12 Ways Librarians Can Promote Digital Literacy

I am doing some research for an upcoming publication and ran across this excellent list of ways that Librarians can teach and promote digital literacy, including digital citizenship, within the community.

  1. Serve on curriculum development and professional development committees

  2. Contribute to school and district technology plans (which, among other reasons, are required for e-rate discounts).

  3. Survey the school community about their physical access to technology

  4. Provide in-school and remote access to digital resources

  5. Circulate technology, such as e-readers, cameras, and mobile devices.

  6. Produce and disseminate webliographies about digital literacy, including digital citizenship.

  7. Provide face-to-face and online instruction on the evaluation and selection of digital resources.

  8. Provide face-to-face and online instruction to the school community on using technology as a learning tool.

  9. Explain to the school community about intellectual property and ways to give people credit for their ideas.

  10. Promote the Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) and contribute to its database of documents.

  11. Teach the school community about cyberbullying and ways to respond to such bullies.

  12. Support and supervise youth social networking and podcast productions (e.g., book talks, library promotions, tech tips).

From Lesly S. J. Farmer.  Information and Digital Literacies (c) 2016

For me personally, the most challenging aspect from the list above is to get involved in the instructional lesson very early in the planning process.  This requires attending grade level meetings – offering resources – tracking curriculum – offering a variety of instructional strategies for integrating technology — be available to co-teach or help — the list goes on and on.

Luckily I am very involved in the professional development planning for our faculty and my staff sees me as a technology leader but it’s developing that consistent scope and sequence of informational literacy skills and lessons that are essential at the high school level. The key is to meet with department leaders, determine grade level indicators for research, develop assessments to check for understanding, and create a comprehensive 9-12 curriculum map for our school.  This takes time because you need to build trust and relationships with the faculty, and it takes administrative support to make it a priority.  I have been at my school for 1 1/2 years now and I am just beginning to get a grasp on our curriculum map and this will be my priority for the remainder of the year.

Do you have a curriculum map that you can share?  If so, please share — and stay tuned — I will publish mine when it’s done.

Mobile Learning Parent Meeting

An essential part to rolling out any 1:1 mobile learning initiative is to get your parent community involved and provide opportunities to educate parents and answer any questions or concerns.  At La Salle Prep we put together a parent information night last Spring to present an overview of how mobile devices will impact student learning, plans for digital citizenship lessons, updates on infrastructure, information about eTextbooks, etc.

Parents had a choice to attend two of four sessions:

I presented on eBooks and Digital Resources.  We decided to attempt to convert most paper textbooks to digital versions.  Every department conducted a lengthy review of textbooks and chose the best for their subjects.  At this point many textbook companies aren’t quite ready to offer every textbook in digital format.  We also were looking for stand alone textbooks vs. purchasing subscriptions that we needed to manage.

Here are some presentation notes:

eTextbooks:  An important aspect of La Salle’s 1:1 mobile learning program

iBooksLa Salle Prep is committed to securing eTextbooks for most classes next year so that students will be able to use their iPads for course materials.  Teachers have spent considerable time this school year reviewing and selecting eTextbook options for their classes.  These textbooks are from a variety of different publishers and available in various formats:  iBooks (iTunes store), Kno Textbooks, Pearson eText, non-fiction books purchased with Kindle app for iPad or Google Play Store, and eTextbooks by specific publishers.

Once the student schedules are complete in early summer and shared with families, La Salle will make the textbook list available on the La Salle Prep website.  This listing will include: course, title, author, price, format and a direct link of where to purchase the eTextbook. iBooks can be purchased in the iTunes App Store.  Families can purchase an iTunes gift card for their child and load the value onto an iTunes account to purchase iBooks and apps.  Families might consider a family iTunes account to purchase eTextbooks to share books with siblings but then each individual child can have their own iTunes account for personal use. Families will need to coordinate credit card purchases with their son/daughter for books that need to be purchased by specific publishers, Kindle store (Amazon) or the Google Play store.

Most textbooks fall between the $15 – $25 range except for some of the specialty AP eTextbooks which are priced more like college-level textbooks. There is no need to purchase the materials too early.  It is better to wait until the student’s schedule has been confirmed before purchasing books because you are buying them direct from the publishers. La Salle Prep will not be responsible for refunds if your child changes classes.

The La Salle Prep Library has invested in numerous digital resources to support the 1:1 mobile learning initiative.  This includes digital databases, non-fiction and reference eBooks, links to free Project Gutenburg ebooks in ourDestiny Library catalog, video tutorials for specific apps and iPad procedures, and more.  Many teachers will also provide course materials through Schoology, use Google Apps for productivity tools or may require specific apps for class.

We are making every effort to assist students and families with the transition to a mobile learning environment.  All students will be required to complete Online Modules (posted in Schoology) that will cover basic use and care of an iPad, digital citizenship, rights and responsibilities.  The modules will also cover steps students should take to prepare their iPad for the first day of school.  These modules will be available beginning in early June.

All students will also be required to attend a 3 hour On-Campus Bootcamp in August.  Sign ups for iPad bootcamps will begin online on May 16th.  Students should bring their iPad to the bootcamp to register their device with La Salle’s mobile device management system and set up appropriate accounts like email, Schoology, Google Apps,etc.

Many students have commented that they are looking forward to having all of their textbooks on one device and they won’t have to carry around such a heavy backpack.

Using eTextbooks is an important component to the success of our 1:1 mobile learning program.  Please contact Mario De Ieso mdeieso@lsprep.org if you have further questions.

iPad Online Modules – 6

5. School Scenarios and the Acceptable Use Policy

At La Salle we want to be clear about our expectations with or without technology.  Below are some typical school scenarios and the related rules from the Acceptable Use Policy.  If you haven’t downloaded and read the Acceptable Use Policy, you should do that now.

Scenario #1:  A student finds an off-color cartoon that makes fun of people’s race or sexual orientation on Tumbler and posts it on Schoology for all to see.

Students may not create, send, access, upload, download, or distribute offensive, profane, threatening, pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material.

Scenario #2:  A girl uses iMessage on her iPad to text her friend during class to discuss the upcoming Prom.

The use of social networks not authorized by the teacher for academic use is prohibited.

 

Scenario #3:  A boy finds someone’s iPad in the Library and attempts to log onto their account to see their files.

Gaining or attempting to gain access to other students’ or staff members’ accounts, files, and/or data is not allowed.

 

Scenario #4:  A student thinks it’s funny to photograph or videotape their teacher teaching a lesson and sends it to their classmates.

Publishing identifiable photographs or video of students, faculty, staff or administration without appropriate or prior written consent is prohibited.

 

Scenario #5:  A student is posting messages to Facebook during class and the teacher asks them to hand over their iPad.

Students’ iPads are subject to inspection at the discretion of a teacher or staff member.

 

Scenario #6:  A girl writes an essay on Google Docs and shares her work with a friend who downloads a copy and turns it in as her own work.

Plagiarizing academic materials, or otherwise is a violation of La Salle’s academic integrity policy.

 

Scenario #7:  A student creates a Twitter account using La Salle’s name and/or logo to post comments about what students wear to school.

Use of La Salle’s name, logo or identity in a way that negatively impacts the school’s reputation is prohibited.

 

Scenario #8:  A student brings their iPad to school but then realizes it has no battery left and cannot access the required textbook or complete the in-class iPad activity.

Students are to fully charge their iPad each night to ensure sufficient battery power to last throughout the school day.

 

From Acceptable Use Policy:

 

Violation of any of the rules from the Acceptable Use polices could result in disciplinary sanctions, including confiscation of device, restriction of network access, loss of co-curricular eligibility, suspension from school honor and service organizations, and suspension or expulsion from school.  It is important to know that La Salle’s code of conduct extends year round, to off campus activity as well as beyond the school day.  The expectation is that community members will contribute to a stable and productive computing environment using good and ethical judgment at all times.

Next:  Answer some questions about Digital Citizenship and the Acceptable Use Policy

 

 

 6.  Digital Responsibilities and Cyberbullying

 

1 Match the roles that different people play in cyberbullying situations.Matching – 1 point
· 2 Online bullying tends to escalate when multiple people become involved in the cruelty or bullying.
True/False – 1 point
· 3 All of these are things a TARGET should do if they are being bullied, except:Multiple Choice – 1 point
· 4 What advice would you give someone to convince them to be upstanding?Short-Answer/Essay Question – 0 points – Subjective
· 5 You don’t have to register your device with La Salle’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) program in order to access the student wireless network.True/False – 1 point
· 6 Which of the following online activities will be given higher network priority over the others?Multiple Choice – 1 point
· 7 To maintain the integrity of the learning environment during the school day students need to use their iPads for academic purposes during classtime.  Teachers may …Multiple Choice – 1 point
· 8 Creating, sending, accessing, uploading, downloading, or distributing offensive, profane, threatening, pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material is prohibited at La Salle.True/False – 1 point
· 9 Taking or publishing photos or video of students or teachers is allowed.True/False – 1 point
10 What is the “Academic Mode” and how will you use it in class?Short-Answer/Essay Question – 0 points – Subjective

 

Next:  Module 3 Next Steps

iPad Online Modules – 5

3. Using Mobile Devices during Instructional Time

Using the iPad for Learning

schoologyThe iPad is a great device for communicating, collaborating, and interacting with a variety of educational resources. Teachers will post class materials and resources on their Schoology page that you can access with the Schoology app.  You will download and access most of your textbooks on your iPad and use apps for instruction and review.   You will have 24/7 access to databases and eBooks and conduct Internet research whenever you need information. On the iPad you can create presentations to demonstrate your learning, type your papers, watch videos to learn new concepts and so much more.

Acceptable Use during Instructional Time

instructionalTo maintain the integrity of the learning environment during the school day students need to use their iPads for academic purposes during class time.  Teachers will direct you when it is appropriate to use your iPad and when they want you to put it away.

We understand that it will be tempting to want to check your email, access social networks, or even play games when you have an iPad at your fingertips all the time. Our job at La Salle is to help you understand when that is appropriate and when you need to focus on academics.

Teachers or administrators may:

  1. Ask you to close apps that are not needed in class.
  2. Spot check to make sure you are using the appropriate resources.
  3. View or control your website usage using Teacher View.
  4. Limit the use of the camera, social networks, games, videos, email, etc.
  5. Ask all students to put their devices away.

According to the AUP, students’ iPads are subject to inspection at the discretion of a teacher or staff member. Even though you own your device, you do not have the right to display apps, music, movies, games or images that violate school policies while you are at school or attending school events.

“Academic Mode”

iPads are often used for recreational purposes, but in a 1:1 environment or when studying at home, it’s necessary to avoid the potential for distraction and focus on whatever task is at hand. Try to have a new mindset that iPads are treated as tools for learning, and not just devices for entertainment.

Challenge yourself to be fully present in class, during lunch and when doing homework. Avoid the temptation to go online, check your Facebook status or message your friends. Determine set times when you are going to access social networks.

Students should place their iPads in “Academic Mode” when they come into class or when completing homework. Academic Mode means:

  • Only needed academic files and applications are open or visible on your iPad.  Avoid having distracting applications visible while working on schoolwork.  This includes any non-academic applications, websites or notifications such as:  social media, messaging, games, news or email.
  • Turn off sounds and disable notifications or alerts.

To help yourself avoid distractions, temporarily turn off Wi-Fi when working with local files like textbooks, writing a paper or creating a presentation.  Be in charge of your online usage.

Next:  Be Respectful To Community Members

4. Be Respectful to Community Members

With 24/7 access, some students might use technology in inappropriate ways. Online cruelty, also referred to as cyberbullying, takes place whenever someone uses digital media tools such as the Internet and cell phones to deliberately upset or harass someone else, often repeatedly.  People post things online that they wouldn’t say in person.

In this video from Common Sense Media, a teenage boy discusses the prevalence of saying hurtful things online and the impact those comments had on a particular friend.

http://youtu.be/YvpcWAZJzoY 

Is Ricardo is a cyberbully? He said he was just joking around. Ricardo is probably considered a cyberbully because he openly criticizes people online. On the other hand, we do not know how mean his comments were, and if he might change his behavior in the future. One of the issues with cyberbullying is the scale and the fact that it is public. Information generally travels faster and reaches more people on the Internet than offline, and this fact may make the impact harsher.

Ricardo thinks that harassing others on Internet, rather than in person, appeals to some teenagers because they can’t be attacked back physically.  People may cyberbully online because they do not have to face their target and can “hide” behind their computers. On the other hand, conflicts that start online often go offline at some point.

Have you ever encountered online cruelty? How do you think someone might feel after being the target of it?

Targets of online cruelty may feel they can be bombarded with negative comments at any time, anywhere. And when more offenders join in the online cruelty, the situation gets even worse. Watch this video and place yourself in Stacey’s shoes.

http://youtu.be/w4ugP_eQUR8

Who was involved in the story and what roles did they play?

  • Target: Stacey, whose intentions are misunderstood and who feels beaten down by being picked on offline and online
  • Offenders: The girl who misunderstood Stacey’s intent, as well as her friends who led the cruel online behavior
  • Bystanders: All of the people who might have stepped in but did not, including Stacey’s cousin and others at school or online
  • Upstander: Stacey’s mom, who empathized with Stacey and encouraged her to seek help from the school

As Stacey says, most of the comments were made anonymously and from “miles away.” It may be easier for offenders to be cruel when they are not face to face with their target. It’s easy for online cruelty to spread quickly, both because of the technology and because of the herd mentality.

Targets and Upstanders Can De-escalate Online Cruelty

You can make a difference — even if you are being targeted.  Here are a few ideas:

Targets:

  • Ignore and block the bully. Offenders often want attention. Take it away and they may give up.
  • Save the evidence. You may need it later for documentation.
  • Change your privacy settings. Allow only people you trust to see or comment on your pages.
  • Tell trusted friends and adults. Create a support network.

Don’t just ignore cyberbullying if you see it happening at La Salle.  Be an Upstander!

Upstanders:

  • Stand up to the offender when appropriate. If you see something negative, say something. Make it clear that you think online cruelty is wrong, and tell the offender to back off. (It may be easier to do this if you have good standing with the offender.)
  • Point out the bully’s motivation to the target. Comfort the target by explaining that many offenders act cruelly just to gain control, power, or status.
  • Help the target advocate. Help the target find friends and school leaders who can help de-escalate the situation. It’s easier to stand up to cruelty when you are not alone.

Bystanders may hesitate to get involved in a cyberbullying situation because they don’t want to become targets themselves. Put yourself in the target’s shoes. What would it feel like if nobody wanted to help you out when you needed it most? You can show support in many ways, even simply by listening to a target about his or her experience.

Next: School Scenarios and the Acceptable Use Policy

WIRED TEENS talk about technology

My 2010 Digital Video class made this video called WIRED TEENS talk about technology this past Spring. The students brainstormed the topics, interviewed the faculty members and students and then we edited their segments together.  The students didn’t just want to discuss cyberbullying – they also wanted to include discussions about positive uses of technology, texting, Internet addiction, trash talking during online video game play and sexting.

We showed the video to the entire school and the Journalism class followed up with a survey and article in the school paper.  One surprising result was that almost 1/2 of the high school students who responded said they had received or sent a “sexting” message.

I was very impressed with how well the students handled themselves during the discussions and interviews.  We started with about 60 minutes of recorded tape and cut it down to 13 minutes – a challenge indeed.

Feel free to use it with your Digital Citizenship unit – http://vimeo.com/13069129


Valley Catholic High School Cyber Bulling Awareness from WatchOurSpirit on Vimeo.

Blogging with my students

This term I decided to make some changes to the blogging activity that I do as part of the Digital Citizenship unit.  In the past, students chose a topic based around the theme “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”. We are continuing with the theme and students will still get to choose their topic, but they must choose a topic that fits in one of four categories (the students chose the themes):Lockers
1.  Environment / Animals
2.  Digital Citizenship / Tech Issues
3. Health Issues (drugs, diseases, teen stress)
4. Social Justice / World Issues (poverty, war, etc).

Students have planned out their posts according to their interest and will blog 1-2 times a week along with their group members in their respective group blog.

Students will be formed into learning circles and be expected to respond to group member posts by writing appropriate comments that ask questions, give more information or extend the conversation.

Now when the term ends, the four blogs will continue with new students who will carry on the message. No one’s work will be deleted and students can revisit the blogs after they’ve left this class.

The class is very receptive to the idea. I love having my students connect online and see the value of using technology for good.  Along the way I will be teaching them about their digital footprint, keeping their privacy intact, and appropriate use of images and citations.  This real-world activity brings up lively discussions about how they use technology outside of school.

I also am blogging along with my students.  I want model my thinking process and appropriate commenting.  Here is my first post:

Digital Citizenship – Why I Chose This Topic

As a technology evangelist, I take it upon myself to educate students and parents about the benefits of “technology networks” to support student learning.  There is way too much hysteria in the news about “sexting” and the dangers of predators scouring social networks looking for their next prey.  The reality is that teens (and adults) enjoy the connections made with online networks and it rarely does harm.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful.  We should be.  But the benefits outweigh the harm.  What I hope to accomplish in this blog is to educate readers about ideas for staying safe online, what it means to be a “digital citizen” in the 21st century and tips for using technology for good.  Enjoy and please comment if you feel so inclined.

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrendraper/3199912709/in/pool-858082@N25/

Defending my blogging assignment

Each semester my students create their own blogs around the theme “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”. I use this activity as part of my digital citizenship unit.  I want the students to experience what it means to be a digital citizen in an authentic manner.

I’m careful.  I clearly explain to the students the purpose of the blogging project and I send home a letter to the parents asking them to approve their child’s topic,  Many students choose topics such as pollution, recycling, global warming, mosquito nets, charity, alternative fuels, etc..  See this post about how I use Web 2.0 tools in my blog assignments.

This fall, I had one parent who was concerned about allowing her Freshman daughter to post online and participate in the blogging activity.  The signed permission slip came back with lots of questions and several email communications questioned the value of the project (I think she thought it was going to be more like a journal).

Here is a copy of my response:

Dear Parent,

I understand you concerns about the blogging project and protecting your child’s privacy – that is exactly why I am teaching this digital citizenship unit.

Too often today students don’t even think twice about what they are posting online and who will be reading their posts.  I feel the best way to teach students about Digital Citizenship is to have them practice it in a safe & protected environment.
Here are some of the things I am doing with the students.
1.  Draft your message before you post.  Take time to carefully think out what you want to say and how you will say it.  Each student drafts their posts in a Google document before posting to their blog.  I encourage them to only blog about the topic at hand, “change the world”.  We do not discuss where we attend school, our activities, etc.  This is not a personal journal.  The only difference between our blogging project and making a PowerPoint is that your classmates can have a conversation about the topic.

2.  Design your blog carefully.  Some students did put their photos on their site immediately – and now are correcting that.  I have showed the kids how to take an image and modify it in Photoshop to protect their privacy or consider using an avatar to represent them instead.

3.  I have only invited a few schools who participated in our blogging project last Spring to comment on the blogs.  Most of the commenting done right now is done by students in the student’s  learning circle (3-4 students).  I moderate all comments before they are posted and don’t hesitate to delete comments that are not well written, have nothing to do with the topic, or are inappropriate (though none have been).
Too many of student’s assignments in school are not relevant to their lives or do not encourage communication among students.  I believe that blogging (in a safe environment) can do that.  Having an authentic audience to write for and having classmates comment on the writing raises the level of quality of student work and engagement.  They are eager to see what their friends say and in return – create posts that are interesting and “comment worthy”.
I do  respect your decision and your concerns, though.  That is why I have parents sign and approve the topic.  I still want your child to participate and offer a couple of solutions.

1.  Change all posts to “private”.  I will be the only one who can view and comment.
2.  Change all posts to “P3” or “V** Computers” – this will limit viewing and comments from either her class or only students from our school.
3.  Allow posts to be public but I moderate all posts and comments (I already approve all comments).
4.  Remove blog completely and all the assignments will be done on a Google Document.
I am happy to report that the parent agree with my philosophy and the girl may blog along with her classmates.
Teachers – if you are planning on blogging with  your students – clearly plan out your goals, get parent buy in and moderate all comments and posts.  I’m glad I was prepared.