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/
As a teacher, how can I stay current with local and global societal issues and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in the classroom?
The technology world is continuing to develop and change at a rapid rate that directly influences the classrooms we teach in. Students engage with technology on a daily basis at home and at school. It is our job as educators to teach children safe and healthy practices regarding the use of technology and online identities. Teachers need to exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their practice and model this for students. Staying up to date with how technology is changing will help educators provide the most accurate information to students. Miller & Ribble describe the importance of collaboration to meet the issues technology can bring. “Educational leaders, faculty members, students, parents, and community members must work together to create workable solutions for the rapidly increasing problems related to appropriate use and digital citizenship.” (Miller & Ribble, 2012, p 144) Leaders will promote and model digital etiquette by relating online interactions to real life interactions and that the two are the same. Treating each other politely with kindness and respect in both venues is important to emphasize so students know the two are not so different and separate.
One of the members of my learning circle also addressed the importance of teacher modeling to students. Technology can be a distraction tool from learning if used improperly in the classroom. By teacher modeling, students can see how to use digital resources in class and any assignments related to technology. Students in this digital age have a lot of screen time both at home and school. Showing students the positive, educational uses for technology will allow them to effectively use their devices in the classroom helping them learn.
Northern Miller, T. & Ribble, M. (2012). Educational leadership in an online world: Connecting students to technology responsibly, safely, and ethically. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17: 1, 137-145.
Triggering Event Question: How can third grade students use the internet, power point, audio, and video files in presentation to creatively demonstrate knowledge of a particular topic?
Students use technology every day and finding methods to incorporate these devices in classrooms can greatly benefit learning. ISTE Standard one states: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity. Technological resources are available and can be used by students to creatively express their opinions and ideas. Alaa Sadik (2008) conducted a study in Egyptian classrooms to find the effectiveness of Digital Storytelling, the ability to use the internet and photos to craft a narrative presentation. Results of the study included an increase in student motivation and engagement, deep thinking around personalized topics, and more compelling and interesting presentations due to the wide variety of tools available. However, teachers wanted additional professional development and training to effectively manage and instruct use of these computer resources. Digital storytelling is a great way to inspire student learning and creativity in the classroom that creates an engaging experience for all students. Educators need effective training regarding this tool to thoughtfully find ways to apply it in their classrooms.
A member of my learning community posted an article by Robert J. Marzano (2009) regarding the use of another classroom tool, the interactive white board. A study was conducted involving 85 teachers and 170 classrooms where teachers used interactive whiteboards to teach a set of lessons which they then taught to another group of students without this technology. Results found that there was a relatively equal amount of positive results from the classes with the use of the whiteboards and those without. This shows that teacher instruction and planning is still a crucial aspect of the classroom. The whiteboards can be a tool for both teachers and students to present information but again needs to have adequate training to effectively use these classroom tools. Best classroom practice should be continued with the appropriate and effective use of new technological resources.
Marzano, R. (2009). The Art and Science of Teaching / Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards. Educational Leadership. 67: 80-82.
Sadik, A. (2008). Digital storytelling: a meaningful technology-integrated approach for engaged student learning. Educational Technology Research and Development. 56:487–506.
The Master of Arts in Teaching program standard 8 reads as follows:
- Professional Practice Criteria– The teacher participates collaboratively in the educational community to improve instruction, advance the knowledge and practice of teaching as a profession, and ultimately impact student learning.
Education 6989, Introduction to Teaching provided opportunities to work closely with peer candidates to broaden understanding of educational issues. Through online group discussions and time set aside in class, we discussed our opinions, thoughts, and experiences related to teaching. It was a beneficial aspect of the class and I learn best having the chance to share ideas with others and work together to deepen our learning around teaching students.
The group blog working on the Internship Performance analysis was a useful assignment to discover what exemplary teaching looks like on all of the standards. Working together with group members helped me think of new ways to approach teaching and provide meaningful, high quality instruction. I was able to provide mutual support with my experience working in independent schools to group members who have yet to have work experience in schools. I learned from other opinions around some of the standards such as giving informing students on the daily schedule so they can be prepared when its time to focus and when there’s room for recess or open-ended play. I valued these opportunities and took a lot of ideas away from it.
Discussions with peers around the readings in the modules helped me think deeper about education. I had rich conversations about Module 2 discussing the historical characteristics of education and major events that shifted the way the public thinks about school. I engaged in dialogue with peers about important documents and events such as The Coleman report, McCleary vs Washington, and A Nation at Risk. Our group furthered the discussion about A Nation at Risk in regards to educational reform and how powerful and influential that document was in shifting the public’s thinking and emphasis on education.
This course has allowed me to converse with fellow teacher candidates and deepen our learning on becoming exemplary teachers. It was helpful to be in class with candidates endorsing in different areas and grade levels than me because it allows to see teaching in a broader sense. I look forward to having more chances to develop positive, collaborative relationships with peers, professors, faculty, and mentors to fully prepare myself to teach in a classroom.
Working as an effective educator takes a lot of hard work including planning, connecting, instructing and assessing. A teacher should be well educated understanding theory and practice of teaching in a classroom. Being mentored by an experienced teacher and interning in a classroom before stepping into a lead role is hugely beneficial to the development and learning of a teacher. Feedback and reflection helps a teacher develop their own strengths and skills when working with students. An effective educator is a role model and leads by example for students to develop successful habits towards learning and education. Sincerity and authenticity are required attributes of a teacher as students can read and understand when a teacher is not fully engaged in their instruction. Students should feel cared for and comfortable in the classroom so they can feel excited and accomplished when completing their work. Taking time to work one on one with each student lets the students feel appreciated and understood as learners in their classroom. Teachers not only should understand the nature of their students but also get to know their families as well. Students learn more from their families and in their home environments then they do at school so understanding where a student comes from and goes to after school is crucial information for an educator. An effective teacher creates a learning environment of excitement and engagement and reflects their love of their career in their instruction.