Reflection 1: Digital identities and digital security

Teachers need to understand the pitfalls of ineffectively managing their digital identities. Without consciously administering their online persona, there is a risk that the distinction between a teacher’s personal and professional life could diminish, which may have lasting detrimental effects (Ghoussoub, 2015, para. 6; MMU Library Services, 2013). Despite not behaving in a manner likely to jeopardise my personal life or career, I had not actively managed my digital identity in the past. However, since joining Twitter, about.me, Storify and ScoopIt!, I have reflected upon my digital identity, my inclination towards online privacy, and how ineffectual some social media platforms are without communicating with unknown people. I soon realised that in order to maintain some semblance of privacy on Facebook, and simultaneously engage with a broad range of like-minded others regarding pedagogy, having one digital identity was insufficient. It was difficult to convey my perspective adequately in posts across the range of platforms because my purpose and audience differ for each. Consequently, I now use Facebook exclusively for social interactions, and the other accounts for my professional or student digital identity. I will maintain this strategy, as I intend to keep my professional life as an educator separate from my personal life to safeguard my privacy.

Edutech Conference (Educational Technology Debate, 2014)
Edutech Conference (Educational Technology Debate, 2014)

Although my actions to date relate only to personal Web 2.0 use, my knowledge surrounding online safety for students has also significantly increased. In particular, students and teachers need to know how to use technology and make informed decisions regarding their digital security. Uncritically abiding by their school’s internet usage policies is not a satisfactory approach (Ribble, 2011, p. 9). Teachers in the 21st century, therefore, have a moral imperative to model positive “digital citizenship” (Ribble, 2011, p. 10) with responsible and ethical online behaviour, and to provide students with the opportunity to do likewise (Davis, 2014, para. 18). Keeping abreast of digital security with Web 2.0 and beyond will be an ongoing commitment.

View my story “Digital identities and digital security” on Storify.

Visit “Pinterest: Creating positive digital citizens” for education resources to promote digital citizenship.

Pinterest  

(324 words)

References

Davis, V. (2014, October 24). What your students really need to know about digital citizenship [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-need-to-know-vicki-davis

Educational Technology Debate. (2014). Edu-Tech Conference [Image]. Retrieved from http://edutechdebate.org/

Ghoussoub, M. (2015, April 10). Why should I care about privacy if I have nothing to hide? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/2015/04/10/why-should-i-care-about-privacy-if-i-have-nothing-to-hide/

MMU Library Services. (2013, August 28). Managing your digital identity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mgBzOBpuxE

Ribble, M. (2011). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know (2nd ed.)  Retrieved from http://link.library.curtin.edu.au/p?pid=CUR_ALMA51125746820001951

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Reflection 2: Participation and the digital divide

“The internet and unrestricted access thereto are essential for freedom of expression…” – Maritje Schaake, member of the European Parliament (as cited in Ermert, 2012, para. 6).

 

Access to the internet and digital technology are rapidly becoming essential for social participation; however, I was unaware of how digitally divided Australia is. Those impacted by this digital divide could be broadly categorized into two groups: individuals who are unable to access an internet connection, and those who fall at the laggard end of the diffusion of innovation continuum (Howell, 2012, pp. 171-172). Economic disadvantage is a key contributor to the disparity between the technological proficiency of those who do and those do not have access to the internet, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Australian household internet access Adapted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014).
Figure 1: Australian household internet access
Adapted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014).

Globally, 70% of the population is digitally excluded (Molinari, 2011). The One Laptop Per Child (http://one.laptop.org/) project encountered similar internet access issues to those occurring in remote indigenous communities of Australia, such as insufficient engagement with and familiarity with technology (Rennie, Crouch, Wright, & Thomas, 2011, p. 60; Shah, 2011, para. 6).

Molinari (2011) articulates these issues and outlines the objectives for increasing digital accessibility into the future in this TED video.

The combination of limited access to the internet and teachers who do not embrace digital technology is particularly detrimental to students. For teachers to make a meaningful difference to digital fluency and increase students’ engagement with the digital world, they would need to be early adopters of new technology or technological innovators (Howell, 2012, pp. 171-172). I would consider that I have mostly been a laggard in regards to using smartphones and social media. However, influenced by a digitally astute former colleague, I have been an early adopter of new software in the past and found this to be very rewarding. Because teachers need to innovatively utilise whatever technology is available to reduce the impact of the digital divide, it is imperative that I harness the benefits of new technology. As a result of studying this unit, my willingness to try new platforms and apps has increased considerably.

View my story “Participation and the digital divide” on Storify.

(318 words)

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2014). 8.1460 – Household use of information technology, Australia, 2012-13. Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/D0DD505F12749281CA257C89000E3F5E?opendocument

Ermert, M. (2012, December 20). Brief: European Human Rights Court: Internet restriction violates freedom of expression. Retrieved from http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/12/20/european-human-rights-court-internet-restriction-violates-freedom-of-expression/

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Molinari, A. (2011, Aleph Molinari: Bridiging the digital divide. TEDx San Miguel Allende [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaxCRnZ_CLg

Rennie, E., Crouch, A., Wright, A., & Thomas, J. (2011). Home internet for remote indigenous communities. Retrieved from https://accan.org.au/files/SWIN-CLC-CATHomeInternet.pdf

Shah, N. (2011). A blurry vision: Reconsidering the failure of the One Laptop Per Child initiative. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/writingprogram/journal/past-issues/issue-3/shah/

 

Digital teaching resource 1: Scratch Jr

The YouTube video below (Carey, 2015) is my digital teaching resource.

Scratch Jr is a free coding app that enables children as young as five years old to create interactive games and animations on iPads and Android tablets. A more comprehensive, web-based version of this software, Scratch, is suitable for 8 years and over.

The DevTech Research Group at Tufts Univerity developed Scratch Jr in collaboration with the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and the Playful Invention Company.

http://www.scratchjr.org/

(MIT Media Lab, 2014)

References

Carey, R. (2015, April 24). ScratchJrEducationResourceSml [Video file]: DMLResearchHub. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/OtGPI5hgsxo

MIT Media Lab. (2014, March 18). ScratchJr [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbOMQ-0WWU

Evaluation matrix 1: Scratch Jr

Name of teaching resource
ScratchJr
Weblink
https://youtu.be/OtGPI5hgsxohttp://www.scratchjr.org/
Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)
The ScratchJr app is designed specifically for the cognitive, social and personal capabilities of 5-7-year-olds (MIT Media Lab, 2014).
How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)
ScratchJr would be most effective when used individually or in pairs so that all class members could engage with the software.
Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?
ScratchJr is appropriate for teaching all Foundation to Year 2 subjects: English, science, mathematics, history, geography, the arts, digital and design technologies, languages, and health and physical education (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014). ScratchJr develops students’ literacy, storytelling, planning, sequencing, digital technology, problem-solving and programming skills, building on the general capabilities outlined in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014).
Identify the strengths of this teaching resource
ScratchJr enables children with little or no reading ability to become digital content creators and technology innovators, and aids their digital fluency development as they learn about coding (Howell, 2012, p. 169). ScratchJr develops students’ literacy, storytelling, planning, sequencing, digital technology, problem-solving and programming skills, building on the general capabilities outlined in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014).
Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource
The most evident weakness of ScratchJr is the inability to export the final project for sharing; however, this also eliminates potential digital security issues. Additionally, without a designated save button, it is possible to lose work. Students would require access to iPads or Android tablets to use ScratchJr.
Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource
Students could use ScratchJr to create “transmedia” play experiences (Kinder, as cited in Alper & Herr-Stephenson, 2013, pp. 366-367): stories read in class could be extended with an animation, or characters could be further developed.Year five students could use peer-supported learning to teach year one students how to use ScratchJr. The younger students could write scripts, with the older students assisting with the production of the animation.

(220 words)

References

ACARA. (2014). F-10 Curriculum: General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum

Alper, M., & Herr-Stephenson, R. (2013). Transmedia play: Literacy across media. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 5(2), 366-369. Retrieved from https://lms.curtin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3339728-dt-content-rid-19586467_1/courses/EDUC1015-DVCEducatio-1132960346/EDUC1015-DVCEducatio-1132960346_ImportedContent_20150209105434/Transmedia%20Play_%20Literacy%20Across%20Media.pdf

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2014). Australian curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Curriculum/Overview

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

MIT Media Lab. (2014, March 18). ScratchJr [Video file]. Retrieved from https://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbOMQ-0WWU

Digital teaching resource 2: StoryCorps

Click here to listen to my digital teaching resource.

StoryCorps. Inc. (2015). StoryCorps (Version2.1.1). [iOS app].
(StoryCorps. Inc., 2015).

(Carey, 2015)

StoryCorps.me and the free StoryCorps app form “a global platform for listening, connecting, and sharing stories of the human experience” (“About StoryCorps.me,” 2015). StoryCorps.me is based on the StoryCorps project (http://www.storycorps.org) that has travelled throughout America since 2003 to record, preserve and broadcast the stories of its citizens. StoryCorps.me brings this concept out of recording studios and into the hands of anyone with access to a mobile device.

Both StoryCorps.me and the StoryCorps app were released in beta mode in March 2015 with funding from the 2015 TED Prize and the 2014 Knight Prototype Fund (http://www.storycorps.me/).

http://www.storycorps.me/

(StoryCorps, 2015)

References

Carey, R. (2015). StoryCorps app introductory slides (PDF file). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/RebeccaCarey1/storycorps-app-presentation

StoryCorps. (2015, March 13). The StoryCorps App [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiAPL9iDADw

StoryCorps Inc. (2015). StoryCorps (Version 2.1.1). [iOS app].

Evaluation matrix 2: StoryCorps.me

Name of teaching resource
StoryCorps
Weblink
https://storycorps.me/interviews/a-snapshot-in-time-emily-at-5-years-old/

http://www.storycorps.me/

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)
StoryCorps would be suitable for students in years five and six.
How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)
Students could use StoryCorps in pairs for peer-to-peer interviews, or individually to interview people beyond their school network.
Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?
The StoryCorps app would be most suitable for teaching English and history.
Identify the strengths of this teaching resource
StoryCorps has the potential to be a valuable digital education resource because users can independently search for, listen to, plan and record interviews with a single app.StoryCorps develops students’ literacy, interpersonal, planning, problem-solving, critical thinking, and digital technology skills, which form the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014).
Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource
The numerous StoryCorps.me beta version issues include the inability to re-record interviews, or to play, save, share and upload recordings from outside the app, and the absence of privacy settings for recordings. SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/) contains these features; however, its breadth of unrelated content makes it less appealing than StoryCorps for students to search for interviews. Students would, however, require a sound understanding of digital etiquette and support from the teacher as an eModerator prior to using StoryCorps (Howell, 2012, p. 5; Ribble, n.d., para. 6).
Also, many of the existing interviews have limited informative value. A higher calibre of recommended questions could improve this by offering users more interesting and less leading questions.
Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource
Students could use StoryCorps to present information about historical events: participants could interview mock-protagonists from different eras.

(215 words)

References

About StoryCorps.me. (2015). Retrieved from https://storycorps.me/about/

ACARA. (2014). F-10 Curriculum: General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2014). Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Browse?a=E&a=M&a=S&a=H&a=G&a=ENB&a=CNC&a=da&a=dr&a=ma&a=mu&a=va&a=DI&a=DE&a=HPE&y=F&y=1&y=2 – page=2.

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Ribble, M. (n.d.). Nine themes of digital citizenship. Retrieved from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html