Digital..what?

The masters class I am taking revolves completely around Digital Citizenship, a term I had quite honestly never heard before! It is probably fair to assume that most people are in the same boat, other than those taking this class or other classes with Alec. According to digitalcitizenship.net, “The concept of Digital Citizenship is being viewed as an important area of educational knowledge not only in the United States but around the world. Whether it is called digital citizenship, digital wellness or digital ethics the issues are the same; how should we act when we are using digital tools, interacting with others online, and what should be taught to help the next generation be better stewards of this technology.” There could not be a more clear definition! Digital citizenship involves all of the ins and outs of our online footprint.

When I think about my final project (REMINDER: it is regarding educational apps) and its connection to Digital Citizenship, I draw upon Ribble’s Nine Elements that we discussed in class. Likely, all of these elements could be connected to my final project in some way, but a few stick out above the rest. Ribble’s very first point is Digital Access, something that I know I am guilty of taking for granted. I am quite flexible if a student comes up to me and asks to do an assignment in an alternative way, but I do rely on Google Classroom quite a bit. It might be helpful to add a question on my Get to Know You questionnaire about internet access at home. Ribble’s third point, Digital Communication and Collaboration, is a huge part of being a teacher in today’s world. In the past, I have used the Remind App to communicate with students about their classes. I have moved on to using Google Classroom as a way to communicate about missed classwork, and post assignments and due dates. I also use Team Snap for the many sports teams that I coach, which is a great way to keep athletes and parents up to date on games and practices. In regards to my project, I don’t think it is appropriate to communicate over apps such as SnapChat, however, I did find this article about utilizing Snapchat in the classroom. I need a little bit more research and convincing to consider this a means of communication with students.

Digital etiquette in any classroom is a must! No matter what app or tool you are using, thinking about others and respecting those using technology around you is very important. This is another thing that I have always taken for granted, but after Mary Beth’s presentation, I have realized that I need to teach this to my students prior to incorporating digital technology into my classroom. Digital fluency is another element that is important no matter what you are doing in your classroom. The better someone is at a skill, the more likely they are to learn and grow from it, or as https://www.digitalcitizenship.net/nine-elements.html says, “The better educated or “digitally fluent,” students are, the more likely they are to make good decisions online, like supporting others instead of making negative comments.”

 Digital Law is the 7th element and I can see this being an issue with Snapchat and TikTok. I think that students need to understand they are responsible for what they post, comment, and like online. Stop and think about what you are doing and how it reflects on you as a person before sharing anything online. Furthermore, there is no room for bullying inside the digital classroom (or anywhere else for that matter), so making sure everything that is posted is in a positive manner is essential.

Snapchat has been my go to socially for a long time, so I am excited to learn a new side of it – the educational side. It has never even crossed my mind to try using it in the classroom because I am usually more concerned with them Snapping photos of me or of nothing in particular in order to keep up their streak. I have done a bit of research (and need to do more), but am willing to try to use Snapchat in a few of my lessons.

As I have mentioned previously, TikTok is completely new to me. So far, I have downloaded the app and watched a handful of videos. I am trying to learn the ins and outs of it all, but I haven’t been brave enough to make my own video and post it online…I am not sure that is something I will be willing to do in the near future? TikTok is a bit more controversial when it comes to use in the classroom, but I have researched a bit about this too and it seems as though there is lots of support to utilize it in an educational setting.

For my third app, I never really identified what I will use (other than WordPress itself which is a huge learning curve but not something I will focus on for this project). I googled multiple lists of popular classroom apps. I was immediately drawn to ShowMe, but I don’t think it is for me because I am cheap and you only get 5 uploads with the free version. I think that one app I could easily incorporate into my classroom is Kahoot. This app allows teachers to either create their own interactive quiz or search for others online to utilize. Students join the game with a pin and select their answers. It seems as though there is a variety of different types of questions you can ask. The student who answers the most questions correctly and quickly, wins! It seems like a great tool for studying or summing up what has been learned.

I look forward to learning more about all three of these apps, as well as what it means to be a Digital Citizen. I hope to incorporate more and more of the lessons I learn in this class into my own lesson plans and am excited to become a more tech savvy teacher with higher student engagement.

Change

If something ain’t broke, why fix it?…right? Well, in the world we live in today, something might not be broken but it will need to be changed because every 10 seconds there is a new and better way to do it!

I hate to generalize or stereotype, but it is commonly believed among teachers that older teachers are “stuck in their ways” or do not want to change the way they teach because its worked for the past 30 years, so why change now? If we look at the different characteristics between Gen X, Y, Z, etc, then we can see that for the most part, they are completely different people and therefore, completely different learners. What works for one, does not necessarily work for the other. CHANGE is needed.

I have studied John Kotter and his methodology on change quite extensively in three or more of my Masters classes. The biggest thing that I have taken away from his 8 step process is that everyone must buy in and believe there is a need for change. After all, resistance is the biggest reason that change fails in an organization!

So do schools really need change? Simply stated, YES. Change is good. Change is scary. Change is needed. Many teachers are already keeping up with the times and have twitter accounts, Facebook pages, Remind apps, Seesaw, and other forms of social media to keep both kids and parents informed. Grades are posted online and newsletters are emailed out. Schools are doing what they need to in order to make sure the important information makes it home. Gone are the days of shoving newsletters and report cards in backpacks and praying they make it into the right hands. Yet, not every school works this way and the amount of technology varies from one classroom to the next. You can walk into one classroom where every student has a tablet and the teacher uses a smartboard and Google Classroom for work submission, then go to the teacher’s classroom next door who literally does not use an ounce of technology and requires cell phones to be handed in prior to the start of class. The spectrum is vast and varying room to room.

As teachers, we say that at the end of their educational journey, we just want students who can meet a list of requirements to be a successful part of society. Yet, how successful can they be if we refuse to incorporate technology into their academic lives? Part of being a responsible adult is using your device in a responsible manner. When is it okay to be on my phone and when is it rude, wrong, or inappropriate? I would like to say I have that part nailed down, but where did I learn it from? For most, a moral conscience is letting us determine between right and wrong..but is that required through nature or nurture? I really don’t know, but it wouldn’t hurt to provide a few life lessons through their journey (isn’t that the point after all?).

So, where do we go from here? It is hard to say exactly which direction education will go. There is still a lot of resistance to change, but many have speculations that education will look very different in the future. ECI 832 shows first hand how much education CAN change (just look at us, blogging instead of handing in a physical piece of paper), but is this how ALL classes will look in the future? Will there even be “classrooms” later on in life? Only time will tell. If I had to make an educated guess, I would think there would still be physical classrooms, but the settings within them will change. I also would think there will be a lot more online classes due to the accessibility of them.

If we think of the past, education (both the way we are taught and what we are taught) has changed. Typing classes and handwriting lessons are things of the past. We constantly replace the old with the new, and that will continue to happen because change makes the world go round. If education can’t keep up, then just like every other organization, it won’t survive.

Mary Beth Response 2.0

Since my last post, I have been practicing my blogging skills and working with a colleague to amplify my skills. Since the last one was severely lacking, I decided to retry and reblog!

Another big thing that I took away from the class with Mary Beth was the idea of teaching kids how to be responsible and successful on their devices. Too often we just assume our students are digitally literate, and do not actually think to ask or teach computer use.

Image result for teenager on multiple device

I think it was maybe Alec that mentioned his kids do not take any computer typing classes that tests their WPM, yet we expect them to be able to type out a full report on the computer.

The next piece of Mary Beth’s discussion about responsibility and success was that students also need to learn to manage their time on their devices. Personally, I have a 3.5 year-old who loves to play games and watch shows on our iPad. I have very mixed feelings about it! I like that she is able to learn and navigate through a device, and most of the time she is playing learning games and learning new things through the various YouTube videos she watches. However, I also read articles about screen time damaging children’s brains. This leads me to limiting her screen time (although she would spend all day and night on the iPad if I let her!). It is constantly a struggle because she is always begging to watch her show or play her game and I find myself bargaining with her that she needs to do chores or play with her toys first (and remember, she is only 3!). It is crazy the effect that devices already have on her, but really, if I am constantly on my computer doing my homework or on my phone texting or checking social media sites, then she wants to be doing the same. Mary Beth also mentioned the idea of “mindlessly clicking” and I literally catch myself doing that all the time. I open my phone to text someone and all of a sudden I am on Facebook without even realizing I clicked on it in the first place. I have also closed Facebook so that I can text or call a friend and out of habit, I clicked on Faccebook AGAIN. It has really opened my eyes recently to the amount of time I am spending “mindlessly clicking”.

The same concept goes for our students. As teachers, we need to be able to set good examples for managing our time on our devices and also teaching them about how much time and information is appropriate. As Mary Beth said, we require online assignments constantly but then we say limit your screen time. We need to find a balance here! By showing them the value of technology, we can get students to buy in to technology in education and “validate its importance” as Mary Beth reiterated.

This post is in no way innovative or full of new ideas, but I think it is a reminder to value our screen time and make it meaningful, to teach students the importance of time management and educational technology, and practice what we preach! Devices have literally opened our world to new and better things, but we also have to remember there is still the personal world of talking face to face, getting outdoors, and having hobbies that keep us healthy on a mental level!

Internet Safety

Last week we had an awesome presentation by Mary Beth Hertz. Not only is she an author, a teacher, and a mother, but also a very inspiring presenter! I learned so much in such a little time. One HUGE takeaway for me was regarding internet safety. Mary discussed (and I am in no sense a pro on this topic so correct me if I use the wrong tech lingo here) how predators can use routers and cookies and other tools to discover your private information. I always just thought internet safety meant not to share your location, name, etc. (does anyone remember the “ASL” lingo from the early 2000s? WOW was that unsafe). Now I realize that it goes so much further than that and there is A LOT to be learned on my part. The other day I watched a documentary about a murderer who posted videos online and a group of Facebook vigilantes were trying to catch him. They talked about using a website and uploading this person’s photos to try and get date, time and GPS coordinates off of it. I did not even know that was an option! After all of this, now I am wondering about my students’ online safety plus my family’s! I need to become more educated on this matter. A simple youtube search provided numerous videos as learning tools I could use inside the classroom. I would also be interested to know if there are any PD opportunities regarding internet safety..if anyone knows of any I would love to hear about them!

The struggle is real

So my goal was to try and be better. No, not just in general (although that probably wouldn’t hurt the situation). Be better at THIS. WordPress. I have watched countless videos, read numerous help sites, and reached my text limit of the month nagging @bradraes7578 (clearly still haven’t learned a thing because I can’t even tag him..or maybe I did tag him?). At one point, I somehow deleted my whole site and changed it into a menu…a very elaborate one with dill asparagus (pretty sure if you click my home button it’s still there, just in case anyone would like to place an order). Yet, I don’t think my culinary skills will earn me a passing grade. But hey, look ma, I inserted a GIF! And so, the learning continues…stay tuned!

Major Project Proposal

Honestly, most of this technology is a bit over my head! I thought I was a pretty tech-savvy person but if the last few weeks have taught me anything, it is that I am WAAAY behind the times when it comes to technology! I am hoping to brush up on my blog skills this week (stay tuned!) so that I can spruce up my posts like many others that I see. Anyways, due to this lack of “being-good-at-tech-stuff”, I have decided to go with option two and complete an in-depth investigation into a few apps.

A few weeks ago, while coaching volleyball, some of my players stopped outside my hip and happenin’ mom van to do some weird dance videos. I had no idea what was going on and that was my first interaction with TikTok. Apparently, it is similar to Vine (for you folks that fit into my generation), where you post a short video for others to watch. I would like to explore this app more and see how it could be used inside the classroom. https://www.tiktok.com/@conix_music/video/6780948229405019398

Another app I am interested in is Snapchat. I currently use it for personal use, but would be interested to see how it could be incorporated educationally. Fun Fact: I brought Snapchat to Canada. WAAAAY back in…2012ish…..I was going to University down in Minot and all my friends got Snapchat (an app where you could send your friends hand drawn pictures for a maximum of 10 seconds). We all played around with this app and eventually you could send pictures for 10 seconds. Pictures turned into the ability to send replies and then you were able to send videos, and now, much much more! Anyways, I had asked numerous people in Saskatchewan to download the app, but no one knew what it was and thought I was pretty weird to want to play drawing games on my phone. Yet, eventually, my friends downloaded it and word spread, and soon, all of Canada had Snapchat. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – it is crazy that you know the person who started the epic Snapchat era in your home country!

I am not sure if it is an option, but as I try to insert videos and pictures into this post, I am starting to think that WordPress should be my final app that I explore. I need to learn to do WAY cooler things than I am currently doing. It is borderline embarrassing to be looking at this white, plain, boring screen. Setting up a blog could have TONS of educational uses, so the possibilities here are endless. I look forward to sprucing up my blog-abilities. Note: Please do not set your expectations high for next week!

Introduction

Hi! My name is Krysta Caplette. I am currently on maternity leave, however, I do have a permanent full-time contract with Prairie South School Division at Peacock Collegiate in Moose Jaw. I have taught Gr. 9/10 Science and Social for the past few years, but also have taught a vast variety of subjects, including History 10, Career Work 10/20/30, ELA A10/B10, Wellness 10, Interior Design 10/20/30, and done some Student Support work. I married my high school sweetheart (Dustin), and together we have a 3 year-old daughter, Ava, and an 11 month-old son, Clay. This is my very first blog ever (unless the brief appearance of MySpace counts?), so please bear with me while I find my ‘voice’ and style!

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