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

*************

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.

****************

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

  

 

 

Participate 4- Digital Rights & Responsibilities

ParticipateFor Civility section of the participate module of Georgia Online Professional Learning Course, we are asked to reflect on Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and formulate a plan for supporting and protecting a Digital Learning Community through Digital Rights and Responsibilities.

In a just and fair world, everyone will be kind, will not encroach on another’s rights and earn their pay.  Alas! We do not live in an ideal world.  Both the digital world and real world are have their share  of predators that will not blink before harming others.  Internet provides a cloak of anonymity where bullies, identity thieves and “vultures” may prey on vulnerable netizens.  It is the responsibility of digital citizens to protect themselves by not sharing their social security number, bank accounts or other identifying information online.  They must be aware of norms and laws of the DLC as well as practice digital vigilance.

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

The best way to establish and maintain a flourishing DLC where citizens understand, observe, and are inclined to willingly support and ultimately benefit from Digital Rights and Responsibilities is having a viable acceptable use policy (AUP) in place and enforced it after it is read, understand and signed by each member of the DLC.

 

What is Acceptable Use policy?
Image created using: www.quotescover.com

 

For further discussion of AUP, please visit Common sense Media to observe steps of envisioning, communicating with stakeholders and implementing an AUP.  Next,  Infosec Institute talks about the essentials of an AUP.  Finally,  Dougherty County School System (DCSS) has an excellent AUP for safe and proper use of computer and internet users of DCSS. 

By continuing discourse with our students, inviting them into the decision making process and role modeling,  we can ensure that citizens within the community have access to an environment where an AUP  protects members as well as the community itself, where individuals uphold laws, and a cooperative/collective venture provides robust, safe, and ethical resources and opportunities for learning.  

The youtube video below shows how an efficient educator, Ms. Bailey, engages her students to explore Fair use and copyright in a digital world.     

 

Protecting intellectual property & giving proper attribution is sometimes hazy.  Who has the ownership of a content created while creating curriculum for a class?  Is the content created for teaching a lesson to students a part of the curriculum district property or should they benefit financially for that? In this case, knowledge of the district policy is required.  For a student project, I would like to review this YouTube video with my students: 

 

 

 

 


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

 

Georgia Virtual Professional Learning


Additional Resources:

The Library of Congress resource, Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright explains the basics of U.S. Copyright Law.


The U.S. Copyright Office offers answers to frequently asked questions about copyright.


Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for digital content creators.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s informative Fair Use FAQ webpage explains how Fair Use works.


Common Sense Media’s Acceptable Use Policies
 suggests helpful universal guidelines for developing AUPs.

 


Participate 3 – Digital Resources & Netiquette

Participate

Netiquette = Net + Etiquette

Netiquette refers to the code of behavior expected from a digital Citizen.  Civility section of Participate Module for Georgia online Teacher Training discusses good netiquette.  

Let us take a moment to review Netiquette.   As an exemplary digital citizen we should always aspire to use good netiquette in each of our online interactions including commenting on other bloggers’ posts.

In Nutshell, Netiquette refers to being kind, considerate and using good old commons sense.

 


This post is one in a series for Georgia Professional Online Learning Course aimed at educators..  You can find similar posts by searching for hashtag #eteachertool

5 Units in GA Online Professional Learning

Participate 4 – Digital Safety & Security

This post reviews best practices for Vigilance & Digital Safety while participating in the digital learning community.

Children in England sign over digital rights ‘regularly and unknowingly’Guardian

 

We teach our kids to be kind, look both sides of a street when crossing a road, guarding their privacy and being beware of the strangers.  We need to teach them that interacting in digital community requires same common sense rules and vigilance as in real world.  

World Economic Forum suggests that we teach children 8 digital Life skills:

8 digital life skills all children need We have talked about Netiquette and Digital Health in previous posts. I have created this artifact to Teach Students about Digital Safety & Security using Smore

 

 

How might my artifact be implemented in a learning environment?

The best way to implement this artifact in a learning environment is by listening to our kids, talking to them with respect (not patronizing tone) and using the EDGE method used in Boy Scouts of America.  Rather than preaching the students about digital vigilance, I will use the flyer as a jumping point and ongoing reminder.  I will educate/explain them about need of digital vigilance by posting the flyer in prominent place in my classroom and sharing it with colleagues.  The need for cyber safety & security will be stressed on via visiting resources such as common sense media and discussion of news including identity theft and cyber bullying. By practicing cyber vigilance in classroom as well as partnering with parents & colleagues we will allow the students exploration and ownership of digital vigilance.


This post is one of the series of post for Georgia Online Professional Training.  For this post I am creating an artifact that addresses the following:

  1. What is the most important steps we can take in terms of ensuring our digital safety?
  2. What strategies can we take to help our students consistently keep digital safety in the forefront of their minds?

 

 

Participate 4 – Digital Health

Digital Health Section of GA Online Teacher Training, Participate module 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 create a Digital Calendar, that 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.

 Thak you.

 

Participate 3 – Accessing Digital Learning Communities

This 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 the two images below: which one is easier for you to read?  Which would our student with visual or perceptual concerns?

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the best barrier remover for the learner is empathetic educator.  By making sure to fight for her learner’s rights to education, a sensitive educator will make ensure her learners access to digital community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              

Participate 1 – Ideal Digital Learning Communities

This is Third post in a series for Participate Module of the Georgia Online Teacher Training.  In the first two posts, we explored Character Traits of an Exemplary Digital Citizen (EDC) and Joining an ideal Digital Learning Community (DLC).   The goal of this post is to consider following questions regarding an ideal digital learning community:

  1. What would be needed to create an ideal digital learning community?
  2. What would be needed to bring such a vision to fruition?
  3. What can one do to make an existing DLC more attractive to and welcoming for students and teachers?

 

An ideal DLC will be reputable and knowledgeable,  geared toward specific content and will provide constructive feedback to the learners in a timely manner.  It will come to fruition by having interconnectedness among connected educators, empowered students & adherence to guidelines and laws of the community.  The ideal DLC needs exemplary digital citizens united by a common goal.  By providing excellent service at no cost to the students, following national guidelines for the content and the helping its members with well designed personal learning network, the ideal DLC will be attractive to & welcoming to the stakeholders.  Khan Academy and Google Educator Groups are two of the examples of ideal DLC serving needs of  students and educators respectively.  

Ideal DLC is interconnected

Lets us break down each of the components of this interconnected community.

 

The Connected Educators will have a well developed personal learning network which they will broaden to be the best version of themselves.

  • They are student-centered educators. They will have content mastery, global perspective & empathy for their students. They will be firm & fair; will hold their students to highest expectations & provide students necessary tools to succeed.
  • They will have through knowledge of  state and national standards for the subject & grade bands they are teaching.
  • They will continue professional development via collaborations with colleagues from same building as well as from across the globe. They will seek out the opportunities & mentors as well as will be willing to mentor other educators & and students alike.

 

Empowered students will be provided with well constructed resources, accurate material and an easy access to the content.

  • They will be given clear guidelines & goals for the content being studied.  The education will be tailored a student’s needs.  Hands-on activities requiring critical thinking skills as well as learning of the fundamentals will be the norm.
  • They will have an opportunity for self-paced, individualized learning as well as collaboration and group work.  The lessons will be for specific topics rather than a broad survey of the content. .
  • They will have access to free digital learning, instant feedback and clearly defined assignments.  They will earn achievement badges and grades as learning is progressed.  

 

Laws & Clear Guidelines will be be provided for each member of the community. 

  • The guidelines will be based on national standards for the content.  
  • The clearly defined guidelines will allow a learner to know if he needs progress, is continuing learning or have achieved the content mastery. A learner will receive grades and / or awards upon achievements and consequences for noncompliance to the guidelines. 
  • The laws will be aimed to protect the citizens from harm & provide proper credit.  The digital citizen will be expected to know the laws governing the community. 

 

 

 

Participate 1 – Joining a DLC

The goal of this assignment is to explore different Digital Learning Communities (DLC) and join one of the reputable DLC which aligns with my interests.

 

http://www.openteachertraining.org/ defines digital learning communities as technologically supported environments designed to foster rich instructional and learning experiences.

As an educator who will be charged with teaching tech savvy 21st century learners, I must continue to learn about best practices in classrooms.  Fortunately with advances in technology, we are not limited to continue education classes or conferences to gain knowledge and collaborate with colleagues to better serve our students.  From our kitchen chair we can collaborate, communicate and exchange ideas with peers by joining a digital learning community.  Joining a reputable DLC allows us to work with people with similar interest in safe environment regardless of geographical distance, age or background.

From plethora of available digital communities, choosing one to join is not an easy task.  I decided to explore several DLCs.  My guideline for defining a DLC as reputable is:

  • Safe to use and is available to all students when needed
  • Ability to seamless transition of learning from DLC to classroom environment
  • Opportunity for respectful communication, collaboration & creation
  • Longevity & zero to a limited number of negative reviews
  • Expansion of cultural perspectives & inclusion
  • Scope for wider Personal Learning Network 

 

Choices! Choices!

Information overload is a side effect of easy access to abundant material.  In order to stay sane & manage my time wisely, it was important to bookmark some of the pages I like & use them as jumping off point.  I based my bookmarking on student-central learning by choosing them from  one or more of following categories: 

Category Example
Hands-on Activity, self-paced Makers, DIY & PBS design Squad
Academic Content Reinforcement & Enrichment Khan Academy MIT Free Online Courses
Cultural Exploration, other voices TED talks, Hindi Kavita & 100 great speeches
Getting tool for Educator Toolbox Continuous everywhere, EdShelf & edublogs
Classroom Tool Desmos
Hobbies Cooking

 

I have compiled these bookmarks in a Symbaloo below.  Go ahead & click on one of the tiles.  Please note that the Symbaloo does not allow for the tagging and annotation of bookmarks.  At this point, I would like to remind you that the information provided in the links are property of the respective administrator / owner; the views presented on these websites does not represent my views.

 

Tough Decision to Choose a Reputable DLC

I am going back to classroom after several years.  After scrutinizing several options, I decided to join the edublogs community.  It has tiered accessibility; educators can explore the community at no cost, get a free blog or update it to a pro blog.  With over 4 million members since 2005, it has a reputation for being empowering to the educators.  It is supposed to be safe to use, guided by educator ethics and  International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Teachers (ISTE Standards•T).  As a member of joining this community, I am able to expand my Professional Learning Network and connect with colleagues from different disciplines. e.g., by joining the Educator Personal Blog Challenge, I have added an essential tool,  the digital presence,  in my teacher toolbox, increased  knowledge of  Creative Commons and attributions  & cool tools to use for instruction.  Though I am not in a classroom at the moment, via edublogs community, I am mentoring students from around the world for 100 Word Challenge & Student Blogging Challenge.  I am in process of collaborating with several educators for guest blogging on each other’s sites.  Most impressive advantage of Edublogs is that by providing safe platform, ongoing support, access to class blogs and student blogs,  it empowers teachers to make process of joining a DLC more appealing and easier for students. 

 

 

Georgia Online Professional Learning

Are you ready for the New Wave? Personalized Learning

 

Education is always evolving organically.  We have come a long way from writing on papyrus to using personal learning devices.  The use of iPad, graphing calculators and mobile devices in a classroom is a norm.   Virtual schools are becoming a viable alternative to brick and mortar Schools.  As a result of these changes in instructional delivery, the educators must  keep honing their skills to teach net savvy students. In addition to having content mastery and good classroom management skills, we must be an exemplary digital citizen  and be prepared to deliver the instruction in online environment. 

 

Sit still = Get Run Over

 

When I read the above precept, I knew that I can’t be sitting on my laurels; I must continue to equip myself with knowledge so I can serve my students and bring my A-game to classroom.  My quest to become a Proficient  Instructor lead me to the Effective Online teaching course designed by Georgia Virtual Learning and offered by GA Department of Education.  This course is designed to challenge educators to step out of their comfort zone & act as students.  By exploration, research & implementation, I am required to learn, to adapt & to apply the knowledge learned in this class in my own classroom.  Just like students in our classes, while mastering the content of the course,  I will be earning badges as a result of my exploration & achievement in the course.  These badges are: 

 

GA Online Professional Learning
         Online Professional Learning Quest

 

                 Participate

                Navigate

                Communicate

                Create

                Evaluate

 

 

 

Come & join me in my journey of being on other side of the desk, becoming a student once again.

 

If you choose to use any of my content for your blog or use, please make sure to give the credit to me & link to my post.

 

Thanks.  Yours in Learning,

Mrs. Trivedi-Ziemba

 

Georgia Professional Learning Quest image source: http://www.openteachertraining.org/

Newspaper Headline and Chalkboard images created using http://www.addletters.com/

 

 

 

 

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 PPT 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