Tag Archives: LMS

Ghost in the machine

Reading: How To (Hypothetically) Hack Your School’s Surveillance System | Gizmodo


Tracking pitched to students – and parents – as Keys to Success. Students aren’t naive: they know admin is tracking them for retention and sales – not security. Tracking via D2L is prevalent, too. They know when you are reading; they know when you are late. On D2L, that creepy prof can see your exchanges with other students – and administrators can see when that creepy prof is checking in and out.

Balan listed off several easily foreseeable scenarios in which relatively untested school-wide surveillance systems put data in the hands of faculty. An evildoer can carry out a man-in-the-middle attack on any network, injecting downloads with malicious code. An impersonation attacker could spoof a Bluetooth identifier. A bad teacher with access to location data could stalk a student; a good teacher with a dumb password could be easily hacked. “Say I’m a teacher, and my password is Whitney123,” Balan postulated. “Arguably, out of ten thousand students, someone is going to try that password.”

If school surveillance looks anything like school security, he says, a “password123” blunder ranks high on the list of probabilities; Balan calls the present state of security tech in public spaces like hospitals and university campuses “a disaster.” “The software and operating systems are outdated, and passwords are leaked,” he said. “Surveillance cameras are on the same network as other computers, and the access to that network would be the word ‘password.’ And by no means was this an isolated case.”

It’s an opportunity for guerrilla theatre. How about hacking a classroom to show all students present all the time. How about sitting down at all entrances to an admin building – blocking them in or out. How about spamming the D2L message system with Wham! lyrics.

Vick countered with an offer to students:

If you are at one of these schools asking you to install apps on your phone to track you, hit me up for some totally hypothetical academic ideas on how one might dismantle such a system.

We’re always up for hacker class, so Vick supplied Gizmodo with a few theories for inquiring minds.

Reading: Academic Freedom and the LMS


Timid university administrators bow to bullying system admins, aggressive accreditation institutions, and a political use of FERPA by local IT admins to keep the adjuncts in their assigned place and their LMS contracts sacrosanct.

The problem: mandatory use of a system-sanctioned LMS.

The solution: regaining the discussion, invoking standards of teaching.

The most important standard I would bring to any discussion about what technology should be employed on campus and the faculty role in how it should be employed is that faculty deserve the same prerogatives when they use an online tool as they do when they are teaching in an entirely conventional face-to-face classroom. To suggest anything else defeats the purpose of moving any part of a class online in the first place.

The second standard I would bring to any discussion of how technology like the LMS should be employed on campus is that faculty should be offered as many technological choices as possible and that they should be the ones who make the final decision about which ones they use.

The final standard I would bring to a discussion of the LMS is that the result should be as close to the open Internet as humanly possible. That means faculty have to be able to employ tools that exist entirely outside their LMS if they so choose, like Slack or Hypothes.is, the open source web annotation program.


college campuses are the kinds of places that are supposed to be on the cutting edge of technology since they have so many smart people on them. Treat those smart people like the average corporate peon when it comes to how they teach – the action at the center of their job descriptions – and you are going to have a lot of very unhappy smart people on your hands.

What I’m reading 24 May 2017 through 28 May 2017

What I’m reading 19 Aug 2016 through 24 Aug 2016

What I’m reading 1 Jul 2016 through 2 Jul 2016

What I’m reading 26 Jul 2015 through 5 Aug 2015

  • A User’s Guide to Forking Education – Hybrid Pedagogy – critique of the domesticated technologies of Ed. Los, discussion forums.

    Most of these systems recreate the bureaucracies of education without capturing the joy and rigor. At their worst, learning management systems turn students into columns in a spreadsheet, taking all that’s ineffable about learning and making it grossly manifest. Learning management systems aren’t all bad (some even revolutionize in important ways), but the idea is bad, the impulse is bad, at its core. They make homogenous what is fundamentally heterogeneous, standardizing what shouldn’t be standardized. Fetishizing the learning management system is to confuse educational administration with learning. Perhaps, the administration of education does need managing, but learning needs to be given a frame and then set loose. Very few online learning tools encourage the sorts of risk-taking that make for the best pedagogies. Quality should not be assured; it should be discovered. – (de lms discussions )

  • The Quiet Page & Linking the Web | Heart | Soul | Machine – Tim Klapdor introduces the Quiet Page: linked, annotatable, contextualized, and shared.

    To annotate it myself. To highlight underline and note. To visualise and add my experience with the text. (Personal)
    To view others experiences of the text. To see their notes and discussions. To see their highlights and to experience the text in a social and shared way. (Social)
    To create trails. To connect the text to other content, ideas and resources myself. To place the text in my context, my experience and my knowledge. (Synthesis)
    And then to share those trails. To let others see how I’ve contextualised the text. To see my experience but to then be able to add to it and expand it. (Connected) – (fedwiki annotation sharing )

  • Webs Of Thinkers And Thoughts – WebSeitz/wiki – Jul'2015: triggered by Mike Caulfield recent posts (emphasis on curating, connecting, annotations) plus others' responding/riffing, want to start over without even assuming wiki. Context/goals… – (annotation fedwiki )

What I’m reading 19 Jun 2015 through 20 Jun 2015

What I’m reading 20 May 2015 through 22 May 2015

Morgan’s pinboard for 27 Apr 2015 through 28 Apr 2015

  • Learning is Not a Mechanism – "One of the problems with learning management system gradebooks, often mapped to rubrics and outcomes (which have run equally rampant of late), is that they assume students (and their experiences) are interchangeable. And they assume the same of teachers" – (de pedagogy mooc lms )
  • Stereotropes – tropes – The penchant for cleverness limits its value, but it's a start. – (rhetoric dh )
  • The Remix Hypothesis – We won't see the real digital change until we embrace the affordance of remix. – (remix DH sfw )