Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

Final Reflections on Creating a Digital Identity with Children


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Tim & Selena Middleton

A final reflection is a bit of a misnomer because the work of creating and supporting young learners in digital spaces will be part of my teaching practice from this day forward. My learning journey has begun but by no means have I reached the end of the road.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by daveynin

I am proud and comfortable with the steps that I have taken to become more aware of resources available to support young people online and the actions that I have taken so far to make their learning activities a success. Highlights of these step and blog posts that reflect and document the growth are below:

Updated classroom blog that includes a Twitter account

Teach children to Tweet and comment on blog post.

We made a beautiful painting on canvas. We are proud of our painting. We painted the picture using team work. pic.twitter.com/jgLG1zY20Z

— Jackie Sakatch (@MrsSakatch) November 13, 2013

Develop and maintain a YouTube channel with my son.

Curate Digital Citizenship Resources for parents and teachers


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by David Goehring

Next Steps

I plan to continue to use Twitter in my classroom.  I want to expand the number of blogs that my students comment on and work with them to create entries for our classroom blog.  Eventually I would like to connect with other classrooms through Skype.  I am hoping to visit Kathy Cassidy’s classroom in the new year to see first hand how she supports her learners with technology and individual student blogs.    Cory Antonini, our consultant stopped me in the hallway last week and mentioned that he had another teacher who would like to start to connecting their  classrooms through Twitter and that he had another idea for me to try.  I am excited to explore other learning opportunities.  In the future I would like to explore creating individual student blogs or learning portfolios.

My son has numerous plans and ideas for his YouTube channel.  I feel it is my job to support him but to also stay out of his way and allow him to create his own learning path.  He has mentioned that he would like to create a playlist for his videos and wanting to create more videos where he interviews people.  Perhaps he will create his own blog.

The Digital Citizen Resources LiveBinder that I have created is easy to use and I plan to continue to add content.

Final Thought


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Bart Everson

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Summary of Learning

My goal for this term was to develop an understanding of how to use social media and open education with children in grade one and two  and to begin to use the material I was using in my classroom and at home with my son.  When I thought about creating my Summary of Learning, I felt that it was important to stay with the theme of working with children online so I decided to have my son interview me about my experiences in #eci831.   Below is the interview outline that I created.

Today we are going to about my mom’s social media and open education university class. 

What did you learn about social media? 

What did you learn in your class that you can use in your classroom? 

  • Updated the classroom blog, added Twitter, and have started tweeting with my class.
  • I am thinking about how I can experiment with the Makey Makey in my classroom.
  • I talk to kids about Mindcraft and other games that are important to them and try to include the things that kids learn from games in my teaching.

How do you help your kids stay safe online? 

  • Model how to be safe
  • Talk about being a good citizen – on and offline – you need to be the same on and offline.  Both interactions are real.
  • Monitor students activities
  • It is important not just to create content but also to comment on other people’s content.
  • Computer equipment stays in an open place in our house.
  • Monitoring and posting Ben’s videos on YouTube

What is open education?

  • Sharing and using materials that have been licensed to be used.  You need to look at the license that a picture or song is put online and be respectful of the person that posted it.  You need to be aware of copyright.  Creative Commons Search
  • Do you know when you brainstorm – and one person has an idea and then the next person adds to that idea – being an open educator means you are part of a community where you add to the ideas of others, you might reuse their materials in a different way and you let others use your materials.  You use pingbacks in your blog to build on and support ideas in your blog.  You are generous with your ideas and materials.
  • MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – Two types – One that focuses on teaching you content from a prescribe course outline and the other where you work as a community to generate and support each other.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Mary St George

My Commitment to Further Learning

  1. Continue to use Twitter in the classroom.  Develop a 140 square grid to help my children create tweets.  Add a Twitter job to our classroom jobs so that tweeting becomes an embedded part of my instructional practice.
  2. In my classroom follow and comment on other classroom blogs and learning.
  3. Continue to work with my son to develop his digital identity and YouTube channel.  When he is ready, I would like to help him develop his own blog.
  4. Be respectful and mindful of copyright.  Search for and use materials that are licensed through Creative Commons.
  5. When I upload material, I will use a Creative Commons license so that I communicate my intentions for that material.
  6. Continue to be an active community member on Twitter by adding members to my Professional Learning Network, contributing materials and ideas, and participating in chats.
  7. Explore and experiment with new online tools and ideas using my PLN for support if I require help.
  8. Continue to follow and read blogs created by other educators.
  9. Continue to blog.
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The Strength of a Professional Learning Network.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Colleen McMahon
Throughout this term I have discovered the power of a Professional Learning Network (PLN) and Twitter. This weekend I have experience the benefits of having a strong PLN. I twitted out my last blog post The Gift of Openness and Alec Couros commented on my tweet

The next thing that happened is that the number of favorites and retweets that I received in a short period of time was phenomenal.

Blog explosion

I decided to check my blog stats and this is what I found.

Blog_stats

Thanks to Alec’s retweet more people viewed and decided to follow my blog. The process of developing your PLN may take some time to establish but the more effect that your invest the more opportunities you will have to share and influence.

My classroom twitter account is slowly being used by families. After report cards went home on Friday this was the response I received from one of my families:

My classroom Twitter following is small but for the families that use it powerful. Just like an ant.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by AnnaNakami

Hopefully it goes to many

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Charles Lam

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ds106 Haiku it up!

Alan Levine introduced #eci831 to the ds106 site.  I decide to try a random assignment and the Haiku assignment was generated.   The assignment is to pick an image and create a Haiku.  The Riders game was on TV so I decided to use that for my Haiku inspiration.  I went to The Daily Shoot Pool and I admit entered Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Saskatchewan Roughriders Logo in the Endzone

Chamblin lead the men

For a Trip to the Grey Cup

A cold dream home game

I think that the ds 106 website provides exciting assignments that could be used in elementary school classrooms at the middle years level.  I think this is a great way to encourage risk taking and connect students.  I am wondering if anyone has tried this in their classroom.

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Playing with Puppet Pal 2

Alan Levine, cogdogblog, inspired my #eci831 class with his What Mean Ye Storytelling  presentation on November 12, 2013.  Alan provided us with a number of interesting links about storytelling.  One of the key points that he made was that the creation of the story was as important or more important than the tool you use to share your story.  This being said the Wiki space Web 2.0 50+ Ways to Tell a Story provides a 1-2-3 process for telling  a story.  The resource links are amazing!

My son was watching me search through the numerous tools on the 50+ Ways to tell a Story Wiki space and he grew impatient with me trying to find a tool and organize a story.  There is something to be said for the spontaneity of children opposed to my desire to find the perfect outcome.  He suggested we make a story using  Puppet Pal 2 app which was recommended by Jessica.

We sat down together and at first had selected the space theme but we were disappointed that their is not a space ship to choose.  The space background also does not scroll like the town one does.  Ben thought it was important that we could move our puppets.  Here is our silly story about Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

Now I want to give the 1-2-3 process for telling a story as suggested by Alan.

What storytelling processes have you tried?  What are the keys to your writing process?  What tools do you like to use?

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Blog Renovations and Improvements

tools of the trade

This weekend I started to make this blog my blog instead of a blog that I am creating for a University course.  I started by adding a tag cloud and a widget that shows the blog I follow.  I also personalized the blog by adding a Professional Development page.  All teachers in Regina Public Schools are required to document their Professional Learning and Development.  In the past, I have completed a goal form that I have shared with my administrator and colleague.  I wanted to show my learning in a digital format.  I have added the University classes I have taken and the Provincial Math Learning Community that I am a member.  I am thinking about the format that I want to use to add my Professional Development goals to the page.

Another decision I made was to add a digital citizenship resources page.  I thought it was important to compile some resources for teachers and parents to help them feel comfortable having their children become members of the connected world. While I am helping my son develop his digital identity through his YouTube channel and I work with my students to send out Tweets and comment on blog posts I often thought about what I needed to say to make sure that the children and I had the necessary skills to be good digital citizens.   I created a blog page for this and started to embed videos and links but I found the list complicated and hard to scroll through so I decided to try livebinders. I have had a livebinders  binder posted on my literacy links page of my classroom blog for the last number of year.  I had never created my own livebinders binder.  As I was reading blogs, I noticed that Greg, Lyane, and Rochelle  all mention using it to organize resources.   I liked the tutorial livebinders provides when you first create your account.  I found them helpful but not too complicated.  I embedded the binder into my digital citizenship page and deleted all my other links that I had added earlier.

I would love to hear any comments you have about my blog improvements.
Children at school

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Pigtails? A Piggy Back? No a Pingback!

When I first read the course assignments for #eci831 and read that I need to include pingbacks.  I admit the first thing my brain thought of was pigtails.

Pink Eye and Pig Tails

I quickly realized we weren’t going to be spending our time learning how to style hair (unless of course you choose that as your learning project).  My brain quickly jumped to the idea of a piggy back.  Now the more I learn about a pingback the more I think that the visual image of a piggy back ride is not so far off.   Sue Waters explains a pingback as including a link to another blogger in your post.  (Just like that!)

Piggy Back

How do I connect a pingback to a piggy back?  Well when you are brainstorming we often “piggy back” off of an idea of what the person before us says.  We add, modify or give an example of the idea that the person before us has suggested and deepen our understanding and perhaps create a new idea that solves the problem that lead to the brainstorming session.

I sent Alec Couros an email asking him about plagiarism and group discussions.  Some of the text of the email is below:

 I remember last year in a class I was taking we were put into groups to discuss our plans for our final project. People were really reluctant to share their ideas. Then we started to talk about why they were uncomfortable and it came back to the new online program that they had to take before they started their Master’s program about plagiarism. One of the things that someone in the group shared was that it was considered plagiarism to use an idea a group member shared in a discussion in your paper or project. I was in my Master’s program before the online course was implemented so I am not 100% sure of the accuracy of that statement.

It’s not accurate. If you cite where you got the idea from if it fact it is not your own idea, then it is definitely not plagiarism. I think most people are simply not confident enough about their ideas, or they think that they have nothing new to contribute. I often show them this:

I participated in a webinar hosted by The Daring Librarian where Sue Waters was presenting.  One of the points that people at the webinar made was that you should never apologize for what you are blogging or how often you post.  This reminded me of the blog post by Shauna Drackett where she questions if what she is blogging about is interesting enough and relevant?  Shauna concludes that in her blogging all she can guarantee is the satisfaction of a completed blog post and the thinking that she has done to complete that post.

As I was thinking about education and the idea of how intellectual property and wondering if one person owns an idea or if all ideas are a reworking and built on ideas of those who came before us.  I discuss some of these ideas in my own blog post Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

My email continues

If it is a true statement it opens up for me the idea of how education is changing to something much more collaborative and connected. I know that through this course I was intentionally looking for new/different content because I did not want to copy an article/idea that my peers had used. I think this might go back to the social constructed learning you were talking about. Oh. Might be an Ah-ha moment.

You may want to look at Stephen Johnson’s book titled, “Where Good Ideas Come From”. Here are quotes from the book. http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/12645873-where-good-ideas-come-from Also, here is a short video about the book.

After watching this short video clip I was curious about what Stephen Johnson had to say about ideas.  I found a longer TED talk and I purchased his book.

I started to reflect on what Dr. Richard Schwier had said about communities and how a community is a community it doesn’t matter if you spend most of your time online or in person the core of the interactions and the connection with people is what creates the community.  I then thought about what George Siemens‘ ideas about the relevance of higher education and what will happen as Open Education becomes more common place to universities as we know them today.  What information will be considered relevant?  Will the type of assignments and examinations that students complete be different?  Will the research essay lose it relevance and be replaced with work that incorporates the classical theorist but is then used and adapted by students and scholars today to meet the needs of the 21st Century?  As Stephen Johnson says in his video is this what we have been doing for centuries?  With the inception of the internet we are able to connect faster and farther than ever before. We are able to brainstorm and piggy back (and pingback) on the ideas of minds of academics and the person you would meet in the coffee shop.

On the first night of #eci831 Alec showed us these two slides
Carteasen_view_of_learning                                                           Socially_Constructed

When I first saw these slides I understood them and I thought I comprehended what socially constructed learning was.  Now that I have experienced building knowledge socially through the blog hub and my Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter I realize I have experienced the power of collaboration and being connected.  Here is one concrete example

This blog post gave me six new ways to use a teaching strategy I currently use in my classroom and make it better. I was able to have instant professional development that linked a current teaching practice with technology all before I had finished my morning cup of coffee.  I realize my responsibility once I have tried these suggestions is to leave a comment on the blog post so that I can move forward the learning of others.

The pingback allows you to cite and acknowledge where an idea comes from and it also allows you a window into the conversation to make suggestions and build onto the ideas of others.  I joined the Google + Connected Classroom Workshops  the number of members and posts that arrive in my inbox is amazing.  The desire to connect and be connected is strong and educators are finding ways to make those connections possible.

I think your idea still holds up. I believe that education IS changing to something much more collaborative and connected. I would love to hear more about your thoughts on this.

I hope this helps!

Alec

Thanks Alec, it does help, in fact it has begun to transform my teaching practices.

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Fun with Makey Makey

On October 22, 2013 Sylvia Martinez spoke to our EC&I 831 class about the Maker Movement.  One of the many tools that she spoke about was the Makey Makey .  After seeing the Makey Makey I knew that my son would love it and I thought it was neat too.

My family decided to play with the basic Makey Makey kit today.  I found a piano program on the Scratch website that looked like it would work.  In order to get it to work on my laptop I needed to install a driver the sparkfun website helped me out (my husband too!).

Here is our Makey Makey experience.

I look forward to continuing to play with the Makey Makey with my family.

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Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

This summer I had the pleasure of participating in The Play, Art and Narrative Summer Institute at the University of Regina.  In The Creative Arts:  A Process Approach for Teachers and Children Wallas stages of the creative process are outlined.  Wallas’s stages include preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.  Balkin’s idea of the “re” factor is added to Wallas’s model.  The “re” factor is

The creative person must continually rethink, reconsider, replace, refine, redo, reaffirm, reprocess, rewrite and re conceptualize.  What better lesson could children learn in coping with life than the importance of the “re” component? (1990, p.30).

This first video examines how concern of parents for their children’s safety leads parents to have their children play inside more frequently and participate in structured activities reducing children’s access and time for free play activities. The video shows how parents use technology to keep track of their children.  If we build a society that is based on mistrust how do we teach our children to trust and to be trustworthy.  I watched the Sext up Kids video (Warning:  Adult content) and I wonder if by placing technology in the hands of my child to act as a watchdog replaces trusting them to make decisions about what is safe.  If I do not allow my children to walk home after school and go to the park to play without a monitoring device  do I as a parent fail to teach them the necessary lessons of making good decisions?   Do I make them  vulnerable to using their devise to share pictures of themselves in ways that they later regret by not teaching them to make decision?   In the video Elaine Raakman discuss her work with children in organized sports.  She describing how when children are given a task outside of a structured setting they do not know how to think for themselves and they lack of creative problem solving skills.  Elaine lists the skills learned through free play as cooperation, communication, creative problem solvers, and conflict resolution.   The leaders on the playground were the risk takers and children were much freer to take risks when adults were not around.  I would hypothesize that the same principals could be applied to the use of technology with children.  If we give children the opportunity to explore with technology with some guidance, expectations and support but trust them to make decisions about what is appropriate content to view.  They will develop the skills necessary to navigate digital literacy in a safe manner or know when they need to ask for help.

In the following TED talk Lawrence Lessig discusses how children naturally play with the digital tools that are available to them.  He discusses the societal shift from a Read-Write culture to a Read Only culture and back t a Read-Write culture with the development of the internet.  The internet provides opportunities for “usg” user generated content.  People produce amateur content for the love of being creative not for the purpose of making money.  This content is what children produce all the time by taking songs and remixing them.  The tools of the film industry have become tools of digital literacy that children are naturally drawn to.   Lessig goes on to say that our current laws should be reevaluate to give artists the freedom to allow amateur to use their content and remove the stigmatize of piracy from what children naturally due with their digital knowledge.

I am reminded of my own remixing experience this week when I was experimenting with iMovie.  I read the help screen about adding music to a movie and was under the impress that I could use anything in a movie from my iTunes account that was not blocked.  I  added a soundtrack to my movie project from my iTunes account which I believed I had permission to use because it was not blocked like some of the track.  I then added photos to the song to create a slideshow.  When I tried to upload the iMovie to Facebook I received an email notification and a notification in Facebook when I opened my account that I had violated copyright.  I believe that I could create the slideshow in iMovie using the soundtrack but once I tried to share it I had violated copyright  law.  An honest mistake.

Kirby Ferguson in Embracing the remix shares his idea that everything that we  create is a remix.  We take the ideas of people that come before us and remix it to create new content that we share and that in turn is remixed by someone else.  Ferguson points out the irony of Patent Act of 1790   which was developed “To promote the progress of the Useful arts” and how by patenting technology will impede the progress of the arts.  I think back to the work of Balkin and the creative process that parallels what Ferguson is saying about everything being a remix.  One way that children play today is through digital means.  They create, share and consume content through play.  I wonder what new discoveries children will find through digital play?

Related content

http://ashleybeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/sext-up-kids/

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Minecraft

Minecraft Screenshots

I have wondered awhile about the game Minecraft.  Last Christmas my son was planning Minecraft on his iPad when my sister, who is a high school administrator expressed concern that we were allowing him to play Minecraft.  I was confused from what I had seen watching Ben play he was using blocks and materials to build a community in a virtual world.  It seemed to me it was like portable LEGO.  My sister explained that in her experience teens can become obsessed with the game and not think of anything else.  Ben described to me the two mode creative and survival and we agreed that he would only explore in the creative world.

Alec Couros challenged us to participate in Open Access  week so I planned to participate in this Connected Educators experience:

Minecraft Open House (ISTE, Games MOOC, rgMOOC, Inevitable Instructors)
1 PM – 3 PM ET.  Minecraft Open House.  Minecraft is a simple, easy to use virtual world that has been unlocking higher order learning skills in kids (especially creative skills) at an ever-accelerating rate, providing outlets for students who were falling by the wayside, and was one of the most popular applications at the most recent ISTE conference.  We’re honored to have ISTE’s virtual worlds group, as well as several other games in education movement leaders, join us today for an open house where you’ll get a chance to explore the environment, ask questions, and discuss it with experts in the field.

Unfortunately our van broke down and I was not able to be at home during the live event.  On the positive side I was able to watch the  video.

The people in this video made Minecraft look so easy.  The video outlines a Minecraft challenge website.  I enjoyed listening to the mother of two twelve year old girls talk about the different modes in Minecraft and the responsibilities of parents.  The girls talked about how they would love to use Minecraft in their classroom to complete assignments and explain their thinking.

I was curious about connects to a grade one/two classroom.  I visited the Minecraft teacher blog after reading the article How Minecraft is being Used in the Classroom by Andrew Webster.

I then bought myself the Minecraft app and tried it for myself.  Ben was very excited that I was interested in exploring Minecraft.  He sat beside me as I created my first world.  The next thing I know Ben had clicked on the egg a bunch of times and their were ducks everywhere.  Then he showed me how to make them disappear.  He showed me how to move around the world and how to access the resources I had available.  Once I was left to my own devices I somehow managed to get stuck under the ice and water.   I tried again and was able to create this structure:

2013-10-27 16.18.48

I will admit that Minecraft is not the game for me and I am not really interested in experimenting in this environment.   I think that it is a fine game for Ben to play.  For now I will continue to ask that he play in creative mode.  If a student in my classroom wanted to show me their learning in Minecraft I would accept their assignment and ask them to explain share how they used Minecraft to help them.

I am wondering if anyone has experimented with Minecraft in their classroom.  I am also wondering if you have concerns about Minecraft what your concerns are.

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