HD_Links: Teaching Digital Citizenship

Jan032008

Click for source.

Year 1 eMINTS teachers are getting their student laptops up and running this month and thinking about how they can incorporate these new tools into their classroom lessons and activities. One topic some of the teachers I work with are interested in teaching their students is that of being responsible users of technology and becoming a part of digital communities. Here are a few online resources that may help in teaching those digital citizenship skills.

eThemes has a few themes that may help teach this topic including Teaching Tips: Digital Citizenship, Cyberbullying, Ethics for Students. Check the eThemes A-Z listing or search to find more.

Cybersmartcurriculum.org offers teacher K-12 lesson plans to help teach about the topics of Digital Society, Digital Rights and Responsibilities, Digital Safety and Security, Digital Etiquette, Digital Laws and Ethics, and Lifelong Learning. Lessons are identified by the grade level appropriate for each activity, whether they can be done without a computer or if they may include a web 2.0 tool, and if they require an Internet connection.

BrainPop has a whole group of videos (with additional activities and even quizzes) to help teach students about Digital Citizenship including Copyright, Plagiarism, Online Sources, Digital Etiquette, and many more.

Or check out this Digital Citizen Resources LiveBinder created by computer teacher and blogger, Vicky Sedgwick. The LiveBinder includes TONS of links and resources for teachers, parents, and students interested in learning more about digital citizenship.

What might be some of your favorite resources for teaching digital citizenship?

Brooke Higgins is an on again, off again blogger and instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read this and more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

HD_Links: Getting Started

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - Click for copyright.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - Click for copyright.

The new school year is quickly approaching. Many of you are already sitting through professional development sessions or readying your classrooms for the arrival of young minds ready for molding.

This week’s links are here to help you get ready for your new school year…

There are two educational technology experts everyone should follow. The first is David Warlick and his incredibly thought-provoking blog 2¢ Worth. In this blog, David likes to describe his travels as he works with teachers all over the country. Within those narratives, themes and invaluable insight are shared. The other blog to follow is the new Tumblr by Will Richardson. Richardson, like Warlick takes on the many issues teachers face in reaching the student of the 21st century. Both blogs give plenty to think about and inspire new approaches to teaching with each new post.

With each new year, we find that our equipment and software are also a year older. Technology that worked well five years ago has suddenly started to show its age. On top of that, there just isn’t the staff or resources to upgrade technology in your school or district. In Edgalaxy‘s letter of the week, plenty of practical solutions for refreshing the technology in your district are offered. Following their tips, one can see the light of the end of the tunnel that is a long school year with outdated technology.

Also from Edgalaxy, there are several good suggestions for calculator games. Want to get students acquainted with the calculators they’ll be using throughout the year? Check out the aforementioned calculator games to break the ice a bit in your math class. (BTW, I love how the other English-speaking nations call it “Maths.”)

Over at School Library Journal, there’s an interesting take on fair use and copyright. It seems that as long as materials are used in a transformative manner, educators are generally protected from coyright laws. for example, using a television ad to study body images in the media is an acceptable use. Read the rest of the piece to get a full picture of what the author is saying on this hot-button topic. Copyright and fair use are certainly important considerations as one begins to choose the media he or she will use this school year.

Looking for some new lesson plans to spice up your 2011-2012 class? Look no further than the lesson plans provided by The New York Times. There are lesson plans for all subjects across the curriculum available for your perusial. Most, if not all of the lessons tie in the country’s most read newspaper so that you can make those real-world connections with your students.

That should be enought to get you started for the year. What are you reading to get you inspired? What new tools or resources have you discovered that you’re willing to try this school year?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center and he’s ready to get starte!

A Picture Shouldn’t Be Worth a Thousand Minutes

Worth 1000 - 3rd edition
We all know the saying A picture is worth a thousand words and good practice suggests using images to convey a message and evoke feelings when creating materials for learners. It’s another way to grab the learner’s attention and engage them at the same time speaking to different learning styles.

The problem is that copyright free images can take more than a thousand minutes to find. While we know using images is important, eMINTS teachers are challenged to find those they can legally use on published documents. It’s very difficult to find images they and their students can include in websites, WebQuests, and other online content as well as classroom materials. With student’s eyes on them daily, teachers want to model ethical practices and give credit where credit is due to pass that skill on to students.

Take this blog post for example…. I wanted to find an image to drive home my point. It could have taken me longer to find the image than it did for me to create the entire post but I used a couple of strategies and resources to help expedite the process. Some of these strategies may help you on your next search for images.

  1. Brainstorm key words to search and go beyond the obvious to identifying main themes you want to communicate.
  2. Use your own original images. Take pictures with your own camera or scan in images you or your students have created.
  3. Search for images under the Creative Commons license (Flickr offers a quick and easy explanation of that licensing)
  4. Find and use sights for finding photos as well as clip art such as those listed below. Always remember to save the link back to the original image so that you can give credit to the owner.Photos
    Flickr – use advanced search to only search within Creative Commons lisence content
    EduPic
    Pics4Learning
    Wikimedia (how to use wikimedia)
    Clip Art
    Phillip Martin Clip Art
    Microsoft Office Images – not all content is copyright free for online publication, read fine print
    Discovery Schools Clip Art Gallery – read copyright permissions

If you have additional resources or suggestions on this topic please comment and share them with us all. Happy image searching to you; may your searches be short and sweet.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can visit her site here or read her blog, Higgins’ Helpful Hints.

Image – “Worth 1000 – 3rd Edition.” Flickr – spcbrass’. Web. 21 Oct 2010. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/spcbrass/4543486633/#/>.