Researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Education assessed middle, high school and college students on the their civic online reasoning skills, or “the ability to judge the credibility of information that floods young people’s smartphones, tablets and computers.”
The Stanford History Education Group recently released a report that analyzes 7,804 responses collected from students across 12 states and varying economic lines, including well-resourced, under-resourced and inner-city schools.
when it comes to evaluating information that flows on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, students “are easily duped” and have trouble discerning advertisements from news articles.
Many people assume that today’s students – growing up as “digital natives” – are intuitively perceptive online. The Stanford researchers found the opposite to be true and urge teachers to create curricula focused on developing students’ civil reasoning skills. They plan to produce “a series of high-quality web videos to showcase the depth of the problem” that will “demonstrate the link between digital literacy and citizenship,” according to the report.
The report, “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning,” can be found here.
As governments around the world impose new restrictions on internet freedom, it is worth remembering what is at stake. The present crackdown comes as digital platforms are being used in new and creative ways to advocate for change and, in many cases, save lives. Internet advocacy had real-world results in both democracies and authoritarian settings over the past year, and its impact was often most pronounced in countries where the information environment was more open online than off. In over two-thirds of the countries examined in this study, there was at least one significant example of individuals producing a tangible outcome by using online tools to fight for internet freedom, demand political accountability, advance women’s rights, support victims of unjust prosecution, or provide relief to those affected by natural disasters.
Fighting for internet freedom and digital rights
Social media were used effectively to fight for internet freedom in a variety of countries over the past year. In Thailand, over 150,000 people signed a Change.org petition against a government plan to centralize the country’s internet gateways, which would strengthen the authorities’ ability to monitor and censor online activity. As a result, the government announced that it had scrapped the plan, though skeptical internet users remain vigilant.
Using the hashtag #NoToSocialMediaBill, Nigerian digital rights organizations launched a multifaceted campaign to defeat a “Frivolous Petitions Prohibition Bill” that threatened to constrain speech on social media. Alongside significant digital media activism, civil society groups organized a march on the National Assembly, gathered signatures for a petition presented during a public hearing on the bill, and filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Lagos, all of which contributed to the bill’s withdrawal in May 2016. India’s telecommunications regulator banned differential pricing schemes in February after more than a million comments were submitted online to protest companies that charge consumers different prices for select content or applications.
The data shared in June by the Office for Civil Rights, which compiled it from a 2013-2014 survey completed by nearly every school district and school in the United States. new is a report from Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center that encourages schools and districts to use their own data to pinpoint ways to take on the challenge of chronic absenteeism.
The first is research that shows that missing that much school is correlated with “lower academic performance and dropping out.” Second, it also helps in identifying students earlier in the semester in order to get a jump on possible interventions.
The report offers a six-step process for using data tied to chronic absence in order to reduce the problem.
The first step is investing in “consistent and accurate data.” That’s where the definition comes in — to make sure people have a “clear understanding” and so that it can be used “across states and districts” with school years that vary in length. The same step also requires “clarifying what counts as a day of attendance or absence.”
The second step is to use the data to understand what the need is and who needs support in getting to school. This phase could involve defining multiple tiers of chronic absenteeism (at-risk, moderate or severe), and then analyzing the data to see if there are differences by student sub-population — grade, ethnicity, special education, gender, free and reduced price lunch, neighborhood or other criteria that require special kinds of intervention.
Step three asks schools and districts to use the data to identify places getting good results. By comparing chronic absence rates across the district or against schools with similar demographics, the “positive outliers” may surface, showing people that the problem isn’t unstoppable but something that can be addressed for the better.
Steps five and six call on schools and districts to help people understand why the absences are happening, develop ways to address the problem.
The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed policy to collect information on the social media profiles of foreign travelers violates the rights of travelers and their American associates, according to privacy groups.
n a strongly worded rebuke of the proposed Customs and Border Protection policy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that the rule change would do little to enhance national security and would open the door to greater spying on Americans.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers by adding requests for social media identifiers to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and I-94W forms.
As FCW reported in June, the rule change came on the heels of a number of policies CBP initiated after criticism from Congress that potential terrorists could be exploiting the VWP, which allows citizens of 38 countries to enter the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days.
Other human rights groups and civil liberties organizations submitted a joint letter to CBP stating that “DHS collection of online identity information is an intelligence surveillance program clothed as a customs administration mechanism.”
In more supportive comments delivered to CBP, the Center for Data Innovation said that just as universities, employers and lenders check social media profiles of potential clients, DHS should collect social media information from foreign travelers.
This report is based on a DVD “Drones on Campus. UAS Issues for the Higher Education Community” of February 2, 2016. The DVD contains a PDF file and flattened media file with a voice-narrated PPT based on the information from the PDF.
The DVD is a commercial product for sale for the Higher Ed. It is the recoding of a commercial seminar for Higher Ed, led by a lawyer (Lisa Ellman, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter handle @leelellman) from the legal practice Hogan Lovells and by employee from FAA.
The information below represents the main points from the PDF / PPT presentation, as well as additional information with clarifications, which I added while working with the PDF and PPT files.
How and when UAS can be approved for flying at SCSU
The effect on SCSU of the domestic UAS legal framework
Public – UAS owned and operated by government agencies and organizations, such as public university a public COA (certificate of waiver of authorization) is issued by the FAA to a public agency/organization for public aircraft operations most aspects of public aircraft operations are not subject to FAA oversight If we are a public university… can we operate UAS under a public COA?
in order to operate under a public COA< the UAS must be operated by the university for a “core governmental function, which is defined as:
“… and activity undertaken by a government, such as national defense, intelligence missions, firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement (including transport of prisoners, detainees, and illegal aliens), aeronautical research, or biological or geological resource management.
In an FAA Office, it was clarified that “aeronautical research” must be focused on the development and testing of the UAS itself, rather than the thing being observed and monitored using the UAS.
Any private sector (non-governmental) operation of a drone for purposes other than recreation or hobby is considered a “civil” operation
This category covers all commercial use of UAS, including use by private universities and colleges
Summary Grant Exemption / Blanket COA conditions and COA conditions and limitations:
Below 200 feet
Within visual line-of-sight of the pilot and visual observer
At least 500 feet from nonparticipating persons, vessels, vehicles, or structures, unless certain conditions met
Over private or controlled access property with consent
Visual observer required
Pilot must have an FAA issues pilot certificate and a medical certificate or DL
Mussed give a way to all manned aircraft
SCSU must apply for section 333 exemption – FAA has granted 3.129 out of 4500 applications. FAA current goal: 50+ exemption grants per week
QA regarding exemption / blanket COA requirements
Small UAS Rule: June 2016 (IMS blog)
Must be < 55 lbs
Max altitude speed 500 feet / 100 mph
Minimum visibility 3 miles
UAS always yield right-of-way to other aircraft
UAS cannot be operated recklessly
Registration and marking required
Hobbyist operators: December 21, 2015
All UAS >.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered either using the new online system or the FAAs existing paper-based registration system before the UAS can be operated outdoors
UAS within that right range purchased prior to December 21, 2015 must be registered by February 19, 2016
Hobbies required to submit basic contact info, such as name, address email. Costs $5 to register hobbyist owner’s entire fleet of UAS. The FAA will issue a single CAR (certificate of aircraft registration) with one registration number that can be used for and should be put on each UAS. Every 3 years, renewal.
Boggs v Meredith. How high do airspace rights extend over private property
Up to 83 feet in the air
Other legal liability issues:
Mitigating UAS Legal Liabilities
When hiring a UAS server provider
Seek to shift and limit liability through contract
Vendors operating UAS on university property should sing a written agreement
Ensure the UAS service provider has adequate insurance
Incidents/accidents involving personal injury or property damage
Lost-link events (AKA fly-aways)
UAS maintenance and inspection
UAS flight crew training / qualifications
Participant / property owner consent
Faculty/staff/student qualifications and training
Privacy policies, data management, retention
Consent and notification requirements for operating near people and structures
Outline of immediate tasks:
Based on the information above:
SCSU, LRS in particular, must decide what drone’s certificate to apply for: a. model; b. public; c.civil; or d. hobbies
After selection of certificate type, SCSU, LRS in particular, must register the drone[s].
SCSU, LRS in particular, must develop policies for service, operation and maintenance.
SCSU, LRS in particular, must assign person[s] in charge of the training, maintenance and operation.
Suggestions and recommendations:
Hosting a drone in the library.
If to adhere to the ALA call for the librarians to be the forefront of technology on campus, LRS can use the drone purchased in April 2014 to train and lend the drone for research on campus.
If LRS continues the policy of the previous dean, further suggestions below can be waved off.
Training, maintenance and operation
Shall LRS keep the drone, the best person to conduct the training and service of the drone will be an IMS faculty. As per email correspondence attached below, please have again the rational:
– hosting the drone with Circulation (staff) does not provide the adequate academic/research services. It is expected that the foremost users will be faculty, students and then staff and the foremost use will be academic and then leisure activities. While IMS faculty can meet the “leisure activities” for all three constituency, as it has been provided by the Circulation staff until this point, the IMS faculty can also provide the research and academic service, which Circulation staff is not educated neither trained for. With that said, the point made is not against staff not participating in the effort to train and service campus with the drone; it just makes the point that charging staff with that task is limited and against the best interest of the faculty and students on campus.
– blocking the effort of IMS faculty to lead technology-oriented services on campus, LRS in particular.
Upon hiring of a “technology” librarian, previous dean Mark Vargas blocked any technology-related activities by IMS faculty: e.g. 3d printer AKA makerspace, gaming and gamification, drones, etc.
If I am to understand well, the “technology” librarian’s charge must be toward automated library systems and similar, rather than educational use of multimedia and interactivity. Blocking IMS faculty to do what they do best by freezing any of their efforts and reserving “technology” for [unknown] future leadership of the “technology” librarian is a waste of IMS faculty expertise and knowledge.
Gaming and Gamification (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/03/19/recommendations-for-games-and-gaming-at-lrs/) charge by previous dean Mark Vargas to the first-year “technology” librarian revealed as obvious that giving the preference to junior faculty to “lead” an effort can become a dangerous tool in the hands of the administration to manipulate and slow down efforts of educational trends of time-sensitive character. While, as from the beginning, the collaboration of the “technology” librarian has been welcomed and appreciated, it does not make sense from any cultural or institutional perspective, to put in charge a new faculty, who does not have the knowledge and networking of the campus, less the experience and knowledge with multimedia and interactive tools as the rest of the seasoned IMS faculty. Decision and consequent refusal of the “technology” librarian to work with the IMS faculty did not contribute to improvement of the situation.
A very important point, which goes against the “consensus” efforts of the previous dean, is the fact that now the library faculty is using the newly-hired “technology” librarian to hinder further the integration of the IMS faculty as part of LRS by using her as a focal point for any technology initiative in LRS, thus further excluding the IMS faculty from LRS activities. It will help: 1. delineate the expertise parameters of the “technology” librarian and 2. have the librarian faculty think about their work with the IMS faculty, which has been a thorny issue for more than 10 years now (pretty much since the hire of the bulk of the reference librarians).
If there are questions, or the need of more information, please do not hesitate to request.
Plamen Miltenoff, Ph.D., MLIS
From: Miltenoff, Plamen Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 9:44 AM To: Banaian, King <email@example.com> Subject: request to release the library drone
My name is Plamen Miltenoff and I am faculty with the InforMedia Services of the SCSU Library. I have worked in the last 15+ years with faculty, students and staff on educational technology and instructional design. I hold two doctoral degrees in education and four master’s degrees in history and Library and Information Science.
I have extensive background in new educational technologies, which is amply reflected in the following blog: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/. Shall more proof of my abilities is needed, here is detailed information about publications, presentations and projects, which I have accomplished: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/faculty/
In the spring of 2014, Mark Vargas purchased a drone. As per my job description and long experience working with faculty across campus with other technologies, I immediately alerted SCSU faculty who have strong interest in applying drone’s technology in their studies, research and teaching, assuming that the newly-appointed library director (Mark Vargas) will support my years-long efforts.
Due to complications with FAA regulations the drones across the country were grounded.
Mark Vargas “stationed” it with the library Access Services, a unit, which is comprised of staff only. When I approached the library staff from Access Services, they chose to not collaborate with me, but rather deflect me to Mark Vargas.
As per my email to Mark Vargas of July 21, 2015 (attachment 1), I requested an explanation and shared my feeling that SCSU faculty are being left in disadvantage after I witness the drone being used. I also asked my immediate supervisor Mark Vargas about the policies and release conditions. Unfortunately, my repeated requests remained unanswered.
I am turning to you as the appointed administrator-in-charge of the library (attachment 2), with the request that you share the amounted paperwork regarding the drone. Mark Vargas did not share that information, despite numerous requests, e.g., if the drone is registered, etc.
I am seeking your administrative approval to pursue the completion of the paperwork and secure immediate usability of the drone, so it is available also to all interested SCSU faculty with or without my participation (as per regulations). The request is timely, since such technologies are aging quickly. Besides the depreciation of the technology, SCSU students and faculty deserves being kept with the times and explore a technology, which is rapidly becoming a mainstream, rather than novelty.
Please consider that I am the only library member with terminal degrees in education as well as extensive experience with technologies in general and educational technologies in particular. I am also the only library member with extensive network among faculty across campus. I am perceived by colleagues across campus more often as a peer, collaborator and research partner, then merely a service provider, as most of the library staff and faculty consider themselves. I am the only library member, who sits on theses and doctoral committees and the invitations to these committees are greatly based on my experience in educational technologies and my research and publishing skills. Leaving the drone in the Access Services, as appointed by the previous administrator, will result in a dormancy of technology as it has happened with numerous other technologies on this campus. It is a waste of equipment, which this university cannot afford in the respective financial times. Letting me take the lead of the drone project will secure active promotion and better application of this technology and possibly other venues (e.g. grants) to pursue further endeavors.
and direct oral and written communication with you, I have expressed strong academic interest in research of this technology for educational purposes. I have the educational background and experience for the aforementioned request.
I am asking you for access to this technology since early summer of 2014.
I would like to be informed what your plan for this technology is and when it will be open to the LRS faculty. I also would like to know when preference to LRS staff is given when technology is concerned, so I can plan accordingly.
Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you soon.
As you are aware, Mark Vargas has submitted his resignation as Dean of Learning Resources Services. Mark’s last day on campus was Friday, June 10, 2016.
I want to assure you that any decision about interim leadership will be made after careful consideration of the needs of the Library and the University. I will continue conversations with various individuals, including the President, to ensure we have strategic alignment in both support and oversight for LRS. LRS is committed to providing excellent services to our students, faculty, and staff, creating opportunities for knowledge, and serving the public good. I look forward to working together with you to accomplish these goals.
I expect to identify an interim dean shortly and to begin a national search this fall with an appointment to begin July 1, 2017. I have asked Greta to schedule a time for me to visit with faculty and staff in Learning Resource Service next week. In the meantime, Dean King Banaian will serve as the administrator-in-charge of LRS until June 30, 2016.
Truth and Power, the final episode of which airs tonight on Pivot. Directed by Brian Knappenberger.
Knappenberger, who directed the feature-length documentary The Internet’s Own Boy, about the late Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz.
Social Media Has Helped Activists Reclaim the Narrative
it’s not just activists who are benefiting from new technologies. Knappenberger spends nearly half the series carefully explaining the myriad ways governments and corporations use digital tools to surveil social movements. From examining the cell-phone tracking technologies used by law enforcement to uncovering how repressive regimes work with American tech companies to thwart social movements, the series offers up a smart meditation on the threat of digital surveillance on political dissent
It’s a problem Knappenberger illustrates in the “Activists or Terrorists” episode, where he unpacks how “Ag-gag” laws were passed under pressure from corporate lobbying and have made it illegal to film or photograph inside any animal farm without consent of the facility’s owner.
“Prisoners for Sale,” the seventh episode, explores the story of two inmates-turned-journalists who started an independent publication to document systemic failures of the prison industrial complex.
More on technology and civil disobedience in this IMS blog
is it possible that the Iranian government realized the evolution of social media and his respective obsolescence and this is why they freed him prematurely?
Blogs were gold and bloggers were rock stars back in 2008 when I was arrested.
The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralisation – all the links, lines and hierarchies – and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Since I got out of jail, though, I’ve realised how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.
Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object – the same as a photo, or a piece of text. You’re encouraged to post one single hyperlink and expose it to a quasi-democratic process of liking and plussing and hearting. But links are not objects, they are relations between objects. This objectivisation has stripped hyperlinks of their immense powers.
At the same time, these social networks tend to treat native text and pictures – things that are directly posted to them – with a lot more respect. One photographer friend explained to me how the images he uploads directly to Facebook receive many more likes than when he uploads them elsewhere and shares the link on Facebook.
Some networks, like Twitter, treat hyperlinks a little better. Others are far more paranoid. Instagram – owned by Facebook – doesn’t allow its audiences to leave whatsoever. You can put up a web address alongside your photos, but it won’t go anywhere. Lots of people start their daily online routine in these cul-de-sacs of social media, and their journeys end there. Many don’t even realise they are using the internet’s infrastructure when they like an Instagram photograph or leave a comment on a friend’s Facebook video. It’s just an app.
A most brilliant paragraph by some ordinary-looking person can be left outside the stream, while the silly ramblings of a celebrity gain instant internet presence. And not only do the algorithms behind the stream equate newness and popularity with importance, they also tend to show us more of what we have already liked. These services carefully scan our behaviour and delicately tailor our news feeds with posts, pictures and videos that they think we would most likely want to see.
Today the stream is digital media’s dominant form of organising information. It’s in every social network and mobile application.
The centralisation of information also worries me because it makes it easier for things to disappear.
But the scariest outcome of the centralisation of information in the age of social networks is something else: it is making us all much less powerful in relation to governments and corporations. Surveillance is increasingly imposed on civilised lives, and it gets worse as time goes by. The only way to stay outside of this vast apparatus of surveillance might be to go into a cave and sleep, even if you can’t make it 300 years.