10 Replies Latest reply on 20-Nov-2017 7:02 PM by mister_pamayah

    Week One: Task #2 Discussion

    teachontario.team

      Task #2

       

      We want to empower students to take responsibility for their actions. Consider the ways you help your students take responsibility with their use of technology. This could be through self-regulated use of devices, (page 88) or through taking ownership and control of a student’s online identity (page 94). How will you help your students learn about responsible use of technology?

        • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
          anneshillolo

          I think both of the strategies are excellent, and I think guidance around self-regulation is a great strategy. I was fortunate to be in a board and school that took an open approach. So, going back 7-8 years, the wifi was open to all and devices were allowed in my school. We had just moved from a principal who banned cell phones and it was a constant battle to have the phones left in the lockers…

          Then I would say two things happened. Instead of a handful of students with phones, nearly everyone had them. So, any issues with distraction became magnified. Next, teachers with very little knowledge of tech-integrated teaching and learning, attempted to “take back” control and established areas in the room where all students have to leave their devices.

          I find it troubling that this is now widespread at the present time. I feel upset when I visit a class to teach about educational technology and the first 5-10 minutes are spent with students asking me if they can use their own technology and then retrieving it from somewhere. This tells me that even though these same teachers might complain that they do not have enough iPads or laptops they have made no progress in integrating the technology that comes into the building every day with their students.

          Finally, I am a firm believer that classroom program is the biggest factor of all in reducing distractions of all sorts. If activities are engaging and challenging, include opportunities for the teacher to converse with individuals or groups of students throughout the period, are accompanied by benchmarks and deadlines, learning will take place and distractions will not be a significant issue. My years of teaching in a computer lab coincided with the huge popularity of Facebook with middle school students. However, I rarely had an issue because a) the students knew I roamed around all class looking at their work over their shoulders and asking them questions about it, b) quite often they liked the multi-modal tools used in class enough to persevere out of choice, and c) they knew that they were going to be assessed on something before the end of class… or at recess. I also allowed them to have free time occasionally at the end of class. Whether it was FB or a game, it made a nice reward, and also led to interesting social interactions as, being adolescents, they talked all the time anyway:) And they taught me how to use Minecraft:)

            • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
              marco.belvedere@ycdsb.ca

              I totally get your point and agree that a classroom program is the biggest factor of all in reducing distractions.  It's funny, we expect our technology to be able to multi-task, we expect students to multi-task, so what if they check their phone every now and then?  They're multi-tasking as well...and that's a great skill to have.  As long as certain parameters or etiquette is followed.  You should see the parent areas at my children's karate and gymnastics classes....many authentic learning experiences are missed due to "distraction," but maybe I'm being too judgemental and they're multi-tasking as well?

                • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
                  aking

                  Hi Marco,

                  I like how you've called attention to the fact that managing distractions is a part of adult life as well.  It really is!  The issue about cellphones in class is to manage the distractions so that learning can still take place.  I think teachers resent how many times they have to explicitly mention removing distractions so that concentration can happen.  Still that's the classroom management piece of today and I think it's worth repeating.  Things like "Now would be a good time to bring out your phones to  take a picture of the whiteboard" or "Can everyone please create a digital reminder about returning our field trip form?" go a long way to bring that culture of acceptance back.

                      • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
                        aking

                        Further to my earlier point, and direct contrast to what I said earlier, I had an experience today that shook my classroom management foundation.  Just a little moment, but I've been questioning myself all day.  So I've been working for 3 weeks with 1/2 of a grade 12 social science class who are using seminars to practice Socratic questioning.  They are assigned a reading from their teacher, come prepared, and one person each week takes a turn in helping the discussion go deeper.  We're speaking intentionally.  We're listening really closely to what each other has to say before jumping in to speak.  We're using evidence from our reading to connect to previous readings and real-life experiences.  I've been struggling to get a student to contribute, and today he answered a text while the leader was asking him a question.  I said out loud "Jacob!" and he responded "It's my Mom".  and typed her an answer.  What do you do with that? 

                          • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
                            marco.belvedere@ycdsb.ca

                            I don't know what to do at that point...you can't call the mother of a 17 year old and tell them to not text during school hours.  You can't ask the student to "prove" he's replying to his mother.

                             

                            I've had students come in late on snow days, realise that very few people are in school, then text their parents in the bathroom to come pick them up.

                             

                            It's frustrating...but I guess as long as students know that this is an isolated incident at not a habit.

                              • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
                                mister_pamayah

                                It's situations like the ones that you mention that remind me we have to be more implicit with the etiquette and "manners" we teach students with devices in elementary.  And then we have to re-teach in secondary....  It's unfortunate because there would be more "buy-in" from teachers if inappropriate use of device issues didn't happen.  Instance like the ones aking and marco.belvedere@ycdsb.ca cause teachers to re-think how devices are used.  And for some teachers that means moving towards banning or not allowing technology.

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                      • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
                        aking

                        Hi Anne,

                        Our pendulum is swinging too and it's because our school board can't keep up with the demands for wifi usage.  We were wide open to everything, but now YouTube is available only for teachers and social media other than Facebook and Twitter are blocked.  It's unfortunate but as jencassatodd said in the book, part of the continual curve of learning is realizing what the system can afford and how to promote it.  Is anyone doing anything in school to promote the use of cellphones in classrooms in a whole school or whole system way?

                      • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion

                        This book is teaching me that although I am making some advancements in teaching students how to self regulate their phone usage through teaching Mindfulness lessons, I need to encourage students to create a positive online identity instead of one that is non-existent. I agree that there is not enough of this discussion happening in schools but as a teacher-librarian I believe I am an excellent avenue to develop and revamp my digital citizenship lessons to teach this idea to students. Students need a digital portfolio for future employers and post secondary and social media is an excellent way to show case their accomplishments and strengths. I do believe we still need to discuss the implications of a negative online presence as not every student has a positive online presence.

                          • Re: Week One: Task #2 Discussion
                            mister_pamayah

                            The cell phone issue came up in my school weekly memo this week. Our admin wanted staff to be vigilante with ensuring students are not using phones unsupervised, specifically at recesses. They wanted us to help students self-regulate by keeping the cell phones in their lockers during those time.  Our school is generally quite open with usage during instructional time with an intended purpose but we are clearly having difficulty with the unsupervised times.