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 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. 

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 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.