Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Journal #3

“Students Dig up Dirt to Learn about Internet Safety” (NETS-T 4)

Morehouse, J. (2011). Students dig up dirt to learn about internet safety. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(2), 34-35. Retrieved from

Summary: This article was about internet safety and how much of your personal information is easy access to the average web user. The author goes into detail of a lesson plan involving data mining. In this exercise, students try to “dig up dirt” on their teacher using the internet. Later, they select an individual (complete stranger) over a social networking site from another town and try to find out as much information as possible about them. Most students found way more information than expected. At the end of the lesson, the teacher had them sign into their Facebook accounts and showed them how to change their privacy settings. He gave them an option right then and there to change whatever they wanted, and everybody did. It was a great lesson on not realizing how much you are putting out there for the world to see when you use sites like Facebook.

Q1. How are you going to prevent your students from “digging up dirt” on your private life?

A1. It is student nature to try to dig up dirt on their teachers. They will try to find anything they possibly can that may come across as controversial or unexpected by a teacher. The important thing to note is that when you become a professional, all of your online social networks have to then become professional as well. Having a private Facebook that cannot be accessed by anyone who is not your “friend” is one way. For me, I am too skeptical of that. I have way to much faith in the technological skills of the students and feel that you should never put anything on the internet that you don’t expect your boss to see. That is my rule of thumb, whether it is “private” or not.

Q2. Would you ever implement a lesson plan about data mining?

A2. I found this lesson plan to be quite entertaining. It got the message across to the students in a way that they could understand and relate to. That is important when dealing with issues that don’t seem like a threat to the student. You want them to see it from an outside perspective looking in. This lesson does that. However, I am not quite sure I feel comfortable prying into innocent user’s Facebooks. I am old school like that. 

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