Category Archives: ECI832 Major Project

Teaching Digital Health in Health Studies 20

With the beginning of the semester over the past week, my major project is starting to take shape.  As I mentioned in my last major project update, Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship are the foundation of my resource.  This first thing I needed was a French translation of these principles as well as a resource that will allow me to get acquainted with the French terminology related to the subject.  I was able to find a website which provides an excellent base that explains Ribble’s elements as well as provides suggested themes to explore in the classroom.

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With this resource, I started work on a public read-only Google Doc where my resource is being built.  This will be where teachers will go to get access to information on the reason the resource is being created.  It will outline the themes that will be explored in the activities that I will create.  Included in the document will be the activities themselves, evaluations rubrics, links to supporting materials and any other thing I find pertinent and useful.  This is certainly a work in progress! Feel free to explore it!

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I’m currently in the initial stages of planning my activities.  Many hours have been spent scouring the internet for French resources on which I will base my activities.  Although it’s more difficult to find, there are still excellent resources being produced in Quebec as well as in France that can prove valuable.  The diversity and quality of resources in French is nowhere near those available in English and I reserve the right to adapt/translate certain resources that seem to fit really well in the overall product I’m trying to build.

This past week, as part of my Health Studies 20 class, I introduced a small research project where the students were to explore and share their findings related to alternative approaches to healthcare.  Each student was to choose an alternative approach to healthcare and research it based on a list of questions I provided to them in advance.  This project will require students to use the internet to search for their information.  I purposely, did not give any guidance to my students concerning the quality or the legitimacy of the information they found.  The idea is to observe their habits and create a baseline to better understand their needs related to media literacy.  I should be receiving their assignments next week, I’m curious to see what comes of it.

The digital divide, as mentioned in my last post on the major project, is a reality that I’m still trying to find creative ways to address.  When planning for my class, I had reserved 14 laptops for all 14 of my students.  To my astonishment, seven of my students produced their own personal computers.  Having half of the students with ready access to computers reduces my worries and might change the approach I will take when planning my activities.  Next week, I’ll be taking a survey of my students to gauge their accessibility to technology.  I have a feeling that I have not been properly assessing the situation in my particular case.

As my students proceeded to work on their assignment during their work period, discussions related to the validity of sources of information on the internet organically arose.  I was so proud of them!  The intuition my students displayed during this conversation seemed to be solid.  Once again, I tried not to influence them and let them generate their own conclusions.

As my first unit will have as a theme the idea of holistic health, the digital health and wellness element of Ribble’s nine elements will be the primary focus.  That’s as much as I have at the moment.  Stay tuned for more as I develop my first activities over the coming weeks.

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Major Project Outline

In my daily job as a high school science teacher, I often informally refer to media literacy and digital citizenship competencies within my pedagogy.  I have never taken the idea of teaching these competencies and applied them in a more formal manner within my teaching practice.  Given this situation, for my major project, I have decided to undertake the creation of a curriculum-supported digital citizenship resource.  This resource will be aimed towards supporting the existing French version of the Health Science 20 curriculum: Sciences de la santé 20.

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Why Sciences de la santé 20?  Aside from the fact that February 3rd, 2020 will be the first day of the second semester at my school, I will be beginning a new Sciences de la Santé 20 course.  Consequently, this will allow me to develop my resource at the same time as I teach.  This will allow me to design activities and resources that can be immediately tested and evaluated in the real world.  I addition to the fantastic timing, I find the Health Science 20 curriculum to be very conducive to developing digital citizenship and media literacy skills.  Many of the outcomes and indicators built into the curriculum are based on information research and sound critical thinking which corollate directly with the idea of media literacy and digital citizenship.  To give a few examples:

HS20-SDS1 –> Create and carry out a plan to explore one or more topics of personal interest relevant to Health Science 20.

HS20-HC1 –> Analyze how Western, Indigenous, traditional, complementary and alternative approaches to health care can contribute to a holistic (e.g., mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) perspective of health.

HS20-HC2 –> Examine how personal, cultural and societal beliefs affect ethical decisions regarding health care.

HS20-NU2 –> Analyze dietary choices based on personal and cultural beliefs and scientific understanding of nutrition.

Although these are only a few of the outcomes within the curriculum, as one can see, they are all areas of focus that allow for the parallel development of digital citizenship and media literacy.  As an example, when looking at the HS20-NU2 outcome, I can’t help but think of the variety of online media that extol the virtues of “miracle” nutritional products and advertisements for the latest weight loss diets.  With our students being bombarded on a daily basis by this information on social media and on the internet at large, unless they gain better digital citizenship skills and media literacy skills, our students will become highly susceptible to this dishonest rhetoric and dangerous disinformation.

My aim is to continuously refer to these competencies in my course and try to have at least one activity per unit exclusively related to media literacy and digital citizenship.  However, I plan to develop six activities, one for each major unit of the curriculum.

Technology availability is going to be a challenge.  My school as a limited number of computers available and most of the time, they are booked for other classes and students who follow distance education courses.  In addition to technology availability, there is a digital divide problem where some of my students have easy access to technology while others don’t.  I will have to be creative and flexible in the ways I use technology to accomplish my activities.  Does anyone have ideas?

To guide the preparation of my resource, I will be basing my outcomes for digital citizenship and media literacy on the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum.  Thankfully, this last resource as well as the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Policy Planning Guide are both available in French!  What a great starting point!  In addition, I’ll be keeping in mind Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship throughout the process of building my resource.

What will this resource look like?  As it stands, I would like to integrate the following tools to develop my resource.

Youtube Video Tutorials: I’d like to produce a few tutorials for my activities and release them as an Open Educational Resource.

Student Accessible Google Doc: I’d like to encourage collaboration and use some of the techniques I’ve learned in my EC&I classes to get students collaborating on projects.  In addition, I will also be using the Google Doc to disseminate information and links to the students.

Student Blogging project: Much like we do in our class, I’d like for the students to complete a few blogging assignments as a way for them to apply and demonstrate their new competencies.

Teacher Guide Google Doc:  As I develop my ideas in a more formal manner, I plan to document everything in a public Google Doc that will eventually be available as an Open Educational Resource.

As you can imagine, this resource will be developed in French as it makes my work applicable to my reality as a teacher and could be of use for my colleagues who also teach this same course in the francophone school division.  Given all of my work will be OER’s, a willing teacher could use them and adapt them for their own needs and their own language if translation needed.  Worry not, I will be blogging my progress and my process in English.  Looking forward to hearing what you think!