Character education for the digital age

As we prepare for the return of students to our classrooms, many teachers and schools will be considering the implications of their BYOD programmes and increased wireless access meaning more kids using digital devices in school. With such privilege comes responsibility, and a key focus for teachers, leaders and school policy makers must be on thinking through the implications of such decisions, and how this all contributes to the overall academic and personal development of our students.  Jason Ohler has written extensively on using technology effectively, creatively and wisely, and is known to many NZ teachers through his keynotes and workshops … Continue reading Character education for the digital age

Information Literacy development

I've just been browsing a report recently published by Ofcom titled "Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report." [PDF]. Much of my work in schools and with teachers involves discussions about the sorts of skills and dispositions young people need to be considered 'literate' in an increasingly digital world. The research carried out by Ofcom reveals some useful data to help inform how schools think about a response, including… an increase since 2010 in the number of children aged between 5-15 who have a PC or a laptop an increase from 93% from 88% of children aged between 12-15 year olds use the Internet from … Continue reading Information Literacy development

YouTube and digital citizenship

The use of YouTube by students is a hot topic in many schools I visit and work in. I am the parent of a couple of young people still at school who regularly use YouTube clips as a source of entertainment, information and education (my son taught himself how to program in JAVA last Christmas from viewing YouTube clips). I am all too aware of the vaguaries of what can be accessed and viewed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and speak with them regularly about appropriate viewing behaviour etc. – all part of being responsible as a parent in helping them … Continue reading YouTube and digital citizenship

Managing your online reputation

We often hear complaints about what students say and do online, but we often neglect to look into educators helping them manage their online reputation. With the rise of use of social media among teachers, both personally and professionally, there is a growing need for educators to be engaging in thinking about the implications for our online reputation in terms of what we post, how we post, and in what forums we post etc. This info-graphic on Lisa Nielson's blog provides a useful summary of key points for consideration that could be used as the focal point of a staff … Continue reading Managing your online reputation

Social Media Guidelines for Teachers

On the Thursday evening at ULearn I attended the launch of the Teachers and Social Media website, developed by the NZ Teachers Council. Illustrated at right are Alison McAlpine (Chair of the Teachers Council) addressing the group, and TC director, Dr Peter Lind. I've had the privilege of working with this group over the past 6 months as the guidelines were put together, and am very pleased with the result. As the use of social media is increasing among both students and staff in schools, it has become abundantly clear that such guidelines are required. The challenge has been in … Continue reading Social Media Guidelines for Teachers

Digital Citizenship Guidelines for Teachers

On Wednesday afternoon at ULearn I had the privilege of attending the launch of a set of guidelines for teachers on Digital Citizenship. The launch was held, very appropriately, at the National Library's Auckland Service Centre, a wonderfully 'future-focused' building reflecting how libraries and learning should be approaching the 21st century! The story of how these guidelines were created was recounted by project initiator, Claire Amos (centre above), currently (but not for long) the eLearning director at Epsom Girl's Grammar School. Claire spoke about how she, in her role as eLearning director, felt she needed to have such a set … Continue reading Digital Citizenship Guidelines for Teachers

Critical thinking about conspiracy theories

It's always useful to find resources that can be used to promote a combination of critical thinking, cyber-citizenship, research and history (to name a few). The following resource came to me via Learning Times, and provides some material that I'm sure could be used very creatively in classrooms:  Conspiracy Theories in Aerospace History A lesson in Critical Thinking for the Internet Age You can't believe everything you read on the Internet. How do you evaluate the reliability of online information? Check out the conference archives from this National Air and Space Museum interactive online conference developed especially for teachers and … Continue reading Critical thinking about conspiracy theories

Who are the millenials?

I’m always interested in some of the trends and perspectives shared by those who are researching the  characteristics of the emerging generations – amid the positioning and argument, there are areas of agreement that the youngsters of today are growing up in quite a different world to what existed for my generation, and as a consequence, there are likely to be things that differentiate the way they think and act, reflecting a different set of values, expectations and aspirations among this group. The term ‘millennials‘ (also known as Generation Y) has been coined to broadly describe those who are growing … Continue reading Who are the millenials?

Youth and safety online

Online safety and issues of Cyber-citizenship are big issues in almost every discussion I participate in at the moment. Concerns about the behaviour of young people in open, social networking environments arise at every level – from early childhood through to tertiary. Too often the responses made come from a position of fear and ignorance, with a dependence on rigid filtering and regimes of blocking sites considered inappropriate. While such actions are not necessarily inappropriate, they will achieve little in the long run without a comprehensive educative approach, focusing on the development of understandings and competencies that will ultimately equip … Continue reading Youth and safety online

Online identity and our digital footprint

The blogosphere and discussion lists have been running hot in recent weeks as people have begun grappling with the implications of Facebook’s sweeping new privacy policies and their controversial new default and permanent settings. The concerns appear to have had some effect, with a recent statement from Facebook’s Public Policy Director that the company will release simple privacy settings in the coming weeks. The argument is between those (like Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg) who assert that the world has changed, that it’s become more public and less private – and others who believe that privacy is still important. It’s a … Continue reading Online identity and our digital footprint