• Next week, I’ll be attending the 6th annual New Jersey GAFE summit. In addition to facilitating a few workshops, I’m also very honoured to have been invited to deliver the opening keynote at the event. My presentation, titled Developing critical literacies: What students need to know in a “fake news” world, addresses what I see as one of the key challenges facing educators today: preparing students to survive and thrive in our post-truth reality. In anticipation of this event, I’ve [...]

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    This post was co-written with Katia Hildebrandt and with the help of the professionals from bestwebsitehosting.ca. This week (June 5-11) we’ll be hosting a couple of events and activities related to digital citizenship as part of a series of DigCiz conversations. Specifically, we’d like to deepen the discussion around digital citizenship by asking how we might move from a model of personal responsibility (staying safe online) to one that takes up issues of equity, justice, and other [...]

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    Hey everyone – I’m really hoping that you can support the following with your direct contribution or by sharing this far and wide. Back in January of 2013, I initiated a massive open online course about edtech called #etmooc. It was an amazing experience for me, and perhaps most significantly, it introduced to me to a group of amazing, passionate individuals who have continued to learn and connect since the early days of the course. These individuals have not only been great supporters of [...]

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    This morning, I received a photo (found below – I added the watermark) from a catfishing victim. She received it from a scammer who had used many of my personal and professional photos to form an online, intimate relationship with her for the purpose of defrauding her out of money. The victim finally clued into the scam after already sending him thousands of dollars. While it may seem ridiculous to fall for such a scam, I receive hundreds of similar reports every year, and if you [...]

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    This post was written jointly with Katia Hildebrandt and also appears on her blog. Catfishing schemes, or romance scams, continue to plague social networking services. In fact, the issue has become so common that there’s a good chance that one of your recent “friend” requests actually came from a scammer versus someone who is actually interesting in pursuing a genuine friendship. Unfortunately, social networks on the whole seem content to turn a blind eye on the problem, despite the fact [...]

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    I received this email a few minutes ago (and a few hours after I noticed that my Facebook account was down). For the fourth time, Facebook has disabled my account because the company doesn’t believe I am who I say I am. Yes, apparently I’m the one with the fake account. Not “Obrien Gary Neil” or “Michael Walter” or “Nelson Colbert” or “Trofimov Sergei” or “Anne Landman” or “Dounas Mounir” or “Kyle W. [...]

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    Over the past week, I’ve had a number of people share articles with me related to Facebook’s testing of a new feature that is purported to alert Facebook users when it finds that someone is impersonating your account. Once the user is alerted, that user is then able to report the fraudulent account and pray that Facebook will take it down. However, given my 8 years of experience with this problem, I feel that I am qualified to say that this approach will simply not work for a [...]

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    I’ve written and spoken extensively about my problems with romance scammers, criminals who have used my photos (and the photos of many others) to create fake profiles and trick victims into sending them significant amounts of money. In my research, I’ve learned that many potential victims ask for a video chat with scammers as a way for them to prove their identities. In fact, participating in a video chat and then asking supposed suitors to perform particular actions on request [...]

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    r/NextSpace (Reddit)

    12 Mar 2016

    For a number of years, I’ve enjoyed using Reddit as a source for my daily reading. Reddit, often known as “the front page of the Internet,” is often where one can find stories and trends before they go viral in the mainstream. As well, because of the networking and conversational properties of the spaces, I’ve often mused about the potential of Reddit as a space where educational conversations might be hosted and shared. There are several education-related subreddits [...]

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    Yesterday, I received the following Facebook message: I posted this to my Facebook wall when I received it, and it was interesting to hear from several people who felt they might have been fooled had they received the same message. After nearly a decade of becoming familiar with the tricks of these scammers, I question just about every angle. While this was the first time that I have received a message like this, the motive for the message seemed obvious to me. A photo of me that verifies the [...]

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