My most recent article has been posted over on the OSC IB Blogs site: GDPR and YOU  I've re-posted it below. Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest for students and for teachers

You have probably seen and heard an enormous amount of news, rumour, commercial offers, and of course emails! about the General Data Protection Regulation which takes effect in the European Union today, 25 May 2018.
This video from the Wall Street Journal  explains how GDPR could affect you, even if you don’t live in the EU.
John Mikton, a well known figure in the IB Tech community, has written a very helpful review of the effects of GDPR on schools in this post:
“The GDPR requires European International Schools to ensure that all schoolwide processes, producers, and policies with personal data of staff, faculty, parents and students are complaint with the GDPR regulation…There are three areas that European International Schools have to focus on for the GDPR: Governance, Data Protection and Cyber Security . Schools need to show that they are working toward compliance in all three areas and ensure that any personal data they process is handled and stored securely. The focus is on mitigating the risk of personal data not being properly safeguarded….The GDPR extends to those organizations, companies, and services which European International Schools use for different services or resources in and outside of school.”  I urge you to read the whole article.
In this video, Iain Bradley from Britain’s DfE explains how schools can review and improve their handling of personal data.
This page from the Irish Tech News offers a helpful list of practical steps, and examples of processes the author has been involved in. Read the whole article for more details and examples. Here are the main areas needing your attention:
  1. Map the current flow of personal data – Review and document all data processing activities.
  2. Assess risks – Review the risk that all data processing activities pose for data subjects.
  3. Changes required – It’s important to note that if your work involves the processing of data from children, you must ensure that you have adequate systems in place to verify individual ages and gather consent from guardians.
  4. External Providers –  Identify joint controllers, processors and sub-processors, and create instructions on how data should be handled e.g. health insurers or outsourced payroll.
  5. Policy Documents – Create a publicly available data protection policy.
  6. Training – Ensure all your staff are adequately trained and understand their obligations under GDPR for personal data.
  7.  Ongoing Audits – You should create a procedure that assesses the risk when anything in your business changes that means you will be requesting personal data, and that the GDPR principles are always adhered to in any new development.
Another good source of information come from TES:  GDPR for international schools: how is your school affected?
“International schools will need to comply with GDPR in the same way a school in the EU would”, explains Mark Orchison, managing director at 9ine Consulting.
“They have the same obligations as any school within the EU so as long as they are processing the data of EU nationals, which most international schools will be,” says Orchison. “They have to put in place the same protections as any other school or any other organisation that sits within the EU and that’s under article three of the regulation.”
Orchison gives an example of student exchange: “If I am a school in Kenya and the kids from my school go to a school in France on a school trip, or vice versa, the school in France is going to ask me how I’m compliant with the regulation. If I am not compliant they can’t share the data of the children who are coming on the school trip with me. Therefore, the school trip can’t happen.”
This video by GDPRiS (a commercial data management system for education) gives a visual demonstration of how important data mapping is to give schools a clear view of their school data eco-system. (You might want to mute this video when you watch!)

Live stream through a Google Map

My most recent article has been posted over on the OSC IB Blogs site: Live stream through a Google Map I've re-posted it below. Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest for students and for teachers

Did you know that in the same way that you can add a video to a google slide, you can insert video into a Google Map? (and of course, you can add a simple web link if the video you want is not on YouTube, but on another source.)
Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to create new maps on Google Maps, using the creation of a WW2 Key Events map as an example.
Live stream images combined with the geographical information of the map, and the real time, can be a powerful education tool.
You need to be aware of  the difference between live and “highlights” when looking at or searching for a streaming video site.  If it says “highlights” it means the stream is not live – perhaps because it’s dark at the location, or the stream is only broadcast at certain times of day, or the camera is off!
Pay attention to relative time zones.  If it’s night time where the stream originates, the picture might not be very useful!  This web site will help  https://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/#!cities=170
It is fairly easy to find webcams by searching tourist offices; harder to find “free standing” live streams on YouTube that Google Maps can embed.
I made a sample map for this post, showing some of the streaming possibilities.
Screen shot

detail of Sample Map

One live stream that is hard to pin to the map  – because where would you locate it? –  is the NASA live stream from the space station. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtU_mdL2vBM

 Many teachers have used Google Maps since its introduction to relay information to their students, and students have used Google Maps to show what they’ve learned as they complete research assignments.

If it’s difficult to find a live stream webcam for your map, consider using hyper links and photos, instead.  Here are some examples from various areas of study:
A few history examples (without video) are:
A science example is this map of Meteorite Craters On Earth – each location links to the Wikipedia page about the site.
This page from San Francisco’s KQED lists several examples of science-related maps.  In this one, Pat’s Native Plant Walk -Patrick Pizzo has taken a relatively simple task and created a superb map. (Zoom in on the map to 50m for best use.)
Screen shot of Pat’s Native Plant Walk Map

This blog post from 2010 shows several math maps examples, and Jeff Utecht’s blog post from 2015 lists 10 ideas for using Google Maps in your classroom.
This Edutopia page describes a handful of with good ideas for engaging students using Google Maps: 1) Descriptive writing of scenes and settings; 2) Mapping, creating routes and tutorials; 3) Use it to inspire some artwork; 4) Conducting virtual field trips;
This page on the American Historical Association blog , “Mapping the Early Modern World: Using Google Maps in the Classroom” Julia Gossard describes her use of Google Maps in her University of Texas at Austin survey course “Global Early Modern Europe” (sic). At the conclusion of her post, she writes, “For instructors who are nervous about assigning a digital project, this is a great place to start. Google Maps is easy to navigate and learn, but creates a visually stunning and useful assignment. In addition to the instructions I’ve provided below, Google offers many articles and videos to help you set up your own map. As with any digital project, the instructor should set aside a good amount of time to play with the tool themselves before assigning it. Looking back at the map nearly two years later, it still stands as one of my favorite assignments. It inspired me to assign a digital project in every course, whether as another mapping project, a digital timeline, or a class Wiki.”

Time to Understand Blockchain

My most recent article has been posted over on the OSC IB Blogs site: Time to Understand Blockchain I've re-posted it below. Visit the OSC-IB Blogs site and explore the posts on other areas of interest for students and for teachers

What is blockchain?
A blockchain is a digital scaffolding for transactions. We've heard a lot about it recently in relation to Bitcoin. Blockchain was developed about 10 years ago to scaffold cryptocurrency transactions. Investopedia explains blockchain (referring to cryptocurrencies) as "a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically."

Watch these two videos to find out more about what blockchain is and how it works:

Besides cryptocurrencies, where else might blockchain be used?
Watch the excellent video podcast on Computerworld News Analysis: "What is blockchain? The most disruptive tech in decades The distributed ledger technology, better known as blockchain, has the potential to eliminate huge amounts of record-keeping, save money and disrupt IT in ways not seen since the internet arrived." Several uses of blockchain in industry are described on the page: "In shipping, for example, a bill of lading for cargo shipments has traditionally been paper based, which requires multiple sign-offs by inspectors and receivers before goods can be delivered. Even when the system is electronic, it still requires multiple parties to sign off on cargo shipments, creating a lengthy administrative process. To try and streamline that cumbersome process, the world's largest container shipment operator, Maersk, in March 2017 announced it is using a blockchain-based ledger to manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers by digitizing the supply chain. And earlier this week, Maersk teamed up with IBM on a new blockchain-based electronic shipping platform. It’s expected to be up and running later in 2018."

(There are c. 90 videos on IBMBlockchain's YouTube channel, many of which illustrate how other industries are using blockchain, including energy trading, healthcare, insurance, food safety, etc.)

If you want to learn how to program blockchains take the IBM Blockchain Foundation for Developers course at Coursera: "If you're a software developer and new to blockchain, this is the course for you. Several experienced IBM blockchain developer advocates will lead you through a series of videos that describe high-level concepts, components, and strategies on building blockchain business networks. You'll also get hands-on experience modeling and building blockchain networks as well as create your first blockchain application."

This post at Quora describes five  blockchain ideas that are in work in progress stage: distributed cloud storage, digital identity, smart contracts, digital voting, and decentralized Notary.

On VentureBeat.com, "How blockchain could kill both cable and Netflix" describes how "blockchain has the power to fundamentally disrupt the entertainment industry because it brings out a completely new, decentralized model for content distribution," and how decentralized blockchain based entertainment network might work.

On the BBC Radio program Food Chain episode "Eating Blockchain" you can listen  (or download the file) to how "Blockchain technology has been heralded as the answer to a safer, fairer and more transparent food system. Many companies, from global food giants to start-ups, have begun to experiment with it. But can blockchain really disrupt the global food industry or is it just a gimmick? Emily Thomas meets some pioneers of this new technology, who explain why they think it will change the way we eat."

On the CoinTelegraph webpage, the post EC Releases Report on Possible Blockchain Applications in Education summarizes the European Commission's recent report intended for policymakers on the possible applications of blockchain technology in the education sector.  A download link for the report is on the at The European Commission's science and knowledge service page.

"This report introduces the fundamental principles of the Blockchain focusing on its potential for the education sector. It explains how this technology may both disrupt institutional norms and empower learners. It proposes eight scenarios for the application of the Blockchain in an education context, based on the current state of technology development and deployment."
Screenshot from "Blockchain in Education", p. 12

The CoinTelegraph page describes the growing adoption by educational institutions of blockchain: "Despite its infancy, a growing number of educational institutions are showing interest in Blockchain. Among them is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which recently awarded digital certificates or diplomas to more than 100 graduates under a pilot project involving Blockchain. Moreover, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has also launched a Blockchain pilot program that is focused on the digital certifications of medical students. Under the program, the board tested the open-source standard called Blockcerts, which was developed by Learning Machine Technologies and the MIT Media Lab.  Read more about Blockcerts at the MIT Media Lab page, news about how MIT has become one of the first universities to issue recipient-owned virtual credentials:

"This year, the Registrar’s Office contacted 85 master of finance and 26 master of science in media arts and sciences June graduates to let them know their secure digital diplomas were available via the Blockcerts Wallet app. For students, the benefits go beyond mere novelty. They can share their diplomas almost immediately with whomever they please, free of charge, without involving an intermediary. This is particularly important for students who need to prove to an employer or another university that they have an MIT diploma. And thanks to the blockchain, the third party can easily verify that the diploma is legitimate without having to contact the Registrar’s Office. Using a portal, employers or schools can paste a link or upload a student’s digital diploma file and receive a verification immediately. The portal essentially uses the blockchain as a notary, locating the transaction ID (which identifies when the digital record was added to the blockchain), verifying the keys, and confirming that nothing has been altered since the record was added."

Would Blockcerts be an interesting idea for the IB to explore?