Tech This Year
A Year of New Stuff
My students were eager to discuss various aspects of digital citizenship, but I can still see the disconnect between their attitude and language in person, in a classroom, and that which they may see or be online. The idea of a digital tattoo really hit me hard; these are not footprints in the sand friend. As safe as we can be with anonymity and password protected sites, it is important for students (especially those about to run to middle school) to realize that they are accountable for their actions online. We had a teachable moment with our fifth graders last week when a chain mail style text surfaced and we met as a grade level to remind students that these things can be traced back to them.
More to the point of this discussion though, our digital lessons focused on how information is presented online (one touched on gender and advertising, e.g. girls with dolls and boys with sports) and went nicely with the Expert Hour/Inquiry Projects students started after Winter Break. Sifting through online information to find what is reliable and reasonable is quite difficult! I consistently remind students that I trust their knowledge and opinions to practice responsible digital citizenship, and don't expect them to let their classmates down with poor choices (and this includes poor grammar on discussion board posts too!)
January: Discovery Education
I have enjoyed using Discovery Education for Science and Social Studies, but had not yet searched for video's about Language Arts. I found a short video on Figurative Language to introduce a review lesson and the kids surprisingly enjoyed it a lot!
My students created Boards, at first on something of their own choosing, just to become familiar with the system, and then on our specific science topic. I did not give much, or really any, guidance and the students were able to problem solve on their own. Most of my students attached images from outside sites and used the videos Discovery Education. Students are now using Board Builder as an option for their "Inquiry Project" (Expert Hour/Passion Project) presentations. This way students can read information and watch videos on student project on their own time.
February: Learning from a Leader (Mike from Encinitas)
I found some great templates on BIE for Expert Hour/Inquiry Projects, including a student reflection page and a student graphic organizer for their presentaion. I was also confused by the organization of the site at first, but once I found the right tab I was able to access what I needed.
At first I was really excited by the turn in classroom feature of googledocs until Shaylene pointed out we already have access to similar features with MyConnect. I still have students "share" their writing with me from their googledoc but turn in some assignments on MyConnect specifically (or both!) It was actually quite thrilling to receive my first student essay from their homework before school started the next day!