Sunday, August 26, 2012

Digital Citizenship; Engagement through Power

"With great power comes great responsibility" -Stan Lee. That is right true believers, when it comes to keeping students enaged, we have to allow them to make important chopices about what they are learning and what

they are doing with what they learn. I am using Digital Citizenship as a gateway into a discussioin of our roles and responsibility as community members, in person and f2f.

While I can't give my students super powers via radioactive spider bite (sorry kids), I can give them an anonymous Kidblog account, a school email address, and a Schoology Account

As I share these tools with my students we will be completing a number of assignments designed to get them comfortable with the tool. (like building that first bird house in wood shop)

While I am using these tools as a medium, the real skill I am focusing on is compassion. During a #satchat

recently I was discussing cyberbullying and how to prevent it. In the discussion many people discussed the role of the community in preventing face 2 face bullying. We need to create a community of the same mindfulness and transparency online. By participating with our students onilne we can model caring and compassionate behavior. We can show them what it means to be of service to another user. We can model that praise is public and criticisim is private and caring.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Building Your PLN, Attend an UNconference

I spent my last Saturday before my students return at Hillsdale High School attending Ed camp SF Bay. Ed Camp is an unconference. In this un conference the participants pitch sessions and then all of the participants vote on the sessions.
I drafted a couple of sessions and when the voting was done they both ran.  This was really exciting for me because I got to participate in a conversation with participants who had already signed on and bought into the topic.
Rough Draft of EdCamp Session Card
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The first session was "My students need a PLN."  This was a new topic and idea for me.  Over the summer I really developed my PLN.  But only during this conversation did I come to understand that my PLN is more of a mindset or a mode of interaction than it is a static resource, it is a how more than a what.
My Students need a PLN
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after this discussion I am really thinking about how I can use the frame of "building a PLN" to discuss all aspects of digital citizenship.  I will be teaching my students how to "be of service" to others online.

The next session I was lucky enough to participate in was "Should Social Media Presence Be A Job Requirement."  This session was helpful because many of the people in the room had experience leading others into the SM enabled education world.  We talked about how the users fear has to be outweighed by their value of SM.  Thus we have to teach people how to use SM to interact and support each other.

Should Social Media Presence be a Job Requirement
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In addition to these sessions I went to a session on the web tool Livebinders.  The founders presented many models of the awesome things students and teachers are doing with this web-based binder.
Livebinders, EdCamp Session
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Go to camp, the more you share, the more you learn.  Learning is living.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boost Engagement with Student Text

Hello, this is a Brand New Freshmen.
I'm sorry for this being so last minute, i didn't see the written part of this assignment on the website and only found out very recently about it. Thank you so much! eek, am I not supposed to wright an explanation point on an email to an English teacher...

This is the email I just opened. I love this opprotunity. Tomorrow, when I introduce my class to our project for the year, learning the be digital producers. I have set up Kid Blog accounts, built my class group on schoology,

and I have even set up a remind 101 account to communicate with my cross country team.

I love the email above for so many reasons. The first is that I feel like I have some important work to do. I am grateful that they are giving me so much to work with and I haven't even met with them as a class yet. (not to mention opening the assignment attached to the email).

This year I will use this email as a gateway into a discussion of digital citizenship. I'll update this and let you know how it worked.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

You Want to Command Attention?

If you want to command your student's attention, look the part. Clowns, purple dinosaurs, giant mice, these are larger than life characters that kids are tuned into. I am not saying that all teachers should dress like clowns, but I am saying that it would be foolish not to recognize that there is power in being visually arresting.

I admit that if all teachers wore bow ties we would look like an army of ice cream men for 1950, but since they don't, it gives me a unique visual branding. I try to wear a bow tie everyday for the first month of class, after that the kids know me as the "bow tie guy." I know the bow tie alone doesn't do it, but have a "uniform" helps me to develop and support my super excited teacher persona.

If I was born beautiful this post would be about the importance of being visually pleasing, but working with what I was given I can say a well-developed goofy look can be an invisible ally.