Cloud Storage using Shared Devices

Storage organized by unit

There are many different tools that you can use for digital storage on shared devices. I’ve been reading about Seesaw, a digital portfolio tool, various blogging platforms among other options, Box, etc. At ISP, we subscribe to a paid Dropbox account that is shared between Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes using shared iPads. A free account only gets you 2GB free, but you can gain more space through referrals and other invitations on the Dropbox website.

There are different options of how to set up your Dropbox. First, you have to decide if you’d like students to have individual folders for their work, or if you’d like students to store work by subject.

Whichever option you choose, students will invariable save something in the wrong place at some point. They may also move folders accidentally. For that reason, I suggest following a naming convention for example:

  • Every file or folder name begins with the class e.g. 4R or Room206 (even though my images do not show this).

This way, if something gets moved accidentally, it can be identified by anyone who finds it.

It doesn’t matter what tool you use for students to save their work, but it may save you some stress if you think about how you want to set up any shared spaces, and how students should name files for ease of identification, as well as searching.

Stop Pretending in Education

In education, we have to stop pretending that

  • learning happens in straight lines, neat boxes and perfect circles
  • the adults have the answers, independent of conversations with children and communities and can effectively impart the answers to children
  • technology programs are naturally innovative and transformative
  • we are preparing students for their life and its okay to ignore who they are right now
  • learning can happen even when there is no engagement and fun

Scott McLeod challenged others to participate in a conversation on how to #makeschooldifferent with the prompt “… we have to stop pretending”. In this challenge, I’d like to invite @jmikton, @sbradshaw, @BobsPragueBlog, @elizabethperry and @njtechteacher to participate.

Prioritizing the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship

Source: http://www.fractuslearning.com/2014/09/09/digital-citizenship-poster/

Mark Ribble contends that there are nine elements of digital citizenship. He invites schools to prioritize the nine components, and consider how they relate to the context and environment of the school. Looking at the nine elements, I tried to prioritize them:

  1. Digital Etiquette – acceptable standards of behaviour online
  2. Digital Access – students have access to technology as they need it throughout the day
  3. Digital Literacy – learning about technology and using technology meaningfully and successfully
  4. Digital communication – sending and receiving information electronically
  5. Digital Rights and Responsibilities – freedoms and responsibilities extended to everyone in the digital world
  6. Digital Health and Wellness – staying healthy physically and mentally within the digital world
  7. Digital Security – electronic precautions for safety
  8. Digital Law – electronic responsibility for actions and deeds
  9. Digital Commerce – buying and selling goods online

However, I’m not comfortable with this sequence because some of the elements go hand in hand. So I decided to organize the elements into tiers:

Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3

Digital Access

Digital Etiquette

Digital Literacy

Digital Communication

Digital Rights and Responsibilities

Digital Health and Wellness

Digital Security

Digital Law

Digital Commerce

I’m still not pleased with this organization. You should consider ergonomics (health and wellness) whenever using digital devices, for example, and make sure that media used in projects is creative commons licensed or from the public domain. So maybe the model is less about tiers and more about layers.

Maybe the way to approach digital citizenship is to introduce students to all the components, then to add another layer to deepen understanding of each element as is relevant to other units and lessons in the curriculum. The intent is not to cover digital citizenship and be done, but rather to incorporate digital citizenship into teaching and learning in the classroom, as is developmentally appropriate for students.

How do you approach digital citizenship in your classroom or school? Do you use the 9 elements framework or another framework?

 

For more information on the 9 elements, seeĀ http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Home_Page.html.

Research on Coaching

This post is part of a larger series based on the book Coaching Approaches & Perspectives edited by Jim Knight. Visit the Coaching category for other related posts.

The final chapter of Coaching Approaches & Perspectives is written by Jake Cornett and Jim Knight on the topic of Research on Coaching. Quantitative research is (ethically) difficult in education. The analysis that Cornett and Knight have done of the existing research reveals a problem of validity and reliability due to problematic methods. There is also a dearth of of quantitative/experimental research on the effectiveness of coaching for increasing student achievement. The existing research suggests that coaching is effective in professional development by increasing implementation and understanding of programs and models by teachers. For research to guide practice, educators need more reliable and valid research on the structures that allow coaching to work and the instances when coaching is effective. Educators could also benefit from research that shows the types of coaching that are effective, for who they are effective, and when they are effective. For example, when is one-on-one, small group, autonomous online, and other types of coaching effective for working with teachers? What’s the appropriate use of modeling in professional development? Questions abound, and there are currently more questions than answers.

It’s been six years since the book was published. I wonder how the scope of research has changed in that time. I would like to determine the intersection of technology coaching with the ten types of coaching identified in this book. Although I am done reading this book, my inquiry is far from complete. My next steps are to identify my learning from this book, to extract the components relevant to my work, and to identify interventions that I will apply to my work based on what I learned in this book. I’ve also joined a MOOC on Technology Coaching. A key question for me is how can I leverage social networking and online communication to create the supportive network important to my own professional growth?

If you’ve read any recent research/books/articles on Technology Coaching that you found inspiring or empowering, please share them with me in the comments.

Book Citation: Knight, J. (Ed.). (2008). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Corwin Press.

YouTube for Kids

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.01.03

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 10.01.03YouTube for kids is the first app from Google solely geared at kids. There are apps for Android and iOS but the apps are only available through the US App Stores. Google uses “a mix of automated analysis and user input” (Official YouTube Blog) to determine which videos to include in the app. Videos on the homepage undo additional analysis to determine that they have no restricted content. The app lets parents add controls about:

  • usage time
  • sound (e.g. turn off sound effects and background sounds)
  • search settings

The app counts on parent involvement for refining the curation of videos. If you find a video inappropriate for children, flag it for Google’s review. It’s important to remember however, that Google controls the content that kids have access to in the app; parents cannot customize those options in the app. I think that YouTube Kids meets a need. I see children browsing YouTube on devices while waiting in various places with their parents such as school cafeteria, airports, restaurants, etc. If you’re going to let a child use a device to browse YouTube, it’s worth exploring YouTube Kids.

Will you be installing YouTube Kids for your children to use?

Here’s a great guide for aimed at parents – http://www.androidcentral.com/heres-what-parents-need-know-about-youtube-kids#