Common Misconceptions of Educators Who Fear Technology Education is currently at a crossroads as traditional methods and tools are changing as a result of advances in technology and learning theory. We are beginning to see some schools across the country take the lead in merging sound pedagogy with the effective integration of technology. These schools and educators, whether they realize it or not, are not only enhancing the teaching and learning process, but they are also providing their learners with essential skill sets pivotal for success in today’s society. These skill sets include critical thinking/problem solving, media literacy, collaboration, creativity, technological proficiency, and global awareness. Image credit: Even as we are seeing more schools and educators transform the way they teach and learn with technology, many more are not. Time: The time excuse seems to rear its ugly head more than any other excuse not to move forward with technology integration.
Five-Minute Film Festival: Teaching Digital Citizenship "Digital citizenship" is an umbrella term that covers a whole host of important issues. Broadly, it's the guidelines for responsible, appropriate behavior when one is using technology. But specifically, it can cover anything from "netiquette" to cyberbullying; technology access and the digital divide; online safety and privacy; copyright, plagiarism, and digital law, and more. In fact, some programs that teach digital citizenship have outlined no less than nine elements that intersect to inform a well-equipped digital citizen. But while there is much talk about the importance of teaching digital citizenship in this information society, not many are sure what that really looks like. Video Playlist: Teaching Digital Citizenship Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube. What is Digital Citizenship? More Resources for Learning About Digital Citizenship
Focusing on the positive--creating positive digital footprints, day #1 Starting article on POSITIVE digital legacies: (The article above is a great starting point for discussing positive digital footprints. Rather than focusing on what technology should NOT do, it is time to focus on how to use it for positive means.) Everyone leaves behind a digital footprint just as everyone leaves behind a legacy of some sort. However, when we look to leave behind a legacy, we think about what positive traits we can instill in the future. To begin, Google search yourself. When I search my name, does my name appear in a positive setting, a neutral setting or a negative setting? The following are all places where you can leave a digital footprint: So, how do you begin to leave a positive trail behind? Do you believe that having an online presence is critical for you? The New York Times' The Learning Network has created a great toolkit for developing digital resumes in the classroom.
Critical Search Skills Students Should Know There is a new digital divide on the horizon. It is not based around who has devices and who does not, but instead the new digital divide will be based around students who know how to effectively find and curate information and those who do not. Helene Blowers has come up with seven ideas about the new digital divide – four of them, the ones I felt related to searching, are listed below. The New Digital Divide In an age of information abundance learning to effectively search is one of the most important skills most teachers are NOT teaching. Teachers – especially in the elementary grades -need to develop a shared vocabulary around the skill of searching. Critical Search Skills Students Should Know Quotation Marks Students should always use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words. Example: “The Great Chicago Fire” Dashes (or minus sign) Use this symbol directly before a word to help exclude unwanted information from your search Example: Great Chicago Fire -soccer Two Periods
Technology Education for Pre-Service Teachers Like practicing educators, today’s pre-service teachers are faced with the challenge of connecting with 21st century learners. Despite the fact that many of these teaching candidates are proficient with technology for personal use, university teacher education programs must prepare them to integrate technology effectively in their content areas. I am currently teaching Technology in the Classroom to a class of pre-service teachers, mostly seniors in their student teaching semester. It is entirely impossible for me to teach these pre-service teachers everything they need to know about instructional technology in a 1-credit hour course, so one of my major goals for this semester is to assist them in developing their own Personal Learning Networks. Not only do I want these teaching candidates to establish networks for lifelong learning and continuous improvement, I also want to help them develop a framework that can guide their instructional decisions about technology integration.
Teaching Screenagers:Character Education for the Digital Age Our current technological trajectory promises unfathomable, roller-coaster innovation with no braking system. While the ride is exciting, it moves so quickly that we typically don't have time to think about the possible unintended consequences that might accompany it. The result is that we find ourselves unable to effectively respond to hot-button issues like cyberbullying and sexting because they seem to come out of nowhere. Our challenge is to find ways to teach our children how to navigate the rapidly moving digital present, consciously and reflectively. The "two lives" perspective says that our students should live a traditional, digitally unplugged life at school and a second, digitally infused life outside school. If we want to pursue a future that celebrates success not only in terms of abundance but also in terms of humanity, we must help our digital kids balance the individual empowerment of digital technology use with a sense of personal, community, and global responsibility.
Teaching Students to Effectively Use the Internet A search engine is essentially a database that points to Web sites and Internet resources. The search engine database is compiled by means of often called spiders, crawlers, or bots. These spiders, crawlers and bots are programmed to find web pages, follow all the links they contain and add any new information they find to the master database. It is important to remember that when you are using a search engine, you are not really searching the entire Internet, but a database of pages and resources from the Internet compiled by the bots. Once the information has been collected by the robot programs it is turned over to the search engine's indexing program. When you submit a query or question to the search engine, a searches the database compiled by the robot programs and indexing programs, identifies items that match your query and organizes and displays them in a particular order based on the relevancy or how closely they match your query. Search engine results can be misleading
5 Reasons You Should Be Teaching Digital Citizenship 5 Reasons You Should Be Teaching Digital Citizenship by Paul Barnwell, Teacher of English & Digital Media Students buzzed about the latest uproar on Instagram. Anonymous sources had posted a “questionable”–and NSFW–list for multiple public schools in our city on Instagram, leading to distraught girls, viral Twitter reactions, and an investigation. This type of cyberbullying and reckless use of digital communication is rampant among teens, but this recent episode was only unusually due to its elevated publicity. Every day, I see a student deficit on how to mindfully employ the unbridled potential and power of their smartphones and other digital tools. Is it those cruel sources who exploit the images? Is it parents who purchase smartphones and laptops for their children and fail to set boundaries or teach their kids about responsible use? Is it the lack of education and discussion in schools about the ways students can be more mindful, responsible users of technology? A combination, of course.
Resources | Teaching With and About Technology Jim Wilson/The New York TimesStudents have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cellphones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning.Go to related article » Updated | Feb. 2013 What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of using technology for learning? Are tech tools essentials, distractions or somewhere in between? We present a collection of Learning Network resources, Times multimedia and articles and useful outside links to help both digital immigrants and digital natives think through these questions. Please tell us what you think, or share your own ideas or experiences! Student Opinion Questions All of the questions below are still open to comment by students. What Tech Tools Play the Biggest Role in Your Life? How Careful Are You Online? Are You Distracted by Technology? Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad? Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful? Do You Know How to Code? Lesson Plans