Saturday, August 30, 2008

i dig her

i am stealing my husband's cool morphed picture because the more i hear about this person, the more i think that john mccain kicked butt on his choice for vp. not because he picked a woman, although it doesn't hurt. mainly because i love the way she is totally against wasting money and seems to be a straight shooter (at least when aiming a caribou). my hopes are high.

Monday, August 11, 2008


A couple of nights ago I heard about a hacking job on the news. The hackers used a broadband connection and a laptop (as well as some pretty good decoding software) to hack into a department stores computer and stole 41,000 credit card numbers. The news report said that a lot of stores have good encryption, but do not have passwords to get into the encrypted data. So the hackers just had to decode the encryption and BAM! they had the info. They also said that there is no legal requirement for businesses to have any kind of particular protection on their computer files, so as a consumer, there is no way to know how protected your credit card information is when you make purchases at the store.

Here we have been spending all of this time studying and learning about what can be done online and here you could have your credit card number hacked without every touching a computer. All you have to do is make a purchase at a store and you could lose your identity to a thief.

Throughout this class I have also been a proponent of the idea that stealing has always been a problem. Yet, I will concede that in the past people were stealing what you had, while today they are stealing what you may not have. They are creating debt for you. I guess people could charge things in your name in the past, but when they did it was face to face instead of anonymously online.

The news report concluded that the best way to protect yourself was to get cash from the bank and make more purchases with cash instead of trusting businesses with your credit card information because banks were more secure with their passwords, firewalls, and encrypted data.

I think the bottom line is that we are always at risk with our finances and we can do some basic things to be careful, teach kids ethics and hope for the best. The other option is crawling under a rock until the computer age goes away (which is not going to happen). Because of this class I will be more careful with passwords and make more of an effort to work with kids on these issues, but I refuse to crawl under a rock.

Goodbye ethics class and classmates that have completed the program. Hope to see you around!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

skittles vs. webquest

for my ethics in tech. course (the reason i started this blog) we did a skittles lesson, where we learned a lot about how to create a graph through data used from the colors of skittles. we also did a lesson about webquests, evaluating them and finding good ones. these two assignments were similar in that we were required to learn about an area of technology. they were different in that one pertained more to a specific program, while the other was exploratory in nature. i don't think it is fair to say one is better than the other. i think that they are different lessons with different goals in mind. one would be better for working with graphs and learning about excell, while webquests are better for using the internet to explore content informaiton. i would say that the webquests are more appropriate for my educational setting because i have very limited time with my music students. a webquest gets them using technology in a way that will help them learn about music without taking time away to just learn about technology. in my opinion, it is my job as a music teacher to use technology as a tool to enhance curricular goals. i actually believe that is true for every teacher. a lesson like the skittle lesson, would be more appropriate in a math class or a computer class.