Plinky said, “Name three advantages that kids born these days have over older generations. What about disadvantages?
1) The internet. I can hardly imagine what it would have been like to have ready access to so much information at an early age!
2) Ubiquitous connectivity. Even for those like my daughter who don’t remember a time without the internet, being able to connect everywhere is a new thing that kids born now will take for granted.
3) Constant communication. These kids are unlikely to ever walk five miles to the nearest gas station if they run out of gas, because they’ll have cell phones so they can call for help. There are fewer and fewer places without cell coverage, too.
As for disadvantages:
1) They’ll never know a world without surveillance. They’ll be monitored constantly from cradle to grave, officially or unofficially.
2) There are fewer and fewer wild places where they can go to get away and just be kids, running around without a phone ringing or an adult monitoring them in some way. I spent many hours in the woods as a child, but it wasn’t safe for my daughter to do the same thing.
3) The same internet that brings them such marvelous information brings them into contact with more people as children than their grandparents ever knew, thus increasing the likelihood that they’ll encounter predators. Without careful monitoring, they can all too easily become victims.
A few weeks ago, my PC was somehow infected with some nasty thing that tried to turn it in to a spambot via driveby download. I had the current version of Symantec AntiVirus running, set to the absolute highest paranoia levels and updated daily. I also had Spybot Search & Destroy running, again, updated daily and carefully configured. I had both do full system scans every day, as well as keeping them memory-resident at all times.
Neither program ever gave so much as a peep. In fact, when I found the original file that was to blame and checked it manually with Symantec AV, it passed as though it were as innocent as a babe. If I hadn’t had the antivirus software configured to show me an icon in the systray when it was checking outgoing mail, who knows when I would have realized that the system was compromised? As it was, I knew within seconds. (Hey, I notice “outgoing mail” when my email program isn’t even open.) I ended up pulling out the ethernet cable to stop communications ’til the system was clean.
Continue reading “Malware Woes”
So anyway, I meant to post about those Online Writing Labs (OWLs) that many colleges have put online.
Their contents and quality vary widely from one college to the next. They’re intended to help students write their papers at whatever time they get around to doing them, wherever they happen to be. Good ones include online access to reference tools such as dictionaries, thesauruses, and grammar usage guides, a link to the school’s library, any formatting standards established by his school in particular, and sometimes more specific material depending on the type of student expected to be using the OWL.
Unfortunately, some schools have slapped a list of links up on a set and called it an OWL. I won’t be recommending any of those pitiful little things.
Yes, it’s perfectly fine for others to use these sites. They aren’t behind the school’s firewalls, so they are a resource that has been generously shared with the public. If you find one especially helpful, consider sending an email to the site’s authors/editors, thanking them for their efforts