Almost there!!!!!

I met with Stacy and developed units and uploaded on to Atlas Rubicon.   We have 3 Units in which we will cover Cyber bulling, Privacy and Security and Self-Image and Identity.  This will be 6 week curriculum for our new exploratory called “Digital Age Learning”.

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Stage#3 of our Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Designing the curriculum for 6 weeks was so difficult, to choose what topics should be added to the 6th grade curriculum and what should be added to the 7th and 8th grade advisory classes, we thought of dividing it to the members of the COETAIL people who were part of MS. We divided the Digital Citizenship curriculum into 3 parts:- one as 6th grade technology class (exploratory 6 weeks) rotation for every 6th grader and the other two for 7th and 8th grade advisory.  Melinda, Catherine, Anu, Jason, Stacy, Issac and I  all met and decided upon the topics and   worked on the lesson plans and units.

Here is the site link of our curriculum for Digital Citizenship explanatories.

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Stage#2 Digital Citizenship Curriculum

After sharing the Proposal with MS Principal, Stacy Stephens (Curriculum Coordinator) and I. The outcome of the meeting was that until this year we had an impression that our Multimedia and Computer Studies Exploratory will be redesigned and we will be offering another elective for 7th and 8th grade.  But things went upside down, we got to know that there will be only one Technology Exploratory running and we would have to fit the curriculum of two exploratories and one elective into it,  which was quite tough to choose what to add and what not?  We got Units and lesson plans from Common Sense.  Common Sense has everything laid out so nicely for teachers and it has every unit designed perfectly and that is what we wanted. The difficult part was what to include and what to eliminate, because we cannot run it as a yearlong class or elective. Exploratory is a class  only for  6th graders, only for 6 weeks,on a rotational basis for every 6th grader.  So we decided to redesign and choose the topics accordingly to 6th grade only. We are still in the process of deciding what  name should be given to that exploratory,  some options in our mind  are “Technology in Education” and “Advancing Digital Age Learning”.

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Proposal & Stage One of Digital Citizenship in MS

Redesigning the Middle School Technology classes started almost 2 years ago. Currently, in Middle School  we are teaching Multimedia and Computer Studies, but I think most of the students are familiar with several applications such as   MS Office, iMovie, Photoshop and the use of  iPads  have  made it  easier to use. I think it was time now to make a change in both the explanatories, but the big question was what? And why Digital Citizenship only?  We had a vision of introducing Digital Citizenship into the 6th grade exploratory curriculum and offering an elective for 7th & 8th grade.  Stacy, Melinda and I decided to zero down to Digital Citizenship, because we thought that this is what MS needs.  Digital Citizenship is a concept which will help students use technology in an appropriate way and it is a way to prepare students from misusing and abusing technology and to make them familiar with what is appropriate online and offline.   I met with Stacy, our curriculum coordinator and Melinda Kehe, our Librarian and developed an outline of the curriculum and proposed it to our MS Principal Barb Sirotin.

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Vision of Digital World!!!!!!


Digital Citizenship  is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know in order to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology.

I will be working on redesigning the Grade 6 technology exploratory classes. Currently the courses are centered on technology tools and we feel we can easily redesign these courses to infuse digital citizenship content as the students use to learn the required technology tools.  There are two courses in grade 6 one is Computer Studies and the other one is Multimedia. We would be redesigned with developmentally appropriate content and activities. We will be using TPACK, NETS, Commonsense media, Google in education and will be covering Safety and Security, Digital Life, Privacy, Digital Footprint, Research and Information Literacy.






Me and Technology

A technological revolution is happening in the world of education and it is changing schools for the better! However, with that said I do need to place this disclosure: it will never change the definition of and need for great teaching.

From overhead projectors to Apple TV and from Floppy Drives to I Cloud and Drop box, lest I leave out, white board to Smart board, laptop to iPads and from old Macintosh Classic Computer to Mac Air – there’s been an exponential growth in educational technology advancement over the past few years.  It is important to understand not only what’s coming next but also where it all started. When I joined AES 16 years ago we only had one computer lab with old Macintosh Classic II computers which had very limited applications. We only used them for basic computation and for math practice not to add, they were very slow.  Teachers used to use overhead projectors for projection and the students used to come to the computer lab to use computers. In 1998, things changed when Macintosh apple computers were thrown out of our school and moved to windows platform.  In my opinion, it was the best move of that time.  With Windows machines came the offering of good machines and a lot of compatible software allowing teachers to offer more learning opportunities to their students.  All the laptops and iPads of AES are connected to AES Wi-Fi.  In our technology journey laptops were placed in classroom and I personally think that gave lot of time to teachers and students to finish their task. Now we are gradually moving away from laptops towards the use of more advanced technology- iPads 1:1 which have better apps, better visuals, easy to use and carry and they save lot of time logging in.  Also in our progression in technology we have an added benefit of a very good wireless system which really works.

Technology is moving very fast in the direction of individualized learning, which allows students to interpret content at their own pace and more effectively. Education Technology is becoming more Web based, which provide instructors greater insight of how they can work on student’s needs and can create more interactive learning experiences online or offline. When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than a passive role. Students actively make choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate or display information.  Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons.

“The “drill and kill” approaches to forcing memorization are beginning to disappear, which is a very good thing. In their place is knowledge gained from relevant learning and most important – put into context that students will use for the long-term. “

The teacher’s role has seen a significant change as well. The teacher is no longer the center of attention, as the dispenser of information, but rather plays the role of a facilitator, setting project goals and providing guidelines and resources, moving from student to student or group to group, providing suggestions and support for student activity.  As students work on their technology based assignment, the teacher rotates through the room, which gives the teacher more time to interact with the class.  Dean Groom’s 23 Things About Classroom Laptops and Rich Kiker’s 5 Strategies for 1:1 Classroom Management takes us to the direction of classroom and online technology management.

Various changes in technology make us believe that the past was irrelevant. Communication continues to improve as the result of technological advances. Technology has also shaped pedagogy, or the art of teaching. With the assistance of technology, teachers can create and review exercises online to help their students learn and create online forums and blogs where students, outside of the classroom setting, can discuss what they are learning, to name a few.  There is no doubt that technology has changed the world, whether it is from pen to stylus or telex to iPhone.  A 4-year-old laptop seems so heavy and slow.  In my opinion, we will see a number of things which will definitely disappear some of which are the White Board, DVD’s, Pen and Paper, Textbooks, Classroom Library.  Other things changing in the world of technology and education is the use of gaming technology.

Gaming Technology is extremely innovative where learning can be channeled. Recent findings from many educationalists and various articles about gaming have found that games can truly be challenge based, collaborative and are especially appropriate for higher education. Gaming technology is not new but it was never a medium to learning.  I had always thought that games are for entertainment, not for learning but that thinking is changing.  Sarah Smith Robbins, director of emerging technologies at the Indiana University at Bloomington states, “Games are absolutely the best way to learn,” “They are superior to any other instructional model.”  But how does gaming and technology use fit into the world of being a digital citizen?

Digital Citizenship  is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know in order to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology, but one is often not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage. I strongly feel that this will be part of Education at all levels. I definitely want to go into that direction.

Integrating and Managing Technology in my class

Technology has flipped the entire world and with this change education is no longer boring and monotonous. With the integration of technology, education has become very interesting due to changing patterns in curriculum and teaching methods. During the 2011-2012 school year, 6th graders had an experience with 1:1 laptops and available to all grades were 2 carts of iPads, which were in high demand all the time.  This school year we have launched iPads 1:1 and have had a successful 8 weeks of implementation in the Middle School with this method of educational technology. There are many applications through which teachers can get connected with their students whenever and wherever and vice versa.  Classrooms can be more interactive and teachers can flip their class and what a learning experience it is! 

Also this school year was the introduction of two major Software’s (Veracross and Gmail) in addition to the implementation of iPads. At times, MS IT was overwhelmed with all these various changes.  What makes me more confident and areas where I see myself growing is learning new things and having a vision of how connectivism has transformed technology implementation and taken it to the next level. I can see my school is growing and can see myself growing as well with the increasing quality of our educational programs.  Educational technology plays a very important role in our development.  The Internet also challenges us to change our role as educators and the way we teach curriculum to make the most of it with changes happening rapidly within the last few years.  We have gone from white boards and books to a more web based learning approach.  Teachers and students are able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to and the technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based.  Another added bonus is the availability of students to work collaboratively. The work is becoming increasingly collaborative with an abundance of resources which are Internet based.

Digital Citizenship[h1]  is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know in order to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology, but one is often not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage.


I really liked the Rich Kiker’s 5 ideas about how to create a successful connected environment for learning. LMS (Learning Management Systems are basically online classrooms.  It really fits in with the iPad program at the middle school where the teachers are able to create classroom with a web presence and it enhances accessibility to the curriculum.  LMS will improve classroom organization, help students when they miss class, build digital literacy and add many more benefits like dropbox, cloud, wordpress, netvibes , Gmail, Google docs, to name a few.

There are a few educationalists that are afraid of technology and think something major will happen if they do something wrong. I think this statement by Rich Kiker’s would boost their morale and increase their confidence in technology and allow them to overcome their fear of technology This stuff is new to me and I don’t know it all.  But I am excited to learn it and I know that it empow­ers you as learn­ers.  There­fore, I am will­ing to embrace tech­nol­ogy because I know it will make your edu­ca­tion more valuable.” Digital Citizenship should be a regular component in your classroom and no matter what subject you are teaching, there is an opportunity to promote proper and meaningful use.


Since I am teaching multimedia and video production, both the classes require change every year to keep up with the ever evolving technology.  We are using different software’s for making videos such as imovie and cyber link power director for making videos and audacity and garage band for sound files and then uploading them to YouTube. Once we upload them to YouTube then we put the code in our blogs to watch them online.  Vimeo is also a good place to store and upload and put them into our blogs for viewing. The next advancement into Multimedia Production is going towards mobile apps for video ethnographers to record and annotate videos in the field.  The app allows users to add edit, and delete text annotations displayed alongside the video footage (will see how it works). Gaming Technology is extremely innovative where learning can be channelized and connected to any node and I had never thought of gaming as an educational technology tool.  Recently findings from many educationalists and  various articles about Gaming have found that Games can be truly challenge based and are collaborative, they are especially appropriate for higher education. Sarah Smith Robbins, director of emerging technologies at the Indiana University at Bloomington states, “Games are absolutely the best way to learn,” “They are superior to any other instructional model.” My goal for this year will be finding more information about Multimedia online apps and integrating TPACK.

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By Gagan Soni










































 [h1]Is this a quote?  If so, where does it end?

Flipping Out Of Classroom

Teaching is no longer considered just lecturing. Technology integration has changed the conventional teaching and set the classroom as a Mini Technology  Lab with Projectors, Webcams, Apple TV, Smartboard, DVD’s , Flip Cameras, iPads, Mobile phones and what not.  These Technology gadgets have changed our classroom environment and style of teaching.   Now they are part of our classroom just like whiteboard and markers, books & notebooks. Gone are those days when a teacher used to give lectures in the classroom and students used to listen and used to follow the instructions.  This is the age of Flip teaching where students study the topic by himself watching videos and online lessons created by the teachers or shared by another educator such as online courses and online tutoring (eg  Coetail and Khan Academy) .   “Flip teaching is also called reversed teaching.” (  Reverse teaching is a model that delivers instructions at home through interactive, teacher-created videos and moves homework to the classroom.  Moving lectures outside of the classroom allows teachers to spend more 1:1 time with each student.  Students have the opportunity to ask questions and work through problems with their teachers and support of their peers in  a collaborative learning environment. It builds stronger relationship between student and teacher. It is the fastest way to share information with anyone anywhere. There are students who need more attention and are slow learners can get the instructions as many times they want and their parents/tutors can also help them with their studies at home.

The “flipped” concept is not new, it is grounded in educational history.  Remember the days of taking work home, working independently and using this experience in the next classroom activity?  The only difference now is that technology has enhanced this practice and helped teachers to be more efficient and effective in their practice in a modern blended learning classroom. Flip classroom is a mixture of direct instruction and constructivism, that it makes it easier for students who missed class due to sickness or other school activities they can keep up with whatever happened in their class and will not feel they missed their class. They can watch videos at any time or go to teacher’s blog or website and at home they can spend class time working through any gaps or misunderstandings around the content with the teacher. Many teachers from around the world have adopted the model and are using it to teach Foreign Language, Science, Math, PE , Elementary, Middle, High School, and Adults.

I totally agree with what Mary Beth Hertz says in her blog post

Flip classroom is a mode in which teachers reflect on their practice and rethink how they reach their kids.  It is a different approach of teachers to change the way they’ve always done things by motivating them to bring technology into their classrooms. As long as learning remains the focus, and as long as educators are constantly reflecting and asking themselves if what they are doing is truly something different or just a different way of doing the same things they’ve always done.

These are some pros              

  • Students are more engaged with the material because they are using new technology.
  • Students get to strengthen their understanding in small groups with the teacher assisting the students with whatever they understand. Small groups are more intimate and more comfortable for some students.
  • In especially PE, Science and Math kids get to see the technique visually, rewind In slow motion kids can physically follow the video instruction though teacher can’t be sure.
  • Potentially increases time in class for wider range of learning activities and critical thinking.
  • At school, students can take the role of teacher with a classmate or lead a group.
  • Some excellent resources are available from YouTube, iTunesU, TED, Khan Academy, Coetail and other similar sited opportunity to “learn” fro some of the best teachers in the world.
  • Students prepare for class by watching video, listening to podcasts, or reading articles using blogs that access their prior knowledge.
  • Students then reflect on their learning and organize a list of questions regarding what is confusing them.
  • Students log in to a their blog or teacher website to post their questions to their teacher.
  • The teacher reviews these questions and creates a lesson plan that addresses the area of confusion but does not re-teach what the students already understand.
  • In class the teacher poses questions or give problems and students work collaboratively in small groups to answer the questions or solve the problems.
  • The teacher mingles with student groups listening to their conversations and guides learning as appropriate until students understand.

Con Image from website Image by salajean/Shutterstock

These are few cons

  • About replacing teachers with videos.
  • Students working without structure.
  • Students sometime spend lot of time wasting on technology troubleshooting and failures.
  • Students working in isolation.
  • A means to increase interaction and personalized contact time between students and teachers.
  • An environment where students take responsibility for their own learning.
  • A blending of direct instruction with constructivist learning.
  • A classroom where students who are absent due to illness or extra-curricular activities such as athletics or field-trips, don’t get left behind.
  • Students responsibility of their own learning
  • Reduce lecture time
  • iPad self teaching apps
  • icloud dropbox
  • TED -Ed website with tools to help teachers use video in the classroom and resort to humor for  making learning interestin
  • Lectures continue at home  & teacher is available for them 24X7 & movies are boring.
  • How do teachers know that students are really working.
  • Access to technology at home varies.
  • The classroom dynamic is lost.
  • Every child is not same and it is not for easy everyone.
  • According to a study by J Strayer (The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment)
  • Students were less satisfied with the structure, the flipped classroom “contributed to an unsettleness among students.”
  • Learning is social, students should be interacting as they learn.

Pictures citation from

Pros image  website

Con Image from website Image by salajean/Shutterstock