Monthly Archives: April 2010


Digital Footprint

Because the web is new, we are the first generation and every time we go online we leave a trail. But, who’s watching you? These days we are encouraged to add lots of information about ourselves onto the Internet, which gives lots of opportunities to be creative and develop good skills. Aside from the fun stuff, we always should remember that the Internet is an open environment. Personal information is routinely collected and kept for years and years by companies wanting to sell you stuff and viewed by individuals looking for information about you. So, keep safe and don’t put too much information about yourself online.

It is important to protect your identity and your own digital footprint and your individual actions. We also particularly need to be aware of the other important part of our footprint best described as digital shadow. These include things like images of you on a surveillances, your bank records, your retail and airline purchase records, telephone records, your medical database entries, information about your web searches, information about credit cards purchases, etc. This means that we need to protect ourselves from identity theft. In this unstructured information world, discipline is needed. One positive side of all is that there will be traces left of individuals for eternity. Future generations will become acquainted with many of us due to what common people are leaving behind. As educators we should teach our kids digital safety.

While checking my Google Reader at Across my Desk from E-Learning Journeys by Julie Lindsay, I found a list of social media etiquette rules for students. If you know someone watching you let’s start by being respectful in social media.


Course 1 Reflection Final Project

Course 1 Reflection on the process of creating my final project

While doing the course I was immediately infused by the possibilities of using information technology to empower the highly talented English language learning students I work with in my grade 8 EAP humanities class. Knowing that I could get the support I needed, not to be afraid of my limitations technology wise, and realizing that my students are living in this digital nation, I leaped into the tech pond. My goal for my students is to give them an opportunity to use content and practice language needed to “survive” in their core humanities classes and to present their learning to a wider audience, including their mainstream peers.

Stage 1. Identify Desired results.

Students in grade 8 Humanities class study Africa, with a particular focus on South African history and culture. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the Social Studies outcomes students are asked to complete several activities from options prepared for them. After completing an activity students are asked to complete a “learning reflection” describing what they learned in the process and explaining the connection to the given Social Studies outcomes.

Stage 2. Assessments

I wanted to add a new option to the activities that would be both authentic and meaningful. In order to help deeper understand that individual development and identity of a person is related to the time period and society in which the person lives, I came up with the idea of interviewing a native South African and make a documentary style of movie placed on youtube.

Stage 3. Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction.

Using digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to learning of others. (NETS.S)

Within no time I could envision our interview and see how important language and content skills are embedded and how information technology would play an important role. Meeting my students only six days out of eight for one period only wasn’t going to be enough and I finally found purposeful use of my “ready to be used” inside ISB blog. Our interview would take place live at school and we had to come up with relevant questions and used the class blog to communicate information and ideas effectively.

Once prepared, students collaboratively conducted the interview and used flipcameras and digital cameras for the recordings. To determine what acceptable evidence of competency in the outcomes and results, students needed to decide which information was relevant rather than interesting for a documentary movie. Based on this information, students used Creative Commons to find relevant images to help support the information in the movie. Although quite time consuming, because we can only use the Mac Lab, this project creates many learning and language using opportunities because of using information technology.

Thanks to this course I am grateful that I’ve discovered and gained more confidence to leap in this tech pool so that I can better support ELL’s in their language learning development.