Building the (Minecraft) lost city of Babylon

5 Jun

Building the (Minecraft) lost city of Babylon.

21st Century Educator

31 May

It was great to see a Slideshare presentation made by Zaid Alsagoff about the qualities of an educator, rather than the qualities that are needed of the student in the 21st Century learning environment. This is a good overview of the development needed for educators in becoming knowledgable, active creators and collaborators for teaching in a ‘flat’ classroom.

This presentation also provides some insights into how our students may feel towards their learning, especially when the gap is widening between what they know and do in the their digital environments compared to what they can do at school.

A small pearl of wisdom from a rookie wiki-maker

26 May
Screenshot of Pearltree on Digital Citizenship

Screenshot of Pearltree on Digital Citizenship

As a nosey mother, I regularly check what my 10 year old son is doing on his iPod. He is usually pretty good and asks if he can install an app or listen to music from Spotify.

“What is this app?, I asked one day.

“Oh Mum, this Digital Citizenship thing hasn’t been good for you!” he said.

He was slightly annoyed about my nosiness but still boasting a cheeky smile. Thankfully he does have an understanding of being a responsible, respectful person in the digital world  (poor thing with two teachers as parents). We have had to educate him on appropriate apps, websites and social media, as already at the age of 10 he can access these very easily, even while you are just outside putting clothes on the old-fashioned line. Our household has iPhones, an iPad (dominated by the 5 year old), laptops, computer (dominated by the 7 year old), apple TV…you name it, we’ve got it, as my husband has always loved technology. We decided we couldn’t watch him all of the time and thought that it would be better to educate him.We think and hope it is working.

This Digital Citizenship subject he speaks about has been good for me!

I have connected and collaborated with other students in this subject, in making our own Wiki for heavens sake! Our topic was ‘creation and curation of digital objects’ (Group 3.2). What did the topic even mean? We struggled over the concepts and lack of knowledge when it came to using digital tools for learning. It was a daunting experience being asked to work with complete strangers and have to write and design a wiki page with them. But then the chat started, discussion flowed and we were home and hosed….all friendly, respectful and successful. It was a steep learning curve for all of us, but oh so satisfying when you clicked on ’embed’ and it worked, or the citations sat where you wanted them.

Working on a wiki together was the best lesson you could have in becoming a 21st Century learner and collaborator. It makes you think of all of those things you do to be respectful in every day life…turn up on time, respect others opinions, effectively participate, provide encouragement and constructive advice and take the lead at times. If I had been working with students in other parts of the world, there would also need to be an intercultural understanding. All of these good qualities make a global digital citizen and this is one of the Standards for students from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

I have learnt that a good digital citizen is a person who is very kind, understanding, active, helpful and respectful. They know how to share information, but not their personal information unless in known and safe digital communities, such as the classroom. It is extremely important that as an educator we have these digital learning experiences ourselves, so we can understand what is required for teaching our students to be good digital citizens. It is not enough to know that we have to protect our students, as that is always our priority. We have to teach them how to behave in these digital environments. They have taught themselves all things digital from games, being active members of online games, such as Club Penguin and Minecraft. Now we need to ask them to articulate what it is to be a member of that club – how should one behave in that environment, to keep active, safe and respectful?

There are many resources to help us as teachers, from Government websites, such as Cybersmart and Smartcopying to professional learning networks, such as Scoop it and Linked in. You only have to search ‘digital citizenship’ and you will come up with a plethora of resources. But are they all relevant to your needs? This is where content curation comes in. I have come to really enjoy this area of the subject. Content curation is about purposefully selecting information to organise and comment on for others. It is really liberating to set up your own curated spaces, such as on Pinterest and Scoop.it. You will find so many helpful articles to inform your teaching and learning in the digital age. I even found a new curation tool through this subject – Pearltrees. I found it really interesting, as it is a visual way of curating websites, files, images or notes. You can also curate resources in a team situation, like working on wikis together. I was so excited to find that Robin Good, a content curator and blogger, had shared my video of Pearltrees and even scooped it! I don’t know if anyone outside of this subject would be excited for me, but it is a definite indicator for me that I have made a connection and collaborated. It makes you realise that all teachers can do this – just put yourself out there.

Learning in 21st Century environments is all about being active creators of information, co-creators making connections with others and collaborating in local and global digital environments. Our students need to be able to do this, for the information-rich globalised digital world that awaits them. This has been acknowledged by the new Australian curriculum with General Capabilities that our students must develop. They include literacy, numeracy, personal and social capabilities, ICT Capability, ethical and intercultural understanding, creative and critical thinking.This is the direction that teachers need to take to develop the skills and dispositions in our students for them to cope in a world of digital bombardment. We can’t be the gatekeepers of information any more and passively pass this on to our students. There is too much information! Instead, we have to make our students independent in their learning, through inquiry learning, so they can cope and hopefully thrive in these digital learning environments, developing awareness of Individual, Social, Cultural and Global aspects of being a digital citizen (Lindsay).There are great examples of this happening around the world, including the Digiteen and Digitween projects as part of my lecturer, Julie Lindsay’s Flat Connections global ventures (Lindsay, 2014). Students from all over the world are creating content about digital citizenship to share in a collaborative way with a global audience.

I would really love my cheeky 10 year old to be a part of that!

 

References

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) (2011) General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum Retrieved fromhttp://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum

Australian School Library Association (ASLA) and Australian Library Information Association (ALIA) (2009) Joint policy on guided inquiry and the curriculum Retrieved fromhttps://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-standards-and-guidelines/aliaasla-policy-guided-inquiry-and-curriculum

ETL523 Digital Citizenship Group Wiki https://etl523-digitalcitizenship-14-1.wikispaces.com/

Good, R. 2014 Content Curation World blog Retrieved from http://curation.masternewmedia.org/2014)

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Students Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-S_PDF.pdf

Lindsay, J (2014) Flat Connections Retrieved from http://flatconnectionsglobalproject.net/

21st Century Fluency Institute (2013) Connecting Curriculum to 21st Century learning

Moving to a Networked School Community using ISTE Standards, Australian Curriculum and an Edublogs platform.

23 May

Jenny Luca offers her knowledge, experience and passion of being a networked teacher and how this impacts on student learning in a 21st Century school environment.

Lucacept - intercepting the Web

It’s been a busy year. Really busy. Not only have we opened a new library, and dealt with moving and fitting out new learning spaces, but we have been leading change in our school around information fluency understandings and enabling our students’ growth as digital citizens.

What’s become apparent to my staff and I, is the pressing need for our students to become information fluent for the age they are living in. This means addressing all of the traditional information literacy understandings we have always concentrated on, but also helping our students have an understanding of new technologies and how to use them effectively, understanding the ethical use of digital resources, and knowledge of the importance of creating and maintaining a positive digital footprint. It’s not only the students who need this knowledge base; our teachers need to be well versed too.

So, what are we doing about this?

At…

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My DLE

13 Apr

Activity #5: Tools people are using as part of your digital toolkit
What is your DLE?
What are your essential workflow digital tools?
What are tools you use for productivity fun in learning?
How do you connect, communicate, collaborate and create within this?
You might like to think of a fun way (another tool eg Glogster? Symbaloo?) to share the tools that you use every week with others

My DLE is very apple-ish. I have an iphone, Mac Air and access to a shared iPad and Apple TV. I can use any of these devices to access the Net and check my messages, email and photos or videos. I use a digital calendar for all of my events, a clock on my iphone for alerts and alarms. I also have a Kobo for e-reading. I have an itunes accounts so I can buy books for my Kobo and movies for Apple TV. I use wordpress for my blog, google docs to share information and google drive to access all of my files.

In my professional DLE, I love Scoop it!. I have a few different topics that reflect my life, as a student, teacher and parent.

Digital citizenship for educators

10 Mar

ETL523 Digital Citizenship Forum comment Module 1.2

Perhaps one of the most important messages we should be sharing with our colleagues is that we need to shift the focus of our teaching styles and lessons, to acknowledge the digital world that our students are living in. It is part of their daily life and they need guidance, while still engaging in all of their subject areas.

As an Infowhelm video made clear – information is abundant and overwhelming. The students don’t need to be given lots of information, but rather need to develop the skills to manage this situation. They need guidance in pathways to follow and critical thinking skills in how to use information. The students most likely are really enjoying their digital world that they play in (fun, exploring, creating) compared with the DLE that they learn in at school (limited access, restrictive).

The use of iPads and smart-boards have been used as a motivator for student engagement, both in the library and classrooms in our school. They have been used as part of regular research lessons and classroom work. It has changed the way some lessons are delivered – the students are directing more of their own learning, with guidance as to particular websites. The smart-boards have allowed students with different learning styles, especially the more visual learners, to more fully understand the content. There is a great deal more that can be built in our DLE.

So how should teachers best teach their students about digital citizenship in the DLE? Our large primary school is educating students on ways they can protect their identity, awareness of digital footprint, ethical behaviour and cyber-bullying. This is being taught as part of regular computer lessons.

My own digital footprint is expanding through my study of Teacher Librarianship through Charles Sturt University in Australia. I have this wordpress blog…twitter, Pinterest, delicious, diigo, google and scoop.it accounts. I already had facebook and find the facebook messenger the most useful to communicate with friends. Oh yes and there is also Linkedin. It is useful to have quite a few online digital environments, to connect with other professionals. If you want to share information, it is handy if you already have accounts set up for these curation tools.

Reflecting on my learning in ETL503

17 Jun

Through being actively involved in learning throughout this subject, ‘Resourcing the Curriculum’ and this final assessment, I have established knowledge and understanding of what the term ‘collection’ actually means in the school library context and the role that a collection is expected to play in supporting teaching and learning in a unique school community (CSU Interact Material ETL503 2013 & ASLA/ALIA policy statements).

This policy task has been challenging, as I had to build a basic understanding of collection management. I have needed to interview the TL at the primary school, where I am volunteering, and carry out a physical evaluation of the collection and observation of student and teacher use of the resources.

From my informal interview, I evaluated that materials are selected if they are appropriate to the primary age group, support the curriculum and generally seem to reflect the interests of the school’s students. It was at that point that I needed to explore the professional literature and tools, to learn more about the reason for written Collection Policies.

I discovered that the literature supports the need for a written collection policy. It is vital to cater to the needs of its users, in terms of planning for growth, providing impersonal and unbiased guidelines for collection practices and to secure and allocate funding (Hughes-Hassall & Mancall, 2005, Debowski, 2001, Morrisey, 2008).

My process of inquiry reminds me of Kuhlthau’s (2007) guided inquiry, especially in the feelings of anxiety at different stages of the information seeking process. However, I can now confidently say I understand what defines a library collection, why there should be a written policy and the elements that should form part of a Collection Policy (Hughes-Hassall & Mancall (2005), Debowski (2001)and Morrisey (2008).

It has been enormously satisfying to develop a written Collection Policy for my own children’s school library. It has been a lengthy process, involving going back and forth between the subject modules, forum posts, readings, professional tools and other literature.

Completing this assessment and the whole subject has been an extremely worthwhile undertaking, as I have come to develop my knowledge and understanding of the librarian part of the teacher librarian’s role.

When I gain a position as a TL, I will be looking for a Collection Policy. If there isn’t one, then I won’t panic, I will gather an advisory committee together and start writing one.

References

ASLA/ALIA joint policy statements

Charles Sturt University Interact Material for ETL503 2013

Debowski, S. (2001). Collection management policies. In K. Dillon, J. Henri & J. McGregor (Eds.), Providing more with less : collection management for school libraries (2nd ed.) (pp. 126-136).

Kuhlthau, Carol C. 2007, Guided inquiry: learning in the 21st century, Libraries Unlimited, Westport CT.

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J.C. (2005). Collection management for youth: Responding to the needs of learners. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

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live from the student centre at the university of new england .. "When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t”. Thomas Edison.

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