Welcome to my blog! This is a new experience for me! I have a lot to learn. I am excited to share my journey of learning throughout my class. My first online class and I’m learning about the online world. I am excited and nervous as a lot of this class will challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone.
Writing about this topic I still feel like I know very little. This is a very big topic I feel like I have not been educated well on before this weeks class. This class has made me so grateful to get to learn each week and feel every educator would benefit greatly from what is taught in #eci832. Without this class I would be a lot more lost then I already am. We have said it before-what perfect timing this class has been. #blessed 🙂
I really don’t know if I am using resources properly. Not only technology but worksheets and books as well. As I have been planning for online learning I am now second guessing or looking into if I am being ethical in what I am presenting my class. The past few weeks educators have been anxious and in a heightened state trying to navigate and wrap our heads around this new normal. It is hard to think straight in this state and the last thing on my mind has been this topic. It wasn’t till our class on Tuesday and the videos and readings before that I had thought about the legal issues surrounding what I am presenting to my students and the way we are interacting online. Following our class, our board put out a list of approved and non-approved technology and media to be using as we work from home. Zoom has been the talk of the town and many teachers had planned to use this platform to teach kids and have them be able to see each other and interact. Our school board put out that Zoom is not approved due to privacy of kids. I understand the reasoning especially after our class discussions. I am still hoping to find a way to be able to see and talk to my students. Students and teachers are craving this type of interaction. Many educators looked into training for Zoom before they knew it was not approved.
My classmate Shelby explained the feelings we as teachers have surrounding our new adventure of online teaching. We have many questions and worries while planning for this. It’s a scramble to put work together and learn how to use new platforms. I have found collaboration being key in navigating this. I have a strong teaching team that supports one another and helps each other in our learning.
In class we learned of examples of teachers being ‘caught’ like in Manitoba surrounding ethical issues. I really can’t imagine teachers purposely trying to steal other teachers work or not protect students privacy. There are many issues teachers need to be aware of. I am being very careful now with what I share with students online. I have been making lessons on Seesaw and had plans to attach worksheets but am now making my own. I have also been learning more about Seesaw while primarily using it to do all my teaching. Seesaw never uses students data, they don’t own anything you add and take privacy very seriously. I have been taking the ambassador course that explains in detail how careful they are when it comes to these issues. I feel very safe using Seesaw as my online learning platform. We discussed in class reading stories online to students. I have had many conversations with colleagues about this. We have been only putting our read alouds on Seesaw. Some teachers are using YouTube and running into problems even if they have authors permission to read their books.
This is such a broad topic and has been a big part of learning during this teaching online time. The fair dealing decision tool has been a big help in looking into the resources I am wanting to share. I want to continue to learn more about this topic and be able to share with my colleagues. This time in teaching is a big learning curve for many educators and its hard to bring in all the issues surrounding moral, ethical and legal issues. It is so important that school boards are keeping educator up to date on all these issues so teachers don’t run into problems. Teachers are trying their best right now to deliver quality education from their homes. It is so important to protect our students and teachers during this time and ensure success for all!
Well as the world around us has quickly changed, many changes will have to be made to my major project as well. As my major project has evolved and changed over this learning journey, it will have to change some more.
This week has been very hard and it has been difficult to focus on this class with the loss of so much and so many unknowns. It has taken time to process the shock of schools closing and what is going on around us. Having your passion and purpose gone for an unknown time is not easy. I am missing my students very much. But I have been very thankful that I am in this class right now. What better class to be in as we as educators are all looking to what online learning and distance learning is. This class has prepared and pushed me to look into so many online resources and tools for a time such as this. I have already learned so much from this class that I can use during this time.
I am grateful I got to implement some of the resources I have been looking into as now students are more digital citizens then ever before. I am sad we did not get to finish the unit but am looking into how I can still attempt to complete it. A part of my major project was to implement Common Sense Media into my teaching and teach a unit from there. Unfortunately many of my students do not have access to technology at home. This makes it difficult to implement online/distant learning for all. They may not have any devices or wifi at their homes. This makes it unfair for students that do have access to technology. Right now many of the students and families where I teach are not going to be worried about homeschooling. They are worried about where to get food, how they will pay bills, etc. I do not want to overwhelm them with assignments for their seven year olds. As we get direction from our school board as to what school will look like for the next while, I will update how that affects my project.
A big part of my major project was to look into Seesaw and utilize all it’s features better in my class. What better time then now? I have worked hard to get all students connected to Seesaw but again that is not the reality. I have learned a lot about Seesaw in the last week during the panic of schools closing and wanting to be able to stay in touch with students. I have been giving assignments every day and sending morning messages. I have had less then half reply. I will continue to learn and work on Seesaw and create lessons as part of my project and because I want to be staying connected to my students and families. This will become a big part of my project. I also provided all students access to Prodigy before schools were shut down and have them playing math games on there. I am very glad we practiced logging on to these two apps/sites before leaving school.
Another part of my project was to look into educational apps that are available in my division. I have brought an Ipad home and plan to look at all these apps in more detail and share about them. With this extra time I have a plan to explore them and hopefully get to share some of them with students who are connected on Seesaw.
I am still trying to figure out exactly what I want this to look like and what the final project will be. As this has been a journey and evolved over time I am sure it will continue to change as I keep learning!
Any ideas on how I could present my learning in a clear, easy way? Overview of apps?
Please leave suggestions below! Thank you for reading, #eci832! 🙂
Are you media literate? Do you teach your students to be media literate? Do you even know what it means to be media literate? All very valid questions. Let’s learn together as I dive into the meaning and importance of being media literate.
Access, Analysis, Create and Collaborate, Reflect and Take action.
Hobbs says we need to be able to teach student at all ages to connect these 5 inter-related competencies. When I think of these skills I think of when we teach children to read we use strategies to help them comprehend what they read. We want students to be able to interpret what the author is saying. We intertwine these strategies to every subject. The conversation of being media literate needs to be connected in all subjects as well and embedded into the school day. Literacy is not just traditional reading and writing it also expands to all media that people take in.
In the video series Introduction to Media Literacy: Crash Course Media Literacy #1, they state that the average adult spends up to 10 hours a day consuming media. This includes listening to the radio, watching a series on YouTube, listening to a podcast, watching TV, and scrolling through your phone. That is a huge chunk of your day. So sending kids out into the world without proper skills to navigate all this media around them would not be wise. This media that is consumed has a significant impact on humans all ages. Educators and students need to understand that media is more than news. It’s books, films, articles, flyers, video games, podcasts, poetry, etc. We spend a lot of our time interacting with some form of media. We must teach students to therefore be media literate. Students need to be able to comprehend what they are consuming.
Brad and Shelby’s Video explained Media Literacy education. Educators need to teach students to be critical thinker in everything they read all around them. Brad and Shelby provided information about how we as educators teach students to interpret and create all types of media. They share a list of questions to help students with media literacy.
All students need to be able to use comprehension strategies to understand all media literacy. In primary literacy we teach students comprehension strategies to help them understand what they are reading. Comprehension is just as important as students being able to decode words and read fluently. In a reading assessment, a student can read fluently and know all their phonics but if they don’t understand what they are reading they are not at that level. We ask students questions after they read a book in a reading assessment that go deeper and make them think about the meaning of the book beyond the text. In this same way we should be educating students on media literacy to be able to break down and understand what they come across online.
Asking questions, activating prior knowledge, predicting, making connections and inferring are among a few of the comprehension strategies we teach students. These help students to think about what they are reading and dig deeper. We need to connect these strategies and implement them while teaching students to be media literate as well.
Inferring is my favourite comprehension strategy to teach. Essentially we want students to be able to ‘read between the lines’. I do all sorts of fun activities to get students thinking about what the author could be saying without saying it. We infer throughout many of my lessons and little activities during the month I focus on it. For example, I do a Mystery Mail where staff in the school put together a letter to my students with three clues. Students have to use there inferring skills (or ‘detective skills’) to figure out who it could be. This is building critical thinking skills. In the same way I feel it is important to implement media literacy into these conversations with students.
Students need to be like detectives in the digital world and think critically about what they scroll across. It is essential for educators and schools to guide students in learning how to ask these questions and think about all the media they are exposed to so they can comprehend it and become media literate. For students to be media literate they need to be able to comprehend and think critically about what they are consuming.
Blumberg, F. C., Hobbs, R., Division of Psychological & Educational Services, Fordham University, Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island, & Media Education Lab. (n.d.). Media Literacy for the 21st Century: Interview with Renee Hobbs, EdD. Retrieved from https://www.apadivisions.org/division-46/spotlights/renee-hobbs
This weeks class about what roles schools and educators should play in teaching digital citizenship really got me pondering. I thought about the importance of digital citizenship within our schools. It seems so obvious that this should be taught and be an ongoing conversation with students. But why is this the first I am learning about it? I have been teaching for seven years and have never thought about the importance of implementing digital citizenship into my classroom. This is all new language for me and as I discuss with coworkers, we all agree we need professional development in this area. How are we so uneducated in such an important topic?
Digital citizenship is an important part of education. Students are growing up in a digital world and need to know how to navigate and understand it in a positive way.
This week I was inspired to have conversations with my students about digital citizenship and I have started to implement Common Sense Media resources into my teaching. I was very surprised because of my lack of knowledge with how easy and fun it is to use this resource. I have decided to add using this resource as part of my Major Project. I will go through each lesson with my students and write an overview about how the lessons went and assess my students learning. Common Sense Media is set up in a smooth, easy way for kids to understand and have fun learning about being a digital citizen. There are many ways to connect all the learning to being a good citizen in all areas of our lives.
So far in my classroom we have identified and been able to describe what a digital citizen is. I like how each topic has a goal of what students will learn throughout the lesson. We have been able to connect our learning to our friendship and bullying units in February. It has been a smooth flow to now talk about how we make good choices online. We’ve discussed balancing our screen time and taking time to play outside. Students shared time restrictions they have at home with technology. My students have a good understanding of a healthy balance of screen time and everything else. I am enjoying teaching digital citizenship as it is something very new to me and my classroom. I am excited to continue to have conversations and learn along side my students using this resource. Schools play a crucial role in teaching digital citizenship to students. Most parents may not know what a digital citizen is or have any resources on how to talk to their children about navigating the digital world. I think so much about my students who have families who don’t speak English and would have no idea what their children are looking at or doing online. We have a very important job to educate students at a young age about digital citizenship.
Reflecting on digital citizenship within my school, I see there is a lot of work to be done and growth. This looks different in each grade. As a stated before, my coworkers all agree we need more professional development in this area. Most teachers I have talked with don’t know anything about digital citizenship and do not feel comfortable teaching it. It’s not easy to take a risk and teach something you do not have knowledge about. I have shared some resources (particularly Common Sense Media) with coworkers and have encouraged them to use it. Once I actually go through each grade 2/3 lesson and teach it, I will be able to share more with my coworkers as I am just learning as well. I envision being able to share what I am learning in this class with my collaboration room of primary teachers. I will definitely be sharing Digital Citizenship in Saskatchewan Schools with my colleagues. (How did I not know this existed!)
An update on the rest of my Major Project
I have continued to learn about TikTok from middle years students at my school. It has been very interesting learning about the dances and all the trends. Now when I am out and about, I notice kids doing all these dances and can recognize what they are from. I still have lots to learn about it and will continue to update about it.
Regarding wanting to do an overview on the suggested app Showme, I have filled out an application form to get it out on my Ipads. I am waiting to hear back if it will be approved still. It looks like a lot of fun to be able to record myself teaching and put it on the projector. There are lots of educational benefits for students. If they missed school they can go watch the lesson independently on the iPad. There are also many lessons educators have created that one can show their students or have them watch independently. I haven’t learned as much as I’ve wanted or been able to create my own lessons because I am waiting. Fingers crossed the app will be put on my classroom iPads before the semester is over.
I had changed my Major Project to exploring apps that are already on my classroom iPads. This has been beneficial in my teaching practice. Students are enjoying being able to try out apps that are not just for reading. The biggest barrier has been in class time for students to be able to explore and for me to implement and give them time on the iPads.
I am planning on focusing the next few weeks on learning more about Seesaw. I have been using it to communicate with families and share what we are doing in our classroom. I haven’t done a good job in exploring the student features within the app. I really plan to dive into it and implement while my pre-interns are teaching for the next three weeks. YAY, time to explore!
In what feels like a short period of time, my thoughts on the digital world and implementing education surrounding it has drastically changed. I am thankful for the learning I have received and am happy to continue this journey!
It is important to teach students at a young age to understand that what they post online will always be there. What they post online may become part of their identity. We know that the majority of people post their ‘highlight reel’ which causes others to compare. Teens may try to create a perfect look. They can be whoever they want to be online.
Students can hide behind a screen. They may feel empowered to be who they want to be. They may be more confident online. As I have been exploring the app TikTok as part of my Major project, I have been surprised with observing students in my school on it. Some students that I know are more shy, really came out of their shell and surprised me while showing me dances and their profiles. Others were embarrassed to show me their dances. They all thought it was very funny that I had an interest in it. Each of the girls that have been sharing and teaching me about TikTok have their own digital identity. They go home and are a part of an online community. I wonder how much they are subconsciously thinking about this identity when they are walking around school. After posting videos, they know many people would’ve saw the night before or that morning, are they thinking what did others think? Who saw it? Did others think my dance was good? Are others talking about me? Did I look good in that picture? How much of their digital identities are they thinking about at school? Or how much of what they do online portraits who they are at school or who people that don’t know them well think of them? It’s very interesting to think about how much this identity is a part of them.
When I was young I’d go home and maybe call a friend but that was it. I didn’t have an identity online to upkeep. But as I got into teenage years social media was being created.
I grew up in MSN times. In grade 7/8 my brothers and I would race home to fight our way on to the desktop in our house so we could talk to our friends. My mom deliberately made sure the desktop was in the kitchen so there was no way of hiding what we were doing online. MSN grew into other chat rooms. I remember logging into chat rooms to talk to strangers one time. I just wanted to try it out. I felt super guilty after because there was a fear put in me that these strangers could find me and hurt me. But I had to find out on my own. When my friends and I would have sleepovers at this age, we would make videos on our webcam and edit them in cool ways. The biggest difference now is we didn’t have anywhere to post them (very thankful for that).
In high school I had MySpace and hi5. These were social media apps. I think I was technically to young to have them, but would’ve lied about my age. I have been trying to remember what I even did on these sites and what the main purpose was. I do remember making a profile on MySpace and trying to build my identity to fit in with my older brother and his friends. They were into hardcore, punk music that I also liked. I had quotes from my favourite bands so people who viewed my profile would know what I like. That is totally what we do now with Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and more. We make a profile of what we like and how we want the world to perceive us. I know students in middle years who have best friends that live in other countries who they met online because they connected through digital identities. They never have met in the real world but talk everyday on their devices.
My digital identity started during my hi5, myspace, and msn times. I tried to find my profiles on MySpace and hi5 but did not have luck which is a good thing to me!
I remember in high school when everyone was getting Facebook. I decided to be a rebel and refused to get it. I had a friend make a deal with me that if she could get 100 peoples signature, I would get it. I got it right away after that. I came to enjoy it with everyone. In high school I definitely would over-share. I had a camera and about once a month I would upload all the pictures to an album on Facebook. Instagram became popular when I was in university. At first I thought it was an app for editing pictures. It’s interesting to reflect and see how much I have changed. I stopped over-sharing during university when I thought about what my profile looked like and how I wanted to portrait myself as I went into a new profession. I was also very conscience of what I shared because I had so many older friends, family and parents friends. I cared about what people thought of me so I was always careful about what I did post. I’m glad I would think about what I posted. I had privacy settings so certain people couldn’t see all my pictures too.
Now I rarely go on social media. I stopped posting on Facebook and Instagram regularly about 4 years ago. The reason I stopped posting on Instagram was I found myself always thinking about taking pictures and what picture I would post during a trip or experience instead of just enjoying and being present in moments. After our class about digital identity, I was quick to look up myself and see what kind of digital footprint I have and what people could find out about me. I was happy to not find much about myself. I have a name that is common so nothing really comes up in google except my school website where I work. On my personal social media I have lots of privacy settings. When searching my handle, posts that my friends made and tagged me in came up. I realized that every time my friends post something with me it becomes part of my digital identity or footprint.
Reflecting on digital identity has made me become more aware of what I post and how it may forever become part of who I am. It is important to have conversations about digital identity with students at all ages. All educators should have a chance to learn about digital identity so it can be a natural conversation throughout our classrooms.
“If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.“
I have been putting a lot of thought and time into what my major project will look like. I have changed what I am doing a few times and know it will continue to change as I explore. I have been exploring apps that I have never used or heard of. Originally I was going to try the apps that were suggested in the syllabus.
I will share an update of the apps and my journey through learning and changing my project. The biggest way I have changed is deciding to improve on something I am already doing in my classroom, but don’t feel like I am doing well. I have iPads in my classroom I don’t feel like I am utilizing as effectively as I could be. I use Seesaw to connect with families but know there are a lot of other cool ways I could be using it.
Originally, I said I would look into Aurasma, Touchcast, Showme, and TikTok.
Aurasma- I was not able to access this app. It was not available.
Showme- I would like to continue to explore this app. The app allows teachers and students to have a virtual whiteboard. Teachers can create lessons and share them on their own account. There are many lessons created by teachers already on the site.
Barriers- The iPads I have in my classroom have apps that are approved from our board on them. I am not able to put new apps on the iPads. I have requested to have Showme put on the Ipads as it seems like a neat tool to use in the classroom. I have many ideas of how I can create lessons and use them. I am very curious to see how my students will respond to my voice teaching them on the smartboard. (Maybe I’ll be able to run to the washroom)
I will continue to explore this app if the request is approved. I would like to use the app to create lessons in my classroom. Specifically I will create literacy and numeracy lessons. I will create a lesson geared towards primary students about digital citizenship too. I will then do an overview of the app and share my thoughts of how it is beneficial to use within a classroom.
After looking into Showme app and on the iPads I have in my classroom, I decided to explore the apps already on the iPads. I have five iPads in my classroom. Currently, my students use only two apps fluently because I am not familiar with the others and haven’t had the time to look at the other apps. My students use ‘Epic books’ and ‘Razkids’ for reading. This is where I am wanting to change what I originally said I wanted to do for my project. I want my project to benefit me professionally and my students. I thought to myself:
-Why am I not utilizing what I already have in my classroom?
-What apps are already on my classroom iPads that I can use?
-How can I explore these apps and use this learning for my major project?
-Are there apps that can assist me with teaching digital citizenship?
-Why have I not explored these apps before?
I started to explore what apps I have access to already. I came across a few that I have never heard of or clicked on. I thought there is no better time but now to dig into these and see how I can be using my iPads better in my classroom and teaching.
I will give an update of what I have learned and tried on the iPads as I continue to use them. My students are happy to be able to try them out as well!
I am finding it tricky to connect digital citizenship with my students age because many of them don’t have access to the digital world. I work in a community school that is demographically diverse. If I worked in a school where each kid had a tablet or iPad at home, we would be having a lot more conversations about the digital world. Many students don’t have their basic needs met, so digital citizenship/identity isn’t a fluid conversation in my class. I know I have a lot to learn still and am excited to dive into the resources I have come across to teach digital citizenship and start having these conversations with students. I will continue to look into resources created for my students age group.
I had some interesting conversations with students after learning about digital citizenship this week.
I asked my students ‘What is Social Media?’
They all gave me blank stares. (this actually made me happy because they are so innocent) One student put up their hand and said, “Facebook?”
Other students looked really confused and asked “What is Facebook?”
We discussed more and my students recognized social media apps and it began to click in their brains. I then asked them about the digital world and about being a digital citizen. Again I got blank stares and one student asked “What does citizen mean?” We had a great conversation about being a good citizen in the world and the digital world.
Depending on what school and area you work in, these lessons and conversations can look very different. Regardless, kids will be exposed to social media and the digital world so it definitely isn’t too young to start teaching them how to navigate it properly.
This class has challenged me to look into how to do that and I hope I can connect it into my major project.
Seesaw is an app I use to communicate with families. I know that it has many awesome features, but have not taken time to discover them all. As part of my project I want to improve the way Seesaw is used in my classroom. I want to learn to send lessons out on it and have kids taking pictures of their own work and sharing it with their families.
I plan to make an overview of the app and document the journey with my students. I also want to send resources through Seesaw for parents to start having conversations with their kids about the digital world.
Lastly, I have been exploring the app TikTok as it seems to be the most popular social media app among elementary school kids. I coach basketball to grade 6, 7, and 8 girls. They are my best resource for understanding the app. I intend to make an overview of the app and how it relates to digital citizenship.
Looking into TikTok and having conversations with these girls, it is evident that there is a lot of negative actions and comments that are out there. The girls I’ve talked to like to follow people that are positive and spread good messages through their accounts.
I still have a lot of work to do but have been putting pieces together for my major project. I am happy to continue this journey and learn more. I’m excited to see how my major project turns out.
“The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.” Antonio Brown
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
Education is always evolving, growing and changing with culture and time. Technology plays a big role in how education has changed. As I have read and learned from classmates about digital citizenship, my eyes have been open to a new perspective. It seems so obvious that we want to teach students to be good people and be able to make good choices and be able to contribute positively to society once they graduate. We discussed what attributes a student graduating would embody. But when it comes to a digital citizen, we tend to scare away from what that would look like because we may not know what that means. We seem to scare students into all the dangers of the digital world instead of teaching them to be able to function in this world properly. The world and life in general can be a scary place filled with lots of challenges and obstacles. We try our best to prepare kids to be able to cope and navigate the world. We train them to be good people who make a difference in the world. It had never occurred to me that we need to be doing the same online as this is where a big chunk of time is spent. Preparing students to be good digital citizens is something that should be mandatory for all school divisions.
If educators are unaware of what it means to be a digital citizen and don’t have the motivation to find out or learn, how are students able to be successful?
I believe the term ‘digital citizen’ needs to be in our everyday language. I’ve been teaching for seven years and never heard of it. Or maybe I have heard of it but was ignorant because I was uneducated about it’s importance. The future (starting now) of our education system needs to be implementing digital citizenship. The digital world is not going to go away, therefore students need to know how to navigate it in a positive way.
One of the other points I’ve been pondering this week is what does the future of education actually look like? Can I be replaced by technology and e-learning? Will teachers loose their jobs to e-learning?
There is something to be said about human interaction. Nothing can replace a relationship and being present with students. Being known and knowing others is something that technology cannot do and I think is so important as students are having less face to face interaction time. Technology cannot give a hug, it can’t wipe away tears, it can’t come up with another strategy to teach so struggling learners can have a chance. Technology cannot give high fives and make our kiddos feel loved, valued and safe like our classrooms do. I value how students feel in my class. I have kids that come everyday with their basic needs not met. Some students may not have any positive role models in their lives or an adult to talk to. Teachers provide this interaction that many students need or otherwise wouldn’t get without school. Schools provide community and connection for kids that humans crave and need.
“We need to remind ourselves of the beauty of human connection and of nature and pull ourselves out of devices for a moment and appreciate what it is just to be human beings.” Olivia Wilde
I am seeing through a primary lens, I understand e-learning would be geared more for older students. I am curious what it could look like in a primary classrooms. When I talk with older students, they are just big kids. They still need hugs and to talk. There are so many diverse needs in todays classrooms it would take quite a robot to be able to adapt to all needs and teach in a variety of ways to address all learning styles. There seems to be information and ideas to be able to adapt to all learning styles. https://www.viewsonic.com/library/education/10-trends-elearning-future/
In my classroom I struggle to balance the use of technology. I also constantly feel like I don’t have time to teach the curriculum and need to get my students reading and writing. Talking to students about the digital world isn’t something I am ever thinking of. I always think my students are probably on technology all weekend so I want them to interact with their classmates and be present. On Fridays I always have ‘Fun Friday’ in my classroom where I put out lego, board games, craft supplies, etc. and my students know not to ask for Ipads because it’s our social time. I believe it’s so important for students to be present and play and enjoy being together. They build so many skills from these times in the classroom. I also realize I need to be open and have a balance of including the digital world more in my teaching.
Yes schools do need to change because our culture is changing. We need to keep up with how the digital world is evolving or we will have students thrown into a world with no skills how to navigate it. We need to create students who are digital citizens. But we also need to continue to teach students to be present in our world and be able to interact face to face with humans. Students need to be able to carry a conversation and interact with others to be successful in our world.
I am learning so much in this class and feel like my eyes are being open to so much. I’ve really realized how little I know. I am excited to continue to learn and share with my colleagues at work. I work in a collaborative environment and school that is very open to everything I have been learning here.
“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” David Warlick
“We shouldn’t be teaching kids to be afraid of social media, or that technology is bad for them. We should treat these tools like any influence in their life and help them manage the responsibilities connected to these tools effectively and ethically.” Mary Beth Hertz
This weeks class really got me thinking about how we introduce and teach technology in our classrooms and in general to kids. I make the assumption that kids know more about technology then I do because of the world they are growing up in. But truly most kids are thrown in with no guidelines or knowledge and just figure it out on their own. Students most likely don’t have a very good foundation of what exactly the internet is. I was talking to my grandma this week and she asked me to come help her with a lap top my dad got her. I was thinking how much she just won’t understand with pop up ads, viruses, cookies, etc. Reflecting on Mary Hertz’s conversation, I realized I don’t really understand it either. I just know how to close an ad or click on the ‘x’ when a cookie comes up. But I don’t actually understand any of it. I don’t even know what a cookie or URL really is. So how am I supposed to teach students all about the digital world when I don’t get it? I think we make lots of assumptions when working through technologies and hope that we figure out how to press the right buttons. How do we actually teach the basics so students can enter this world with a great understanding of everything they need to know. First I believe teachers need more professional development to start this process. Mary Hertz spoke about her freshman introduction class she teaches about technology and the digital world. As she was explaining what she teaches I was wishing I could be in her class. I was thinking about how beneficial the class would be for all teachers and students. I was asking myself so many questions. Why is this not a mandatory class in schools? Why is this information not viewed as essential for all teachers and students? Our world is just evolving more into the digital world and we don’t want students to have to figure it out on their own when this is the world they are growing up in. Having explicit teaching about how technology works, the role it has in our lives and education, social media, and safety online is crucial in our education system.
Mary Hertz talk really got me to reflect on my own practices in the classroom and to understand that technology should be an important part of our education system. I think all educators would’ve benefitted from listening in to our class with her. I am thankful to be in this class and continue to learn about so much new content I haven’t thought deeply about before. I am grateful to be learning along side an awesome, supportive group!
How do you think our education system is doing in implementing the knowledge of digital literacy/identity, social media, technology, etc.?
I have gone back and forth on what to do for my major project. I really want to make a meaningful impact on my teaching practices. I want to be able to apply the skills I acquire from this project to my daily classroom teaching. I hope to be able to have a new lens into the social media world and what my students or students in my school may be using.
I am wanting to do option number two so I can be more aware of what is out there on social media and what educational apps are available. I have heard lots recently about the TikTok app and the dangers that have arose. I know this is a popular app for younger students. I teach grade 2 and 3 students and think it would be great to dive into what they are doing on social media and how they use it.
I would also like to investigate three educational apps. I have not heard of Aurasma, ShowMe, or Touchcast that were suggested so I will try those out and hopefully be able to apply it to my classroom.
I am excited to get started exploring these four apps and being more aware of what is accessible to students and teachers.