The last couple of weeks have been really rough, busy beyond belief, not to mention sick, so I haven’t been following up much on much on my posts, which is too bad but something that could not be avoided. My mind has continued to work even if my body has not always been capable so there have been many things that I have been thinking about, but today I think I’ll just concentrate on a couple of things that are updates of a kind of my previous posts.
I had an interesting conversation with a student about a week and a half a go regarding a couple of e-mails she received. To me they were quite obviously phishing messages masquerading as e-mails from her ‘bank’. It was interesting that she didn’t really check much before clicking on them, and in this one case, I will say at least the filter was there to block her access. When she asked me about them I was able to point out some of the obvious clues that made it obvious that it was a phishing message. I even showed her how to look at the url address that the link was pointed to and show that it was definitely not her bank’s website. It was an interesting discussion with a student who was encountering these things just as she was about to finish grade 12. Hopefully the advice I gave her will stay with her, but I did find it interesting that if not for the filter she might very well have gone on those phishing sites before she would have come to me with her questions.
The other thing I was going to talk about was what I was playing with to get this photo uploaded. It’s called TagGalaxy, which I’ve mentioned previously but I am now more skilled at actually using and posting pictures. What I really like about it is the fact that it is all visual.
When you reach the front page you can enter pretty much anything and as long as it shows up as a tag in Flickr you will be taken to a wonderful galaxy that shows your search in the centre and a galaxy of associated tags that look like planets, each one of which you can use to further refine your search.
When you have clicked down as far as you want to go click on the planet in the centre of the galaxy and it will zoom you into a planet that it populates with pictures.
TagGalaxy is a really useful way to collect pictures for all sorts of projects. It also represents an opportunity to teach students about creative commons licensing and what it means to properly cite a source. I have used it in my Social Studies class where I had the students send me the links of the pictures that they found that met the requirements of one of my projects. It was fairly successful, although every time I use it I find out something new about how it its used. The only disappointment I have had so far is that I have not found an easy way to search for creative commons photos without putting it in as the first tag which makes searching your real interest much more difficult. Visual tools like this are what makes the Internet and web 2.0 so incredibly powerful.