Do I have to update?

Devices have been  updating frequently in recent times. It can be very annoying when you are absorbed in something and you will click the remind me later button or the device will just take over, bang everything shut and update anyway. The updates are important and it is both critical to update the operating system and the software of any device you are running. Mostly it is for security protection . This in a world where we know our personal information is no longer considered to be something worth protecting. The amount of data breaches being reported is beyond acceptable and ought never happen. We need to to be clear we want our data protected .

Updates provide security and patch vulnerabilities in a device. The updates often enhance the software too so you are running on the latest version. Older versions will often use more system resources. The world is constantly trying to make everything more battery efficient since we seem to be stuck with that. Updates are better done when you are plugged into power since ti will reduce the toll on your battery and the updates will happen more quickly. Wifi ebbs and flows and can be unreliable. Even so, a big Windows 10 update will take its time even if you are plugged into the mains supply.

If you want to explore the reasons for updating just to remind yourself it really is important then please follow these links:

Why so many Windows updates?  

Stay smart online – software updates

Why update – MacAffee

Why should I update?

One minute on the internet

internet 60 seconds

There used to be a saying something along the lines that a successful person knew how to use 5 minutes wisely. If you look at this infographic , then we could well reduce that to one minute. It is mindboggling what happens in one minute on the internet. Since 2017 this has all increased dramatically. We are more connected that ever and, clearly, we want to be. There is no doubt that technology is a part of our daily lives in a big way  and that it is largely to do with connecting with others. Lori Lewis who is very involved with radio broadcasting and its reach has supplied these graphics and discusses them on allaccess. People are using multiple devices and the royal wedding  recently demonstrated that clearly. As device and internet users we are plugged in , constantly connected , commenting, conversing and researching. People can reject this way of being but clearly , with the increase in that behaviour, it is now who we are. It is not doing. It is being. We want o share our thoughts and ideas. We want to engage with others. We want to act and react. We can do that across the planet. How that evolves is up to us and it’s all about collaboration rather than competition.

Top 10 free Windows applications

These applications have been around for a while so they have been peer and community reviewed pretty thoroughly. Most of them are cross platform and they are all high performing applications . Some of them have a pro paid version but all of them are very functional as free applications. I am always using Gimp and I did used to use Scribus .This video reminded me to take another look at it. These applications are very much for 2018 so  , if you have time, take a look. Open Office is good to have loaded if you want an alternative to cloud services. It doesn’t have the high end graphics and presentation capabilities of the Apple and Microsoft alternatives but it works really well. Libre Office is also free and equally as good.

Pay attention to colour

aspergers syndrome colourImage: Aspergers syndrome – creating a supportive environment

 

Technology is colour. Screens are colour. Our life is very much visual. It is important to pay attention to the colours you use when you are creating screens for people to look at because colour enhances meaning, reaction, engagement and mood. There is currently a belief you need white areas to help the absorption of content. When it comes to reading the belief is that text should no longer be justified and have straight edges. I’d say that is for people whose reading skills are not optimum. People with good reading skills manage straight edges and dense text very effectively because they are taking in the information by reading downwards more than across. Jagged edges interrupt that downward flow as do areas of white space. Do your own research for your target audience. What do they react to better? What do they manage better? Can you offer visual options? Colour, though, is central to getting information across. Understanding Graphics has 10 good reasons why you should be paying attention to colour. .

Social media policies and guidelines for teachers

social media guidelines DECDWe are at the stage now where the various education departments around the country have come up with social media policies and guidelines for teachers around Australia. Every so often, as was the case recently, teachers discuss what the policies and guidelines are. This is not because they are ignorant or lax in their approach but because we have different guidelines and policies for different states and then PLNs for teachers can see different approaches which are acceptable in one state but not in another. As a professional body teachers probably need a national set of policies and guidelines which are set by AITSL and ACARA. If we have national professional standards for teachers, social media should be a critical part of this since we are in the age of technology. These policies and guidelines need to be reviewed at least twice a year because things change so quickly on the internet. Underpinning all of this needs to be the safety and security of all who are involved with social media and then parents need to know and understand what is occurring so they can raise their concerns or ideas easily.

The QR code for the South Australian guidelines which is on their brochure is not currently pointing to an active link. This is not surprising given DECD has just undergone a big site refurbishment and to ensure every link is working is a long, tedious process. A big, corporate site needs to constantly attend to link checking and even though there are link checkers we probably need a button on the landing page for a broken link which allows us to notify any site of a malfunction in their links. One of the joys of website care in 2018.

You can find all the state policies and guidelines on the federal site for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

The South Australian Policy is available as a download here.

The South Australian Social Media Guidelines for DECD are here.

The South Australian Consent to use media and creative work is here.

The documents all provide some very useful information and links out to other sites which will inform practice and decision making around social media. It is becoming very complex, though, and a set of national guidelines and policies which apply to all states would probably be helpful so that practice is consistent across the country  .

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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