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November 10 Webinar: Digital Citizenship and You

November 4th, 2011 No comments

93% of our students are online.    Our students are living in a world of texting, video chats and social networks but many teachers have not become digital ciitzens.     Without an understanding of the digital world our students are living we can not be role models and help them to understand both the promises and pitfalls of their media lives.

Students are often tech savvy but they are not necessarily smart about their use of technology.    Let’s discuss our role in becoming part of the digital world and helping our students to think critically.   The Common Sense Media curriculum will be highlighted as well as ideas to bring it into your school or district.

This webinar will be offered twice, once at 3:15pm, and once at 7:15pm. Please visit the Webcasts Page for pre-registration and additional information about participating in our webinars.

Follow up to Digital Citizenship Webinar

Below are some resources from the Digital Citizenship Webinar:

Common Sense Media
http://www.commonsensemedia.org

Cyberbullying Toolkit from Common Sense
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/cyberbullying-toolkit

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture

Berkman Center for Internet & Society Youth and Media Project -Intern videos
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/research/youthandmedia/digitalnatives

YouTube  “Youth and Media-The Vision – Berkman Center
http://www.youtube.com/digitalnatives

Berkman Center Wiki
http://youthandmedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Social Media and Young Adults
http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults.aspx

Statistic trends for teens
http://pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-Data-for-Teens/Whos-Online.aspx

Millenials-teen internet use
http://pewresearch.org/millennials/teen-internet-use-graphic.php

Teen trends-online activities
http://pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-Data-for-Teens/Online-Activites-Total.aspx

May 12 Webinar: Cyberbullying and Your School

May 9th, 2011 No comments

School systems in Maine and all over the United States are dealing with issues related to Cyberbullying.  It is deeply affecting our students and learning environments.  Join me and my guest Rebecca Randall from Common Sense Media at the 3:15 webinar as we look at this issue and give practical advice on how to deal with it in your school.

At 7:15 Representative Don Pilon will also join us to speak about the bill he is sponsoring LD 980, “An Act to Prohibit Cyberbullying in Schools”  Please come with your questions for Rebecca and Representative Pilon.

Select the webcasts tab from the top menu, then scroll down to April 26, 2011 and select the time interested to be directed to registration.

December 9 Webinar: Digital Citizenship in Maine Schools

December 7th, 2010 7 comments

Students are spending about seven and a half hours every day with technology according to an article in the New York Times titled How Much Time Do You Spend Consuming Media Everyday? by Katherine Schulten. Students are connecting, creating and collaborating through this media. Much of their days are spent talking or texting on cell phones, computer surfing, doing homework, blogging, social networking, gaming or watching television.

This brings both tremendous opportunities and great challenges to this generation of school kids.

We only have to look at the newspaper headlines about the dangers of sexting, cyberbullying and leaving a damaging digital footprints to understand that students need guidance to make safe, respectful and responsible choices.

Teaching Digital Citizenship is critical to youth development, improved student achievement and ensuring continued access to the advantages that their digital environment provides.

MLTI is partnering with Common Sense Media to provide a digital citizenship curriculum in Maine schools. Schools all over Maine are helping students to become good digital citizens by implementing lessons in their schools.

Learn about this curriculum and how schools are finding ways to educate students to become safe, smart and ethical digital citizens. Every school is unique. Learn how leaders in Maine schools have have championed this curriculum. Find out how it can work in your school.

Please pre-register online by clicking on the webcast tab above.  For questions about the webinar, please contact Teri Caouette at teri.caouette@mlti.org


April 1 Webinar Notes – Blogs, Wikis, and Other Social Media

No fooling! Our April 1st webinars included lively discussions about the value of students’ online communication with written language. I especially want to thank Sherry Connally for allowing me to drag her away from her brand new grandson to join us. Sherry described her doctoral dissertation about how middle school teachers and students use social technologies for communication, collaboration, and building relationships. This dissertation will be published in a few months and made available through ProQuest.

Social Networks

Image by Plus Delta, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic license.

We talked about ways teachers can give students opportunities to use written language for real communications (not just writing an assignment for the teacher) and looked at a wide range of possibilities, from simple email to using social networking sites like FaceBook and Ning. When we asked if the participants felt that texting, chatting, and other kinds of online communication were having a positive or negative effect on student writing, the results of our poll were mixed. Here are some of the comments:

  • I have heard of studies that say that texting etc. are good, and I have heard of studies that say it is bad.
  • Students develop effective communication techniques through trial and error.
  • When students write/key reports, they are using “web” language.
  • The grammar and spelling are negatives, but I have used blogs and it really encouraged my students to use their writing as an interactive communication tool with their classmates.
  • The students use “u” instead of “you” etc.
  • “Web” language has a long tradition – read the letters of Jane Austen and Lord Byron – written in ‘code’
  • If social networking is used in the classroom and focus is put on language skills, then texting, chatting and tweeting can be very useful.
  • If we think of it like braille or morse code.  Both have shorthand. We used to teach shorthand in school.
  • My student’ academic writing contains “LOL” type stuff.
  • -Love using “forums” with my Spanish classes.  They are communicating in Spanish which is what I want them to do.
  • They need to know when it is appropriate to use that kind of language.
  • Kids today speak two languages.  The traditional English and chat.  They just go between the two.

Ruben Puentedura shared links to two articles about the effects of texting on student writing (Thanks, Ruben!):

Other resources we shared:

The webinar participants also had a lot of ideas about filtering and teaching digital citizenship. Here are some of the ideas and resources that were shared in the chat box:

  • Chats and BackChannels
  • Digital Citizenship
    • Common Sense Media (another partnership with MLTI)
    • For all things Chat/Skype/Video Chat – obviously educating parents and students about how to use them and how to stay safe is important.
    • I include Common Sense tips every week in my newsletter to parents.
  • Social Networking
    • I have a classroom Ning site set up for my computer apps classes.  Students blog, answer forums and add comments to their peers’ discussions.
    • Edublogs and WordPress for blogging with students.
    • My daughter’s class uses Blogspot to respond to weekly assignments.
    • Twitter is a great way to provide professional development. Following educational leaders who provide lots of resources and links is most beneficial.
    • I’ve used Facebook profiles as a way of creating character profiles during writing and reading activities.
    • One school uses FB to facilitate the iTeam meetings, another choir rehearsals.
    • Facebook is blocked in our school.
    • We (teachers) have overrides to get througth the blocked sites.
    • Google Docs is better for this and easier to manage
    • Check the Terms of Use to determine if children under 13 can use ePals or Google Docs
    • Pew Internet – great resource for research on what social media looks like, and what teens are doing with it.

Thanks to all the participants who contributed their ideas, opinions, and resources on this topic. It was a valuable opportunity for us to learn from each other.

April 1 Webinar – Blogs, Wikis, and other Social Media

March 30th, 2010 No comments

Social NetworkingThis week’s webinar in the Writing Process series will be a departure from our journey through the stages of the process. Instead, we will take a look at how students are using social technologies to communicate through written language, both in and out of school. Whether it’s through email, chat, blogs, texting or social networks like Facebook and Twitter, our students are engaged in this kind of writing every day. How can we help students use these powerful new tools effectively and ethically?

Sherry Connally, Principal of Rangeley Lakes Regional School, will be the guest host. Sherry recently completed her doctoral dissertation, An Exploration Of Maine Middle School Teachers’ Use Of Social Technologies. She will discuss her findings and talk about ways that teachers are helping students learn to communicate, collaborate, and build relationships through social media.

We will look at some examples of ways teachers can leverage interest in this type of communication to help students improve their writing, and we will share resources for doing this. As always, we will encourage participants in the webinar to share their experiences and resources so we can learn from each other.

Please join us Thursday, April 1 at 3:15 or 7:15 pm. You can find links for registration and information about how to access these sessions by clicking on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page.

Illustration by Ann Marie Quirion Hutton based on an original by Maarten Korz, licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic license.