Digital Citizenship is important for students so they understand proper and appropriate behavior with technology and in online settings. Students are using technology usually on a daily basis and the same morals and values from offline interactions apply. At times it can be difficult for adults and teachers to track and monitor online activity so reinforcing these concepts will encourage digital etiquette. Having a poster for students to reference is a great way to get them thinking about appropriate use with technology. It also gives parents and families great ideas to practice at home. The home school connection is important to remain consistent.
Students should also be aware of safe practices with digital resources and tools such as up to date virus protection. There are a lot of personal information and documents we save on our computers so making sure we are protecting ourselves with current and effective software is needed. Physical safety is also good to be aware of such as eye safety and proper posture when using devices. It is easy to create bad habits and spend a long amount of time on our computers. Making sure we are using safe practices and taking breaks in between longer assignments will allow our students to decrease injury as digital citizens.
Triggering Question: As an elementary teacher, how can I model life long learning by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources?
In order for teachers to continuously improve their professional practice with the use of digital tools and resources, teachers must understand what is available to them and opportunities for collaboration with colleagues. There are many resources that benefit teacher understanding of the changing field of technology. The US Department of Education released their Technology Plan for schools to adopt allowing teachers access to multiple learning communities. They called this “connected teaching” which uses technology to create digital online communities for effective results. Teachers can form communities with students, fellow teachers, administrators, or education specialists to collectively collaborate on educational issues. Connected teaching provides new ways of interaction that improves professional practice through new activities such as online posting, discussions, and animations for instruction and quizzing. Using new digital tools with students models life-long learning by the teacher as they are experimenting with new tools to increase effectiveness of their instruction.
A member in my learning community who is focusing on physical and health education posted a link to a site that has up to date information on health and fitness strategies in school. It informs educators of upcoming opportunities for in person professional development. This is an example of a site that allows teachers to stay current with changes happening to programs such as health and fitness. It lets teachers make effective use of emerging digital resources and model for students how to stay current on professional issues.
US Department of Education. (2010). Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology. Washington D.C. (38-50)
Shape America: Soceity of Health and Physical Educators. (2016) Retrieved on March
13, 2016, from http://www.shapeamerica.org/
One of the learning families I want to summarize from this course is the process of inductive teaching. Constructing ideas and concepts from the students themselves provides meaning and engagement. This method of teaching can be scary to some teachers as there is not a direct goal or path when working with students. Generating ideas from the students is a great way to get their minds thinking and brainstorming. The next step is focusing on one topic to promote deep thinking and comprehension. “One is focusing the investigation, helping the students concentrate on a domain (an area of inquiry) they can master, without constricting them so much that they can’t use their full abilities to generate ideas.” ( Calhoun, Joyce, & Weil, 2015, p 42) Giving students the freedom to choose their own domains allows them to collectively pull together a meaningful topic where they can be most successful.
Another social learning method is role playing. Students are able to develop social skills, investigate social issues, and develop empathy when working with one another. By putting themselves in different simulated roles, they can discover their own values and how best to work with others. “It explores how values drive behavior and raises student consciousness about the role of values in their lives.” (Calhoun, Joyce, & Weil, 2015, p 258) Students can begin to figure out how to interact cooperatively with others and respectfully disagree when conflict arises. Humans are inherently social and giving students the time and space to develop these skills with provide them with long term benefits.
Calhoun, E., Weil, M., & Joyce, B. (2015). Models of Teaching. (9th ed.) Boston: Pearson.
Teachers can foster student self-esteem by creating and maintaining positive, trusting relationships with students. According to Rogers (n.d.), teacher empathy, respect, and the frequency with which the teacher gave praise, accepted student ideas, and asked for thinking are methods for students to feel successful at school. Teachers promote the student’s self-concept (general sense of personal value) as well as their self-efficacy (personal beliefs about one’s ability to be a successful learner), when treating their students with respect and valuing their voice in the classroom. When we are positive in our teaching practice, we will receive positive student behaviors. Having strong interpersonal skills benefits all areas of teacher responsibility.
Carl Rogers emphasizing the importance of these interactions with students and the benefits that come along with them. In regards to under-achieving students, teacher empathy dramatically increases their ability to succeed in their work. “The level of person-to-person conditions the teacher offers to under-achieving students more frequently produced significant main effects on school attendance, gain in reading and math achievement, and change in I.Q. scores and self-concept . . .” (Rogers, n.d.). These youth in our classes at times can be difficult to reach and many approaches often do not work. Through Rogers’ research, positive relationships play a huge role with these students and can greatly impact their self-concept in regards to being a learner. As teachers, the more respect, acceptance, and student involvement we can provide, the more successful and effective our students will become.
Rogers, C. (n.d.). Teacher effects research on student self concept. Handout from EDU 6526, Seattle Pacific University, Feb 29, 2016.