AoP Tech News October 2017

Tech News, Support, and Information for AoP Educators!

Saints and Technology: Equipping Students for a Life Immersed in Technology

by Annabel Dotzman, Technology Integration Coach PreK-12

The purpose of a Catholic education within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is multi-faceted. Catholic educators are called to guide our students to “Learn, Serve, Lead, and Succeed” Along with teaching basic skills and rigorous academic content, Catholic educators are called to guide students in developing their moral character, thus becoming responsible and faithful citizens. On a daily basis, our students are shown and reminded to use their manners, to be kind to one another, and to use their words wisely. In its basic form, isn’t this what our Faith expects from us in order to be children of God? However, in today’s society, these “manners” must now reach beyond personal interactions and extend into the virtual world. The advancement of technology has made it necessary to foster digital citizenship in our students. In order to continue to advance the core purpose of our schools, Catholic educators must adapt their instruction to ensure that formation of digital citizenship is integrated throughout all the grade levels.

Saints with Technology?

21st century students are digital natives - they are exposed to technology from the early ages. They can seamlessly operate devices, and they are, for lack of a better term, “street smart” with these devices. However, a danger lies with the ease of accessibility to sites and material that they simply do not understand how to handle. Just like they are taught to stay away from hot stoves, how to safely cross streets, and how to handle other potential dangers, students now must be made aware of the dangers that are inherent with technology and must be taught how to be a responsible user of the technology. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has published seven standards to assist students to “...thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape.” The second ISTE Standard for Students - Digital Citizenship states that students should:

2a) “...cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the

permanence of their actions in the digital world.”

2b) “...engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology,

including social interactions online or when using networked devices.”

2c)”...demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of

using and sharing intellectual property.”

2d)”...manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are

aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.”

Upon careful review of this standard, the correlation between developing digital citizenship in our students and developing good moral character becomes evident. These standards go hand in hand with the mission of our schools. Through their use of technology, a student’s Catholic Identity should shine through.

Let's Get Together

By Aaron Heintz, Technology Integration Coach PreK-12

Welcome to October! During the month of October we have Digital Citizenship Week, National Cyber Security Awareness Month and Connected Educators Month. With all of the focus on responsible digital media usage and communication it is fitting that the second digital literacy pillar that we will be focusing on is - Civic.

For those readers who are new to this column, I recommend checking out the August and September newsletters to get the full background on Doug Belshaw’s 8 Pillars of Digital Literacy.

In Pope Francis’ 48th World Communications Day announcement in June 2014 he said, “Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity.”

In short the Civic pillar is centered around the ability for us to digitally organize, share and connect with other people. In fact, doing so, allows us to participate fully in our society. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput instructs us that one of our main responsibilities as educators is to “equip saints (our students) for this world and the next”. As many new social media tools are developed, and as usage of these tools increases, we see that our mission of preparation extends beyond the traditional classroom walls and extends into the digital universe.

Questions for consideration:

  1. How can we help our students master the use digital tools to help them grow in unity?

  2. How can we as educators use digital tools to grow closer as a community?

  3. How does our ability to connect globally empower the following:

    1. Us as educators?

    2. Our students?

    3. As a community of Catholics?

I encourage you to share your answers, thoughts, insights and experiences with us on Twitter @AOPTech

October Challenge:

Bring one of the above questions up for discussion at your next faculty meeting, or during lunch with your colleagues.

Leadership Feature: Mrs. Bernadette Dougherty

"Using My Drive has made my life so much easier! By allowing me to generate and retrieve Google Docs, Sheets and Sides from anywhere and on any device has been invaluable to me. In addition, having the option to share and update files has been very helpful, especially when working on projects or planning events with colleagues. I love that I am able to have all of my documents on hand whenever I need them. Both sharing large documents with ease, and being able to save a document as a Word and pdf document, is a plus!"

Mrs. Dougherty is an Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools. AoP Tech thanks Mrs. Doughtery for sharing her love of Google Drive!

AoP Tech Team

Bill Brannick, Director of Technology

Alissa DeVito, Associate Director of Educational Technology

Aaron Heintz, Technology Integration Coach

Annabel Dotzman, Technology Integration Coach