Category Archives: Tech in our lives

15 Questions To Ask About Tech Integration In Your Classroom

*this blog was originally published at TeachThought PD

by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD

For professional development around integrating technology in your school visit our technology integration workshops page.

As I watched Christmas, and the corresponding break from school for my daughters, come and go I was reminded of the fun that technology toys can provide. I was gifted the new Google Home device and it’s quite entertaining for my daughters to ask it to make funny sounds, play silly games, set timers, and even ask it for help on their homework. For me it’s a great way to start my day asking it to tell me the news or play music throughout the house.

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First thoughts on Abundance: The future is better than you think

Book by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Today I stated reading “Abundance: The future is better than you think”. It has been on my reading list for awhile.  As I read through this book, I will post some of my thoughts and take a ways. As I began reading about the possibilities of a planet where there is an abundance of resources for everyone, it was the mental hurdles we face that struck me. It seems that the same things that hold us back on believing in an abundant society are the same hurdles we face daily when dealing with all kinds of situations.

Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts, time saving, energy saving rules of thumb that allow us to simplify the decision making process. In social psychology these show up when we assign probabilities like evaluating the possibility that a suspect is armed. The first thing the brain does is check it’s database for known situations and examples. The ease of access of this information is known as the availability heuristic and leads to increased perception of the probability.

Heuristics are an essential tool in decision making when we have limited information, limited time to respond and limited mental resources available. Although on average this process of decision making can be very effective, there are times when it can lead to severe errors in judgment. There are a number of cognitive biases that can impact our decisions. Among the most powerful is the conformation bias. This is the bias where we unconsciously search out information that tends to confirm or support what we already think or believe. Then there are biases like anchoring, where we tend to focus too much on one piece of information.

These biases and others work in tandem to affect our decisions and thoughts. When combined with our tendencies to be local optimists and global pessimists this can lead to even bigger problems. This means we tend to seriously overestimate our abilities and significantly under estimate the world at large.

How computers are learning to be creative

We’re on the edge of a new frontier in art and creativity — and it’s not human. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, principal scientist at Google, works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. In this captivating demo, he shows how neural nets trained to recognize images can be run in reverse, to generate them. The results: spectacular, hallucinatory collages (and poems!) that defy categorization. “Perception and creativity are very intimately connected,” Agüera y Arcas says. “Any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create.”

Did you have a MySpace Account?

Are you still using the same username, password or email address you used with your MySpace account? If so this is for you!

Myspace, Tumblr hacked: Hackers sell 425 million users’ data on darkweb

Date: June 1, 2016 – 7:26AM

360 million Myspace accounts and 65 million Tumblr accounts, including email addresses, usernames and passwords have turned up for sale on the darkweb, including the private information of Australian users dating back to both sites’ inception.

In what may be one of the biggest breaches of all time, Time Inc, the parent company of Myspace, confirmed it was hacked in June 2013, and that the data has only now appeared for sale.

“Shortly before the Memorial Day weekend, we became aware that stolen Myspace user login data was being made available in an online hacker forum,” the site announced in

Read it here

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/technology/consumer-security/myspace-tumblr-hacked-hackers-sell-425-million-users-data-on-darkweb-20160531-gp8mkc#ixzz4ALCvPzpW
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At SXSW, Augmented Reality Brings An Alice In Wonderland Book To Life

By Aqila Xiao Qi, 25 Mar 2016

At the recently concluded SXSW festival, Sony Future Lab unveiled a new device that will transform any flat surface into an augmented display. Testing out the technology on an Alice In Wonderland book, touching any character will take them out of the pages, turning them into interactive animations.

According to website The Verge, the technology is built from two components: a camera and projection. The former “map[s] the terrain and tracks changes while hand and finger recognition provides the controls,” and the latter creates the images that appear in the physical space.

Read it all here

Meron Gribetz: A glimpse of the future through an augmented reality headset

TED2016 · 10:54 · Filmed Feb 2016

What if technology could connect us more deeply with our surroundings instead of distracting us from the real world? With the Meta 2, an augmented reality headset that makes it possible for users to see, grab and move holograms just like physical objects, Meron Gribetz hopes to extend our senses through a more natural machine. Join Gribetz as he takes the TED stage to demonstrate the reality-shifting Meta 2 for the first time. (Featuring Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Encryption (HBO)

Published on 13 Mar 2016

Strong encryption poses problems for law enforcement, is weakening it worth the risks it presents? It’s…complicated.