I’ve been writing this blog post in my head all week and it’s changed tracks about 100+ times! This morning at about 6 am the writing started again… it’s Saturday but my brain wasn’t about to take the day off!
I have been doing a great deal of thinking about my major project and trying to decide if I am on the right track. I’ve questioned myself more than not but after our discussion in class this week about Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship I am feeling like I have a better vision of where I am going and how I am going to get there. In my previous post From Panic to a Plan… Sort of! I outlined my vision for this project and the steps I had taken up to that point. In my exploration of the nine elements I also came across a break down, on the same site, of how one could incorporate them into the K-8 classroom and really appreciated the guide as my project has taken on a bit of a new look, that I will explain a little later!
The overall goal and plan for the Tech Team has stayed the same however there was a major curve in the road that I didn’t anticipate. Perhaps it was that I hadn’t done enough research ahead of time or it was an opportunity for growth and some new learning. I am choosing to go with the second option because we are on a role and learning is happening!
I had originally intended to have the students explore, use and teach about how to use Powtoon as our first Tech Team task. After some research and looking into how I would go about getting the Tech Team set up to use Powtoon I realized that none of the students on the team are 13 years and older. This means they can’t create an account, which in turn means I need to pay for a subscription so I can set them up with an account.
This is when I emailed Alec and tried to figure out if I was on the right track. He asked some great questions that had me reflecting on my overall process and ideas for this project. I chose to take a step back and come up with a new plan. I had to think about, what is something the Tech Team will be interested in but that will also allow us to explore new media literacies as well as digital citizenship?
This is where my project has kind of taken on a new look but with the same end goal! I am choosing to look at it as two vehicles, cruising down a double lane highway, going the same direction but getting to their final destination (wherever that might be) on their own terms and in there own way! You’ll have to excuse me for a minute here as I use my metaphor to explain the new direction! One of the vehicles travelling along this highway is the Tech Team who are now exploring their GAFE accounts, more on this in a bit! The other is carrying my Grade 2 class as they explore digital citizenship through the use of Seesaw!
What is the tech team up to now? Team members have split into three groups to explore: how to access and organize your google drive, how to start a google slide by choosing a theme and organizing it, how to add media to a google slides presentation. They are currently working on brainstorming list of steps that someone who is unfamiliar with google drive & slides would need to know. Next steps are to learn about what a screencast is, how to create one, create a screen cast to help educate others and then share these screencasts with staff and students in our school! One of the questions Alec asked my when I checked in about my project as where the ideas for the tasks for this team were coming from. My initial hope was for the students to create these ideas and I hope that in the future this will be something that happens. I realized in the first couple meetings with this team that their current knowledge of various media literacies, although there, was not something they could describe or explain. So for right now, the ideas are coming from me but how we are approaching them is a team effort. I am not sure if this is the right or wrong way but I want them to have ownership as well as develop their language and understanding of various media literacies. Any thoughts on this?
What are we up to in grade 2 on Seesaw? We have been using Seesaw all year long and the students are very proficient with how to post but we have not made great use of the opportunities to communicate with one another and celebrate each other’s learning through the comment feature. This past week we re-visited the book The Technology Tail: A Digital Footprint Story (Communicate with Confidence) and then discussed what a true, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind post would look like! The comments have started to flow in and I am happy to report the excessive use of emoji’s has drastically decreased! Did you know you can show someone you are happy by using one happy face in the same way as using say, 20 happy faces?
My goal going forward is to focus on the development of digital security, etiquette, literacy and communication. I know this project will touch on all aspects of the nine elements as well as pieces that the elements don’t discuss. I don’t want to worry too much about which specific pieces of citizenship this project is focused on but rather to ensure that I am creating opportunities for students to engage in the online world in a supportive environment. One that teaches them how to be a supportive, encouraging, engaged and active citizens of the online world who are aware of their own impact. In the next couple of weeks I will be looking closer a the ISTE Standards for Students as I begin to put together a teachers guide to creating digital citizens as part of my project!