So I’ve been adding up all of my learning throughout this course and to get my learning sum… I mean summary.
So without any more terrible math jokes here’s my summary of learning:
Created with https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/What-Do-We-Want
Can you imagine any parents or teachers saying that they want kids to grow up to be irresponsible citizens online or “in real life”? I certainly can’t. Even before the need to worry about students actions online, education was part of teaching the next generation to be responsible productive members of society. Now education is realizing that now also includes needs to include an online society, that as we have learned throughout our ECI832 course, “never forgets”. So we need to teach students early so that they can create a positive digital footprint.
Students need to understand what it means to be a digital citizen and what it can mean for their future. We want students to choose to act responsibly, but we need to teach them what that actually means online.
My school division definitely promotes digital citizenship. We have a great set of digital citizenship resources collected and created by teachers and technology leaders from our school division we can access. They are even broken down into grade level lessons, making it easy to take and teach about digital citizenship.
Another important thing to understand is that students should not only be responsible, but they can use their voice to stand up and be digital leaders. When we listen, students have a lot to say and want to make a difference, but often don’t know how to do so. As teachers we can help them to make choices that can promote and create positive change.
One important aspect teaching digital citizenship is being a role model. If we want youth to make positive choices we need to show them examples of this.
Now where this gets interesting is to the extent that teachers are expected to showcase role model behaviours. As my classmates and I were reminded during one of our night classes, teachers are expected to be on their best behaviour at all times, including online. Even our code of ethics says as much, looking at “6.2.1 To act at all times in a way that maintains the honour and dignity of the individual teacher and the teaching profession.”
STF Code of Professional Ethics from https://www.stf.sk.ca/resource/code-professional-ethics
We were joined by STF’s president Patrick Maze for our night class on March 6th and we discussed the STF’s position about teachers as digital citizens. During the class the code of ethics was discussed and depending on the interpretation of this document ones actions could be interpreted as following or not following these rather vague statements. For example, posting or being tagged in pictures or videos that depict activities that some believe to be not fitting of “6.2.1” could potentially get a teacher in some hot water. We talked about some cases in which teaches got in trouble or even lost their job, typically in the US, from activities that adults are legally allowed to do, such as consuming alcohol.
Even photos of teachers at the beach can potentially be an issue. A 2016 article from the Ottawa Citizen from shares that “A guideline on personal social media use handed out to some teachers in Ottawa’s public school board last week[November 2016] warns against posting pictures involving drugs, alcohol or “scantily clad” photos on the beach.” Although the article explains that a teacher posting pictures at the beach may not end up getting the teacher in trouble, it’s safer to not post as there is potential for problems. Patrick Maze also warned against posting or being tagged in these types of photos as Saskatchewan teachers.
Part of our discussion with Patrick Maze that stuck out that night was “If students are not allowed to do something should teachers be allowed to do it?” Students are not of age to legally consume alcohol, but adults are, however for teachers this may be iffy especially if this is posted on social media. Should teachers be expected to only do things students are allowed to even if adults are allowed to? What is fair to expect of teachers?
image from GIPHY
Another interesting aspect of our discussion that night was teachers sharing and standing up for their beliefs online. It’s important to stand up for what is right, but when others have differing views this too can put a teacher in the hot seat. What I took from this portion of our discussion is for teachers to be choosy and stand up for things that they feel are important enough that they are willing to potentially deal with blowback for.
It’s important to be role models as teachers, but also important to be careful in what we chose to share online.
So who is Erin Wiley online? Well if you google Erin Wiley, both in the “all” search and the “image” google search, you will not find me specifically on the first page. You will find a doctor, actress, and a lawyer, but not teacher Erin Wiley. You will find my husband’s second cousin, also Erin Wiley, but not me. So unless you add other factors into your search you will have to spend more time searching to figure me out.
results of my google search
I have an online presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. My Twitter and Pinterest are public, but I keep my Facebook and Instagram set to private. If someone got access to those it wouldn’t be a big deal, I’m not worried about content. However, I don’t feel like I need to share my private life so openly with anyway who happens upon my account. This also keeps my students from adding me on Facebook and Instagram. I like to keep school and home separate, otherwise I feel like I am always “Mrs. Wiley” rather than Erin Wiley. With social media I know teachers who have families from their school on social media, but I just don’t feel comfortable with that. Just like if I am going to the beach or a swimming pool, I don’t feel that comfortable being in a bathing suit around students even though what I am wearing isn’t scandalous.
When I am on my own time I prefer to not wear my “teacher hat” and just be me, so when it comes to social media I prefer to keep my more personal accounts private and only my professional accounts public. I use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with family and friends. I am part of some PLN teacher groups on Facebook, but still only my Facebook friends will see my personal information. My Twitter account is more so professional. I use my Instagram account primarily professionally and although it used to be public it is now set to private. I had some issues with spam and inappropriate accounts trying to comment or send me messages, so I changed it to a private account to try and reduce/eliminate this. For Pinterest I have a mix of professional and private, pinning things like teaching ideas and recipes for home.
When I first joined social media I wasn’t as choosy with what I posted or liked. Now as an educator I am definitely more selective online. Teachers often feel under a microscope. Having the profession we are expected to be role models both in and outside of school, including online. Even at staff meetings we get told from STF teacher representatives to be careful about our online activities. Sometimes online people will tag you to content or add you to groups. What I find difficult is when people add me to groups or tag me to content that I may not approve of or could be interpreted negatively. Although I can remove myself, I still need to be aware that I’ve been added or tagged.
I think that it is important to be aware of our actions online and try to leave a positive digital footprint. Our online presence can sometimes be the first impression people have of us and we would want people to get a positive first impression. If people find the actual me online I want them to see me in a positive light and be seen as the best version of myself. With this in mind I think it’s important to help students to build a positive digital footprint too.
On another note, part of my online identity now includes being a Seesaw Ambassador. After learning that Seesaw still had open applications to be ambassadors I decided to apply. Using Seesaw with my students and as part of my project I decided that I wanted to take my own Seesaw journey to the next level. After applying I was provisionally accepted because of how I have been using Seesaw. Then once I completed the three hour training I became certified. A perk of being an ambassador is getting to use the premium feature of Seesaw, which includes being able to tag posts with outcomes and assess posts. If you’ve been using Seesaw and want to be an ambassador check out the application link above for what is expected of you and some perks you get.
PBS Idea Channel’s video questions the idea that some of us are born as digital natives, while others will always be digital immigrants. It examines the idea that age and growing up with technology creates people who will always have a better and more innate grasp of technology, than those who are older and didn’t grow up using digital technology.
Even though I would fit into the digital native category to an extent, being born after 1980 and growing up with technology, I don’t feel like a digital native. I typically had very outdated technology. When my family got a computer it was extremely old and ran Windows 3.1. Think Solitaire, Minesweep and Paint as some of its “best” programs. Who else remembers winning at Solitaire and watching the cards cascade?
When my friends were going on MSN Messenger I finally had an “updated”computer that could play Carmen Sandiego. It wasn’t until grade twelve when I finally got internet. Up until then I would have to go to my friends or if really desperate go to my grandma’s to use her dial up.
Not growing up with the latest technology I don’t feel like a digital native and tend to agree with the video that digital natives and digital immigrants are a myth. I feel like it comes more down to attitude and motivation than age. No matter what age, you still have to learn how to use the technology. Maybe children pick it up faster since they are at a stage where their brains still have a lot of elasticity to learn new things,but they still have to figure out how technology works. Also, I think that children typically are still very curious and aren’t as jaded as adults when it comes to being motivated and having a positive attitude. As I was always “behind” in knowing the latest tech, I feel that my identity as someone who uses digital technology has more to do with my motivation to learn the technology than my age.
Another digital identity theory can be seen in David White’s video (above) about digital visitors and residents. He makes an interesting point that understanding how to use different apps and social media platforms doesn’t necessarily mean that one understands all digital literacies. He points out that some ways of using technology still need to be taught.
David’s model of visitors and residents is more based on how engaged someone is in technology. He explains that we may move around between visitors and residents depending on the context we are using technology. David points out that visitors just visit and aren’t leaving a “social trace” while residents spend time creating a “social trace”. The ways we choose to engage in the social aspects of digital technology define us as visitors or residents in that moment or context. Anyone can be a visitor or a resident depending on how they are using digital spaces.
Growing up I was definitely more of a digital visitor, engaging in digital activities where I was more so just using the technology versus interacting with others or creating content to share with others. It wasn’t until the past five years or so that I have started to really engage on a regular basis with the more social aspects of the digital technology. Pinterest was probably one of the first social apps that I really enjoyed. I loved that I could not only save things I liked, but that I could share them with others. I did enjoy Facebook to an extent, but it was Instagram when I finally caught the social bug and became more of a digital resident. I love using Instagram professionally to get, share and converse about teaching ideas. Over time I have become more of a digital resident professionally on these apps. I often go from visitor to resident and back to visitor on Facebook, spending more time looking at content versus creating, sharing or interacting with content.
In general our students are often residents when using digital technology in their personal and social lives, but are often visitors when it comes to the academic side of using technology. It’s important that we teach students the skills to use technology to help them in their learning journey as well as how to navigate digital tools both in and out of school as responsible digital citizens. I think as teachers we can use educational apps, such as Seesaw and Flipgrid, to help practice digital citizenship in a safe environment. Students can be taught the skills to be digital residents in learning contexts.
What do you think? How can we help students safely and responsibly navigate between being digital visitors and residents in differing contexts?
When I first read the options for the major project for EC&I832 I knew that I wanted to review apps. However, it’s been more difficult than I anticipated to choose the apps because there are so many I want to try.
How I feel when I want to try out way too many apps:
It was hard for me to decide if I wanted to try out apps more on a personal level, professional level or try some of both. I thought I would see what apps my students liked in hopes that it might help me to choose. I asked my students to tell me their top ten of favourite apps. Here are the results:
What I learned is that many of their favourite apps are also my favourites. I too enjoy YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest, PicCollage, and Candy Crush. We already use PicCollage on a regular basis in my classroom, so I don’t want to explore this app. Also, many of the most popular choices either are not very educational, are not allowed for student use on our school tablets or laptops, or are games or sites that I am not very interested in. Some of the features of their top choices such as creating and sharing content as well as commenting and liking posts can be found in some educational apps like Seesaw, Flipgrid, and Biblionasium. So I’ve decided to explore apps that promote the social aspect of social media and apps as well as apps that help students to show their learning in a variety of ways.
Here are the apps I will be using and reviewing
4. Formative (formerly GoFormative)
My plan is to explore these apps myself and have my students use them in my classroom. If you have any experience with these apps suggestions on ways to use them in my classroom are always appreciated.
Hi my name is Erin Wiley. I am a grade 5/6 teacher who loves integrating reading, art and technology into my teaching. I have taught grades 2-6, but have mainly been teaching at the grade 3 level the past five years. I am excited for the new challenge of teaching grade 5/6.
I look forward to learning more about technology through EC&I 832.