The NetSafe Conference 2008 got off to a fine start (Rydges Lakeland Resort) with a wide range of keynote speakers and presenters from all over the Globe. Now at the close of Day Two I have a clearer view of the issues.
All speakers certainly know their stuff and I am impressed with their commitment to the issues. Among the most energetic of them all was Jeffrey Cole with his keynote on general aspects of the development of the Internet, ' What Are We Really Talking About?'. Points from his presentation are:
Dial-up as a barrier to logging on to the Internet so the advent of Broadband was a major accelerator in the promotion of the use of the Internet.
Web 3.0 on the horizon and will be with us in 5 to 8 years - his vision of Web 3.0 is where there will be a truly free platform for the flow of information.
Newspapers (apart from their odious reputation for a large carbon footprint) will disappear in 20 - 25 years.
Teenage use of the web and related technologies were key players in changing the emphasis of the use of social networking service tools simply because of the age groups already using some of them.
Cole sees the film industry being diminished by TV (and is already suffering because of it) but that TV will be diminished through the preferential use of the Internet.
Other general themes I picked up from the Conference:
- specific issues to do with cyber-safety are not widely reflected in the content of the education curriculums in western countries and in some are not even mentioned as such.
- in one prominent university in New Zealand the topic of ICT (including issues to do with cyber- safety) was only an option in teacher education courses - a point that made me think of the implications of this for future teachers who will be educating our lifelong learners.
I haven't stopped thinking about both these last points for they seem to be cornerstones to an important means to assisting to address the issues from the teacher/school point of view. It was significant that when I raised the matter of the weight of these issues on two separate occasions, there was strong general agreement about the importance of them.
When I put a motion (and I put it on two separate occasions at different forums) that a recommendation should come from the Conference, there appeared to be a reluctance from the NetSafe facilitators to follow this through (nevertheless, I confirmed this morning 30/07/08 that NetSafe had approached representative from the Ministry of Education of New Zealand about the matter of curriculum content - good on them!)
I'm off to dinner. More to come tomorrow.