BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

February 19, 2019
by blogwalker
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Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066

Today marks the 77th Anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066, authorizing the removal of over 120,000 people of Japanese descent, many of them citizens, from the West Coast.

I work in a school district that was once home to a hard-working community of Japanese-American farmers, who transformed the region into beautiful, productive strawberry fields. Following the signing of Executive Order 9066, the history of the Elk Grove-Florin region was abruptly and forever changed. The forced removal and incarceration of over 120,000 citizens marked a chapter in our nation’s history when justice failed an entire group of people. To document their stories, colleague Kathleen Watt and I developed and maintain the Time of Remembrance Oral Histories Project.

At a time when media literacy is at the forefront of our district Digital Citizenship workshops, lessons, and resources, we appreciated that a Facebook post from @DayOfRemembrance, and the accompanying Never Forget poster (by #StopReapeatingHistory), led us to the Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066 website and documentary trailer. This one-hour film, directed by Jon Osaki, confronts the false information and political influence which led to the World War II removal and incarceration of Japanese-Americans:

“The film exposes the lies used to justify the decision and the cover-up that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  ALTERNATIVE FACTS will also examine the parallels to the current climate of fear, targeting of immigrant communities, and similar attempts to abuse the powers of the government.” AlternativeFacts.com

Alternative Facts Social Media Trailer from Jon Osaki on Vimeo.

We look forward to an upcoming screening of the Alternative Facts documentary. As always, when new resources surface, we revisit our current lessons and resources to decide where they can best extend teaching and learning on issues of social justice.

Alternative facts are not new…but today they are difficult to spot, easier to spread, and harder to control. We are always looking for curriculum ties that will make history relevant to our students. Students would be hard pressed to go a single day without hearing the terms “fake news” or “alternative facts” on social media or in the news. Additionally, they often view history as something that happens in history books, not in their communities. We are predicting that the above resource will connect our Executive Order 9066 lesson to media literacy, and in the process, help students make the connection between what was “then and there” to “here and now.”

With much appreciation to my district’s Board of Education for annually recognizing February 19 as a Day of Remembrance: Resolution #42 – Day of Remembrance.

February 18, 2019
by blogwalker
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Protecting Students from Hate-Motivated Behavior

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Ruby Bridges and marshals leaving William Frantz Elementary School, New Orleans, 1960. Image in Public Domain.

What resources does your district make available for “protecting students from hate-motivated behavior”?

Kathleen Watt and I were recently asked this question by our district’s Educational Equity Specialist, in preparation for the March 5 school board meeting. The board will be addressing current board policy, which calls for “providing professional learning to staff in recognizing and preventing hate-motivated behaviors and providing instruction to students and families to do the same.”

Below are the resources we shared. Like many large districts, our district departments often operate in silos, not necessarily aware of the work Kathleen and I do. So we prefaced the list with a quick introduction:

“EGUSD is a Common Sense District. This designation is due to 76% of EGUSD schools teaching Common Sense lessons as part of their required digital citizenship curriculum. CS lessons are designed and developed in partnership with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Hate Speech is included in one of the six topics (Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech) addressed through CS curriculum.These lessons meet standards for Common Core ELA, CASEL and ISTE.”

Online Resources

From Common Sense

Grade 3
The Power of Words – What should you do when someone uses mean or hurtful language on the internet?

Grade 4
Super Digital Citizen – How can we be upstanders when we see cyberbullying?

Grade 5
What’s Cyberbullying? – What is cyberbullying and what can you do to stop it?

Grade 6/7
Upstanders and Allies: Taking Action Against Cyberbullying – How can you respond when cyberbullying occurs?

Grades 6-9
Upstanders, Not Bystanders – I created this lesson on what it means to cross the line from “bystander” to “upstander” several years ago for Common Sense.  Note: Although the lesson is designed for grades 6-9, the Upstanders Not Bystanders VoiceThread is an invitation to Kindergarten – Senior Citizens to share an “upstander” story. The project was inspired by Margaret Mead’s above quote.

Link to Upstanders Not Bystanders VoiceThread: https://voicethread.com/myvoice/share/4134620 (you must be logged in to view)

Grade 8
Responding to Online Hate Speech – How should you respond to online hate speech?

Grades 9-12
Breaking Down Hate SpeechHow can you create a community culture in which hate speech is unacceptable, both online and offline? Several years ago, I had the privilege of observing how a high school English teacher and a history teacher wove this lesson into a unit on the Holocaust, making a powerful connection from “then and there” to “here and now.”
Turn Down the Dial on Cyberbullying – Which factors intensify cyberbullying and online cruelty, and what can you do to lessen them?
Taking Perspectives on Cyberbullying – How does online cruelty affect the people involved?

Other Resources

In addition to Common Sense resources, we share other national resources addressing hate motivated behavior and strategies for confronting all forms of exclusion and intolerance:

Teaching Tolerance – In addition to lessons and resources for confronting hate and intolerance, Teaching Tolerance also offers online professional development through webinars. Teaching Tolerance is project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which also offers a variety of resources, including 10 Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response.

Media Smarts – Media Smarts, a Canadian organization for promoting “digital and media literacy,” offers excellent, vetted resources, including a guide for educators on Responding to Online 

Anti-Defamation League/Crossing Lines Summer Seminars – The organization has expanded its resources and lessons beyond its initial mission of combating anti-semitism to include all forms of exclusion, hate and intolerance. We’ve connected with staff members of ADL through No Place For Hate workshops over the years.

ADL representatives have also been regular presenters at our Crossing Lines Summer Seminars.

Media Literacy Workshops
As part of our media literacy workshops, district and statewide (ISTE, CUE and CA League of Schools), we include resources such as The Dangerous Speech Project, strategies for deconstructing URLs (Stormfront and other hate organizations) and confronting bias (our own filter bubbles) and hate.

Literature

Never underestimate the power of a single story to change hearts and minds. I’ve read and loved many of the books on Common Sense’s Books That Teach Empathy list. I strongly believe that promoting empathy through stories can be an effective strategy in derailing hate speech.

Anne Frank, Montessori School, Amsterdam

I often think back to 7th grade, the first time I studied about the Holocaust. The staggering statistics were unimaginable to me. But a single story, the Diary of Ann Frank, provided a window into the genocide of over six million Jews.

Although I probably did not recognize it at the time, Anne’s story was life-changing, starting me on a journey that led to attending the Shoah Institute (back when it was on a back lot of Universal Studios), joining the TOLI Holocaust Educators Network, making the pilgrimage to Manzanar, bike ‘n barging across Holland with Holocaust survivor Hannie Voyles, initiating the Time of Remembrance Oral Histories Project, and joining humanitarian Carl Wilkens for a journey to Rwanda.

Hannie Voyles,, Montessori School, Amsterdam

I hope to return on a regular basis to update this post with additional suggestions. For now, here’s this list:

I doubt there has been a time in history when hate speech did not exist. A downside of the digital age is the spread at which it can now be spreed.

But we can make a difference. The many stories shared in the Upstanders Not Bystanders VoiceThread stand as testimony to our ability to make a difference, whether through a group effort/movement or by a single individual. I am looking at my copy of I Am Malala and thinking about the incredible difference a single child can make and the power and pull of education to inspire action. Next to Malala’s book is my copy of I’m Not Leaving, Carl Wilken’s story of how respect, compassion, and empathy were the driving forces that kept him in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

I have more room on my bookshelf. Please keep the upstander stories coming, along with curriculum and resources we can bring into the classroom to protect our students from hate-motivated behaviors.

February 16, 2019
by blogwalker
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Navigating Digital Information: John Green’s Fantastic Crash Course

I am a huge fan of author John Green. I’m currently reading Looking for Alaskaand The Fault in Our Stars has a permanent space in my bookcase. So I don’t know why it even surprised me that John Green would also focus his creative talents on developing a fantastic media literacy resource: Navigating Digital Information. This 10-episode Crash Course series was developed in partnership with the Poynter Institute MediaWise project:

MediaWise is part of the Google News Initiative, funded by Google.org, and aims to teach 1 million teenagers how to spot fake news on the internet by 2020, with at least half of them coming from undeserved or low-income communities.

The centerpiece of the project is a new curriculum being written by grant partner Stanford History Education Group that will be available to schools across the country in the fall of 2019. Stanford is writing this curriculum after studying how professional fact-checkers, college students and historians navigate digital information. The foundation of the Stanford lessons is built on skills that professional fact-checkers use after Stanford discovered that fact-checkers and journalists are more critical and think very differently about what they read on the internet and how they sort through misleading or flat-out false information.”

If you have colleagues who ban the use of Wikipedia, be sure to share with them Using Wikipedia: Crash Course Navigating Digital Information:

A year ago, after reading Mike Caulfield’s What Reading Laterally Means and watching this Common Sense video, my colleague Kathleen Watt (co-director of our district’s Digital Citizenship program) and I wanted to include a lesson on lateral reading in our Media Literacy Resources. We could not find one. So we created Flex Your Fact-Checking Muscles – Lateral Reading. In the Media Literacy Vocabulary section, we included a video for each term – except for lateral reading because, again, we could not find one. Yesterday I revisited our lesson/hyperdoc and added  John Green’s Check Yourself with Lateral Reading:

If you visit our Flex Your Fact-Checking Muscles lesson, be sure to scroll to the bottom, where you will find an invitation to your students:

Students-teaching-students is a powerful teaching model. We have included a video in the Explore section of a teacher talking to other teachers about fact-checking and lateral reading. We would love to replace this video with a student-created video, slideshow and/or infographic to show what lateral reading looks like from the perspective and experience of a student fact-checker. Go for it!”

We extend the above invitation to students across the globe.

Media Literacy / Digital Citizenship 4 Themes by Elk Grove Unified School District is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

photos of students using devices.

February 5, 2019
by blogwalker
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Digital Citizenship – Joining the #michED and #DigCit Tweet Chat

I’ve marked my calendar for 5:00 pm (PT), February 6, to join Kristen Mattson for the #michED Tweet chat on digital citizenship.

Tweet chats are public conversations, via Twitter, connected by a unique hashtag (#).  If you haven’t participated in a Tweet chat before, I can promise you it’s a fast-moving hour! For that reason, I’m drafting my initial responses to Kristen’s seven questions in advance so I can fully focus on the chat. Thank you, Rachelle Wynkoop, for posting and sharing the questions a week ahead via the graphic below.

Each of the seven chat questions invites discussion at a global, national, district or school site level, starting with Q1. The challenge is to limit your answers to 280 characters (the maximum number of characters allowed by Twitter).

Q1: To help develop a shared understanding of ‘digital citizenship’ as a concept, please complete this sentence:

I want my students to be digital citizens who can/are ____________.

A1: I want want  my students to be digital citizens who are ready and willing to confront hate speech & other acts of intolerance by crossing the line from bystander to upstander, changing school culture and climate where/when needed. #michED


Q2: Who “owns” digital citizenship lessons in your school or district? When/where are students receiving these lessons?

A2: We are hoping to see a shift in our district from #DigCit lessons being taught as stand alone lessons during advisory period or computer lab time to a more integrated approach. We are also reaching out to see if/how other districts evaluate #digcit on report cards. #michED


Q3: A lot of digital citizenship curriculum focus on personal behaviors over skill development. What are some of the skills digital citizens need to be successful in global communities? How are you helping students gain those skills?

A3: Using technology to take student voices beyond the classroom and zip code is a priority. Today thru tools like blogging, videoconferencing, VoiceThreading, etc., students can effectively read, write and communicate with authentic audiences on topics they care about. #michED


Q4: Digital citizens should have opportunities to explore digital ethics. For example, “Should the government be able to access data collected by private companies?” What areas of digital ethics do you think students should explore?

A4: Although protecting online privacy is one of four main themes for our district #digcit program, this year we’re putting a focus on protecting student data privacy. The sample question is a great one to spark classroom conversations and drive interest-based research. #michED


Q5: A hot topic in digital citizenship right now is balance. How do you balance time online and off? What does “balance” mean to you? How might you help student reflect on their digital practices and achieve a healthy balance?

A5: I’m trying to find that balance myself. If I were in the classroom, I might share my “screen time diet” plan, which starts with cutting back on the number of times I check my phone. Will also be using iPhone’s screen time weekly stats. #michED


Q6: Reflect on your own knowledge and abilities as a teacher of digital citizens. What is one way you can grow this year? How might you go about improving your content knowledge or practice?

A6: In 2018, #MediaLiteracy for students was a top priority. In 2019, #MediaLiteracy/#DigCit for adults is a priority. We could all benefit from a #MediaLit skill set. Would love to hear what others are doing on this topic. #michED


Q7. What are some of your favorite resources for teaching digital citizens? Hit us up with links to activities, blog posts, books and more.

A7: Common Sense is at the top of my list. I love the range of relevant resources, for parents as well as for students and teachers, covering all areas of #DigCit. #michED

A7: For the latest research on cyberbullying,  I appreciate Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin continually updating the Cyberbullying Research Center website. #michED

A7: For tips on protecting student data privacy, I like the Connect Safely’s Parent Guide  and Common Sense’s Tips for Teachers short video. #michED

I’m looking forward to joining and learning from Wednesday’s #DigCit chat. If you would like to join the chat, but need a little guidance on how Tweet chats work, here is a great guide from Janet Fouts. If you cannot join the chat live, you can always follow up on the questions and answers by putting #michED into your Twitter search bar.

Hope to see you Wednesday.

January 3, 2019
by blogwalker
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Why I Blog

Come March 2019, BlogWalker turns 13. I’ve loved being part of the Edublogs’ global community, a vibrant, ongoing source of inspiration and learning. I have experienced first-hand the unlimited possibilities and benefits blogging offers for being an active, contributing digital citizen.

I was blogging before Twitter came into my life. Through an RSS feed, I received alerts when my favorite bloggers (i.e., Kevin Hodgson, Bud Hunt, Troy Hicks, Will Richardson, Monica Edinger, Joyce Valenza, and more) posted a new piece. At some point, Twitter replaced my RSS feed, so today it will likely be a Tweet that directs me to a post from Kevin, Bud, Troy, Will, Monica, and/or Joyce.

In 2006, it was important to me that others were reading my blog. While I still very much enjoy having a reader drop by BlogWalker and leave a comment, today Twitter is where I mainly connect and interact with other like-minded educators. But blogging still serves an increasingly essential role in my learning journey. BlogWalker is where I document and reflect on my learning. It’s my digital file cabinet. I love that I can put ISTE or CUE in my search bar, for instance, and read through sessions I attended and favorite takeaways going back over 10 years. Eight years ago, I had no idea how many other teachers would appreciate that I shared resources and strategies for passing the CTEL test. And my 2016 trip to Rwanda – love that Carl Wilkens has used that post as a window into what educators will experience on his life-changing tours.

When I do blogging workshops for my district, I introduce Edublogs as a tool for both teachers and students. I am passionate about every student graduating with a positive digital footprint and an ePortfolio. I love George Couros’ strong recommendation for students to use Google as their working portfolios, which they regularly curate, selecting pieces for their professional ePortfolios/blogs. He too loves the flexibility of CampusPress/Edublogs, which allow students to upload/embed multiple platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), practice their digital citizenship skills (respectfully commenting, respecting intellectual property, etc.) and take their blogs with them – beyond graduation.

Poster from the awesome Edublogger Kathleen Morris – http://www.kathleenamorris.com/blogging/

 

Blogs are a simple, yet powerful, way for students to reach “redefinition” on the SAMR ladder, taking student voice beyond the confines of the classroom and providing an authentic, potentially global audience.

My 2019 resolution is to continue to promote and support blogging through offering workshops and participating in PLN-building opportunities such as the January Blogger’s Challenge. I hope you’ll join me!

Digital Citizenship in Action

October 1, 2018
by blogwalker
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“Hacking the Learning Standards” with #DigCit Connections

 

“Stop thinking about digital citizenship as a stand-alone technology topic and begin thinking about it as an essential component of a well-rounded humanities curriculum.” Kristen Mattson, Digital Citizenship in Action

A top priority of my day-time job is co-directing my district’s Digital Citizenship program. Last week a teacher at one of our elementary sites reached out with concerns about a recent string of events, ranging from cyberbullying to even an attempted hack into some of their canned curriculum programs. As the computer resource teacher (CRT), he is the single staff member tasked with teaching digital citizenship, the norm for most of our elementary schools.

Yes, that would be teaching “digital citizenship as a stand-alone technology topic.” My co-director, Kathleen Watt, and I are constantly rethinking best practices to help teachers embed digital citizenship into the core curriculum in ways that go beyond stand-alone or one-and-done approaches and that bring students into an on-going conversation and commitment to practice good citizenship in person and online.

We often share (tweet, blog, text, email) #digcit tips from Kristen Mattson, pulling from her wonderful ISTE publication Digital Citizenship in Action – Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities. So I was delighted this week to receive the fall edition of ISTE’s quarterly magazine, Empowered Learner, in which Dr. Mattson’s article “Embed digital citizenship in all subjects” is the featured spotlight article. The article is a reminder and wake-up call to start “hacking learning standards to create opportunities to weave digital citizenship education into content area classes.” This process is exactly what Kathleen and I needed to help our elementary teacher.

Adding to the process, Saturday morning I received an email notification that Nicole Nadiz had posted new content to my Collaboration in Common feed: Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Digital Citizenship. I love this Google Doc! It’s a road map to “hacking learning standards.” Nicole has paired CCSS with Model School Library Standards (MSLS) and Common Sense Education. It took all of 3 minutes to add Common Sense Digital Citizenship connections to the Teacher Notes of our ART of Reading Laterally lesson. One down, three to go (The Forbidden Treasure, On Coming to America, I’m Not Leaving).

Whether it’s your own curriculum or district-adopted curriculum, having Nicole Nadiz’s document really speeds up the process for making the digital citizenship connections for whatever Common Core ELA Standards are listed in a lesson. Please note that Nicole has also invited educators to add their lesson samples via this Google Form. I just submitted The Art of Reading Laterally.

“Helping students explore the fine line between our technology and our humanity can be the work of every educator if we’re willing to be creative in the ways we think about curriculum and the ways we think about digital citizenship.” Kristen Mattson

#digcitcommit

 

April 22, 2018
by blogwalker
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Five #DigCit Shout Outs to ISTE

I’ve been a long-time fan and promoter of ISTE’s significant contributions to digital citizenship resources for teachers and students. So I wanted to give some #DigCit shout outs:

Shout Out #1: ISTE Standards for Educators – Standard 3: Citizen – I love the emphasis on students as creators and contributors, not just consumers of information. And in an age of fake news, Standard 3B is a must-have skill.

ISTE Standard 3B graphic

Includes link to download and print poster.


Shout Out #2: ISTE #DigCit Posters and Infographics – Starting with their Citizenship in a Digital Age poster, which compares citizen vs. digital citizen, to their more recent Today’s News: Real or Fake infographic and accompanying article, ISTE’s #digcit visuals provide an instant window into current topics and issues.

Click on the graphic to open a printable version.


Shout Out #3: ISTE Publications – From Mike Ribble’s Digital Citizenship in School, to my most recent purchase, Kristen Mattson’s Digital Citizenship in Action, and, of course, the quarterly entrsekt publication, I love being able to share hard copies of “thought-provoking articles on edtech trends, columns by influential and innovative leaders from within and outside the education world, as well as examples of best practices and edtech in action.” ISTE publications have a designated space in my bookcase.

Come join the Digital Citizenship in Action book study!


Shout Out #4: ISTE #digcitPLN – Several weeks ago, the awesome Nancy Watson tagged me in a Tweet that drew me into ISTE’s #digcitPLN. The Tweet included a link to her blog post How We Grow into a #DigCitStateOfMind, where she has embedded a Piktochart: Stages of Growth into a
#DigCitStateofMind. If you need a quick way to ignite school and/or district conversations on strategies for moving from Digital Aversion (Stage 1) to Digital Action (Stage 4), send your thank you’s to Nancy.

#digcit poster/conversation starter from ISTE’s Nancy Watson.

Last week, I joined the #digcitPLN chat, and look forward to more ways to connect with this dynamic group committed to tackling #digcit challenges and opportunities.

Questions from April 19 #digcitPLN chat.

Questions from April 19 #digcitPLN chat.

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I am also hugely honored to be the recipient of the ISTE #digcitPLN inaugural Digital Citizenship Network Award. The opportunity to join and meet other ISTE Professional Learning Networks awardees for a special breakfast will be the highlight of my 2018 Conference experience.     

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Shout Out # 5: ISTE & Teachers Guild Collaboration – The Teachers Guild had a great idea: Sponsor an online challenge for teachers to create lessons that “empower students to be better digital students,” open a voting window, and award the top three entrants with a year’s membership to ISTE and the opportunity to present their ideas and lessons at ISTE’s annual conference in June.

ISTE and Teachers Guild sponsor a contest for creating digital citizenship lessons.

Eleven #digcit lessons made it to the final round.

I am honored that Can I Use That? A Guild to Creative Commons, Copyright and Fair Use made the top three!


Thank you, ISTE, for the many ways you continue to walk your mission talk:

ISTE inspires educators worldwide to use technology to innovate teaching and learning, accelerate good practice and solve tough problems in education by providing community, knowledge and the ISTE Standards, a framework for rethinking education and empowering learners.”

 

I’m starting my countdown to the June Annual Conference – and the opportunity to give my #digcit shout outs in person to all my ISTE heroes.

April 3, 2018
by blogwalker
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Why We Need to Teach Media Literacy

“Media literacy is a constellation of life skills that are necessary for full participation in our media-saturated, information-rich society.” Renee Hobbs, Center for Media Literacy

In the eight years I have been co-directing my district’s digital citizenship program, new challenges and new resources have called for regular updates to our Digital Citizenship website, which is organized around four main themes: cyberbullying, digital footprint, intellectual property, online privacy.

EGUSD #DigCit logo

EGUSD #DigCit logo

This school year, in recognition that we are living and teaching in a “post-truth” era, my co-director Kathleen Watt and I been gathering and curating resources to prepare students – and teachers – to deal with the escalating onslaught of fake news and disinformation. It was definitely time to integrate “media literacy” into our digital citizenship program and workshops.

So we were rather surprised – and disturbed – by social media scholar danah boyd’s recent SXSWEDU talk: What Hath We Wrought? We were not expecting her negative views on the value of teaching media literacy, even though she begins with a warning that the content may be provocative.

It has been validating to learn that other educators who are passionate about the need to teach media literacy have also found boyd’s message a bit off and are speaking out on where boyd is mistaken. A shout out to the three educators listed below for stepping up to a global microphone. I’ve included a snippet from each of their posts, along with the link, so you can read each post in its entirety, which I highly recommend doing. Each posts succinctly counters boyd’s points.

Jonathan RogersTeaching Media Literacy With A Cape After SXSWEdu

“boyd’s speech has unsettled me, but it has also made me believe more in the ways I have found to teach media literacy. Now back in my classroom, I see students grappling with bias, publishing important stories, reading the news on their phones through a variety of sources, and taking pride in the rising power of student voices. The complexity of the screen world doesn’t look so complex to me when I see real students working in a journalism classroom.”

 

Faith RogowWhat a Media Literacy Educator Hears When danah boyd Talks About Media Literacy

“Oddly, boyd reduces media literacy to a superficial version of fact-checking and describes it as “fundamentally, a form of critical thinking that asks people to doubt what they see.” That makes her “nervous.” It would make me nervous, too – if that was what we actually did. It’s not.

Media literacy education doesn’t teach students to “doubt” what they see; it teaches students to interrogate what they see, and to do it routinely. We call it “inquiry.” That isn’t the same as doubting. And it’s not just a matter of semantics.”

 

Renee Hobbs (always my first and foremost go-to mentor for media literacy questions!) – Freedom to Choose: An Existential Crisis – A Response to boyd’s “What Hath We Wrought?”

“Media literacy education is a pedagogical approach that aims to be continually responsive to the ever-changing media, technology and cultural environment. A visit to the annual National Council of Teachers of English conference would enable boyd to recognize the amazing work of middle school and high school English teachers who explore media literacy through film analysis, analysis of social media, making media with a smartphone, digital storytelling, the study of memes, fandom, reality TV, celebrity culture and more. Media literacy competencies are embedded in the Common Core Standards and they promote academic achievement….

…Whether students are analyzing and creating hip-hop, examining propaganda, creating public service announcements, composing Scratch animation, or studying the patterns of representation in Disney films, they’re engaged in a learning process that creates opportunities for dialogue and reflection on the choices we make as creators and consumers.”

 

Eight years later, the four themes still remain at the heart of our digital citizenship program. In thinking through a program update, we realized that media literacy was not a separate 5th focus, but rather the overarching framework for digital/global citizenship. Media literacy is the key to unlocking the critical thinking skills needed to confront online bullying, to build and maintain a positive digital footprint, to respect and create/remix intellectual property, and to protect online privacy.

Our Digital Citizenship website now has a Media Literacy page and a new logo.

If you have media literacy resources you recommend we add, please leave a comment.

February 19, 2018
by blogwalker
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Two Reasons Why Teaching about Copyright Just Got Easier

“Great leaders give credit.” George Couros

If you consider teaching students about their intellectual property rights and responsibilities an essential component of a digital citizenship program, I’m with you. So thanks to a recent change by Google and a new Google Docs Add-On by teacher Brandon Dorman, we have two great items to spark discussions on copyright.

Item #1 – Google’s removal of the View Image button from image searches – Yes, there has been some public pushback over losing a super-fast way to view and copy an image. Personally, I am glad for the change since image searchers will now use the Visit Site button to view the actual hosting site for images. Although the Visit Site button was always there, image searchers could ignore it.

If you are not yet familiar with the Visit Site button, it is from the host site that you will find out exactly how the creator would like you to respect and/or attribute his/her work through Creative Commons licensing (see the video below for a Creative Commons introduction).

For those opposed to visiting the host site and viewing the creator’s licensing, there are already a number of workarounds available. I hope the workarounds do not deter image searchers from giving proper attribution to those who are freely sharing their creative work.

Item #2 – Former 7-12 math teacher’s Creative Commons Google Doc Add-On – The best way to bring students on board with respect for intellectual property is to have them create and share their own work. So I was delighted to learn about Brandon Dorman’s Creative Commons Google Doc Add-On, which makes choosing and adding CC licensing to a Google Doc a snap.

What would make this Add-On even better? I’d love it if it were included in the Google Docs Tools dropdown menu rather than as an Add-On. Due to the agree-to components of 3rd party Add-Ons (which legally equate to a contract), my district blocks student access to Add-Ons and extensions.

At this point, though, for students 13+, I would certainly encourage them to add Brandon’s Creative Commons licensing option to their personal Google accounts.

Note to Self: Need to head to Can I Use That? A Guide to Creative Commons and accompanying hyperdoc lesson and make updates to reflect the above items.

February 8, 2018
by blogwalker
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Digital Citizenship – It’s not just for students

In recognition that we are living in a “post-truth” era, rampant with “fake news,” and that we all need media literacy skills, I’ve been gathering resources, collaborating with colleagues, and creating presentations geared to both students and staff. I’m adding to my Media Literacy site almost daily, with a weekly featured resource.

For the past 10 years, I’ve been co-directing my district’s digital citizenship program with my colleague Kathleen Watt. We’ve recently been discussing ideas for merging media literacy into our digital citizenship resources, with possibly a new logo coming soon.

A recent article by Keegan Korf, Embracing Our Digital Footprints and Guiding Students to Curate and Reshape Their Own, has us rethinking how we’ve been rolling out our program. Until now, our focus has been solely on students. While we provide a wide range of resources for teachers and parents to use with their students and their children, Keegan’s infographic (below) serves as a timely reminder that we should also be providing resources to help adults be aware of the need to be role models and to build and maintain positive digital footprints.

digital citizenship infographic by Keegan Korf

Infographic created by Keegan Korf

It’s not difficult to find excellent videos for students, such as Netsmartz’ 2 Kinds of Stupid, on how quickly your online reputation can destroy future job opportunities, scholarship options, and more.

But what about digital footprint videos for adults? I’m wondering how many talented, young teachers applying for positions in school districts across the nation will not even make it to the first interview due to something they’ve posted on social media. TED Talks such as Megan’s You Posted What?! could help “xennials” or anyone just entering the job market to stop and think before posting, retweeting, etc.

I appreciate the stellar work ISTE has done in developing (digital) citizenship standards for educators.

Over the next few months, I would like to gather examples of the many ways educators are modeling Standard 3 – with a special focus on 3a. If you have stories, infographics, TED Talks, lessons, articles, etc., to illustrate how an educator is actively making “positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibiting empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community,” please share by leaving a comment.

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