Mesh Networks in Education

I have been very interested in mesh networks recently. It’s not a brand new idea, but has received a lot of public interest lately. The software and technology has come a long way. The popularity of smartphones and tablets provide a new and more prevalent system for developing the mesh network.

Mesh networks are a natural fit for school systems. A system that is densely populated with devices all using one network in a limited area (the school). However, I haven’t seen many examples of a mesh network being used, and would be curious to see it deployed.

A mesh network is a network topology in which each node relays data for the network. All mesh nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network.

For many school, that are relying on aging hardware and infrastructure to support growing use, mesh networks provide some relief from the network stress by allowing devices to act as nodes. Not putting all the strain on single access points or switches.

Are there any school systems or companies working to implement this? I have seen commercial uses, but little in the K12 education sector.

The Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools

Published and distributed by Media Smarts. This is a massive resource for anyone interested in digital literacy. Educators, administrators, and parents should all have an understanding of digital literacy. As more technology is in front of our students, more work is being done outside the classroom and on the Internet. It is important for everyone to understand what that means. When you visit a website, how is data being collected? How is your data being turned into advertisements? What does anonymous mean online? What is public, what is private? What is a good password? How do you keep digital information secure? It is a new way of thinking and learning that we need to understand. Less and less of what we produce is physical. It is digital code stored on a server. 

Being Authentic with Your Writing

‘Content is King’ and Other Reasons You Shouldn’t Write Online by Hillary Weiss. If you’ve ever written something that will be read by others, this is worth reading.

The internet is a cacophony of competition imitating itself. So if you want to stand out, you have to really try.

Leave your comfort zone, and write what matters to you, not what ‘everyone’ will like.

When you focus on writing what’s really on your mind — instead of what you think you should be writing — you create more impactful pieces that will stand the test of time.

The author even has some tips for figuring out when you’re writing something honestly and how to know you’re on the right track.

Are You A Freelancer or Entrepreneur?

The Freelancer and the Entrepreneur by Seth Godin on Medium. 

A freelancer is someone that gets paid for their work. An entrepreneur is taking money to build a business bigger than themselves.

Which are you doing? If you are starting or already have a business is important to figure out what category you fall into. It greatly affects how you run and grow your business.

The Keyboard

“If the keyboard was invented today what would it look like?” 8pen

The QWERTY Keyboard has been around since 1873, and has been one of the constants in technology. Nothing seems to be as universal as a keyboard. The mouse, touch screens, hand writing recognition, and voice control have all come and yet the keyboard remains on just about every piece of technology (many smartwatches even have a keyboard). Will it ever be replaced? Progress tells me it should be replaced, history says it won’t be easy. 

Voice input has made a big resurgence as an input method. Siri, Google Now, Alexa, and Cortana have all put voice activated software on things we use everyday. Our devices are constantly listening for the next command. But it remains a novelty for most. I have yet to see anyone who interact with technology mainly by voice. Voice is a nice compliment to the keyboard at this point, but not a replacement. 

So what is next? The keyboard can’t be the height of our technical ability to interact with a computer. There is something better.

If the computer was invented today, what would it look like? Technology is a constant and rapid improvement, but it’s often contained by old standards. If the technology is too radical, it’s won’t be adopted by public use. And the keyboard must be the most comfortable way for anyone in our time to interact with technology. What will it take to leave that comfort zone?


Sources of Data Breach

Every week/day in the news there is a new attack on individuals or businesses data (emails, credit card information, social security numbers, etc…). These attacks all get categorized as cyber-attacks, but what is the actual source of the attack? Is it malware? A skilled hacker(s)? Social engineering? Outdated software? I want to know what is the actual cause of data being stolen.

Have there been any studies done on this? I have seen studies on the overall cost of a data breach, and why you should protect yourself. I have read articles listing all the different ways you can be attached. But if I wanted to put in measures to protect myself or my company, where should I put the most effort? What are the most common ways for these attacks to occur. And if I run a business, what should I be teaching my employees to look out for?

Goodbye LinkedIn

I recently made the decision to delete my LinkedIn account. After having the account for years, I have not found any value in it. It has became more a nuisance than anything – and it is easier to just delete the whole thing than let it sit, accruing messages and notifications.

I joined initially as part of a college class. The service was described as a social network for professionals, a place where you were expected to have a good profile and resume if you wanted to get a good job after school, with plenty of detail and none of the fluff that circulates other social networks – a place where career-oriented people of all levels could build their connections to others and develop working relationships.

After several years on the network, I never gained employment or networked with people I didn’t know elsewhere. I haven’t found any amazing opportunities. I haven’t found any great people to work with or been recruited by my dream organization…

Continue reading Goodbye LinkedIn

The Cloud 

There is no such thing as the cloud. It is just someone else’s computer.

Cloud computing has been revolutionary for the Internet. It has given access to resources that the average user would never have. But as the cloud become more ubiquitous with our lives online, it’s important to remember what the cloud actually is.

The Cloud is the current buzz word for it, but the concept isn’t new. A user rents space or resources on another person’s or company’s computer. The user places the trust in someone else to manage, maintain, and control the data placed in the cloud.

When data is placed in the cloud, the user no longer has a reasonable right to privacy of the data. Whoever has access or control of the cloud you are using has equal access and rights.