I’ve had Course 5 Project in the back of my mind for months now. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do, what my school and students need and what inspires me to work on for the next 4 months for my final project for COETAIL.
Here are some ideas that have been floating around in my head:
1. Gamification – maybe digital citizenship, maybe food tech skills, but I’m struggling to make it authentic and get “beyond the badge”. I do want to look more into this, but I think I will do that outside this course.
2. Digital Citizenship – lately, there have been many issues, specifically in grade 6 & 7 with Digital Citizenship at my school. There’s been gaming in classes, there’s been sharing of passwords and illegal downloading, even a student misrepresentation himself on the web.
Now, this is not a great snapshot of my school. I work at a great school with great kids. BUT, this is the reality – they are middle schoolers. They are making mistakes, and I need to be more proactive.
At our school, we are participating in TLCs (Teacher Learning Communities), most of which focus on parts of John Hattie’s book, Visual Learning for Teachers. He repeats over and over, “Know Thy Impact“:
The current 7th graders are struggling with their technology. I know I can make an impact with our kids. I know them. I know what they are doing on their computers, I am fairly current with technology.
Last year, Katy, Ju and I created an RUP which is structured to support IB Learners. I’m very proud of the document we created. I pushed for it to be accepted at our school and it is now up on our website. But, I haven’t done a great job of making this come to life. I did a few activities at the beginning of the year, and I did one this past week on Balance, but I definitely need to do more.
This week, I asked the seventh graders:
Is technology is making you a better or a worse student?
It really created a rich discussion in my classroom. I begged for their honesty, even if I didn’t want to hear it or if they were afraid to say their thoughts to a teacher.
I listened. I felt more like a counselor for that lesson this past week; it was one of the best lessons I’ve done lately. I need to continue on with this. I am still (sort of) young and I understand social media and the technology they are interacting with daily. If I don’t do it, really at my school right now, I don’t know who will.
So, for my project, I’d really like to make our RUP come to life.
I’m definitely going to be fighting with time. I do see almost all the grade 7s and 8s in my Design class, I can integrate lessons into that class, but I need to make sure that it is being reinforced outside of my class. I’m going to have to figure out when is best to work with grade 6. I also want to work with parents and teachers and open communication with our whole community.
I’m not sure how I show that I’ve made an impact or that my students have grown in this area. Digital Citizenship is tricky to evaluate and assess. I don’t want to teach it to the kids as “expectations” all the times, but I want them to take ownership of their RUP, and how it promotes to a good community.
I never want to lecture to the kids about digital citizenship It takes time and creativity to design lessons that are engaging and “safe” for discussions and actions to take place.
How can I show that I have made an impact or am successful in the end?
I’d love any suggestions to my project. I’ll continue to post and get a unit planner designed soon for feedback.
Our headmaster states on occasion, “We create our own culture.” I believe this statement to be true.
I want my students to be positive ambassadors on their digital devices in their homes, on campus and where ever they may be on the internet.