate students” (71 percent).

Educators saw the top ed tech trends in the next school year as:

  • Digital platforms for teaching, learning and assessment;
  • Personalized learning;
  • Computational thinking, coding and robotics;
  • Increased understanding of data; and
  • Gamificiation.

Some other key findings in the report include:

  • A majority of U.S. public school educators surveyed said they are challenged with budget restraints and lack of resources when it comes to implementing education technology;
  • A majority of U.S. private school educators said they lack training to understand or adopt new technology;
  • Many public and private school educators said they saw the adoption of “technology for the sake of technology” as a challenge;
  • Educators in California struggle with lack of training and “technology for the sake of technology,” while teachers in Texas struggle with bureaucracy, budget constraints and a lack of resources.

The complete report can be read on the Kahoot! website here. Kahoot! will be at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference

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Milwaukee Public Schools to Receive Hotspots, Tablets, Smartphones from Sprint

By Sri Ravipati 06/19/17

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/06/19/milwaukee-public-schools-to-receive-hotspots-tablets-smartphones-from-sprint.aspx

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), will be receiving some tech handouts from Sprint for the 2017-2018 school year. As part of the company’s 1Million Project — which aims to deliver high-speed internet access to 1 million high school students nationwide — more than 2,500 students at 25 MPS high schools will each receive either a hotspot device, tablet or smartphone.

MPS students will be receiving devices that come with 3GB of high-speed LTE data (with unlimited data available at 2G speeds if usage exceeds that amount). Students can keep their device up to four years while they are in high school no cost, according to initiative site. Additionally, devices are equipped with filters to block adult content that cannot be disabled and are Free Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant.

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more about mobile devices in education in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mobile+devices

student privacy

Report: Tech Companies Are Spying on Children Through Devices and Software Used in Classroom

By Richard Chang 04/17/17

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/04/17/report-tech-companies-are-spying-on-children-through-devices-and-software-used-in-classroom.aspx

according to a new report from the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), “Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy

shows that state and federal laws, as well as industry self-regulation, have failed to keep up with a growing education technology industry.

One-third of all K–12 students in the United States use school-issued devices running software and apps that collect far more information on kids than is necessary.

Resource-poor school districts can receive these tools at deeply discounted prices or for free, as tech companies seek a slice of the $8 billion ed tech industry. But there’s a real, devastating cost — the tracking, cataloging and exploitation of data about children as young as 5 years old.

Our report shows that the surveillance culture begins in grade school, which threatens to normalize the next generation to a digital world in which users hand over data without question in return for free services

EFF surveyed more than 1,000 stakeholders across the country, including students, parents, teachers and school administrators, and reviewed 152 ed tech privacy policies.

“Spying on Students” provides comprehensive recommendations for parents, teachers, school administrators and tech companies to improve the protection of student privacy. Asking the right questions, negotiating for contracts that limit or ban data collection, offering families the right to opt out, and making digital literacy and privacy part of the school curriculum are just a few of the 70-plus recommendations for protecting student privacy contained in the report.

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more on students and privacy
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=student+privacy
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=privacy+government

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2017/03/us-senate-votes-50-48-away-broadband-privacy-rules-let-isps-telecoms-sell-internet-history/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/03/28/the-house-just-voted-to-wipe-out-the-fccs-landmark-internet-privacy-protections/?utm_term=.34ed3dce7494

 

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