Part 1: A Shift in Perspective Part 2: Before Going 1:1 Part 3: Learning Environment Part 4: Classroom Management
The Rules of the Internet
I once read that the two rules of posting content to the Internet are:
- Be informative
- Be entertaining
- Better yet, be both!
One of the most important jobs of teachers is to prepare students to be responsible adults. Technology is only going to increase in access and ubiquity. If we want students to be responsible with technology and use the Internet as more than just a repository for selfies and cat videos, we need to help shape a student’s digital footprint. If students learn how they can post positive digital content about their learning, they will see the true power of the Internet. And imagine the increase in motivation and quality of work if a student knows their work will be posted in a far more public forum than a teacher’s eyes! With your help, students can be both entertaining and informative!
We as teachers have been very cautious when posting things online, asking for parent permission, and not giving students the opportunity to interact online in an authenticate way. Whether that is because we are scared of what they might post online or the safety concerns that parents have, we decide that kids need to play in a digital sandbox with gigantic concrete walls separating them from the real world. But when they go home, those walls are gone.
If you are concerned about privacy, talk with your principal. Err on the side of caution and communicate with parents before anything is posted online. Use first names when referring to students. Take photos that don't include the faces of your students. To reassure teachers, Shakopee does have an opt-out photo policy so parents must communicate with their student’s principal if they do not want their student’s picture posted online.
Once you’ve covered your bases, record student videos and post them to YouTube. Or better yet, start a class blog! Students can reply to topics, create their own, and receive feedback from other educators or students for around the world. Great platforms for class blogs are Blogger, Kid Blog, or Edublogs. Once your class is 1:1, students can post and create media that can be created, reflected on, and shared with the world! Imagine connecting your class with a class on another continent, sharing your local experiences and comparing the differences. Now that is where technology truly transcends replacing pencil and paper!