Friday, August 3, 2012

Tool #11

I would want to make sure my students understood the following three things about being good digital citizens:

1) We're not just keeping them safe from bad stuff online, but safety to empower them to do good.  In other words, it's safety for a purpose.

2) It's important to be introspective as digital citizens.  Ask yourself questions about the purpose and tone of your communication-- will this offend others online? Check your tone, grammar, and spelling to make sure you really mean what you've written.

3) The Internet is forever!  Oftentimes, it is very difficult to remove digital information you've posted.  So if the things you're posting are things you wouldn't want your own parents, someone else's parents, the police, or a college admissions director to see, you probably shouldn't be posting it.

I plan to use the Brain Pop video from the Ed Tech website.  It's short, to-the-point, and can stimulate some great discussion.  Also, the tone of it is less threatening than some videos/presentations, and would make students feel more empowered to protect themselves rather than tempted to break a set of rules.  I would use the resources from the EdTech website to help teach the idea of digital citizenship to my students, and I would also maybe show them some examples of bad digital citizens.  Parents can take an active role in digital citizenship when I invite them to see presentations or projects their students have created online, and to respond to posts on my class blog or class Twitter.

I am SO excited about all the Web 2.0 tools I have in my personal technology toolbox like Glogster, Prezi, Wordle, Storybird, Animoto, and more!  I will definitely have my students use Animoto to create and present short stories when we learn about the structure of narrative. First, I will show them an Animoto I have created to spark their interest and to demonstrate the end goal of their project.  Next, I will walk them through a Prezi presentation of the various story elements.  After that, they will create their own short story using Google Docs and will edit them by rotating in stations.  Finally, they will use Animoto to bring their stories to life.  I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Because I'm basically a 90 year-old living in a 24 year-old's body, I have the tendency to love the "old-fashioned": the smell of a book in your hand, getting handwritten letters in the mail, etc.  And while I think "old fashioned" reading and writing do have a place in the classroom, I have definitely transformed my thinking about teaching to include much more technology than I'm accustomed to.  My vision from the classroom has changed from simply wanting to students to leave my classroom as better and more knowledgeable world citizens to also leaving as better and more knowledgeable DIGITAL citizens, as well.  I will definitely need to make change changes to accommodate the 21st century learner-- creating more project-based assignments, registering for more Web 2.0 tools, and familiarizing myself with Twitter so my students can have access to our classroom even when they're not in it.

I was surprised at how behind I am!  I really need to step up my game if my students are going to be effective digital citizens.  Reading about the Flat Classroom Project and Skyping across the world made me realize that I need to stretching and challenging myself as an educator as well as a technology-user.  It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm ready for it!

I'm really glad I have been exposed to the 11 Tools training.  I would call this The End, but really, it's just the beginning.

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