Our kids are digital natives. We know that. We have to make adjustments as parents and educators. What are the opportunities? What are the challenges? If we don’t embrace, learn, lead, teach, manage, and understand then we are in danger of committing malpractice as parents and educators.
Fundamentally, though, it’s not parenting styles or intuition that is changing. It is the playing field. The playing field is a globally connected, anytime/anywhere accessible world, immersed in digital devices that overload us with information, interactions, decisions, and an ever expanding horizon. Ethical, responsible, and thoughtful decision making and inquiry are needed for people to navigate and harness their connectivity. But ethical, responsible, and thoughtful decision making has always been the goal! Helping kids make good decisions and mentoring kids towards becoming responsible beings is what parenting is all about. The landscape in the 21st century has changed!
There are many resources for parents. A quick search of resources in google and youtube for parent resources leads you to many links. There is good information available to help guide parent decision making and parent/child discussions about online ethics. Parents must stay informed, accept the realities of our digital world, and reflect upon the impact it has on our parenting decisions. Conversations, structures, and rules for our kids all need to be considered. Our actions as adults matter as we help shape and guide our kids forward.
Below are some links for parents that can produce some interesting dialogue. The youtube videos are relatively short but provide some fundamental thinking and ideas.
Raising Digital Kids, Engaging Your Kids – a resource from David Truss. This is a nice summary of some things to think about as you are discussing limits and engaging in dialogue with your son/daughter.
Here is an interesting article from the Washington. For parents who are thinking hard and long about steps to take with their kids, this is a good article to provide some support. Mom’s Code of Conduct for her son
One of the best parts of working in (or attending a) school is the opportunity for renewal. New school years, new calendar years (2013), new reporting quarters, new units of study, new events and new opportunities.
As a student you can explore and re-invent yourself at different times. That is part of being a teenager. As an adult, you can constantly renew your professional learning, make resolutions to be fitter, resolve to read more books and take time for yourself or your family, be more organized, and so on.
New Years resolutions are just one opportunity to consider goals and plans for the coming months.
This post is dedicated to students who have been cyber bullied. My goal is to offer some support, resources, and learning for students. I have embedded several videos and a web site links for students to view. My goal is to support the building of community where every individual feels safe and valued.
With respect to cyber bullying……….
About one-third of online teens (ages 12-17) have been cyberbullied. Girls are more likely to be targeted.
(Lenhart A. Cyberbullying and Online Teens. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2007.)
These numbers are staggering. Online bullying is far too common place. Inappropriate decision making (or a lack of decision making) is far too common.
Here is a profound video…have a look. It’s called You Can’t Take it Back. It’s from the web site www.netsmartz.org/RealLifeStories. If the video doesn’t open from the blog, use the link right here:
This post is focused upon the portrayal of female teenagers in the media. There are two resources on this site. Being aware of the impact of the media and effects the media has on how girls self-perceptions is really important.
In browsing sites the other day my wife found this video and shared it with me, so I would share this with secondary school students. Have a look at the documents and videos on this post and consider the important messages they hold. How does the media impact young women?
A Girl’s Guide To Battling The Harmful Effects Of Mass Media from MoveOn.org
It is a site with excellent resources for teenage girls around the topic of the media. It is worth taking a look at and browsing as deeply as you wish to. There are many voices of teenage girls on the site.
In addition, there is a site dedicated to the film Miss Representation. We will be showing this movie at LCS in the future. It is a powerful movie. If you wish to know more about this film and explore the topic, google Miss Representation.
This was the image of a teacher’s desk during a recent mid-semester exam. Our students were not able to hold onto the phones because some students will use them to gain an advantage over other students. In a straightforward semester exam, phones offer multiple methods for cheating (creative short cuts!!)
When will these phones be used as learning tools, not as “cheating” devices during exams for students? When will they be learning tools on a regular basis in the classroom? How are we going to deal with the ubiquitous nature of technology in schools? The proliferation of smart phones, tablets, ipads and other wireless devices in schools coupled with growing bandwidth and wireless access, presents unknown potential for teaching and learning.
How will these tools support the end goals of a K-12 education? How will these tools support the development of the skills needed for being a self-regulated learner, a self-reliant learner, and a lifelong learner?
Perhaps they impact learning more than we consider at present. Consider the amount of communication the tools already support amongst students. Perhaps, in all that texting and image/document sharing that is taking place all the time – literally 24/7 (with a few hours in the middle of the night to catch some sleep) there are some educational and/or school related exchanges of Continue reading →
In U.S. schools, grades became part of the fabric of education in the late 1800’s. A need existed to separate students according to how well they were learning the content of the curriculum. Was the reason for grading to attempt to motivate students? Perhaps it was.
We aim to communicate achievement and learning with our grades. We aim to provide feedback to students and parents about how well students are progressing. We are not interested in ranking students nor do we ever group students around their grades. We do, however, want to make sure that the feedback students and parents receive from grades is a true and honest indicator of learning.
In addition, narrative written comments from teachers provide additional feedback and information which should be used to effect learning, work habits, and spurn reflective conversations with parents and children. It is clear that narrative comments are essential to rounding out the communication on a report card. They offer a personal message from teacher to student.
Feedback to students is critical to learning. Research shows that the single most important tool in a teacher’s toolbox for learning is their ability to provide timely and high quality feedback. Report cards should be seen in this light. It is feedback and it is time to reflect upon that feedback.
However, grading and reporting are NOT essential to the learning process. Timely and constructive feedback is important for learning but not grades. So what are grades for and why do we grade students? The grades must be seen as a way to provide feedback about progress towards specific criteria.
Most students want to achieve high grades. For students who wish to receive higher grades, what do they need to do in order to earn those grades? In Continue reading →
The last day of school (Friday, December 14 – 12/14/12) prior to vacation is always a welcome day! This past week our last day also brought the excitement of a Grade 12 student who received his early acceptance to Cornell University, the college of his choice. His acceptance added a great buzz to the last day for our Grade 12 students and for our teachers. One teacher commented on the great satisfaction that teachers of Seniors take as college admissions roll in over the course of the second semester. The hard work of preparing students for IB exams and supporting them as they navigate the obstacles of Grade 12 including the college admissions process offers positive rewards to teachers in the form of a successful college application. We do this work because we have a passion for teaching, building relationships with students, supporting them as they uncover Continue reading →