Digital Citizenship: Online Safety

In the video through The Teaching Channel, Mr. Pane, an elementary school teacher, gives a lesson on how to be safe online by using a program where students can create a superhero that helps people who are online. This lesson immediately engaged the students because they could use laptops to create their heroes. Using technology connects with the students because this what their lives revolve around. Their superheroes resolved issues like like cyber bullying, stealing, and other internet related dilemmas. The class had an “Art Gallery” to show the heroes among the class and show what they learned about safety on the internet. The gallery walks are great, I would do gallery walks in my class as a way for all students to express what they learned instead of having the shy and quiet students hold back because of presenting in front of the class. This creates an even playing field for all the students.

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Copyright 101:Quick Reflection

Copyright means something is protected from usage against the owner’s approval of use, this could be a quote, research, and other materials. Something doesn’t need to have the copyright tag to be protected. This is something many don’t realize. Copyright Infringement can be expensive, and one could have no idea the material used was protected because of the earlier assumption. This is something common on the internet.

The four tests of fair use involve whether the materials will be used non-commercially, for example in a lesson at a school. Also, if the work copied was published or not as this can determine how protected the material is. Another thing to look at is how much is being copied, if only a bit is used then, most likely, it is alright to use; the more you use the less it is allowed to be copied. And finally you have look if the usage of the material is harming the market use for the owner; if the usage financially hurting the owner. The type of media/material used matters because not all types of materials era protected the same and this is something very important to know or the consequences can hit you fast and hard.

Presentations: The Right Way

When it comes to presentations, I rarely worried over my visuals or whether I would any, but instead on how nervous I would get. Every time I present I lead up to the day completely nervous and annoyed, but as I present I just want to finish so I try to be presentable. Now, after ready some information on presentations, more specifically on the visuals, I realized that I haven’t put much attention on what makes a good visual.

I knew the hard way of not filling up Powerpoint slides with information but instead use the slides as a support for further clarification on what I am talking about. I knew that bullet points were good, as long as they don’t take over my voice with reading by the audience; I also never found the point of using 3D pictures, models, and animations. Using this always seemed distracting to me, but I didn’t know they were something serious when talking about giving proper presentations. I was taught that simplifying my visuals was the way to go, so I kept my visual aid to maybe some lines of words and/or some pictures; mainly make sure my voice and information presented everything I have to show.

Teaching students how to properly present material, from what I’ve seen, is really difficult because many students do not like to present in front of classmates and this causes them to overload on visual help, not only for the audience but for themselves. I used to fill my board, or Powerpoint with information just to distract my audience from me so I wouldn’t be so nervous. This hurt my presentations in a major way. I didn’t fully learn how to create a balance with what I say and my visuals until my last year in middle school, even though my teachers before hand kept saying not to use too many pictures or words, or hide behind my cards or board. One can incorporate new strategies for presentations by simply teaching with examples so students can develop their own versions of what is being shown as a good presentation. Many students’ roots of poor presentation strategies and skills go to being nervous in front of people and this can carry on to later on in school but through good examples in lessons, one can learn from a teacher.

True or Not? Information Literacy

It has been talked about for a long time now, as technology keeps advancing it has become a source for research for students everywhere through the internet. Being information literate is described as knowing when to search for information and where effectively. To be information literate, you have to be able to narrow research down to what can be trustworthy; a source being peer reviewed is something that immediately wins over any student researching. It is easy to categorize someone or something as information literate, but can you teach someone how to be information literate?

Many teachers just take away sources of research because “they’re not accepted”, this does not teach the student where to look online for information or how to judge an article, or site correctly. This is something that is looked over constantly, so we need to teach students the skills essential for information literacy. Elements of this is teaching where to look for author credentials, sources of the site, what journal is being looked at, etc. However this is just scratching the surface. Students can be taught, but teachers need to, first, learn how to effectively research online to prepare what to teach. Here is where students have the advantage. This generation is full of technology experts and teachers who did not grow up with this tech is already behind their students. So can we prepare students to be effective users of this source of research? Not prepare, that is already out the door, but we can guide students on how to judge what is being read. For this, the teachers need to also learn how to effectively use the internet as a tool for knowledge.

Digital Immigrants/Natives

In recent discussions about this generation’s use of technology there has been an emphasis on the ideas of digital immigrants, who are the people that were not raised with the technology from now, and digital natives, who are this generation that have lived with all the technology from now. The arguments that come with these concepts are that teachers should adapt to these new type of students because the way the lessons plans were designed are jut not connecting with this generation; therefore, using technology in terms to augment education is the logical strategy to keep students interested in school. This is something that is increasingly becoming the main issue in schools throughout. On the other hand, many teachers and professors have argued that using technology to the level that is wanted for this new generation will take away from the learning itself; “old school” is the way to go. This argument has validity but there is enough proof to realize that this just does not work anymore and students need schools to jump to their level of technology literacy or it will be left behind.

My own view on this issue, in terms of elementary education, is that teachers have to adapt to the technology-driven student mind. In elementary school, the students take in more than in the later years due to their age; this means that students will be taken over by anything they see on the internet and this will carry over into school time and will connect with the other students. A community is formed in the classes based on something on the internet, this is accessed through phones and computers. School faculty needs to find a way to implement technology into school so the curiosity that students get can come back to education. Although some object to this, it is inevitable that this generation will keep advancing in terms of technology and if schools do not work towards catching up then the gap between education and students will widen even more.

Introductory Concepts

In recent discussions on whether technology should be more incorporated in classrooms, there have been sides where this should not be something schools should strive to. On the other hand, others say that this is something that should happen for schools to keep benefiting students. Then there are the views that are somewhat in the middle. It is argued that classrooms taking a more technological side to lessons will take away from learning and slowly alter the classroom to lose its educational value. According to this view it is discussed that technology will slowly take away from what is learned in class and the classroom will become game time. It is also argued that staying with pencil and paper actually still works for this new generation because writing down helps develop ideas more compared to just jumping in on typing work. On the other hand, many argue that implementing more technology will cater more to students since outside the classroom is a world that is dominated by the internet and devices; here students are immersed in many areas as history, science, etc. that students will actually care about. The use of technology will keep students connected with all their interests in and out of the classroom, isn’t this what school strives for? this argument really applies perfectly to this technology dominated generation. In sum, the argument comes down to whether or not schools should buy into the idea of technology teaching with teachers for the benefit of the students.

Another side to this is actually leaning more towards using technology but knowing how to. By this, it means that technology can be implemented into classrooms but not be overused with things that do not need technology as in drawing, writing, and mathematics. My own view agrees with this because I have been in classes where technology is the main use of learning but it wasn’t used correctly; I’ve learned of math classes that strive for technology use but the teacher maybe just didn’t know how to balance this to the learning within the lessons. The balance of technology in classrooms can come from simple uses as apps for quizzing, reflecting on lessons, and drives for project work; but maybe not for diagrams that can easily be done on paper in groups. That’s not to say that these uses can work, but the teacher needs to create the necessary equality in the forms of learning in class. Although some object to this, it should be discussed more as, no matter what, technology will jump into schools and teachers need to know how to adapt to this coming change.