Posts Tagged ‘edad’

cybersecurity threats for schools

The top 5 cybersecurity threats for schools

BY EARL D. LAING November 29th, 2017

1. Link Security

From ransomware to phishing and other types of security breaches, direct contact is the number one way that you can create a vulnerability in your system. Those who commit these online crimes are finding smarter and sneakier ways to infiltrate your data every day. Sometimes the attack can even come as an email from a legitimate sender, or appear to be a perfectly normal message on social media. The goal is usually to get you to click on a link.

Solution: Make sure the security preferences for your email account(s) are set up to filter spamming, phishing and executable files that aren’t recognized.

2. Unknown Devices

Solution: Your IT system should include a solution that tracks all devices, including those not owned by your school, that enter the network.

3. Out of Date Technology

Contrary to popular misconception, user interaction isn’t always required for a cyber attack to be launched. The WannaCry attack targeted hundreds of computers all with the same security vulnerability on their Windows operating systems.

Solution: Again, an IT solution that tracks all devices is important, but one that can also check on software upgrades and block access to certain apps is ideal.

4. User Error

A data breach in Florida is just one example of the chaos user error can provoke. This issue didn’t begin with hackers at all. It began with carelessness that caused sensitive information to become public.

User error occurs regularly, and a common root of this is failing to restrict access to files or certain sites that may be compromised.

Solution: Restrict user access to sensitive documents only to those who absolutely need them, and make sure that your site architecture is set up to require a secure login for access. You may also want to create a white list of safe sites and applications and block the rest.

5. No Backup

As disheartening as it sounds, even when you take all the necessary precautions to protect your vital information, data breaches can still occur. When an attack happens, it’s often a major blow to productivity to try and get all the information back into a secure place. Worse, vital work can be lost for good.

Solution: Install a backup system on each school device that sends data to a remote server throughout the day (not just at night) to help make sure nothing is lost.

more on cybersecurrity in this IMS blog

Twitter and ed leadership

Twitter chats can boost student voice, enhance digital citizenship

  Dec. 19, 2017

My note:
This is another example of blanket statements aimed to bank on buzzwords and fashionable tendencies. Indeed, use of social media is an imperative skill for any educational leader, since it provides a modern venue to communicate with the rest of the stakeholders in the educational process: parents, students etc.
However, the process of social media use in education is rather more complex as presented in this article. e.g.:

  • why Twitter? why is Twitter chosen by the author as the social media platform, considering that Snapchat is the social media app by choice of teenagers?
  • why the hashtag use is the one and only altmetric consideration for deep data analysis? The author suggests taking “advantage of an analytic tool to measure effectiveness and participation,” but there is no specific recommendation and the choice of the analytical tool as well as the process of analysis is a science on its own
  • how educators, as suggested by the author, “want to guide students on comment intensity and type while keeping them on topic”? Indeed, an educator abiding by constructivism will facilitate and guide, yet there is a fine boundary between facilitating and dominating the conversation with “guidance.”

The most useless suggestion in the article:
“For administrators, Twitter chats also provide an opportunity to gain student and parent perspectives while giving them more voice in what’s going on within a school or district.”

Are administrators willing to yield that power to their constituency? What does the current research on educational leaders’s attitude reveal regarding their willingness to engage in such open (and difficult to control) discourse? How is such attitude to be changed: this is missing in this article.

What is your approach to the institutional use of social media at your school? 


China’s Transformation of Higher Education

John Richard Schrock: China’s Transformation of Higher Education

John Richard Schrock is Professor of Biology Emeritus at Emporia State University in Kansas. He is currently in China. While China is growing its universities, the U.S. is retreating from its historic commitment to make higher education accessible to all qualified students.

the elderly administrators soon retired. There was no supply of experienced junior administrators due to a Cultural Revolution that had closed many universities for a decade. That left China’s Ministry of Education with an opportunity to completely re-build its university system nationwide.

So by 1998, the situation was different. Weak universities were closed or merged with strong institutions. China doubled its university capacity, then doubled it again in the early 2000s, and doubled it again by 2010. The cities of Xi’an and Guangzhou built “university cities” with 10 new universities each. Chongqing built their “university city” with 17 different universities totaling 300,000 faculty, students and staff. –An area equivalent to the size of Wichita! -But all just universities. This was the greatest expansion of higher education in human history.

Now, the majority of their students who passed the gao kao high school leaving exam could now attend college. But students would now pay full tuition. And that greatly improved the faculty salaries and living conditions. Classrooms and labs soon became state-of-the-art.

In 1995, China selected over a hundred universities for its “211 Project,” feeding federal money toward building modern universities.

And as of two months ago, China began its Double World-Class Project. Their Ministry selected 42 universities to move to world-class status by 2050. 36 are Category A and 6 are Category B with a focus on applied research. It also has over 400 “key disciplines” spread across these and another 50 provincial universities that will receive additional generous governmental support.

Their National Natural Science Foundation announced a dramatic increase in grant funding two years ago. With a decade of substantial cash incentives for publishing in high ranked English journals, Chinese researchers have rapidly risen in authorship of research papers in the top science journals Science and Nature, second only to the U.S. in authorships. If this trend continues, China will be the top producer of research in a few more years.

For nearly four decades, China has invested in roads, railways, and other infrastructure. But the most important of these investments was education. Roads and rails move people around. Education moves people ahead. And it has paid off in raising the productivity of China’s population beyond expectations. The affluence of their institutions and the majority of their students reflect that payback. China understands that education is not just for filling those jobs needed today.


more on China in this IMS blog

replace common phrases

replace seems like


i would use the following replacements for my dissertation draft: 

22, signifies. 15, poses, 1. mirrors, 2. reflects, 3. suggests, 4. implies, 5. reveals, 10 emulates, 13. resonates, 14. offers, 21. mentions, 38. parallels, 29 declares, 40. reiterates,
possibly: 19. commends, 

which ones would you use in your dissertation?



replace says


replace very

more on writing in this IMS blog

John Craven

The Wisdom of Crowds

he assembled a team of men with a wide range of knowledge, including mathematicians, submarine specialists, and salvage men. Instead of asking them to consult with each other to come up with an answer, he asked each of them to offer his best guess about how likely each of the scenarios was. To keep things interesting, the guesses were in the form of wagers, with bottles of Chivas Regal as prizes.

Needless to say no one of these pieces of information could tell Craven where the Scorpion was. But Craven believed that if he put all the answers together, building a composite picture of how the Scorpion died, he’d end up with a pretty good idea of where it was.

The Mad Genius from the Bottom of the Sea


The Mad Genius from the Bottom of the Sea

Craven is hard to keep up with. His mind darts from why the Navy should make subs out of glass to the sad end of his long telephone friendship with the late Marlon Brando to the remarkable prodigiousness of his small experimental Hawaiian vineyard.

Craven’s system exploits the dramatic temperature difference between ocean water below 3,000 feet – perpetually just above freezing – and the much warmer water and air above it. That temperature gap can be harnessed to create a nearly unlimited supply of energy. Although the scientific concepts behind cold-water energy have been around for decades, Craven made them real when he founded the state-funded Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii in 1974 on Keahole Point, near Kona.

opinion persuasive argumentative writing

Argumentative v. Persuasive Writing

The adoption of college and career-ready standards has included an addition of argumentative writing at all grade levels. Interpreting expectations among the types of argument (e.g., opinion, persuasive, argument, etc.) can be difficult. Begin first by outlining the subtle, but significant differences among them. Download a chart that defines each and their purposes, techniques, components, etc


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