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Back to March 2012 Newsletter

Join us in the Sandbox

by Ted Fondak

You’ve just read about Google’s new Privacy Privacy, which will not affect the core services in HillConnect, powered by Google Apps for Education. However, if you have a standard commercial Google account, you had to agree to the new Privacy Policy before March 1st in order to continue using Google’s services. 

But what IS Google’s new Privacy Policy? What are the implications of its implementation? Why has it launched an international conversation about Digital Privacy?

Google’s effort is, in fact, just one of many that will shape the future of online privacy. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your cell phone company, your internet service provider, governments, and many other entities collect a variety of data about your activities online and have a stake in defining this future. Companies and governments use this personal information for various ends, many of which are nebulous. Whether you are a casual web surfer, an inveterate digital native, or anything in between, developments in this area affect us all. How can we educate ourselves about this important issue? What can be done to identify and protect our digital personal information? How can we help shape the future of online privacy?

We hope to provide answers to these questions and have a conversation with you about your experiences. Ted Fondak, a member of ITS’s Instructional Technology team and the Help Desk Team, will host something called a Sandbox entitled “Understanding Digital Privacy” on March 15th at noon in the Sadove Sun Porch. Have you decided to escape the North Country for Spring Break but you still want to join the conversation? Despair not! Ted will host another “Understanding Digital Privacy” Sandbox on March 27th at 4:30 in the Science Aud. Still can’t attend? You’re in luck! Sandboxes are designed to be inclusive, even for people who cannot attend! We ensure that a recording of the Sandbox session, relevant materials, lists of people interested in further conversation, and opportunities to contact people are available on the Sandbox Archive page.

But what are these Sandboxes? Simply put, they are opportunities for people to connect, discuss ideas, teach, learn, share, and create. They exist to provide encounters between individuals and groups who don’t normally interact, to help us become more aware of the many common threads that connect us all. The emphasis in Sandboxes is on conversation instead of lecture, which the Sandbox Committee--comprised of ITS and Library staff--believes creates an atmosphere in which information is shared and experience is drawn upon in a democratic way. This is further reinforced by enlisting the submitters of ideas--whether they be a student, a member of the faculty, a member of the staff, an alum, or a member of another community--to actually host the Sandbox in which their idea is explored. By taking care of the logistics of hosting a Sandbox and helping hosts prepare for the Sandbox, the Sandbox Committee hopes to make sharing your ideas and connecting with people easy, stimulating, and rewarding.

If your interest has been piqued, click here to learn more about how Sandboxes work!

And please let us know if you have an idea you want to explore in a Sandbox environment!

"Understanding Digital Privacy"

Join us for an event where we hope to provide answers to your digital privacy questions and have a conversation with you about your experiences.

Noon, Sadove Sun Porch
4:30 p.m., Kennedy Auditorium