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.

 

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 

Gaming and Digital Learning

wordle by rledda82, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  rledda82 

Every Sunday evening I participate in #FSLChat on twitter (#FSLChat is a chat for French Second Language Teachers). Next week, our chat is about gamification in FSL classrooms. I must admit, I don’t know a whole lot about gamification and its role in the classroom. But my major hangup is I’m not in a classroom for very long. So how does gamification relate to my role as a Teacher-Librarian? And can I incorporate it into the 2 classes that I teach?

I stumbled onto this video by Constance Steinkuehler, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this clip, she discusses how academically struggling teenage boys respond to literature in online gaming situations. One of the terms she used was “Self-Correction Rate”.  This is basically a running record of student reading abilities and how they self correct to make sense of what they are reading.

Steinkuehler talks about how the boys she worked with had major difficulties with reading and yet, when they were allowed to chose what books to read, their self-correction rate doubled! In the example she gives, she speaks about a boy who read at a Grade 6 level, but was able to self-correct a gamer’s guide written for people aged 15 and older.

This video helped me in two ways:

  1. It showed me the correlation that gaming has with literature. As a parent of a struggling reader, I get so frustrated at the amount of time my son chooses on video games instead of books. However, while I watch him play, the amount of reading he is required to do in order to play is evident in the story lines of the games.
  2. It also validated some current books I’ve been purchasing for the library. I’ve added Minecraft books, Pokemon encyclopedias, Gamer’s Guides for 2015 and 2016, and a plethora of other video game related materials in print. I can’t keep them on the shelves. I have students from Grades 3-8 frantically searching the shelves hoping one might still be available.

This type of purchasing hasn’t come without a fair share of side-ways glances and questions about “budget well spent” from teachers and parents alike. I agree, these are not classic novels or information on historical events and people, but these books are meant to reach out to students interests and creativity.

This is where I really felt I connected with the words of Ivan Illich in the Research and Develop article: Redesign Education  and the 3 purposes of education:

  1. Have the resources available for what students want to learn
  2. Empower the students to find and share what they learn
  3. Provide the opportunity for the students to share what they have learned publicly.

Although I can’t see how I could use gaming when I am in classrooms for such a short period of time, I can see how providing students with resources that interest them (especially those in gaming) could help them with reading strategies. Allowing students access to these books also gives them the access they need to possibly advance in what they are interested in learning.

 

java books in waterstones by osde8info, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  osde8info 

That being said, with coding being the new wave in educational technology and gamification, here is a booklist of coding books that was shared with me on Facebook. I have begun purchasing them for the library and hope that I get the opportunity to run a Coding 101 session in Term 2 of PAA with the Grade 6-8 classes. I will not only introduce them to coding, but even some great literature out there about coding!

 

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…

Brainwaves and Final Projects

studying hard by Dean+Barb, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Dean+Barb 
I haven’t blogged about my final ECI 832 project at all because I haven’t really organized it enough to blog about. However, the last couple of weeks, things have really started coming together.

My project is a combination of App reviews and role of the Teacher-Librarian (TL) based on technology and the teaching of Digital Citizenship in schools. This past week, I attended our monthly TL meeting at our board office. Our PD was going through the new Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools continuum and discussing specifically what the role of the TL is in supporting and educating students with regards to Ribbles Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. Each element was broken down to include the key considerations and the TLs were asked if those elements were essential parts of their job to educate.

One of the major points that came across consistently during the discussion was that we (teachers) are expected to teach this to students where the teachers themselves are not comfortable or even knowledgeable about digital citizenship and it’s elements. This takes me back to a conversation during one of our first classes were Katia asked “Could we not interchange the word “digital citizenship” with “treaty”. If teachers are not taught or understand the concepts themselves, how realistic is it to teach the students about it accurately.

 

 

One of the parts of my final project is to adapt the TL Role rubric developed by my school division. Under the rubric:Teacher-Librarian as Information Specialist, there is an element regarding the integration of technology into classrooms. It reads as follows:

3.  Provides support in technology- enhanced learning

EMERGING: Developing skills necessary on how to use and integrate technology instruction.  Introduces staff and students to the skills necessary to locate, access and select online resources. 

DEVELOPING: Supports the use of technology in basic activities including: use of library software, internet searches, and some applications.  Sometimes integrates online learning resources into instructional planning.

EFFECTIVE: Regularly coaches learning activities or works with individual students when applying technology by integrating it into units of study or projects. Organizes technology enhanced learning opportunities for staff as needed. Familiar with the latest advances in school based technology.

ENHANCED: Integrates technology seamlessly into the learning process. Effectively uses technology to support the teaching of curriculum outcomes and to differentiate instruction. Organizes technology enhanced learning opportunities for staff routinely. Keeps up on the latest advances in school based technology.

The current flaw with this rubric is that the focus is only on the integration of technology. If Teacher-Librarians are to be asked to help with the integration of the Digital Citizenship Continuum then our role needs to shift from just technology integration to include using technology safely and in a manner that conforms to the standards set out in the continuum. Part of my final project is to adapt the rubric to include the role of the TL in incorporating Digital Citizenship in classrooms with teachers and students.

One way of doing this is to collaborate with teachers and students. I have 3 classes that will be participants in a half day study of what digital citizenship is and how to incorporate it into their everyday lives. I will be recording my sessions and making a video to share parts of how I am teaching the students and teachers about digital citizenship.

iPhone apps sphere by blakespot, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  blakespot 

The final part of project is to review some apps and websites that support the initial part of the rubric about integrating technology. However, my integration of technology is its use in the library.

I will be reviewing the following apps:

  1. Aurasma: This augmented reality app allows users to view book reviews created by students at the school.
  2. Epic!: This app provides free ebooks to students. Teachers create an account and the app provides ebooks for students to use. They can achieve badges, track progress and has an audio book feature.

The website I will be reviewing is:

  1. Bookopolis: This site allows students to write reviews of books they have read. Reviews are shared with all students who have an account with Bookopolis. Students can also recommend books to friends and find new books for themselves to try.

 

Are You a Good Digital Role Model for Your Children?

I always get suckered in to reading these “Reasons Why Parents Should Not Be Allowed to Text” articles. They are hilarious and yet I can totally relate. I remember when my husband bought me a new cellphone so we no longer had to share (about 6 years ago). I sent a text out to all of my contacts with my new cell number. Not 2 minutes after I sent the text, my phone started ringing. It was my father-in-law letting me know that he got my “message thingy that people do now”. I laughed and told him he should have texted me back. His comment (while on the phone) “Can you tell me how to do that?”  I wasn’t quite ready to explain T-9 over the phone to him.

 Generation gap by quinn.anya, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  quinn.anya 

 

I love that my parents and in-laws are becoming more digitally active in life. My parents both have iPhones newer than mine. My in-laws got the internet and an iPad two years ago. I grew up without the internet and created my own digital identity. My own children are a different story. They are growing up in the digital age with access to the internet on all sorts of devices at their disposal. When I Google search their names, they don’t have a Google identity yet, but I know their pictures are on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I struggle with what I should and should not post about my children. I love sharing their accomplishments and milestones with friends and family that are located all over the globe, but I would feel very uncomfortable and controlling if I began their digital identity. How would they feel when they did their first Google search of their name and up popped a picture of their first time potty training? That sort of image can be detrimental to a child’s social status if found by the wrong type of “friend”.

2640657773_bf636518f3_m

Photo Credit: Childsplayx3 via Compfight cc

I found a three part article about Growing up digital by Chandra Johnson and the final article, How the Internet affects teens identity, really drove home the importance of understanding the need to know that we do have a digital identity. When I was a teenager, trying to develop my own identity, I turned to my friends at school and in the community to help guide me. The face-to-face contact with real people that I had on a daily basis allowed me to learn to judge those I could trust with sensitive questions and those I knew to avoid. However, online, those sensitive questions that a developing teenager will ask will be answered by any and all who have access to it.

In her article, Johnson says “Social media allow kids to broadcast everything while connecting them to experiences they might not have encountered a generation ago. But it also opens teens up to exponential ridicule or an amplified feeling of invisibility that can influence the perceptions they have of themselves.” My question is, is that feeling of invisibility coming from friends and now, family? Parents can be just as engaged on their own devices and social media that they can tend to overlook their child’s needs.

This ad from Ikea pulls at the heartstrings. Kids are asked to write a letter to Santa about what they want. Then, the kids are asked to write a letter to their parents about what they would like from them for Christmas. Overwhelmingly, the answer was more time with their parents.

The video doesn’t explicitly say that parents are more focused on their social media and devices, but just looking around the soccer facility tonight, most parents had their phones out and were actively engaged in them over the soccer practice. When children see that, what are their thoughts? Are they feeling ignored? Unimportant? Is this why teenagers chose to confide online in order to maybe attempt to connect there as they are witnessing their parents connecting?

Johnson quotes Catherine Steiner-Adair, a psychologist and author of “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,”
“[Kids] are playing in a different sandbox. Kids are being kids with a tool that has far more powerful impact than they understand,” Steiner-Adair said. “Parents are feeling understandably overwhelmed by all the challenges technology brings with it. At the same time, this is the age in which we are parenting.”

In his recent blog post, Jeremy Black wrote about the need to make sure parents are accountable and aware of what digital citizenship is. And he quoted The American Academy of Pediatrics study about how parents need to have a digital identity in order to help understand what their child is doing online by “friending” them and following them on their social media sites. However, as Common Sense Media points out, there is an abundance of apps kids and teens are headed to after Facebook and Twitter that parents need to know about as well. Our teens will be reluctant to share everything with their parents, but parents need to know where to begin looking for that digital diary – because it is no longer just between the mattresses of Facebook and Instagram or Twitter.

UMHealth Systems shared this quick video about “Sharenting” that kind of sums up my thoughts.

As parents, we need to make sure that it is understood that what we start posting about our children now will eventually catch up to them when they begin their own path into a digital identity. Parents, as much as children, need to learn about their own digital identities and understand the importance of digital citizenship in order to help children develop a healthy relationship with the Internet and social media.