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Community Champion

Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

Because of my involvement with many children in the club Mrs. Fly and I run I'm always trying to be current with trends and technology with children.  Chat is a very tricky tool for younger kids. With the sophisticated technology available now an application can do more then just send text. The apps integrate with cameras, video, and stored media as well.  They are very difficult to control.

 

As new twist is "Hot Chat".  I had a parent come steaming into my office at work this morning about this topic and had found his 11 year old daughter doing this.  The school system uses the Google platform as part of it's education system. The kids learned that they could take the teachers assignment that they were to collaborate on, copy it and use it as the entry point to start chatting in real time.  

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8 Replies
Newcomer III

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

Thanks for posting this.  Just another area that as parents we need to keep an eye on.  And I would be curious to see if the notes/comments/documents are as ephemeral as they state.  I'm sure we all remember when it came out that the disappearing 'snapchats' don't really disappear.

Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

> Flyslinger2 (Community Champion) posted a new topic in Industry News on

> Subject: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

Well, isn't that the very definition of hacking? I mean, the good kind? Really,
this goes back, in a way, to Babbage:

"Propose to a man any principle, or an instrument, however
admirable, and you will observe the whole effort is directed to
find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it. If you
speak to him of a machine for peeling a potato, he will pronounce
it impossible: If you peel a potato with it before his eyes, he
will declare it useless, because it will not slice a pineapple."
- Charles Babbage

More recently, another Charlie, Kaufman, said it best:

"If your protocol is successful, it will eventually be used for
purposes for which it was never intended, and its users will
criticize you for being shortsighted." - Charlie Kaufman

>   Chat is
> a very tricky tool for younger kids. With the sophisticated technology available
> now an application can do more then just send text. The apps integrate with
> cameras, video, and stored media as well.

Well, cameras and video have become more available, but I recall concerns about
extended functions on chat systems being used for malware transfer and
installation going back 20 years.

I've never been much for chat systems, although I've used a number going back to
IRC and VMS talk. Gloria and the girls are, for various reasons, now hooked on
Whatsapp.

>   As new twist is "Hot Chat".

Yeah, I'd heard about the use of Google Docs and other collaboration systems
being used this way, although the term "hot chat" was new to me. I remember,
about a decade ago, being asked to use a collaboration system back then, and
wondering about the possibilities of simultaneous updates/edits. (More in terms of
integrity, but ...)


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Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

> Brewdawg (Newcomer II) posted a new reply in Industry News on 03-15-2019 03:12

>   And I would be curious to see if the notes/comments/documents
> are as ephemeral as they state.  I'm sure we all remember when it came out that
> the disappearing 'snapchats' don't really disappear.

I seem to recall MS Word having some kind of history or journal or "past
versions" function, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a similar thing in
Docs. A simple Ctrl-Z might recover the chat ...

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Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

Anyone heard of copyright rules? And plagiarism?

 

Universities are very aware of this type of behaviours around assignments and original works.

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules


@Caute_cautim wrote:

Anyone heard of copyright rules? And plagiarism?

 

Universities are very aware of this type of behaviours around assignments and original works.


Ummm, I think you may have missed the central point of this story.  Yes, intellectual property may be important (and I've addressed issues where plagiarism detection tools break down elsewhere), but hot chat isn't about that.

 

This is a situation where a teacher, partly trying to teach collaboration and the various related tools, will post a question or starter materials on Google Docs (or something similar) and expect groups of students to work with that initial document.  The students, by adding text to the "document," can, essentially, "chat" even in situations where more common chat apps and functions have been disabled.

 

The issue isn't copyright.  It's the ability of students to get around parental or school controls of various types.

 

I recall helping out in a school at one time.  The school wanted to control the use/cost of printer toner (they had one networked printer in the library), and the principal was inordinately proud of his idea of simply having the paper tray locked up in the library office.  If the students wanted to print something, they had to ask the librarian for the paper tray, and the librarian could assess whether the request was legitimate school work or not.

 

I was doing some maintenance on a machine near the printer when a student came up and said to the kid at the machine next to me that she'd been told he could help her print something.  (He was one of the more technically adept kids in the school.)  He glanced over at me looking guilty as sin.  I told him I wanted to see this, and that he wasn't going to get in any trouble.  He put a piece of paper in the bypass slot, and, reaching into the space where the paper tray was supposed to be, depressed the switch that told the printer the paper tray was in place.  Printed just fine.  It's a good hack.

 

I didn't bother telling anyone.  First, I figured printing a few individual pages wasn't going to break the budget.  Second, I didn't want to burst the principal's bubble.  (He was so proud of himself.)  Third, if I did point it out, they'd just create some equally ineffective "solution" to the problem.  (You've got a school with a thousand curious and creative kids in an environment where a whole lot of the structure and policies are to try and suppress their curiosity and creativity[1].  They're going to find some outlet ...)

 

 

 

 

[1] - I've been a teacher.  I am a teacher.  I know.


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Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

Well given the level of collaboration, perhaps they should be reporting to organisations, willing to support financial awards for reporting such items, so at least by the time they go to University, they have funds to cover their studies with having to go into debt? 

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

@rsladeAt which point do you say "stop":  an example is given:  https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/18/who-me/

 

Regards

 

Caute_cautim

Community Champion

Re: Hot Chat - children are re-purposing collaboration to bend the rules

> Caute_cautim (Community Champion) mentioned you in a post! Join the conversation

> At which point do you say "stop":  an example is given: 
> https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/18/who-me/

Oh, yeah. We've all made *those* kinds of mistakes.

I remember one time testing a security system that, when installed, not only did
*not* prevent an infection, but thereafter refused to allow me to use *other*
tools to clean up the infection. (Fortunately, one of the security tools I had
*previously* tested had a function that allowed me to do a kind of "brute force"
recovery ...)

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