smartphone ban in schools

REFRE5# Digital News – April Showers

REFRE5# Digital News is back this week with 5 stories about innovative tech, some real world problems, and the biggest story this week: the US Congress talks to Zuck re: Facebook’s data privacy issues. Let’s get started!

Capturing Your Inner Monologue

Are you the type of person that talks to yourself? Of course you are, everyone does it. Sometimes you have some great ideas too, and those ideas pass fleetingly through your head to be lost forever. Not anymore! Witness a device that can hear your inner voice.

Sure, it’s not anything to look at, and no one is going to wear this contraption around the street but the technology is powerful and a step towards harnassing the 90% of our brains that we don’t actively use at any given time.

The future is coming.

Text Speak is Now Official

Technology has created new media for communications, and nothing has had a bigger effect on language than the text message format. That carried over to platforms like Twitter. Now, looking at it closely, it’s true that millenials have rewritten English to fit the social age. It’s actually a lot deeper than you think, and it’s surprising to see how well we understand it. Language itself is never constant, it is a medium between two people, and even though my high school English teacher is probably objecting, grammar has never been so flexible.

We Need To Make Servers More Efficient

There is so much stuff on the Internet: cat memes, Harlem Shake videos, Cambridge Analytica’s stolen data. We might think of it as being intangible since it’s digital. But all of that digital stuff is actually physical. It all lives on servers, and servers use a shit ton of energy. Making them more efficient will be key to the world’s digital transformation.

The advancement of the Internet of Things, coupled with big data, tripled with the need to record and capture everything is leading to enormous energy demands that might actually make all of the promises of digital gains in efficiency actually less efficient!

Smartphone Bans in Schools Don’t Work

Being a teacher these days must be so much more difficult than in the past. The battle for attention used to be won with engaging lessons and activities. Have you seen Snapchat stories from Cosmopolitan? No algebra lesson can compare to that, so it makes sense that schools ban the use of smartphones in the classroom.

But it turns out that smartphone bans in school are useless. Why? First, because if felons can get meth smuggled into prisons, kids will find a way to keep their phones in the classroom. Plus, when there are school shootings nearly everyday in America, parents reasonable want their kids to be able to contact them at anytime.

Sorry teachers. Maybe MOOCs are the answer?

Facebook gets a Congressional Grilling

You probably heard about it. Zuck got a 5 hour talking-to. He contradicted himself a few times, which probably means that he is trying to create a narrative. But will anything change? I don’t think so. If anything now Zuck can say “hey, I went before Congress, what more do you want from me?” Seems like he got off the hook pretty easily.

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