Well, this semester has been AWESOME! I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable course to undertake during my mat. leave! To all of you who spiced up my learning with your awesome blogs and thought processes, thank you. Alec and Katia have a great course here and I feel that what I have learned will impact my teaching, as well as the way I carry out my personal life when using technology. I love it when a class actually “connects” and is directly transferrable into the classroom. Thank you for giving me the skills to make myself a better and safer teacher and parent! Enjoy my summary of learning! I had a lot of fun making it!
Have a great summer everyone!
Below is my script from the video:
EC& I 830 should be proud to say that it is a class that not only furthers teacher’s abilities to update (or shall I say, “reboot”) their comfort, knowledge and know how in the Ed Tech world, but also provides some great advice to follow when developing a digital identity.
This course gave me the opportunity to spend time really reconnecting with technology in ways that I am confident will impact my personal and professional digital footprints for years to come. Through this class, Youtubing, and some serious googling, I have become comfortable with the multitasking life of the zoom room, blogging on WordPress, making iMovies, tweeting, G+ communities, PicMonkey, creating Youtube videos, and making a few ridiculous Snapchats of me avoiding doing my homework.
I also learned a substantial amount about being safe online and the importance of being share aware.
EC&I830 has guided me to consider the different shoes that walk throughout the wide world of technology. Let’s take a few minutes to look at just who wears those shoes!
Learning about children using devices and social media has taught me how important it is for children to have proper guidance and leadership. From a young age they need to be taught the dangers of using technology and social media in the wrong way, and they also need to be educated on how to keep themselves safe when they hit unchartered water and run into tough situations. They need to learn through meaningful lessons, just how permanent their digital footprints can be when they post and share online.
Children also need to be encouraged to live a life that has a balance. A balance between tech time, outdoor play, face to face interactions and other healthy experiences is sure to help children prevent many of the health issues that we discussed in the debate about children’s health and technology.
Before taking this class, I would admit that my solution to kids and social media problems was simply that I wouldn’t let my kids use social media at all, until they were at least hmmmm say 35. However, my kids will one day thank all of you, along with Alec and Katia, for helping me to get the bigger picture and to realize that this really isn’t THE solution. What I have learned is that parents need to be educated. They need to stay up to date on what kids are using and teach them from a young age how to stay safe and make smart online choices. I’ve learned that Parents also need to be mindful of their child’s digital footprint right from the moment they consider sharing their first ultrasound photo online. This is the start of their child’s online identity, and parents are the ones who decide what their child has shared. Make wise decisions. Consider if these photos are ones your child would want shared when it is a decade or two later and they are applying for jobs.
Also, parents need to lead by example. They need to model the power of unplugging regularly from technology and seeking a balance in life off of devices. Taking care of ones’ mental and physical health can be done by making sure that there is balance. Suggestions like using “Pay to Play” and “cellphone parking lot baskets” in your home can be great ways to remind people to connect with the face to face world regularly and on a daily basis.
What can I tell you about the teacher? Well, probably the most significant thing I’ve learned this term is that “ignorance is for the ignorant”. Assuming that avoiding technology because teachers are not comfortable is not an option. Although there is not enough time and money spent helping teachers to stay up to date with the fast changing technology, teachers need to be advocates for parents and students in safe practices. Request PD. Become Share aware. Educate, network, and communicate with colleagues about Ed. Tech that promotes safe and relevant practices. Be mindful of how technology CAN promote equity amongst different learners in your class and also how it can potentially play against it. Consider how googling things is changing the ways and the extent that our students learn now-a-days. Use it to maximize the learning for all learners and strive to close learning gaps by accessing technology to support all students.
Administrators and Division Leaders
Throughout this class, it became very real to me how important it is for all of the different roles in the education system to fight for technology implementation. Division and administration leaders need to strive to help educators stay up to date. The importance of funding PD opportunities is very real. Though funding is not always available and resources limited, divisions need to realize the importance of staying up to date with working technology in the schools. Additionally, division leaders need to recognize how technology can impact learners depending on their geographic location, and socioeconomics.
This course helped me to see how important divisions are in providing guidelines and leadership for teachers so that they have clear understandings of safe and appropriate practices when sharing online.
Finally, Leaders need to be mindful when choosing the corporations that they accept funding from. Recognizing the impact they may have (positive but most importantly negative) on learning is important before signing on the line and accepting these Ed. Tech. partnerships.
After taking this course, I realize that there is nobody out there forcing me to catch up in the “digi” world. The push to stay up to date is all on me. I also realize, that the way I use social media is and will continue to affect the way my children, students, colleagues, administration and even potential employers see me. Not only that, but I recognize now, more than ever, that they choices I make today, may last long past the likes and comments left below the content I choose to share on social media. I am the gatekeeper of safety for the young minds I care for. The role I have in the digital world is a large one, and it is time for colleagues and educators across the globe to realize the magnitude of their actions professionally as well as personally, today, tomorrow and for years to come in the ever permanent digital future.
Thanks for tuning in!