A new report has found that millions of students had their personal data collected and online behaviors tracked by websites, applications and other educational programs. The programs did not have the student-users’ consent and in some cases allow third-party companies like advertisers access to the data.
International advocacy organization Human Rights Watch published their findings from an investigation they completed between March 2021 and August 2021. The investigation examined educational services that students, world-wide, used when learning went all online.
Human Rights Watch investigated 164 products used in 49 countries. They found 146 of them (89%) appeared to be engaging in data practices that infringed or even risked children’s rights. These practices included activity like monitoring or monitoring children without the students ‘or parents’ consent, the collected a range of personal data like identity, location, online activity and behavior and even information about family and friends.
HRW stated that children, parents and teachers were largely unaware of the risky behavior. However, they wanted to emphasize that even if anyone had been aware they likely would have had little choice but to use the apps as it was either log-on or be marked absent.
While many love Apple’s iOS mobile devices one frustration has been the inability to use your preferred mail or web browsing app. Now in iOS 15 Apple has released its grip, somewhat, on these items and will now allow you to set a different default mail or web browsing app.
For one to use another app for web browsing or email, the developer has to have updated their app to support the new feature on iOS. Users should make sure to check the App Store for an update to your favorite email or web app. After one knows the app will support it this is what one needs to do.
Open the Settings on your iPhone or iPad. When one finds the app they want to set to default, Google Chrome or Microsoft Outlook for example, select the appropriate option: Default Browser or Default Email App. Select the correct option Default Browser App or Default Email App. Then one should pick from the list of available apps on the next screen. After this, back out of settings.
Now if one clicks a link or email app their preferred app will handle the job instead of the iOS default.
Google Lens seems to be a item to have. It is available through other Google apps, such as Google Assistant, Google Photos, some camera apps, Android devices, in Google Photos on iOS and in the Google app on iOS. The apps it is on will show it as four rounded corners with a dot in the middle. So let’s see exactly what it does.
Say you are out taking a walk and see a plant you and you don’t know what it is. If you take a picture of it, it will find it and bring up web results so you can see it. Same with animals. On iOS, if I open the Google app, click on the lens icon in the search bar, I can see it has accessed my camera (I had given previous permissions) and some dots appear. If I click on one of the dots, it will find the item I have clicked on.
If you hover over text that is in another language, you can touch the Google Translate button and it will translate to English for you.
Duolingo is a way to learn another language online…for free. You can do it through your browser or their app. They have Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (Beta), Dutch, Swedish, Irish, Turkish, Norwegian, Danish (we like cheese, please), Polish, Korean (Beta), Hebrew, Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese, Esperanto, Welsh, Ukrainian, Hungarian (Beta), Romanian, Swahili, High Valyrian (really?), Czech (Beta), Klingon (Beta). Indonesian, Hindi, and Arabic are also in the works and coming soon. These are listed in order of how many people are currently learning these languages. Spanish has the most with 120 million people learning.
Wait! Klingon? Yes they have Klingon in Beta with 40.6K learners already. All these languages are currently on the website but not all are available through their apps yet.
The languages offer different rates of learning. They start at Casual for 5 mins per day, then Regular is 10 mins per day, Serious level is 15 mins per day and Insane is 20 mins per day. They will gear the lessons to your time level. You will need to make a sign-in to keep your place. You can create a separate login or use Facebook or Google account login.
Microsoft Edge has come a long way. The Victor crew tried something out this past week and it works like a charm. You can connect your phone to your PC through Edge. The practical side is if you are looking at something on your phone (small device) and want to view something larger, you can send the page you are viewing on your phone to your PC. And yes, iPhone users, that means you too!
Install Edge on your mobile device (works with iPad as well). Sign in with your Microsoft password.
Scroll to a site and at the bottom you will see some icons.
The middle icon (mobile device with arrow) is what you touch to send to your PC.
Next when you see the screen below, you would choose which PC to send it to. I only had one connected PC as shown below (name partially obscured.) Press the PC you want to send the page to.
You are done.
Nothing gives a more sinking feeling than losing your keys. You’ve searched and searched and still can’t find them. Well, there are small finders that will help you find them. Just add these small trackers to your key ring and download the app to your phone and you’re good to go.
There are several on the market. Some work better with iOS than Android so you need to be careful of what you choose. Some even have a backward function where you can push a button on the tracker to find your phone. Some come in multiple sets and different colors.
You can find them on amazon.com as well as your local stores such as Best Buy. There are so many brands out there you will have to read the reviews and decide for yourself.
The Jody Victor crew found a cool little toy you can get for your fledling techie on KickStarter. It is called the LittleArm 2C. It’s a mini Arduino Robot Arm for STEM or hobby. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform. STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, so it is a teaching tool in these disciplines.
This arm comes out of a previous project that was made into a kit through 3D printing. They sent out their original kits and took in all the feedback. They came up with this new LittleArm 2C as a result of the feedback. There is also an app you can use to control the arm’s movements. You’ll have to visit the page to see all it can do!
There’s a standalone app called PassLok. It will encrypt your email on your device or in your (Chrome) browser. It can be used as a webapp, on Android, Chrome, or iOS. It works through private and public keys when you send an email. Only you should be able to open the encrypted email (as long as you don’t give the key out). You can watch the short video below to learn the specifics of how it works.
You can learn how to use it here.
Have you ever purchased an app or game and wish you hadn’t? Well the Victor crew found out that now there is a 2-hour window on Google Play where you can return an app. If the 2-hour return period has passed, you can contact the app developer directly to see if he/she will refund it. You cannot return an app or game more than once.
Here is what you do:
On a mobile device, open the Google Play Store app. Touch the Menu icon then My Apps. Select the app or game you’d like to return and then Refund. Follow the instructions to complete the refund and uninstall the game or app. After the return time you can see an Uninstall button instead of a Refund button. You can uninstall the app or game but will not get a refund.
Open Google Play Store app. Select the app you want to cancel. Select Refund. Same as above you will see an Uninstall button after the 2-hour window and can uninstall without a refund.
Go to the Google Play store with your browser. Click the gear icon then My Orders. Hover over the game or app you’d like to return. Click the menu icon that will appear. Select Report a problem > I’d like to request a refund. Describe the reason for the refund then click Submit.
The Victor crew came across a website that could prove to be very useful: Hukkster.com. You can keep track of items you would like to purchase from anywhere. You can even have it track when the item goes on sale! It will also show you coupon codes.
Sign up for your free account, and add the “Hukk It” button to your browser. When you are shopping on one of the hundreds of shops that work with Hukkster, you can Hukk It and purchase later. You tell it what color and size if it’s a garment. You can also use it to comparison shop. You will be notified by text, email or push notification (in the app).