The Class of the Future: it may not meet in a classroom at all, and students may be learning a totally different set of skills, says Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in this video from FRONTLINE: Digital Nation. In this video, Duncan talks about how the way students receive, process, and communicate information could change in the education world due to the everchanging digital world.
We’re going to step back from hardware and software, and take a closer look at how the backdrop of the cold war and space race and the rise of consumerism and globalization brought us from huge, expensive codebreaking machines in the 1940s to affordable handhelds and personal computers in the 1970s. This is an era that saw huge government-funded projects - like the race to the moon. And afterward, a shift towards the individual consumer, commoditization of components, and the rise of the Japanese electronics industry.
We're going to talk about the birth of personal computing. Up until the early 1970s components were just too expensive, or underpowered, for making a useful computer for an individual, but this would begin to change with the introduction of the Altair 8800 in 1975. In the years that follow, we'll see the founding of Microsoft and Apple and the creation of the 1977 Trinity: The Apple II, Tandy TRS-80, and Commodore PET 2001. These new consumer-oriented computers would become a huge hit, but arguably the biggest success of the era came with the release of the IBM PC in 1981. IBM completely changed the industry as its "IBM compatible" open architecture consolidated most of the industry except for, notably, Apple. Apple chose a closed architecture forming the basis of the Mac versus PC debate that rages today. But in 1984, when Apple was losing market share fast it looked for a way to offer a new user experience like none other - which we'll discuss next time.
If the Internet's making you feel meaner, you're not imagining it. People really do act differently online than they do in person. Here’s why. According to a paper published in 2004 by psychologist John Suler, there are about 6 main reasons people act differently online. This could explain the rise of internet trolls or why people open up more online than they would in person. A student viewing guide with discussion questions is available to be used with this video.
YouTube has been around for over a decade now, and it dominates as the top place for video content. Because of that, it’s way more of a business now than anyone could have imagined. The advertising world refers to many of the stars on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms as influencers, because they have their own, home-grown fanbase that they have been interacting with for years. To capitalize on that fanbase, companies pay these influencers to promote their product or service. Watch the latest Above the Noise video to find out whether you can trust what's on YouTube and what are the rules about influencers advertising products in their videos. This video comes with a student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.
With recent reports of high profile data breaches, ransomware attacks, and the prevalence of online trackers, it’s hard to know how best to protect your privacy online. In this Above the Noise video, we met up with the cybersecurity experts at Electronic Frontier Foundation to learn more about who’s snooping on us online and what we can do to protect ourselves. This video comes with a student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.
"Old meme is old." But why is this such a bad thing? Once the height of internetiness, the sight of a LOLCat is now unforgivable. Memes become passe very quickly: after just months or even weeks of a new meme, we tire of the once hugely popular joke. Why does this happen, and so rapidly? Is it a reflection of the sheer volume of visual information we absorb from the internet? Or, does it say something about this specific visual culture?
We've all seen and shared a few LOLCats and Internet Memes in our time, but is it possible that these images and videos are actually a new form of art? It may seem strange, but Rage Guys, Advice Dogs, Trollfaces, and Philosoraptors are ways for people around the globe to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with others - and isn't that the core principle of art? We think some of history's greatest philosophers and artists might be inclined to agree.
PBS's Off Book asks if hacking is inherently good or bad, or if is it an ethical area we have yet to define. Looking beyond the media hype and scare tactics, it is clear that "hacking" is a term that should be up for debate, and that some hackers could actually be heroes and not villains.
A new smartphone app is helping citizen scientists leave their mark.
Idaho State University researchers have developed an app for community input on the Portneuf River. Reporter Kris Millgate follows one family as they use the app to help stakeholders discover the places people value along the river.
Students will learn to see smartphone apps as tools to solve real-world problems. This lesson guides students through a design brainstorm process to invent an app idea related to public art. Students will be designing an app idea to tackle a problem related to public art in their community. All you need is the activity worksheet, some pens, markers, and creativity!
WHY APPS? Well, to start with, they’re everywhere. According to the Pew Research Center, 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones. Teens don’t have to be limited to the role of the consumer in today’s digital marketplace. All you need is a little know-how and an idea—which is the focus of this curriculum.
This learning activity will examine social media’s influence on America’s Civil Rights movement and its role in democratizing the media. In this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now, activists, including DeRay McKesson, use social media to support the work of social change protesters. Because communications are unmediated and occur in real-time, McKesson says, social media can help build community. Tamika Mallory calls social media a powerful asset, enabling people who have never met before to share information and support one another’s efforts. Bree Newsome points out that without social media, people might not even have heard of important cases—including those of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Sandra Bland. This video comes with a facilitator guide and student handout that helps guide the discussion of this activity.
From spam filters and self-driving cars to cutting edge medical diagnosis and real-time language translation, there has been an increasing need for our computers to learn from data and apply that knowledge to make predictions and decisions. This is the heart of machine learning which sits inside the more ambitious goal of artificial intelligence.
As computers play an increasing role in our daily lives there has been a growing demand for voice user interfaces, but speech is also terribly complicated. Vocabularies are diverse, sentence structures can often dictate the meaning of certain words, and computers also have to deal with accents, mispronunciations, and many common linguistic faux pas.
This video will discuss some psychological considerations in building computers, like how to make them easier for humans to use, the uncanny valley problem when humanoid robots get more and more humanlike, and strategies to make our devices work better with us by incorporating our emotions and even altering our gaze.
In the past 70 years, electronic computing has fundamentally changed how we live our lives, and we believe it’s just getting started. From ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars to brain-computer interfaces, wearable computers, and maybe even the singularity there is so much amazing potential on the horizon.
Welcome to Crash Course Computer Science! This video will take a look at computing’s origins because even though our digital computers are relatively new, the need for computation is not.
We ended the last episode at the start of the 20th century with special-purpose computing devices such as Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machines. But the scale of human civilization continued to grow, as did the demand for more sophisticated and powerful devices. Soon, these cabinet-sized electro-mechanical computers would grow into room-sized behemoths that were prone to errors. But it was these computers that would help usher in a new era of computation - electronic computing.
Often, the more information we have, the better decisions we're able to make. The power of data can benefit both individuals and governments. But who can be trusted with the responsibility of having all this data? Can governments collect and use it fairly and without violating our privacy? Help students think through this question and become thoughtful influencers of data policy and practice.
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When we get news from our social media feeds, it often only tells us part of the story. Our friends -- and the website's algorithms -- tend to feed us perspectives we already agree with. Show students ways to escape the filter bubble and make sure their ideas about the world are being challenged.
The lesson elements in this module teach students about the privacy principle “Your information is larger than you think”. They are designed to be independent and flexible, so you can incorporate them into any size lesson plan. Student lesson is available at https://teachingprivacy.org/youre-leaving-footprints/.
Summary of Learning Objectives: Students can enumerate ways their online and offline activities contribute to their information “footprint”; students can use privacy settings and critical thinking skills to limit the exposure of their footprint.
Target Age: High school, college undergraduate.
The lesson elements in this module teach students about the privacy principle “There is no anonymity on the Internet”. They are designed to be independent and flexible, so you can incorporate them into any size lesson plan. Student resources are available at https://teachingprivacy.org/theres-no-anonymity/.
Summary of Learning Objectives: Students can explain (in general terms) how data tracked by online services can be used to identify them; students can use tools and techniques to reduce the effectiveness of tracking.
Artificial Intelligence conjures up all sorts of images – perhaps you think of friendly systems that can talk to you and solve tough problems; or maniac robots that are bent on world domination? There's the promise of driverless cars that are safer than human drivers, and the worry of medical advice systems that hold people's lives in their virtual hands. The field of Artificial Intelligence is a part of computer science that has a lot of promise and also raises a lot of concerns. It can be used to make decisions in systems as large as an airplane or an autonomous dump truck, or as small as a mobile phone that accurately predicts text being typed into it. What they have in common is that they try to mimic aspects of human intelligence. And importantly, such systems can be of significant help in people's everyday lives.
AI (also known as intelligent systems) is primarily a branch of computer science but it has borrowed a lot of concepts and ideas from other fields, especially mathematics (particularly logic, combinatorics, statistics, probability and optimization theory), biology, psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and philosophy.
In this chapter, we'll explore a range of these intelligent systems. Inevitably this will mean dealing with ethical and philosophical issues too – do we really want machines to take over some of our jobs? Can we trust them? Might it all go too far one day? What do we really mean by a computer being intelligent? While we won't address these questions directly in this chapter, gaining some technical knowledge about AI will enable you to make more informed decisions about the deeper issues.