Games often provide an opportunity to have fun, learn new things, simulate real life, and explore things only dreamed of before. Whether playing a board game, role playing game, or a video game, players are challenged to overcome obstacles and use strategy to solve problems and meet goals. In classrooms teachers are using game elements more and more to encourage practice, assess mastery, or explore new concepts with students, while keeping lessons interactive and engaging.
Reading Homeland by Cory Doctorow brings up many themes about the NSA, Privacy, and Edward Snowden.
June 5th marks the anniversary of Snowden disclosing thousands of classified documents, and Fight for the Future is organizing a campaign to educate internet users about security, and encourage the use of free privacy tools.
Sunday the New York Times ran an article about NSA who are creating a database of photos for facial recognition software.
Historically Libraries have been advocates for Intellectual Freedom (check out the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom for more information). We fight for our customer’s rights to have access to information, but as we work with the public, especially teens, we often need to teach them how to protect themselves online rather than just have us do the protection for them.
Now is a great opportunity to have programs on internet safety.
Below are some resources you can use to create an internet safety program for your community.
- Onguard Online has a great resource for parents to talk to their children about internet usage.
- Netsmartz by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Google Safety
- 4 Net Safety by Sprint
Consider putting print outs or bookmarks about internet safety out with a display of Dystopian Fiction like Cory Doctorow’s books and Web Programming books.
Even if you don’t have time to create a display, consider purchasing the independently produced audio edition of Homeland, exclusively available on Cory Doctorow’s website, and adding it to your Overdrive Downloadable collection.
Lately I’ve had a few computer malfunctions in my life. The laptop I used for work was stolen, and the hard drive on my computer at home had a crash that even spin rite couldn’t fix. I lost some documents I was currently working on, but thankfully I’d been saving most of my important documents to a shared work drive. Since these debacles I’ve been making sure I save in multiple places and even invested in a service called Mozy to back up my files at home.
I wanted to share with you what tools I’ve been using to help offset another computer disaster:
On April 20th, Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report on teen mobile phone usage. One of the facts the report revealed is that Teens are becoming more active cell phone users.
They discovered that “72% of all teens – or 88% of teen cell phone users — are text-messagers.” Continue reading
This week is Choose Privacy Week. To celebrate I wanted to write a post about passwords.
First, how many of you use the same password for every site you log into? Do you have the same user name as well?
I know often times we hear IT and other computer professionals tell us to never use the same password, but in reality we are often over worked, and have more important things to do with our brain cells than memorize a bunch of silly passwords (like memorize a bunch of book titles) Right?
I used to feel the same way until I read a blog post about how easy it is to guess one’s password. Follow the link to see how easy your password is to hack, and then check back here for tips to make your password more secure. Continue reading
Many libraries have one reference desk, where adult, teen, and youth services work together to provide service for the public. This is a great way to provide consistent access to an expert, but can be disorienting when you are forced to use default computer browsers.
One tool my colleagues and I have been using to fix this is portable USB drives.
Apple recently reached over 10K apps in the Iphone catalog. I’ve been reading about the iPhone and development of smart phones over the past year. Intrigued and also captivated by the ever increasing shiny.
While I have a smart phone, Its not an iPhone. I’ve really not seen many teens with an iPhone or iPod touch. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough though.
All this development for smart phones has me wondering how many libraries are truly prepared for this new trend. Many report that Android will give iPhone a run for its money. I’ve found a few libraries have dabbled in mobile website development, but not many.
My question is this: What services does you library offer via mobile phone? Do you allow people to text with a librarian, or IM using a service that works on peoples phones?
Is you website mobile friendly? Take w3C mobile OK test
Do you have a Apple App? (Recently I read about this site that creates an app for small businesses. Is this something suitable for libraries?)
This week I came across a comic about why DRM doesn’t work. It outlines the step involved in downloading an Audiobook from a public library. The author had to perform 17 steps before getting frustrated and opting to illegally download the book. This is similar to another image about pirating DVD’s.
Both of these bring up interesting things to think about, including how the public perceives us.
What can our libraries do to make DRM less painful for the public who uses our services, especially when we aren’t the ones who design the interface?
Something to think about during Teen Tech Week.
Images below the break
I asked them what they thought about adults being on their social networks and they responded that the library would be cool to be friends with, but they do not want their parents or teachers on the network they use with their friends. Another popular network is Gaia.
What are your teens using?