24 Replies Latest reply on 20-Nov-2017 7:08 PM by mister_pamayah

    Week One: Discussion Question #1

    teachontario.team

      Select one of the characteristics of digital leadership and share how it resonates with you and your experiences with social media?

        • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
          aking

          Confession: I was born in 1972 and growing up in the countryside, where my nearest neighbour was 2 km away, I craved social interaction.  I developed snail mail penpals and I wrote letters to people my age all over the world, constantly.  I learned so much about them and in turn I hope that I gave them a reason to race to the mailbox.  That sort of connection happened again in the 1990s when I was trying out Napster for the first time and I was looking for J-Pop (having taught a year in Japan, I missed those quirky sounds).  I noticed another person curating libraries of J-Pop and struck up a conversation...but at first it took us a while to find a common language we could speak in.  It turns out that my new friend lived in Brazil and spoke Portuguese and Japanese!  My new understanding was that there is a huge Japanese population in Brazil!  I remember that being one of the first impactful incidents where I understood the power of the internet.  I think these experiences speak to the reasons that digital leadership is an important step for students who want to create positivity and share their learning.  Now I use Facebook to keep in touch with distant friends and family.

           

          Professionally, I didn't understand the point of Twitter at all until my now friends, Mary-Kay Goindi and Brenda Sherry created a Twitter scavenger hunt at an edtech conference in 2009.  We used the conference hashtag, the idea of capturing photos as evidence and competition to follow clues!  I was so excited to see the buzz, and to this day, I love Twitter for capturing those hippie-esque Happenings with hashtags.  I love to see so many people at once backchannelling about the themes of the day.  Politically, I first saw the Arab Spring hashtag in real live time and realized the power of using social media to witness history.

            • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
              aking

              Hmmm suddenly I'm wondering if anneshillolo was at that conference, because I think we must have been at the OTF 21C conference either together in July? or you went to that in the first group in the spring of that same year.  It was your Will Richardson comment that made me think we were circling each other at that pivotal time when my professional practice shifted in a big way.

                • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                  anneshillolo

                  WOW! Either way it is a wonderful coincidence, and for me also the pivotal time when my professional practice not only shifted but found a new path forward. I was at the first Will R one in the spring. I believe I heard something about it from an Ottawa colleague I met through our TLLP and who I am still friends with today, mainly via social media(!). I went to register immediately because they said it was limited enrolment - I was so nervous because my principal was away that day and I couldn't ask permission first:) But taking that chance meant I was the only one from our board who got in...

                  Because I had gone to the first event, I got the chance to attend the followup one in the fall. Two main vivid memories:

                  1. In six months Will's thinking had evolved from "It's all about these amazing tools" to "It's not about the tools at all, shifts in pedagogy are most important."

                  2. I of course had to bring my dog and the Sheraton not only didn't charge extra but provided a large regal satin dog bed and lots of accessories:)

                    • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                      aking

                      Hilarious!! Regal satin dog bed.  I'd like to see a picture of that!

                       

                      And what resonated with me from Will's talk was "I want to be found my strangers on the internet."  I used it as my media arts course Big Idea the last time I taught it.  It freaked the kids out but it definitely shifted their thinking.

                    • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                      johannalawler

                      I was wondering the same thing!  I was at that OTF summer institute....  not the spring one...  I was the geeky girl sitting next to Will on a panel at one point.  When I was asked my first question by moderator, Doug Peterson, I ignored the question and said that I could barely think as I was sitting shoulder to shoulder next to my intellectual crush.  I think that Will had a huge influence on quite a few of us! 

                    • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                      jencassatodd

                      You beat me. I didn't join Twitter until 2011 when my husband shared Steven Anderson's tweets with me. It opened up a whole new world for me at a time when I had just started a role as a Program Resource teacher at the Board level. Will Richardson, Richard Byrne, and George and Alec Couros were the first few educators I followed. I was amazed at the sharing and the sense of community. I have certainly been impacted by many online mentors; Will definitely being one of them.

                        • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1

                          Alec was one of my first follows after seeing him at the OLA conference shortly after I joined Twitter.  Now I have been able to connect with so many people via Twitter and I constantly use my connections to support students to give them an authentic learning experience.  Being in Vietnam would seem isolating without it.  Since I have been here I have connected teachers to resources and students to local experts when they worked on science projects.  I have also used Twitter (yesterday) to create a great collection of resources for our grade 6 teachers to help students to understand residential schools. I have also encouraged students to ask great questions of the authors of the books they are reading so they can tweet to a real live person!  (I want students to know that most authors are ALIVE!)

                          I loved Twitter when I was part of the 25 person SCDSB innovation team.  It was my window into what my colleagues were learning and sharing.  My strength is networking and so Twitter has been the perfect social media platform for me.  We are working on a PLC here to improve students' digital footprint but I am very aware that many of my colleagues need to create a professional online presence before they return to Ontario to teach.  I am hopeful that when we share what students have done it will convince some teachers to think about their professional presence online.

                      • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                        leah.kearney

                        Alanna's post made me smile as I thought back to my letter-writing days. I was born in 1968 and in about 1978 began to see letter-writing as a way of promoting important causes and sharing my learning with others. I wrote to the Queen, to a South African journalist, to talk-show hosts about topics that I was interested in at the time: apartheid, drug abuse and treatment and child labour. I still have the letters that I received back and my own 3 teenagers get a chuckle out of them ;) So, I see the civic participation and engagement that comes from students being plugged in to the world around them and it is inspiring. A case in point is that through Snapchat and Instagram my Grade 11 daughter heard of a recommendation that would impact Arts programming at her high school, before I had even heard about it she had signed petitions, spread the word and shared the news with others. It is that type of active engagement that makes me excited about the future.

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                        • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                          anneshillolo

                          I was starting to write about how I always gravitate to point 1, learning and sharing about learning. When I was in the classroom, I tried to frequently model this for my students. I also created assignments that guided them in that direction themselves. In my present role, I am a total Twitter evangelist to try and get more colleagues to see the platform as a way to engage with others and grow professionally, in a way that can be totally personalized. Stepping back a bit though, I can certainly see how Point 1 underlies the other points:)

                          • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                            johannalawler

                            I think that the characteristic that resonates with me the most is to be a more positive influence in the lives of others.  I worry about students growing up today in a world where people are so quick to post, comment, or react in a negative way ....  especially on-line.  There never seems to be an assumption of goodwill first....  only one where we are required to determine authenticity before believing.  I find it to be a sad commentary of our world now when we have to teach students to be "slightly skeptical of what is being portrayed'. 

                            I have a friend on Facebook who dramatically changed the way she updates her status.  I think that she too, was tired of the negative and decided to post a list of at least five things that she was grateful for on that particular day.  As I followed her positive posts, I also enjoyed reading the responses too.  Her friends loved this idea and swore that just reading her updates made even their day a little brighter.  I think that as a digital community, we should all be trying to influence positively even if it's just a kind word of encouragement.

                              • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                                jencassatodd

                                Johanna,

                                Thank you for sharing that example. I really do believe we need to ensure that we are modelling that positive stance at every opportunity. I too try to ensure that I approach every situation positively and that I remember and remind others that there is a human being behind the screen; someone's mom or sister or dad or brother or uncle. I struggle with the idea that if we only follow positive people that we create for ourselves a bubble. When I talk to kids about it I will often say, "Don't get embroiled in the drama. Follow people who make you feel better about yourself." I don't know that this is a bad thing?

                                  • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                                    mister_pamayah

                                    I think what I find challenging is that for many of our students and I don't want to generalize but one might say 'millennials' there is often a rush to speak and act.  As teachers we almost need to teach the steps to being positive online.  So when we teach 'stay away from drama' it really needs to be first:

                                    1. What is drama?
                                    2. How does my comment or 'like' fuel drama?
                                    3. What can I do to stay away from drama?
                                    4. How can I stay away from drama?
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                                • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                                  marco.belvedere@ycdsb.ca

                                  I think the characteristic that resonates most with me is to empower others who have no voice.  I think that social media gives us a vehicle to interact with so many people that we've never had before.  I would not have the PLN I have without joining Twitter in 2012.  I work in a large district with thousands of teachers that covers a lot of geography, and that vast network of educators became very manageable and tight-knit as a result of Twitter connections.  Professional development days became more friendly and positive, and now working at the district level, I see more connections between our teachers than ever before. 

                                   

                                  We've seen our students act out or make wrong decisions in our school while acting impulsively, and we have a certain patience for that depending on the age...but when it's done online, I feel that we're so quick to judge and lament on some of these skills not being taught in schools. We teach and model behaviours with our little ones; and the older students are just kids as well...in bigger bodies.

                                    • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1

                                      students voice for sure!  I was using a shared google doc with a grade 10 class as a resource teacher and the English teacher was all excited because the student who never spoke in class (elective mute) shared his ideas.  Also last year in my grade 5 class my autistic student constantly used docs and comments as a way to share her questions and learning with me.  I think that our students here at CIS are very involved with Global initiatives and we should leverage digital more to help them to be leader beyond the school.  I think thats the missing piece here.  They are doing amazing things but we aren't sharing and empowering the kids as much as we could. 

                                    • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                                      jlongthorne

                                      Sorry I am behind...in the middle of a kitchen reno.

                                       

                                      I am struggling with narrowing it down to just one characteristic.

                                       

                                      Today, I introduced a class and their teacher to my new favourite app, Flipgrid.

                                      I am using this tool to reinforce with students of the importance of being a positive digital “citizen” (still wanting to use that term) leader as they create videos for a literacy project.

                                       

                                      I totally agree with Jennifer that these skills must be integrated into subjects and not taught in isolation.

                                       

                                      I also taught a lesson today around the importance of evaluating websites and avoiding plagiarism with a grade 5 class, where they will be researching a piece of technology that helps the human body function. This may not necessarily fall under the social media umbrella but I truly believe it is an integral characteristic in becoming a digital leader.

                                       

                                      Student voice is essential, whether it be on-line or in-person. This allows students to take responsibility and guide their own learning. More “buy-in” for some. Makes learning purposeful.

                                       

                                      Twitter is my fave. So much my learning as an educator takes place through Twitter. I have made so many valuable connections with educators, authors, vendors, business owners, athletes…just to name a few.

                                       

                                      Social media is a powerful tool to connect us with others. It makes learning come alive. Current, relevant, exciting.

                                       

                                      A goal this year is to recruit more of my colleagues to sign up and share using Twitter. There is so much great teaching and learning happening so why not share it with others!

                                       

                                       

                                        • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1
                                          mister_pamayah

                                          Thanks for sharing Jess.  I understand this is a busy time for everyone.  Thanks for taking the time to thoughtfully share how digital leadership resonates with you.  Jennifer makes several connection to character education in Social Leadia.  Just as we can't teach character education in isolation, digital leadership is one that we need to always be relating back to students.  From technical aspects like use of technology to critical thinking strategies like evaluating websites.  I agree with you Jess that we many digital ideas fall under the digital leadership umbrella.

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                                        • Re: Week One: Discussion Question #1

                                          I must confess that I am a lover of social media and I the value of it in classroom settings. Personally, I use Facebook, Instagram, YouTub, and Twitter. I am still struggling to see the value of snap chat, snap streaks, etc. but I don't judge those who use it. I do a lot of lessons on digital citizenship with classes but I am now trying a new lesson with classes on Mindfulness and using our phones in a positive way. I have introduced the calm app to students and we practice a body scan together. I figure I might as well give them some strategies to reduce anxiety and stress that comes from using social media instead of ignoring the issue. When I do these lessons I find students are very honest about how their cellphones affect their emotions which makes me happy as they have some awareness.

                                          I use Twitter to promote the library and I have a teacher Facebook account to coordinate and communicate with students about extra-curricular activities such as grad club, year book, etc. I have a YouTube Channel where I upload my how to videos for the library website. I also use Google Classroom to communicate with my Maker Club so I would say that I dabble in a bit of everything.