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Cybersecurity in U.S. : A Boost From STEM Education [Video]

The University Herald – Julia Ramirez

“People have become dependent on the internet. The comfort brought about by technology is paired with its challenges. Cyberattackers constantly exert effort to illegally obtain sensitive data and destroy systems from smartphones and online banking to passwords. With the complexity of digital economy, there is an increase in the demand for highly trained cybersecurity professionals. The following are the four reasons why cybersecurity would benefit from an education that targetson science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a commentary from Charleston Gazette Mail..”(more)

Teach your children to THINK

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Efforts to control the minds of children are at an all-time high. Most kids spend a lot of time learning “what to think” and very little time learning “how to think”. As a result, parents need to take a proactive role to make sure their children are not manipulated.

Mind control has been an issue since the beginning of human existence. The difference today is a new communication medium, the Internet. At first it was a relatively unbiased source of information. As it has matured, governments and companies have learned to control it.

Now Internet searches are based on the preferences of the owners and employees of the search engine companies and paid advertisers. In addition, social media companies have started censoring dialog. Twitter and Facebook recently deleted accounts from people who were promoting ideas that were not popular with company management. While most people do not agree with the viewpoints presented in these accounts, it does not mean it is wise to remove these dissenting voices. If companies can cut these accounts, what prevents them from cutting other accounts when it is political expedient?

History is written by the winners and is often sanitized to support specific political agendas. As a result, school history is generally far from reality. The problem is compounded because standard textbooks are rarely complemented with materials that include opposing viewpoints.

In addition, journalists and writers have prejudices that are based on upbringing, education, and access to information which means most news stories have a significant slant.

In higher education, professors tend to promote similar perspectives, because the tenure and publication system discourages alternative thought. This uniformity of ideas is dangerous, because it can lead to myopia. Some people argue that theories having to do with manmade climate change, technical capabilities of ancient civilizations, and brain differences between genders have not been properly vetted because of this bias.

Fortunately, it is possible for parents to circumvent the mind control efforts. First kids need to learn discipline. Then they need to be taught how to research, respectfully question conventional thinking, and present alternative viewpoints. After that it is important for parents to make sure schools are using textbooks and supporting materials that cover subjects from a variety of perspectives.

Finally, it is imperative for families to discuss classroom topics at home. This way parents can expose their children to viewpoints they may not be hearing at school.

Is the internet killing our brains?

The Guardian – Dean Burnett

“Throughout history, people have always worried about new technologies. The fear that the human brain cannot cope with the onslaught of information made possible by the latest development was first voiced in response to the printing press, back in the sixteenth century. Swap “printing press” for “internet” and you have the exact same concerns today, regularly voiced in the mainstream media, and usually focused on children. But is there any legitimacy to these claims? Or are they just needless scaremongering? There are several things to bear in mind when considering how our brains deal with the internet.”(more)

Survey Shows Tech Disconnect Between Teens, Parents

Education News – Grace Smith

“A study by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) researched online safety attitudes and behaviors of young people, finding that there is a complex relationship between US parents and teens. “Keeping Up with Generation App: Parent/Teen Online Safety Survey” contained interviews from 804 online teenagers between 13 and 17 and a separate sample of 810 online parents. The study found numerous signs of an apparent “digital disconnect” represented by the fact that 60% of teen internet users have created online accounts that their parents do not know exist. This number is over double the 28% of online parents who speculate their young ones have secret accounts. The research also discovered that there was a high reliance by teens on peer-to-peer support, with 43% of the subjects stating that friends have asked them for backup when they have been confronted with online issues.”(more)

Teaching online safety to kids should be mandatory

The Toronto Star – Catherine Little

“Anyone who has taught teenagers, parented teenagers or has been a teenager knows that they will find ways to do things if they are motivated enough. We are only fooling ourselves if we think we can declare a ban on online activities. Eventually, they will need to travel the online world for school, work and life. Talking to them about how to do it safely from an early age means they are more likely to talk to you about it when they run into difficult situations.”(more)

How every school can promote safety in a digital world

E-School News – Harold Reaves

“Keeping students safe in the digital era — with its myriad dangers — means a proactive IT strategy. Technology has become a mainstay within the walls of today’s schools. One-to-one computing is enhancing and enriching the student experience, transforming the way we teach and the way we learn. K-12 schools were expected to spend approximately $4.7 billion on technology this past year, according to IDC, with no sign of a plateau. But as rapid technology adoption continues unabated, the safety of the students who are meant to benefit from these advances is frequently overlooked.”(more)