Communicate 1 – Communication Definitions

 

5 Units in GA Online Professional LearningThis post is focused on effects of innovation in technology on communication.  It is one in a series of posts for Georgia Online Professional Learning Course.  You can find similar posts searching under the category Communicate or Searching for hashtag #eteachertool.  

 

Communication is: 

  1. A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior. 
  2. Means of connection between people or places, in particular.
  3. The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.

      

Communication: Yesterday & Today

How have My individual communication skills changed with the innovations in technology?

I have talked about impact of digital technology on me professionally and personally in the way I communicate across the board in this blog post written for Reflective Writing Club.  In nutshell, innovation in technology has allowed me global connections and continue learning.  The Geographical distance is no longer a barrier against staying connected with family, friends and colleagues. e.g., Because of the social media apps, I am able to talk to and see my parents even when they traveled to India.  I am earning my online teaching certificate, participating in MOOCs, helping texters as volunteer Crisis Counselor and mentoring students from as far as Australia from comforts of my living room couch. 

Innovation in technology is a double edged sword.  While allowing greater global reach, it also robs us of deeper personal connections, encroaches on our time and may be robbing us of our privacy. -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

On the other hand, now I receive friend requests from not only a colleague or a family member but from random strangers as well as someone I have seen once in my life 30 years ago. Do I want to connect to them?  Do I need to?  Once connected, everyone including me wishes to share some nugget of information they found.  Do I have time to go through all these public sharing?   These superficial communications takes time and effort away from deeper connections that we thrive on.  With net neutrality and deluge of new apps on market, I  have to guard my privacy and time zealously as well.

While innovation in technology has allowed me to rebuild connections which were lost in snail mail era, I have also lost some personal connection because of the instant access.  Rather than meeting in person or picking up phones, now we communicate via texts, emails or online.   Though we have one television in family, at times, everyone is absorbed in their electronic device instead of communicating with one another.    

How have advancements in technology altered classroom communication? Will these change further?

Advancement in technology has radically changed the classroom communications among all stackholders.  e.g., United School District of Marshfield is prides itself on at online integrated education.  Besides, open house at the beginning of the school year, twice yearly parent-teacher meetings, quarterly newsletters and 9 week progress reports via mail,  most other communications  including student registration, paying fees and making appointments for Parent-teacher meetings takes place online.   The school system has provided an iPad as a personal learning devices for each K-12 students and instructors.  Teachers are using Canvas as Learning management system (LMS) and Skyward as student management system (SMS).  Google Classroom and online resources are rapidly replacing paper textbooks and the push is toward going paperless.   Both canvas and Google Classroom, when used efficiently, lets students communicate with their peers via sharing their work with one another, commenting on them and collaborating on projects.

The best measure of effective communication between a teacher and their students is the level of engagement and learning in their classroom. -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

Communication among students and with Instructor is the key to learning and thriving.  Sharing of the knowledge, assessment of content mastery and assisting students requires open communications in classroom community.  Innovation in technology and diverse needs of student population has forced instructors to change lecture and learn style of communication to hands on learning aimed at differentiating instruction based on student needs.  Today, learning is a fluid experience, the technology is ever changing and we, the educational community, must be ready to match our steps to these changes. Unfortunately, due to time and budgetary constraints, the educator is not always abreast of the changes and the communications- learning- suffers.

Advances in digital technology allows educators from far and wide to collaborate and communicate;  to use peer’s product for our classroom rather than reinventing the proverbial wheel.  Here are some examples of how savvy educators are using technology in classroom to enrich their students’ learning and sharing the resources which others utilize in their on classrooms.

  • Some students find science boring.  Glenn Wolkenfeld, a science teacher is here to help them and peers.  In the YouTube video below, he uses rap to teach mitosis followed by interactive quizzes to solidify the learning.  Teachers can use his Karaoke version to use in their classroom and engage their students. I bet my bottom dollar that students will enjoy learning about cell division using this fun song than just rote memorization.  

 

  •  Any McNabb  uses Graph Art Project  to differentiated student assessment for basic functions.
  • Jim Sadowska’s Global studies students learn at their own pace about Europe via Amazing Race, an interactive online learning experience.
  • Santha Walters, @Santhawalters uses drones in classroom to teach her 8th grade English students about communication.  Fun and learning does not stop here.  She visited Vicky Davis and shared her knowledge  at Cool Cat Teacher

Communications between Instructor(s) and  Parent / guardian 

  • Educators are sharing syllabus, projects and the feedback / grades on assignments with parents using SMS and/or LMS.  Parents can choose parameters for how and when they will monitor student progress. 
  • Teachers and parents contact each other via emails, phone calls and mobile apps  as well as Canvas notifications or Skyward calendar to stay on the same page for their student.  
  • With Skyward and Canvas, parents can see real time results of student attendance & fees management. 

Communications among Instructor – Administrative staff – colleagues 

  • Better transparency in communication as well as timely intervention aimed at student progress is achieved with use of SMS and LMS  
  • By using electronic communications, the administrative staff can save their time and resources which can be better utilized to serve the students. 

Communications between Instructors & community

  • Due to security concerns and providing students maximum learning time, many school campus are choosing to be closed campus. The instructor communicates with stackholders via blogs, social media and webinars.   Without using identifying information, the instructor can share examples of excellent student work with the community and invite feedback.

 


 

Adding More voices to the discourse: 

 

 

 

 

Participate reflection

Participate

I am writing this post as a reflection on Participate module of Georgia Online Professional Leaning course. 

 

Being a student centered, connected educator is a process, an ongoing journey,  requiring us to act in our student’s best interest, stop, reflect, modify the course and repeat as necessary.  Having taught in hybrid classrooms, I am not a stark newcomer to online education.  On the other hand, I am not a digital native either.  My journey as an online educator is in its nascent stage.  As such, I would like to follow my own advice:

 

Upon joining a new community, refrain from showing off. Listen, Observe, Learn. Collaborate. Be a Servant Leader, not a bugle blower. – Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

 

At this stage, I am listening, learning, observing and collaborating. 

@One LogoI am adding to my tool box by being a student again. e.g., enrollment in Georgia Online Professional Learning Course, Reflective Writing Club from @ONE   and Edublogs Teacher Challenges.

 

I am following the master educators including Kevin Hogdson, Shanaya, the Science Teacher and Samaj Shah.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, I can use their tried and true strategies such as math munch, Whole Class test  and Periodic table Game.

 

Slice of LifeI have joined online communities including twitter and Connected Learning MOOC.  I am establishing digital presence by collaborating with peers by participating in Slice of Life. 

 

I am mentoring students across the continent for digital communities such as 100 Word Challenge and Student Blogging Challenge 2018.

 

The Participate Module has taught me that ideal digital learning communities (Ideal DLC) are not created in a vacuum.  It requires:

 

deal DLC is interconnected

 

What have participate module taught me about empowering students? 

Let us look at my blog posts  for the module and my resources to answer this:  First, we need to talk about Netiquette and how rules of real world applies to digital world as well.

 

 Next, We should discuss digital safety and security. We will use this poster to talk about need for precaution, steps to take against cyber bullying and digital vigilance.

Acceptable use policy, joining a reputable DLC and collecting reputable digital resources goes hand in hand. Students can use the symbaloo to bookmark their web searches and use them later.  At this time, we will discuss giving credit when credit is due, creative commons and attributions and checking the resources.

 

Besides being an empathetic educator who practices being firm & fair, leveling the playing field for my students and getting to know them, I am planning to use strategies similar to Mr. Hodgson to entice the students to learn.  

 

The lesson that benefited me most was the Accessing Digital Learning Communities

 

 

Let us review this YouTube video from WebAIM to review how disability hampers access to the digital community.

 

 

ASD Introduction to Web Accessibility Video Transcript

 

After reviewing Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) , I am more aware of making sure that I need to make the material (s) I create for my students meets the principles of accessibility guidelines: Content should be perceivable, clear and understandable; I should make sure to have assistive technology available so the students can have access to the material using all senses and they may access material (Operable & Robust). I used to have funky fonts and layouts.  Now, I tried to stay with fonts such as Vardana, good color scheme (No lime green text if possible) to aid my visually impaired student, so they can read the material without straining their eyes. 

  

What have I learned that I want to pass on from Participate module to my students & peers?

 

Be Kind. Use common sense. Be vigilant & gide your privacy.. Be mindful of your digital footprint,

 

 

 

 

Participate 4 – Digital Health

Digital Health Section of Participate module of Georgia Online Professional Training Course talks about practicing good digital health.  In this post, we will review best practices for the digital health.  As an example of net-life balance, I will reflect on my net habits and modify my daily routines to promotes health and safety in the virtual environment. 

 

Digital Health
   Image Source: Pixababy

The proverb “A Healthy Mind Resides in a Healthy Body”  has never rung truer than for a digital citizen. Today we have access to digital communities via our smartphones, personal learning devices and social media.  The instant access to digital community and the human need to stay connected have a potential to turn web use into a net-addiction. Therefor, to achieve most balanced blend of technology and well-being, the netizens must practice digital health.

What is Digital Health?

Netizen is a citizen of net = online universe.  In real world or a digital / virtual world, citizens with sound mind and physical fitness are crucial.  Digital health is the best practices utilized by the digital citizen to practice good balance between technology usage to improve real life without harming relationships with self or others because of these use . These practices includes:

  • Use of correct posture and ergonomic designs in furniture used to browse web
  • Balance between time spend surfing the net and physical exercise
  • Nurturing  healthy ties with family & friends and active participation in real life community
  • Unplugging from the net to develope the relationship with self & others

Best practices for the Digital Health

                  aking Score of my Digital Health

                                            Image Source: Pixababy

 

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a  huge aspect of digital health.  A user’s posture, furniture used while staying connected to the net and interaction of a user with the device may seem unimportant.  The little things like the position of a laptop while answering an email can make a big difference in both digital and physical health of a person.  Please allow me to share a Laptop ergonomic video I had viewed as a part of GA Online Training.  

 

Source: You Tube

After viewing this video and further research, I corrected the posture I was using.  I also realized that we did not need to buy any ergonomic chairs; the desks we are using are adequate as well. 

 

Time Management and maintaining relationships in real community

The reflection on my net habits made me realize that I am spending too much time web hopping.  The social media was stealing a big chunk of my time.  To remedy that, I decided to take a 45 day vacation from Facebook.  During this time, I will use Twitter for educational and professional purposes only.  I also built in breaks from computer in my day to give my eyes rest while working.  On a positive note, we already had some safeguards against the net addiction such as no electronics at dinner time and unplugging from net on weekdays between 10 PM – 5 AM.  We practice family reading time, regular coffee dates and weekly visit with different groups of friends for maintaining healthy connections. Regular exercise & meditation helps me to  be physically fit & mentally healthy.


Ways Educators & Students Can Sustain Digital Health

Nut n Bolt Puppy
What a 6th grade student can do with welding torch, some nuts bolts? Well, he will build himself a Nutty Puppy 🙂 Image © Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba
 

Our school district has We have embraced 21st century learning.  The Students from K-12 receives personal learning device.  Most assignments including exams are submitted and graded online.  It seems the iPods have replaced paper & pencils in classroom; prezi, Google docs and Power Point presentations have made poster boards redundant.   As a result, it is very important that both the students and teachers are aware of being digitally healthy. Additionally, engaging video games invite robs the students of time playing outside.  To remedy these, the educators should allow the students more hands-on-learning opportunities, provide ergonomic furniture & teach students the best postures while using personal learning devices. They should also give students breaks away from computers and allow brain breaks while in classroom. The students need to engage in physical exercise, refrain from prolonged time on web & practice good postures. 

By being vigilant about taking care of digital health, we, the netizens, will allow us the best blend of technology and well being.  If you are interested in learning more about the digital health, let me share some of the links recommended by GA Online Learning.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor site about ergonomics gives visitors many ideas about ways to improve their health.

Healthy Computing’s interactive Causes of Discomfort explains the importance of good posture.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority provides information about the dangers of excessive internet use, as well as suggestions for minimizing such risk.

Dr. Kimberly Young’s website, NetAddiction provides education and intervention tips for dealing Internet-related negative behaviors.

 Thank you.

This post is one in the series of posts for Georgia Online Professional Training Course.  You can find similar posts by searching for hashtag #eteachertool

Georgia Virtual Professional Learning

 

Participate 2- Collecting Reputable Digital Resources

ParticipateThis post is an updated response to a prompt* for Collecting reputable digital resources section of the Participate module of Georgia Open Teacher Training.  Our aim is to be familiar with effective and efficient methods for analyzing and gathering the information, tools and content essential for an effective digital learning community.



Web based Walkabout

The aim of the web walkabout is to collect and categorize digital resources including sources of embed code, software, web tools.  These are the services that make online teaching more engaging, efficient, and effective.  Please click on any tile of the Symbaloo below to go to  the web sites I bookmarked after my web walk about.

 

Three most useful tools or resources resulting from the web walkabout are:

  • Google Classroom a one stop shop for an educator to streamline classroom activities, encourage active student participation and have a school to home connection.  Educators can create classes, assignments, surveys, and quizzes; students can collaboratively work on projects and get real time feedback from peers.
  • Stop Badware a website aimed at fighting malware, spying and viruses.  Go to search box and enter a name of any website to find out if this website is infected or contains malware.
  •  How to embed code in an online class from YouTube

 

Teaching Students how to safely collect tools and Resources that can help them maximize their Learning

Best part of being an educator is sharing our knowledge with students and equipping them with tools for success.  

Teach students NEVER to share their private / identifying information including address, social security numbers, full name etc. online. Teaching them about online predators is a must. 

Using a web quest, I will teach the students the difference between domains ending in .com, .edu., .org, .net, etc.  We will use Wikipedia entry for the list of Internet top-level domains to review the information about the types of domains associated with reputable information. 

Web of Trust

We will utilize Stop Badware and  Web Of Trust to avoid any harmful websites and to expose questionable URLs.  By crosschecking sites with .edu domains (along with websites bookmarked in the Symbaloo above), guided practice, and researching the websites together, I will empower the students to collect and use reputable digital resources.    

Teaching students about reach of social Media is an important part of being today’s teacher. what better way than showing the students this tweet from Mr. Marple, a 3rd grade teacher? Go ahead and click on the tweet symbol to see the reach of this tweet and the analysis of tweet symbol in right hand corner of the tweet.  Along with 228K retweets within five days, it shows tweet data analysis from tweeter HQ showing retweet from places as far as Antarctica.  Antarctica?? Wow!

Policies or procedures to maximize student Learning

 We must make sound policies and procedure such as: 

  • Using ongoing dialogue, encourage students to make informed decisions.   
  • Restrict access to harmful websites and social media to students during school hours by setting  parameter and safeguards on chosen Learning Management system.
  • Have clearly defined rules and consequences for deviating from the established rules. Be firm and fair when exercising the judgement.
  • Allow students to take personal responsibility for learning;  make learning to be a quest, not a drudge.
  • Involve all stockholders – students, teachers, parents, community -at-large in learning.  Discuss and make fair use policy for online learning available to them. Let us look at how one school district is making sure all stack holders are familiar with their Personalized Learning device guide by placing a link on the school website.  By reading and signing the device usage form, the onus for using the device for learning is on families, not just the teachers and administrators. 

 


* Prompt: 

Name this post: Participate 2 – Collecting Reputable Digital Resources

Next: Include the following in your blog

Research: Complete the web-based walkabout and collect and categorize sources of embed code, software, web tools, and services that make online teaching more engaging, efficient and effective.

Artifact: Describe the walkabout experience in your blog and add a link to the list of social-bookmarked resources compiled during the exploration.

Reflect: Based on the information learned in this lesson, answer the following questions.

  1. What were the three most useful tools or resources resulting from the web walkabout? Explain why you found them useful and include a link to each resource.
  2. How can students be taught to safely collect tools and resources that can help them maximize their learning?
  3. What policies or procedures might need to be in place to make the above item possible?

Georgia Virtual Professional LearningThis post is one in a series for a MOOC.  You can find similar posts by searching under the category MOOC or searching for hashtag #eteachertool

Participate 3 – Accessing Digital Learning Communities

ParticipateThis post is fulfilling a requirement for the Participate Module of Georgia Professional Learning .  In this section we have focused on a learner’s Access to Digital Community.  The goal of this post is  to describe the  levels of access to digital resources, barriers to them & how we can eliminate these barriers

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Disclaimers

I am thankful to Pew Reserch center for  Fact sheet on internet-broadband 

The sections on disability as a barrier to digital learning and how we can eliminate them borrows heavily from Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM).  The YouTube video is also from WebAIM. 

Some of the text is verbatim from source material.

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In the previous posts, we talked about digital citizenship and digital literacy.  Now, we will explore civility within the digital community.  Foundation of a civic society is community access to all citizen. With that in mind, First question we ask is: 

What types of barriers might impede students’ opportunities to access the digital Community?

United states of America (USA)  is considered a first world country where equality and fairness should allow all citizens equal opportunity to progress and achieve their dreams.  Unfortunately, though a noble concept in theory, it fails short of reality.   

Because of barriers such as disability, income disparity, home-school gap, age and internet connectivity students may not be able to access the internet.

Income Disparity & Rural Residential Area as Barriers Access to Digital Community  

According to The Pew Internet and American Life Digital Differences Report,

  • Racial minorities, older adults, rural residents and those with lower levels of education and income are less likely to have broadband service at home.  
  • Younger adults, non-whites and lower income Americans are more reliant on smartphones for internet access.

When faced with poverty,  paying bills and keeping roof over family takes precedence over being digitally connected.  Internet and healthcare are often casualties of keeping hunger at bay.  Though they may possess it the smartphone is not fully functional tool to carry out tasks such as taking tests online, submitting homework or creating an e-portfolio.  The learner may not have necessary tools such as personal learning device or broadband available at home.  The parent/guardian may not see the need for allowing a learner access to  internet.   As a result the learner will be  deprived of the access to digital community. 

Poverty or lack of home-school communication is not the only barrier.  In rural areas internet may not be available at all, be splotchy due to lack of available broadband or having too many tress on the property.  Our home is surrounded by many trees in a rural area.  The highest broadband we can receive in our area is 3 Mbps.  As you can see below, Ookla Speed Test gives our internet D+.  Some of our neighbors have to resort to paying for putting a small cell tower on their property for several thousands dollars.  Obviously, this option is not possible for everyone.

Image: result of Ookla Speed Test

Disability as a barrier to access to Digital Community: 

Until I researched for this assignment, I did not realize how much I take my ability of reaching out to digital community for granted.  To show what I am talking about, I would like to share a YouTube Video and the transcript of the video.

ASD Introduction to Web Accessibility Video Transcript

Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM)  works toward educating public of how disability hampers a learner from digital access as well as provides us with resources to remedy for that.  According to WebAIM, major disability of the web users usually falls in one of these catewgories:

  • Visual disability: Blindness, Nearsightedness, Color-blindness
  • Hearing disability: Deafness & hard of hearing
  • Motor disability: Inability to move mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control
  • Cognitive disability: Learning disability, distractibility, Inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information

Some of our learners are also faced with photo epilepsy or age related prepossessing issues.   

Once we are aware of the barriers, we must ask ourselves what might we do to eliminate such barriers?

Depending on the situation, we can work around barriers to the access to digital community. e.g.,   We can provide all students personal learning device which they can take home.  The educators can accommodate the students to upload assignments and study tools which they may be able to use offline at home.  Scheduling study hall(s) or extra study classes and allowing students access to robust internet before or after schools is another way schools can assist students access to digital community.  Local Public library is a good resource for digital access; unfortunately, many poor and rural learners are not able to fully utilize it. 

 As the students in above video suggests, little changes can go long way to assist our differently able learners and make life easy for them.

In September 2017, World Wide Web consortium, W3C, recommended accessibility guidelines based on four principles:

  1. Perceivable: Content should be available to all senses either through the browser or through the assistive technology e.g., screen readers, enlargers etc.
  2. Operable: Users can interact with all controls and interactive elements using either the mouse, keypad or an assistive device.
  3. Understandable: Content is clear and understandable. 
  4. Robust: A wide range of technologies including old and new user agents and assistive technology can access the internet.

Let look at these images below: which one is easier for you to read?  Which would our student with visual or perceptual concerns?

Be Kind. Use Common Sense. Stay vigilant & guard your privacy. Be mindful of your digital footprint. Collaborate & look for growth opportunities.                          -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

 

 

 

 

 

I rest my case.

The best barrier remover for the learner is an empathetic educator.  By making sure to fight for her learner’s rights to education, by acting as a coach to her students, a sensitive educator will ensure that her learners access to digital community.

 


Georgia Virtual Professional LearningThis post is one in a series for a MOOC.  You can find similar posts by searching under the category MOOC or searching for hashtag #eteachertool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              

Participate 1 – Character Traits

 

The goal of this assignment is to share 3 most impressive character traits of exemplary digital citizenship (EDC) & share what makes each of these characteristics worthy of recognizing & emulating.

Please note that when possible, I have used gender neutral pronoun they instead of he or she.

Online Learning is no longer a novelty.  In today’s classroom where flip learning, hybrid education and connected learning is a norm, a teacher must be prepared to guide their students in the intricacy of navigating the beauty and perils of digital education.  First step of delving into the digital world is to know what it means to become an exemplary digital citizen (EDC).  Let us briefly review characteristics of an EDC.

 

A digital community is one where participants interact with each other online.  A class blog, Google Doc, Social Media sites, email correspondence with a colleague and cross-continent collaboration using internet are some of the examples of digital communities.  Each person who uses electronic media within a community is a digital citizen. By practicing digital citizenship, one can communicate, navigate, and prosper in the digital world.   Dr. Mark Ribble identifies overarching characteristics of digital citizenship as respect, educate & communicate and protect.  He further breaks down these characteristics into nine elements. For a digital community to thrive, its citizens must conduct themselves as good neighbors. 

Just like in the real world, the virtual world has both exemplary citizens as well as online bullies, hecklers and hackers, identity thieves and others with malicious intent. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center shows that 80% of teens using social media have seen someone being cruel or mean to another.  I visited edublogger, Common Sense Media and International Society for Technology in  Education (ISTE) standards for teachers to get more information of digital citizenship.  Based on these and other sites, I came up with these three characteristics for exemplary digital citizen..

 

EDC Exercises Kindness, Self-respect & Respect for Diversity.

EDC Has a Thirst for Knowledge & Sharing.

EDC Honors Laws, Rules & Norms.

 

Kindness and self-respect goes hand in hand.  If each of us follow a 4-way test adopted by Rotarians, the community will become more harmonious; we will decrease instances of online bullying, gossiping and their aftereffects.  Before posting, sharing or selling anything online we should ask the following four questions and proceed only if the answer is yes to all.

 

 Rotarian 4 Way Test

Image from http://orangevillerotary.ca/rotary-international/four-way-test/

 

A self-respecting individual will always strive to do best for self and others.  They will make ethical decisions and will be transparent while interacting with others.  Having a healthy self-respect will also help a person become more cognizant of other’s feelings, culture & beliefs. e.g. While working on a collaborative project, my Jewish colleague is not available on the weekend.  Being an EDC, rather than getting upset for delaying the project, I will respect his belief in Sabbath and work around his availability.  Similarly, when my child does not return a text message immediately while hanging out with friends, I will remember that they are having fun and does not mean any disrespect towards me.  Obviously, I will check on them if I do not hear back within a reasonable amount of time to make sure they are okay.  In current political climate, being cognizant is crucial to carry out the discourse and stop hatred from spreading.

Having a thirst for knowledge and the enthusiasm to share the knowledge is what makes me a Mom, an educator & life-long learner.  I am also one of the people who reads the terms and conditions for an account before checking the “I accept” box.  By knowing my rights and responsibilities, I can make sure that I do not tread on anyone’s toes and do not come to harm or harm others.  Since technology is changing rapidly, continuing education and self-reflection are a must in the EDC’s toolbox. These tools will allow an EDC to keep abreast of technology and help out his students/family & self while facilitating knowledge sharing.  Please take a moment to view the You tube video  Students thoughts on Digital Rights & Responsibilities.  The video was made by office the Children’s eSafety Commissioner in Australia

 

 

An EDC knows and abides by digital laws, rules and norms of the vast digital community.  They knows that piracy issues and giving proper credit when due are equally true in both the digital and virtual worlds.  While working online one needs to protect themselves as well as others.  An EDC is protecting self, devices and community against hackers by taking steps such as not leaving computer open, having good passwords, installing and updating anti-virus programs on devices and reading the fine print before clicking “I accept”.  Often people hide behind anonymity of the net to harass, heckle and harm others.  While not engaging in every little skirmish, an EDC will stand up against wrongdoing(s) by reporting an unethical use, bullying and malware.   An EDC will adhere to the Roatarian’s pledge and teach their students for check for legal aspect of social media posts. They will  promote following message found in many of the classrooms.

 

Think Before You Post on Social Media
Image created using http://www.addletters.com

 

T – Is it True?

H – Is it Helpful or Hurtful?

I – is it Illegal?

N – Is it Necessary?

K – Is it Kind? 

 

 

 

I hope that you learned along with me while reading this post & reviewing my PowerPoint presentation.  Feel free to use anything from the post/presentation.  Just remember to be an exemplary digital citizen and give the proper credits.  Happy learning & teaching.

 

References:

http://www.openteachertraining.org/

http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html

http://www.pewinternet.org/2011/11/09/teens-kindness-and-cruelty-on-social-network-sites/

https://www.theedublogger.com/2017/01/20/copyright-fair-use-and-creative-commons/

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/cyberbullying/what-should-i-teach-my-kid-about-safe-online-behavior

http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/standards-for-teachers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHamPKNdI7o

 

Participate Capstone

 

 

Effective educator

 

 

 

When reviewing the blog posts and resources for Participation module of George Online Professional Learning, I realized that learning never stops for an educator.  Common sense rules still applies online.  The most important thing we need to remember is to be empathetic and effective educator online requires planning, organization and redirection of wayward students when needed.  Our action speaks louder than our intentions online just like in regular classroom.  Please click on following links to view the artifacts submitted for the Capstone.

Participate 1 – Ideal Digital Learning Communities

Participate 3 – Digital Resources and Netiquette 

Participate 4 – Digital Safety and Security 

Reviewer Choice Lesson for Participate

Participate Reflection

  

 

 

Create 3 – Open Educational Resources

 

 

Open Educational Resources

&

Creative Commons Licences 

 

This post discussing is created as a part of a Georgia Online Professional Learning course.

 

Wikipedia is one of the first online entities that proposed open learning concept

Once upon a time, all educational material and resources were tangible- books, microfilms, magazines and the reference librarian.  It was common sight to see the educators standing around a copying machine and lugging heavy textbooks for lesson planning.  Now a days, information is available online, at a click of a button.  We are no longer bound to books and paper copies of facsimiles of magazines to compile resources.  With privilege of information at the fingertips comes the right to educate ourselves to fair use of material. When we use the information that is not owned by us, we need to give proper credit and attribution.  It is a good idea to provide a link to original post or source as well. Not sure how to do it?  Help is closer than you think.  Go ahead and review the information The Edublogger has on Fair use of  Images, copyright and Creative Commons

Not enough time to review the edublogger article? 

That is fine.  Here is a  quick overview of CC licences from  Creative Commons website

 

 

 

 

You ask: What is an Open Educational Resource? 

Open Educational Resources is any educational and learning material that is:

  • Educational material or resources that is “open” = free to use as opposed to commercial / paid
  • In public domain or introduced with an Open licence
  • Material that can be used freely, adopted or modified and shared again
  • Some Example of OER: MOOCKhan Academy, CK-12, Harvard Open Learning Initiative

 

 

Open source material does not mean, we can use it without giving proper credit or attribution. 

Text Square

 

 

Create 2 – Web Tools for Differentiation of Teacher Instruction

This post is created as a part of Georgia Professional Learning course.  Creating differentiated instruction involves using best tools to make learning fun. We will discuss Desmos, a web 2.0 graphing calculator to facilitate student learning about marvelous mathematics.

 

Not to give away my age, but I learned to graph with paper and pencil. Graphic calculators were not out till I graduated from the college.  Graphing was tedious and time consuming. Teachers pulled their proverbial hair out when the students failed to grasp graphing function.  Then came graphing calculators and sanity everywhere was restored. Desmos graphing calculator with online presence and apps for android and iPad app is another example of technology making life interesting.

 

 

 

Desmos is a fantastic Online Graphic Calculator
Desmos

I am using Desmos to differentiate instruction in my Algebra 2 classroom. The ease of use and accessibility of Desmos as on the go instructional tool allows me to reach my students regardless of their comfort with mathematics.  With minimum fuss, the students can observe the rules of transformation in action while working at their own speed and I can assist them as needed without hurting their dignity.  

 

Let me share two screenshots from the concept Transforming Basic functions.

Parent Graph: y = X^2

Manipulating the graphs, no problem!  Having fun?  Definitely.

 

Parent Graph: y=x^3

Transformation of y= X^3 using Desmos , an online graphing calculator

As you can see, graphing is no longer boring task but can be a fun learn used in exit tickets, team competitions and real understanding of concepts.  Students can continue creating graphs while waiting for lunch to be over or little brother to come our of the school, they may go to Red Bubble and make $$ by selling their creations.  Students look forward to the summative assessment Desmos Art Project for Graphing Functions,  to show their prowess and earn bragging rights.  I can truly says that this tool has made math enjoyable for my kids and me.  I still can remember the day when my 14 year old student came early to class so he can show me the cool logo he created and share his knowledge with the class!  I was in teacher’s heaven that day. 

Create 2 – Web Tools for Differentiation of Student Assessment

Content, Process and Product can be differentiated online

This post is created as part of Georgia Online Professional Learning  course. Here, I will share an artifact to demonstrate how a web 2.0 tool can be used for differentiated instruction and assessment.

The content differentiation requires  educators to be proficient in the subject they are teaching and  know their students  to device the content geared toward the student’s abilities and interests. Process differentiation can be achieved easily with preplanning and organization. Product differentiation is the easiest of all three of them.   

 

By providing clear, detailed guidelines that the students must meet & concepts that they must illustrate to show their understanding of the content being studied, an instructor can differentiate the product that the students will look forward to producing with pride. 

 

Collaboration allows us to share and use tried and true artifacts from our colleagues rather than reinventing the wheels. During web walking, I came across Amy McNabb‘s post about  Desmos Graph Art Project which she has created and used in her class for differentiated summative assessment  The students are asked to show their content mastery of graphing basic functions by creating a picture using Desmos, an online graphing calculator.  Along with clear guidelines and a rubric, Amy has provided an example of the product to assist her students further.  She have used Google Form as an exit ticket to gauge student reaction about the project.  We can see that, the students find the project fun, challenging and have responded with gusto.  Please click on the link for the original blog post from Amy where she shows the some examples of art her students created using ingenuity and Desmos, a web 2.0 tool. What an excellent way to achieve differentiated assessment while inviting students to have fun.  Thank you, Amy McNabb, the Mathematician for sharing the project on your blog.

 

 

 

 

Create 2 – Web Tools

For this post we are tasked with exploring five instructional web tools that offer variety of opportunities for the learners. We also need to answer following questions:

What is the intended use for each tool?

How might you use each tool in online teaching?

How might a student use the tool?

Is there a cost associated with the tool

 

 

There is a plethora of web 2.0 tools available to an online educator.  Google Classroom is a learning management system in itself and allows an educator paperless instruction, grading and home-school collaboration. I will share six of the web tools I have used recently.

 

 

        Twitter 

Twitter

  • Twitter is a free social media micro blogging app that can be used for instruction, networking and professional development
  • Twitter for Teachers, a blog post by Kathy Schrock explains how an educator can use twitter in her classroom to maximize learning. To learn more, please refer to Stephanie Norman’s post on same topic. 

 

 

 

     Pixabay

Pixabay

  •  A no cost, copyright free images and videos for use in post, presentations & lessons and student assignments

Use of Safesearch filter blocks out violent and explicit images

All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.

 

 

 

     Prezi

Prezi

  • Prezi has a Zooming interface compared to a linear one in PowerPoint
  • Cloud based = mobile tool =  on the go access
  • Price varies from free with upgrade possibilities and educator discounts
  • An educator can use Prezi for delivering instruction with an oomph and as an assessment tool.
  • Students can use this web tool for collaboration and showing their content mastery just as I have done Show & Tell section of this post

 

 

Remind

Remind App

  • A messaging app with very good privacy settings that allows files and media attachment send with real time text messages to individual, group or selected recipients
  • Free for an individual educator, available to purchase for whole school use Educators can use this app for sending announcements, assignments and important information home.
  • Students & Parents can use Remind  for keeping things on track.

 

     

 

    Coogle

Coogle is one of the content mapping and  Mindmap tools Coogle_Mindmap Toolwhere we can easily drag-and-drop  icons & images from desktop to diagram

  • Cost:  Individual account: 3 private & unlimited public diagram free, with ability to upgrade,Organization account  for $5-8 /month; Schools can get in touch with customer service to set up bulk accounts that can work with school firewalls and directory authentication.
  • To see it in action, please click on my post  Create 1 – Content Map

 

Symbaloo:

  • Free, bookmarking tool that can be accessed across the platform 
  • Easy Sharing, Collaboration & following other educators 
  • Students can use this bookmarking tool for easy access to instruction & creating projects.
  • I have  bookmarked some of the web 2.0 tools & created the Symbaloo here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

Create 1 – Appearance

Discovery Education
Image: Discovery Education

 

You are in beautiful New York City for a conference and  looking forward to listening to the dynamic Rita F. Pierson this afternoon. You decide to soak up the city’s cultural offerings during the lunch.  Would you rather visit a cluttered, dilapidated and shabby museum or an aesthetically pleasing, visually stimulating Guggenheim?  The rule about appearance, functionality and presence is true for websites, buildings and people. 

 

 Standard Fonts and color choice aided with Arrangement of material including text poppers, White Space, videos, visuals and isolation of some text with text images will enhance the website.

 

When exploring instructional websites, we can see that some of them adhere to  sound design ideals while others ignore them relying on content alone.  Here is a representative samples of each:

 

Cluttered and Uninviting Instructional Websites:

 

MIT Open Course Website

 

Canvas

MIT Open Courseware

Carnegie Melon Open Learning Initiative

Film and Technical Institute of India

 

These websites show poor color choice, seem cluttered and have little white place. The poor design elements may make it harder for visually impaired readers to get best out of the content. The design may  overwhelm the senses and put off readers to dig deeper despite the excellent content they provide. 

 

Instructional Websites with Sound Designs Elements:

 

 

GA Dept of Education Website
                                                                 Image: Georgia Dept of Education

 

ck-12

Khan Academy

Georgia Standards   

American Association of School Librarians

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Princeton University

These websites have pleasant text design, fonts and visuals. Balance of text, white space and sound design elements invites readers to explore these sites further.  

 

 

    

Create 1- Content Map

Content mapping is a useful skill for an online educator.  The educator can use it for outlining the concept being studied for helping with creating a lesson plan and timeline of how they may deliver the content.  There are many online tools available for content mapping.  After experimenting with Bubbl.us  and Mindmap tools reviewed by Saikat Basu, I choose to create my content map for Graphing a function using Coggle.  This content map shows the topics I will cover for the unit; it does not show the time line or assessment and participation tools I will use to gauge students’ content mastery.  My next step in lesson planning will be reviewing the resources, reflection on instructions from last time I taught Graphing function, assembling assessment and collaborating with my team for delivery of the content.

 

Graphing Functions: Content Map

Create 1- Time Management

Georgia Virtual Professional LearningThis post is one in a series for a MOOC.  You can find similar posts by searching the category Georgia Online Professional Learning or searching for hashtag #eteachertool for more about this MOOC.  

Here, we will talk about five time management tools, their use and relevance to the online world.  We will look at how each of these tools is used and if it is used for personal or professional use.

 

 What is Time Management ?

Why should an educator care about it.

 

Until We can Manage time, We can manage nothing else. - Peter Druker

Time turners and science fiction tales aside, regardless of one’s’ station in life, each person has only 24 hours in a day.  I am no exception to this fact of the life. Time management allows an educator proper work-life balance. There are many online time management tools available: some are specific to the educators while others are available to any interested digital citizen. These tools, when used efficiently will allow an educator to maximize their time while planning lessons, establishing schedule and collaborating with colleagues to deliver the content and become a proficient educator.  The tools I am sharing below are used by me in both professional and personal scope.

 

Google Calendar:

Google Calendar Logo

Google Calendar is master calendar; I have a school calendar and personal one aggregated in a single calendar by using it.  I can share it with others and others can share their Google Calendars with me which makes creating an event which fits everyone’s schedule an easy job. It is integrated with Gmail.  As it is available on anywhere internet is available, I can use it on different platform including on my phone.  I can use it for task list, appointments and get reminders to keep me on track. It has a search feature (Not a big surprise as the Google Calendar is a Google product after all).  

 

Daily Planner:

Daily Progess

Time Management- 7 minutes a time

With Google Calendar, I prefer to use a daily planner for creating lists and checking them off  to keep everything on track.  After using many different planners over the years, I came across a complete time management system developed by Allyson Lewis, 7 Minute Life Daily Planner. Though I use the notebook version, it is also available as an online device.  This planner focuses me to prioritize my goals, keeps me connected with my stakeholders and energizes me to take care of my health. Which other planner on market has a space for tasks you need to accomplish today,  list of emails you need to send, the expense tracking, the calls you need to make and daily appointments?  It fits both my personal and professional needs.  I heartily recommend this planner to everyone. 

Note taking & Content Management:

Not long ago, you would have found me lugging a rolling cart to and from the school each day.  Not any more. Now I use Dropbox. 

 

Dropbox LogoWith Dropbox I can share large documents securely which is not always possible via  email. The basic Dropbox account gives me 2 GB space for free with choice of update for a monthly or yearly fee.  I can sync files across the devices giving me freedom to work on them from home or work without worrying about saving documents and bringing them from one place to another.  Finally, with Dropbox, I can shared folders and links with colleagues and collaborate with them in real time.  As a mom, an educator & a learner, Dropbox is an essential streamlining tool.   You may also wish to consider OneNote and Evernote- other good tools that is used to take notes, clip website material and carry them across the windows and Mac platform on different devices.  ‘s October 2017 Computer World review may help you to decide   if Evernorte or OneNote is a better choice for you.

 

 

Staying connected with Parents on Short Notice:

Parents are integral part of success of my students. Using Google for Classroom allows me to stay in touch with my parents.  Access to Skyward,  E mails and newsletters are good But what if we are on a field trip? What about if we are coaching a team or planning an event? I recommend Remind app for classroom use and First Touch app for coaches.  Both remind and First Touch requires parents/ students to receive a class-code to activate the account.  Both allows for use of phone for contact between the educator & 

Remind App is used more for classroom use. It is safer as Personal contact information stays private. Phone numbers aren’t exchanged between teachers, students, and parents. Students below 13 years are required to use their parent’s contact information rather than their own. 

Remind App
Image Source: Remind

Sending real time text messages to phone of an individual, selected people or everyone in the group 

Allow the educator to see who has or has not read the messages 

Send attachments with the messages & Receive replies from the group.

 

 

First Touch App for Teams
Image Source: First Touch

 

First Touch is more geared toward Teams.  Team or organization must be registered for First Touch.  The app protects privacy because only coaches, players and family members have login access. It may be less secure than Remind App. Lets look at its features at a glance.  

 

 

First Touch App at a Glance
Images Source: First Touch

Navigate 1 – Commercial vs. Open Source Virtual Classrooms

I am writing this post  for Navigate unit of Georgia Professional Online teaching course.  Here, we will compare commercial versus open source software with respect to synchronous learning in a virtual classroom.

In a previous post, we observed that in a virtual classroom,  Synchronous Learning takes place when both educator and students interact together at the same time using tools such as:

  • Video Conference/Skype / WhatsApp Group video Chat
  • Live Screenshot /Live whiteboard
  • Live Classroom/
  • Instant message / Chat
  • Facebook Live

 

These software may be commercial or open source.  Even Though, usually the school district decides which kind of software is allowed in a classroom, an educator should be familiar with them.  

 

 

Often, the combination of open and commercial softwares are used to provide maximum benefits to students.   

What are the issues when choosing between Open Source vs. Commercial Software?

Cost, control over the software, ease of use, security, training required to operate as well as maintain the software and support are some of the issues when choosing between open source versus commercial software.  Below we are comparing some of these attributes.

What is the Open Source Vs Commercial Software

 

When would an open source application take precedence over a commercial product?

The Open Source  Software will take precedence over the commercial software when both have same ease of use and requires similar expertize to use and maintain them but the commercial will cost more while open software will save $$ to the educational institution.  Let us concentrate on Video Conference as Synchronous application using the comparison table from GA Professional Learning.

 

Synchronous Learning Tool

Looking at the information above, at this time BigBlueButton, an open source software for a video conference seems like a good choice over multiple commercial softwares available for the same purpose.