I gathered up some of the graphs from our recent survey on this Glogster poster which I will be sharing out with my students today to begin our discussions and inquiry around technology, digital footprints, privacy, cyberbullying and more.
This is a great video lesson plan (with handouts available at CommonSense Media) about helping kids consider their digital footprints (which is what I am doing this week).
Peace (in the planning),
I love watching it as magic on the screen and I enjoy trying to make my own, too. I’ve always often brought stopmotion animation into the classroom. So I was intrigued by this app called Animation Desk, which is available for the iPod and iPad. I have it on the iPad, where the canvas is larger and easier to use. Essentially, it is a fairly intuitive program to use that allows you to draw, frame by frame, and then create a simple movie that can be exported to YouTube and other sites. I liked the relative simplicity of the design of the App, and while I am still trying out some of the bells and whistles, I had made a short video (Bouncy) in minutes and when my son joied me, we worked together on another one (Dognose). It was a lot of fun.
I’ve been sharing out some of the data from a grade-level survey that I did with my students around their perceptions and use of technology and digital media. I’ve talked about how much time and what they do with that time, and also, I’ve shared out how many of my students use Facebook and Instagram. Today, I want to share out their views and experiences around online safety and cyberbullying. All of these topics will be part of our class discussions this week as part of our work around Digital Learning Day.
This topic of safety is one that often falls below many of our radar screens until something has gone too far for the kids to deal with. I was curious if adults in their lives have talked about the issue of how to be safe when in an online space and what to do if the tone turns negative and maybe even threatening. I was pleased to see that about three-quarters of the students reported that they have had those kinds of conversations before with a teacher or parent.
In looking at their narrative experiences, you can see that the line between other just being annoying and being threatening is very vague for my students (and, let’s be honest, for many adults). When a student says that another person writing in Spanish or “liking” a picture on a site that encourages that, they may be reading more into the activity than is there. But when a student says that there are too many incidents to even count, that is a cause for concern, I think.
Parents/Teachers/Adults Talked About Online Safety?
I also wanted to know if they had experienced this negativity in online spaces, and about one-third said they had.
Negative Online Experiences?
Next, I asked, if they said “yes” to that last question, what was the incident, and was it resolved? Here are some of their answers:
Some creep “liked” my pictures and I blocked him.
People being mean.
Someone didn’t care about the Newtown ct. shooting so a big fight broke out on Instagram and the person who didn’t care had so many people against him, he just stopped typing. The guy was swearing a lot.
It is not really a problem people post pictures that say this girl died and if you don’t re-post you will be next.
Cyberbullying. I resolved it by going to a counselor.
People swear at you and it has not resolved.
I re-posted some of a girl’s pictures (what you are supposed to do and she said that I was “taking all her pics”) so I unfollowed her and yes it did work.
A rude message was left for me in Minecraft and it did not get fixed.
It was not resolved but someone kept calling me really bad things.
Someone was talking Spanish, asked to stop, and they said something in Spanish.
On fantage.com while I was playing (virtual world) and someone said those clothes you are wearing (on my character) are ugly. What I just did is clicked on them and then I reported them.
Well, I don’t know how many negative experiences I’ve had online. There are too many to count.
The people swear at you.
Teenagers on Xbox live mocking my gaming abilities.
People call me names on Xbox Live.
Me and a person got into a really big fight. We have really never talk ever again.
I saw an inappropriate and got it blocked from YouTube.
One of the areas I will be addressing this week is privacy settings and letting them know there are ways to report bad behavior of other users to most online sites. I’ll also be reminding them that they have supportive adults at home and in school who they can turn to for help in situations that seem to be careening out of control.
Yesterday, I began sharing out some data that I collected from my sixth grade students about their use and perceptions of technology in their lives as we lead up to Digital Learning Day on Wednesday. Today, I want to share out the data from questions about social networking, but in particular, about my students’ use of Facebook and Instagram. I should note that my kids are 11 and 12 years old — not officially old enough for Facebook and Instgram (as if Zuckerberg and company really care).
The percentage of my students who are on Facebook seems to have dropped this year, from last. I don’t know if an informational email that I sent earlier this year to all parents with information about Facebook (age levels, advice on how to monitor traffic, controlling privacy settings, etc.) had any impact but I am glad that the numbers are not growing.
It’s clear that my students view social networking spaces for the value of connections among friends more than sharing of information. But still …a fair number on FB are sharing images and videos, and probably not at all considering the privacy ramifications, nor their digital footprints (that will be our topic next week).
I notice a few students are using Facebook without parent knowledge. That always concerns me. I know, from experience, how hard it is to keep track of what our children are doing. But it is critical.
More than half the class is on Instagram now, which means they are probably sharing a lot of photos. This app will be a main focus next week, I think, as we talk about privacy issues. I also know that they probably have access to a lot of inappropriate content in those spaces (thus, the age 13 level).
Use of Facebook
Parents Know About Facebook Use
How Using Instagram
Peace (in the social sharing),
Our social studies teacher is finishing up a unit around city-states, and students created their own maps of an imaginary city-state. I grabbed images and created this animoto video to celebrate and share the project with parents.
Each year, I have my sixth graders take a survey we call The State of Technology. The data I collect over a series of questions forms the basis for discussions (we will have next week) around digital citizenship and privacy and footprints. Plus, I find it fascinating to get a glimpse into what they do with technology and how they perceive it. I’ll share out more elements in the coming days, but these questions ask about amount of time on tech and what they do, as well as their impressions of themselves as tech savvy kids.
What observations can I make?
First of all, notice the amount of time they spend with technology. Hours and hours each day. That’s a bit frightening, and it is something we grapple with in our home, too, with our children. I continually return to the questions as a teacher of the amount of screen time I am bringing into my instruction.
Mostly, they are using the technology at home and not in school. No surprise there, I suppose, given the proliferation of devices now available.
The shift to mobile devices over desktops and computers is clearly evident, and this has grown by leaps and bounds each year (reflecting society, I suppose). In fact, each time I introduce some technology in class, the first question is always: is there an app for this? (We had this yesterday, as we worked with Glogster for the first time)
It’s also interesting that text messaging is still an extremeley popular use of technology, but playing in online gaming environments has grown considerably in the past year, and watching videos online is a steady growth pattern over previous years. What I would love to see is more growth in the categories around making, creating, producing … instead of the ones around watching, experiencing, staring.
Finally, the question about self-perceptions shows another shift in my students. Not long ago, I would have had a whole group identifying themselves in the “uncomfortable” category, but now, the vast majority either feel comfortable with whatever device or platform we put in front of them, they also consider themselves “experts.” (Reality check: they still need guidance and help to see the larger picture of how things work, and why.) And when they think about their own use in comparison to their parents, well, kids always know best, right? Here, they clearly think they are more knowledgeable and savvy than mom and dad.
Amount of Time
Where Time is Spent
What They Do on Tech
Home vs. School Self-perceptions of Tech Use Compared to Parents
In the next few days, I will share out their use of social networking spaces
I am always fascinated by inquiry into books and how technology is shaping, reshaping our writing and reading experiences. This video comes from the IDEO site, which has a lot of interesting projects and research elements underway around literacy and design. It focuses in on Nelson, Coupland and Alice — three platforms for literacy. (I’ve heard about Alice numerous times and need to check it out)