by Christa Nyte, DLCoach at Langley Fundamental Elementary
At our first staff meeting, we felt that it was important to focus on Digital Citizenship. To address this area, we talked about the importance of including the technology component in all of our classroom discussions on virtues, classroom rules, friendship, etc. As we teach rules and address issues in our classrooms on a daily basis, it is important for us to include the technology/social media components of these behaviours in our discussions. Being aware of the online profile that each person is creating and its potential effect on future schooling, jobs, etc. must become part of our consciousness as teachers. We have been guiding our students in their “face to face” interactions, but now we also have a responsibility to guide students, even young students, in the decisions they are making while using technology.
As part of this discussion, some precautions about posting student pictures were mentioned. We learned a little about the Megadata contained in photos and experimented with the Megadata Cut app to remove some identifiers from photos that we are considering posting. To support these staff meeting discussions, we have posted digital literacy posters in our computer lab and have posted the school district photo and media posters in our school.
So…are we having success? Are more staff members using our technology in new ways? For the first few months this year, I felt somewhat discouraged because it seemed that our iPads and our laptops were barely being used. It seemed that the same few teachers were signing out our portable labs. Recently, it seems that there is an increase in use. I know of teachers who have tried completely new lesson ideas. I know of others who have never used our iPads who have recently expressed interest. Still others are arranging team teaching or platooning activities to have a more experienced teacher introduce computer lessons. Slowly, we are moving in the right direction. As always, change takes time and we are on the right track. Personally, I find the combination of technology and education very motivating and interesting. Hopefully, as we all move forward in our own learning, we will continue to share our knowledge with each other. Our desire is to create rich, valuable learning experiences for our students.