Friday, February 19, 2016

Making global connections goes hand-in-hand with digital citizenship

This week I've been preparing for one of my presentations for next week's ASB Un-Plugged.  The presentation is about how we use data to personalise professional learning for our teachers.  We are asking teachers to make a short video reflection about this, and today I watched one of these, made by one of our 4th grade teachers, where she reflected on how looking at the data had allowed her to identify gaps in her practice, or concepts that she was not very intentional about teaching.  For example, she said that she did talk to her students about digital citizenship, but in the past this had been more reactive than proactive. She spoke about how over the past couple of years she has set goals based on digital citizenship and making global connections - the two of which go hand-in-hand.

I've also been reflecting on how our tech coaching initiative has led to more of an emphasis on digital citizenship.  One of our tech coaches is a Grade 5 teacher, and he has encouraged goals around digital citizenship for the Grade 4 and 5 teachers that he coaches.  At the start of the year, we always talk to the students about being responsible digital citizens, in the light of our responsible use policy, as we want students to be able to protect themselves and others and to respect others when using technology.  Following this, coaches can reach out to teachers, students and parents so that they best understand how to maximize the advantages of technology use, while avoiding the dangers.  Our coaches need to be at the forefront of investigating the implications of new technologies that our students use.  For example Skype can be used for good, to connect with others around the world in a global bookclub, where they encounter unique viewpoints and ideas that are different from their own, but at the same time we are aware that at times it has been used for private chatting at the weekends and evenings that has caused upset to some students.  We need to find a balance between using technology to build the understandings that students need for their future, while at the same time protecting students from its misuse.

In this respect we rely heavily on our tech coaches to work with our teachers to model best practices and to encourage them to talk to the students and parents to raise awareness about the issues.

Photo Credit: W J (Bill) Harrison via Compfight cc

No comments:

Post a Comment