The other conference I was able to attend in March was given by Alissa Sklar, the writer of the Risk within Reason blog (among other accomplishments). This was a day long event for educators held in the beautiful McGill Faculty Club.
The morning was spent looking at a bunch of research and resources Sklar had curated for us as well as engaging in a discussion about the challenges in our schools and possible solutions.
1. Digital Access:
- Who has access?
- Who is tech literate?
- Accommodations for those with no wifi at home
2. Digital commerce:
- internet scams
- create informed, careful consumers
- ID theft
Here a question was asked that gave me pause:
What does it mean to have everything you do be a commercial transaction? All the tools we use online (or at least most of them) are gathering our data, analyzing it and then targeting our ads. They are gathering our likes, dislikes, our browsing choices, etc. and using it for commercial purposes.
How does that make you feel? Ambivalent? Sort of creeped out? Feeling like that is somehow deeply wrong but not sure why?
Yeah. Me too.
3. Digital communication:
- Communication online cannot be controlled
- Privilege/responsibility are flip sides of the same coin
4. Digital Literacy
- Evaluating online resources
- how to search effectively
5. Digital etiquette:
- Illusion of multitasking
6. Digital Law:
- school/teacher liability:
- should teachers friend students on Facebook?
7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities:
- Do no harm
- Freedom from harrassment
- Freedom of expression
8. Digital Health and Wellness:
- Physical issues:
- carpal tunnel
- sleep deprivation
- Time management
- Impulse control
- Technology hygiene
9. Digital security:
- Protecting/backing up data
- ID theft
- online predators
As you can see- there is a lot to talk about, a lot to address with our students. Sklar then went on to suggest some ways we can address these issues in class. A couple of exercises she suggested were to ask the students to fill out a questionnaire on how much time they spend online and then keep a log of the actual hours they do spend online to see if their perception and reality match up. Questions to ask students are what kind of info can we learn from someone’s Facebook profile? Try making a book report on it. Or What does it mean when you sign on with Facebook? Google? What happens to your information?
Here are some of the amazing resources i was introduced to and which undoubtedly help in my development of an awesome, all in one, Digital Citizenship toolkit:
Family Online Safety Institute: Fosi.org
They have a family online safety contract you can sign with your kids as well as many more resources.
Scrubbing services: you can actually pay someone to scrub your data of all those pesky pictures your ex-friend posted of you at that party you don’t remember so well…
Hall Monitor app created by a quebec teacher, it is an app to help monitor students. We use google docs at our school, but someone actually developed an app for this.
Scarlet teen: It bills itself as sex ed for the real world.
SPARK Movement: “SPARK is a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media.”
Wattpad: an online space to showcase your writing. You can see some of the novels of a few of our students here!
Goorulearning: “Create and share collections of engaging web resources with your students. Browse courses in our K-12 Community Library to get started.”
Quixey: A search engine for apps!
Reading Rewards.com: This one is very intriguing- it adds a ramification element to reading- especially good to motivate those competitive students or the reluctant readers. The idea is that at first they do it for the rewards and soon find out that reading is in itself a reward.
TES: Teaching Resources: From the UK
As you can see, it was a full day!