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Posts Tagged ‘digitalcitizenship’

I just worked with a class of first and second graders and am so impressed with them on so many levels! This was the second in a series of four visits to the class to focus on digital citizenship topics.

We used elements of two lessons from Common Sense Education. First, we talked about what a “just right” book is. The students clearly have had this discussion with their teachers. “It’s not too hard and not too easy.” “It is like riding a bike on flat ground with a few bumps, but not a steep hill to go up or down.” I asked what they thought a “just right” site or app would look like. Again, great answers. “It needs to be appropriate for kids our age” was one.

8585281546Then we used the stoplight activity from the Staying Safe Online lesson. I read some statements and they told me whether those were not okay for kids their age, be cautious, or okay. They followed up on their own, coloring in a stoplight either red, yellow, or green next to different statements about websites. They helped each other read the statements.

The teacher had added me as a co-teacher in her Google Classroom. Yes, Google Classroom with first and second graders. I created a doc with some of the sites listed in the Sites I Like lesson and used many of the guiding questions in the lesson as well. Using Classroom was a simple way to get that doc to each of them as a resource. They picked one of the sites on the list to evaluate and used the checklist from the lesson to circle a happy or sad face next to each statement. For the most part, they were able to stay focused on evaluating the websites rather than losing themselves in the content offered. We did provide extra time for a little fun play.

They loved today’s activities. I was impressed by their fluency with basic skills on Chromebooks: logging in, accessing their Google Classroom class, clicking on my doc’s link, viewing websites through an evaluative lens, and then properly closing out and shutting down.

 

 

These combined lessons focused on internet safety and information literacy. It is important to lay the foundation on these topics with younger students too. I’m fortunate to work with educators who value digital citizenship at all grade levels.

 

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I saw this recent post via George Couros about how technology can deepen relationships. That goes against the grain of what some people may think. That post reminded me of an activity I’ve done recently with some students around kindness and the strength of our words.

In my work with third and fourth graders this year, we’ve been focusing on the positive. We viewed two videos from Common Sense Education, The Power of Words, and Mindful Messaging. After watching them, we talk about some of the common themes. One thing that always comes up is the fact that when sending digital messages, you can’t see the person’s face or hear their tone of voice.

In small groups or pairs in the room we practice saying the same thing a few times, but changing up the facial expressions and tone of voice. Try it with “Are you coming to my birthday party?” or “I didn’t know that about you.” It’s a lot of fun!

After that, we create pretend text conversations. The students use Google Drawings to create a conversation with someone they really know and that knows them back. As much as they’d like to chat with LeBron James or Taylor Swift, it’s more powerful if it’s someone they interact with on a regular basis.

The students take on both roles in the pretend conversation; themselves and the person they’re chatting with. We also talk about trying hard to make sure someone receiving your text can’t misread what you intended to say. Therefore, for this exercise, we don’t use all caps, text abbreviations, or emojis.

Here are some examples.

The Power of Words -1


 

The Power of Words - 2

 

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A real-life lesson in digital citizenship happened recently. Our wonderful physical education teachers have an annual event with third and fourth grade classes. For two weeks, students learn a dance, choreographed and taught to them by middle school students. It’s usually set to popular music, which is incredibly motivating and engaging.

To culminate the learning, there’s an annual Dance-A-Rama, where all of the classes present their dance to one another. As a surprise at the end, (though since we’ve been doing this for about 6 years now, it can’t be a surprise anymore), most of the classroom teachers, student teachers, and other adults present a dance they’ve learned to the students. Oh, and did I mention there are judges, like American Idol? They’re also adults from the school, dressed up and acting the role of pop stars.

BLOCKED!I was asked to help record the event on video. Here’s where it gets interesting. Over the years, I have explored many different ways to record and stream video. We now live stream the annual faculty-student basketball game, PTO meetings, special events, and 8th grade graduation in June. This time I decided to stream it via YouTube Live, so that we could access the video easily afterward.

All went well, until the afterward part. It saved the video beautifully. However, due to the popular songs used for the dances, YouTube blocked it. Most of the songs were monetized, which meant there would be ads on the video. That’s not a problem. But one song was totally blocked in the USA and 7 other countries. I was the only one who could see it!

I tried to download it, but that feature wasn’t available due to never having uploaded it. The video was generated from a live stream. I tried to appeal some of the copyright issues, but was denied. I was ready to throw up my hands and admit defeat.

In the midst of this, I put out a tweet about my predicament. One response was from someone here in Vermont who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting. Tom (@ACSD_edtech) offered a website where I should have been able to paste the YouTube link and download it,  but that didn’t work. The next thing I knew, he contacted me with a link to the downloaded video saved in Google Drive. Yay!

He sent a tweet saying this: “I used a VPN pinged off another country. It let me watch the video. Once I could do that, I could download it.” That was beyond my knowledge, but it worked and now we’ve been able to share the video internally.

Lessons learned:

  • Classroom teachers are using this as a real-life lesson to help students learn about copyright and music.
  • We will use a different route for live-streaming if there’s going to be music playing on the video, unless we compose the music! YouTube is amazingly powerful and easily catches popular music.
  • YouTube Live was great for streaming.
  • For me, it’s a real-life example of the power of my PLN. I was so impressed by how Tom used his own time to help me solve a problem. We’ll meet at a local conference in a few weeks where I can thank him in person.

I’m not putting the video here as a nod to the privacy of our students and teachers, and respecting the copyright of the music. But it is great that we can share it internally.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few opportunities to facilitate conversations around Digital Citizenship. In addition to the great discussion and new insight from educators and parents, we also did our best to focus on the positive. Talking about Digital Citizenship, whether with adults or students, tends to go to the negative – all of the bad things that could happen or do happen. It’s time to make a shift.

digcitkids-question

DigCitKids

I have been influenced by the positive nature of DigCitKids – a site created by a student, for students. Curran Dee is speaking nationally and engaging kids and adults in the conversation. He’s definitely got me thinking and in my work with students, I’m engaging them in this positive conversation as well.

VermontFest

I led an immersive session at Vita-Learn’s VermontFest conference earlier this month.Vita-Learn is Vermont’s ISTE affiliate and this is one of two conferences offered here in Vermont annually.

Near the end, participants shared their ideas for a positive approach to Digital Citizenship. Here are a few of the ideas:

  • Do a project around DigCit where students have a voice.
  • Examine current practice and consider how to end each lesson more positively
  • Build community.
  • Encourage a growth mindset toward technology with teachers and students.
  • Showcase and share positive examples with a wider audience.
  • Use the design thinking process with students and pose a question about positive technology use
  • Produce PSAs
  • Pay it forward

Parent Presentation

Last week, I had the opportunity to continue this discussion, but this time with parents in our community. I utilized many of Common Sense’s resources for parents, and we had a great conversation. There’s agreement all around that our focus should be on positive, responsible use of digital tools rather than the potentially scary or negative connotations often associated with the topic. Parents had an open mind and were eager to give and receive tips and advice about parenting in this digital age.

Putting It Into Action

Here in our schools, we’re being pro-active. Many of our classrooms Kindergarten-8th grade are integrating digital citizenship lessons, activities, or conversations into their work with students. I shared one example in this post recently. We are now in the process of applying for Digital Citizenship Certified School status and after that, we’ll strive to be Digital Citizenship Certified District. Want to do that yourself? Learn more here!

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A Powerful Example of a Middle School Integrated Project

In recognition of Digital Citizenship Week, I’m sharing an example of an activity that one of our teachers implemented with her students, with her permission. The teacher, Joy Peterson (@petersonjoy) teaches fifth and sixth grade language arts. She has four classes with a total of 87 students.

Joy spent the first month of school focusing on this project. She later reflected that it was a great way to get students comfortable with their Chromebooks, and it also integrated quite a bit of language arts! I really like how this project incorporated collaboration, the use of Google Docs as graphic organizers, and integrated a variety of digital tools, including Digital Driver’s License.

Joy explains the process she used for this project in these slides:

After her students finished their work, they presented their own slides to third and fourth grade classes working in pairs. This was extremely motivating. Joy noted that only 2 out of 87 students were not ready to share on the presentation day, which is quite remarkable.

Student Project Example:

(My favorite part – the So What slides! Why does it matter? Why is this important? Why do we need to know this?)

I was able to observe these presentations and was struck by each student’s knowledge and comfort level with the whole topic of Digital Citizenship, as well as the third/fourth graders’ engagement level.

TakeAway

One of the teachers of a third/fourth grade class asked his students to reflect on their learning after the presentations. It was remarkable to see this list.

file_000

Thank you to Joy, her students,  as well as the third/fourth grade teachers and their students.

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This week’s #ETCoaches blog challengeWhat tools are you using that you are loving? What problems do they overcome? How can others replicate your success?

etcoaches-tools

There are many tools I use, that I promote for others to use, but here are a few at the top of my list that assist me in my work as an EdTech Coach.

Hootsuite: I rely on Twitter to build my PLN, provide resources, make connections, and for the best professional development. I use Hootsuite, (others might use Tweetdeck,) to visually access different streams on Twitter at once. It helps to join and follow Twitter chats as well. You can integrate other social media accounts too. It’s a lifesaver.

Diigo: I use Diigo to save and organize resources. In my role as an EdTech Coach, I have resources coming at me all day long via email, feeds, blogs, and Twitter. I need a way to save them so that I can easily access later. For example, I share a Tech News every other week (or so- being sensitive to other things going on in school). I collect items over time that will be of interest to our faculty and staff. I tag those TechNews and then, when it’s time to put the news together, I search for resources with that tag. Easy-peasy.

Canva: I use Canva to create visuals for the Tech News, blog posts, posters, flyers, and more. It makes me feel creative! See graphic above.

Smore: Those who are reading this might be wondering what tools I use for the TechNews I mentioned above. For years I did that using a Google Site, adding a new page with columns for each edition. I discovered Smore a few years ago and found that it was more visually appealing. Now I share the link to the Smore, and I embed it on the original Google Site in a new page, so that the archived editions are available too. Our school newsletter goes out to families once a week using Smore as well and it’s been well received. I’m curious to see how this might change when the new Google Sites are officially available.

PhotosForClass: I don’t use this other than to model, but I highly recommend that our students use this site. Search for an image, download it (even on a Chromebook) and insert it into projects, sites, or blog posts. It automatically includes the proper citation on the image itself. Great for teaching about WHY we need to cite our sources!

Google+ Communities: In addition to Twitter, I use various Google+ communities to ask questions, get ideas, and share. Some of the communities I visit most often include: Instructional Technology Integrators, Google Classroom, Chromebook EDU, and Bringing the World Into the Classroom.

Google Hangouts: I’m a member of a 5-person team in our school district. We’re all spread out with considerable distance between our schools. We meet once a week via Hangout to keep the team together, share what’s happening in our schools, work on district-level projects so that there’s consistency, and basically, collaborate. Hangouts make this possible without us having to factor in travel time to get together.

Common Sense Education:  Most EdTech Coaches know of this resource, but just in case… it’s an amazing site for Digital Citizenship resources as well as EdTech reviews. This is a must for your list.

There are many more, but these tools help me create, collaborate, share, connect, and stay productive.

 

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As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have the wonderful opportunity to work with small groups of third and fourth graders on a rotating basis throughout the year. We focus on various topics under the realm of digital citizenship. We meet once a week for 6 weeks.

During the first 4 weeks, we learn about the topics of:

  • Keeping Private Information Private
  • Strong Passwords
  • Copyright and Giving Credit
  • Cyberbullying and the Power of Words

I use a variety of materials with students, the bulk of which from Common Sense Media. The final two weeks are devoted to creating a product to help others learn and get some tips about these topics. Earlier this year, groups used BookCreator and HaikuDeck on iPads to create a product.

Most recently, we use AdobeVoice to share our stories about Digital Citizenship. Each student made their own story, and then I used WeVideo to string them all together into one video for each group. The stories have become more powerful and serious as the year progressed.

Here’s one example.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback, as always.

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