Global citizenship must walk hand-in-hand with digital literacy/citizenship. With technology so prevalent in all parts of society our students must learn to navigate the uncertain and constantly changing landscape of online participation. The global competencies are supported on a foundation that requires good digital citizenship. The projectlooksharp.org article did an excellent job of outlining in a very concise and simple way the many aspects of digital citizenship and how our understanding of what we learn from online sources, how we judge them and their validity and how important it is for us to be educated before we use information we find or put our media and content out there. The video Examining Credibility and Bias on Websites is an excellent example of how teachers can facilitate student learning by allowing students to use their own deductive reasoning skills to recognize how people can easily skew information for their own purposes, and also how to recognize reliable sources. I have already shared this resource with my colleagues.
My school has been a one-to-one laptop school for almost 12 years. In that time we have experienced many, if not all, of the possible pitfalls and downfalls that teachers and students can experience when trying to incorporate digital literacy and Technology into our lesson and unit plans. I'm sure, if you asked a cross section of the teachers at my school what their feelings are about having so much technology at our fingertips, many would roll their eyes and groan as the journey has been wrought with so many ups and downs. By now, however, most have settled in and figured out which technological opportunities and digital tools are best suited for his or her particular curriculum.
I appreciate the wisdom of the capital SAMR model. It is so easy to fall into the trap of, “Get out your laptops and take notes.” I have learned over the years that students want to explore and that I need to let them. It has taken me years to figure out many of the software applications and platforms that my students use regularly in my classroom. It took great bravery the first time I asked students to make an iMovie about a particular topic, knowing full-well that I had no clue how to make an iMovie myself. I was delighted to learn that I didn't have to know. Given the opportunity, the students took on the task and figured it out all by themselves. (One thing I learned about the movies… one must limit the length of the final project, otherwise you will have full-length motion pictures turned in. Not such a bad problem to have, I guess, but upgrading them is a bear.)
When I run into issues, such as needing more bandwidth (and I still have no idea what bandwidth is) to accomplish something or a file being too large to email, (the list could go on for days), I am forced to find the people at my school who have the answers to these problems. As colleagues we help each other and learn from each other in a continuous ebb and flow of assistance and ideas
I have become a huge proponent of project-based learning. One trick that I have discovered that works very well with students is to create a hypothetical situation that the students need to solve. For example, in one of my social justice units I have created a company that is trying to come up with a way to provide a village with clean water. My students must research the area using online search tools and databases from our Library to determine what water sources are now being used in the Village and what options might be available to improve the situation. Using MLA format and noodletools.com to help with that formatting, students must cite all of their sources, come up with a plan of action, establish a budget, determine how the work will be done and by whom, and create a wiki project site to demonstrate their new knowledge. They use Google Docs to collaborate throughout their research and before posting finished work in the Wiki project. Of course, I have access to all of this technology so that, as they work ,I can keep track of what they're doing, post comments along the way, and to grade the final project. The small groups are required to present their wiki project in front of class and we often video that presentation to be shown to the entire junior high at a later date. In the past we have had a contest and the group that comes up with the best and most economical plan to bring water to this village wins a casual day and donuts in class.
Digital citizenship is taught beginning in about the third grade through our English department and our library services department. Students and teachers use a digital learning platform called Haiku, on which teachers can create digital tests, games, textbooks and other content for student use. Useful information to remind students and help them navigate the uncertain and often confusing world of digital content online is posted here. This platform also provides a digital portfolio into which students can upload their work, which can be accessed throughout their high school years and presented in student-led parent conferences and college interviews.
Needless to say, we are blessed. Schools that do not have these advantages, however, can access online platforms that operate in much the same way and offer similar advantages. (See below links) I was happy to see many of them in the Sara Krakauer interview written by Emily Lester. As I mentioned before we often have to just be brave, dive in and trust that our students can figure out the technologies that we can't even begin to wrap our brains around.
https://www.edmodo.com : a free platform for teachers and students very similar to haiku mentioned above. We used to this platform exclusively before our school purchased haiku. Some of us wish we had never changed as Edmodo.com offers much bang 40 bucks.
http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/12/25-ways-to-use-qr-codes-for-teaching-learning/ : only a few ways to use QR codes on your campus and in your lesson plans.