Digital Technology and Our Kids


Two New Lectures For ITC501

Well, the first semester is coming to an end and we have been given the task of coming up with two lectures we could see put into ITC501.

As a parent, I have both great joys and concerns for me kids with the ever-evolving technologies in the world, in particular, digital technology.

I am very excited  what the digital technology in the future may offer our children, it’s already clear as daylight now that kids all around the world are benefiting from digital technology and it really makes you wonder what’s going to happen. Schools are already encouraging children to use devices such as Ipads and with how fast digital evolution is advancing, who knows what’s coming.

Now, as i stated in the introduction to this blog, I am also very concerned with how much digital technology is a major part of not just our lives, but children’s. I’ve seen it many times where a parent is out and about with their children and the child is playing on an Ipad or a Cellphone. I know that these devices offer us parents a ‘break’ from our kids at times but in my opinion, digital technology is not the answer. My ex’s child was a good example of this, all he wanted to do and i mean ALL was to play video games on his mother’s cellphone. Beautiful day outside….. didn’t matter, he wanted that phone twenty, four, seven!.

The two lectures I would like to see added to ITC501 would be, first, the positives of digital technology for our children, then second, the negatives of digital technology for our children.

As a parent, I think people, not only parents would benefit from such lectures.

Positive’s of Digital Technology and our Children

There’s no doubt that there are lots of positive effects technology have on children, ranging from better hand-eye coordination to problem-solving skills.

Let’s have a look at some positive factors of technology on children:

Better Hand-eye Coordination

  • Through engaging applications, children develop their hand-eye coordination further. This occurs when children visually follow an object on the screen and actively participate in the activity the application presents.

Improves Language Skills

  • Active screen time help children develop language skills. By reading eBooks or accessing stories online, they learn new words and proper ways to pronounce them.

Promotes School Readiness and Cognitive Development

  • Many developmentally appropriate computer programs increase a child’s readiness to learn Reading and Math.

Higher Capacity for Visual Attention

  • Gaming and learning applications equip children to pay more attention to details in order to complete these activities.

Enhance’s Social Interaction Skills

  • As children develop their language skills, they are able to absorb ideas that equip them with skills necessary in relating with other people. When technology is used appropriately, technology can be used in collaboration with other people.

Increases Motivation to Complete Tasks

  • Many apps and computer activities are created to encourage children to complete a level in order to unlock the next level.

More Dynamic Spatial Skills

  • Games and educational content allow children to develop dynamic spatial skills through interactive screen time. Through technology, they can learn how big a building may be compared to a cat; or how small an ant may be compared to a dog. Such skills will then develop their understanding for the world around them.

Develops Problem Solving Skills

  • Younger children are more interested in the short-term goals of games, which are essential in problem-solving.

This information was retrieved from 16/6/2016

Negatives of Digital Technology and our Children

Like I said in the introduction, I have big concerns about technology and my children, I would be gutted if my son got ‘hooked’ on digital devices or games and did not want to do the things that every father wants to do with his son, such as fishing, camping or hunting.

Here is a look as some well know negatives of technology and children

Health Problems

Increasing use of gadgets like Ipads and cellphones are causing children such health problems like back pain, weak eyesight etc. Due to less physical activities, obesity is common to see in today’s children.

Social Relationship

Children are addicted to gadgets. They don’t have time to sit with their parents and to spend some good time with them. They prefer to connect with their friends and relatives via text messaging, chatting etc., rather than meeting them actually.



Negative Impact on Writing Skills

Writing is an art which every person must own. Technology has its negative effect on writing skills of children. Standard English is not used in the text messaging, chatting. While writing text messages, no one cares about the spelling, punctuation and grammar. This is resulting in poor writing skills of children.



What’s the relevance to ITC  students?

Whether people admit it or not, children are the future and digital technology is relevant to not just us adults, but our children too.

What would be the key points of learning, or added awareness they would get out of this? 

The key points would be just how much technology affects children, both positive and negative.

What questions would you want students to answer or reflect upon for their blog post?

How do you encourage children to take full advantage of technology without crossing the line risking problems such as health issues and lack of social interaction?

What would you do to help a child that has crossed that line and is showing signs of issues?

What resources would you use to point students towards to help them answer these question?

There are a lot of articles on the internet that discuss both the positives and the negatives of technology and children.

here are some good links to interesting arguments on the positive and negative affects of technology on children.

And here’s one last article that says technology  is essential to children’s success according to a  professor:


To summarise, I love technology, I love what it can offer and how much it can help or make our life easier. However, I have huge concerns over my children’s wellbeing with the use of technology and will always monitor my kid’s usage of anything digital.



Image sourced from googleConected

Everyone takes away something different !

And I thought I knew a lot about computers….Ha!!!

Well, when I contemplated leaving my old job fixing fishing nets and starting my career in the IT world, one argument I kept telling myself was “Its all good, you will do fine, you know lots about computers” Well I can sure as hell tell you now that after nearly completing the first semester at NMIT, I knew sweet bugger all about computers!

How am I going to stay connected?

Well, I know it’s early days at the moment in my IT career but I’m really leaning towards the web development side of things. It’s very challenging but I enjoy  a good challenge and seeing the final result of a built website I think will feel very rewarding.

I have been looking online for some decent sources of information and news about web development and I stumbled across some good sources. The first one that grabbed my attention was a website called

These sources of information I think will be of great value in my IT journey, in particular with web design and development which at this stage I plan to make my career choice.

Six Revisions

The first one that grabbed my attention was a website called Six Revisions. Six Revisions publishes web design tutorials, news, and articles and are also listed as the number one blog according to this website that a web developer should be following.


Snip retrieved from Usersnap


Six Revisions is a web publication for web developers and web designers. We publish articles, guides, tutorials, news and other forms of content for people who design and build sites and apps.

Six Revisions is a web publication for web developers and web designers. They publish articles, guides, tutorials, news and other forms of content for people who design and build sites and apps.

Six Revisions was launched in 2008 by Jacob Gube.

Bannersnack design content marketing Jacob Gube

There is a lot of articles about Jacob Gube on the internet but some of the information that I came across really stood out.

Smashing Magazine is a popular website for web designers and developers and feature a tonne of article written by Jacob Gube. Here is a link to those articles :

I came across this really interesting interview with Jacob Gube:

Six Revisions also have a website dedicated to CSS reset stylesheets and can be found  here:

Jacob Gube constantly updates his twitter feed with great links and sources of information for web designers and developers:

Here is a great guest article featured on Six Revision’s website about the future of web development. The article was written by the InVision team.

Clark Wimberly is a Content Designer at InVision, makers of a popular design prototyping tool. He spends his days writing and creating design content (screencasts, UI kits and ebooks). Previously, he was a UX Designer and founded the online community Android and Me. Check out ClarkLab, his personal website. Connect with him on Twitter and GitHub.


Six Revisions can be “followed” by numerous methods.



Speckyboy is an online magazine for designers with its focus on sharing helpful resources, exploring new techniques, sharing useful tips, and inspiring you to achieve greatness in the world of web design and development.

Speckyboy can be followed in numerous ways:


The Speckyboy blog calls itself a design magazine. Paul Andrew – the publisher of Specky Bloy – not only focuses on design resources but also provides useful insights on the latest web technologies. Especially for front-end developers the blog is definitely a great source for staying up-to-date.

A great article about web design pitfalls as featured on Speckyboy’s website:

Paul Andrew

Paul is the founder and editor of Speckyboy Design Magazine. He has many years experience within the web design industry and a passion for the latest web technologies and design trends. He lives in the small town of Inverness in the north of Scotland. Follow him onTwitter, Facebook or Google+.

Here’s a great link to  profile information about Paul Andrew:


To summarise, I found quite a lot of sources of great information that no doubt will help me in my journey to become a great web designer or developer. I will continue to follow Jacob Gube and Speckyboy for up to date news along with continuing to look for more great sources of information on the latest news and trends in web development.







Past Lectures


No, Unfortunately this was not one of my classes.


Favourite Lectures So Far

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all our lectures so far in ITC501 however there have been a few that stood out over the others. Some lectures I have enjoyed for the knowledge I gained from them and some I have enjoyed for the content that was spoken about.

The three lectures I enjoyed the most would have to be The Treaty of Waitangi, Ethics and The Internet of Things. These three lectures I have enjoyed for different reasons. Ill explain the reason below.

The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi lecture I found very interesting for a bunch of reasons. The main reason I enjoyed it is because I learned a lot about New Zealand’s history regarding the Maori wars. I’m a huge war fanatic, I’ve always enjoyed learning about the history of different wars, reading war biographies and watching documentaries. However, as my main interest in the many different wars around the world has been from world war two onwards, I knew little history regarding the New Zealand wars.

The content was delivered well and I learned a lot. It certainly opened my eyes about New Zealand’s history and I know from this point onwards I will have a more open mind when Waitangi day comes around.


I enjoyed the Ethics lecture a lot, in particular the lecturer. Simon Gutshclag was a fantastic lecturer and works in the IT industry for a company named New Zealand King Salmon. NZ King Salmon is a business that I have a lot of respect for and in the past I’ve built and repaired many of their salmon nets at my family’s business Motueka Nets, which is the main reason I enjoyed the lecture.

Simon delivered his lecture like he was a teacher and had the whole classes attention the whole time, he also gave us all valuable insight in what it is like to work in the IT level at a very high level.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things lecture was an interesting one. I certainly learned a lot about the ever evolving technology the world is developing and to be honest, the Internet of Things I found was both mind blowing and quite scary.

If you’ve never heard of the Internet of Things, I highly recommend you look it up or even read my blog about it, I guarantee it will blow your mind. The main reason I enjoyed the internet of Things lecture is purely because of the content, very interesting indeed.

The content was delivered well and the lecturer had the whole classes eyes glued to the front and he gave us great content that we all gained a lot from.


Going Forward

The Information technology sector is going to continually evolve and change, it always has and always will. Like my tutor Craig Nichol mentioned, it’s not a career you can take a break from and come back too easily.

Once I graduate, I plan to keep informed with up to date forums, TED expos, and keep in touch with students that I graduated with and any other means I learn about during my IT journey. I certainly don’t plan on having a long break from my career in the future, maybe a trip or two to the tropics with my wife to get away from our kids when they’re older to drink cocktails on the beach but definitely not for long periods of time.

I’m excited to what the future may bring in my IT career, that’s for sure.







Internet Of Things


What is the Internet Of Things?

The Internet of Things (IOT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. 

A thing, in the Internet of Things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low — or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. 

Retrieved from



Together algorithms and compute (i.e. software & hardware) provide the “intelligent spark” that makes a product experience smart, for example smart phones and televisions.


In the Internet of things, connectivity is much more than putting on a WiFi module and calling it a day. It is a very complex process that I still don’t understand how its accomplished.


Our senses play a huge role in our everyday lives as we all know, it helps us all understand the physical world and the people around us. Replicating those sensing processes is once again a very complex task but it is one of the characteristics of IOT devices.


Expressing enables interactivity with people and the physical world. Whether it is a smart home or a farm with smart agriculture technology, expressing provides us with a means to create products that interact intelligently with the real world.


A very important characteristic we all must consider when designing IOT devices is the energy they run on and with all the concerns globally regarding energy consumption this must be a fore most factor.


Safety in my opinion is the most important characteristic a IOT device must contain, The devices we create must not only be secure regarding networks and personal data but they must put ones personal well being first before anything else.


Do they need to be connected to the Cloud?

At this stage they do, however I believe in the not so distant future that will not be the case with all IOT devices. I believe it will be a optional choice depending on the device and purpose.

Are they always related to Big Data?

Once again, yes at this stage they do and like I said in the above question I believe that in the future it wont be the case. Some devices may operate better and have better features when relating to Big Data and some devices wont, it all depends on the device.



Considering over 90% of the world has mobile coverage, the Internet of Things is going to be huge, it has already started and I’m not too sure how I feel about it to be honest.

I can see some really great opportunities with this technology, for example the health industry, police, fire department, safety industry and so forth however I fear the consequences it may have on society may be dire too, in particular laziness. Society is already battling obesity, so having curtains that open themselves rather than someone getting up and doing it manually, is that a good thing?

I too worry about how this technology will affect my children, reading an article about a school that offer IPad classes to pre schoolers concerns me. Kids wont know how to write one day or do simple maths because in a world where technology does everything for us, why would they need to? Hmmm food for thought.





What are Ethics?

Ethics are a system of moral principles and a branch of philosophy which defines what is good for individuals and society.

According to, Ethics are defined as

1. (used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles:

the ethics of a culture.
2. (used with a plural verb) the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.:

medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. (used with a plural verb) moral principles, as of an individual:

His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. (used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

A personal Story

We have been tasked with sharing a personal story regarding any awakenings/realisations or challenges we have faced that informed or forced us to choose a specific action or left us wondering what was the ethical thing to do, so here goes.

About eight years ago I was employed as a local security guard in the Nelson region. Along with the task of dealing with alarms and checking clients property, we were also tasked with dealing with the region’s noise complaints at night time (Noiseys we called them in the business).

Now late one Saturday night, around midnight, when doing my routine property checks I heard the all too familiar sound of a noisey job come through on the pager. Grrrrr I hated doing noise control in this job, 15 bucks an hour to go rock up to a house full of drunk party goers to tell them to turn down their music or even threaten to take the sound system with me…..not fun at all.

Anyways, so I get the job on the pager and I call base to get any more information about the job. It is right at this point that I’m informed that its a possible gang members property and not only that, but they have also had numerous warnings about excessive noise complaints and are now in a position where if anymore noise complaints come through, security guards are to take their sound system.

Oh great, imagine how enthusiastic I was to rock up to a gang members house and take their stereo! Well, I guess this is where I made an ethical decision. When I got to the house I was greeted by an not too happy islander that I’m guessing, could squash me like a bug. I had already at this point decided not to follow the law and take this mans stereo and upset a house full of gang members, so I politely asked the man to turn down the music and informed him that I was actually required by law to take the stereo, and asked if he would please save me the hassle of coming back and taking it by simply keeping the noise down a bit. Well, the man was very polite and thanked me for not taking his sound system and I never got another noisey from this house again.

I experienced a situation that required me by law to take another mans property, not only did I feel like a bit of a douche for doing this I actually felt pretty uneasy in my stomach at having to do this to a possible gang member.  I thought by making the decision to give the man a warning would be just enough to resolve the situation keeping all parties happy and it sure payed off. I learned that sometimes, it pays to think about the situation and come up with alternative solutions rather than doing what’s is legally required straight away. Of course I realise that this lesson totally depends on the situation that has presented itself.

IITP’s 8 Ethical Tenets

The IITP (Institute of Information technology Professionals) has eight ethical tenets, a code of conduct as you may call it. They are listed as follows and not in any order of importance:

Good Faith


Community Focus


Continuous Development

Informed Consent

Managed Conflicts of Interest


My story, in my opinion relates most to the community focus tenet. You may ask why? The community had complained about the noise coming from a property and I was required by law to ‘take’ the noise away completely. I guess at the time I saw more problems occurring taking the stereo rather than asking politely for those responsible of it to simply turn the music down with the threat of returning again and taking the stereo. I also though of the possible consequence taking this gang members stereo may have on his neighbours, the man wasn’t stupid and he would have know a neighbour had complained and that’s why his stereo was taken.

The Three Most Important Tenets

We have been asked to identify what we believe to be the three most important tenets of IITP’s ethical list. Well this is a very difficult question, as I personally believe that they are all of equal importance and have their specific reason for being included in this list.

The reason they are all so important is because the serve a purpose as a whole rather than individual tenets. But in the context to my task of identify three that I believe to be the most important, I’m going to say Good Faith, Integrity and Continuous Development for the sole reason that they are all very important to me and always have been, in particular the Good Faith tenet. I believe what goes around comes around and treat others how you want to be treated in return.

NMIT’s Relationship with IITP

NMIT and the IITP share a very common interest, to increase the education, professionalism and expertise of those working in the ICT sector.

This attitude benefits everyone involved in the IT industry and is the reason why New Zealand is gaining such a great reputation around the world of producing top quality IT professionals.





What is Copyleft?

Copyleft (a play on the word copyright) is the practice of offering people the right to freely distribute copies and modified versions of a work with the stipulation that the same rights be preserved in derivative works down the line.

Copyleft is a form of licensing, and can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works ranging from computer software, to documents, to art. In general, copyright law is used by an author to prohibit recipients from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of their work. In contrast, under copyleft, an author may give every person who receives a copy of the work permission to reproduce, adapt, or distribute it, with the accompanying requirement that any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same licensing agreement.

The above information was taken from Wikipedia on 9/5/2016.

Is Copying Always Theft?

In my opinion no, I don’t believe that copying is always theft. I believe that there’s a fine line between the two arguments and it can get quite murky trying to argue which is right and which is wrong. To argue my point, lets first take a look at the definition of theft, I googled theft and I found this definition from



1. The act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny.

2. An instance of this.

3. Archaic. something stolen.
Nowhere does it say anything about ‘copying’ is stealing, however, it is one of those invisible questions that is there and is strongly argued around the world.
Answer this for me please, if I come across an unlocked car, jump in and take the owner’s brand new Dirty Dog sunglasses, is that theft? That sure is, and there’s no arguing it. But how about this instead, if I came across an unlocked car, jumped in and scanned a copy of the owner’s brand new glasses with a 3D scanner and printed myself a copy of those glasses, is that still theft? Pretty hard to call but in my opinion the answer is no, the reason being is that the owner still has their glasses and even the dictionary I used as an example above will agree with me!

Who is Larry Lessig and what part has he played in the copyright/copyleft debate?

Larry Lessig was the legal brains behind Creative Commons, along with the well-known individual Aaron Swartz who was the mastermind behind all the coding. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. More can be found about Creative Commons at their website

These two people helped change the way most creative industries and people, act when making and releasing their work to the public. Because of them, and ultimately Creative Commons, we are able to share are stuff freely and have anyone use it at their will, within reason.


Like I said above, it’s a really fine line between copying and stealing another’s work. However, like people such as Larry Lessig, Aaron Swartz and even Michael Moore, I believe in sharing as long as the person who copies your work or ideas isn’t making money from it. It’s a great way to get your name, product or ideas out to the people in the world.









My Thoughts On Copyright

Copyright word cloud
Picture retrieved from here 18/04/2016

This week in ITC501, our guest tutor talked about Copyright. Well, it certainly got my brain working! To be honest, I’ve never really been the sort of guy that cares about Copyright, however, as I dive into this wonderful world of It, I know there will come a time where it will quite possibly mean everything to me, who knows, in the future I may develop the ‘next big thing’ in the IT world and I can certainly tell you, I’d be pissed if someone stole it.

Issues and Problems with Digital Copyright Today

As I said above, I’ve never really cared about Copyright in the past. From what I do know, I understand that its a real issue and it will become even more of an issue as the world wide web grows further and more people have better access to more content.

I think the biggest issue at this time and age is ease of access. I mean, think about it! If you want the newest System of a Down album and you don’t want to pay for it….simple, go online and torrent it. There, boom, all yours in as little as ten minutes without costing you a cent. The same can be said about movies, e-books, video games, TV shows, porn…..the list goes on and on. Its all online and at the fingertips of anyone that wants it without paying.

I believe Copyright is a great thing, it protects someone’s ideas, designs, inventions and inspires innovation, however, I also know that’s its a murky subject that in my opinion needs ‘fixing’. The reason I say it needs fixing is because of the cases we have all heard of people attaining massive court cases and debts over copyright infringements. I’m not saying people convicted of copyright infringements should get a slap on the hand, they still should be punished, but at the moment I think the punishments are too high. I mean, Jail time and huge debts for the rest of their life’s is a bit harsh in my opinion in particular when people have not intentionally breached those copyright infringements.

A Simple Solution

I’m afraid there is no solution, well, certainly not a simple one anyway! I do believe there is a need for a solution and the biggest obstacle as far as developing a solution goes is just about every country in the world needs to work together to solve this problem. What? You seriously think that’s possible? Well, it may be but let me put it into perspective like this.

The world has been at  ‘peace’ for a total of 268 years out of a recorded 3400 years, another words, 8% of recorded history.

That’s not a good number as far as world peace goes. We cant even stop killing each other or bombing one another yet, we need to come to an agreement regarding worldwide copyright law? Not likely in my opinion.

Why you may ask do we need to work together to solve this problem? Let me explain, here’s a simple example.

Netflix. I’m assuming you know what Netflix is, but for those that don’t, Its a streaming service that for a small for of about $12 a month lets you stream a tonne of TV shows, Documentary’s and Movies.  The interesting thing is, that different country’s have different content to stream because of Copyright laws.

Same with YouTube actually. I’m a huge fan of UFC (Cage Fighting), I can stream it live through the Fight Pass app for $10 a month, however I cant watch highlights on YouTube because of copyright laws in New Zealand.

Such examples are evidence that Copyright is a murky subject and there needs to be a solution to it. Maybe the solution is just a simple worldwide Copyright law that all country’s that it’s applied in agree on? What do you think ?

My Opinion of New Zealand and Copyright

New Zealand has a 3 Strikes system. It was established in 2011 and the intention of the law changes is to crack down on peer-to-peer file sharing.

Snip retrieved from here 18/04/2016

I believe the 3 Strikes  system New Zealand has established is a step in the right direction. This act in my opinion protects everyone, from the artist or producer all the way to the person who breached copyright infringements. The fact the person identified as someone breaching copyright infringements gets two warnings is a great factor, it not only identifies individuals or groups of people  who may constantly breach copyright laws, it actually protects someone that may have breached a copyright infringement on accident, I know of someone that this has happened to personally.

More information on New Zealand’s 3 Strikes law can be found at

Fair Trading

After evaluating the issues I’ve outlined above, I think its right to identify some company’s that do ‘copyright’ right.

Spotify. Spotify is a music streaming app. Customers subscribe for a small fee of about ten dollars a month and are able to stream just about any song or artist they want to, Spotify then pays the artists a small fee per stream. Spotify is also available for free, although customers will have less access and have to put up with ads.

Netflix. Much like Spotify, Netflix is a streaming app where customers can stream Movies, TV shows and Documentaries for a fee of about $12 a month. Netflix then make a small payment for every stream to the applicable producers, companies and owners of said content.