As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is that I lately realized that my phone may have been hacked into. To protect my own privacy (if there is any) I won't go in to specific details, but I would like to share some of this experience.
It is truly a great feeling to know that with my phone (iPhone) that I could stay connected to my family here and abroad. We can connect through messaging, various apps, and direct calling. A phone can also act as a safety device, when we are walking alone, or in a case of emergency. There are numerous uses of a smart phone, from checking emails, setting reminders, alarms, music, the list goes on. It's benefits and safety features are very comforting. But what happens when we do perceive that we have been hacked? This device acts in a total reversal. The feeling that our own personal privacy is being peered into, knowing someone is tracking your each and every move is a very very frightening experience. All the benefits and the safety features have become a device to track and record behavior. They have now become a mechanism for fear and human tracking.
As much as I did take the steps to ensure that this was not the case, there is still a huge possibility that this is happening. You may ask why don't you switch phones? Well here is the dilemma of locking yourself into a contract. There is no way out unless you are willing to pay the fees for cancellation...... there is no opt out. Contracts cannot be transferred or cancelled until the terms of the contracts have ended. The simple irony is as a customer how is this affecting our satisfaction? Can we as customers be satisfied by this?
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone it was his mission to deliver a product that aimed to serve the customer with the highest form. 8 years ago the iPhone was invented, as Steve Jobs introduced this, his keynote is now regarded as the best keynotes that Apple has ever delivered. As the years have progressed with the changes to the executive, now Tim Cook and a Knighted Sir Johnathon Ive as chief designer. I question and wonder where the mission of Apple is headed. This product continues to offer new designs, services, and apps, but are these going to improve our services as a customer? Or are customers being fooled into ownership of new tracking features.
I recently heard of Apple Pay, an app that can be downloaded from the app store. Download it and you can use it as a mobile wallet. Pay for everything through this service. This app is being marketed to the customer with the idea that if you download this app, you will be free of credit cards, there will be no reason to have these in your wallet anymore. It makes sense to use phrases such as these to market the product, but again this will only serve as a another measure to track consumer spending, and habits. Then there is the idea of a chip, finger prints etc. These are details that we as consumers have to consider. After saying this I have to admit we have truly loved Apple, especially because of Steve Jobs. We remained loyal. But now we feel hurt because our loyalty has been transgressed because of this hacking experience. This experience has alerted me not only as a consumer but also from the lens as a parent and educator.
This experience led me to think about our children and question their safety not just on their iPhone but also the internet. I am sure that these types of questions and thoughts have arisen for many individuals and organizations such as schools. There are firewalls built into the iMac, yet there is no guarantee of the elimination of a virus or the potential of being hacked. For example with regards to the iMac you will know that you are potentially being hacked into when you see an error message appear on the screen. This message will tell you to click it. I warn you don't (because I did). Also there is another "thing" that appears saying it will clean up the iMac, don't ever install this. Having learned the hard way I share these experiences with you. My concerns continue......
These concerns lend themselves nicely to the environment of the classroom. Students are using iPad's. Privacy and security will always be an issue especially as in most cases these iPad's in a classroom are linked to one Apple ID. Students can view each others work, this can be great for collaborative purposes, but what about the question of plagiarism or academic integrity? These questions force us to place student's cyber-security above and beyond the mechanism of learning. Can we compromise safety over learning?
These questions have forced me to think of how we can continuously use technology but with care and consideration for safety. I think as educators it is crucial to think about which type of technology will be used for learning, because this is also a modelling.
Google for the classroom
Many educators have promoted Google for the classroom because it is much more secure. Whilst offering the benefits of group work and collaboration, its features are restricted to the users within a group. Teachers can become Google Certified teachers, they can learn these technologies and continue to be passionate about teaching
I also view this as an opportunity for Facebook to diversify its product and think about entering the market for educators. The truth is that students / children began using Facebook for social purposes. The social aspects such as self esteem and using this platform to degrade and demise have happened, and continue to do so. Part of the problem to this evolution is that these platforms were placed in the hands of Generation Y. They learned for themselves and coped for themselves, at the point of early entry, adults were not willing to get on board and learn these platforms.
However, students are already using Facebook to create groups so that they can collaborate with others for group work and plan events. How about if we began to develop features that can enhance and enrich learning environments? With the latest investments from Mark Zukerberg and the fact that his wife Priscilla Chan was a teacher it only makes sense for them to think about these ideas.
After taking the time to think through and reflect, I wonder how would Apple's product line, or mission be the same of differ if Steve Jobs was alive today?
Dedication: The words of this being are dedicated to Steve Jobs. You are loved, we miss you. 1955 - 2011.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand written on May 25th and amended on May 28th 2016. The thoughts with regards to the iPhone are my own personal experience.
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Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)