ECI832 Final Project: Digital Citizenship and the Role of the Teacher-Librarian

From the beginning of class, I knew my final project would revolve around getting into my senior classrooms (Grades 6-8) to teach them about digital citizenship. Using what I learned in ECI831 and ECI832, I put together a presentation that broke Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship in 5 strands: Content, Copyright/Copyleft, Netiquette, Identity and Activism. The strands were meant to start the discussions that teachers could then carry on while doing in-class teaching while using digital technology. I had planned for a 90 minute presentation to cover the strands, but found out I needed in fact over 2 hours to complete it. So, most classes only received the first 90 minutes which covered Content and Copyright/Copyleft.

I was quite happy with this because those are the two biggest areas that most teachers are not comfortable teaching themselves. I was quite happy that the teachers also came away with new tools and understanding for using content online.

During the presentations, I had teachers record parts of my teachings. Below, you will find a summary I created that puts together what parts of my presentation looked like in the classroom.

Teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom:

 

I also chose to do a Screen Cast-o-matic review of each of the 3 Apps/Websites that I use to enhance reading and the use of technology in the library.

  1. EPIC! is an app and website that offers free online books to students through their teacher.

2. Bookopolis.com is a website that allows students to write reviews about books they have read.

3. Aurasma is an augemented reality app that I use to create book reviews in the library.

The third part of my project was redefining the role of the Teacher-Librarian as Information Specialist.

 

TL as Information specialist old

The above rubric currently displays the role of the Teacher-Librarian as an Information Specialist in Regina Public Schools. In my opinion, this rubric doesn’t encompass the new roles that the Teacher-Librarians have. First, we need to define the new roles of the Teacher-Librarian as an Information Specialist.

As an Information Specialist, the Teacher-Librarian must:

  1. Collaborate with teachers, students and administration about all formats of informational resources to meet curricular outcomes and ongoing social/inclusive topics such as, but not limited to:
    1. First Nation/Metis – contemporary aspects
    2. Gender and Sexual Orientation
    3. Cultural Perspectives
    4. Student interest and reading levels
      1. Emerging: Rarely collaborates with teachers, or only with those at a certain grade level grouping, to review informational resources that are available.
      2. Developing: Occasionally collaborates with teachers and administration to review informational resources that are available.
      3. Effective: Collaborates with teachers, students and administration to identify the needs of informational resources to meet curricular and social topics.
      4. Enhanced: Collaborates with teachers, students and administration to “identify links across student information needs, curricular content, learning outcomes, and a wide variety of print, nonprint and electronic information resources”.
  2. Acquire and evaluate all formats of informational resources to meet curricular outcomes and ongoing social/inclusive topics such as, but not limited to:
    1. First Nation/Metis – contemporary aspects
    2. Gender and Sexual Orientation
    3. Cultural Perspectives
    4. Student interest and reading levels
      1. Emerging: Rarely acquires resources that are related to curricular outcomes and ongoing social/inclusive topics. Rarely critically evaluates current collection to deselect resources that are no longer valid sources of information. 
      2. Developing: Sometimes acquires resources that are related to curricular outcomes, ongoing social/inclusive topics. Periodically critically evaluates current collection to deselect resources that are no longer valid sources of information.
      3. Effective: Acquires and critically evaluates all resources that are acquired and part of the current collection and deselects resources that no longer support curricular outcomes of social/inclusive topics. Supports the use of all formats of informative resources that help support curricular outcomes and ongoing social/inclusive topics.
      4. Enhanced: Acquires and critically evaluates all resources that are acquired and part of the current collection with the teaching staff, students and administration to ensure the needs of all are met. Along with staff, students and administration, deselect resources that no longer support curricular outcomes of social/inclusive topics which allows the critical evaluation process to be understood by teachers, students and administration. Encourages and demonstrates the use of all formats of informative resources.
  3. Educate teachers, students and administration with regards to the ethical and critical views of the informational content and aspects of using both print and digital medias.
    1. Emerging: Rarely discusses any topic related to digital media and digital citizenship but is very current on copyright laws.
    2. Developing: Occasionally addresses with teachers the importance digital content and critical evaluation of the content. Discusses some aspects of digital citizenship.
    3. Effective: Openly invites and discusses current views and trends that support informational content in both digital and print form. Works collaboratively with teachers to address issues of digital citizenship.
    4. Enhanced: Actively engages and collaborates with teachers, students and administration to keep the discussions open surrounding print and digital content and actively participating in a positive manner online by incorporating digital citizenship into all lessons.
  4. Be a technology Leader within the school with regards to technology integration, technology use, and technology etiquette.
    1. Emerging: Often shows teachers and students how to access certain digital content online, where to get the technology and how to maintain the technology.
    2. Developing: Supports technology integration into lessons and research with teachers and students.
    3. Effective: Works directly with teachers, students and administration to effectively integrate technology into everyday learnings. Fosters an open environment to allow for digital creativity. Familiarizes him/herself with all the latest advances in the school’s technology to provide training to teachers, students and administration on its usages. Continues to provide ongoing training about technology etiquette.
    4. Enhanced: Collaborates with teachers, students and administration to provide the fullest curricular experience with technology integration. Provides students, teachers and administration with opportunities to express themselves using digital medias. Models and informs teachers, students and administration with proper technology usage and etiquette.

 

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Teaching the Global Village

 

My school was very lucky to have Alec Couros come and present to our parents about raising the “selfie generation“. A lot of what Alec shared with parents is what we see weekly and discuss in ECI832. At the end of the presentation, Alec was ready to take questions. Here is where I really realized how much parents are dependent on the role of educators for teaching digital citizenship.

Christina Novelli Selfie

By Peter Chiapperino: a concert photographer in Lexington, Kentucky (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The questions asked were around screen time limits, wi-fi and device contracts and “to block or not to block” certain social media apps. And Alec responded with exactly what I was thinking as I was listening to these questions: communicate with your child. Everyone seems to think that there is a cookie cutter solution for protecting our children online, but just like in real life, children need to be taught and shown how to be safe and to be aware online. And no two children are exactly the same.

We can direct teachers and parents to sites such as Common Sense Media or Media Smarts to help with teaching about digital citizenship, but parents also have to do their homework about what their children are doing online at home.

Teachers have the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools continuum to help guide their students in the classroom. And with Amy Singh’s wiki project about Digital Citizenship in schools, teachers will have more content to build upon. I’ve been using the continuum resource and what I have learned in both ECI831 and ECI832 to show students in Grades 6-8 what it means to be a digital citizen. I know my presentation will “reach” most students, but I know that their are other students for whom this presentation doesn’t quite meet their needs. But how far can I go in the school’s education of digital citizenship and what is ultimately the parent’s responsibility?

In Lynette Owens article, Why Children Need a Good Digital Community to Become a Good Digital Citizen, she states that the importance of digital citizenship falls on parents, teachers and technology companies. It goes back to the African Proverb: It takes a village to raise a child. In our digital village, all players are key in making sure our children are safe online. But what happens when the village, the parents and the teachers don’t have the skills or understanding to teach it? What if the concept is so new that the learning misses a generation?

Is this what we are experiencing with this generation of teenagers? When we look at what happened to Amanda Todd and the countless other number of teens who have succumb to the online abuse the internet can harness, we realize the gap in digital learning.

When reading the blog post of Jenn Stewart Mitchell about the case of Amanda Todd and the roles that society and parents alike need to play in cases as such, I was drawn to her additions of the comments that she incorporated into the blog about the case. One particular person commented that social media should require higher age restrictions in order to access and use their sites. But that doesn’t deter children. I know many children who have Facebook pages and are no where near 13. What’s worse is that their parents are friends of theirs on Facebook. Parents help create the lie and allow the lie to continue. When such is the case, are age restrictions necessary? Who is held responsible for allowing the minor to have an account? But mostly, are the parents also teaching what is necessary to be a good digital citizen?

In every Grade 6-8 class I have visited these past 2 weeks, I asked how many in the class have a Facebook account. In every class, hands shot up in to the air. When I asked how many play online games against other people, more hands go up in the air. I don’t fear for this generation of social media savvy pre-teens, but I do worry some. I know that I can teach them about digital citizenship, but I can’t monitor their every move. As a teacher, I don’t want to have to follow my students online to see what they are up to.

So what is my role as an educator teaching students about digital citizenship? In my presentation to students, we study the following:

  1. Content: Being aware that not everything online is true. Follow the rule of 3.
  2. Copyright/Copyleft: Finding and using properly licensed photos, images, music and videos using Creative Commons.
  3. Netiquette: Basic how to’s for interacting with others online.
  4. Identity: We talk about who you are online and what perceptions you leave when online.
  5. Activism: The good people can do online.

Once the students have this information, it is up to them to do with it what they want. In the classrooms, teachers can be vigilant about the content their students are using when researching and making sure that they are using proper media in their work. But when it comes to netiquette, identity and activism, we can show them the way, but students need to chose that for themselves. In my opinion, this is where parents need to step in and communicate with their children about their activities online.

There is no magic website or app that will do all that for parents. To ensure that their child is safe online, they must know what their children are doing online. Communication is key, as is awareness of what they are using online.

 

Magic Button by GotCredit, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  GotCredit 

Digital Citizenship in the classroom: Final Project

I have had a very productive week of getting into my senior classes to talk about digital citizenship. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to take ECI 831 from Alec and Katia. One of the lessons focused on teaching digital citizenship.

I really enjoyed Alec and Katia’s lesson from ECI 831 and took some pointers to adapt it to meet the needs of students in Grades 6-8. I really wanted to stress the importance of the following strands of Digital Citizenship:

  1. Content
  2. Copyright/Copyleft
  3. Netiquette
  4. Identity
  5. Activism

With the adoption of the new Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools, I decided to take those 5 strands and apply them to Ribble’s 9 elements of Digital Citizenship. So, as I am teaching to the students, the teachers will be going over the continuum to really understand what I am teaching the students and what the expectations of them is when expecting students to use technology in school.

This week, I’ve presented in two classrooms: Grade 8 French Immersion and Grade 7 English (only 7 more classes to go – some of the downfalls of teaching at my school). In both 90 minute presentations, I was only able to talk about what Digital Citizenship is, content and Copyright/Copyleft. The feedback has been very positive from both the teachers and students. In fact, I was invited back to help the students with a project they are working on that requires images. They want me to help them use Creative Commons so that they are doing it properly! That is a huge plus in my books!

One of the activities I have the students do is come up with a synonym for the word “Digital” and another for the word “Citizenship” or “Citizen”. Students came up with some fabulous examples. The video below is the activity that I did with the Grade 8 class.

The second video is a story I share with the classes about my first experience with online gaming and my son playing World of Tanks.

Each class will be video taped at different points of the presentation and then I will put together a video outlining my venture into the world of Digital Citizenship with students.

P.S. – I really don’t like the sound of my own voice…