Saturday, September 02, 2006

Great Week in Computer Science

We've had a great week in computer science. You've done wonders learning how to shoot, edit, and upload videos. We're ready to move ahead into the history of computing. I look forward to seeing what we learn and how we can educate others on the Internet with the videos, wikis, and blogs you produce.

Remember that the purpose for this blog is to blog our class notes. Each day, the "scribe" is to focus on getting good notes while the rest of us pariticpate and cooperate in the task at hand. We'll refine this process.

If you think anyone missed something on the notes, then make sure that you comment on their post and add the notes you feel are important.

1 comment:

Sharon Peters said...

Dear students of Westwood - great job on the wiki! I would like to share with you some of the comments my gr. 9 English students have made about your site and videos:

The students who wrote the Wikipedia pages about effective online policy seemed very well informed. The students presented very clear and concise information about computer viruses (also known as malware) and how to avoid them in addition to all we would need to know about how to avert viruses. It was quick and general lesson on how to use the internet safely without letting viruses get to our computers. Many of the components of the information most probably came from countless sources but not a lot of them were indicated on the pages. Many helpful websites were included in the sentences if we wanted further information about certain subjects.

The videos were extremely entertaining and useful; I really enjoyed watching them and they really did get the point across. Reading these articles, I learned many things. First, I learned that no matter how little information I give out, hackers could still pretty easily find me. I also found that every computer should come with Firewall and if it’s not there then I should install it. Thirdly, I learnt how to notice if my computer was infected by a virus. One thing I’m definitely never going to start doing is download pirated software.

The students presented, in my opinion, a good and clear content. They had sufficient information that was very useful and easy to understand. The students explained the problems, while warning us about the harmful materials, but in addition gave helpful solutions. The students did cite their sources, though not in the pages themselves, but in the column on the left of the web pages. They also took the time to add some good, significant sources to help us out. I looked through all the sources and found that they explained some materials in even greater detail.

The students also had the very good idea to put in videos to help illustrate their points. I found that most of the videos were in fact very well done and they illustrated their points very accurately. However, some of the videos were poorly done, as the background noise was unbearable and not a word could be heard. Fortunately, there were only two that were weakly done. Though the videos did illustrate their point and were adequate, I thought the students could have added a bit more to embellish and improve them.

Thanks to the Wiki pages, I learned lots of important information about online privacy. First, I learned how you can tell that your computer has a virus. It is important too find the virus right away before it spreads into other files. Even though I do not shop online (and do not plan too), I didn’t know some online shopping is actually safe, if of course, you are careful. I also learned more about spam; like how to avoid it and that some of it is safe. As a result of reading the Wiki pages, I will always make one hundred percent sure that any e-mail sent to me was, in fact, sent by someone I know, and is not a virus.

Sometimes when I am on the Internet, I come across a pop-up that sometimes I do saying, “Kill the spider and you can win a free ipod!” Now I now that it could be potentially hazardous. Also I will never talk to someone on msn or open an email from someone I don’t know. Also, I will never ignore the sign saying that it is time to update my Spam protector.

I learned that your computer can intercept a virus just by opening an email. I learn that your computer can be hijacked and used to perform illegal activities. I learnt that when you receive a pop up, you should not close it with the red x but should right click on the bottom of the screen and click close. I will now be more careful about what I download from the internet because it could be a killer virus.

I tend to leave my computer on for long periods of time. Now I know what can happen from doing that, which is why from now on I’m going to turn my computer off whenever I’m done using it.

The website gives us a clear understanding of dangers, but it doesn’t give us where the information comes from. Honestly, I don’t really care where the information comes from. The website does give us links to other website containing more information on internet dangers.
The videos were just a visual component of what the website is trying to explain to us. The videos don’t help understand the dangers of the internet, but they do show us an animated version of the concepts that the website tries to show us.
I learned several security tips from the website. I learned that Mozilla is better than internet explorer because Mozilla deals with Microsoft’s program that gives away information over the internet. I learned that installing Ad-Aware can prevent pop up messages from appearing on your computer. Finally, I learned that it isn’t a good idea to respond to Spam E-mail messages.
In class, we should learn about how to deal with pop up messages and how delete Spyware.
Wiki is a good website to recognize and deal with internet dangers. I recommend this website to everyone who owns a computer. The internet is not safe, so prevent the dangers before it’s too late!

I thought the videos were very helpful, because I am a person who understands better when information is given to me out-loud and in pictures. They were very creative and looked professional.

While reading through the Wiki pages, I learned three interesting facts about online privacy. First, instead of using Internet Explorer, there is another safer web browser to use, its called Mozilla Firefox. It doesn’t run Active X, which is a Microsoft program that allows information to be shared. The second thing I learned was how to close pop-ups. Instead of clicking the x-button on the top right, which sometime activates the virus, you right click on the task windows and then click Close. Third, I learned a new word “Phishing”, it means stealing someone’s bank account number and other information about him or her, to take money from them. But this isn’t something I have to worry about, because I have a Mac.

The students who read this page are presented information on how to use the Internet safely. They are given information on avoiding viruses, preventing intrusions, blocking Spyware and Pop-up ads, safe purchasing online, email scams, and effective online privacy. The information in the site was clear and easy to understand. The website cites their sources and link to valuable sources of further information. Some pages also include videos, which helps the readers visualize what they are reading. This wiki was very helpful to me.
The 5 videos inside the website were very useful and illustrated the points of the students wonderfully. The videos helped to understand the topic better and is a very useful tool on the page.
The three facts that I learned about online privacy are the following. If you stay on your computer for long periods of time, it is easier for hackers to get information from your computer. Some e-mail messages contain viruses that can destroy your computer and send it to everyone in your inbox. Your credit card number can be intercepted by a packet sniffer, which is occasionally used by hackers. One practice that I will change, as a result of my reading, will be my curiosity to open messages with an unknown sender. This way I will avoid getting any major virus, which ruins the computer.

The students presented tips on online safety. These tips included how to avoid malware, spyware, viruses, phishing scams, and intrusions. Additionally, the website teaches safe online purchasing, as well as effective online privacy. The site’s information seemed relevant and accurate. However, the students did not cite their sources, and the information seemed slightly lacking, and could have been elaborated upon. The links to other websites were good choices, and were well-researched.
The videos were obviously intended to be humorous and educational. Unfortunately, the audio quality was grainy at best and indiscernible at worst. The parts that I did manage to understand were not very illustrative, and not very humorous. There was an exceedingly large amount of background noise in the videos.

I learned a great deal of information about computer security threats from this website. I discovered that viruses do not always entail pop-up ads. Many times, viruses just cause a computer to go slower, and restart randomly. Another tidbit of information I learned was to not trust e-mails that say to reveal confidential information. Seemingly legal sites may very well be phishing scams. Also, I learned that hackers could control my computer, and steal my personal information. Because of what I learned from this website, I will download a firewall to prevent intrusion.

One of the most interesting facts I find throughout the website, was the section on ActiveX, and why some internet browsers are more efficient then others. I learnt that ActiveX is a program that Microsoft made which allows people to share information. This connects computers through the internet and some hackers will use this to get onto your computer and steal your information, install viruses, and install Spyware or Adware. I also learned that there are ways to avoid this problem, such as using Mozilla Fire Fox, a web browser that doesn’t have ActiveX incorporated in its system. Moreover, there was one other thing I learned today. I found this to be the most important, because it is something that happens to me often. It is how to close pop-ups. Pop-ups are portal keys which people have created to automatically appear on your screen. However, most people usually just press “X” and close the window; today I learned by doing that you can activate the virus. The proper way of dealing with pop-ups, is by right “clicking” on your mouse and closing the program.

The students of Westwood School presented all the facts you should know about safety and ways you can protect yourself online. They gave detailed answers to basic questions that someone who is not familiar with the pros and cons of the internet would find very helpful. They provided links to websites that would further explain what the students were writing about and links to sites with free downloads. Everything was clearly labeled and well organized.

The videos created by the students were very well done for someone their age. The videos were somewhat helpful but I found that the text helped me understand even more. In my opinion, I felt like the videos were designed for a younger audience.

The main facts that I learned about online policy is that you should not reply to online spams or junk email and you are NEVER 100% safe when you are online. The third main fact that I learned is that the best way to prevent from getting viruses on your computer is to install and anti-virus program. The one practice that I will change now from reading this website is I will delete my last name and city name from my MSN profile.

The first sentence I read, I learned something new. I did not know that Malware meant viruses. I thought that when you got a virus on your computer, pop up ads would keep showing up and that’s it. But I didn’t know computers restarted randomly and froze randomly. I also did not know that the more you use your computer the easier it is for hackers to gain your personal information. One thing that I can do to be virus free is to install antivirus software. From my reading, I could now change my internet lifestyle in very positive ways.

I thought the videos were funny and distracted me a little bit because some of them were a little silly. I thought they illustrated good points and facts. But they could have tried to be a little more serious. I liked the comedy though I thought it was funny. On the videos there were background noises and made it a slightly hard to hear what they were saying.
3.) I learnt that the internet could be a fun place to chat and play games. But it’s not all fun and games. There are bad things like viruses, spyware and spam. But there are ways to avoid it and stop it. There is antivirus software that can be bought and installed to take away viruses only. If you pirate the software there is just more viruses and spyware that will come into your computer and destroy it. We learnt to never pirate software, because it creates bigger problems. A good way to deal with spyware is with ad-aware. It usually takes care of the problem.

The students placed many videos in their respective assignments. Some of these illustrated the point properly, such as the virus video and the online purchasing video, though the others did not do as good of a job. The pop-up blocker video was somewhat pointless, as it did not really give you more information. It was basically just a couple of kids goofing off. The last video, the scamming one, was just a little hard to follow.

There were a couple of things that I learned from this assignment. First of all, the concept of a “honeypot” was new to me. It is a very good idea and obviously works very well. This method must be used by the antivirus companies to see what viruses are out there. I also learned that spyware can be acquired by closing a window using the red “x” at the top of the screen. Lastly, I did not know that ActiveX can create an entry for hackers. After completing this assignment, I know that I will now close all pop-ups using the new method (right-click, close) and I will be using Firefox much more often.


I learned a lot of things from these wikis, but the three things I remember the most was what a spyware was, Mozilla Firefox is a very good web browser compared to Internet Explorer and that I should close pop-ups by right-clicking it on the toolbar and then clicking close. After I finish all of my homework tonight, I think I will go right back to the wikis and download Firefox immediately.

I hope you can learn from their feedback! Thanks for giving us this opportunity to learn from you!
Mrs. Peters
Teacher, Lower Canada College