Major Learning Project Update: Vlog #1

This will be a brief update as I am going to be taking you on a tour of some of the things that I have accomplished on my Major Learning Project.  The past month has been crazy, to say the least.  Texas for an edtech conference, wedding planning, dealing with a car accident, and the Major Digital Project! The majority of my time has been collecting information.   Through research, connecting with people on Twitter, and through connections that I have made at the TCEA conference, I was in Texas.

The past couple of weeks I have focused on organizing some interviews, and have dove into exploring Seesaw. I thought that it would be in my best interest to explore Seesaw by becoming a Seesaw Ambassador.  This 3-hour course breaks down Seesaw to all the levels.  I learned more about using Seesaw to reach a global audience through the Seesaw Blog.  I am excited to explore this option as if done properly could promote an abundance of Mike Ribble’s Digital Citizenship Elements.  I will be highlighting some of the key learning pieces through becoming a Seesaw Ambassador, and I will be showing how you can become a Seesaw Ambassador as well.

I have some big plans ahead that include some videos/podcasts, some educational TikTok plans, and some Wakelet collections to share.  Be sure to check out these TikTok Tips that I have highlighted in the video below!

Check out my vlog below to see what I have been up to with my Major Digital Project.

Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, and a Critical Questions on TikTok

This far into my major project I have been compiling information on Wakelet, Seesaw, and TikTok.  Be sure to check out the continued progress of the work that I am compiling on my second website, Curtis Bourassa’s Edtech Reviews. Over the past couple of weeks, I have begun to branch out and approach teachers about each one of the apps that I am studying.  In addition, I have gone to PD sessions for some of the apps that I am studying and building off of the connections and resources that I have made. 

Last week we learned about Mike Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship.  These elements help provide a framework for me to use these apps in the educational setting.  I will be following Jennifer Casa-Todd’s format of how to implement these tools into Education from her book, SocialLEADia.  I will highlight how my tools can be used in accordance with Mike Ribble’s Nine Elements.  

  • Digital access 
  • Digital communication
  • Digital Law
  • Digital security
  • Digital commerce
  • Digital health and wellness
  • Digital literacy
  • Digital etiquette 
  • Digital rights and responsibilities 

These digital elements can apply to many online tools or apps. Using Ribble’s framework will “help direct questions and your teaching when practicing digital leadership”.

Seesaw

  • Connect with students and other classes from around the world, and create a global classroom (Digital Communication)
  • Recognize that not everyone has access to the technology, or that the access is not equal access. (Digital Access)
  • Even young students can learn how to use technology appropriately by commenting and responding thoughtfully in a controlled environment (Digital Etiquette)
  • Ask thoughtful and critical questions when are not sure of someone’s content of questions (Digital Communication)

Wakelet

  • Students have the ability to curate their own resources.  This could provide the opportunity for students to look at in-depth their resources.  To determine if their resources are credible and reliable. (Digital Literacy)
  • Students will have the ability to collaborate on resources together.  Or send resource lists to each other. (Digital Communication)
  • Students will use material ethically, including citing sources appropriately.  (Digital Rights and Responsibilities)

TikTok

  • Provide content in a meaningful way, get students to determine the purpose of their content. (Digital Communication, Digital Etiquette) 
  • Look at in-depth terms of service agreements, and privacy policy.  What does this app track, how is it using my data? (Digital law, digital literacy, digital security)
  • Understand that anyone can see our post even if they are not following us.  (Digital Security)
  • Understand and set up guidelines for using TikTok, appropriate time and place, using (Digital health and wellness)
  • By using the digital wellbeing portion of the app users can limit screen time and restrictive content within TikTok. 
  • Understanding and reporting inappropriate use, or content on TikTok (Digital Rights and Responsibilities)

As educators, the connections above list some of the practices we would want our students to follow as a (digital) citizen in the above apps mentioned. When it comes to teaching students, as Jennifer Casa-Todd states, this is based on what we want students to know but we have to be explicit about what we are teaching. 

Major Project Update

Within my major digital project, I am spending a lot of time researching and exploring TikTok. I am struggling to find an appropriate way personally to rationalize TikTok used as an educational app. This is due to the questionable content that is found within the app. However, I also realize that the majority of middle year to high school students are users of TikTok.  Therefore it provides an opportunity for education and learning opportunities for TikTok. I have reached out to some teachers that are using TikTok in the classroom. On one of my early morning commutes to work, I decided to listen to The House of Edtech one of my educational podcasts focusing on edtech, the episode, TikTok for Teachers and #TikTokEDU. I then went on to look more in-depth on how these teachers are using TikTok in the classroom.  I ended up following Jeremy Rinkel, and reaching out regarding some future questions I have of using TikTok in education. 

Here are some other TikTok teachers/students to explore on TikTok. 

  • Brooke Pavek: A High School Senior Student who creates creative videos that could be directly linked to curricular outcomes in many areas.  Check out this TIME article showcasing some of Brooke’s creative work.
  • Brooke Rogers: a Middle School English teacher, who creates teacher content and student content. 
  • Jeremy Rinkel: A High School English Teacher, who creates content for students and teachers. 

After listening to the podcast what really stood out to me was that many of these teachers are not just creating content for their students, but they are trying to build relationships with students through TikTok.  What are your thoughts about teachers building relationships through social media such as TikTok? 

How can students provide meaningful content on Twitter such as Brooke Pavek?    Can teachers provide quality supplemental learning experiences such as the Instituteofhumananatomy, melscience, or chemteacherphil.  Can the learning objective be achieved in a different setting, such as Flipgrid, or a contained YouTube video?  Would students be as engaged in the content if it was not on TikTok?  I still have big questions regarding navigating TikTok in educational spaces as I believe this is still a grey area, filled with potential privacy issues with use in the classroom.

Let me know what you think about TikTok in the classroom.

Check out this great TikTok video by chemteacherphil:

@chemteacherphilWait for it… your patience will be rewarded. #chemistry #chemteacherphil #scienceismagic♬ Zero Gravity – Louie Zong

https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js

How Should Schools Change?

The culture of education in school has changed.  Even since I have left as a student in 2012.  I believe as I had stated in a previous blog post, “Learning and Unlearning”, teachers are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge.  Students have access to knowledge through the internet.  Educators must become facilitators of learning. Too often we see teachers that are stuck in their ways, that have used classroom content that is no longer relevant, or teachers may not keep up to the best teaching practice of today’s age.  These are problematic problems that are happening in our schools.  However, we must also be mindful of how the teaching has changed.  Are we providing opportunities and support for our teachers to take risks and to find relevant content? Are we focusing too much on the content of our teaching or the process of learning?  How can we move students from knowledgeable to knowledge-able?

As educators, we need to shift how we teach students from teaching content to teaching students how to learn.  The Landscape of Learning provides educators many different resources for how to introduce and teach the following skills.

  • Craft Meaningful questions
  • access and apply useful information from resources (information literacy)
  • How to think creatively and critically to solve problems
  • Reflection

Many teachers are still working on unlearning traditional practices such as daily homework, and lecture-based instruction.  For change, there needs to be buy-in from teachers.  Teachers need to be on-board and want to change.

I believe that teachers need to leverage technology as a vehicle for learning.  Many teachers are still using technology as a “one time experience”.  This does not provide opportunities for students to grow or continue their learning.  By using a framework such as the SAMR model and the ITSE standards for students and teachers it can provide teachers with direction to use technology appropriately for their learners.

Teachers are often reluctant to try new tools, or opportunities because they are afraid of failing.   We discussed the terms digital native and digital citizen in-depth in class, and the problematic nature of these terms.  As Leigh wrote about in her blog post, “Some People were born knowing how to use technology without needing to be taught and others do.” Furthermore, I believe this is problematic because many of our students do not have access to this technology outside of school.  These terms are also very superficial.  Many students are aware and understand technology, but they may not understand how the code works, or how the app interacts with our personal data.  We live in an era in which we can make connections that were never possible before.  We can connect students to each other, as educators, we can grow our practices by connecting through tools such as Twitter or by sharing Open Educational Resources (OERs) all which would have been difficult to accomplish in prior generations.

When I think of this question I think back to the traditional classroom. Students in rows, a teacher at the front, students quiet.  Yes, there still may be appropriate times for this to take place.  But effective learning studies have shown otherwise.   If we provide opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning such as “self-reported grades“, or provide learning opportunities such as the “jigsaw method” these teaching practices have shown that students will be more successful according to John Hattie.

In our curriculum, we have outcomes that refer to the content of what we are teaching students.  As a society, we need to take a step back and look at the skills that we are teaching students.  These goals are found in the front of our curriculum.  We want to teach our students to become lifelong learners, develop a sense of self, community, and place, and to be an engaged citizen.  If we follow Michael Wesch’s concept of knowledge-able we can put a focus on these bigger goals inside our curriculum. Combining these opportunities with the standards laid out by ISTE provides a framework that I try to follow as an educator.  How are you trying to improve your practice as an educator to more from knowledgeable to knowledge-able?