Course 2: Week 4

We had another brain-stimulating meeting this past Saturday, to discuss the big ideas and themes of Digital Citizenship. Thanks to all who attended!

Discussion Highlights

A huge thanks to Travis, Jamie and Sean, and Madeleine and Vivianne who took notes during our session!

We started off watching this year’s K12Online Conference pre-conference keynote by Angela Maiers:

And followed with Jane McGonigal’s amazing TED Talk:

These two videos prompted a great discussion about both the importance of play and experimentation in the classroom, and the need for recognizing “free time” on the computer as more than just “messing around“. Including:

  • How does ‘play’ and the celebration of failure as a way of learning carry through to HS from younger years? Does it?
  • We need to be aware that a digital sandbox is more permanent than real sandbox (it’s more like ‘wet cement’, rather than soft sand…)
  • In addition to digital forms of play, we can also aim to incorporate real life play (legos, games).
  • If students are spending massive amounts of time outside of school hours playing games (creating a “parallel curriculum” according to Jane McGoninigal, how can we bring these together?
  • We need Responsible Use Policies (and a common understanding of what they say) to ensure that misuse of a tool does not result in the confiscation of the tool.
  • Augmented reality, Four Square – there will be more crossover between game world and reality with changing technology.
  • The idea of gamers as a workforce was appealing, for example: Foldit – is using crowdsourcing to solve real world problems – protein folding, flu solutions.
  • Student gamers discussed: how can they be engaged and challenged?

Next, we took a look at the recent casebook: Our Space: Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World and discussed how we can apply these Digital Citizenship elements in our specific areas of our schools. Some suggested strategies were:

  • Ways of practically implementing Digital Citzenship program – across different subjects and grade levels: not just ‘PSHE’ time.
  • Use specific people in each subject and grade level to implement different aspects of DC and document this in the curriculum
  • Has to be phased in and regularly monitored in relation to changes and topical issues / things that come up in classes.

Then, we explored some technology related case studies from The University of Alabama. Although each case was different, we discovered some common themes:

  • Technology should not be blamed for behavior. It’s not the tool causing the problem; it’s the choices, ethics, behaviors.
  • A constant culture of discussion of ethics around Digital Citizenship needs to be encouraged and fostered in every school.
  • In addition to  teaching students how (and why) to use Creative Commons media, we can also teach them to use their own original photos, create their own original music, and then share that media in a Creative Commons space as well.
  • Technology tools are only as good as how they are used to impart skills, and foster creativity, collaboration, connection.

Finally, we spent some time pimping our blogs! Everyone had a chance to:

Course Updates & Reminders:

Assignments & Deadlines:

  • Requirements for the course: 1 blog post and 1 comment per week (6 weeks).
  • In addition to the weekly requirements, you also need to complete a final project along with a blog post reflection.
  • Your final project can be to:
    • Create/Modify a Responsible Use Agreement for your school
    • Create/Modify a social media policy for your school
    • Create a unit planner that addresses the issues covered in this course
  • Some ideas for final project inspiration:
  • The final project is due on December 16th – this is a great opportunity to work in grade-level or department teams.
  • The final project also includes 1 reflective blog post describing the process of creating the final project and how you plan to implement.
  • If none of these ideas appeal to you, please check with your instructor – we’ll find something that meets your needs!

Next Meetings:

  • Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 6th, from 4:30pm – 6:30pm in the Loft at YIS
  • Our final meeting for this class is Saturday, December 10th, from 9am – 4pm in the Canteen at YIS (please note the location change)
We’re almost there! Just two more weeks to go and you will be finished with your first two COETAIL classes! We’ll complete two more next semester, and the final course 5 during the fall of 2012. 
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