Innovation: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Innovation is important. In fact, innovation allows prosperity and survival. From 3rd to 1st World society, action must be taken to improve living conditions and standards. At all times, innovation relies on technology to improve quality of life. Many would agree that advancements in technology allow increased productivity and wellbeing.

Innovation can be as simple as the insertion of plastic bottles in roof sheeting to create solar energy or as complicated as an implementation and deployment of 1-to-1 mobile devices with a P-12 context. Both scenarios demonstrate how innovation is driven my technological improvements and how they may improve lifestyle, quality of life and productivity.

Innovation can produce Good, Bad and even Ugly results. Innovation does push the boundaries and the risks are worth considering before, making the plunge. Various communities are making steps toward embracing technological advancements and the adoption of digital resources does contain some risks.

Statistics state that 62% of P-12 schools within America have banned cell phones in the classroom but allow them on campus. 24% of these school have banned the devices all together. While the risks may be worth considering, the benefits out way the disadvantages. It is believed that concern related to cyber bullying and cheating have more to do with students' ethics that the availability of mobile phones. Allowing cell phones within the classroom may provide opportunities for students to be creative and utilise applications that assist with their learning.

Allowing students to roam the net does carry its risks. Typo squatting is an increasing field of trickery that is occurring. I hadn't heard of Typosquatting until recently. I had encountered it, however, had not been educated in its deliberate construction. Wikipedia defines Typosquatting as;

Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting, and possibly brandjacking which relies on mistakes such as typographical errors made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter.

I recently attended the Data#3 conference JuiceIT2012They had a workshop to educate attendants about Typosquatting. Basically, Typosquatting is designed to capitalise on peoples typing mistakes to make money off their misfortune and acquainting them with services that they had not intended to discover.

For example, Facebook has 2243 fake domain names that are designed to capitalise on people's misfortune of typing errors. Say for example you meant to type Facebook but accidental typed something else... there will most likely be a website for it. In fact, 86% of mispellings for Apple have websites domains. A proportion of these carry viruses and malware. 22% of these websites look similar to iTunes and seek credit card details. Unfortunately, some of the bogus websites carry inappropriate images and content.

In order to report a website it may be appropriate to direct your concern to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

While innovation has both good and bad sides, it is certain that educating individuals in the use of technology is vitally important. The digital age can improve our lives but also destroy them. Addiction to social media and gaming are examples of how innovation does have an ugly side. Despite this, digital technology can allow excellent opportunities for individuals to create and collaborate. Technology can lead to an improved society when coupled with education, training, support and encouragement.

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