Learning new technology is fun, teaching it is so much more complicated. Finally decided to take the plunge and use an easy online tool with my fourth graders…Quozio. They had written haikus for Poetry Month and I wanted to be able to display electronically on school website. The learning curve was not related to Quozio but rather the students trying to remember their email addresses even when a written reminder of the format was up on the smartboard! Watching them type was equally painful. Despite my students being digital natives/residents, I was asked several times “how do I make the cursor go to the next line?” (Hit enter) The lesson became less about using presentation software and more of an assessment of basic keyboarding skills and recognition of email address components. (not just your student ID, where’s the @, the domain? the extension?) Thus the Quozio lesson became more of a lesson for me than a lesson for my students. which is okay, just not exactly what I had planned.
The Coding Club was a complete success for me and my students. Although several dropped out when they realized that perseverance was more a factor than gaming skills, the ones that stayed, faced obstacles, persevered, and accepted help from other students, definitely enjoyed the club. One student in particular, has difficulty every single week, very little comes easily for her, but because the Code.org curriculum and club environment is nonthreatening and nonjudgmental, she has stayed the entire time. We ran the club for approximately 3 months but most of our students did not complete Course 2. My co-teacher and I felt very positive about our interactions with the students, looked upon the time as “relaxing” and even missed the club on days when we had to cancel for one reason or another. We would continue the coding club but have decided to take advantage of the fleeting spring weather and form a hiking club. I would do Coding again. I might look into other coding sites such as Scratch for next year just to change it up for the students I hope will be returning.
I’ve been using my Libguides more often. More for the Common Core Modules that we repeat every year. It is easier to add new links, like the Cultural Institute gallery I created, to already existing units than trying to remember from one year to the next what resources I have used. “My Favorites” list was getting ridiculous.
As I learn these new programs, I am very aware how much time is required to survey new technology. Some are accessible for my students, some are not. Some I would love to use but are blocked by the district. The vetting process takes time and I am glad I get PD credit because otherwise I would feel like I was just surfing endlessly and oft times for naught!
I just spent WAAYY too much time in Google Cultural Institute! I will definitely use the Civil Rights gallery next year for either MLK or Black History month. Great resource. For my project, I created a gallery to align with Lightning Thief.
Google Cultural Institute Lightning Thief Gallery
I envision referencing the statues, analyzing the symbolism and comparing to text. Obviously this could have been done with Google images and PPT but using Cultural Institute saves time in curating copyright free images and finding appropriate text to match the image. Additionally, viewing other galleries can inspire another project or simply be a joy to look at.
And now I will add my gallery to my 6th grade Libguide…
I reviewed Common Sense curriculum for k-2. Although I could use the initial video “going Places Online” with k-2 students, the 15 question assessment is more appropriate for my 1st and 2nd graders and would have to be done on the smartboard as a group with my 1st graders since the language skills required is pretty high. Although I would love to review the second lesson using alphabetical order with kindergarteners, I don’t have a printer in the library so it would make the activity difficult to complete. Loved the Keep it Private lesson mainly because it introduces them to new/safe online game sites Scholastic and Lego especially. It’s somewhat confusing that Common Sense specifically includes parent’s address as something private and NOT to be shared and then Lego site requests this same information. A little confusing. Probably the teacher should clarify that parents should be asked before email information is provided. I’ve already decided to include unit 1 K-2 in my upcoming lessons.
I think digital citizenship is more easily taught in primary and intermediate grades. By the time my students have reached 6th grade, they’ve already been exposed to a myriad of inappropriate material and most of the teaching material is too “cheesy” (their word not mine) and easily ridiculed. They don’t even see their own gossiping behavior as bullying. I have been keeping an eye on “Internet ruined my Life” TV show as a possible teaching tool. Many of my students know Catfish the TV show and comment on how incredible it is that these individuals lie to such a great extent and that profiles cannot be believed. Although I don’t condone 11 year olds watching Catfish, it does allow for a lively discussion about healthy skepticism and how people choose to present themselves.
I’ve been collecting articles wherein there are actual consequences for inappropriate behavior. Students suspended for a year for posting bullying video Most of the time, felony charges are dropped, but extended school suspensions and death threats to families of cyberbullies is commonly reported. I am trying to build a “reality check” lesson for my 6th graders but still remain mindful of sensitive subject matter. It’s still a work in progress.
I have used the cyberbullying questionnaire from http://www.stopcyberbullying.org and had my students complete it anonymously. Most of my 4th and 5th graders will score well but there is always a handful of students who fall in the cyberbully realm and not so ironically admit it freely and even boastfully. Again, the questionnaire provides a lively and very animated discussion about online behavior and how to respond to it. Conclusion: this is an ongoing discussion. The laws are not definitive and the pushback is on the school systems to institute policies to safeguard against cyberbullying. I am currently taking DASA training but even that fall short of definitive guidelines. It’s imperative that teachers keep abreast of new cases and legal outcomes.