Digital Citizenship Course

Outfit your students for life in the wild, wild Web where they need the savvy to shoot straight, watch their backs, and to be at home on the digital range. The choices today’s learners make, and actions they take online, have enduring impact on their lives and the lives of others. Unique, unforeseeable, and evolving risks and challenges are part and parcel of the open Internet.

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8 ways schools can become truly Future Ready

Advice for districts seeking to become better at digital teaching and learning

future-readyBeing Future Ready is about more than just signing a pledge or attending an event. It’s about taking measurable, sometimes scary, steps toward a digital future that is still very much uncertain, according to speakers at a recent ISTE panel discussion on the topic, “Is Your District Future Ready?

The Future Ready effort, championed by the Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education, hopes to permanently intertwine digital connectivity and learning in schools by getting administrators to think more broadly (and critically) about technology, PD, and the curriculum they use.

The backbone of the project is a short pledge superintendents take confirming their commitment to enlightened digital learning and advocacy (about 2,000 superintendents have signed it so far). There are also related regional summits that delve into how schools and districts can achieve Future Ready aims, such as empowering teachers, closing the digital divide, or supporting community efforts.…Read More

Educating parents of the Siri generation

In our digital world, some parents may feel lost at sea. Here’s what they need to know

[Ed. note: Carl Hooker will deliver a related session on digital parenting at this year’s ISTE conference on Monday June 29. Previous ISTE coverage has focused on iPads and coding and keynoter Josh Stumpenhorst.]

digital-parentsWhat ever happened to the good old days? When I was a kid I used to listen to music my parents didn’t like and stay out riding my bike until the street lights came on. Today, our kids have scheduled playdates and a steady stream of organized activities, and spend the rest of their time connecting to others online. We no longer live in an analog world, yet why do we think our parenting should look the same as it did back then?

As an administrator in a one-to-one mobile device district, I’ve seen firsthand how access to devices can disrupt learning for both good and bad. But we forget that this disruption also occurs at home when the students take their device home. Our teachers hopefully have hours and hours of support and training for integrating these tools in the classroom, but what help are parents getting?…Read More

8 ways to improve your digital teaching

When good digital teaching means good digital learning

PLCs-communitiesEd. note: Innovation In Action is a new monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education.

digital-teachingWe all remember that one dedicated teacher from our early years. While they might not have had access to the same technology we do, they brought the world to us with images, stories, and play-pretend. They likely would’ve been one of the first to Skype with amazing people across the globe, competitively Kahoot, or have us build word clouds to help us learn vocabulary. They were full of life and encouraged us to find our personality.

In short, they were great teachers. Good teaching is the result of the conscious engagement between the teacher and the students, in an environment fostering inquiry, discovery, and creation. Good teaching is what makes digital age environments meaningful to students. Good pedagogy is the key to learning, regardless of the tool.…Read More

12 ways to adopt Google Apps for Education

A new digital resource offers tips to safely use Google Apps for Education

google-appsA new resource from Gaggle and Amplified IT offers technology facilitators 12 tips to help ensure that Google Apps for Education safe for teachers and students to use.

In any implementation, it’s important that school and technology leaders identify benefits and value associated with the implementation.

“Without the right strategies in place, most software and web-based tools–whether free or paid–are under-used in education,” according to the guide.…Read More

Set Up Your Own Digital Media Lab for Next to Nothing

A green screen and a Mac turn a storage space into a hi-tech playground

media-labBack when I was in school, class projects were limited to written reports, dioramas, and posters—things we could create with pencils, paper, Popsicle sticks, and glue. To say our students today have many more options available to them would be the understatement of the 21st century.

With the advent of lightning-quick computers and gorgeous digital media tools, students are now dreaming up PowerPoint presentations, Prezis, websites, wikis, Photo Stories, and more—things limited only by their imaginations. Creating these types of digital projects has become second nature to them, and they have no concept of a time when these technologies were not available. In fact, creating digital media has become a very personal matter. Just look on Facebook, YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, Twitter and you will see that our students are creating and sharing digital content on a daily basis.

As educators, it behooves us to find ways to provide opportunities that allow our students to engage in learning activities relevant to their lives. As a library media specialist, I know there’s no better place to provide them with these opportunities than a school’s own library media center.…Read More