Archive

Archive for 2014

What information about Facebook friends is shared during social login, and does it spam them?

August 20th, 2014

Will my friends get spam if I use Facebook social login? What information about my friends will be shared?   These questions come to many when faced with the Facebook login option on websites and captive portals. This post seeks to answer these questions from the technical standpoint.

Graph API is the Facebook’s API that enables apps to read and write to the Facebook social graph. The discussion here is with respect to the API version 2.0 (released in April 2014) and later versions. To leverage the Graph API, there first needs to be a Facebook app. The app can be easily created in any Facebook account from the menu options. By default, apps can access the social login user’s public profile, email and friends list in the Facebook social graph. For access to additional information, the app needs to go through review and vetting process with Facebook. For illustrative purposes, let’s take the example of a consumer facing business that creates an app called “Da Brand” with default access rights.

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Da Brand

Facebook apps are accessed using the OAuth method from webpages and mobile apps that provide the Facebook login option. In our example, the website or the captive portal will have the Facebook login button that is linked at the back end to the “Da Brand” Facebook app created above. Visitors using the Facebook login option will be interacting with the Facebook social graph via the “Da Brand” app.

With this setup in place, let’s now look at the login workflow to understand what information about friends can actually be shared during the social login. In fact, there are multiple barriers during the actual login workflow that block access to the login user’s friends list.

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Login User Side Control

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When the user clicks on the Facebook login button on the webpage, he has the option to deselect the permission to share friends list. Deselecting this option prevents Facebook from sharing the login user’s friends list with the app. Here, the user also has the option to deselect permission to share his own email address – in which case even the login user will not be able to hear back from the brand.

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Facebook permission picture

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Network Side Control

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In the OAuth method, the Facebook login widget on the webpage (“Client” in OAuth terminology) fetches information about the login user (“Resource Owner” in OAuth terminology) from the Facebook social graph (“Resource & Authorization Server” in OAuth terminology) and presents that information for analytics. Accordingly, the OAuth Client (Facebook login widget on the webpage) ultimately controls what kind of information is fetched and presented for analytics, within the confines of  what the app is configured to ask for and what the login user permits at login time.

For example, the social Wi-Fi login widget on AirTight’s cloud hosted captive portal does not present the friends list of the login user for analytics. This is because, the preferred way of using social Wi-Fi in the field is for one-on-one engagement with customers of the brand rather than to look into their friends list. This network side control is very effective in controlling the information sharing, as it transcends the app configuration and the end user actions.

Facebook Social login _ OAuth Client and Server

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Social Graph Side Control

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The Graph API version 2.0 has implemented another interesting behavior with respect to sharing friends list with apps, see Facebook Graph API version 2.1:

“This will only return any friends who have used (via Facebook Login) the app making the request”.

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Take the example of login user (John) who has Bob and Alice as Facebook friends. Bob has previously used Facebook to log into the “Da Brand”, but Alice has never logged into the “Da Brand” before. In this case, if John permitted at login time and if the network side control allowed fetching the friends list, Facebook will provide Bob’s reference to the OAuth Client as John’s friend, since Bob has already opted into the same app. However, it will not provide Alice’s reference to the OAuth Client as she never logged into the “Da Brand” app.

This behavior provides assurance to Alice that her social handle will not be shared with the brand that she herself is not registered with, even if her friend John granted permission to share friends list at login time and even if the network side control supported fetching the friends list. Outside of the Wi-Fi use case, this new control in the Graph API has actually disappointed app developers, since many social apps on the web are designed to tap into the friends list to share with them or invite them to the user’s activity. For example, by prompting the user to share the game score by showing the user the entire friends list inline within the gaming app.

By virtue of the various technical controls described above, the social login user does not have to give away the friends list and thus friends’ information is insulated from the user’s social login activity. This also precludes the possibility of spamming the friends.

Hopefully this blog shed some light on the mechanics of friends list sharing during the social login process. Thanks to those who highlighted this issue about friends list sharing on social media, which provided inspiration for this blog.

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Dale Rapp and Omar Vasquez  tweets on social-login

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Social Wi-Fi Roundtable on Vimeo - vimeo

 

Related Information:

 

Related Videos:

Noodles Case Study WFD7

Drew Lentz WFD7 YouTube

 

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Privacy, WiFi Access, Wireless Field Day , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Webinar Recap: Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?

August 19th, 2014

Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network vMSMThe third webinar in our 802.11ac webinar series was presented by our resident 802.11ac expert, Robert Ferruolo.  Robert has over 20 years experience in the wireless industry and has been conducting competitive Wi-Fi performance testing for over 8 years.

The latest webinar in the 802.11ac series was “Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?”  Robert touched on some of the following topics during his presentation:

  • Throughput and Client density: 802.11n vs. 802.11ac
  • 802.11ac use cases by Industry
  • Determining if 802.11ac is the right choice
  • 802.11ac Performance ROI calculator

Throughout this 6-part series, we’ll continue to break down why 802.11ac should be a serious consideration for your wireless network. The series will address the inevitable migration from 802.11n to 802.11ac.

Throughout our entire AirTight webinar series, we will be posting the webinar recordings as well as the Q & A sessions that coincide with each respective presentation.  Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming webinars and their corresponding Q&A sessions. To view the recorded session of the latest 802.11ac presentation, click on the link below:

Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?

Q & A Session from “Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?”

Q: With regards to the AP Estimator that was introduced during this webinar, if I know roughly the client density, but I don’t know the types of clients, for example, the number spatial streams or 802.11ac vs. 802.11n, what do you recommend?

A: If we are talking about an 80 MHz channel plan, with some unknown mix of 802.11ac and 802.11n clients, the recommendation is to play it safe by assuming that the “average” client’s maximum data rate is 300 Mbps, which is what it would be for a 2 spatial stream 802.11n client. For 40 MHz channel plans, the recommendation is to use 150 Mbps as the maximum data rate (for the average client).

Q: We don’t know the SLA, but we do know the applications in use. Can we do an AP estimation based off of applications?  

A: If applications have been identified we can look at the most demanding, in terms of throughput, for a given interference region of a network. We would also need to know the peak throughput, per client, that this most demanding application would require. We can use this peak throughput requirement in place of the per client throughput SLA to estimate the number of APs that would require.

Q: Why don’t you recommend factoring in the 2.4 GHz capacity?

A: Of course the recommendation is to provision SSIDs in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as they are still clients in use that do not support 5 GHz operation. However, the 2.4 GHz band at best offers only a fraction of what 5 GHz/11ac has to offer and at worst the 2.4 GHz band is so cluttered with interference from WiFi and non-WiFi interference that the capacity that it provides is unreliable and/or negligible. 

Q: The AP Estimator tool presented today is useful in determining the estimated number of APs needed for a given interference region, for a given set of clients and SLA, etc. but I am also looking information on AP placement best practices.

A: During the next session in this series we will be covering 11ac deployment best practices. One of the topics covered will be AP placement recommendations. It should also be mentioned that AirTight Planner is a tool specifically designed to help with AP placement plans. This tool can factor in your requirements for coverage (e.g., link speed) or capacity (e.g., no. of simultaneous users, traffic load, VoIP calls, etc.). You can find out more about this application at the following link.

http://www.airtightnetworks.com/home/products/AirTight-Planner.html

Q: The use cases that were presented during this webinar worked out AP estimations with the assumption that the channels to be used were free of interference but in reality it is likely that some, or all of the channels in use may have some level of interference present.

A: Very good point! The first version of the AP Estimator that was presented in today’s session does not factor in external sources of interference. In the upcoming “11ac Channel Capacity Planning” session of this webinar series an updated version of the AP Estimator will be used. The latest AP Estimator will be able to consider external sources of interference and other factors that could impact channel capacity.

 

Upcoming Webinars:

802.11ac Deployment Best Practices (August 19th @ 8am & 6pm PST)

Social Wi-Fi and Analytics: Deeper Dive (August 26th @ 8am PST)

Recorded Webinars:

802.11ac Essentials: A Technical Overview

802.11ac Deeper Dive

Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?  

Introduction to Social Wi-Fi and Analytics

WiFi Access

Enchantment is The New Black #WFD7

August 6th, 2014
Follow  Drew Lentz @Wirelessnerd on Twitter

Drew Lentz @Wirelessnerd

A guest blog by Drew Lentz (@Wirelessnerd) of Frontera Consulting [#WFD7 speaker]

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_______________ updated August 11th 2014 _______________

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My first real interaction with AirTight Networks came after watching the presentations at Wireless Field Day 6. There was an offer made to get a free AP/Sensor by signing up, so I did. After receiving the device, it sat on the floor of my office for a few weeks; until we had a Wi-Fi outage at a restaurant my wife is a partner in. I was asked to fix the outage, but not go overboard; what better way than with a demo AP, right? I installed the app, fired it up, configured the cloud services and it was online.

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The first feature that stuck out to me was the Social Media login feature. One of the problems that plagued us at the restaurant, and is a pain in the neck for a number of different places, is providing secured Wi-Fi to your guests, while handing out a key that only allow customer access. And that key is a key that only some of the managers and some of the servers know. In this case, 1234567890. When I saw that there was an ability to allow social login and streamline the onboarding process for guests, it was a quick and immediate option that I enabled. We kept the click-through function on there as well for those that didn’t want to use a social sign on. This feature alone played directly into our demographic at the restaurant and was a smooth and easy transition for those that wanted to use it.

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People socializingAfter clicking around and finding more capabilities, I engaged the retail analytics engine to start to see how well it really worked. I was now able to see how many people per week, per day, per hour, visited the restaurant. I could see how long the stayed, if they used the Wi-Fi, how much of the Wi-Fi service the used, and if they were new or returning customers. I could see how many walk-bys I had, how many came it, what that conversion rate was, and over all what the pulse of the restaurant was from a traffic perspective … which isn’t always the same as the sales perspective. We could have 100 people in the restaurant nursing a beer for an hour, or 50 people on a bar-hop going through 100 pints. One statistic that we saw was pretty eye-opening for us: 42% of the visitors from 6-11 p.m. spent less than 45 minutes at the location. (tweet this)

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In an effort to sell more beer and become more profitable, we wanted to understand why visitors at that time were popping in and then leaving after a beer or so, and we wanted to change that behavior. We started to discuss what we could do to hang on to the customers longer, without being intrusive, so we came up with an idea: If we could alter the visitor experience at the restaurant to cater more specifically to them, it might result in them drinking another beer and hanging out a little bit longer. So, have you ever sat in your car long enough to let one of your favorite songs finish playing on the radio before you stepped out in to your garage? Imagine that … but at a bar … with an empty beer.   (sad trombone)

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Related blog:  Social Wi-Fi and Analytics Deliver Dividends for Local Businesses

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Imagine yourself at a bar … with an empty beer [sad trombone] http://ow.ly/zZDnR via @WirelessnerdNow that we were able to access information from our customers’ profiles, again, as an opt-in service, we started to get creative with what we could glean. For example, what if we scanned the Likes of the patrons for beer brands? With 40 beers on tap and a constantly rotating menu it’s important to have things on there that people are comfortable with. A lot of times the overwhelming selection of taps & bottles creates a bit of an issue with people who aren’t too familiar with all the different types of beers .. there are a lot of “give me something like a bud light” responses. So, in this case, understanding what the customers are comfortable and familiar with gives us a way to make sure that there is always something friendly for our patrons and they don’t get scared off by the selection. Understanding your customers gives you better customer service  - effortlessly.   (Tweet this)

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“The mobile revolution is redefining connectivity across business models and value chains. Wireless devices and applications have changed interactions among companies, employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, and their underlying technologies.” Dr. Preeta M. Banerjee and Eric Openshaw – Deloitte LLP on Democratizing Technology.

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The next step in the life-cycle of this, took this information and applied it to the most important part of operating a small business: paying your bills. If we could tell that we had a bunch of customers who liked to drink Coors Light, for example, then what would it be  worth to the guys from Real Ale in Austin Texas who make a product called Fireman’s 4? If they could market their product to everyone in the pub who likes a similar style beer, then they would probably use some co-op funds to help sell more beer.

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Advertising a product or service to a responsive, engaged and accessible audience – on the appropriate device, in context, and in moments of need – that’s the next frontier.  Enchantment is the new black! 

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Understanding the customer, what they like, when they like it, and providing them with useful knowledge to make a decision, all the while increasing sales for the venue they are in. This is what we were doing, and it started with an access point that I learned about from Wireless Field Day 6, that sat on the floor of my office for a couple of months.

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Related Content: 

Social Wi-Fi and Analytics Deliver Dividends for Local Businesses

Wireless Field Day: Are you ready for Lucky Number 7?

A Riddle for Wireless Field Day 7 Delegates: What am I?

The Mobile Mind Shift: New book [June 2014] from Forrester.  Wi-Fi plays a key role in what Forrester calls “the mobile moment”.  Summary of the Mobile Mind Shift via YouTube 

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Follow Drew Lentz @WirelessNerd on Twitter

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Experience AirTich Cloud Wi-Fi

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_______________ updated August 8th 2014 _______________

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AirTight Networks Partner Case Study - Drew Lentz of Frontera Consulting - Scrape Social Wi-Fi Demonstration

Watch it now >>> AirTight Networks Partner Case Study – Drew Lentz of Frontera Consulting – Scrape Social Wi-Fi Demonstration

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All AirTight Wireless Field Day 7 videos can be viewed via Tech Field Day.

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Watch AirTioght WFD7 videos at TechFieldDay.com

Watch AirTioght WFD7 videos at TechFieldDay.com

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_______________ updated August 11th 2014 _______________

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Drew Lentz rebuttal to Lee Badman blog - August 11th-

 

 

 

Retail, WiFi Access, Wireless Field Day , , , , , , , , ,

A Riddle for Wireless Field Day 7 Delegates: What am I?

August 1st, 2014

_______________ updated with the answer _______________

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In addition to our solid technical agenda, we’ve got some nice surprises planned for the Wireless Field Day 7 delegates. We tweeted a picture of our work-in-progress. Keith Parsons was the first delegate to venture a guess with “Wi-Fi Mancala”.  That was a good try but that’s not quite it.

 

Keith Parsons - Wi-Fi mancala tweet

 

Following are seven clues to help the delegates resolve this Wireless Field Day 7 riddle.

1) It is personalized

2) There is one for each day of the week

3) Helps you relax

4) Smooth and sweet

5) Travel size

6) Better than a t-shirt

7) Works like magic

 

The answer to this Wi-Fi brain teaser will be unveiled during AirTight’s #WFD7 segment.  Addition insight can be found in Wireless Field Day: Are you ready for Lucky Number 7?  As a viewer tuning in, you’ll be able to see which of the delegates manages to solve AirTight’s #WFD7 riddle.  More on AirTight via TechFieldDay archive.

 

Join AirTight for #WFD7 on Wednesday August 6th at 1:30 p.m. PST  (GMT-8)

Join AirTight for #WFD7 on Wednesday August 6th at 1:30 p.m. PST (GMT-8)

 

Wireless Field Day 7 Delegates (WFD7 Delegates are selected by the Field Day Delegate community)

 

WFD7 Delegate Thought Leadership Twitter-
Blake Krone http://blakekrone.com/ @BlakeKrone-
Craig Schnarrs http://thewifiguy.net/six/ @The_WiFi_Guy-
George Stefanick http://www.my80211.com/ @WirelesssGuru-
Glenn Cate http://gcatewifi.wordpress.com/ @GRCate-
Jake Snyder http://transmitfailure.blogspot.com/ @JSnyder81-
Jennifer Huber http://jenniferhuber.blogspot.com/ @JenniferLucille-
Keith R. Parsons http://wirelesslanprofessionals.com/ @KeithRParsons-
Lee Badman @WiredNot-
Peter Paul Engelen http://www.peterpaulengelen.com/ @PPJM_Engelen-
Richard McIntosh http://ciscotophat.wordpress.com/ @CiscoTophat-
Samuel Clements http://sc-wifi.com/ @Samuel_Clements-
Stewart Goumans http://wirelessstew.wordpress.com/ @WirelessStew

 

 [YouTube]  Wireless Field Day 7: On the fly wi-fi webcast featuring Mike Leibovitz @MikeLeibovitz with Tom Hollinsworth @NetworkingNerd and Stephen Foskett @SFoskett

[YouTube] Wireless Field Day 7: On the fly wi-fi webcast featuring Mike Leibovitz @MikeLeibovitz with Tom Hollinsworth @NetworkingNerd and Stephen Foskett @SFoskett

 

 

 

 

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_______________ updated August 8th 2014 _______________

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An interesting suggestion:  Wireless Field Day 8 is on April 1st

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Follow Lee Badman @wirednot

Follow Lee Badman @wirednot

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And the answer is …

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All AirTight Wireless Field Day 7 videos can be viewed via Tech Field Day.

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802.11ac, WiFi Access, Wireless Field Day, Wireless security, WLAN networks, WLAN planning , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

…And The Meshin’ is Easy

July 29th, 2014

As someone who has walked more than a few miles in a network administrator’s shoes, I’m all too familiar with the challenges of configuring and troubleshooting mesh environments. In my last position, as an administrator responsible for 300+ mesh nodes, I know the stress and frustration of dealing with dropped connections along with the other problems associated with mesh environments.

Our approach here at AirTight has always focused on making IT managers’ lives easier, and our Wi-Fi mesh implementation follows in the same footsteps.

Mesh profiles in management console

Mesh profiles in management console

As you may have already noticed, a new feature is now available in the AirTight Networks cloud console under configuring the SSID for your templates.

Since its release to the Wi-Fi product line, this enhancement has received lots of positive feedback regarding its innovative visual capabilities of managing mesh links, as well as the new options that offer both indoor and outdoor flexibility.

Read more…

Wireless mesh , , , , , , ,

Wireless Field Day: Are you ready for Lucky Number 7?

July 28th, 2014
and #WFD7

and #WFD7

Wireless Field Day 7 (#WFD7) is just around the corner and AirTight Networks is pumped about being in the vendor line-up.  This is our third WFD and certainly won’t be our last.

You won’t want to miss our session which takes place on Wednesday, August 6 from 13:30-15:30 (Pacific time).  Most vendor presentations – including ours – are streamed live at TechFieldDay.com  Can’t make it for the live session? Keep calm and view video recordings of our presentations at your convenience.

 

Read more…

802.11ac, Best practices, Managed Service, mobile device management, Retail, WiFi Access, Wireless Field Day, Wireless security, WLAN networks, WLAN Troubleshooting , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WizShark Brings Collaboration to Troubleshooting

July 24th, 2014
Interested in WizShark? Request a private beta account.

Interested in WizShark? Request a private beta account.

AirTight offered early beta access to WizShark, our visual WiFi troubleshooting tool in cloud, and since then it has been a fun ride for the team. It was heartening to see a number of WiFi professionals taking interest in the tool and appreciating its graphical representation of packet captures. Of course, the positive feedback was accompanied with, as expected, feature requests!

Apart from graphical representation, we also want to empower collaboration and reporting using this tool. Hey, when people work on tools in cloud, this is expected already, right? Starting on this path, we have added capability for seamless collaboration for team troubleshooting.

Read more…

WLAN Troubleshooting ,

WLAN Pros Europe: Hang Out With AirTight Experts

July 21st, 2014

WLAN Pros Conference is coming to Europe! As Keith Parsons (the conference’s chair and founder) puts it, “the Wireless LAN Professionals EU Summit consists of three days of fun, great topics, awesome gear, and wonderful networking.”

wlan-pros-europeAnd we are excited to have two of our technical gurus – Allen Walker out of the UK and Rick Farina from the US - presenting. As luck would have it, the organizers put the two sessions in the same time slot, so unless the attendees are completely slacking, they won’t be able to avoid both Rick and Allen at the conference.

What will they be speaking on?

Read more…

Best practices, Wireless security

Channel Bonding Caveats – Over and Above Spectrum Hogging

July 14th, 2014

Popular literature on 802.11ac describes 40 MHz and 80 MHz operation (channel bonding) as doubling and quadrupling of the data rate, respectively. Every time I saw that mentioned, the following question came to my mind.

When radio transmits over 40 MHz (or 80 MHz) channel, is the total transmit power proportionally increased over 20 MHz to maintain the SNR (signal to noise ratio)? And, how is the data rate multiple with channel boding distributed over the cell?

This question nagged me like a little stone in the shoe that is impossible to ignore. My subsequent findings from the lab tests show that the popular literature is only partially true. Read on to find out why. Read more…

802.11ac, WLAN planning , ,

Why #EdTech Needs Wi-Fi? And How FCC Aims to Help

July 2nd, 2014

ISTE 2014, the largest US education technology conference, closed July 1 – good-bye, Atlanta! The time frame coincided with new developments around FCC’s proposal to close the E-rate’s “Wi-Fi gap”; we cover these below. 

notatisteAs always happen with these large events, not everyone can go. But educators are a creative bunch. Rather than feeling left behind, they organized a parallel #NotAtISTE14 conference – complete with presentations, virtual badges and ribbons, Google+ community and hangouts, Twitter chats, karaoke (!), challenges and prizes. (Links and resources pertaining to a #NotAt… conference are at the end of the post).

We reached out to the community with a contest asking why they needed Wi-Fi for education technology initiatives.

A summary of the tweets are below, with responses ranging from robotics and iPad carts, to working with special ed kids and spurring creativity in students.

Read more…

Education