Mobile Technology – Week 7

Title :The influence of technology in pop culture on curriculum and instruction: the iGeneration of children has a unique set of learning characteristics that must be taken into account when teaching

Age Group: Elementary but goes all the way up through grade 12.
As I began looking at readings for this week, the topic is so big that I had to make myself take a step back, and choose something.  I thought this article was VERY interesting, and something that all new and experienced teachers should be aware of.  Basically, the article talks about how kids of this generation are growing up in a world that is the most tech savvy the world has ever seen.  “This group of students currently entering schools may in many cases have a
greater level of technological expertise than their teachers.” (Mears) This is especially important to remember because if our kids know more than we do, that is a problem.  It’s going to get even harder and harder to stay on top of the technology world, but it’s a necessity if you want to have the respect of your students.  I think this addresses standard NETS-T 5a: Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning. This is a must.  We can’t ever stop learning!
Another standard that is addressed in this article is NETS-T 5b: Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision-making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.  The article talks about how important is it to choose what type of technology you infuse.  One point in the article says that you may think you are putting in a fun, exciting Powerpoint presentation with animation, but really, the kids are not going to think that is “cool” because they have seen so much more than that.
This article talks so much about infusing the technology that they know and love into their learning.  Kids are bombarded with so much media everyday…Since we know that, and know how they use it, why not try to infuse it into their learning.  They are much more likely to be engaged and want to do the task that has been given to them if it is something they are comfortable with.  I think this addresses standard NETS-S5 b: Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.  They need to use the things they love most.  We need to foster this and run with it! The article gives specific details on how to use some of these systems.
I want to highlight a few of the big points this article makes. This article talks about six specific traits that these “iGeneration” kids are growing up with that can help us in our teaching…here they are (I’m not including all of teach point):
1. They were introduced to technology at birth and have always known constant
bombardment of pop-culture trends and information via the media. They are used to information being constantly available at their fingertips. I think this addresses NETS-S 4c:Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.  Kids know how to use the technology, we need to teach them how to find and use they stuff that they need. These are skills that they will need, we need to give it to them!
2. They are advanced multitaskers who embrace any new piece of technology…
3.The virtual worlds created by video games and the social worlds created by
Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter–as well as anything they can find by “Googling” the Internet are–craved by them almost as an obsession.
4.Ensuring that they complete instructional tasks requires constant motivation and reinforcement…
5. Their parents are members of the “Net Generation” and therefore technologically advanced as well…
6. They tend to be confident in their abilities, welcome new challenges, and adapt to changes very quickly…
I could go on and on about this article…I find it very interesting, but I’m limited just a few more words here.  The last thing I am going to talk about is parent involvement.  If you look up at number 5, I think it is important to note that most parents are in this tech crazed world too.  I think that means for teachers that we need to provide them with tools that they can easily access to track their child’s education (powerschool up to date, a blog, Facebook page…etc.) I think addresses NETS-S 3b: Collaborate with students,  peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.
This article hits most of the standards here, but I only highlighted the ones that I thought were most important.  Check out this article, it’s AWESOME!

Peer Review #1-Moblie Learning (k-5) Week 6

Title:  Examining the influence of a mobile learning intervention on third grade math achievement

Author(s): Derick Kiger , Dani Herro and Deb Prunty

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 45.1 (Fall 2012): p61

Date: Fall 2012

I chose to study mobile technology on the k-5 grade classrooms this week.  I chose this because I am very interested in how I can incorporate more technology in my classroom daily.  I need to write a grant to get “i” devices, but having some background knowledge is the best place to start!

This article looked at two groups of third grade students, from the same school, and compared them directly to each other.  One group got to use mobile devices (iPod touches) to practice math multiplication facts, and the other group (control) used the classic way of practicing those facts.  The control group used math fact triangles, games, and flash cards to practice while the the mobile learning intervention group (MLI) used their iPods for practicing.  They got to practice for 10 minutes everyday and could only use 2 apps a day.  Sometimes students got to choose their app, other times they were told which ones to use. I think this address NETS 3c:Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.  By introducing these apps, students will learn how to use them and know WHEN to use them.  This sounds like a standard that is for older kids, but I think it can start here.  Kids need to know when and how to use apps.

Also, some days the students had to work on specific fact families   They did this by teaching the students how to manipulate the settings to focus on the exact facts that they wanted to work on.  This addressed NETS-S 6a: understand and use technology systems.  Aside from using the device itself, the students learned how to use many different apps.  They learned how to change settings so that they could work on exactly what they wanted to work on.

One thing that I really liked about this study was that the kids were introduced to only one app a day with specific learning time set aside for them to explore and get to know the app. I think this is VITALLY IMPORTANT FOR TEACHERS TO REMEMBER.  Especially for elementary teachers.  I think sometimes we get so excited to show our kids new things that we show them too much at one time and it really works against us.  If you go at the right pace (one app a day) kids will understand that app more fully and be able to use it independently later.

Because of the way the world (and education) is changing, students love this kind of stuff.  I have used activotes (use with a promethean board) in my classroom (1st grade) and kids love them.  I have brought out my (personal) iPad and the kids beg to use it.  This is a part of our students  everyday lives.  They know this stuff, sometimes better than we do.  I know that my kids (2 and 3) LOVE technology.  They use it now and they are so little!  Lots of students have different types of things at their houses….Either iPads, iPods, some kind of tablet, smart phones, the list goes on.  Kids know how to run the technology, our job as teachers is to give them the best practice with the device as possible.  The hard part is not going to be teaching them how to use the technology, it’s going to be finding the right apps for them to use. I think this has all to do with NET standard T2b: Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.  This is a big and heavy standard, but I think it starts small and can be right in elementary school!

I’ll leave you with these last two quotes from the report that I found very useful!

“… This finding suggests that coupling “business as usual” curriculum with a mobile device may be a cost-effective lever to improve student achievement.”

“For today’s students, emerging technologies such as mobile learning, online learning, and digital content hold great promise for creating a new learning environment that not only engages them in contextually based content, but also enables greater personalization of the learning process and empowers them to explore knowledge with an unfettered type of curiosity that is too often missing from traditional classroom settings. (Blackboard K-12, 2011, p. 3)” 


Video Resources

1)The first resource I found is one that I think can be very useful to teachers who are  thinking about incorporating video into their classrooms.  It is s slideshare broadcast that tells about the positives of using videos in classrooms.  It gives statistics, research findings, even some ideas of how to use video in your classroom. I think it is important to this week’s topic because it gives some very insightful information in small chunks.  It’s very easy to understand and can easily be incorporated into your classroom.  Your students will only benefit from you checking out this link!

I think it address a few of the NETS standards we have been studying. NETS-T 2a :Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.  This resource gives you specific examples of how to promote student learning by using video.  NETS-S 3d: Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate and use information resources to support research and learning.  Teachers need to know how to use video so that they can model to their students, this resource gives you some clues!  NETS 5b: Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.  I think if kids are exposed to many different kinds of videos they will have a better attitude about using different kinds of technology, namely video! (226)

The video is embedded below 🙂

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”” title=”Using Video in the Classroom” target=”_blank”>Using Video in the Classroom</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”” target=”_blank”>Synergy Broadcast Systems</a></strong> </div>

2) I found this article (with videos on the page) about teachers view video that I thought was very, VERY interesting.  I think it hits the point that most teachers think (that don’t use videos) right on the head “Some teachers are resistant to showing videos in their classrooms because they think of them as cheating.  Teachers get paid to use up class time, and filling it with something made by someone else seems like shirking their duties.”(John Orlando) Mr. Orlando also talks about how teachers think that they need to take what they know from their heads and give that to their students.  Mr. Orlando disagrees.  He says “A teacher’s value is not in the information stored in their head, but rather their ability to pull together the best learning resources to produce a desired outcome.  The modern teacher is (or should be) more an aggregator than a producer.”  I think this is SO important!!! In my opinion, older teachers have a harder time doing this.  I think that education is taking a major shift right now and teachers need to be open to new ideas.  Our world is changing, so our education is going to have to change as well.

I was very interested in the first video (TED).  It basically piggy-backs on the thoughts of John Orlando.  I must warn you, there are a few cuss words (don’t worry, your ears won’t bleed! There’s a few right at the beginning, and then a bad one in the middle… sorry, but the rest of the content is really interesting!)

NETS addressed in this resource:

NETS-T 3a: Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.  I think our world and education world is in a new situation and that means that we need to change!   This resource shows you the changes and gives you some insight as to what to do from there.  NETS-T5b:  Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision-making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.   I think the key word here is “technology infusion”….This article and TED video talk about infusing videos into classrooms.  The speaker on the TED video says that there is absolutely a place for lecturing, but there is also a place for videos to enhance the learning. The article is below…

3)The third site I explore was PBS kids, for teachers.  WOW! I had no idea of all the great things this site offers! First of all, you can search by grade level.  From there you can search topic, and then media type.  I clicked on k-2, then a few subjects, then on video.  There were so many!  There were really short clips, long ones, and games and activities to go along with them.  I think this would be a great thing to check out when starting a unit.   I also think it would be a fun “extra” that kids could do as a reward.  They would still be learning but it would seem like more fun to them.  I went to the teacher pages, but there are also pages for students and for parents as well. I had no idea this even existed, I’m going to have to make sure and save it on my computer at school (or make a delicious account)! I think this site full of resources connects to many of the NETS standards.  NETS-T 2a: Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity. I think this site is all about this standard.  Kids (especially my younger kids) thrive on technology…It keeps them engaged longer and I think that things stick better.  If kids are able to explore, watch, and play games that all connect to a subject (after or during lesson units), it will stick more. NETS-S 5b: Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.  I think this resource will really help you incorporate videos and activities to go along with them and that should help your kids be more acceptable of different types of learning. Most kids would rather watch a fun video that listen to a teacher talk the whole time.  Of course I am not saying that I think all teaching should be done from a video… ABSOLUTELY NOT! However, i do think they have their place… The more they are used and infused with other learning, the more acceptable kids will be to them.  I think the problem is that teachers don’t know how to infuse the videos with learning…they just throw them on and don’t think about where they would fit best in a lesson. The link to this wonderful site is below!

4) This is another great sight that I happened to stumble upon.  It is a lot like the PBS site, but more “teacher-ish”.  There aren’t as many colors and doesn’t look as pretty, but it looks a lot more academic   I love that you can sort by grade, topic, and media type.  I chose to look through the videos for younger kids in math.  I watched one that was about elapsed time.  This is a really hard concept for young elementary students  and this short video did a great job of showing the story of what elapsed time actually is.  I think kids would pay attention to it because it’s cute, but it also gets the point across.  I think this would be a great introductory activity.  It shows the problem, how to solve it, and the solution.  i know this is just one specific example, but there are so many other great videos (and other digital medias) available on this site.  I think this video could also be used at the end of the unit when you pause in between steps, have kids tell their partner what to do next, then watch the video to see if they were right.  I think these kinds of videos can be used at all different times during many different lessons.  NETS-T 2d says just that: Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.  I think that teachers get way to caught up in the fact that tests need to be paper and pencil.  Why not show your class this video and have them use white boards to tell you what to do next?  I think we need to be more open minded about how to use technology and all that it has to offer! NETS-T 1b: Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.  I think using these “real situation” type videos from this site can be very effective.  I only gave you one example (they needed to bake a dessert for an amount of time) but there are more on here.  Kids learn better when it’s something they can actually see happening in real life.   i think it’s hard to connect with fake issues, so your video choice is vitally important.

5) Last but not least, I think one of the most important and easiest resources to use is YouTube.  I also think it can be one of the most dangerous, so it needs to be used with extreme caution.  I think it is safer for older grades (9-12ish) to use YouTube on their own, but I think it is one of your most important resources as a teacher of any grade.  I only have one complaint about YouTube thus far… I hate that they have advertisements inside actual videos. If I pull something up to show my class, I make sure to mute my audio and freeze the picture so that they can’t see or hear the advertisements.  I think this is important because you never know what advertisement is going to pop up.  I”m always afraid it is going to be for beer or something that my little first graders do not need to hear or see! On the positive, I love that you can find just about whatever you want to on YouTube.  I love it for tutorials and fun number and letter songs that kids can memorize.  When we started talking about nouns, I used a song and video on YouTube to help them memorize what nouns are… IT WORKS!  They can recite to me exactly what a noun is.  I love how much is out there, you just have to start looking!  For younger kids, I think these standard connections fall mostly on teachers.  I’m not going to go let my first graders search YouTube, so it’s my job to use it properly.  NETS-T 2a: Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.  I think YouTube can make things very real for students and really gets their brains going…If it’s used right, it kicks them into high gear.  I think it can make them think on higher levels, and it can help them memorize things (especially though song)! NETS-T 5b:  Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.  Again, using videos from YouTube needs to be an infusion into already great learning.  I don’t think the videos (most of the time) should be used as your primary teaching tool, but INFUSED into your lessons to enhance your studetns’ learning.  YouTube is an amazing tool, only if it is used properly! There are some neat tools in YouTube as well… You can like and save videos in your own profile so that you can go back later and look at them!  It’s always nice to have things like that, it helps me stay more organized! Go check it out!


Video Use #2

Article title: YouTube in the science classroom: tips on incorporating this popular video file-sharing website into your science lessons

Author: Jerry Everhart

Journal:Science and Children.

Publication Date: Summer 2009

I found this article interesting because I think there is a fair amount of controversy about the use of YouTube in classrooms.  I tend to use it a lot more than other teachers that I work with, so I am obviously a fan of it!  I think it can be used in so many ways, so I wanted to see what this guy had to say about using it classrooms.

Basically, Mr. Everhart thinks that the use of YouTube in classrooms (of all ages) can be very useful.  He goes into detail about using YouTube in science lessons.  He writes about how he uses the site for himself and for his students, then gives even more great ideas about how to use the site in your classroom in other ways as well.  I thought it was very interesting the way he uses it.  He has his students use YouTube in the early stages of units to find videos that can be helpful for their unit.  Of course there are guidelines, but I think this is a very smart way to use the site.  Children in this age love to use technology.  What better way to let them show you what they know by letting them find things that they will think are useful to learn about.  I think it’s brilliant.  Obviously, this would have to be closely monitored, but with the right guidance, I think this could be great for upper elementary students right on up through high school.

Incorporating YouTube hits many of the technology standards:

  • NETS-T 4c.  Promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.  Teachers will need to tell and show students how to do this properly.  They need to be taught how to use this search engine correctly.
  • NETS-T2a: Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.  I think that this puts a lot of the learning into the students hands when they have to find videos that they think are relevant to their learning. (along with the other ideas he had for incorporation)
  • NETS-S5c: Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.  This puts the learning on them! It makes it personal!
  • NETS-S 6a: Understand and use technology systems.  Knowing how to navigate and properly use a site like YouTube gives them lifelong skills.  )I use this site all the time and I’m in grad school!) It is just as important for me as it is for my first graders (don’t worry, I don’t let my first graders browse YouTube just yet!)

I liked that this author decided to incorporate other ideas into this article.  They aren’t things that he necessarily does in his room,but they are good ideas to try.  The  one that really stood out to me was taking virtual field trips.  I think this is especially important for low-income and elementary schools.  There aren’t many field trips that happen any more.  I’m not saying that the internet can replace those experiences, but I think it can really add to learning.  Being able to see it somehow (and go back over and over and over again) is much more effective that not going at all!  The best thing would be (I think) to go first hand and look at other resources on YouTube to reinforce what they learned.

Video in the classroom is really exciting and interesting to me.  I think it’s important and all teachers need to be open to the idea of infusing it into their learning (especially YouTube)! It will make their lives so much easier!

Peer Review #1

The theme I chose to study this week was video for elementary students k-5. I chose this because it is the age of students I work with and think that I could benefit from the information that I find. The article “Timing is Everything”  was written by Debra Drury in 2006. I realize that this is not the newest article out there, but I think that it is worth reading.  The article is from Science and Children (2006).

This article caught my eye because I use video in my classroom quite often. I think it is very effective when used properly and I wanted to see what this teacher had to say.

“Timing is Everything” is about a teacher, Debra Drury, who did an experiment with her fourth through sixth grade classes (they were all in an elementary school) testing when video used in the classroom is most effective.  The unit of study was in science.  Her curriculum said to show the videos as introductory, but the problem was that the kids were not engaging and connecting with it and could not use the information because they didn’t have enough base knowledge.  It was a time where students zoned out because it was just too far above their heads.  She tried using the videos in different parts of her units, and this is what she found:

“…it was clear to me that somewhere near the end of the chapter-as we began to consolidate our knowledge of a topic-is the time when the use of videos is most effective. It is at this point that students ask the most effective questions and strengthen their own understanding of the concepts being learned. Because students have some experience with the content already, they have the knowledge to respond to and question the video, furthering their learning. They better understand things that they did during the unit and make connections with the things that they hadn’t. “

What a great thing to test out on students.  I think that many teachers struggle with this idea and never really try to find the best solution. I think this fits best with NETS-T standard 5: “Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promotion and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.”  Furthermore, I think it focuses in more on standard b under the number 5 heading. Standard b states ” Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.”  I love the word infusion here.  Teachers have to infuse different ways of technology at the right time to make it effective for students.  This is exactly what Debra Drury wanted to find out.

I also think this article addresses NETS-S standard 4d: “Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.”  Even though these students did have a choice in when to watch the video, they are using different types of media to explore more resources and dig through different ideas.  When the videos were shown toward the end of a unit, the students were much more engaged and made more connections to the content.  The were able to explore other possibilities because the background knowledge was all there.  They were ready to dive in deeper and look at other perspectives.

I look forward to finding more resources on this topic.  I think all elementary and high school teachers should have some knowledge in this area. Most teachers do use video at some time, so it’s important to know when it is most appropriate to incorporate.  I am excited to see if there are any other opinions about when to use video in different subject areas.  I agree with her in the science arena, but I am anxious to see what people say about things like learning the alphabet and basic math. I tend to think that these are best used in the beginning and middle of units, but that is simply so they can memorize and then transfer information.

Come back for more information next week!

Creative Commons Website Listing

1. Flickr

Here, students can find photos that are ok for classroom use! There is so much here, just have to search! Great for research projects, photo editing,  or just general information.

NETS 1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS 5- Digital Citizenship

2. Photo pin

Used with flickr, this is another great site to find photos.  You must include the link when you use photos found off this site.

NETS 1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS 5- Digital Citizenship


This is another photo sharing site.  It is used for non-commercial use only.  Great for projects and photo editing.

NETS 1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS 5- Digital Citizenship

4. squidoo

This is a site for finding clip art and web graphics through creative commons.  If kids were doing some kind of project where they need to get graphics, this would be a great place to start!

NETS 1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS 5- Digital Citizenship

5. Audio Farm

This is a site that has music and all different kinds of audio sounds on it.  It would be a good place to start for kids that are putting music to a slideshow or some kind of presentation.

NET1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS5-Digital Citizenship

NETS6-Technology Operations and concepts (a)

6. mixter

An audio site with cc safe music.  There are tons of different things to choose from…from songs to pod casts! Great for kids doing projects and need audio!

NET1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS5-Digital Citizenship

NETS6-Technology Operations and concepts (a)

7. 33 Creative commons

This site has poems, essays, reviews, interviews, and many other different topics that students can look up to use as reference or in papers.  The works must be sited, but it’s a list of great stuff to use! Good research page to give kids information and ideas!

NETS1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS3-Research and Information Fluency

NETS4- Digital Citizenship

8. vimeo

This site is full of videos that are creative commons licensed.  I think this would be a great sight for me to find things to show in my classroom!

NETS-T2-Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments

NETS-T3-Model digital age work and learning

NETS-T4-Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility

9. youtube

We all know youtube….You can use it within creative commons so that you are using things that you know are ok and safe to use in your classroom.  This is good for both teachers and students alike who are looking for videos to incorporate into lessons/presentations.

NETS-T2-Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments

NETS-T3-Model digital age work and learning

NETS-T4-Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility

NETS1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS3-Research and Informatin Fluency

NETS4- Digital Citizenship

10. pixabay

This is a photo sharing site similar to flickr.  A great place for students and teachers to search for photos for classroom use!

NETS 1-Creativity and Innovation

NETS 2-Communication and Collaboration

NETS 5- Digital Citizenship

Primary Sources

1. A website to lead you to some historical primary sources

There is lots of good information in here.  Topics from WW1, to the Revolutionary War, to present day America.

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

2. A list of the presidents of the united states.

This is a site that tells you all the presidents and has links to where you can find more information.

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

3. War in Iraq

This site give information about the War in Iraq.  It would be fun to show kids in class so they can see actual real things.

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

NETS 4-Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

4. Treaty of Versailles

This site takes you to a place where you can view the treaty by sections.  It would be good to show your class the actual language that was used in that time.

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

5. Basketball history

This site shows the founder of basketball and some of it’s history.  It would be a good site for a sports history class.

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

6. Basketball in Indiana

This is a book written in the time of the famous Indiana run with the “Hoosiers”. For any basketball lovers, or a student that wanted to do a report on this basketball season, it would be great!

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

7.Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural speech

This gives you exact words that Thomas Jefferson spoke in his first inaugural speech.  Great for kids to look at when studying him and his time!

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

8. Cold War

This site is full of information about the cold war.  There are documents, photos, and many other things available to look at.  It would be great to look at, as a class, when studying the Cold War.

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

NETS4- Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

9. Decloration of Independence

This is a photo of the D.O.I. You could blow this up and actually show your kids in class what it looked like.  It would be fun to have upper elementary kids try to decipher what it means. The language is hard!

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

10. Oregon Trail

This is a site full of diaries written by people along the Oregon Trail.  Upper elementary kids might have a great time following one or more of the people and see what their life was really like.

NETS 1- Creativity and Innovation

NETS 3-Research and Information Fluency

Creative Commons…

I think it’s safe to say that the creative commons have everything to do with standard 3, “Research and Information Fluency.”  Students need to know what is ok to use and what is not.  They need to be able to find information (b and c), that is acceptable for public use, and then know how to use that information.

The exciting thing for me about the creative commons is how much freedom there really is for teachers.  I didn’t realize that there was so much flexibility in what educators can and cannot use.  I didn’t realize that the line is really drawn on what can be taken out of the classroom and what has to stay.  I think that in my case, most of the things I use from the internet, stay in the classroom.  I have never really worried about what I looked at and used, but when I saw the topic of creative commons appear on our class course, I got a little nervous.  The more I looked, the more I am confident about what I am doing.  I tend to use a lot of youtube videos, graphics, and things I just pull off line real quickly.  I am very glad to hear that most of the things I do are ok (and now I’m much more conscience of what I shouldn’t use!).

I think where a lot of teachers get into trouble is photocopying   I know that I have done things I shouldn’t have and now know is not ok.  Since I am a new teacher, I think I have more of an awareness than lots of older, more experienced teachers do about what to use and how to use it.  Since this is something that is not very closely regulated, I think a lot of teachers take this for granted.  There are not any “copying police” that teachers are worried about.  Also, I think that it is a topic that is not talked about all that often.  Unless you are taking classes (like I am), you probably won’t be talked to about how to use things and how to not use different resources.  I do think that there are many infringements, most of them very minor in schools, but none the less, infringements.

As an elementary teacher, my team and I use graphics a lot when we send things home.  We put cute little pictures on papers, put pictures next to our spelling words, and throw different images into our flip-charts.  Most of the time i think this is ok.  Do you guys think it’s ok to put random pictures on homework for spelling?  That’s a part of the classroom right?

I think there are some gray areas when it comes to creative commons, but for the most part I was happy to hear about all the freedoms that educators have.  I hope that teachers don’t begin to take advantage and get some of these privileges taken away.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the internet to help me educate my students!

Privacy and Security

Although there was much information, and many very interesting videos, I want to focus this blog to just a few points that I find very valuable. \

The first TED video really got me thinking. As I was sitting here watching the video, my husband actually looked away from the TV and sat down beside me to listen   This video talked about how Facebook, Google, and many other news sites, and filtering what you see.  The speaker talked about how two people can type in the same exact thing in Google, but the results will be absolutely different.  This is a scary thought to me!  These sights are basically catering to what they think you want to see.  If you are a person who looks at mostly “fluff” type of media and news, those are the things that are going to pop up when you start a search.  This poses a big problem for students who are trying to learn how to research and do things on a computer.  NETS for students has a standard directly linked to this.  It’s number 4, letter c: “Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.”  How are students supposed to do this when the internet is different for everyone?  I think this again points to the fact that educators are going to have to be held accountable for showing kids how to discriminate between good and bad information.  The internet is such a  big place, and there is no longer a normal that is the same for everyone.

I can see how this can be helpful and make life a lot easier for some people, but i think it needs to be used at the appropriate sites.  I do not think that search engines, like Google , should be catering and conforming to individual tastes.  People are going to find much different information, and I just don’t think that is the best idea.

Next, I was  very intrigued by the video with the author Lori Andrews.  Here is my problem with privacy: people post things that they really shouldn’t be posting, then wonder why it comes back to do harm to them and other people that they love.  People need to be smart about what they post and where they post it!  If you are on the job hunt, or have a job that would frown upon drinking and getting drunk, don’t post pictures of yourself wasted!  I understand that there needs to be rules and regulations, but people need to be mindful of how they express themselves.   Again, this comes back to kids being taught how to use the internet for what it is for.  Like i stated in my last post, I think tech lessons need to be integrated into everyday classroom lessons AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.  It all goes back to be being good citizens and doing the right thing.  I think if kids are taught and shown good examples, we will see improvement in this area.  We need to make distinctions when are where different things are appropriate.

Lastly, our kids need to be educated on how to use different privacy settings for different sites.  I know most of this is common sense for us, but it needs to be made public so that it becomes the norm.

Digital Citizenship

The videos this week were very interesting to me.  I think that our world is changing so quickly, and people are trying so hard to keep up. One of these issues is digital citizenship. I wasn’t planning on watching all of the first video, but it kept my interest (I did some laundry while I watched so I got some things done around my house at the same time! 🙂 ).  During the first part of the video, the panel talked about dropping the word digital, and just focus on the word citizenship.  I don’t think I could agree with these people more.  I think that our world needs to learn how to be good citizens, and as we teach our young people that  we can infuse the digital part.  When I was young, I was taught the golden rule.  When I started using computers and forms of social media (aol instant messenger, msn messenger, myspace…etc) I was told to not put anything on the internet that I wouldn’t want my grandmother to see.  I don’t know why, but that has stuck with me, and it worked for me!

When I started thinking about my classroom of first graders, I thought that we are doing a pretty good job of teaching kids to be good people and good citizens.   Our counselor comes around to all classrooms k-5, and does lessons with them about how to be good people, how we should treat people, and what to do in case of problems.  I think that this is a great start, but we need to extend this even further.  I’m not sure about what happens in the older grades, but I want to find out what the higher lessons are about.  As educators, I think we need to be very aware of teachable moments.  We need to be teaching the words character, integrity, and honesty.  I think the more exposure kids to get to this stuff, the better.

One of the big problems that they talked about was about parent involvement.  One of the panel members said that it’s a different generation of people.  He said that he grew up in a world that had mom’s coming in to help out in classrooms very often.  It was the norm to have your mom at school every once in a while.  Now, parents are working multiple jobs and there just simply isn’t time for them to come in and be apart of their learning.  For the most part, I believe that parents really do try their best to be good parents and sometimes it just doesn’t cut it.  I really liked the idea of having a group or go-to person for parents to go to when they need help with something that has to do with digital type stuff.  Maybe their kid is being bullied online, parents need to know how to help.  i feel like this is one of the biggest problems.  Parents don’t know how to help, even if they want to.

The last point I would like to make comes from the report . I was very interested in how middle school girls seems to report much higher percentages of girls being mean online.  My personal opinion is that these girls are trying to figure out who they are, and the internet is a way to do this.  They can lash out at other people, use bad language, and do other things that are no appropriate at school or in public without any repercussions.  It’s easy to say things to people that you don’t really have to say it to, you don’t have to see their face and I think that makes a huge difference!

Bottom line, we all need to get on the same page with digital citizenship.  It needs to be taught at home, at school, and in the world.  Kids need to see digital media being exhibited in the real world.  They need to see parents, teachers, and authorities using the internet in the way it is expected to be used.

All of these points have to do with number 5 in the student NETS standards. Students need to see all kinds of media, understand it,  and be taught how to use it properly. I feel like all of the subheadings (a-d) were all address or alluded to in the videos.  Overall, I think the most important is letter a: “Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.”