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Furthermore, it was a good tool that let us first find people virtually and then transition to real-world relationships. In one case, a sister-in-law in another country used me as a go-between to reach my wife, and in another I used it to contact a former stepbrother, a sister and a half brother. As modern families become more complex, communication tools have had to adapt. I started a Facebook group for teachers at the New York City Department of Education who love teaching with technology.
In the past all these people existed in the 1, schools across the city, but there was no way for these people to find one another. The group now has close to 3, members. It is highly active, and strong relationships are being built. We have a direct line to what is happening in schools. Teachers feel supported like never before. They are more confident and better able to serve their students.
They have increased job satisfaction. They share extreme gratitude for the group and its responsiveness. They are no longer alone but rather supported by a powerful network of other dedicated teachers. I have a career that has allowed me to be a force for good, to reach people around the world, and to share a message of compassion, communication and development, all solely because of the internet and digital technologies.
This enabled me to attend university, where I studied philosophy. I wrote my honors thesis on an Atari and I wrote my masters on the university network. I started teaching using technology for Athabasca University in , and started developing websites and learning management systems for a living in By participating and sharing my knowledge and discoveries freely through discussion lists and online conferences I became a part of the online learning community in Canada, which led to my current employment as a digital researcher with the federal government. This has given me the opportunity to develop new theories of learning and pedagogy, create learning technologies, develop MOOCs [massive open online courses], and participate in this survey.
Today I responded to an enquiry from a reader looking for more recent work on automated language translation, because she had only a reference to my paper from I provided her with some resources from my newsletter, and she will add these to her study. The course was about computer networking and personal empowerment and how people can create their own education. The week before I was able to carry a message about business intelligence into a meeting with government officials as a result of the analysis I did of the public documents posted by the School of Public Service on their web page.
The week before I was in Berlin at a conference testing a virtualization of my personal learning application, getting experiences and feedback from a workshop filled with experts from around the world, none of whom I had met before. The week before I was in Tunisia talking about the deployment of open educational resources in the Middle East and Northern Africa to support language learning, economic development, and cultural growth. The week before… You get the idea. None of this happens without digital technology. I value the friends I have made from a tremendous diversity of background and worldviews thanks to the connected Net.
And not incidentally, I have transformed my career thanks to the lessons I continually learn by and about the Net. It provides access to a vast store of information and research data. It has enabled me to collaborate with academic colleagues in many different parts of the world, which has been an incredibly generative experience. In my personal life, it connects me to far-flung family and friends. It also connects me to people who share my political views, which gives me some hope — perhaps foolish — that working with them I can shift the political discourse.
Through the use of social media, I am able to share resources and perspectives to tens of thousands of others in my field on a daily basis. The prospect that one person could manage that scope of impact and reach was inconceivable for anyone who was not a network commentator on television or a nationally syndicated columnist. Now this opportunity extends to all who are dedicated to a purpose or cause. People have a better grasp of news and tools that can make their lives easier. Knowledge disseminates faster and deeper. The driver pulled out his phone and clicked on Google Translate. Problem solved. Turns out that Google had trained all the taxi drivers in Rio how to use this fantastic tool.
In terms of the spread of knowledge, the past two decades have been as revolutionary as when early man harnessed fire. Kenneth Cukier. I Googled it and got a digital copy — which, when you think about it, is amazing. But my German is lousy. So I uploaded the page report into Google Translate and got an English version a minute later — which is even more astounding. Just 20 years ago it was impossible for all but the most prestigious scholar to obtain something like that, and it might take half a year. I did it on impulse in four minutes. I was astonished. My particular experience in addition to my clear connections to global online learning, highlights the possibilities for inclusion in global policy processes, especially those involving internet governance and digital policy.
The UN Internet Governance Forum, for example, takes place in situ during less than a week once a year, and even that week of meetings involves a high percentage of online participants from all over the world. However, the planning for this event takes place online all year, with collaboration from a large body of participants from all over the world. Without internet technology and online applications for collaborative editing and meetings, this kind of global, geographic, and multi-stakeholder I add multi-stakeholder as a factor, because some stakeholder groups have more access to travel funds.
Multi-stakeholderism would be seriously hampered and cooperation would not be possible. In addition to fairly normal and common challenges for travel to meetings, I have had serious family responsibilities that have not permitted me to travel in the last few years. While it has not been easy, I have been able to stay involved. Out of nowhere a number of hot air balloons appeared, and with the touch of a button I was able to switch to a video call. I remember being amazed by the simplicity with which I was able to share this experience.
Nowadays, communicating with people anywhere in the world has become second nature to me. Sometimes I realize that I have written several research papers with people whom I have never met in person! Heywood Sloane , partner and co-founder of HealthStyles. I have one already, a gift from my wife that I am very fond of, thank you! I expected, and got, a multitude of tools to help me stay on track with stress, sleep, biometrics and much more. What I did not expect, was the way it tamed the peppering of email, notifications by apps, ringtones and alarms of people and things clamoring for my immediate attention.
It reduces them all to gentle vibrations. Long ones for calls I wanted to take, and short ones for everything else. It lets me block interruptions from apps and emailers. It also let me see others and get more detail with a tap when I want it. It gives me control and helps me defend my space to concentrate and focus on what I choose, rather than what someone else chooses. We could text our relatives rather than interrupt them with a call. They were able to share their wish list, we could comparison shop online at both local and national stores , find the best value, search for coupons and either order online or use navigation to find the best route to the store despite holiday traffic.
Mobile apps are used to deliver education as well as providing timely information to farmers to enhance their productivity. Similarly, mobile apps are used to deliver price and other market information. At our firm — Bonako a mobile games and app-development company — it is our platform for continuous education for staff; it is what we use to access training materials from all over the world. We also use digital tools to plan and develop our products in a way that would not have been possible only a few years ago. Developing games and apps requires varied expertise, and collaboration is key. Karl M. It is no longer only the director always a male who gets his secretary always a female to type out his paper and check references before having it published.
Almost all competent teachers and researchers have that possibility now; moreover they can work together over great distances and form social structures among themselves, independent of centralized or local administrative control. That body replied very respectfully to the director that they had already found a better candidate from France who had been working with them via the internet. That other candidate was me. Today, students I help mentor through their own doctoral studies have access to all of the material I did two decades ago, but with a fraction of the time and travel commitment. Greg Downey. Similarly, once materials were acquired and assembled, only rudimentary organization and writing tools were available for assembling the project into a coherent narrative.
I recall being one of the first individuals at my university to use Geographic Information Systems software in my historical analysis and in the production of my final manuscript. All of the temporal and spatial expectations of earning a Ph. This has raised the expectations for comprehensiveness in literature reviews and archival searches; it has raised the expectations for presentation of data and engagement of narrative. It is both easier and harder to do great work now and get that Ph. But I think the work that is done is of higher quality, and the scholars that are produced are of greater intellectual prowess and scope than ever before. As a commissioner at the Federal Institute of Telecommunications I made sure that our virtual board meetings and deliberations were valid; on many occasions I have been able to deliberate and vote on the cases submitted to the board through a video conference when in business travels and I also to hold e-meetings with my staff.
My office has home-office on Mondays, saving hours of wasted time on traffic jams. Marce studied elementary and middle school in a rural local school, but there is no high school in Xochicalco, so she would have had to travel each day to Arcelia, Gro. Her mother grows corn and vegetables and looks after her other two children. So Marce ended up leaving her hometown and moving to the big city of Mexico to seek a job as domestic helper, hoping she could enroll at a public school.
Her job kept her busy all day as a babysitter and so her mom, who I had the fortune to know from a long time ago, asked me for help to guide Marce so that she actually gets an education. I devoted a few hours to seek a public high school online program certified by our Ministry of Education SEP and found it, a very impressive two-year program which begins with a full-month course on the use of IT, the platform, how to interact with your assigned tutor, with teachers, how to deliver homework online, etc. I had never seen a young girl so excited to spend online 4 hours, learn in three days to handle a laptop one of my sons gave her.
She reads her lessons every day plus a few books I am asking her to read on history, philosophy, etc. She reads 10 pages every morning. Yet it will take a lot of guidance, hard work and long hours before she earns a high school diploma and more importantly, a good quality education that enables her to be admitted at UNAM [National Autonomous University of Mexico] or another public university here in Mexico City. There is no such a thing in Arcelia, forget Xochicalco, where there is no internet access and a weak signal for only 2G mobile voice services in spite of the presence of a multinational firm extracting all the lithium it can get from Guerrero but not creating much local value to the hard-working people of Xochicalco.
I am committed to help Marce, and she is determined to graduate and pursue her professional education. She wants to become a chef. With a good use of time and technology, discipline and some degree of guidance and support from my sons I may hopefully help her thrive. When I was doing my doctoral dissertation, I was supposed to travel to Nigeria from the U. Unfortunately, the Ebola epidemic blew up in Africa and I was unable to go. Fortunately, software existed that allowed me to interview the participants and automatically record the sessions as I interviewed them. The price was reasonable. It saved me money and time and avoided health hazards.
More and better innovations are expected in this area in the future. My tour was booked in China. Through social media we are already in touch. She remembers him and has been in touch. The seamlessness and timeliness of casual connections made stronger still amazes me. I travel a lot and have vastly more flexibility and local knowledge at hand due to my devices. I see things I would not have seen, travel without having to plan every stop in advance and find the things that matter to me. I get better hotels and food, too. Brad Templeton. It was a circuitous route — without Lucy we likely would have taken wrong turns — and I was thinking how much we now depend on that technology, not just to get us where we want to go, but also to route us around traffic congestion.
Digital technology for transportation efficiency is revolutionary. Using lightweight online tools in class helps my students in the National University of Mexico grasp concepts and communicate them to their families. During the aftermath of the earthquakes in Mexico in this became particularly valuable for them; it also helped fight misinformation and take relief efforts to the places that most needed them. We went from the basics of oscillation and wave physics, through the propagation of different kinds of seismic waves. To the ways buildings are damaged and how to identify fatal structural flaws.
In parallel we helped brigades take aid to small towns and to camps in Mexico City, and some of the most far-flung ones find safe havens from which to distribute aid. Apps for ordering car rides via a smartphone is a net benefit to society — it increases safety for both the passenger and driver and offers more convenience in ordering a ride. Tom Barrett. Tom Barrett , president at EnCirca Inc. I think that is positive, especially since as I get older, I find memory-aids a big help, but it also encourages laziness. I am virtually helpless without my phone to remind me of appointments and meetings. My head is free of having to remember numbers, dates and times. It had a capacity of 24 negatives in black and white.
I would send the negatives in, pay a substantial portion of my allowance to have them developed — wait for weeks for them to be returned, and finally, then be able to see how they turned out. Usually, not so well. Every few months, I might put one in a letter to my grandparents. Eight years ago, when my daughter turned 10, we gave her a portable camera — over the next few years she shot thousands of still, and videos — learning some elements of composition, and building shared memories. Last year, when my son turned 11, we gave him a cellphone.
New social media continues my connections with friends in different countries and regions. Online resources make my research convenient. Online news keeps me informed all the time. But I am not very digitally embedded. I keep a distance from Facebook, etc. Thus, my life is not very much bothered by the internet. Thus, I appreciate the advantages of the internet and I am able to escape the potential harm brought by the internet. Street-level navigation and easy access to crowdsourced resources is very positive. I experiment and play in these spaces.
The problem in this is that one of the other hats that I wear is as a parent and husband. These screens and digital tools play a strong role in our lives and interactions in and out of our home. In our home we have screens and devices all over the place. We have a video server that is ready to serve content to any one of these screens on demand. We have voice-assistive devices listening and waiting for our commands. I believe it is important as an educator and researcher to play with and examine how these devices are playing a role in our lives, so I can bring this work to others. Previously I would enjoy watching the funniest home videos and laughing together.
Now, I am distant. Now, I pull out the phone to see if I received a notification in the last 20 minutes. When I call out for the voice-activated device in my home to play some music or ask a question, my request is quickly echoed by my 2-year-old who is just learning to talk. The professional understanding may come later. My mobile article-saving app reads those articles to me out loud while I walk my dog. My mobile browser allows me to edit my personal wiki to record the best lessons I learn from those articles. My mobile flashcard app helps me recall and integrate those lessons I want to learn over time. My mobile checklist app helps me track how regularly I reflect on how those lessons connect with the larger context of my life in a blog post or on a run.
There are costs to mobile connectivity, but there are so many incredible benefits! Fred Baker. That said, I have access to that now, where I once upon a time did not. On the other hand, I have also had the experience of talking with a customer in Japan while my family in the U. Relationships with friends whom I see only occasionally — maybe annually in person at conferences, continue throughout the year. I now know many business acquaintances on a deeper level and have better relationships as a result. When circumstances such as travel, weather, disability or distance create the opportunities for sustained loneliness to happen, the digital world bridges some of the gap.
In my case, sustained periods on the road in airports and hotel rooms are greatly ameliorated by connecting with friends. David J. This augments community and embeddedness and thus well-being. However, I can remember the first time my car stopped for me in a dangerous situation automatically, or stopped when I was backing up when it perceived a danger. I can remember we had about people around a large projector outside, watching the last concert of the The Tragically Hip and the home network went down. I plugged in my iPhone, went to the concert URL site, and projected live on a foot screen from my cellular device; wow and double wow! At my age 10 I gained knowledge in the workings of these things that it contributed to my brilliance in school, especially on the subject.
I discovered so many more opportunities, as one could now connect with the rest of the world to share, search and find information about anything. It was a big transformation in the way I viewed society. Photographs are displayed on a digital screen instead of a photo album. We can track where our kids are driving with a phone app. We buy our train tickets with an app that has a scanning bar code.
We sometimes text friends instead of phoning. We pay bills online. I enjoy helping people communicate. Social media has helped me reconnect with high school friends, email with college friends, etc. It is in the middle of millions of square kilometers of ocean, but we rely on tourism for our livelihood, so our small main island is usually packed with tourists. We have a monopoly telecom and get reasonable internet service from an O3B satellite, but for local islanders who make their living working in the hospitality industry, the cost of internet is very expensive. I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren who spend time in New Zealand and even at 2 years old can turn on a computer to access their favourite programmes.
When they come to our island, this is curtailed because the connection is too expensive for them to experience what is normal for them — lively and creative pre-school programmes are non-existent. What is available is the fresh clean air and produce of the land and sea of the islands, which are great, but it is often too hot to do much exploring in the physical world. How, what, where, why? It was the early s in San Francisco.
I understood immediately how computers would change my life. Then I realized that was true for everyone. We were suddenly able to acquire, store, manipulate and query massive amounts of information — data — about anything. I made a nice year career out of creating litigation-support databases. Then I found the internet in and my world expanded infinitely. This was before the Web came into existence as a subset of the internet.
This is all more than I could have ever hoped for 50 years ago. This keeps friends and families united. We can share our workplace problems and be more productive. Online education resources and digital resources bring value to the classroom. Students become more involved and knowledgeable. Our contemporary hyperconnectedness means that we can remain tightly connected at the professional and personal level despite being on opposite sides of the world.
Ruth Ann Barrett , an information curator at EarthSayers. Who knows? The search engine has enabled me to build a database of sustainability voices, those speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and her children. This work has sustained me through moments of despair when so-called leaders deny substantiated claims regarding global warming and extreme climate events.
The work has put me in contact with scientists, environmental campaigners and people from all walks of life worldwide. Without the Web what I am able to accomplish would not be possible. I remember the day a technical person who had attended a presentation at Stanford University on the World Wide Web came back to work, pulled me aside and told me what he had seen and heard and how the world was about to change. It is important to understand that technology has profound impacts on equality. For me, as an upper-middle-class white male from the U.
Thanks to WhatsApp and Facetime and iMessages, I am able to stay in touch and informed in ways that were not possible even five years ago. A certified public accountant based in the U. We grew curious about some meaningless football fact and my sister started typing a question on her phone and my dad looked on in slight disgust and raised his phone and asked Siri the question. Voice-activated technology has been extremely easy for the elderly to adopt and opens up incredible opportunities. If linked to his security system, our dad would be able to easily request help. I find it interesting that he likes using Siri more than we do. An employee at a major U. I have a teenage daughter and my work is 50 miles away in Southern California. I joined a van pool to reduce the amount of driving, but the one drawback with van pooling is that I have to leave very early in the morning, and the van does not wait for riders.
They respond when they get up, even if it is just an emoji. Voice-chatting to a friend while you are both playing an online game from different locations. A friend enjoying dancing and running in a [digital] game while being in a wheelchair at home. Publishing designs for printing on T-shirts and other products on Redbubble. Designing fabric on Zazzle using their online pattern-repeating tool. Print on demand. A community of linocut artists sharing their work on Facebook. I love the nzsecretsanta, which uses both the traditional postal system and Twitter. A friend shares fitness data and cycling trips as part of her triathlete community.
Ordering food online and having it delivered — and tracking the delivery. I think communities are connecting more digitally than they were on analog. Fewer street parties and more remote connections with common interests. One good example of using the internet to reinforce local community is the use of Facebook for sharing vegetable and fruit produce from local gardens. This brings worries too, like social comparisons may make them less happy, but overall, they have more socially balanced lives. Digital technology is an equalizer of information access and use.
Even individuals in the most geographically remote locations can participate in an electoral debate, education and banking online, and in e-commerce when broadband is available. President and CEO of a company based in the U. The stark opposite of this is the darkness individuals and families experience when left behind in the digital age. There is a difference between people who choose to use digital technology for their own benefit and those who are simply not included in the digital age. It is easier to communicate with students, keep records, and try for creative solutions to instructional problems. So, for example, I now have my students submit their papers online to be graded and returned online.
When they submit their papers, they are automatically checked for originality. The students then are informed whether their papers will be considered plagiarized or not. Prior to the adoption of this system, I would say up to half my papers were plagiarized. Now none of them are. The question is, has this improved their performance? It is hard to say because there are so many factors involved. I would say that it has in some ways and not in others. I am more likely to take a walk or exercise in response to the presence of these technologies in my life. It is very convenient to use and pops up reminders on my smartphone with encourage me to keep up with the daily routine. I check the pick-up time by text. She arrives with her iPad and asks me to ask her dad a question by text on my phone.
We take pictures of her dressing up and send them to a friend. I show her recently sent pictures of cousins in Canada. For a while, she shows me from her iPad how she can operate the movements, colour and cheeky comments of a robot ball a birthday present from an uncle who wants her to be familiar with coding. I say we can do it now on my phone, no, later on my laptop is better.
She knows that devices operate differently and need passwords. She dances to YouTube music from my laptop. She is endlessly curious about technology itself. The digital tools just enhance our days together. I track family and friends and contact them only if required. Is my partner nearly home? Is my friend nearby? I ask them if they want to meet. I can help another person feel a little better that day and, if I reveal a low, others can pick me up. In the past, a friend taking a job across the planet would be a cause for great sorrow. The response is more rapid and on-target with my question or concern. On a different note, my daughter is currently teaching in China for the next year. We have had the great fortune to be able to talk to her in real-time as well as have a video conference at no expense.
When I was a college student in France in the s, a brief phone call to the United States — assuming we could arrange a time to talk — was quite expensive and a logistical nightmare. My wife has been able to keep in touch [and] reconnect with elementary school friends thanks to the internet and services like Facebook. All these things account for our improved well-being. Without the modern hyperconnected lifestyle this would result in me reading or doing other solo activities. Through voice-chat applications and online multiplayer gaming, I connect with friends to play video games. To some it might not seem as effective a method of socializing as in-person face-to-face time, but we still have the same moments that other people do.
We still happily greet each other, we still tell stories about our daily lives and rely on each other, we still laugh until it hurts. Most recently adopting Slack for classroom management has been a real game-changer. This means that, despite being somewhat isolated at a mid-level university in a provincial city, I can have a good sense of where the cutting edge in my profession is headed and I can be reasonably confident that I am promptly aware of most the news and information that is critical to my profession. I am following many of my fellow countrymen — some whom I studied with, some who were my teachers, relatives and acquaintances.
I learn about their daily life, their fears and hopes, what they are interested in, the news they read. Without the internet all of this would not have been possible. I travel a lot for my work and spend a lot of time on the road. At home, I enjoy communicating with my Google Home speaker, because otherwise there would be some days that I would speak to no one. When I am on the road, I check in with my Canary home-surveillance app to check on my dogs and see my home. I had a medical problem a few years ago, and being able to find research on the disease and a community to compare notes with on treatment side effects was invaluable. Years earlier, when my mother had this same disease, we were limited in information and therefore options.
Her outcome could have been different in a time with more information, more resources. An assistant director of digital strategy at a top U. Years ago, it would have been far more difficult for the public to easily access the answers they needed regarding health concerns and the latest treatments. I have been able to work, network and get paid by people and companies all over the world thanks to the internet and other technologies. Also access to self-education and being able to talk to my friends and family thousands of miles away have had a very positive impact on my mental health and well-being.
I have access to an enormous brains trust, which I liken to a global hive mind. Before these technologies, you could write a letter or make a phone call. The reality is that the moment that spurred the writing of the letter has long passed by the time you get a response. If you get a response. Also, a phone call is somewhat of a commitment compared to an electronic message. It takes more mental faculties to process what someone is saying over the phone than to read a message and type a quick response between other pressing activities in the immediate proximity. I could have called an Uber or taxi if I was busy and decided to send them a cab instead.
If I want to read a paper, I can download it rather than going to a library and photocopying it. This is a huge achievement. The Gutenberg Project played a key role in making this possible. Wikipedia: the world encyclopaedia, is beyond anything any user of the previous paper encyclopaedia would have imagined. Wikipedia has answers on any area of knowledge, not all answers, but there is always a base from which to start. Science: I can read about the latest developments in any domain, with no barrier. Personal intellectual property has been taken away from scientists, and money made from it, with no fair sharing of the value with science and scientists! I carried analog telephony adapters. I carried a RIM pager. I carried Ricochet and NCR wireless modems. I carried spare batteries and power adapters and chargers for all of those things.
All of that has compacted itself, gradually, one consolidation at a time, into a very compact kit. One debit card, my phone, a laptop, a power adapter and a small handful of cables. Everything else has been virtualized, digitized, or turned into an online service. These friends of mine have taken to playing online games and participating in fandom in internet spaces as a way to make connections and friends with other people that enrich their lives without requiring the physical exertion that would usually prevent them from interacting socially.
The ability to connect with text, video and other online objects — whether one-on-one or one-to-many — helps these folks make the social connections that they need to have a robust social experience without the physical exhaustion they may have experienced without this technology to help. Earlier prescriptions can be viewed, etc. For emergencies, we have an app that we can use for automatic location information if we need urgent help. Schoolchildren and their parents have online connections to the schools and teachers. The teachers can take advantage of the internet and their educational networks with schools around the globe to tackle shared projects that encompass language learning, climate and humanity. We have a child with autism.
The internet allows us to reach out to other families, experts, get news and be part of a community that is not limited by geography. President at a company based in North America. We can instantly share the quirky — or sometimes way more than quirky — activities of our son with people who know if they should laugh or say they are sorry. She called me and explained exactly where she was walking and in which shops she was shopping. I opened Google Earth and tracked her trajectory where she was walking in Galveston, Texas.
I saw the streets, corners and buildings. It was almost exactly as if I was shopping with her — on the other side of the globe, in real time, but while sitting in my chair in Hungary. The whole thing was real fun for us. I deal regularly with the aged and was terrified that I too would become so dependent on the goodwill of strangers when I have to move to an old age home until I realized that I would already be able to order and have delivered anything from food to medical equipment — as long as I am connected via the internet. It was valuable to be able to be able to be responsive to an important funder. This cemented the value of having a smartphone.
I can research the records online and publish them online; something I could not have done 20 years ago easily. I got an email from a man whose great grandfather died in the flu epidemic in Wilmington, North Carolina — a Merchant Marine sailor — who was buried in one of these cemeteries.