Weekly roundup

We intend to do a regular summary of news in education and technology, and you can contribute. Submissions of tips and stories will be gratefully appreciated (Contact Us), and don’t forget to tell us your name and key sources.


It was recently announced that the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers of the UK are to merge to form the National Education Union (NEU; BBC).

We just learnt that @ashakayb on Twitter teaches social media to her students (Via @XQAmerica). Being language and online communication specialists ourselves, we find this super cool, and wish we knew what curriculum she uses.


The US government has recently voted to allow US-based internet service providers spy on your internet activities and sell them (Ars Technica, TNW). Who are the buyers? The main group is likely to be advertisers, but the reality is anyone, including political parties, social agenda groups, religions, literally anyone willing to pay. Ars Technica reports,

The Senate vote was 50-48, with lawmakers voting entirely along party lines. “President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result [from] the Republican roll-back of broadband privacy protections,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said after the vote.

According to The Next Web, US-based ISPs can now potentially do the following to their customers:

  • Selling your data to marketers

  • Hijacking searches

  • Snooping through your internet traffic and inserting ads

  • Pre-installing software on your phone and recording your activity

  • Injecting undetectable, undeletable tracking cookies in all of your unsecured web traffic

HelloSpace.Me wishes to remind teachers that they have a responsibility not to threaten your students’ future by denying them the privacy of their learning space. The classroom has traditionally been a space where young people can try different ideas, and later learn why some are valid and some are flawed. Students’ digital history should not be used against them down the road. It is still possible that the bill can be vetoed by the US President; however, that seems unlikely. All HelloSpace.Me members should be aware that this is only US law, and it should only affect US-based people, not the rest of the world. HelloSpace.Me will never sell our member’s or their visitor’s data.


Be wary and be safe on the internet, especially women. The BBC reported a spear phising incident targeting a lady recently (BBC). In the story, the woman was asked for her email and password access for her FaceBook account by “a friend”. The attacker had taken over her friend’s FaceBook account and was using it to launch such attacks. Within minutes, the lady’s digital life was taken from her, and the attacker won access to her iCloud account and her photos. He then attempted to extort the woman (details on the BBC). Never give your passwords to anyone for any reason. Never use the same password on multiple accounts, and avoid “daisy chaining”. That is, where all of your online accounts are connected, and so it is possible to take over multiple accounts in one attack. Finally, use 2-Factor Authentication especially on important accounts.


The joint Applied Linguistics Conference for ALANZ, ALAA, and ALTAANZ has a call for submissions for their conference to be held on 27-29th Nov 2017, at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Auckland New Zealand. Close of submissions is 1st May 2017. Details via ALAA.

JALT Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) annual conference will be 16th to 18th June 2017, at Matsuyama University, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. HelloSpace.Me will be there. Details at JALT CALL.

The British Association of Applied Linguists (BAAL) annual conference will be held in the University of Leeds, from 31st Aug to 2nd Sept 2017. Submissions due 31st March 2017. Details at BAAL.

The Pan Asian Consortium of Language Teaching Societies and KOTESOL will be co-hosting their annual conferences at Sookmyung Women’s University, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, from 21st to 22nd October 2017. Call for submissions due 31st May 2017. Details at KOTESOL.

The Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT) will hold their annual conference at Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, from 17th to 20th November. Submissions are already closed. Details at JALT.

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