Author Archives: wileywonders

Tech as a Learning Tool

So the first great tech debate was about whether tech enhances learning or not.  Before the debate I was definitely on the tech enhances learning side.  After our initial vote, most of our class was also on the pro tech side of the debate.


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After listening to the debate, both sides made some excellent points. These are the points that stood out to me from both sides:

Both sides made the excellent point that the teacher is the key.  If tech is used correctly by the teacher it can enhance learning, but when tech is not used with pedagogy at the center tech can also take away from the learning.

Let’s start with some of the against side’s points and acknowledge that they had a rather difficult stance to take as this is a class all about tech, so one can assume that in general the class is pro tech use in the classroom.

TECH IS PRICEY

As pointed out by the against tech team in their debate and also in their shared article “Negative Effects of Using Technology in Today’s Classroom” tech is pricey.  As a connected educator with RCSD, my school division has provided my classroom with a 1:1 cart of laptops.  The other connected educators and I have been told each laptop cart is worth about…

$10,000


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So I can see that tech is not cheap.  It all depends on if the school or school division has the money for tech and how willing they are to choose to spend their budget on tech.  I luckily work in a school division that understands that tech can, key word CAN, be used to enhance learning and has devoted a large about of money to technology.  My school division also makes sure that teachers are ready and willing to use tech in ways that enhance learning before providing them with tech specifically for their classroom. This is not necessarily feasible for all schools or divisions.


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MORE TIME SPENT ON PRESENTATION WHEN USING TECH

Now I have seen this in my classroom, however I have also known students to take a long time to create a non-tech product like a poster or diorama.  I think it’s all about making sure tools, tech or not, are used to demonstrate learning, but that the main focus and majority of time is spent on the learning process.

STUDENTS DISTRACTED WITH TECH

As the against team pointed out and as seen in the article “6 Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom in 2018” shared by the pro team, tech can be a distraction for students. I have seen students in my class get distracted by tech, such as sneaking onto a game, video or other program when they should be working on another task on their laptop.  Part of the solution is making sure to teach and model for students how and when to use technology to reduce and eliminate this issue.  Students need to understand that technology at school should be used as a tool NOT a toy.  Being good digital citizens when using technology is a topic visited throughout the year.  Though this point is valid it made me think of all the other distractions students found before tech…

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ISSUES WITH MULTITASKING

Now we may not be concentrating completely on a task when we multitask, but being able to navigate between tasks is a skill students will need to be able to do as adults.  In my job as a teacher I am constantly multitasking and I would imagine that many if not most jobs require some level of multitasking.  Students will need to be able to do this at some level.  Also some students find it less distracting listening to music as they can zone out what else is going on in the classroom and are able to get more work done as the music takes away the other distractions and allows them to zone in to their learning.


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PARENT ACCESS TO STUDENTS AND STAFF BECAUSE OF TECH

Sometimes this can be a good thing, but I do see that it can lead to problems when it can become too much and even a distraction itself.  However, I agree with my classmates who said that this is more of a side topic than evidence that tech doesn’t enhance learning.

 

Let’s check out why tech can enhance learning.

IMPROVES ACCESS TO INFO AND RESOURCES/ACCESS ANYTIME & ANYWHERE

Access to information and resources is huge.  The article “6 Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom in 2018” shared by the pro team points out how tech can help with this.  In my school we have enough textbooks of some types, like science, to share 1 textbook among three students, which doesn’t take into account that these textbooks are also shared between classes.  In contrast, all of my students can access this same textbook online and as I am 1:1 all of my students can have their own copy of the textbook.  Also with the online textbook version students can make notes, highlights and images can be enlarged and sometimes videos are linked.  With textbooks going missing and schools having to take the hit to replace them, going to virtual textbooks provides more access and can save money.  I also like to use a lot of other resources as mentor texts, such as picture/nonfiction books.  Using free websites like GetEpic allows students access to a ton of resources (books and videos) about the topic, which are also at a variety of reading levels and many come in audio books versions.  Students also have access to many online research options, so information is readily available at their finger tips.

DIFFERENTIATED POSSIBILITIES/STUDENT CENTERED

This is one of my favourite points that the for tech team presented.  I feel that tech can make a huge difference in students learning by allowing for more differentiation and allowing for a more student centered approach.  Like I mentioned in the previous point, sites like GetEpic provide tons of resources for students to choose from at a variety of levels and resources in ebook, audio, or video form.  Even just using OneNote, which is basically a online notebook, the learning tools options allows for students to have the content read to them and they can dictate and the program will type for them.  This is great for students who struggle with reading and writing.

By using programs like Seesaw students can have choice in how they share their learning, which is empowering for students.  Some students may not feel comfortable writing or typing their answer, but feel confident talking about or drawing their answer so they could choose to create a video or share a drawing and add an audio explanation.

Image from Seesaw Help Centre (https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us/articles/115001096743-How-do-students-add-posts-to-Seesaw-)

Technology also allows students more flexibility in their learning.  Students can work ahead or get extra review. They can watch a video explaining the next topic or rewatch a video or a different video to get extra help, such as for math like Khan Academy of Math Antics.  Students can use programs like IXL to work on concepts at lower or higher levels or start the next topic if they are ready to move on.

CONNECTING/COLLABORATING WITH OTHERS

Technology allows students to connect with people outside the classroom.  Classrooms can skype with authors or experts in a variety of fields to learn from.  Students can connect with students outside the classroom to learn from, with and share their learning with.  One of my favourites is the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other classrooms through the Global Read Aloud, which connects classroom all across the world about a novel that everyone is reading.  Classrooms can also connect with families to share their learning such as through using Seesaw.

 

WHAT I BELIEVE NOW…

Although the against tech side made some excellent points I still believe that tech can enhance learning and the post debate vote showed that most of my classmates agreed with that side as well.

What do you think? What points hit home the most for you?

All About That Project

I have truly enjoyed learning about, using, and rating Seesaw, Flipgrid, Biblionasium, and Formative.

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To check out my whole project adventure check the links below:

My initial plans for my major project – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/major-project-plans/

My journey progress with the apps at the start of my journey – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/02/12/my-journey-so-far/

Becoming a Seesaw Ambassador – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/erin-wiley-who/

Look into the Terms of Service and Privace of the apps – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/terms-of-what/

Ways that I love the apps I have tried and ideas to try out – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/how-do-i-love-thee-these-apps/

Rating the Apps – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/and-the-rating-is/

Updated look Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship in relation to my project – https://wileywonders.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/updated-look-my-projects-digital-citizenship-elements/

Updated Look at My Project’s Digital Citizenship Elements

At the start of my major project journey I reflected on Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. Now that I am done I would like to look back and see how these elements fit into my project.

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1 – Access

It’s important for teachers to take into consideration students and families access to technology before using tools. Luckily I am a 1:1 laptop classroom, so all students have access to technology at school. I only have one family not connected on Seesaw and any important information shared on Seesaw, families also see through student agendas as well as classroom/school notes home. Families are given the opportunity at conferences to review their child’s Seesaw portfolio if they did not have a chance or aren’t able to access it prior to. Families are also encouraged to use the public library if they wish to check on student’s Seesaw account if their family does not have access at home.

2 –Digital Commerce

In general this mainly applies to teachers and families, as teacher’s have the option to purchase upgraded accounts through Seesaw, Flipgrid and Formative and families have the option to purchase books through sites linked through Biblionasium. Students do not interact with any digital commerce through using these tools. If purchases are made through these tools, teachers and parents can rest assured that it is done safely and securely.

3 – Digital Communication/5 – Digital Etiquette

Students used all of these apps to communicate digitally. On Seesaw students communicated with myself, their peers, and their families sharing their learning. So far our use on Flipgrid has provided students opportunities to communicate through video with their peers and myself. When using Formative students have communicated their understanding with me their teacher. Biblionasium provided students a chance to communicate with their peers and I about awesome books. In each of these apps students practiced using digital etiquette, communicating in positive and appropriate ways. In Seesaw students had opportunities to practice providing positive comments to their peers about their learning.

4 – Digital Literacy

Students have learned many digital literacy skills using these apps. Students learned how to navigate different tech tools and how to choose the tool that best fit what they wanted to share. App smashing, using multiple apps to create a product, was a skill students practiced a lot, especially using Seesaw. Students are learning how to create and share videos, voice recordings, digital drawings, typed notes, and documents created in other apps.

6 – Digital Law/ 7 – Ditigal Rights and Responsibilities/9 –Digital Security

Students practiced being safe and responsible online in these tools, such as learning not to share personal information. They were provided a safe and secure place to practice being digital citizens, as I learned by checking the tools terms of service and privacy.

8 – Digital Health – Students learn that although these are great tools, that we need to make sure we take steps to be physically healthy, such as taking breaks from our laptops, and psychological health, such as keeping our interactions on these sites positive in nature to promote our own and our classmates well-being and positive self-esteem.

And the rating is…

So I have really enjoyed all four of the tools I choose to check out for my major project. So now it’s time to rate and review them for you.

I asked students which of these four was their favourite and here are the results:

10/29 said Seesaw

9/29 said Flipgrid

6/29 said Formative

4/29 said Biblionasium

This makes all four apps a winner if my books because there are students who love each of them.

I also had students rate each app out of 4. It was sad and shocking that students rated Biblionasium so low overall, yet 4 students loved it the most out of our 4 choices. I think if we had started using Biblionasium at the beginning of the year this rating would be higher. Throughout the year students were keeping track of books on paper and recommending books to classmates through word of mouth, a recommendation bulletin board and Seesaw posts. Next year I will definitely start the year using it and integrate it even more to help promote a community of readers in my classroom. Before asking students I predicted that students would rate Seesaw the highest then Flipgrid, so the results were very intriguing.

Both the students and I found all of these apps pretty easy to use, with Seesaw being the easiest and most user friendly.

After checking out each of their privacy policies and terms of use I found that each of the apps were pretty safe and secure, but SeeSaw seems to be the most locked down for data.

I would recommend each app to other teachers and will definitely continue to use each of the apps with my students. Seesaw has so many options for students and all of the new options I have as an Ambassador make Seesaw even better. Flipgrid is very motivating to my students, so it’s a great choice for teacher’s especially if they aren’t using Seesaw so that students can share their learning through video. Formative is such a great assessment tool, which makes it great for students and teachers. I love Goodreads as an adult, so finding a student friendly app like it is awesome making it a great choice to grow reading communities before students are able to use Goodreads.

If classrooms don’t have 1 to 1 devices then I would suggest Seesaw and Flipgrid as these easily be used when sharing devices among students or even among classes.

How Do I Love Thee…These Apps

I am loving all the ways that Seesaw, Flipgrid, Biblionasium, and Formative (GoFormative) can be used in the classroom.

Seesaw

  1. App smashing, especially with PicCollage to create visual representations of our learning such as our snapshots of our Easter break and our booksnaps about the books we read.

2. I love giving students a prompt or question and allowing them the choice in how they want to show their understanding.

3. I love allowing peers and families to like and comment on student work, providing positive feedback to students.

FORMATIVE (GOFORMATIVE)

  1. I can provide instant and timely feedback to students either providing answers and having Formative mark for me or by typing in feedback and marks. In this case, I had typed in 12 as the answer. I was able to do a quick check to see who got it right and change the mark for the student who provided more than 12 as the answer. This way I could correct the mark quickly so that student knew that they too got the correct answer to the math question.

2. Doing quick check-ins with my students that I can see all in one place.

3. Reviewing work with the whole class on the project, while still keeping students work anonymous.

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FLIPGRID

We haven’t used this tool as much, as Seesaw already has a video option. We are going to start using this option more when we start connecting with others outside of our classroom.

  1. I love that you have the option to password protect your grid

2. You can provide both video and written instructions for students.

3. Students love to take selfies for the video covers and decorate their selfie with doodles and stickers

***We haven’t done this yet, but I can’t wait to have students create video responses to each others videos. We have done would you rather questions for math, so this week we will add another dimension and have students video respond explaining why they agree or disagree with the original video response by providing evidence to back up their own opinion.

BIBLIONASIUM

  1. Quick book reviews and recommends to share with classmates. Optional sentence stems are even given so students can just fill in the blanks if they want. They can recommend a book to specific classmate, a few classmates, or to the whole class.

2. Students can earn badges and so many students love to earn digital badges, especially my video gamers. They keep adding to their shelves to see what other badges they will earn.

3. Students can track their 40 book challenge progress

Now for some wonderful ideas from my PLN on twitter:

Seesaw

  1. Using Seesaw to share students’ learning with others in their school using QR codes

@seesaw sharing our learning with this interactive bulletin board! pic.twitter.com/iWWNh5VWi4

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2. App smashing to create comic books about important vocabulary that students are learning

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3. App smashing to create reporter scenes about what students are learning.

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FLIPGRID

  1. Using Flipgrid to let students explain their thinking, such as these math explanations

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2. Connecting with other classrooms and students to become vlogging pen pals. I can’t wait to try this with my class!

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3. Connecting with experts, where students get to ask questions and learn from experts in a variety of fields such as the music one below. I look forward to trying one of these connections with my class.

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FORMATIVE (GOFORMATIVE)

  1. App smashing to create escape rooms to increase student engagement in learning

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  2. Using and adapting tasks that others have created

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  3. Ideas for app smashing using Formative

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BIBLIONASIUM

  1. Students can share their bookshelves just like adults do on Goodreads.

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2. Checking out the top 10 rated books each week and seeing if we have read them as well as adding them to our TBR lists

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3. Checking out books recommended by Biblionasium

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Terms of What?

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I honesty don’t always read all of the terms of service before using a new tech tool, but this class has taught me that it is especially important to know what you are getting into. In light of scandals, like Facebook data mining, it’s come to light that free almost always has strings attached making free not as fantastic as one once thought.

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Seesaw – Privacy & Terms of Service

Image from https://web.seesaw.me/privacy
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As far as privacy goes, Seesaw is pretty great:

1. Any content put on Seesaw isn’t owned by Seesaw, but actually the students, teachers and schools.

2. Student content is only shared with whom the teacher allows it to be shared. Teachers can choose:

-to keep student content just between each individual student and the teacher

-allow families to join and see content their child is tagged in using the Family Seesaw App

-allow other students to view each other’s content using the Student Seesaw App

-share content chosen content on a Seesaw blog that can be password protected or public on the internet

3. Seesaw will never sell profiles or data, they don’t use any advertisements within the app to make money, and they only charge for optional additional features that teachers or schools choose to purchase.

4. Seesaw keeps your data secure and is frequently checking to make sure of security.

5. Policies written in teacher and parent friendly language, when so many aren’t, making it very easy to understand their terms of use. They are also very upfront with changes and will both email you and post the updates to their website.

6. COPPA and FERPA complaint making Seesaw safe for classroom use. Seesaw explains that “Seesaw only collects personal information through the Services from a child under 13 where their school, district, and/or teacher has agreed (via the terms described in more detail below) to obtain parental consent to use the Services and disclose personal information to us for the use and benefit of the learning environment.” As long as teachers, families, and students are following safety procedures to not share private information, personal information shared on the site will be minimal, such as a first name and pictures/videos of them and their work. Even first names don’t need to be shared as student’s usernames don’t necessarily need to be their first name.

Other than the privacy items Terms of Service for Seesaw also includes:

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It’s important for teachers to understand what they are accepting when using technology in their classroom and all of these seem very reasonable.

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These seem pretty standard and if you choose to not follow them then like with an tech tool you may not get to continue to use it.

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Check here for their full terms and service and privacy.

Flipgrid- Privacy & Terms of Service

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For privacy, Flipgrid has the same basic claims that Seesaw had:

image from https://legal.flipgrid.com/privacy.html

Flipgrid also provides additional explanation on teacher and student information use:

image from https://legal.flipgrid.com/privacy.html

All of these seem pretty standard and don’t actually take much personal information. Email, first and last names are needed for almost all tech tools now a days. If teacher’s don’t want to share their location, then just make sure that your location option on your device is turned off.

image from https://legal.flipgrid.com/privacy.html

It’s nice to see that very little information about students is actually collected. Along with any tech tool, just make sure that students understand not to share personal information in the content that they upload.

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Just like with Seesaw users decide how content will be shared. The teacher is in control of the Grid’s privacy settings, which means that content will only be shared with those outside of the Grid if the teacher allows it and the content can be moderated by the teacher.

Some additional terms of service to note about Flipgrid:

image from https://legal.flipgrid.com/terms-of-use.html

Like with any tech tool your content or even whole account can be removed or terminated and you are responsible for what you share.

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It’s also important to note that for payment purposes that your credit card will be shared with a third party payment service, but just for the purpose of fulfilling the payment for the upgraded account that was purchased.

Check out Fligrid’s full terms of use and privacy.

Formative – Privacy & Terms of Service

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Their privacy pledge is similar to Seesaw and Flipgrid, but I love that they block features that would allow children under 13 from sharing personal information.

Let’s see what Formative collects about us:

image from https://goformative.com/privacy

Your name and email address is often required to use tech tools and the photo of you is optional. If you share information, such as students’ names, it’s makes sense that they would have that information. It’s nice that they don’t use geolocation, so as long as you turn off your location you don’t need to provide that information if you don’t want to.

Now how does Formative use this data? Well…

image from https://goformative.com/privacy

It’s nice to know that they use the information only to enhance our use and to improve their tool. I like that if they send you third party information they will only give our information to the third party if we opt-in.

image from https://goformative.com/privacy

Even though user need to opt-in to provide third parties with data, they do provide some of users data to enhance features and for research. It’s nice that you can opt-out of the research, but it’s too bad that it’s automatically in unless you take the steps to opt-out.

image from https://goformative.com/privacy

It’s nice to know that we have some options with our data and that student data is given a bit of extra precautions.

More about the terms:

image from https://goformative.com/terms
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Users are responsible for what they upload to the site and need to abide by these reasonable terms of what they choose share.

Check out Formative’s full terms of service and privacy.

Biblionasium – Privacy & Terms of Service

image from https://www.biblionasium.com/privacy

It’s nice to know that because student users will be under thirteen they make sure that these users and their data is safe and secure.

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It’s fantastic that they only take students’ first name and last initials as well as only teacher and the option of parent email addresses.

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Although they know your IP address they don’t track your use outside of the site.

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No personally identifiable information will be shared by Biblionasium with third parties.

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Although Biblionasium may be connected with third parties it’s important to note what I have highlighted, that Biblionasium still protects the user personally identifiable data.

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Like with all sites, we need to make sure we are using the site responsibly.

Check out Bilionasium’s full terms of service and privacy.

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Overall all 4 sites have terms of use and privacy policies that are within reason and keep users, especially students, safe and secure.

Adding Up My Learning

So I’ve been adding up all of my learning throughout this course and to get my learning sum… I mean summary.

So without any more terrible math jokes here’s my summary of learning:

Mission Skepticism

What does it mean to be literate? Well to a lot of people, especially older generations, being literate means being able to read and write.  Now being literate means so much more.

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To be literate in today’s world students need to be able to be able to do more than read and write to be literate .  Literate individuals need to be able to understand not only what they read, but also what they see and hear, and add media literacy to their bag of understanding.

In my video on media literacy, I explain that media includes a variety of forms such as books, TV, social media, and text messages.  Common Sense Media explains that “media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they’re sending.” Just like being able to read and write, students need to be taught how to be media literate.

An important part of this is being skeptical, not believing, everything we read, see or hear.  Sometimes the messages that media is trying to send may be bias or even incorrect.  Students need to be able to be critical and evaluate whether they can trust the message and/or author of the message. An example of this is the “North American House Hippo” video created by Concerned Children’s Advertisers Canada to bring awareness to the importance of being skeptical.  If you haven’t seen this video, or if you want to relive wanting to own a house hippo, check out the video below.

The North American House Hippo

Students need to be able to disifer between truth and fiction, which in today’s society often means deciding if it’s “FAKE NEWS!”

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It’s not just youth that struggle to figure out if something is fake.  In Kyle’s video he shares an example of people spreading fake news about a “beer bandit” in Nova Scotia.  This “news” was posted to Facebook and it quickly spread, so much so a song was even written about it.  It turns out that the story was completely false, confirmed by the original author of the post.  Luckily in this case it just turned into a wild ridiculous rumour, however sometimes the belief in the untrue can lead to darker consequences.  In Jamie and Jocelyn’s video they discuss the importance of fact checking in a fake news world.  They talk about  a man who shot a gun into a pizza parlour after reading a fake new article.   Instead of doing some digging and fact checking the article he read he believed what he read and chose to make a terrible decision.

If adults can’t figure out fake news than how can we expect youth to be able to? Adults did not grow up with such wide spread examples of fake news to have to deal with, so many are needing to learn to be more critical as adults.  This is why it is vital to teach students how to be skeptical and become fact checking detectives. One strategy to help students with evaluating is “The Five C’s of Critical Consuming” shared by John Spencer:

Context – When and where is it written? Have events changed or new info available?

Credibility – Is the site credible? Are the sources cited credible? Is it satirical? Is it an advertisement?

Construction – What’s the bias, facts, opinions, propaganda?

Corroboration – Do other sources claim this too?

Compare – Find other credible sources to compare it to get a larger more rounded picture of the information.

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What do we want? Digital Citizens!

STUDENTS AS DIGITAL CITIZENS

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Can you imagine any parents or teachers saying that they want kids to grow up to be irresponsible citizens online or “in real life”? I certainly can’t. Even before the need to worry about students actions online, education was part of teaching the next generation to be responsible productive members of society. Now education is realizing that now also includes needs to include an online society, that as we have learned throughout our ECI832 course, “never forgets”. So we need to teach students early so that they can create a positive digital footprint.

Students need to understand what it means to be a digital citizen and what it can mean for their future. We want students to choose to act responsibly, but we need to teach them what that actually means online.

DigCit poster

image from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=192

My school division definitely promotes digital citizenship. We have a great set of digital citizenship resources collected and created by teachers and technology leaders from our school division we can access. They are even broken down into grade level lessons, making it easy to take and teach about digital citizenship.

Another important thing to understand is that students should not only be responsible, but they can use their voice to stand up and be digital leaders. When we listen, students have a lot to say and want to make a difference, but often don’t know how to do so. As teachers we can help them to make choices that can promote and create positive change.

Image from https://twitter.com/sylviaduckworth/status/613912564477595649

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TEACHERS AS DIGITAL CITIZENS

One important aspect teaching digital citizenship is being a role model. If we want youth to make positive choices we need to show them examples of this.

Now where this gets interesting is to the extent that teachers are expected to showcase role model behaviours. As my classmates and I were reminded during one of our night classes, teachers are expected to be on their best behaviour at all times, including online. Even our code of ethics says as much, looking at “6.2.1 To act at all times in a way that maintains the honour and dignity of the individual teacher and the teaching profession.”

STF Code of Professional Ethics from https://www.stf.sk.ca/resource/code-professional-ethics

We were joined by STF’s president Patrick Maze for our night class on March 6th and we discussed the STF’s position about teachers as digital citizens. During the class the code of ethics was discussed and depending on the interpretation of this document ones actions could be interpreted as following or not following these rather vague statements. For example, posting or being tagged in pictures or videos that depict activities that some believe to be not fitting of “6.2.1” could potentially get a teacher in some hot water. We talked about some cases in which teaches got in trouble or even lost their job, typically in the US, from activities that adults are legally allowed to do, such as consuming alcohol.

Even photos of teachers at the beach can potentially be an issue. A 2016 article from the Ottawa Citizen from shares that “A guideline on personal social media use handed out to some teachers in Ottawa’s public school board last week[November 2016] warns against posting pictures involving drugs, alcohol or “scantily clad” photos on the beach.” Although the article explains that a teacher posting pictures at the beach may not end up getting the teacher in trouble, it’s safer to not post as there is potential for problems. Patrick Maze also warned against posting or being tagged in these types of photos as Saskatchewan teachers.

Part of our discussion with Patrick Maze that stuck out that night was “If students are not allowed to do something should teachers be allowed to do it?” Students are not of age to legally consume alcohol, but adults are, however for teachers this may be iffy especially if this is posted on social media. Should teachers be expected to only do things students are allowed to even if adults are allowed to? What is fair to expect of teachers?

image from GIPHY

Another interesting aspect of our discussion that night was teachers sharing and standing up for their beliefs online. It’s important to stand up for what is right, but when others have differing views this too can put a teacher in the hot seat. What I took from this portion of our discussion is for teachers to be choosy and stand up for things that they feel are important enough that they are willing to potentially deal with blowback for.

It’s important to be role models as teachers, but also important to be careful in what we chose to share online.

Erin Wiley…Who?

So who is Erin Wiley online? Well if you google Erin Wiley, both in the “all” search and the “image” google search, you will not find me specifically on the first page.  You will find a doctor, actress, and a lawyer, but not teacher Erin Wiley.  You will find my husband’s second cousin, also Erin Wiley, but not me.  So unless you add other factors into your search you will have to spend more time searching to figure me out.


results of my google search

I have an online presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. My Twitter and Pinterest are public, but I keep my Facebook and Instagram set to private.  If someone got access to those it wouldn’t be a big deal, I’m not worried about content.  However, I don’t feel like I need to share my private life so openly with anyway who happens upon my account. This also keeps my students from adding me on Facebook and Instagram.  I like to keep school and home separate, otherwise I feel like I am always “Mrs. Wiley” rather than Erin Wiley.  With social media I know teachers who have families from their school on social media, but I just don’t feel comfortable with that.  Just like if I am going to the beach or a swimming pool, I don’t feel that comfortable being in a bathing suit around students even though what I am wearing isn’t scandalous.


Via GIPHY

When I am on my own time I prefer to not wear my “teacher hat” and just be me, so when it comes to social media I prefer to keep my more personal accounts private and only my professional accounts public. I use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with family and friends.  I am part of some PLN teacher groups on Facebook, but still only my Facebook friends will see my personal information. My Twitter account is more so professional.  I use my Instagram account primarily professionally and although it used to be public it is now set to private.  I had some issues with spam and inappropriate accounts trying to comment or send me messages, so I changed it to a private account to try and reduce/eliminate this.  For Pinterest I have a mix of professional and private, pinning things like teaching ideas and recipes for home.


Via GIPHY

When I first joined social media I wasn’t as choosy with what I posted or liked.  Now as an educator I am definitely more selective online.  Teachers often feel under a microscope.  Having the profession we are expected to be role models both in and outside of school, including online.  Even at staff meetings we get told from STF teacher representatives to be careful about our online activities.  Sometimes online people will tag you to content or add you to groups.  What I find difficult is when people add me to groups or tag me to content that I may not approve of or could be interpreted negatively.  Although I can remove myself, I still need to be aware that I’ve been added or tagged.

I think that it is important to be aware of our actions online and try to leave a positive digital footprint.  Our online presence can sometimes be the first impression people have of us and we would want people to get a positive first impression.  If people find the actual me online I want them to see me in a positive light and be seen as the best version of myself.  With this in mind I think it’s important to help students to build a positive digital footprint too.

Digital Identity and My Major Project:

On another note, part of my online identity now includes being a Seesaw Ambassador.  After learning that Seesaw still had open applications to be ambassadors I decided to apply.  Using Seesaw with my students and as part of my project I decided that I wanted to take my own Seesaw journey to the next level. After applying I was provisionally accepted because of how I have been using Seesaw.  Then once I completed the three hour training I became certified.  A perk of being an ambassador is getting to use the premium feature of Seesaw, which includes being able to tag posts with outcomes and assess posts. If you’ve been using Seesaw and want to be an ambassador check out the application link above for what is expected of you and some perks you get.