Virtual field trips

There has been heaps going on these last couple of weeks, maybe not an excuse for not posting so much, but it seems legitimate.  
We’ve been working with google on their google expeditions program.  It seems really great, teachers can lead virtual field trips around the world (well wherever google has taken the photos), information pops up on the screen and it is just very engaging.  
From the students reaction I mean, it’s been overwhelming so far, they are so excited, and many of the excursions easily fit into our curriculum, which is also great.  Also very fun for leading inquiry. 
It does make me wonder a lot, about where we are headed as a society, how will this really change the way we interact? Should we be worried about lack of connections to place, or will this help us become more rooted into our place? 
Anyway, it’s been an incredibly fun day so far.  It’s great to see how different teachers/learners react to new situations, and just wonderful to see students so happy in this last week of school. 

Permanence and student data

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  jonny goldstein 

We’ve been digging deep into the idea of digital footprint and permanence this week while blogging.

Some of our discussions have revolved around what photos are always going to be there, what comments will stay, how can we delete things we don’t want?  There is a wonder about what will happen if someone impersonates another person, how can we delete that data.  I’ve been stressing this idea that some things are very, very hard to delete.

And then…

One of my students left, he had been collaborating with other students on a slide show, and his googleapps account was deleted by us.  All of his information and work was gone… wild, no longer any access for those people who had been collaborating with him.

I’ve done the google admin test, and I thought ownership was transferred over to someone else, obviously I was wrong.

Licensed for reuse – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Bots

We’ve learned a lot as a tech group this week about google docs about permanence.  We’ve “lost” some files that were really placed somewhere else by an author.  We’ve had some hiccups with organization of our drives, but we had never really lost anything before.

Now our plan is to make a accounts which aren’t linked to humans.  For me this is hilarious because I’ve been talking to students about their blogs and how most of the traffic that comes to them is from non-humans.  They wonder about why people would do this, and now I have a very relevant reason for doing this, keeping our googledocs around.  For group projects we are now going to transfer ownership to nonhumans if someone is going to leave.  That way all of their joint accounts will go with them., making it easy to keep our projects safe.

I love the idea of Google Take Out which can keep our data ours, but I’m glad we now have a strategy for keeping shared data safe.