My Personal Journey...
Well, we got derailed, that's for sure. I didn't have childcare the last 2 weeks, and I pulled my kiddo from daycare as a precaution about 1 week before the government shut them all down.
So, the main thing I wanted to accomplish was to personally really dive into social media... a lot of things fell by the wayside... but that's because the deeper I dove into it (and sorry for the lack of updates), the more I realized that my project was about two personal things for me:
1) Increasing my use of YouTube in my classroom
2) Increasing my use of Twitter for both professional development, but also just to engage with social media, and overcome my resistance to using Twitter, sharing a few times a week, while at the same time not being glued to my phone.
Let us remember the things that I thought I would do but never really did:
The Fallen (sort of):
Aspects of the project that didn't quite work out, or, at the least, did not work out the way I envisioned they would (hence, the fallen!):
1) Investigate TikTok (this flopped, basically, because for math and science, I couldn't find a *good* use of TikTok... I think there is potential for Drama/Theater, in sharing little videos of skits/techniques)
2) Investigate Instagram usage (sort of did this in passing with my interview with Tyler found here).
3) Investigate Wakelet usage in the classroom. I'm putting this one in the graveyard, although I actually DID make great use of Wakelet this semester... I....
So, overall, that was actually not so bad! Things on this list still got completed, just not the way I originally thought I would investigate/use them... so, there it is!
Turns out that YouTube holds great potential in being a repository of educational video lessons, and also as an access point to notes and other activities that enhance learning potential. Kids are telling me that the ability to go back and "see" the lesson again (as horrible as it is) alleviates a lot of anxiety and stress because they can just watch it later at home.
A highly successful teacher shows off how he uses Twitter and Instagram in his classroom.
A Dive Into My Twitter Usage
A couple screen shots really paint a picture to me: Compared to even 3 months ago, I have REALLY started to integrate Twitter into my teaching practice. I use it for PD, I use it to connect to you guys, and I use it to share whatever little tidbits of knowledge I have. I made a quick recap video of my own usage, but the two pics below, for me, show me my metric growth:
The 28 day summary speaks volumes. I almost DOUBLED my followers, had a 50% increase in tweets, a 74% rise in profile views, and a 160% increase in "impressions"... I didn't realize I had grown so much until I went and checked out the analytics page.
I even started even using social media (Twitter/Instagram) for the robotics club I started at the school... for someone who literally barely used Twitter at all 6 months ago, this is a HUGE WIN!! MISSION COMPLETE!!
CLICK HERE TO SEE A QUICK RECAP VIDEO OF MY TWITTER USAGE
A Dive Into My YouTube Usage
Click the picture above to see a recap video of my YouTube usage.
This is where I spent the MAJORITY of my time in this project. I didn't realize how much of a difference a focused effort on my YouTube channel was making until I discovered the analytics section of my channel page. Here is probably the BIGGEST and most heavy hitting metric I could find:
In 2019, my YouTube channel had 1,041 views. For the first 3 months of 2020, my YouTube channel had 2,026 views, almost literally DOUBLE THE VIEWS in ONE QUARTER the amount of time. Sometimes your hard work pays off!
March 2019 was a big month, with 99 hours of content watched, and 1,219 views. Believe it or not, most of this was actually BEFORE schools shut down (I'm actually getting LESS views now that classes are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19.
What else did I accomplish by spending so much of my efforts and time on YouTube? The roughly hour a day I was spending on editing, uploading, and curating all my videos that I was creating led to:
-47 subscribers to 137 in 2 months
-Monthly watch time up 182% @ 99 hours
-I have 3 playlists now: Grade 11 PreCalc, Grade 12 PreCalc, and Grade 10 Computer Science
-I have uploaded my blank notes to the description of each video (which meant having to create all the blank PDFs, uploading to my Google Drive, and then going back and adding it to each video description--boring and time consuming).
-Creation of the "10 minute math" content list... Well, this is coming, I hope to upload some in the coming days!
Students tell me that being able to view the content online is more valuable than they thought it would be, and that it alleviates some stress for them. It also helps them review topics, and allows them to see things they didn't quite get right the first few times. It's not rocket science... and it takes a surprising amount of time to even just make a commitment to film everything, edit it, curate it, and share it, but it's well worth the effort based on the feedback I have received. A few parents even reached out and commented that while it was weird having my voice in their houses at first, they are thankful to have everything online.
That's it's for now!
Extra points to anyone who gets the corny reference to the amazing Green Day's song "when September Ends"... but what I'm saying is... with schools seemingly on hold and everything shifting to online learning for a while, I thought it'd be nice to do a collective #eci832 hurrah hurrah and push to create a shared Wakelet of resources that could help teachers, students, and parents in the aftermath of CODV-19.
SO, as part of my personal dive into social media--using it more often, and effectively--I went and combed through all the resources people had been sharing under the #eci832 hashtag, and tried to categorize them.
I'm sorry if I missed you! I also posted a link so that you could become an editor of the Wakelet, and add your own resources or modifying the headings, create new ones... whatever you think is required!
Want to Contribute? It's not too late!
Just click here if you'd like to become a contributor. You'll be able to add resources, add headings, modify... I trust my #eci832 crew! Let's do this!
So, I present to you, the current Wakelet, "Online Teaching Resources #eci832 Edition" as it stands...
Big thanks to... Mystery People (and Dean!)... and, of course, #eci832
Contribute away, and in the meantime, thank you!
Cheers, everyone, and great job on creating an interesting course dynamic and, as usual, teaching me so much more than I would have ever been able to do all alone!
Ya done good, #eci832!
There are plenty of resources for schools/teachers there for Digital Citizenship
Before I get to the main topic, I thought I'd share some useful resources this week on #DigCit... the internet is literally rife with resources for teaching digital citizenship.... Here are a few you might consider:
1) Everything you Need to Teach Digital Citizenship - Common Sense Education
This a great one, it has lessons for all ages, broken down into grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 (which always strikes me as a large age range... difference between a 14 year old and a 17/18 year old? Huge, but anyways).
2) How to Promote Digital Citizenship in the School Library (Demco Ideas & Inspiration)
This article is a bit more straight forward, just sharing 6 abrupt and down to earth ways to promote digital citizenship in your everyday classes. Definitely geared towards early/elementary school teachers. My favourite is the suggestion to watch BrainPOP Jr.'s video on internet safety, see below! It comes with a quiz afterwards if you open it up on their website here.
3) 9 resources for teaching digital citizenship (By the always wonderful ISTE)
Each of the resources in this page (created Feb 5, 2020-so you know it is hot off the press... although it does link to older resources from a few years ago at times) is a wealth of other resources and information.
4) Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (From the School Technology Branch of Alberta Education)
This is a great resource document, which leans a bit more on the academic side of the argument, citing research and such.
5) Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools (published by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education)
This is a great resource document, which leans a bit more on the academic side of the argument, citing Ribble (does it surprise anyone it's written by Alec and Katia?).
Citizenship is defined as the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political or national community. Citizenship carries both rights and responsibilities.
So what is holding us back?
Right from resource #4 above, it states that....
Digital citizenship is a complex subject matter. It is the intent of the current guide to bring shape to this domain through questions and considerations that may be weighed by leaders. Through this process, the current work will assist leadership and stakeholder decision-making, guiding the development of effective digital citizenship policies.
So, OK, this stuff IS hard. It's complicated. It's tricky for teachers, parents, and policy-makers to wrap their brains around. It's tricky to understand the full ramifications of it's use in schools, to update privacy laws, to make it "safe" for classroom use... but maybe that's just the thing, maybe we can't scrub this down and make it "safe"... one argument that is used in my school division (and I've heard feedback from many others, in many divisions) is that we need to lock this stuff down because we need to keep our kids safe. And while this is certainly a good argument with things like swords, guns, etc... it's not a great argument for something that kids have access to all the time on their cell phones, or at home.
By "locking" down social media for students, we are also shutting down all the teaching opportunities around it's proper use: how it should be properly situated in our lives, and how to use it to fuel our professional and personal growth, and how to ward against it's improper use against us, by understanding it's massive power and reach fully.
We already know that teenagers lack that voice that says "is this a good idea", and that they are less likely to engage in moral and ethical thinking (Digital Citizenship policy development guide, 2012, p. 10)... and here we kidding ourselves that we can just avoid using and teaching about social media in schools, and that kids will just "sort themselves out" individually at home later on proper usage of social media. Yikes! It's like assuming that since we taught kids that they can get hurt in real life, that we should just leave obstacles all around the house for them to possibly get hurt on. After all, they know better! They'll just sort out the "two separate lives" of real world, versus the online world, themselves. See the excerpt below:
From Alberta's Digital Citizenship Policy Development Guide (2012)
Let's get real. We need to start treating social media, offline, online, as all the same thing, because they are already.
chools, like many things, are THE PLACE for kids to learn about social media, and how to be a good digital citizen. As suggested before, citizenship comes with rights but also responsibilities, and we are collectively dropping the ball on teaching kids about the power and responsibilities that come with social media.
Ironically, one study found that adults are actually more likely to fall prey to internet scams, versus the youth of today (we grew up with the scams, Baby boomers didn't, might be one reason). Perhaps policy makers of today need to relearn that same lesson around digital citizenship and social media in schools.
Policy makers, and schools need to stop dropping the torch on Digital Citizenship and Social Media in schools. School is definitely the place to collectively, everyday, integrate and teach about Digital Citizenship, and proper use of social media. The longer we wait, the worse it is going to get. Teachers can certainly "go about it on their own", and I suggest that they begin to do so until each provincial education body wakes up and starts working together... but imagine what difference we could make if we all pushed?
Maybe there is so much waffling around integrating Digital Citizenship into schools because these are the sorts of people calling the shots?
Let's pull together and get this done. Instead of having a bunch of isolated pockets of amazing and talented teachers such as the ones in #eci832, or like the amazing @Tyler_JL I interviewed last week working on this problem, what if we pooled our resources and got stuff done on a canada-wide level? WOW! It's like Dwight says....
One last "why"...
Taken directly from the Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools document (Hello? Manitoba, are you there? Why don't we have something like this already? Ooooofph):
From Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools, 2015, p. 6
If those reasons aren't enough to warrant teaching Digital Citizenship in schools, what is?
Presentations on Digital Citizenship
Great work to our 4 presenters last week. My takeaways were:
1) Leigh (check out her awesome blog! Video is top left)
I really liked the line: "schools need to stop blocking everything because you can't keep it all out and teachers lose teachable moments as a result".
This is a divine line. Certainly, one of the worst things we can do it just block everything, as it robs teachers and students of the chance to experiment with these tools in a safe setting. Making social media impossible to access at school doesn't actually stop anyone from accessing it (many students at my school finds ways around the filters, or simply just use their cell phone data). Blocking means that teachers have trouble using it reliably in class to teach. What a mistake.
2) Victoria (check out her awesome blog! Video is top right)
Best line: "By restricting student access to social media we fail to actually teach students anything about being digital citizens"... this couldn't be more true. Very similar to my favourite line from Leigh's video. It'd be like teaching how to drive without ever driving a vehicle.
3) Matt and Trevor (check out their blogs here and here respectively. Video is bottom)
What did I enjoy most about their video? I really liked the idea of using social media to examine how science misconceptions spread online... that's a great exercise and highly relevant today, and would be relevant anytime!
Big shout out to our presenters, who did such a great job! Thanks for facilitating the conversation.
How Should We Introduce Social Media to Students Nowadays?
You know, I guess I sort of got lucky. Social media wasn't a thing yet while I was in my "crazy" years during high school and university... I say "crazy", because I may have been more inclined to post things online that may have not reflected well on me in the future. By the time blogging and social media were just becoming a thing, it was maybe a year or two before my education degree, and I was a bit more mature. Enough to understand that whatever you post online is there forever.
Thinking of this, I really think schools can provide an invaluable service in teaching students how to be digital citizens. I do think it's an integral part of school. Many parents need help in this area, and probably always will need help. If you click the image below, it'll take you to a few great resources from ISTE on how to approach social media and technology based on the age of your child.
Another great resource I shared last week with my group was Google's How To Be Internet Awesome, which is a great game-based way of teaching students and kids about being safe online. A lot of topics are covered. I wish in my past, I had this... but I was also lucky enough that by the time I needed it, I was more than capable of finding the information for myself (being an adult). Kids nowadays don't have this luxury.
Moving forward, I'd like to continue to inspire my students via social media if possible, and model for them appropriate uses of such. I have a few unique opportunities to do this (and, if I can finally manage to interview my colleague, Tyler Letkeman next week, I'll be able to share what he has been doing with social media in his classroom).
The ways I can model digital citizenship and "good" use of social media for my students includes:
1) My use of YouTube for instructional classroom videos
2) Use of social media for the Massey Robotics Club
3) In general, I chat with my students all the time and surf the web with them, and we have very informal talks about what is out there right now on on the internet. Although these chats don't seem like much, they do seem to engage students very much as we talk about the weeks/days happenings and what we think about them on the internet and social media.
I don't think teachers can get away with not having some sort of online presence nowadays... you have to practice the craft if you are going to teach about it effectively.
I think that teachers must model the use of social media for students... this'll be the greatest way of helping them understand how to use it. Of course, I don't think EVERY teacher needs to do this... it's easy enough to just go look up people who use social media wisely and just show that to students... but I am coming to sort of expect teachers to have some sort of online presence... you have to practice the craft if you are going to teach about it, after all.
Till next time my techy friends... stay curious,
Hi, we don't exist!
None of these people exist.
All images from ThisPersonDoesNotExist, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generators pictures of people who do not exist.
The pictures are 100% generated by the AI, and in no part are from a data bank or anything like that.
The AI also can createcats (my masters level computer scientist friend, Andrew Fisher, former comp sci student, tells me cats are hard... sometimes you see the pics look a bit screwy), horses, art, random fake scenes that do not exist from the hit TV show THE OFFICE, it reads Reddit and other sources to create fake news articles (that update every 30 minutes... here is a funny one about every adult getting enrolled in mandatory organ donation).
So, it begs the question... in all of this, what does it mean to have a digital identity? Do we all automatically have one? If we don't have one, should we "get" one? How do we get one? Why?
Take Control of Your Digital Self Least Someone Else Does
Yes, if you don't curate your digital identity, you run a few risks:
1) someone else controlling it for you.
2) not having one.
I think it's a risk not having one because well, I feel like that's starting to get a bit weird, at least in this part of the world. At the very least, you should curate a professional identity online, especially if you are looking for work in the future. If you're on the run from the law... well, I guess that's a bad thing to have one, isn't it?
Multiple (Fragmented) Digital Identity Disorder
ell, I made that up. It does't exist... except that more and more people are utilizing multiple different personas online. It's not even a bad thing... I can understand having a Twitter account for my educational endeavors, and maybe I fancy myself funny, so I have a different Twitter account where I tweet my funny, random thoughts that aren't related to Education. I may not want those two Twitter accounts mixing for all sorts of professional and nonprofessional reasons.
But nowadays, as we become more and more involved in all sorts of smaller, niche things online, people get to know us as complete human beings less and less. As per this article, we are fragmenting more and more.
Nowadays, I think it's becoming less and less possible to separate your digital self from your physical self.
I think we have to do a lot more to teach students about their digital identity, and how to properly develop it, safely and professionally. I think digital etiquette is something that needs to be taught, as all other etiquette requires as well. For example, don't post pictures of people online without their consent. Here is an article about Digital Etiquette.
What Are Some Guidelines for Classroom Teachers Around Digital Identity?
Well, in my video above, I conveniently cover the 4 aspects that I think are most important from my own readings and synthesis of the topic. Quite simply, your digital identity encompasses how you use social media, but also however you present yourself in a non physical format. This can be online via health records, court records, social media posts, blog posts, etc.... If it's electronic, it might one day end up as part of your "digital identity". Make it a good one!
In the classroom, I think this very interesting case study is a great example of how we should be leveraging and teaching Digital Identity in schools. The power of social media is awesome, and but also very scary. Use wisely.
That being said....
Stay curious my friends,
Yours in curiosity,
My name is Matteo Di Muro, the original Prairie Boy, and I've been teaching since I was 14. I currently teach mathematics and computer science in Brandon. I try to keep on learning things, and I'm getting onboard with sharing with others, hence this site!