This Is Your Brain on the Internet

We know where to find information — we just can’t remember it anymore.

The Earth has never witnessed a more seamless tool for knowledge-sharing than the internet. Word-of-mouth is a great way to send knowledge from one brain to another, and the internet allows us to do this with practically any source of information in an instant, from one side of the world to the other. But as Uncle Ben says in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Read

Advertisements
Posted in Internet, Knowledge | Tagged ,

The Best Private Search Engines — Alternatives to Google

Private search engines have seen huge growth over the past few years. Until recently, it was unthinkable that anyone could compete with Google in the search realm. However, there are now many smaller players in the search game that are growing rapidly. Google’s market share has declined from 78.7 percent in February 2017 to slightly below 70 percent in February 2018.

A few of these search engines, including DuckDuckGo and StartPage began as normal search engines with no privacy enhancements. However, after they realized the massive risk associated with storing so much data, they decided to take a different approach.

Read

Read also: Search Engines for Academic Research

Searching for Lost Knowledge in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Posted in Search engines | Tagged

Activism in the Social Media Age

As the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag turns 5 years old, a look at its evolution on Twitter and how Americans view social media’s impact on political and civic engagement.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which was first coined following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. In the course of those five years, #BlackLivesMatter has become an archetypal example of modern protests and political engagement on social media: A new Pew Research Center analysis of public tweets finds the hashtag has been used nearly 30 million times on Twitter – an average of 17,002 times per day – as of May 1, 2018.

Read

Posted in Activism, Social media | Tagged ,

Digital media use linked to behavioral problems in kids

Are children who spend lots of time using digital devices prone to psychiatric problems? A team of USC scientists says yes in a new study that appears today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Teens who are heavy users of digital devices are twice as likely as infrequent users to show symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the study finds. The association is persistent as researchers tracked nearly 2,600 teenagers for two years.

Read

Posted in Children, Digital media | Tagged ,

Smartphones and Cognition: A Review of Research

While smartphones and related mobile technologies are recognized as flexible and powerful tools that, when used prudently, can augment human cognition, there is also a growing perception that habitual involvement with these devices may have a negative and lasting impact on users’ ability to think, remember, pay attention, and regulate emotion. The present review considers an intensifying, though still limited, area of research exploring the potential cognitive impacts of smartphone-related habits, and seeks to determine in which domains of functioning there is accruing evidence of a significant relationship between smartphone technology and cognitive performance, and in which domains the scientific literature is not yet mature enough to endorse any firm conclusions. We focus our review primarily on three facets of cognition that are clearly implicated in public discourse regarding the impacts of mobile technology – attention, memory, and delay of gratification – and then consider evidence regarding the broader relationships between smartphone habits and everyday cognitive functioning. Along the way, we highlight compelling findings, discuss limitations with respect to empirical methodology and interpretation, and offer suggestions for how the field might progress toward a more coherent and robust area of scientific inquiry.

Read

Posted in Cognition, Smartphone | Tagged ,

The Cognition Crisis

Anxiety. Depression. ADHD. Dementia. The human brain is in trouble. Technology is a cause — and a solution.

Our lives on this planet have improved in so many amazing ways over the last century. On average, we are now healthier, more affluent and literate, less violent and longer living. Despite these unprecedented positive changes, clear signs exist that we are in the midst of an emerging crisis — one that has not yet been recognized in its full breadth, even though it lurks just beneath the surface of our casual conversations and swims in the undercurrents of our news feeds. This is not the well-known crisis that we’ve induced upon the earth’s climate, but one that is just as threatening to our future. This is a crisis of our minds. A cognition crisis.

REad

Posted in Cognition, Technology | Tagged ,

Network visualisations show what we can and what we may know

In 1928 Jacob Levy Moreno, a Vienna-trained psychiatrist who had recently emigrated to New York, developed an innovative way of identifying ‘at risk’ children. He analysed social patterns at the State Training School for Girls and the Riverdale Country School by asking students who their friends were, and charting their answers. The resulting graphs used geometric shapes to represent individuals and lines to indicate friendships: he called them sociograms. Noticing that two particular girls in the graph appeared isolated, he predicted that they would soon run away. They did.

Read

Posted in Networks | Tagged

Six or seven things Social Media can do for democracy

Social media often goes very wrong. Making it right requires a vision for how social media can help, not harm, society.

Social media doesn’t work the way we think it should. That’s the conclusion many people have come to in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s mining of Facebook data to build political profiles and sway elections. Perhaps the concerns go further back, to the election of a US president in 2016 who seems fueled by social media, the more polarizing and divisive the better. Or perhaps it was Brexit that broke you. Or a gunman “self-investigating” the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor, spurious accusations of crisis actors at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas and the amazingly inventive web of conspiracies the internet seems to engender. The cyberutopians have retreated, the creators of the modern internet are doing penance and we’re all social media critics now.

Read

Posted in Democracy, Social media | Tagged ,

Design Thinking to Ethical Technological Innovation

There is growing interest and importance for responsible research and innovation (RRI) among academic scholars and policymakers, especially, in relation to emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. It is also to be noted that, although the design thinking approach has been around since the 1960s, there is renewed interest in this approach to innovation with an increasing number of related publications over the last couple of decades. Furthermore, it is currently introduced in a number of schools and community projects. However, there is a gap in bridging design thinking approach to RRI and this chapter attempts to address this need.

This chapter aims to show that design thinking approach is potentially conducive to ethical (responsible) technological innovation especially within emerging and converging technologies, due to its emphasis on human-centered design and other core attributes such as empathy – although it poses many challenges to implement.

Read

Posted in Design thinking, Technological Innovation | Tagged , ,

Webinars as Active Learning Arenas

There is still a tendency for educators to use webinars as an online lecture hall, replicating the traditional one-to-many delivery of the physical classroom. This is unfortunate since most web-based communication platforms that are used for webinars today offer a wide range of tools and options for interaction and community building. This paper, based on a Nordic project that ran from 2014 to 2016, presents a wide range of activities, tools and methods to encourage greater audience participation in webinars and looks in particular at methods that allow the discussion to be extended beyond the restricted time frame of the actual synchronous webinar. A flipped classroom approach can allow participants to prepare for the webinar and allow the online event to focus on deeper discussion of the issues at hand. A successful webinar can also be the basis of a community of practice and we investigate a number of tools and methods that can facilitate this.

Read

Posted in Webinars | Tagged