Saturday, July 18, 2009

11.5 Thing #11.5-Evaluation

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises?
  • Glogster - Two World Geography teachers have already signed up for the library when school starts. They want the students to create posters on world religions. I would love to show them Glogster. My first step is to contact our technology department to see if this is possible.
  • Wordsift - for use with the ESOL students.
  • Facebook - I never would have thought that I would create a Facebook page. Now that I'm there, I have found two college friends and a friend from many years ago when our children were young. Added benefit, I can see the posts on my daughter's Facebook page!
  • Screencast - Hoping to use this to provide instructions to the classroom teachers.

2. How has this program affected or assisted your lifelong learning goals?

Although the course was a lot of work, I loved it and look forward to exploring the topics in greater depth. After taking the 23 Things last summer, I was excited about taking this course when I saw it offered. If you can think of more things to teach us, I will definitely sign up! Years ago my very young daughter showed me the difference between my computer and my computer monitor. Now there are things that I can show her!!

3. Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

  • Facebook - as I mentioned above, I love this and spend way too much time on it.
  • Second Life - I was surprised by this and my negative reaction to it. Despite all the excitement about it and the possibilities for education, I am not comfortable with it. I was the same way about the microwave oven 30 years ago, so I am likely to change my mind!

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program's format or concept?

In the 23 Things course, you required us to read and post on the other blogs. I didn't see this instruction in the 11.5 Things, but I did it anyway. It is a tremendous help and great opportunity to share information and ideas.

Thank you for providing this course. It was an amazing journey of hard work and play. My hope is that our technology department will let us use some of these tools with our students. I agree with Rhondda in Rhondda's Reflections (Thing 11) when she says,

Many educational systems and/or schools are ignoring the existence of much of the on-line digital media, by banning outright, filtering and heavily restricting use. This leaves our students alone to use and figure out the media on their own, outside school, with varying degrees of understanding about the intricacies of the best, appropriate and safe use. Studies are continually showing that more and more of our young people are using digital media in their own time without any guidance. Ignoring the digital media in the hope that students won’t be interested in or use most of it, isn’t working and it is dangerous.

11.5 Thing #11-Digital Citizenship

I read all of the links provided even though the assignment said to choose about 3. I'm so glad I did. All were excellent and informative. I am fired up over a concept I previously didn't know anything about.

Even though my library orientation packets are already printed for the start of school, I will definitely work in a discussion about digital citizenship. Subjects I would include are manners, safety, evaluating information, copyright, and the AUP. Regarding the AUP, I would engage the students in a discussion about why we have the rules rather than just posting the rules.

I like this activity that I accessed through the Ning in item 4 of this assignment. It's titled, "Digital Citizenship and the 21st Century Digital Compass Activity."

Something I will do more of having read these articles and suggestions is model how I evaluate the websites I find for the students. There is never enough time to devote an entire lesson to website evaluation, but if I and other teachers model our use of technology, eventually the students will become better at it themselves. Having said that, I must admit that many of our teachers need to learn and model better technology use! I hope my principal will let me provide some staff development on Digital Citizenship.