Digital Citizenship

When I first saw the term digital citizenship I honestly had no idea what it meant! The Sheninger book did a good job of defining it but I wanted to explore additional resources to help me better understand it’s meaning and importance to me as an educator.

I found a great article in Edutopia that cut right to the information I really need to know. What do my students need to know about digital citizenship? Answering this key question with specific content will allow me to be a better teacher and as an administrator I would be able to be more concrete with my staff about what they need to know in order to encourage good digital citizenship in their students.

The article I read was written by Vicki Davis and was titled, “What Your Students Really Need To Know About Digital Citizenship”.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-need-to-know-vicki-davis

The author did a great job of detailing the “9P’s” of digital citicenship. These nine P’s are taught through “proactive knowledge” and “experiential knowledge”. She instructs the students proactively about each and then allows them to learn more about each through practical experience.

The pillars all revolve around identifying and practicing professional and appropriate behavior online. I love how she was able to allow the students to become teachers and do lessons in how to identify malware and scams. This was a great idea!

Besides the information on the 9P’s Davis also discussed the merit of student collaboration in learning. She mentioned a concept called “flattening the classroom” which I had never heard of. I found a great video which explains some basic ideas involved in flattening the classroom. The basic concept is using technology to break down walls and connect with other students around the world. The video below explains one example of the flat classroom model.

 

This article will definitely influence me as a future Principal because it very simply and clearly addressed the basic characteristics of acceptable online behavior for students and adults. We are currently editing our own Faculty Handbook and the information in the article caused me to take a look back at our student and faculty social media policies. There were a few points that this article actually helped us clarify.

The article actually caused me to seek additional information from our book’s author Eric Sheninger. He wrote a very interesting article that was more geared to administrators seeking to direct their adult staff on being strong digital citizens. I attached the link below.

7 Pillars Of Digital Leadership In Education

I thought point #2 was the most interesting. It centered around using the internet to “tell your story” as a school. Social media provides you with a free platform on which to do this.

Digital Citizenship is a concept the should be very heavily discussed and addressed in schools today. Discussing it is beneficial to both students and adults. It dos not say much for my school that I knew nothing about it before taking this class and reading the material I have read as a result.

 

 

 

 

Community Engagement Plan

 

I am going to create a site where parents of Devon Prep students can sign up to volunteer to run/assist with different Parents Association sponsored events during the school year. It is always very difficult for us to track these volunteers and to communicate with them during the year. This will give them the opportunity to sign up in one central location and give the administration the ability to track who is responsible for staffing each event.

 

Goals

  1. To make our parent volunteer sign-up process easier and more interactive.
  2. To create a real-time list of volunteers that can be accurate as emergencies and personal obligations force changes to the event staffing.
  3. To further impress upon our parents the administration’s desire to utilize technology in a far more expansive way as we move forward.

 

Audience

  1. Parents
  2. Teachers and Administrators who rely on knowing which parents are staffing different events.
  3. Office Staff who are often the first line in coordinating events between administration and parents.

 

Measureable Outcomes

  1. Parents are able to access a document that will accurately, and in real-time reflect the volunteers for each event. This will increase efficiency and communication and decrease frustration for all parties.
  2. More parents will volunteer to help than we have seen in the past.
  3. By only taking sign-ups for events by quarter, we will eliminate the situation where parents register in September to volunteer for an event in May and then forget to show up.
  4. Feedback on the social media feeds will help us increase communication and focus on these important duties.

 

Logistics for Implementation

The first step for us would be to contact our Parents Association President and alert her to the fact that we were beginning the process of digitizing sign-ups for the PA events. We would need her input as to design, functionality, and logistics of getting the site access to our parents. We would use our technology platforms and a letter from our Headmaster to introduce this new way of volunteering and also impress upon our parents the importance of helping us with these events. Once we communicate the information we post the site and hope to have those who register communicate about it on social media which will help drive other parents to follow suit.

 

Assessment Criteria

  1. The number of parent volunteers who registered to help in comparison to the same number from a year ago.
  2. The number of parents who actually showed up to help after they signed up as compared to a year ago.
  3. The number of social media hits and number of hits to the page itself. Did the page help us drive traffic to our school calendar (which will be linked).

 

Reasons for Tech Tool Usage

  1. Picture at top of page – this is a photo of our students at a sporting event looking happy and excited. This could easily be any one of the parent’s sons who we would like to volunteer for these events.
  2. School Calendar – this link exposes parents to information on our website they will need during the year, regardless of whether they sign up to volunteer at our events. This will give them a chance to preview coming events they may want to staff.
  3. Google Document – the link to the sign-up list is critical because that is the central purpose of the plan…… getting parents registered to help and having the list be accurate in real-time.
  4. Video – this video may have been seen by many existing parents but not by all new parents to the school. It tugs at the heart strings for existing parents who have been away all summer and are looking forward to  re-engaging with our school in the fall.
  5. Twitter Feed – the hope is to drive tweets to our site that parents, who may have missed the information on this new platform, may have missed. It will also give us feedback about any questions that may need to be answered.
  6. Picture of Uncle Sam — it was a cool graphic!!!

 

Personal Learning Communities

The term “personal learning community” meant nothing to me before reading Sheninger Chapter 8. I was totally blown away at the story about how Lyn Hilt was able to form her own professional development and educational resource program at the tip of her finger. It is amazing how educators today can simply, with the press of a button, access resources from around the world.

The commitment to lifelong learning is one of the critical components of a great teacher. Teachers can’t merely “tell” their students what they need to know because students observe their teachers and make judgments about their own willingness to learn new skills and information. Great teachers strive to be role models in the truest sense of the word and that starts with a commitment to learning, and in today’s worlds much of the learning for educators could take place in personal learning communities.

In an attempt to try and figure out where to even begin the process of creating my own PLN I found a great site:

http://inservice.ascd.org/first-steps-in-forming-a-professional-learning-community/

The above is a link to an article that details very clearly the steps for creating your own PLN. It was very informative for someone who had never even heard of them until very recently.

I feel that Sheninger summed up the enormous benefit of these communities very clearly with the passage below:

“The power and value of a connected learning model are tough to ignore. Leaders become the epi- center of their learning and determine what, where, and when they want to learn. This makes the learning process meaning- ful, relevant, applicable, and convenient. With these structures in place, the foundation is established to unleash passion, creativity, and a pursuit of innovation to do what we do better”. (Digital Leadership, Sheninger, Chapter 8)
Principals and teachers who create the kinds of networks that Lyn created save themselves time, expose themselves to ideas that can increase the quality of education for their students, and most importantly keep themselves current in the ever-changing world we live in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visionary Leadership

In today’s world of change happening at warp speed, I believe that visionary leadership and transformational leadership are really one in the same. Great leaders of today must be able to lead in the moment, with the tools available to them, yet be prepared that the norms of today will become the relics of tomorrow. I don’t even just mean the physical tools we use, rather such fundamental items as the way we communicate with each other.

I found a tremendous video that illustrates transformational leadership in a way that is both comical and accurate.

In today’s world of change happening at warp speed, I believe that visionary leadership and transformational leadership are really one in the same. Great leaders of today must be able to lead in the moment, with the tools available to them, yet be prepared that the norms of today will become the relics of tomorrow. I don’t even just mean the physical tools we use, rather such fundamental items as the way we communicate with each other.

I found a tremendous video that illustrates transformational leadership in a way that is both comical and accurate.

Even though he is 72 years old and not in the profession of education I have a great admiration for the leadership style and forward-looking vision of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Robert Gates

Last summer I read Gates’ biography and was taken by his ability to understand HOW to motivate people in today’s chaotic world. He was able to articulate how he actively sought to take an informed middle-ground position on the issues he faced, while working behind the scenes to develop consensus on ideas he felt would move the Department of Defense into the modern era and beyond. He wanted to move the Department towards the “wars of tomorrow”. This would mean less focus on “purchasing objects of war” and more training on how to fight asymmetrical war.

Many long-time DOD employees resented Gates shift in priority, but he was able to convince many to “prepare for the moment and plan for the future”.

Gates explained his approach very clearly below…..

“The leadership challenges are very similar in the public and private sectors when you’re aiming at transformational change,” Dr. Gates says. “People, for the most part, are comfortable with the status quo. That affects every organization. And any time you have a leader who believes change is necessary, that leader is going to have to deal with tremendous inertia, with tremendous resistance to change.”

Yet Gates overcame this “inertia” and our nation will be the better for it in the future.

 

Even though he is 72 years old and not in the profession of education I have a great admiration for the leadership style and forward-looking vision of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Robert Gates

Last summer I read Gates’ biography and was taken by his ability to understand HOW to motivate people in today’s chaotic world. He was able to articulate how he actively sought to take an informed middle-ground position on the issues he faced, while working behind the scenes to develop consensus on ideas he felt would move the Department of Defense into the modern era and beyond. He wanted to move the Department towards the “wars of tomorrow”. This would mean less focus on “purchasing objects of war” and more training on how to fight asymmetrical war.

Many long-time DOD employees resented Gates shift in priority, but he was able to convince many to “prepare for the moment and plan for the future”.

Gates explained his approach very clearly below…..

“The leadership challenges are very similar in the public and private sectors when you’re aiming at transformational change,” Dr. Gates says. “People, for the most part, are comfortable with the status quo. That affects every organization. And any time you have a leader who believes change is necessary, that leader is going to have to deal with tremendous inertia, with tremendous resistance to change.”

Yet Gates overcame this “inertia” and our nation will be the better for it in the future.

 

Does Blogging Help Educational Leaders?

No question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!!

Any time a dedicated educator engages in a conversation, online or otherwise, it is a great help to anyone who reads it. Sometimes we as educators just need to express ourselves and feel that we have a forum for our views. Blogging can largely be this outlet.

I chose to comment on  http://www.justintarte.com/. This blog was more appealing to me than some of the others because of the content on the front page……

10 things students want all teachers to know

The link above was really compelling and written in a way that we often don’t consider as we go through our day-to-day rituals in the classroom. We are sometimes so focused on content that we forget to understand that the students interests and needs must be met in order for true learning to take place.

 

The above video illustrates in a serious way the value of what Justin believes is most important for connecting with students…. taking the time to get to know them.