The wheels are starting to turn

This week has been a huge progress week for me as I tackled some “big idea” questions for my final project. I was fortunate to attend two very relevant PD sessions this week within our school division which have helped guide the way I would like my final project to go.

Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools
The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship via Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools

The first session was on Digital Citizenship and the Balanced Approach to Learning. We looked at the role of digital

technologies in education, the essential skills for 21st century learning, and the digital citizenship continuum. We then had a chance to create a lesson that integrated 21st century essential skills and digital citizenship concepts and skills. As I was looking through the digital citizenship continuum, I thought this would be a perfect place for me to start with my lessons for my final project as I could integrate the 9 elements of digital citizenship with my transliteracy lessons. With permission from Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell and Genna Rodriguez, I am able to use the lesson plan format they created to create the lessons for my Transliterate Librarians Website (which is still very much a work in progress… Stay tuned for a draft publication!).

I am very excited about this breakthrough because I believe by collaborating with other professionals in our school division, we will create resources that will have a purpose and be used and shared with others within the school division. The lesson I created (Boutilier – Digital Citizenship Lesson Planning Framework / Animal Research Report), ties in directly with the inquiry and research section of my website. It is an expository writing lesson (for grade 2) which uses online databases to research an animal and write a report.

RCSD 21st Century Skills
RCSD 21st Century Skills via RCSD Digital Consultants

The second session was our TL EdCamp. This was my first year participating in the TL EdCamp, but I came out of the sessions feeling renewed and refreshed! It is so great learning from your peers and being able to participate in a conference in a non-traditional way. I went to a session on Genius Hour/ Maker Space where we focused on the book Invent to Learn.  The next session was on a new resource from National Geographic Learning, which focused on 21st century reading: creative thinking and reading with TED Talks. We looked through this resource and connected it to the Saskatchewan curriculum. I am really looking forward to working with teachers and this resource. The next session was Social Media in the Library. This session had some heated debate on digital citizenship and whether using social media in the library and in schools was ok or not. We also talked about the media release form and how perhaps it needed to be updated to reflect social media. The last session was about using tools such as Kahoot and Quizizz to engage students in review.

This week has helped me kick start my final project… I am excited to see how it progresses over the next month.

“Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool, it is a way to prepare students for a society full of technology.”

– Dr. Mike Ribble

Media Education

Taking a big step out of my comfort zone by creating a vlog for my second post! (Nerves set in a few times, so please disregard me saying critiques instead of critics!)

Ideas are based and formulated from this weeks course readings as listed below:

  1. Do “Digital Natives” Exist? (PBS – Watch until 5:34) – This video from PBS presents an excellent overview of Prensky’s “Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants” framework including the evolution of the idea and the common criticisms.
  2. Visitors and Residents (David White) – David White from the UK provides an alternate view on Prensky’s framework, useful for understanding the continuum of digital engagement.
  3. “Social Media Sites as Networked Publics” (danah boyd) – boyd discusses the emergence of social networking spaces as networked publics, and examines how they have emerged to replace and augment our traditional concepts of public space.
  4. “The IRL Fetish” (Nathan Jurgenson) – Jurgenson introduces an important concept around the common obsession with binarizing online vs. face-to-face spaces and giving less value to digital spaces and communication.
  5. “YouTube and You” (Michael Wesch) – Wesch discusses YouTube as a cultural medium; he describes the context collapse that occurs in online spaces as well as the effect on issues of identity and self-awareness.
  6. Excerpt from An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube (Michael Wesch) – This short clip from a longer Wesch keynote describes the spread of one of the first popular digital memes and how this represented new forms of collective expression and celebration.
  7. Transmedia: High quality, no captionsLower quality with captions (Henry Jenkins) – Jenkins discusses the concept of transmedia and how youth (in particular) are reclaiming digital spaces from corporate and institutional power.

Thanks for watching! I challenge you to try a vlog!


Parents as Partners

I just finished listening in on an EdTech Talk Session of Parents as Partners. The ability to use technology as an additional communication tool between parents, teachers, and students is amazing! Something new that I have never heard of before is a Parent Portal.

Here is a short video about Parent Portal’s:

Some of the websites I visited to find out some more information on Parent Portals are:

From what I have read parent portals help parents become engaged in their child’s learning. They are able to collaborate and communicate at convenient times for them. A parent portal can help parents become more involved with their child’s school life.

Have you used a Parent Portal? What are the advantages / disadvantages?

I would appreciate any insight on the use of Parent Portals in the classroom and school community.