Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lives of Teachers: Public or Private?

This is my response to an excellent discussion, by Andy Losik, a fellow educator/blogger, on his blog, HCS Geektopia. Below, I have quoted a portion of his posting that relates to problems some teachers have with online content that they have used, developed and placed in their profiles, websites, blogs and other online media.

If you don't think people are really looking at your Facebook pages or Googling you, think again. Here is a blog post from talk show radio host Kim Komando instructing parents how to find all kinds of information about YOU!

A tv station in Arizona ran a November sweeps piece on what they found on Arizona teachers' social network pages. "Teachers Expose Private Lives" dug up all kinds on new hires across the state, told where and what they teach, and tried to confront many on air.

Unfortunately for some teachers, the damage was done a long time ago. People post stuff or make crazy decisions and end up paying for them every time a perspective employer runs their name through a search engine. That stuff just doesn't go away.

You have expanded on a critically important topic that can affect the lives of many teachers.

Having a teen who interacts online, along with myself, I have had some strange experiences that lead me to believe that we may have more to worry about than monitoring our own behavior.

There is a dangerous trend among spammers and SEO's of ill repute to hijack websites, profile pages and public pages of social networking sites such as twitter, jaiku and others.

A few of my friends found our tweets online with different names, and these were part of a dating service. One of my friends was so aghast that she made her tweets private, shared the information with her colleagues and gave some suggestions to combat these thieves. I am of the opinion that might deter some, but not the hard core identity thieves.

My take home story is that we need to educate our leaders, including administrators and parents, not to jump to conclusions without verification and appropriate safeguards (including hearings) for teachers or we will end up with a witch hunt on our hands in a time when we need good teachers.

Through appropriate education on this topic, communities can aggree on standards and determine which teachers are trying their best to do right. We can learn to root out cases of identity theft, overcome a social faux pas and weed out the teachers with real social/emotional issues.

Thanks for carrying on this valuable conversation;D

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes!

It seems that NASA and the European Space Administration did NOT say these new predictions by student are correct. It seems that NASA has already accounted for the orbits of the satellites in their collision calculations, so the 1:45,000 probability stands.

Schoolboy's asteroid-strike sums are wrong

German kid saw 1 in 450 chance of Apophis apocalypse

Published Wednesday 16th April 2008 11:06 GMT

There's only one problem with the story: the kid's sums are in fact wrong, NASA's are right, and the ESA swear blind they never said any different. An ESA spokesman in Germany told the Reg this morning: "A small boy did do these calculations, but he made a mistake... NASA's figures are correct."

It would appear that the intial article in the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, which says that NASA and the ESA endorsed Nico Marquardt's calculations, was incorrect. The story was picked up by German tabloids and the AFP news wire, and is now all over the internet.

because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach,
does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.

All in all, it seems there's no need to dust off the asteroid-busting space nukes just yet. ®

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Always Check Your Variables.

Apophis is even more likely to hit Earth, according to a young student and verified by NASA. As part of his entry in a science competition, Nico Marquardt determined that one variable had not been considered in the probability of a Earth/Apophis collision...satellite collision reseting the asteroid's trajectory.
clipped from


German schoolboy, 13, corrects NASA's asteroid figures: paper

This artist's rendition released by NASA shows an asteroid belt. A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported Tuesday, after spotting the boffins had miscalculated.(AFP/NASA-HO/File)
AFP/NASA-HO/File Photo:
This artist's rendition released by NASA shows an asteroid belt. A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected...

A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported Tuesday,

Nico Marquardt used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported.

NASA had previously estimated the chances at only 1 in 45,000 but told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that the young whizzkid had got it right.

The schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis running into one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029.

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