What Sheila's seen this week: i-rights and the right to forget

What rights do you have online? If I’m honest I don’t actually know. I think I’m probably digitally savvy enough to be conscious of what I share online, with who and why. I know that I share too much data with Tesco and Amazon but I comfort myself with the fact that I get some trade off somewhere. I’m also lucky (aka getting old), in that when I was doing stupid things when I was growing up, they could only be shared within a relatively small circle – not potentially the world via Instagram. The mistakes I made, are now long forgotten and would take quite a bit of effort to find. As we all know it’s not quite like that anymore.

Like many this week, the i-rights campaign and this article by Suzanne Moore about the importance of the right to forget have caught my eye.

“iRights is a civil society initiative that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.”

The 5 i-rights highlighted by the campain: the rights to: know, remove, support and safety, make informed and conscious choices, and digital literacy are actually universal – not just for the under 18s.  Being connected online should allow us to share, connect, explore, make mistakes as and when we choose. But in the Big Data world it’s not that straightforward.

“The exchange of information is an essential component of the digital world. However, it is inappropriate for a third party, commercial or otherwise, to own, retain or process the data of minors without giving them the opportunity to retract it or to correct misinformation.”

We believe children and young people should have the unqualified right, on every internet platform or service, to fully remove data and content they have created. This must be easy and straightforward to do.”

Our data should be ours, not the plaything of big businesses and advertising. As I said at the beginning of this article I am aware of some of the data I am willing to “give away”. I’m equally aware that I am probably giving away far more than I realise, and that I have little control or indeed options about getting it back or deleting it.

Education is central to the well being all parts of society,from pre-school to university and beyond. So let’s all start asserting our i-rghts and provide our children, young people and not so young people with the capacity to live, work and create useful, safe and when necessary, disposable digital environments where individuals not businesses control their data.

What Sheila's seen this week #blimage,

I’ve been on leave for the past 3 weeks so this week has been a bit of a blur ( in more sense than one as I’ve just got new varifocal glasses #slightydizzystandingup) of catching up and getting back into work mode.

One thing that seems to have taken off this week is #blimage. I was thinking of getting involved but after mentioning it on twitter, the @GCUBlend account was thrown a challenge which I responded to yesterday. This post is a response to that – maybe a slight egocentric circle going on here, but it is a good way to get back into blogging after the holidays.

This is the image yesterday’s post invited comment about.


The picture is of a part of the major campus refurbishment that is taking place at GCU just now. It triggers a raft of emotions and thoughts for me including excitement, confusion, blind panic, will it all be ready for the students in September?

For most of us working in education, summer more than New Year, is the time of new beginnings, new students, new starts.  Summer is often that mythical space where everything that you haven’t had the chance to “get round to” over the past year will be done as well as all the new things that you want/have to do for the new semester.  It can be an exciting and scary time, and more often than not “other stuff” is thrown into the mix which takes priority over all your (half baked) plans.

I think my brain is a bit like that picture just now with bits and pieces of things sort of blocked out, but lots of stuff needing to be done to make sense of it .

So maybe it is the perfect welcome back to work #blimage. What do you think?

Where Sheila's been this week – being a bit creative

I’m on annual leave just now and this week I’ve been attending a week long summer painting school at Art4YouScotland. I have had an amazing time experimenting with different mediums and have gained a lot of confidence in my own abilities. I’ve also met some lovely people.

This is primarily a face to face learning experience – painting and drawing are very hands on pursuits. I have been learning loads from our lovely tutor Ewen and from my fellow students in the incredibly supportive and creative studio environment.

All of the individual and group discussions have been enhanced by technology. Particularly in terms of research and accessing the works of different painters, techniques, materials etc via “t’interweb” both in the studio and at home. Seems I can’t escape blended learning 😀

I love the mission statement for all the classes too. 2 and 3 I think should be part of every learning experience.

“1. become a better artist
2. feed your soul
3. enjoy the process”

Below is a little collage of some of the things I’ve been thoroughly enjoying creating this week.