Tracking


This was something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time but just have elected not to post about it until now.  We’ve all heard about the "invisible web" and tracking and privacy, etc.  Right?  Today, I think we’ve just resigned ourselves to acknowledging that this is the price of being online.

How many times do you visit a blog or a webpage and see all of the fancy banners and advertising?  Annoying, to be sure, but it can be more than that.  I read this article this morning and it reinforced the fact that I had installed Ghostery in my Chrome browser a while back.  Every time that I visit a website that has a tracker or beacon I get a little popup that lets me know what was trying to track my browsing. 

I then visited one of the websites that I frequent regularly for ideas.  I’ll bet that you frequent it as well.  It is loaded with all kinds of banners which have all kinds of trackers attached to them.  Here was the popup that was produced.

Now, the resource might be something as simple as just counting the number of visitors.  But, does it do more than that?  You do the research and make your own decision.  In the meantime, you might want to download and install Ghostery in your browser and see just what is happening that you may not know about.

I used to have banners, etc. on this blog but removed them a long time ago when I saw that the embed codes also included tracking devices.  Even now, if you visit here, there are four trackers, presumably from WordPress.com. 

Short of not going on the internet, there isn’t much that you can do about these things.  However, Ghostery does its best to block them as they come along.  Just be advised that there may end up being websites that don’t work properly if you’re blocking things!

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Revolutionize?


Four Ways QR Codes Could Revolutionize Education” was the title of the article that appeared in my Zite reader this morning.  I tucked it away in my Diigo account after a quick read for a second, longer read later.  Then, the lawn needed cutting so I got a chance to think about the article again.

I think that I must have a different concept of what “revolutionize” means than the author.  I’ve been intrigued with QR Codes and have shared some of my learning in this blog as I dug into the concept.  I can see some uses for the codes.

  • In classrooms where students have difficulties keying long URLs into a browser, scanning a code could quickly point the student to an internet or other address;
  • In a trophy cabinet, scanning a code could send you to a repository of pictures, movies, stories, etc. outlining the winning that went into obtaining the trophy;
  • Certainly, anytime that you can get rid of mounds of paper and point people with devices to electronic resources has a nice feel to it;
  • You can pack a bunch of information into a small area;

But revolutionary?

I’m not so sure that I’m ready to use my R to call the suggestions in the article revolutionary.

  • Digital Portfolios;
  • Connecting with Parents;
  • Engaging Students;
  • Easing the Transition into College

The above are important things that should be foremost in everyone’s mind already anyway.  I really can’t see the leap that having a QR Code would make that would revolutionize anything except perhaps the clerical work.  I see it as a parallel to using tinyurl.  It’s nice; it’s convenient; it saves a great deal of keying; it’s accurate.  But revolutionary?

I’m not ready to make that leap.  Are you?

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OTR Links for 09/04/2011


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.