Digital Citizenship & Blended Learning

I found this weeks vlogs on Digital Citizenship to be very enlightening. I hadn’t had the chance to dig into all the difference sources that talk about digital citizenship so listening to their summaries and combination of their findings was very beneficial. Their vlogs also challenged me to reassess my own digital citizenship lessons and also begin to contemplate how my Major Project for EC&I 832 could incorporate digital citizenship.

After watching these vlogs and listening to the content from class I can’t help but reflect on my Major Project and the goals that I wish to accomplish:

  • Is my project leaning more towards to the curriculum side and less toward digital citizenship?
  • How can I include digital citizenship into my math blended learning lessons?
  • If I haven’t explicitly taught digital citizenship should I be using blended learning for my math lessons?
  • Do I need to back up and teach digital citizenship more explicitly?
  • Am I on the right track for my project?
  • Could I teach digital citizenship through a blended learning apporach?
  • Wouldn’t digital citizenship lessons benefit students and parents?
  • How would blended learning look with a digital citizenship lesson?

Time to Make a Change…

After asking myself these questions I decided I would do a google search on the words Digital Citizenship. Surprisingly the top search that was linked to the definition was ‘What is digital citizenship? (And how do I teach it?)’ I found it very interesting that the first link is related to ‘teaching it’, meaning that someone needs to be the teacher…that this isn’t something you are born knowing (aka digital natives). When I clicked the link (because I’m guilty of assuming that the first link is the best link) the second line in the article states “This is why digital citizenship is such a crucial topic to teach today’s students.” What I am trying to get at is the argument that it is assumed that digital citizenship is the school/ teachers job to teach. The other links from google mostly referred to pre-made lesson plans and activities to teach digital citizenship to students. So I started to scroll through the articles to see if there were some lessons that I could use with my Grade 1’s. However, I was not suprised to find little to no lessons directed at such a young age level (this was my first frustration that began to churn the wheels in my brain). I then started to think of my own students and what they share about their use of technology at home and I started to wonder how much parents are actually discussing concepts of digital citizenship at home, either due to lack of their own knowledge OR assumptions that their child is still too young to learn about these concepts. In my own classroom I have designed simple digital citizenship lessons; however, they are short & sweet and only kept within our 4 walls of the classroom (this was the second thought that began to challenge my intial Major Project idea). Why are we not educating parents on digital citizenship? How could I use the blended learning approach to actively engage parents in digital citizenship lessons and knowlegde? Would it be possible to create blended learning digital citizenship lessons that parents and Ss could complete and discuss together at home? Could these digital citizenship lessons be linked to curriculum topics that I am already teaching? How can I create cross-curricular lessons?

I still am not sure what these lessons could look like but as I began to search the terms ‘teaching digital citizenship through a blended learning approach’ online, I found nothing that was geared towards grade 1 level. I now feel compelled to change my Major Project topic to creating blended digital citizenship, cross-curricular lessons in order to co-teach students about digital citizenship alongside their parents. I will still be utilizing Seesaw to share the blended lessons with parents. Now that I have recognized this gap I feel convicted to address this gap. I cannot encourage technology use at home (through the blended learning approach) if I have not first taught both parents and Ss the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. I therefore am going to embark on a detailed exploration of the 9 elements and how I can create 9 blended lesson plans on digital citizenship for grade 1 students that will coincide with curricular topics in my year plan.

Changes to my Major Project:

  1. I will NOW be creating 9 cross- curricular blended lessons to coincide with the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship
  2. I will NO LONGER be creating grade 1 blended math lessons
  3. I will STILL be using Seesaw and it’s many functions to apply the blended approach to my lessons
  4. I will STILL be using the blended approach
  5. I will NOW be reviewing my year plan to see which curricular topics I can use to teach content and digital citizenship through (cross-curricular)

New Curricular Connections:

I will be using the K-2 section of the continuum to create my I CAN statements and link the 9 elements to age appropriate expectations.

Questions/Comments:

Thank you for taking the time to read through my thoughts as I processed these changes to my Major Project. I am so glad that I called my Major Project Outline ‘living‘, as it definately is now changed (hopefully for the better). Please feel free to comment and leave suggestions/ questions!

Nomophobia…Are Tech Free Camps the Answer?

Last class we watched a video by Simon Sinek. I had seen this clip before but each time I watch it I find myself resonating with something new he shares. I know not everyone may agree with his thoughts; however, in my lived experience with millenials and the current generation I find some of his ideas to be relatable.

There was one statement that stuck with me in particular…

“We have age restrictions on smoking, gambling, and alcohol. We have no age restrictions on social media and cell phones.”- Simon Sinek

This quote made me sit back and question WHY we don’t have age restrictions or age guidelines. I know that some social media apps require children to be 13 or older; however, we all know that most kids lie about their age to access these sites. I also have read different reports that share information on recommended screen time for kids but I am not to sure how often parents are are exposed to this information. The issues surrounding children and cellphone use seems to me to be something that parents have to be proactive in researching, it appears much more difficult to enforce rules once kids have had unrestricted access. This comment by Simon also made me think back to an article I read sometime ago that talked about technology free camps. I have done some research to learn more about these camps, what they stand for, and why they exist.

CAMP #1: Camp Pocono Trails

https://www.summerlandcamps.com/

CAMP #2: Detox camps in South Korea

This questionaire was attached to the article… if you have sometime take the quiz and see where you fall.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/20/asia/smartphone-addiction-camp-intl-hnk-scli/index.html

CAMP #3: Family Bootcamp

Here are a few of the things they treat that are specifically related to technology.

http://familybootcamp.org/what-we-treat

CAMP #4: Camp Grounded

CAMP #5: Morningside Recovery

This treatment center specifically looks at nomophobia. This was the first time I heard this term.

Do I need to continue??

After doing some researching and reading these sites laterally I have determined that quite a few camps & programs have been created in order to combat the high exposure of technology on our lives. However, I am doubtful of whether these treatment centers are the answer. I would love to hear your thoughts on these programs and their effectiveness. Some of the questions I am left with are…

  1. How do we balance technology usage in our lives?
  2. How do we create healthy boundaries for kids and adults?
  3. What does a healthy amount of technology look like? Does it look the same for everyone?
  4. How do we educate students to help them understand balance before it reaches a critical point?

I am hoping that alot of these questions will be answered in this class (EC&I 832). I feel that media literacy and digital leadership will be two key teachings that we can use to help students balance technology usage in their lives. I like the idea of the camps and some actually look pretty fun! However, I fear that in taking away all technology it may make it difficult for people to re-integrate into a society that is so reliant on technology…Anyways, I definitely do not know all the answers and I am still pondering through my own thoughts as I write this blog post. I hope you took the test, learned soemthing new, and if the test told you that you have an unhealthy dependency on technology then go check out one of these camps and let me know what it’s like! I hope this post has also provided you with some questions that are troubling your own beliefs and experiences with technology.

Just because WE may not have an addiction to it it doesn’t mean that others aren’t struggling and in need of proactive intervention. The fact that these camps exist tell us something about a need that we should take some responsibilty in addressing.

THOUGHTS?

What other solutions do you suggest?

In my own classroom I noticed a bigger focus on technology once I became a Connected Educator and decided that one thing I could do to help balance their choices was to create a Maker Space in my classroom. I have found this to be a HUGE hit with my kids and has given them opportunity to create and explore with technology AND hands-on materials. Just as it is mentioned in the TedEd blog I am already looking into how to create a LARGER space for my Makerspace next year and how to allocate more time for it.

Week 2: Blended vs. Flipped…Which will I choose?

Step 1: What is BLENDED learning?

(I am a visual learner so I started with a video from Edutopia)

Their Suggestions:

  1. Look at the research
  2. Define blended learning
  3. Ask “what would it look like in MY classroom”? (I love how personalized this is, it takes off the expectation that there is only ‘1 way to do it)

Kids started to say to their teacher, “We don’t want to listen to somebody else [on the videos]; we want to listen to YOU…we need YOUR help and we want to hear YOUR voice.”- Edutopia

“The online tools are there to help make understanding even better, even more rich of an experience for the kids.”-Edutopia

“We really wanted to focus to be on the teaching and learning part, and on the digital tool as a secondary thing.”-Edutopia

Tech they used to blend content:

  • ShowMe app
  • Podcasts
  • Kids make podcasts

The teacher concluded, “classroom time, direct instruction, investications, discovery, that’s all still part of teaching. It’s not all online. Alot of the face-to-face stuff is still the most important thing to me.”-Edutopia

I LOVE this quote, these pieces are essential to my teaching pedagogy as well so it is reassuring to hear that you don’t ‘lose out’ on these elements when you bring in more technology.

“Kids don’t always GET IT the first time, or the second time, or the third time. And this allows different ways for those kids to GET IT.”-Edutopia

Step 2: What is a FLIPPED classroom?

(I couldn’t find a summary of a flipped classroom from Edutopia but I found one from Common Sense Education.)

“I dont want kids to watch a video, I want kids to INTERACT with learning content. The efficacy of a FLIPPED classroom is greatly enhanced if the TEACHER IS THE CREATOR of the content.” – Jon Bergmann

“95% of kids in the U.S. have access to internet at home.” -Jon Bergmann

What is the percentage in Canada?

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2017032-eng.htm

In Canada (2018) “94% of Canadians had home internet access.” – Stats Canada

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/191029/dq191029a-eng.htm

“The entry point for a flipped classroom is not to flip a class but to FLIP A LESSON.”-Jon Bergmann

Challenge for my first lesson:

“What is something you find yourself repeating over and over and over again? FLIP THAT LESSON.”-Jon Bergmann

Findings after flipping classess the first year:

  1. “more ownership of their learning”
  2. “better performance on tests”
  3. “more interested and engaged”

Step 3: Summary of FLIPPED vs. BLENDED

I created this using: https://app.creately.com/diagram/2ugRO25jQBM/edit

Implications of these findings…

After disecting the difference between the two types of digital learning I have decided that my project and beliefs more closely mirror the BLENDED LEARNING model. However, with the staggering amount of overlap between the 2 frameworks it would be silly to not also utilize research and resources from professionals who are also using the flipped model. I am glad I did some research to find the differences/similarities which allowed some clarity in my own mind. I am now planning to spend some more time researching the blended model. I am hoping to find some scholarly articles, videos, online articles, and hopefully also try to connect with a teacher who is using the blended model to see how I can effectively promote media literay and digital leadership.

…stay tuned for updates! 🙂

Week 1: Gathering Seesaw Resources, Tips & Tricks

Connecting with Other’s Online:

See How Others are Utilizing Seesaw:

Get Up-To-Date with Seesaw’s New Features:

Participate in Some Seesaw PD:

Digital Citizenship on Seesaw:

Conclusions:

All of these items I have found so far will hopefully begin to direct me with my project. I am sure I will continue to add to this post as I discover more resources and hear back from some of the teachers I have Tweeted in regards to what they are doing. My purpose in beginning here is to hopefully allow me to see the full scope of what I can accomplish within Seesaw and how other teachers have already begun to develop similar resources. I am also excited to see how this research will aid me in my current Seesaw practices in other subjects as well. Most of these ideas I was unaware of or have not tried before. I am excited to begin testing out some of these features and reflecting on how they can enhance the resource I am creating! I’d love to hear if any of you have tried these features in the past!

Clientmoji

Next Time…

  1. I am hoping to now spend some time experimenting with these features
  2. Listen in to some of the PD sessions
  3. Begin compiling resources to compare & contrast blended and flipped classrooms

Reading Laterally…Crucial For More Than Just Online Shopping

After having the opportunity to listen to Mary Beth for EC&I832 I spent sometime going through my own notes as well as the links that were shared during the class. I found the presentation touched on multiple topics that I could easily have reflected on. However, the topic that caused me to reflect on my own digital practices was when Mary Beth talked about ‘reading laterally’. She points out the obvious that websites are set up to be read vertically and therefore that is usually how they are read. However, in this day and age in order to be media literate we need to be aware of the content we are consuming and whether or not it is reliable. If we only read websites vertically we have no way of knowing whether or not that site can be trusted.

After hearing this I began reflecting on how I consume media (websites, adds, social media) . Some of the questions I asked myself were:

  • Do I check multiple sources when searching for answers online? Or do I click the top results and blindly trust them based on popularity?
  • When I see news articles on my social media do I habitually click and trust their stance or sources?
  • When are the times that I check multiple other websites and sources? Have I ever done this?
  • Am I quick to trust the sites of articles sent to me by trusted people rather then checking the source for myself?
  • What are the consequences on my negligent behaviors when I research online?
  • How do I shift from reading vertically to laterally?

When are the times that I check multiple other websites and sources? Have I ever done this?

When I asked myself this question I immediately got my answer: the times I check sources, reviews, and opinions from sites is only when I am doing one thing….shopping online. After I realized this it caused me to reflect further on the ‘WHY’. Is it because I am more fearful of being scammed out of my money? Why do I not fear the same of being scammed out of the truth? Why am I more concerned with where my ‘stuff’ is coming from and less where my knowledge is coming from? Some of these questions I am still wrestling with and probably will continue to do so as I challenge the roots of my online habits.

Side note: Just curious, with the startup of so many blogging/lifestyle Instagram accounts does anyone find that they blindly ‘trust’ the items and sites being promoted by these ‘real people’ who make a living from blogging and sharing products? I catch myself naively trusting that these bloggers have my best interests in mind vs. their own (which is that these accounts are their business). Not to group in all bloggers, more just a pondering I have had in the last week. I’d love to hear others opinions, especially if someone knows one of these bloggers or is one. How do these bloggers avoid promoting just for the sake of business?

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

Called Out!

I recently had a friend ask me about a certain author that I had been reading. She said she was also given a book by the same author to read. I asked her how she liked the book and she said she hadn’t read it yet…I was a bit confused. I asked her why and she said she was still doing research about the author; who the author was affiliated with and what her beliefs were. I was a bit stunned to say the least. Not that I don’t understand that you can’t just read anything but because I had read the book and it all sounded ‘good’ to me. However, her explanation of why it was imported to look into the author’s background opened my eyes to why it is important to ‘check into things’ no matter how you feel about a book or source. Initially I had thought of this experience as an isolated conversation but as I began to reflect on ‘reading laterally’ I started to see how it was one and the same with how I should also be reading online.

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Implications Moving Forward

As I look back at my thoughts and the learning that I have encountered I cannot help but see the importance of changing my patterns of reading media. I believe that the biggest reason that I haven’t been reading vertically is due to laziness and the assumption of low-risk when absorbing information. However, after reading Ch. 1 & 2 of ‘Media Literacy’ by Potter I am now aware that ALL the information we absorb and HOW we absorb it affects our brains and how we think and feel about media. I am finding that I am still at the beginning stages of discovering the multiple changes that I need to undergo in not only my habits but also my thinking around media. Although reading vertically will take more time I now see that it is just as essential whether I am spending my money OR my time online.

I’d love to hear others thoughts, experiences, and learnings in regards to this area. Have you experienced the same things? When and how do you read vertically? What are your suggestions for HOW to read vertically? Are there specific sites that make ‘checking’ easier? What are your go-to’s?

Living Outline for Major Project; Grade 1 Adding Strategies with Blended Learning/ Flipped Classrooms

My goal for this project is to increase students digital literacy by creating a resource that allows students to learn at school and at home. I will be working through the app Seesaw to share activities and videos with my students and their families.

Defining Blended Learning: “Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.[1][2][3] While students still attend “brick-and-mortar” schools with a teacher present, face-to-face classroom practices are combined with computer-mediated activities regarding content and delivery.” – Wikipedia

Defining Flipped Classrooms: “A flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom. In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home while engaging in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor.”- Wikipedia

The purpose that I chose this project is because I feel there is a disconnect between technology use at home & school. I have also found that when I assign homework or things for Ss to practice at home it isn’t taught in the correct manor. I have tried sending one video home prior and alot of my students said that they watched the video. However, I feel there needs to be more training and better resources available in order to allow parents and Ss to feel confident with a blended/flipped learning appoach.

Outcomes For My Major Project:

  • Students can use technology at home to practice concepts they are learning at school
  • Parents can see and replicate school lessons and materials at home
  • Students can pause and play the videos as often as they wish to practice concepts at their own pace
  • Students can manipulate digital worksheets to build and explore math concepts
  • Students can send their digital worksheets home to show their parents how they are doing
  • Parents can assess a child’s progress through the digital worksheets and choose which topics their child needs to work on further at home (they can then select the corresponding content video from the teacher)
  • Students can create their own blended learning videos explaining the math strategies
  • Students can see and understand how technology can be used as a tool to create, demonstrate, teach, and learn from
  • Students can manipulate technology to show their learning

Curriculum Ties: Grade 1 Mathmatics N1.10

Describe and use mental mathematics strategies (memorization not intended), such as:

  • counting on and counting back
  • making 10
  • doubles
  • using addition to subtract

to determine basic addition facts to 18 and related subtraction facts.

I chose this outcome because I find mental math strategies to be very important and also very misunderstood (especially by parents who may have not grown up learning math this way).

Plan:

  1. Make a list of the different mental math strategies
  2. Decide whether my project is more on the blended learning side or the flipped classroom side
  3. Find a video platform that I can use
  4. Investigate Seesaw further to test how I can make my videos and activites
  5. Begin making activities and videos for each strategy

Research:

Conclusion: I am sorry if this project is hard to follow. Currently, I have a very big idea for how it will turn out but I am not certain as to what roadblocks I may encounter as I work through it. I am certain that things will change and develop as I begin to work through it. Thank you for your patience in advance as I record my learning process along the journey to my final product. Please let me know if something is unclear or if you have any suggestions!

A Little About Me

Hey guys, it has been along time since I have been active on my blog so it feels a little weird to write in this format again. I believe I first started my blog when I took ECMP 355 with Katia Hildebrandt in my last year of Education at the U of R. It was fun to reopen my blog and see my old posts and the way I thought and shared my ideas before I was really in the classroom. In the 4 years since graduating I feel that I have been on a roller coaster of reassessing my beliefs and pedagogy around technology and it’s role in the classroom.

I am a currently the grade 1 teacher at St. Catherine Community School. I have been in this position for the last 4 years. As a naive teacher I assumed I would develop a curriculum and then reuse the same content each year. However, after my second year I began to hear about a technology initiative that my school division (@RCSD_No81) was starting. The program was called The Connected Educator program. Our school tech coach approached me to see if I was interested in joining the program. I was very hesitant intially and wrestled through my personal beliefs surrounding technology, some of my questions were:

How can I use technology in a meaningful way with such a young grade?

Do these Ss already use too much technology at home?

Do I know enough to successfully implement technology into my teaching?

What if I make a mistake and it impacts them long term in a negative way?

These self-reflection questions drove me to finally apply and get accepted but they also guided the research that I did on my own the summer before implementing technology the following year. I have now been a Connected Educator (if you have more questions about what this program is please ask, I also assume I will be going into the details of it in my future posts) for 2 years and I am so happy I chose to dive in and not let my fears and doubts stop me from giving my students opportunities to learn with technology. However, those initial questions that I asked myself still guide each choice that I make when I consider trying something new with technology in my classroom. I have found that by asking myself those questions and being aware of the seriousness of incorporating technology I have been able to proceed with caution into the world of technology without fearing the long term consequences of over-exposure on my Ss.

Anyways, with this perspective and approach in mind I chose to sign up for ECI 832 in order to continue to grow and develop my understanding of digital & media literacy. I know that there are many things to still learn, especially because technology is constantly changing at a rate I will never be able to keep up with. In taking this class I hope that I will be exposed to new perspectives that will challenge my own pedagogy surrounding technology as well as critically examine the ‘why’ to my beliefs around implementation. I am excited to learn from everyone in this class and begin this purposeful journey of digital citizenship and media literacy.

P.S. Here are a few things I enjoy doing in my free time:

Thanks for reading my first blog back! I’d love to hear if anyone can relate to some of the questions I had before I incorporated technology!

-Sarah