The Revolution in Asking & Answering Questions

I just received an email of a new blog post from one of my online mentors, Dan Russell, has posted this video of his TEDxYouth talk at Palo Alto High School.  

Published on Apr 29, 2014
Daniel Russell is a senior research scientist at Google. He investigates and analyzes Google users' habits and practices in an effort to improve the search experience. His innovative Google-A-Day encourages users to flex their searching skills to find answers to intriguing questions.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

In his email/blog post, he writes 
"Historically,  "doing research" meant doing a bunch of things that don't actually have all that much to do with understanding the questions at hand.  You know what I mean:  going to the library, collecting photocopies of articles, organizing them, punching sets of holes so they'll go into your binder, copying data from one place to another, filtering it, cleaning things up.  If you think about it in terms of pure efficiency, doing research is hard partly because there's so many OTHER things you have to do along the way to get to your goal.  
So, what's the core of research?  
I think it's asking the right questions, getting some kind of answers back, and then iterating on that idea.  Ask a little, learn a little; refine your ideas and then test them out."  (http://searchresearch1.blogspot.ch/2014/05/the-revolution-in-asking-and-answering.html)

As he says in the video, to do research today, (or to move from not-knowing to knowing) you need to understand the tools, the gendre, the media, the content.

Do You "Choose" To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech?

Another thoughtful video from PBS Idea Channel

Published on Apr 30, 2014 
CHANGE YO PASSWORDS! The recent Heartbleed bug was, for many, just another reminder that our information will never be secure on the internet. We feel vulnerable and hopeless in the face of a long string of privacy concerns, and many argue that this is an inevitable result of technology. But since our culture has wholly jumped on the digital bandwagon, do we as individuals truly CHOOSE to sacrifice our privacy? Or maybe the better question is, how much do we even choose to use technology? Watch the episode and find out! 

Think about the issues raised in the video, and then read this post on ReadWrite: "Google Promises To Stop Trawling Student Gmail For Ads" (notice this does not apply to individual, private accounts).  Stephen Downs pointed me to this article on the Digital Education page of Education Week, Google Halts Scanning of Student Gmail Accounts which includes Google's statement, and reactions by several education technology professionals.
"Schools have to look at what happens to their data once they no longer want to use Google Apps for Education, too," said Reidenberg, who worked on a study released in December about privacy issues associated with cloud computing in schools. "Is it completely deleted from the Google system, or does it stay in the cloud forever?" While the service is free, he indicated that Google can make money by other means. "What's the quid pro quo? If they're not paying with cash, they're paying with privacy," he said." (link)

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo
by sskennel: http://flickr.com/photos/sskennel/2050977429
What happens to your data?