Our students are a part of a digital society. As we teach our students to be a member of a global society we must also teach them digital citizenship. Part of digital citizenship is teaching students how to ensure their safety as they navigate the internet. The Digital Citizenship web site offers numerous resources including videos which cover the nine elements of digital citizenship.
As a way to guide and safeguard my student’s safety while using the internet, I set ways which will keep my students focused on certain sites. When I have a project t or assignment they students will use the internet I place all materials and approved web sites as part of a assignment in my classes Edmodo site. I know my students will have web sites which are safe for them to use.
I also had my student’s sign a digital citizenship pledge which I hung on my wall in my classroom all throughout the year. This pledge I received from Common Sense Media. This site provides lesson plans and videos for educators to use in their classroom along with materials for families. Along with teaching students proper internet safety at school, we hope this education transfers to home but it is important that this knowledge is transferred outside of school.
A strategic to teach our students proper internet safety teaching our students proper and safe ways to search for information. Our students must know how to tell who is a safe site and what information could be a hoax and when and when not to provide personal information. The Center for Safe Schools provides resources and courses for students and their parents to review have to navigate the internet including the “Friend or Foe “ program.
In the new age of BYOT and BYOD (Bring Own Technology and Device), I have found many teachers do not understand it is so important that we limit the students use of technology to our school Wi-Fi systems and not cell providers. We as educators are responsible for keeping our students safe as required by the Child Internet Protection Act (Richardson, 2010, p10). Allowing students to use their devices under their cell plans does not provide a filter of content and websites. Students could take pictures of student’s right in our classrooms or of use and post to social media sites right then. These actions could contribute to bullying or even but our students and us in danger in allowing the public to be aware of what is going on in our classrooms.
We as leaders we must model to our student’s proper usage and safety in the digital world. We can do this by ensuring in our classrooms we guide our students to be digitally responsible.
Edmodo. (2013). Retrieved from www.edmodo.com
Ribble, M., & Ribble, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://digitalcitizenship.net/
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.safeschools.info/internet-safety
James Steyer. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/internet-safety-tips-middle-school-kids
What can I say about this little jewel. Last year I took part in a Technology Leadership Forum for our District and was out once a month, I presented at a conference and took our Model UN team to several conferences. So I was out of my classroom a lot and did not want my students to miss a lot of instruction. So I started screen casting. I record several days’ worth of lessons just as though I would be in classroom. I would include any material we would cover and record all instructions/directions. The students felt I was there with them and it was a normal day. I thought it would be funny to include "stop talking" every now and then but never did it. My co-teacher told me one day, the students actually tried to ask me a question like we were skyping.
Along with recording lessons, the tools can be used to record additional lessons for to review later or if you have centers created with different tasks at each center. An excellent way for differentiation.
I have used both Jing and Screencast-O-matic. Both are great tools; however I love Screencast-O-matic direct updates to YouTube and Drop box.
I created a screen cast below and included part of one of the screen cast lessons I did last year.
Social Networking and Google
Where do I begin with social networking… I have had a Facebook account since 2006. This was when you had to have a college email to have an account. I found it to be a great way for two way communication about school work and by using groups for collaboration. When Edmodo was introduced for education, I jumped on the bandwagon early on. Here was a great safe way for two way communication for my students about class work. A blog or web site did not allow this instant communication or networking for my classes. I have used Edmodo as a way to differentiation assignments for students, create assignments for grading, and load classroom content and homework for easy student access. My students have been able to communicate with their whole class and myself about class work. There are so many wonderful apps built into Edmodo which allow enrichment to our students. Edmodo just launched a new version with quizzes as part of the software. And there is an app for that!! Some student who do not have access to a computer or the internet at home, many of them have smart phones and allows them to access the content from their phones. Along with all of the other amazing uses for my students, Edmodo has become a networking site for me with teachers who teach the same content. There is a group for just 7th grade Social Studies teachers in Georgia. I have also created a technology group for my school. I post a different technology tool for teachers each day. I have also folders which included information about different TKES information and school procedures.
I am slowly making my way into the world of Google; however I have learned to not have all of my eggs in one basket. I have not used Google docs in my classroom because I tend to have my students create something other than word or PowerPoint documents. However, our school staff does use Google documents in various ways. As part of our professional learning communities, each of our grade levels has a Google Doc create to enter student concerns and celebrations. We then use this data each week to discuss students with concerns. This allows us to have document of this data already complete at the end of the year. I recently created a Google Doc for our school to use in our Instructional Rounds. We are assigned different classrooms to go observe as part of preparation for different TKES criteria. Instead of writing the observation form, the teachers were able to complete the Google doc using their iPad while in the classroom they were observing. The use of Google docs in professional use has allowed our teachers to have better practices working collaboratively. I am sure there are great uses in the classroom, but I have not had the need yet.
Being a social studies teacher, pictures and other forms of media play an important part of instruction. Many times these images are incorporated into lecture in a PowerPoint. I upload these lectures to my class Edmodo groups for students to have access to these files. I have also uploaded class lectures and videos on to websites for substitute to be able to go over the same material I would if I was in the classroom.
A site such as Slide Share allows teachers to share videos and presentations. But also teachers can search for content which could boost their own instruction. This site includes tags for teachers to search.
Social Networking, Google and presentation sharing sites allow us and our students to work in a more collaborative network.
Oh, where to begin in the world of video. Where would history teachers without images to grab student’s attention to events, issues and people. Back when I was in school, the only imagery we sometimes had was the 20 years (already) black and white film from the state of Georgia. Oh how far we have come in 30 years. There is not a day that goes by in which video is not incorporated into my lessons even if it is only for 3 minutes. One 1 minute video can affect the whole student engagement in a lesson.
Teacher Tube does offer many advantages. The web site is a safe environment for teacher and students to be able to upload video projects. Teacher can only be sure the videos on the site and other material is safe for the classroom. I have used the site to upload a video presentation I was doing at a conference for holding place. Teacher Tube does offer many opportunities for teachers to gain content resources and a use for professional development.
Luckily, my school district does not block You Tube for teachers. I have incorporated videos from this site many times. In a lot of cases, I have made screen cast of the videos in advance to wiped out any ads. I do this because you never know what is going to pop up and next selection of videos when yours is done. You tube has a wide variety of any type of topic you might need. I generally play music in my classroom while students are working. In the past, I used Pandora for a particular station but it has ads and it can drain your phone battery. However, the group which I always played I found as a You Tube channel. So now I can just pull them up on my computers. Check them out the channel is called Vitamin String Quartet. They play current hits with no words. Students Love It.
I do have my own channel for my students which I have videos saved my different subjects which students can subscribe to as well. I follow different channels to find videos to use in my classroom. If you want to learn how to do anything just searched for a You Tube video. I had a problem with our coffee maker and found a fix to solve the issue.
I would have to say my favorite channel on You Tube is History Teacher. How can you top Lady Gaga giving history lessons?
I would have to say I have never been one to listen to podcasts or even search to look for one. I am not a big fan of books on tape either. Maybe I am just a reader. My iPod to my iPhone has just been for me to listen to music. I can see the advantage to Podcasting. I just have not ventured there myself. In the past, I have thought of making a podcast for study guides for my students but went the way of an animated video instead. I have done screen casting for substitutes when I have been out school days for my students to watch.
In reviewing podcast, I see they are podcasts for any and all topics and range from a few minutes to a couple of hours. Podcasting could be used for all levels of the instruction and learning process. Students who need additional support on a topic could review a podcast you created or someone else has a review or for additional instruction. Pod casting could also be used for extension. In social studies, many times we must cover a topic at a very minimal level so that we can cover everything. Podcasting would allow providing the extension of letting a student delve deeper into a topic which interests them.
In searching in the education categories, there was a range of topics alone. Education could be personal education, leadership, personal management and self help, but also be topics within the education field. I prefer to search for a specific topic, which could be in multiple categories. I searched for the Ottoman Empire and there were podcasts under education, history and government.
After searching through Common Craft , Teacher Cast and of course Learning in Hand, always have to go to my go to guy, Tony Vincent. Tony Vincent mention CNN Student News, we have watch this in classroom but now I can have my students listen or subscribe to the podcasts as extra credit or additional assignments if we do not have a chance. I can now see myself searching through podcasts to see if I can find anything for myself to learn something new. I am one of those who like to figure it out on my own as opposed to sitting in a classroom. But I do see the benefit to use as a differentiation tool in my classroom as well.
Christa Evans Heath